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Flamme Rouge» Forums » Variants

Subject: Improving realism and tactics rss

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Jesper Steen Andersen
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I tend to agree with this thread: https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1870379/exhaustion-variant. It is possible to enhance both the tactical element and realism of cycling. The fantastic dilemma whether a rider should use his energy and take the wind, or let others do the work?

During christmas we tested a couple of additional rules that I would like to share, since we deployed them with success, and are going to play this way in the future.

New exhaustion cards (EC)rule:
As normal rules, riders in the lead take EC, but they take
- two EC if they have played card 5 or above.
- one EC if they have played 4
- zero if they below 4.

- We also played with 4 lanes in stead of two.

EC rule enhance the dilemma of doing the hard work. Yet, I do not think the penalty is too harsh. 4 lanes rule dimishes randomness and improves the chance of splitting up groups.


----
NEW SPRINT RULE.
Yet to be tested is a new sprint rule, I invented. Again to improve realism.

1) Play as normal. When first rider has passed finishing line, apply slipstream and EC's.
2) Sprint round: All riders in the same group as the front man has to sprint for victory. I suggest that they all draw 4 cards and play 2 cards. Winner is the riders with the highest 2 cards when added together. If equality best position win, as in the original rules.

This Sprint Rule makes the game less of a positional game, but enhancing more the tactical dilemma delineated above. As it is now you have to fight for position very early in the game, but this is not important anymore. Rather it will be a game about breakaway, and who wants to sacrifice their energy. Sprinters have to be protected as they can not allow to use too many of the 9's. Rouleur's may want to get into breakaways as their chance of winning a sprint is low.

You might want to shorten the track a couple of fields.





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Nick Case
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When does the sprint round happen?
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Jesper Steen Andersen
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After first rider has passed the finishing line.
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Nick Case
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This doesn't make sense to me;

The player in first position is at the front of the pack and goes first. They have paced themselves and use a high value card (say 9) to just cross the line by one space. Normally this would make them the winner. However with this new variant, the first player crosses the line and now all riders in his previous group get to draw 4 cards with a chance to win.

Does this include the card that the front rider selected for this round?

As you explain this rule, at the start of the turn before the front rider crosses the line, a rider 5 spaces behind the leader (at the turn start) in a continuous peleton now has an equal chance to win as the front rider who used a value 9 card to just cross the line, even though they were 14 spaces from the line??

The front rider who crosses the line seems at a disadvantage because they have burn't a high value card to 'win' and won't have this value in the mix with this variant.

Unless I'm missing a tricj here, this doesn't seem to make thematic sense of to be particularly fair.
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Garry Rice
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Is there a reason you don't take relative position into account at the end of the race? If there's a sprint, it should start with their current position to make it most realistic.
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Bill Cook
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A variant we play to add realism is that you are allowed to cheat and sneak exhaustion cards into your pocket instead of into putting them in your deck. At the end of the game one player is randomly picked and their pockets checked. If caught sneaking cards, they are disqualified
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Jesper Steen Andersen
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Think of the new finishing line as the flamme rouge or the 500 meter to go mark. A rider would probably not sprint up to this mark, unless he wants to breakaway from the peloton. Hence, it is most unlikely that a rider in the game will burn a 9, rather he will save it for the finish.

Thus, the whole point is that the tactics will be changed with this sprint rule. You have to think of "fairness" in another way: The freshest guy combined with the best sprinting qualities will win the sprint. This will become the new measure of "fairness".

In real cycling, a group of say 6 riders, will have approx equal chance of winning indenpendent of their position (or rather the ones further back will have a slightly larger chance of success.) The winner will be the one from the group that have used the least energy, in combination with his sprinting qualities.

This year's Milano SanRemo is a typical example: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWHHjXCOm2s) Kwiatkowski wins due to his saving of energy, while Sagan lose despite being a better sprinter, because he has done all the hard work.

Say three riders get a lead on the last hill in Flamme Rouge, 15 fields beyond the finishing line. These riders will most likely hereafter only play their largest cards in each round. Thus the tactical element of who should take the lead is largely eliminated.
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Ryan Keane
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I will try the exhaustion ideas. I've already tried "infinite lanes" - it's good.

I especially like the sprint idea and it highlights the game title. I recall some similar ideas discussed earlier - we were arguing if cyclists closer to the back of the lead sprint pack should get an advantage or disadvantage/win or lose on tie break.

It's very similar to how the finish works in Tour: Cycle Free. Basically you want to stay in contact with the front pack/leader until it crosses the sprint line (the 1 km line - Flamme Rouge) and then it's a final sprint, best total from 2 out of 4 cards, only using pack position for tie break. Maybe sprinters get to draw 5, still only choosing 2. No additional finish line or spaces after the finish line needed.

To Nick's question, if after all cyclists move/slipstream only one cyclist has crossed the sprint line and no one is in contact with him, he wins outright, no need for him to do the special 2-card sprint round. He's not "pushed back" to the pack behind. The pack that comes up behind him and partly or fully crosses the sprint line as a group then would do a "2-card sprint round" for 2nd place.

The main reason I haven't done something like this is I didn't work out how to mesh this with the app for calculating finishing times.
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Jesper Steen Andersen
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Thanks for the comments. When riding grand tours, I would suggest that all riders in a group can be ascribed the same time.

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Ryan Keane
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hviderusland1 wrote:
Thanks for the comments. When riding grand tours, I would suggest that all riders in a group can be ascribed the same time.



Yes, but how do you figure out the time gaps between the first pack that sprinted to the finish, and subsequent packs? I don't know how to do anything more granular than 1:00 gap per turn, since you're not using "spaces past the finish line" to determine 0:10 gaps.
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