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Subject: Monaco Race @ BGC June8 rss

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C.K. Au
Kuala Lumpur
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by ayheng & jack208

10pm thereabouts we adjourned to BGC and enticed laiwah to a game of Formula De! This fun racing game uses dice in a creative way, namely, you get a progressively better dice with higher numbers as you shift gears up, until you are in a lean-mean-unstoppable racing machine flying down the straight at gear 5! (of course, that is before you realize the wicked corners that are coming up and you burn rubber and metal to slow down frantically)

(photo here)
Laiwah and Ayheng discussing the La Rascasse corner.

Each player got 2 cars and as a result, there were 8 cars racing on the board. This game amazingly can handle 5 players with 2 cars each, or 10 players with one car each! A good game to have for the occasion of having 8+ players.

Lots of reckless drivers abound as the newbie racers went neck to neck into the corners, scratching paintjobs and occasionally, doing damage to their own bodywork. In a car that's designed for two races, some of the (shall-not-be-unnamed-to-protect-their-identity) players limped past the chequered flag in the first lap with a badly damaged car.

(photo here)
Lostboyz's Williams (blue) zooming past jack208's Ferrari (red) in the final straight when Lostboyz threw a 20 in 5th Gear! jack208's Ferrari
was actually almost a total wreck; having gone into corners aggressively and "bumped" into a few too many cars.

The corner mechanics are pretty neat as it forces the racers to stop a requisite number of times in the corners in a low gear before shifting up for the exit. The lane changing mechanic is also quite inspired as it often creates a situation where the front driver can benefit from an open lane to change lanes according to how fast his car is going. Whereas the back driver will find himself putting the brakes on his car when confronted by the blocking maneuver of the front car. Definitely a game to play for the experience of car racing.

(photo here)
The two leading teams - Renault (yellow) and Williams (blue) attempting to block off the corner from the incoming pack.

The game comes with two tracks and lots of expansion tracks to bid on e-bay. The tracks that came with the game are quite good as it features the technically demanding Monaco circuit and the (comparatively) more relaxed Holland circuit.

The game's a bit longish as it took the 4 of us about 2 hours to finish 1 lap. The rules are not particularly tough and the main strategy is in trying to get out of a corner fast enough to outrun the rest.

In our game, lostboyz's first car on the starting grid ended up finishing second last due to his prudent taking of the corners while his last car ended up finishing first due to his risk taking on going into the corners. jack208 also did well with one of his cars, showing us how to go into a corner fast and then take a minor fuel penalty to fast-downthrottle rapidly. I did okay with both my cars finishing consistently in the middle. laiwah took too many a safe approach and was thus left in the dust by other maniac pedal-to-the-metal drivers. Although, to be on the fair side, she would have won if we did two laps like we originally promised to.

(photo here)
The race result for 070608 Monaco

Jack208's comment on the BGC Monaco race.
This was a 1st race for everyone (except me who had done a 2-lap race on Monaco a couple weeks back). We initially decided to do a 2-lap race so that we can use pitstop as part of our strategy. In the end, as the cars were limping towards the end of Lap 1 we decided it's better to just end the race there as.... i) this is a learning game and hence a 1-lap race is equally satisfying, and ii) a few of our cars probably won't make it till end of Lap 2. hehe.....

Obviously this kinda messed up the plans of those who were driving a little bit prudently as a 2-lap strategy (eg. laiwah's Honda) since they'll likely not be in the lead coming into the end of Lap 1, as compared to those reckless drivers who burn tyres like there's no tomorrow and scrapping each other's bodywork off by driving too close to one another.

(photo here)
The Mirabeau corner and the subsequent Loews Hairpin turn is the first test for budding F1 drivers.

We did a 4 team race on the Monaco track with each team having 2 cars. The roster of F1 cars and their managers.

- Williams (blue), manager: lostboyz
- Renault (yellow), manager: ayheng
- Honda (green), manager: laiwah
- Ferrari (red), manager: jack208

The Monaco track is a slow and tight track. You hardly get to test your car in 6th gear and there's only a couple of long straights where you get to zoom into 5th. But if you get into those long straights not at 5th gear then you'll likely lose ground. Therefore the ability to get into corners fast and sharp so that you can exit at speed would be key in determining how well you do in this track.

The Mirabeau Corner is often the first key - and in the first lap, it can be deadly as most cars would bunch in to this corner at the same time making it very congested. After Mirabeau you get a short straight and immediately you'll be confronted with the 180º Loews Hairpin turn. It's not uncommon to see cars dragging thru this in 1st Gear.

The Loews turn is also where blocking tactics can be employed to fend off the chasing pack. In the picture above, the two leading teams (Renault and Williams) were closing off the Loews turn to prevent the chasing pack from overtaking them.

(photo here)
The Ferrari managed to squirm itself into a good position between the
Renaults and Williams, coming into the Portier double-corners.

However fortune favors the bold and aggressive. If you can maneuver the Loews Hairpin and gain a good position coming out of the turn and into the Portier sharp-right, you stand a chance to open a gap with the chasing pack (or catch-up with the leading cars).

In another race also at Monaco (Landak Gamers), another driver did a very aggressive but sharp turn into this section and not only caught up with the pole leader, but overtook him as he sped out of the Portier turn into the tunnel straight....... he went on to win the race. Obviously if he mistimed his corners, he would end up a total wreck!

(photo here)
The leading cars once out of the Portier corners, speeding off in high gear while the chasing pack is still navigating the double right-handers.

However Ferrari's aggressive driving in the Mirabeau-Loews-Portier section was not without cost as it sustained some bodywork damage due to minor collisions with the other cars as everyone jostled for position in those tight corners.

(photo here)
The cars speeding past the Piscine "S". You can see the swimming pool in the middle of the photo.

Renault were driving a hard race with both their cars in the leading pack. Williams obviously still has one of its car in the lead while Ferrari managed to insert one of its among the leaders. Honda was driving more prudently obviously planning to go the distance in the 2nd lap.

After Piscine is a very tight 180º right-hander named the Rascasse Corner. The corner looks rather "harmless" and "easy" but appearance can be deceiving. This is the corner that can win (or lose) you the race especially since it's just one more corner away from the final straight (grandstand).

(photo here)
Cars speeding into the tight La Rascasse corner which is a 180º-turner.

In this race, Renault was in pole heading into the Rascasse with Ferrari and Williams closing the gap. A combination of aggressive (and some said reckless) driving and sharp positioning allowed the Williams (blue-white) to close the gap and overtake the Renault (yellow-blue).

(photo here)
LostBoyz (right), team manager for Williams (blue) pondering on his next move as he watched his leading Williams car being overtaken by a reckless Ferrari in the Rascasse Corner.

Ferrari (red-yellow) taking advantage of a slight hesitation from Williams then cut across the corner and claimed pole for the first time in this race, coming out of the Rascasse. Thus in the blink of a corner, Renault has dropped from pole to third position. This is the importance of taking the Rascasse well.

In another incident from the Landak Gamers race, the driver who was in 3rd position coming into the Rascasse Corner for the final lap, with the 4th placed driver in hot pursuit, attempted to take this corner too fast, spun and can only watched while his pursuer sped past him to a podium finish (3rd).

So neglect the Rascasse at your own peril.

Even tho' Ferrari did well to grab pole from Williams in the Rascasse, the Williams driver were not to be denied this victory! He floored the accelerator (rolled 20 in 5th Gear!) and raced neck-to-neck with the Ferrari in the final straight, piping Ferrari to the chequered flag by a nose-length.

Note: Oh, by then we'd decided to change this race into a single-lap race. Therefore the results don't really matter as we took this as a learning game for everyone. As Heng mentioned in his report (see above), Honda would have done better if we did complete this as a 2-lap race.

(photo here)
Williams taking the chequered flag. Ferrari lost by a nose-length while
Renault took the last podium finish.

- 18 corners (15 marked corners in the Formula De track)
- 3.34 km in real distance (1+ hr per lap in Formula De time)

On the following day, the gamers at Mage Cafe also brought this game to the table and did the Zandvoort (Holland) track. They enjoyed this game so much we are planning to do a Formula De Championship which would cover a few different tracks such as Sepang, Shanghai, Suzuka, Imola, Buenos Aires, etc. Points will be scored for Drivers and Constructors. If you are interested to take part in our Championship, sign-up at this thread.

Click here for the full gaming report with photos

For boardgaming activities in Malaysia, check out

Check also Heng's Gaming Blog at
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