Recommend
4 
 Thumb up
 Hide
18 Posts

Formula D» Forums » Variants

Subject: What do you think of these house rules, from a new player. rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
John John
Canada
Red Deer
Alberta
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
Hi all
I finally unpacked my Formula D and ran through a couple laps (although by myself), before introducing the game to my children (12-14) or my game group.
I have also been reading some of these threads for some ideas.
What I am struck by is the "Randomness" concern and the "Run Away Leader" concern.
Once I introduce this game to my people, it would like to have attempted to mitigate these to some extent. That said, I don't want to ruin the game. I am going to present my ideas and hopefully some of you might be able to comment on them for me.
A) Randomness is probably an important part of the game (despite it upsetting some people). So, I am not going to alter the dice mechanisms at all
B) Push-your-luck mechanism to fix the "Run Away Leader" concern: I don't think you can fix this issue in a thematic way without introducing other concerns or complications. So, I was thinking of fixing this with a game mechanic that actually promotes the tension of a Push-your-luck approach. This involves the pit stops. If you are the first person entering the pit stop during a game, AND you are in first place, then you roll the black die. If the die shows a value greater than number of spaces you are ahead of the second-place player, then you recover your tires as normal. If the die shows a value equal to, or less than the leader gap, then you only recover 2 tire points. If you roll low and can only recover 2 tire points, you may wish to skip a turn, get full tire recovery and automatically get a fast jump leaving the pits. This doesn't count if the first person into a pit is not the leader (eg the leader skipped there first pit stop, and someone else went to the pits in the first lap...if no one goes the pits on the first lap, then the leader is probably going to have troubles, as it will still apply to them on the second lap)
C) Thematic improvements: Brakes. Initially give everyone 6 brake wear points. Watching racing shows, and my personal experience in such cars/driving, I know that the brakes are a greater part of the game than the base rules give space for. With more braking power, people may attempt entering corners at higher speeds.
D) Thematic Improvements: Tire Wear at high speeds. Any turn you are in 6th gear, or in a corner in 4th-6th gear, you wear your tires one point. This may require bumping up the points initially assigned to everyone's tires.
E) Thematic Improvements: Neutral Glide. I have thought about this, where you pop the clutch then just drift one turn, choose any gear 1-3 during the next turn. But, I am wondering if this is of any value. I won't expand on this as I now think its a bust.

So what do you people think of these (especially B-D)? I really would appreciate your feedback, I don't want to wreck the game for my family/friends by "trying to fix it" LOL.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jim Allard
United States
Dover
New Hampshire
flag msg tools
mb
Hi,

I don't have the new version of Formula D - but my group has been playing the original Formula De for some 20 years (monthly). I have some 20 courses and we play this at the start of every game night.

I would suggest making no changes to the game mechanics or game play until you have played this a couple of times. Then you will decide it needs no modifications.

There is no run-away leader issue. I have started dead last and never lead until I crossed the finish line first. The die have a way of resolving these things. Only infrequently do we have someone who leads most of the race and wins. The most common winner is the racer who starts in 2nd. The difference between 4th and 5th gears is almost painful. The risk taking is a lot of fun; even when I explode in the corner.

The only thing we do differently is the finish. I have a chart that measures in 60ths and we use that to see who crosses the finish line first in those instances where two or more cars have a shot. Rather than the person in the lead would cross first every time. We have had some very close finishes because of this.

It is a great game and lots of fun and easy to play. We generally do a one-lap race at the start of every game night and crown a season winner each year in July.

Just start playing.

JimA
7 
 Thumb up
0.05
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
f homess

Portland
Oregon
msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
B seems overly complicated for not much gain. I think the only way to address it, if you think it's a problem, is to create an artificial catch-up mechanism like DRS or KERS. If you look around, you can find some house rules where people allow you to add 1 to your movement to make a corner or catch the guy ahead of you. Those options probably will work better. FWIW, my league doesn't use any of those concepts, but in a one off race you may want to risk the chance less. I will say that it's tremendous fun to watch a car get stuck one space out of a corner, and not only have to shift down dramatically but also block all the guys behind them from getting in using that lane.

I think the run-away leader concern dissipates over longer races, but the reality is that it's fairly random when it happens. In our last race at Sepang, we had a run away leader over a 2 lap race. It happens and I don't think there's much you can do at the pits to stop it. That said, there were 7 cars fighting for second place half way through the second lap, and 6 of them still had a legitimate shot at it heading into the final corner.

In another example, I recently ran two 1-lap races of Interlagos. In one, it was a 2 car race where my wife finished about 5 turns ahead of me. In the other, it was a 3 car race where we all finished on the same turn.


On C, I agree that brakes aren't quite right thematically. Most of the time in my league, brakes are used for extra downshifts and to spare tires on overshooting.

On D, I like the concept. Not sure how it would play out, but I'm intrigued. Let us know your thoughts if you try it.


Overall, my impressions are that the advanced rules are pretty good for the game and create interesting balances. If you let your drivers configure their cars before the race by assigning wear points as they want, it adds to the immersion. I'd be careful when letting drivers go over the 20 wear point allocation (like in C above). There needs to be a fair amount of risk involved to provide suspense and force people into choices. The game becomes boring when you know exactly what gear to be in. The tension is in seeing if that 5th gear gamble paid off or if you should've played it safe in 4th. Also remember that with more cars on the track it increases the likelihood that you won't be able to take the ideal line through a corner.

One of the best things about Formula D, though, is that you can tune the game to your liking and it is still pretty much the same game.
2 
 Thumb up
0.05
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Trueflight Silverwing
United States
Waverly
New York
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
JimA759 wrote:
Hi,

I don't have the new version of Formula D - but my group has been playing the original Formula De for some 20 years (monthly). I have some 20 courses and we play this at the start of every game night.

I would suggest making no changes to the game mechanics or game play until you have played this a couple of times. Then you will decide it needs no modifications.

There is no run-away leader issue. I have started dead last and never lead until I crossed the finish line first. The die have a way of resolving these things. Only infrequently do we have someone who leads most of the race and wins. The most common winner is the racer who starts in 2nd. The difference between 4th and 5th gears is almost painful. The risk taking is a lot of fun; even when I explode in the corner.


^ this. There really isn't anything in the game that needs "fixing". It plays just fine the way it is. Play a dozen or so games before trying to change anything and you will see. People always want to try and fix things that aren't broken.

It's more about planning ahead so that you know when you need to start slowing down for an upcoming turn and when to put the pedal to the floor.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ryan Keane
United States
Medford
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
The basic game already combines brakes and tire wear as a single value, so you can use this to make braking more common. Personally, I find the basic game with 1 wear type, but adding in a few of the advanced game rules, is the most fun.

If you want braking to be more important, a simple house rule to make it more realistic is to not allow overshooting, period. A player must use sufficient brakes to subtract from their movement and stop inside the corner. However, this removes some of the decision making/risk taking where you choose some combination of brakes and tires when you overshoot to have the optimal distance between where you stopped and the next corner, and it would make the corners even more crowded, so I don't recommend this change.

Randomness is not a big issue - it's most apparent on the little corners between 2 long straights, where one player can get lucky and land in the corner without having to down-gear from 4th or 5th, where another player falls 1 move short and must down-gear big time. This is not simulating anything in real racing. The simplest way to reduce the randomness is to use d20 charts instead of the gear dice, and if you want, modify the d20 charts to have a steeper bell curve concentrated around the middle numbers, with a lower probability of rolling very high or low. Although then it might feel that much more lucky or unlucky when you do roll really high or low? I much prefer the d20 charts, since that way everyone can have their own d20, select their gear, and roll simultaneously. The charts also allow a player to easily assess the probability of rolling a particular number or range of numbers in a particular gear.

For addressing the feeling of a runaway leader, it's not a huge problem, but players can feel like they're out of the race, with no chance of passing through the constant bottlenecks in the corners, especially with 10 cars and a single lap. The easiest solution I've found it to compact the starting places so they're all together in a big pack, and ignore the rule where you can stall the start and not move.

Another house rule I've tried out is that cars don't block each other - you just can't stop your movement on another car. I think this better simulates real racing, which is not turn-based. If you don't have enough movement to get past all the occupied spaces, then you have to brake like normal, but if you do have enough movement, you in essence are going faster into the turn and get to speed past the cars in front of you. This, along with the concentrated starting spot, results in every car truly having a good chance at winning.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ryan Keane
United States
Medford
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
Ender02 wrote:

^ this. There really isn't anything in the game that needs "fixing". It plays just fine the way it is. Play a dozen or so games before trying to change anything and you will see. People always want to try and fix things that aren't broken.

It's more about planning ahead so that you know when you need to start slowing down for an upcoming turn and when to put the pedal to the floor.


No one said it was broken. People always want to have knee-jerk reactions to suggestions for house rules. The advanced rules basically are a set of suggested house rules added to the basic game, which works perfectly fine by itself. But I do agree that you should play it a while with different mixtures of basic and advanced rules before modding it further.

2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Giannis Tilias
Greece
Thessaloniki
EVOSMOS
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
JimA759 wrote:
Hi,

I don't have the new version of Formula D - but my group has been playing the original Formula De for some 20 years (monthly). I have some 20 courses and we play this at the start of every game night.

I would suggest making no changes to the game mechanics or game play until you have played this a couple of times. Then you will decide it needs no modifications.

There is no run-away leader issue. I have started dead last and never lead until I crossed the finish line first. The die have a way of resolving these things. Only infrequently do we have someone who leads most of the race and wins. The most common winner is the racer who starts in 2nd. The difference between 4th and 5th gears is almost painful. The risk taking is a lot of fun; even when I explode in the corner.

The only thing we do differently is the finish. I have a chart that measures in 60ths and we use that to see who crosses the finish line first in those instances where two or more cars have a shot. Rather than the person in the lead would cross first every time. We have had some very close finishes because of this.

It is a great game and lots of fun and easy to play. We generally do a one-lap race at the start of every game night and crown a season winner each year in July.

Just start playing.

JimA


Can you please give more information about the chart you use on the finish?
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jim Allard
United States
Dover
New Hampshire
flag msg tools
mb
Quote:
Can you please give more information about the chart you use on the finish?


Sure. I created an Excel spreadsheet with columns for each die roll from 1 to 30. And each row below that represented 1/60th of a turn. And then I went down each column and entered how many spaces a car would move in that period of 60ths. So, for example, a die Roll of 30 would have a entry in every other row (row 2, 4, 6 etc) with 1, 2, 3 etc spaces moved forward. This way you can look down the column of the die roll and see when (in 1/60ths) the car crossed the finish line. So the car in first place and needing 6 spaces to reach the finish line in 4th gear - rolls an 11 and reaches the finish at 33/60ths. The car in 2nd place needing 9 spaces and in 5th gear rolls a 26 and reaches the finish line at 21/60ths and wins the race. Rather than the car in the lead always winning just because they are in the lead - this makes for a bit more excitement at the end.

I can't seem to find the xls itself - I guess I'll recreate it or post a PDF if anyone is interested.

JimA
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Giannis Tilias
Greece
Thessaloniki
EVOSMOS
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I am actualy really interested. If you could recreat it and share it would be great. The finish always bugged me but this seems to be a great solution.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ryan Keane
United States
Medford
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
JimA759 wrote:
Quote:
Can you please give more information about the chart you use on the finish?


Sure. I created an Excel spreadsheet with columns for each die roll from 1 to 30. And each row below that represented 1/60th of a turn. And then I went down each column and entered how many spaces a car would move in that period of 60ths. So, for example, a die Roll of 30 would have a entry in every other row (row 2, 4, 6 etc) with 1, 2, 3 etc spaces moved forward. This way you can look down the column of the die roll and see when (in 1/60ths) the car crossed the finish line. So the car in first place and needing 6 spaces to reach the finish line in 4th gear - rolls an 11 and reaches the finish at 33/60ths. The car in 2nd place needing 9 spaces and in 5th gear rolls a 26 and reaches the finish line at 21/60ths and wins the race. Rather than the car in the lead always winning just because they are in the lead - this makes for a bit more excitement at the end.

I can't seem to find the xls itself - I guess I'll recreate it or post a PDF if anyone is interested.

JimA


A simpler solution is to just calculate the fraction of 1 turn each car took to cross the finish line, depending on its distance from the finish line and its speed. Its speed is in the units "spaces per turn": a 26 die roll means the car was going 26 spaces/turn. So the equation is:
"time in turns" = "distance from finish line in spaces" divided by "speed in spaces/turn"

In your example, the car in first place crossed the line after 6/11 or 0.55 turns, while the car in second place crossed the line after 9/26 or 0.35 turns.

Let's do another example: The car in first place is 2 spaces from the finish line and rolls 20. The car in second place is 3 spaces from the finish line and rolls 30. They both cross the finish line at the same time in 0.1 turns, even though the second car ends its turn 9 spaces ahead.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jim Allard
United States
Dover
New Hampshire
flag msg tools
mb
I'm sure there are lots of ways to do this. We find it easy to just look it up in the table. And there are probably better ways to do the Excel worksheet as well. My original had some formulas that quickly generated the spots. I lost the original and only have my one printed page as a memory of the work.

It does add to the end of race excitement on occasion.

JimA
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jim Allard
United States
Dover
New Hampshire
flag msg tools
mb
Quote:
No one said it was broken. People always want to have knee-jerk reactions to suggestions for house rules. The advanced rules basically are a set of suggested house rules added to the basic game, which works perfectly fine by itself. But I do agree that you should play it a while with different mixtures of basic and advanced rules before modding it further.


I suspect the reaction is to the desire to 'house rules' a game that the OP had just unpacked and never played. I don't think anyone minds house rules for their game group after they have played the game at least once. The advanced rules are not 'house rules' they are advanced rules that come with the game. Sort of exactly the opposite of 'house rules'. Of course I don't have the newest version and maybe they have titled that section "suggested house rules" or something.

JimA
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ryan Keane
United States
Medford
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
JimA759 wrote:
I'm sure there are lots of ways to do this. We find it easy to just look it up in the table. And there are probably better ways to do the Excel worksheet as well. My original had some formulas that quickly generated the spots. I lost the original and only have my one printed page as a memory of the work.

It does add to the end of race excitement on occasion.

JimA


Sure, a lookup table is much nicer than having to pull out the calculator. I'm not groking how you did the 60th's table, but here's how to create an excel table for "spaces from finish" divided by "die roll":
Starting in A1, create row 1 with 1 to 30.
Starting in A2, create column A with 1 to 30.
In cell B2, write the equation =if($A2/B$1>1,"",$A2/B$1)
Then drag the formula down to the bottom right corner of the array.
Set their decimal display to 2 (or 3 for discriminating photo finishes).
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
f homess

Portland
Oregon
msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Ryan Keane wrote:
JimA759 wrote:
Sure. I created an Excel spreadsheet with columns for each die roll from 1 to 30. And each row below that represented 1/60th of a turn. And then I went down each column and entered how many spaces a car would move in that period of 60ths. So, for example, a die Roll of 30 would have a entry in every other row (row 2, 4, 6 etc) with 1, 2, 3 etc spaces moved forward. This way you can look down the column of the die roll and see when (in 1/60ths) the car crossed the finish line. So the car in first place and needing 6 spaces to reach the finish line in 4th gear - rolls an 11 and reaches the finish at 33/60ths. The car in 2nd place needing 9 spaces and in 5th gear rolls a 26 and reaches the finish line at 21/60ths and wins the race. Rather than the car in the lead always winning just because they are in the lead - this makes for a bit more excitement at the end.

I can't seem to find the xls itself - I guess I'll recreate it or post a PDF if anyone is interested.

JimA


A simpler solution is to just calculate the fraction of 1 turn each car took to cross the finish line, depending on its distance from the finish line and its speed. Its speed is in the units "spaces per turn": a 26 die roll means the car was going 26 spaces/turn. So the equation is:
"time in turns" = "distance from finish line in spaces" divided by "speed in spaces/turn"

In your example, the car in first place crossed the line after 6/11 or 0.55 turns, while the car in second place crossed the line after 9/26 or 0.35 turns.

Let's do another example: The car in first place is 2 spaces from the finish line and rolls 20. The car in second place is 3 spaces from the finish line and rolls 30. They both cross the finish line at the same time in 0.1 turns, even though the second car ends its turn 9 spaces ahead.

He's doing what you describe in the second paragraph in a spreadsheet, but multiplying times 60 and rounding. 60*6/11=33 and 60*9/26=21. Presumably, this gives a number that is easier to mentally process than the fraction you posted. I'd expect that in ties, the car that has turn order precedence gets there first.

I can see this adding drama to a fast moving car coming from behind and trying to catch up down the straight. I've seen others implement this idea by simply stating that whoever moves farther past the finish is considered to have finished first. Thematically, I like this fraction of a turn concept better. I do wonder how much it rewards a better roll versus better planning to get ahead in the first place, but the fraction of a turn idea seems to mitigate that some. You can argue that the luck versus planning thing happens all throughout the race, too.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jim Allard
United States
Dover
New Hampshire
flag msg tools
mb
GladiatorGr wrote:
I am actualy really interested. If you could recreat it and share it would be great. The finish always bugged me but this seems to be a great solution.


Hi, I have uploaded a PDF of my table to the Formula De pages. I guess there is some approval process.

I'd appreciate any feedback you might want to provide if you do use it.

JimA
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John John
Canada
Red Deer
Alberta
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmb
Thanks everyone for the wonderful suggestions and cautions. I will heed them. That said, I might experimentally trial out the tire and break tweaks I mentioned above and get back to you to how it changes the experience.

As for Jim's fractionated finish line approach, I am intrigued and will have a look at that when the file is up. I wonder if the same thing can be down with tokens as well. Where any finish-line-crossings in the last turn are suspended until we know who will cross the line on that turn. Then, each player takes a certain number of tokens based on how far back they were, and how fast they are going. Then each contender starts laying down tokens on a separate board representing a close up of the finish line. Then, in "real time" you can watch as one car just barely edges out the other car. But, this is just coming off the top of my head at this time. I will go look at that spreadsheet now.

Thanks again, so far, everyone

John
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ryan Keane
United States
Medford
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
I think I'll start doing the fractionated final turns when I run a series of races, both for Formula D and Leader 1. Thus, the overall leader is who has the lowest cumulative finish time a la Tour de France, rather than basing it on place finishes.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Martin Sjögren
Sweden
Kalmar
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Hi, I just wanted to contribute what we have added in our Formula D League... supposed to cover 5 races on 5 different tracks, the final one being in December.

We are between 7 and 9 racers per race (10 total in the League).

The mods that we are using have been picked up here at the forum:
- KERS: 2 points can be used per lap. Use one point to move +1 OR use both to move +2 or +3. When using KERS – roll 1d20. On a result of 1 – KERS fails for rest of race.
- Redline: When in 4th gear or higher - take 1 Engine WP to add +1 to movement.

To get a tight and exciting Championship we use the following rules: - Grid position in race #2 onwards: reverse Championships Table (roll for ties).
- Flexible championship points. A 10 car race is more difficult to win than a 5 car race, so we use the below table to determine points per race based on the number of racers:

10 racers: 20-15-12-10-8-6-4-3-2-1 points
9 racers: 18-14-11-9-7-5-4-2-1
8 racers: 16-12-10-8-6-5-3-2
7 racers: 14-11-9-7-6-4-2
6 racers: 12-10-8-7-5-2
5 racers: 12-9-7-5-3

Last race (season finale): points x2

Great, tight League and everyone has at least at theorethical chance at winning it all!





3 
 Thumb up
0.05
 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.