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Flamme Rouge» Forums » Variants

Subject: Two player tour with bot teams - exhaustion rules? rss

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phryas 1981
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I've read through some of the variant rules (I just have base game). Wanting to play a tour with the significant other (or maybe solo), and add bots, and use the companion app to keep track. Maybe someone can clarify the rules with respect to exhaustion.

I was going to play with two additional bot teams, both drawing blind, and not collecting exhaustion cards. When I tried my first solo game, the bot sprinters ran out of cards. If they run out of cards, do I reshuffle their deck, or just move 2 spaces per turn?

Now, the main question:
The solo variant rules on bgg say, when playing with bots, to draw 3 exhaustion at start, and distribute into sprinter and rouleur decks. The rules then say, in a grand tour with bots, to not remove half of exhaustion cards (as in a fully human tour), but just keep the ones you did't use in that stage. However, I've seen conflicting suggestions in the forums (some people remove half of exhaustion cards between stages, but is this half of all exhaustion cards, or half of those not used? What should I do when playing solo against two bot teams in a tour, and what about if we have two human players and two bot teams?

Thanks, this forum has made this game so much more for me!

J
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Ryan Keane
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Medford
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1. Official rule from Asger is a rider with no cards, bot or human, automatically moves 2 that turn. 5 of on a descent space of course.

2. For Tours between stages, human players remove half (rounded down) of exhaustion cards still in their deck (draw pile or discard pile). Played exhaustion cards never come back.

3. If human players are competing against bots, you can decide whether to allow the half discarding between stages or not. I prefer not to allow that, but have “rest days” between certain stages in a Tour where you do get to discard half. But it’s really up to you to decide how much to handicap the human players.
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phryas 1981
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Thanks, that's clear. I guess the only way to figure it out is to play a few tours! Maybe match the TdF day-for-day?!
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Mal Hobbs
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Ryan is absolutely right. I’d say if playing tours solo in particular, treat the options with exhaustion card (E) carry between stages as a way of varying the difficulty level.
As an indication I recently played all 20 of Ryan’s excellent TdF18 stages (thanks for your stellar efforts in doing that by the way Ryan) solo vs. a standard peloton and muscle bot team but allowing the bots to redraw if a “9” or Attack card (“A”) was drawn that was diminished by an uphill section (if the re-draw was also a “9” or “A”, tough).
I started with 3E split between my riders, discarding half rounded down between stages. After 10 stages it was apparent that that approach was too easy as I was winning on all counts - team, yellow, green and red jerseys. On average my rouleur started a stage with 3E, my sprinter with 2.5E, which is easy to manage.
So I reset and played stages 11 to 20 with no discards between stages with a scheduled ‘rest day’ after stage 15. That proved way tougher, but competitive. The bots got lucky on their draws in stages 11 and 12 and I was forced to push in stages 13 and 14 to stay in contention for the yellow jersey and a possible team win. I managed to but at the cost of my my rouleur carrying 14E(!) (and my sprinter holding 4E) by the end of stage 14. So I decided to target my sprinter finishing with the yellow jersey, took my rouleur out of stage 15 (thereby discarding half of his exhaustion cards). My sprinter did well on his own given the circumstances, coming a creditable 2nd. After the rest day my rouleur rejoined the tour for stage 16 with 4E, my sprinter with 3E. So they were in with a chance. At the end of stage 19 my sprinter was precisely level on total time with the Peloton ‘R’ rider and succeeded in winning the yellow jersey by just 10 seconds by the end of the tour. The green jersey was a 3 way tie between my sprinter, the muscle rouleur and Peleton ‘S’ rider, with the Peleton ‘R’ rider taking the King of the Mountain prize. My team came 2nd to the Peloton team.
So you could say that the approach of not discarding exhaustion cards between stages / having rest day(s) was a good one, on this occasion at least. But it felt a bit limiting playing hands with 10E+ in them.
I wonder if an approach of carrying all E between stages but with a cap for each rider, say equal to the number of other riders in the stage/tour might be a ‘middle ground’. The ability to avoid picking up E is related to the number of riders in a race after all. So that would be starting a stage with a max of 5E for each rider in my Grand Tour above. I’m not a cyclist (although I am a sports fan in general) but thematically I would have thought that if a rider is crawling to the finish (i.e. at 2 spaces per turn in FR) he probably would have reached an exhaustion limit; and then there would be some recovery overnight. Or maybe not?
I have played many 4-5 stage FR tours, some with my gaming groups, but mainly solo and would be interested to know how other regular players approach carrying exhaustion cards when playing long grand tours.
However, with tomorrow’s game looming my attention is on the World Cup at the moment, not cycling.
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David Christoffersen
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I play somewhat regularly with a group of four others. We play 7-8 stages in one day/grand tour. For the first couple of grand tours we discarded half, rounded down, between all stages and that worked okay. We found, however, that aggressive racing paid off "too well" compared to real cycling. Because of that we changed it for our latest grand tour, so that you discarded half rounded down after every second stage. This restored some of the tactical way of racing, so we're sticking to this format for the future grand tours.
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Ryan Keane
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Yes, even with all human players, I've started to want to reduce how often you get to remove half. I want every exhaustion to hurt, and the later stages of the Tour to really feel like your decks are bogged down with exhaustion. Still, with scheduled "rest days", whether every 2 stages or less frequently, I still see how players will push harder on the stage that's coming just before the rest day, which is both interesting and problematic, depending on your perspective.

Another aspect I don't like about removing half rounded down every stage is the way the rounding affects your final decisions. If I have 3 exhaustion near the end of the stage, I can go "well, I don't care if I take one more. I'll start next stage with 2 either way." While a player with 4 exhaustion doesn't want to take one more at the end. The less frequent you get to remove half, the less often you're making these gamey decisions.

One idea I just had was to roll a die perhaps during each rest stage - 1-3 and everyone removes half rounded down, 4-6 and everyone removes half rounded up.

Hmm, you could even do something like:
After each stage, roll a d6:
1: keep all your exhaustion
2-3: remove half round down
4-5: remove half round up
6: remove all your exhaustion
So you really don't know when to push hard or not.

Anyway, I have a bad habit of throwing out ideas in rules questions threads, although this IS in the variant forum... The moral of the story for phyras is the Flamme Rouge system is very customizable to do what you and your group want. The game will most likely still "work" no matter what you decide. Get playing and make it your own.

The end of stage 1 was kuhrayzee today!
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NC
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Exeter
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Ryan Keane wrote:
1. Official rule from Asger is a rider with no cards, bot or human, automatically moves 2 that turn. 5 of on a descent space of course.

2. For Tours between stages, human players remove half (rounded down) of exhaustion cards still in their deck (draw pile or discard pile). Played exhaustion cards never come back.

3. If human players are competing against bots, you can decide whether to allow the half discarding between stages or not. I prefer not to allow that, but have “rest days” between certain stages in a Tour where you do get to discard half. But it’s really up to you to decide how much to handicap the human players.



I also find the third method mentioned by Ryan works best
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