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Subject: MotoGrandprix without brakes.. rss

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Fred Ernst
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Schiedam
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I bought this game at the Essen Spiel 2008 fair for a friend who is a lover of motorsports. As we are both professional photographers and we did the first job together at a grand prix race in Holland many years ago I thought it would be a nice way of celebrating.

The game looks pretty nice with lots of decent components. different corner and straight sizes makes it possible to build all sorts of tracks. I chose one of the more basic tracks and started building while my friend was making lunch and espresso. It took me just a little time to identify the different corner sizes (they have a small 'r' number printed on them and to identify the 'ideal' track side of the straights which are darker gray then the.. uh.. less ideal track. I say uh because the track is spaced out evenly all over every straight and curve so an inner curve, is always as long on the inside as it is on the outside. After preparing the track I started reading the manual alittle more.

Oke, flip dice, so I can flip the dice on a straight. Aha, I cannot flip the dice in a really thight curve. So.. what is the ideal brake point when approaching a curve? well...? WHAT?? no breaking??? huh?

Oke, I start reading again, trying to identify the part of the manual that tells me about breaking, orapproach speed, or .. oke, nothing. As long as you throw the dice not to bad you can just take all corners full speed. The only time you cannot take a corner full or almasot full speed is when you END a turn IN a corner/curve. Otherwise the corner/curve is just the same as a straight.

Well, I read the rest of the basic rules, had a second and third look at the track and it felt more and more dissapointed. I tried to explain the rules to my buddy and we strated playing (he choose the Valentino Rossi bike) with one driver each. We threw the dice, flipped, moved the driver. Then he came to the first turn abd asked me when he was supposed to brake. You aren't supposed to brake at the curve, I tried to explain him, 'the game has sort of an abtraction on curves that is counted in in the game system'. No way he said, where am I supposed to brake? you aren't! where? no! but? noo! but but? NOOOO!
With an aweful look on his face he took the hairpin with a 5 and a 6, almost full speed. I did the same, throwing 6,6. we continued throwing and flipping for a lap but nothing 'fun' happened. He asked me why he was ever supposed to brake.. I couldn't explain at first, then tried to tell him about chance, braking just short of the curve to get a better flip chance etc. He just continued to keep the highest score and me too, we didn't brake a single time. sometimes we weren't allowed to flip but then, we felt no reason because there was no excitement .

We stopped the race and tried it with more bikes, to see if the rules would come alive then.. nothing fun happened.. No braking, no real best lane, no real blocking, it has nothing to do with a race game.

we quit the game, and put everything back in the box... the end
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Matt Hiske
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That is a bummer you spent the money on it then. My racing group really enjoyed this with the advanced rules and team racing. I did find it odd regarding the cornering, but in the end we had a great time with it. Cornering is also used for blocking.

Top Racing Games:
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/35838
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Adam Brant
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So far that's 2 people with some very bad feedback on this game. Considering the lack of information out there, it really doesn't sound promising.
 
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Todd Rewoldt
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GamerAtom wrote:
So far that's 2 people with some very bad feedback on this game. Considering the lack of information out there, it really doesn't sound promising.


I don't have time to write up much of a testimonial - but I enjoy this game very much. I think it really comes down to expectations.

Quickly, what I enjoy about this game are the modular track and watching the interactions between the bikes play out. We've only played the game around a dozen times, but always with six bikes going. If one is expecting to have intricate control over the bike, that is not what this game is about. The game mechanics involved do account for cornering, etc. - just not in the way that some (most?) players agree with.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to getting more bikes on the track (12-18) and having good good fun playing this game with our loose knit gaming group.
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Also, all of these racing boardgames are abstracted. Have you thought of the diceflipping as being an abstract form of braking?
AIUI - MotoGP riders do not brake in a curve - because they would probably have a crash! These pilots brake before entering the curve! hence, you can flip your dice to slow you down before entering the curve, but cannot flip the dice WHILE IN A CURVE in order to brake?

I know nothing about these flip dice games or racing games (I only have played Formula D about 4 times) so I could be blabbering like the fool that I am! LOL
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Matt Hiske
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Your Funny, but totally correct on the braking.
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Fred Ernst
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But these racers, they DO brake, don't they :-) In this game you can just continue full speed, it just doesn't feel right to me but I hope others have a lot of fun with the game. In a message here at the Geek the designer/developer now says it's a racing simulator, not a rider simulator, well.. ok, but it sounds just a little bit like an excuse. But it's all just my personal disappointment an a small advise to people who maybe like me expected a less abstract sort of game..
 
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Pupski wrote:
But these racers, they DO brake, don't they :-) In this game you can just continue full speed, it just doesn't feel right to me but I hope others have a lot of fun with the game. In a message here at the Geek the designer/developer now says it's a racing simulator, not a rider simulator, well.. ok, but it sounds just a little bit like an excuse. But it's all just my personal disappointment an a small advise to people who maybe like me expected a less abstract sort of game..


Errr...we never said they didn't brake...did you understand my post above? (i'm not trying to be rude, just trying to see if you understand my post above)
f you want a serious simulator go to PC sims (GP Racing, Superbikes come to mind for motorcycles). I don't think any boardgame can compete with a PC racing sim for simulating a race in realtime. in boardgame you have to abstract everything to a much higher level.

Hey, have you thought of making up your own 'braking rules?' If so, I would be willing to playtest them once I get the game (shipment is expected in late December 2008 or January 2009).


Go Rossi!!!!
 
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Todd Rewoldt
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Using game mechanics to brake before a corner happens often in this game, especially before longer, tighter turns. Unless blocking is ones goal, ending a turn in a degree 2 or 3 turn greatly risks losing ground to other riders.

The choice to brake either by flipping down one the dice, or using a front tire point (or just naturally roll) in order end one's turn on the line point prior to a corner is what gives rise to the bike contact opportunities.

If one is consistently rolling natural 11's - well, then it won't matter

I think the reason the designer made the point of the game being a "race simulation" rather than a "rider simulation" is that the goal of the game design is to have the game proceed with lines and packs and break aways and run downs - not necessarily needing to "do" the same techniques at every similar track position. One will not "brake" going into each and every corner - the best line and relative positioning to other bikes along with the dice rolls take care of that, with some game mechanics that the players do control (flipping the dice; expending front tire, rear tire, and engine points; etc.) factoring in as well.

EDIT: if one wanted to house rule some "braking rules" to make the conditions on the track more explicitly represented, something like making the point(s?) before the turns cost 2 (or more) would be one possibility. Off the cuff suggestion - no idea how this would affect the rest of the game (more opportunities for bike contact, surely).
 
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