Recommend
42 
 Thumb up
 Hide
12 Posts

Flamme Rouge» Forums » Reviews

Subject: We're Exhausted! - The WDR Flamme Rouge Review rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Mike B
United Kingdom
southampton
hampshire
flag msg tools
badge
Dare To Roll - www.whodaresrolls.com
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Cycling... Not really all that exciting is it? I've done it, I mean its like riding a bike. Right?

So when I was first approached about the idea of taking a look at the new cycling game by Asger Harding Granerud designer of 13 Days: The Cuban Missile Crises I was all like yeah OK, the theme for me held all the thrills of a lukewarm baked potato.

And for the record, I like racing games I love me some Formula D, but that has dice (lots of em) and little gear sticks and stuff and this well it had cards.

Don't let that put you off I'm a curmudgeon and proud and will if nothing else challenge a game to prove me wrong....

OK, so I was wrong... Dagnabbit!

Flamme Rouge which for you cycle heathens relates to the red flag announcing it's the mad dash to the finish, time to nut up or shut up. Over this final kilometre skirmish, heroes are made, and legends forged so what better point during a cycle race to set a game.

In the game, each player controls two cyclists the Sprinteur and Rouleur think of these guys as the Hare and Tortoise of cycling tropes. Each has a separate deck of cards relating to the distance they can travel during a turn the difference between the two is the sprinteur has 2's, and 9's whereas the Rouleur has 6's, and 7's with both racers remaining cards running from 3 to 5. Look there's a reference card that shows you.

During a turn, you decide on one of your riders draw four cards off their deck and pick the one to use, the others are returned face up beneath so you know when a reshuffle is in order. This is repeated for your other rider and then everyone reveals the cards played moves the models on the board and then here's the interesting bit, the cards you just used are discarded out of your deck.

That in itself is a cool mechanic with slowly diminishing decks reducing your options on subsequent turns and trying to gauge when best to play your higher or lower cards, gambling on the best time to break from the pack or hang back. However, two more additions add the twist of lemon in this, particularly zesty cocktail.

First, there's slipstreaming, starting from the back of the pack any models with just one space between them bunch up, and this is carried forward to the next cyclist so with careful positioning you can crawl up towards the front of the pack for free. Thematically the board will quickly start to mirror the packs of racers as seen in the real Le Tour on telly, I say this with complete ignorance, but I've definitely seen them all bunched up and watched in anticipation of some numpty in first crashing and causing a massive mountain of spandex and human. And then there's exhaustion, any model with two or more empty spaces in front of them at the end of a round has to draw an exhaustion card adding it to their deck and with these only offering a distance of 2 when played you really don't want to start filling up on them.

So what you get is this very simple but cool deck deconstruction mechanic that with practice can result in you streamlining your cards down and gambling when best to play the big ones, or a complete and utter disaster where your cluttering it up with handfuls of horrendous exhaustion cards resulting in your cyclist resembling an asthmatic snail.

And it all works wonderfully and feels incredibly thematic, while you can shoot off away from the line playing your high cards you're going to start to bloat your deck with these useless exhaustion cards which you'll eventually have to play to thin your deck giving your opponents time to close that initial lead.

It plays incredibly quickly is a breeze to teach the rules are basically four pages, and I've had huge success getting both the kids to play as much as my gnarly old gamer buddies. The best thing is it's just tremendous fun and thunders along delivering excitement and thrills with satisfyingly weighty decisions in an itty bitty playtime. It is one of those rare exceptions when you'll finish a game and instantly go again.

This lands the game in that sweet spot so hard to pull off, something for all ages and all types if this doesn't find itself on the short list for the Spiel Des Jahres next year I'll take it very personally.

But there's more. Included are different track layouts which use the flipside of the boards and advanced rules which add just a dash of tactics without bogging the game down with the addition of mountains. These penalise riders trying to climb up them limiting the maximum speed to 5 and not allowing the option to slipstream. The descent works equally well and rewards you for efficiently reaching the peak and zooming down past your unfortunate opponents by making any card played an instant five.

In Asgars design diary he described how the first itineration of the game had a lot more tactical bloat and rules, kudos to him for jettisoning these in favour of opening up the game to be enjoyed by anyone. However, those still looking for a little bit more can download his Grand Tour rules that present a campaign mode and cyclist abilities for that extra challenge. I'll be incredibly surprised if we don't start to see tournaments of this popping up at game conventions in the coming months.

The art and design are effortless, I dig the 1930's stylings of the characters, and the whole product is handsome, colourful and enticing. My criticisms are really nitpicking initially the minis can be a little tricky to tell apart, and the lack of any rules for the bends in the track seems a missed opportunity for a deeper more tactical play. I understand why that's not here and as it stands the game has plenty of scope for growth, and I anticipate an expansion to be announced down the road.

This is bloody brilliant stuff its blend of mechanisms and theme are just effortlessly spot on, and while at first glance, it seems a simple little diversion a huge amount is happening just under the surface. Between trying to remember what your opponents played, gauging which one of your racers to choose first, where to place them will you slipstream what cards did the others play? For something that feels so light and breezy, it's a hugely satisfying experience and most importantly fun. This comes highly recommended.

Originally Published @ www.whodaresrolls.com
39 
 Thumb up
8.53
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Wolfram Troeder
Germany
Bruchkoebel
Hessen
flag msg tools
Boardgaming is not a matter of life or death...
badge
...it's much more important than that!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
mibar01 wrote:
... And then there's exhaustion, any model with two one or more empty spaces in front of them at the end of a round has to draw an exhaustion card adding it to their deck and with these only offering a distance of 2 when played you really don't want to start filling up on them...

Originally Published @ www.whodaresrolls.com


Minor rule nitpick
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Lutz Pietschker
Germany
Berlin
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Quote:
Minor rule nitpick

One square, to be exact, which means 2 spaces side by side.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Wolfram Troeder
Germany
Bruchkoebel
Hessen
flag msg tools
Boardgaming is not a matter of life or death...
badge
...it's much more important than that!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
PunTheHun wrote:
Quote:
Minor rule nitpick

One square, to be exact, which means 2 spaces lanes side by side.


gulp

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Asger Harding Granerud
Denmark
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Early Flamme Rouge prototype
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
To Wolfram & Lutz, isn't it great with a rule so simple it can be explained in 7 different ways


To Mike,
Thanks so much for taking the time to write a review. Hope to hear about it on the podcast too

Super stoked that it seems to have hit the sweet spot with you, your family and the old gamer buddies. I hope you'll find the time and try to dive into the Grand Tour sooner rather than later

Happy Racing
Asger Granerud
10 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Over 50 Gamer
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
flag msg tools
Oliver......one cool cat
badge
MEOW!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Excellent review. I have already placed my BGG Con pickup order from Funagain Games (I hope they will be able to bring it), and this review has got me stoked. I became a huge cycling fan after watching the Tour de France years ago and took up road biking in a more serious way 2 years ago. Did my first 2 Gran Fondos this summer and will be cycling Maui (including up the mountain) in March 2017. I have Leader 1 and enjoy it, but it is not quite great and I have a hard time finding more than one opponent. With the ability to solo this game or even add an AI opponent to a 2 player game, it will get a ton of play....now just to get my hands on it.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Richard Dewsbery
United Kingdom
Sutton Coldfield
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I ride short audaxes myself (nothing longer than 160k so far), and I switched jobs largely so I could commute by bike - but I'm built for distance, not for speed.

Also love watching yctcling on TV - I'd watched Le Tour a bit back in the 80s, but it was only in 09/10 that I started to get properly interested, and took up cycling myself in 11/12. Although cycling can sometimes be hazardous - my avatar is my left leg, following a bike accident last summer ("career ending" if I had been a pro; ten months off the bike and four months rebuilding strength and fitness for normal folks).

I'm really impressed with how Flamme Rouge captures some of the tactics, atmosphere but mostly the feel of a bike race. I only played Leader 1 a couple of times - I played FM more in the first week that I owned it than I have Leader 1 in 5-10 years! I've only tried two stages so far, but again I felt that the different layouts really made the race look and feel how a bike race does over the different parcours.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Over 50 Gamer
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
flag msg tools
Oliver......one cool cat
badge
MEOW!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
RDewsbery wrote:
Although cycling can sometimes be hazardous - my avatar is my left leg, following a bike accident last summer ("career ending" if I had been a pro; ten months off the bike and four months rebuilding strength and fitness for normal folks.



I was wondering about that. Very nasty femoral fracture....looks like it extended up through the neck of the femur. Very finicky blood supply up there...was there any thought that they might need to do a hip replacement? Congratulations on recovering from such a devastating injury.....I can only imagine how difficult and painful that must have been. I am fortunate, I have only felt the side view mirror of a Winnebego brush past me on the highway....he was half way on to a 6 foot wide shoulder that we were cycling on.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike B
United Kingdom
southampton
hampshire
flag msg tools
badge
Dare To Roll - www.whodaresrolls.com
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks for the kind words guys. Richard that looks painful, my brother had a similar injury some years back following a bike accident. Hence why I think I'll stick to the tabletop equivalent from now on.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Richard Dewsbery
United Kingdom
Sutton Coldfield
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Petdoc wrote:
I was wondering about that. Very nasty femoral fracture....looks like it extended up through the neck of the femur. Very finicky blood supply up there...was there any thought that they might need to do a hip replacement?

No idea what the surgical team might have discussed amongst themselves, but they never mentioned it to me (though my memories of the 36 hours post-arrival in the hospital are somewhat cloudy, thanks to all those drugs). They also never said a word about AVN, but so far everything seems fine. The avatar doesn't show it clearly, but the fracture is just about sub-trochanter (from the early X-rays it looks like the lesser trochanter broke clean away) so the neck of the femur wasn't broken. What the two lag bolts sticking through it do to the blood supply I have no idea. I could do without the distal pins at the knee - one of them catches on something when I'm climbing stairs - but it's a small matter in the grand scheme of things.

Quote:
Congratulations on recovering from such a devastating injury.....I can only imagine how difficult and painful that must have been. I am fortunate, I have only felt the side view mirror of a Winnebego brush past me on the highway....he was half way on to a 6 foot wide shoulder that we were cycling on.


Took twelve months of pain, sweat and tears. Plenty of physio, gritting of teeth and determination, but it was never actually very difficult. Cycling IS pain, and coming back from this hurt no more than the climb I go over each afternoon on the way home from work. You just have to be prepared to tough it out, whether it's the next pedal stroke or the next faltering step. I knew a minute after I'd done it what I had done (oh, the unmostakable feel of bits of bones in your leg grating against one another when you try to stand up), and knew a few hours later how long it would be before the bone healed again. But I had two aims - walk without crutches by Xmas, and complete the 100-mile audax I was on when the accident happened (oh yes, that was fun - being in hospital 50 miles from home with nobody knowing where I was for eight hours) twelve months after the break. I managed both.
7 
 Thumb up
2.25
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
dan parker
United Kingdom
Lincoln
Lincs England
flag msg tools
badge
Rolling Sixes all the way!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Nice review, love the flavour cheers
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kathleen Nugent
United States
Tamworth
New Hampshire
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Petdoc wrote:
will be cycling Maui (including up the mountain) in March 2017.


It's the end of March now. Have you finished your trip?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.