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Subject: First run with Formula D aka "Death to Freshie" rss

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Chris Funk
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I was excited about Forumla D since it was released stateside in October. I hadn't had time/money to buy it until this week and got the chance to break it out today with the gaming club I help admin at the high school I work in.

We decided to do the Monaco track and use the F1 cars. As I was teaching the kids how to play, barely knowing all the rules myself, we played the basic rules. From the minute I pulled the huge map out of the box, I had 10 kids hovering. I only got 6 of them to pick out a car and the rest just wanted to watch. Alas... However, a 7 player game is nothing to sneeze at.

I snagged the blue/white F1, "Freshie" (that was his nickname from the upperclassmen) chose the green/yellow/black, Robert went for the red/yellow, Kyle decided to be the "evil Robert" and grabbed the red/yellow/black while commenting on how his car had the goatee. The other three kids all snagged their cars and we rolled to see who placed first.

I rolled a 19, pretty decent. Next, a 1, 13, 17, 20, 11, 12 were rolled. I felt 2nd place was good enough. "Freshie" got first and rolled the black die o' starting. Rolled a 2! Ha ha! No fast start for him! I reminded them all about corner stopping as we approached the first corner. A flurry of questions sprung forth. After explaining the damage rules on overshooting, some of the kids decided to play it safe while others had the mindset of "Heck with stopping. I'll take the damage and go full force." Needless to say, this wasn't a clean race.

We had vendettas when someone collided and caused them damage. It was quite funny to see people actively trying to get close to someone so make them roll collision, even if it meant taking a point themselves. We also had someone take 9 points becaue he miscounted his stops and only stopped twice in a 3-turn corner, resulting in severely overshooting the last stop and drained a lot of WPs.

"Freshie" and I rounded the entance to the last turn neck and neck where both of us had a sizeable lead on the rest of the pack. I had 5 points of WP left and he had a miserable 1 and his slight lead made him up to bat. With a stroke of luck, he rolled exactly enough to score the stop and put him on the very end of the corner to avoid the damage. Bad for me as the next roll could end the race if he was able to roll 6th gear before me. I snagged the dice, rolled and scored an 8. The perfect number, as it put me right next to "Freshie" on the last space of the turn. Ok, this was on purpose.

I grabbed the black 20-sider and tossed on the map for a 16. Passing the die to "Freshie", I could hear him mumble something about my choice of road placement. He tossed his roll out on the map and the 6 of us were silent for about 2 seconds before erupting in laughter, arms raising up in the air. He rolled a 1, took 1 WP, and his car exploded. We left his car on the road instead of a damage marker as a grim reminder to not mess with Mr. Funk.

On my next turn, I put it in 6th and rolled a 29. Which put me across the line, around the corner, and past to see damage of 8 points to explode in a finale worthy of the chinese new year. I believe I still won the race, even though the final roll went far above and beyond. After I did that, the rest decided to make it a competition to see who could overshoot the finish line the most. Unfortunately, I didn't win that contest.

I loved the game, the kids loved it, and wanted to play another round. We didn't have time, so I took out the advanced rules and little and saw their eyes roll back and slump in their chairs, drool running from the mouth. Our gamer kids will play anything and it doesn't matter how complex a game it is. They're amazingly adept with new experiences, but this may have been a little much in one sitting. Perhaps next time I get a chance to pull it out again, we'll dabble in the advanced or add a few select components in to ease the transition.
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Pat Johnston
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Sounds like fun! I purchased this one recently, but can't convince my wife or gamer friends to try it out as they are anti "dice fest". The only play it's gotten so far is to zoom the cars around the track with my 3 year old. Maybe someday...
 
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David Anderson
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Two Time Cancer Survivor - Never Give Up. Never Surrender. -Jason Nesmith from Galaxy Quest (1999 movie)
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That was an entertaining report. Nice job! I have this on order and can't wait to play it myself.
 
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Chris Funk
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There's an amazing amount of strategy for a dice driven game. You have to really think ahead about managing your gear changes. Some of the kids like the notion of going one short on the multiple and overshooting corners on purpose to get their speed maxed ASAP. Even though they would take 5, 6, 7, 8 points of wear, they were convinced this was the way to go.

When we play the advanced rules, they're going to really be in for a shock as all the speeding, bumping, and risks they take will give a much different outcome. And I like that in a "dice-fest" game.
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nice report and it is nice of you to bring some younglings into the boardgaming world! We have been playing FD with 2 or 3 people using 2 cars/player and only basic game rules. Every race has been close for the win and/or overall points!
 
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Chris Funk
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I've brought Agricola to the kids and they loved it. One asked about it on Friday, but it wasn't in the bag. Manila is another favorite game of theirs. I do enjoy buying new games sometimes because they're excited to play them.

And I have an instant group to play with.
 
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Blorb Plorbst
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FunkyBlue wrote:
There's an amazing amount of strategy for a dice driven game. You have to really think ahead about managing your gear changes.


Agreed. You need to think 2 corners ahead and really get a feel for the die ranges. Knowing when to take the slow route around a turn so that you can exit in a higher gear versus blasting through and spending some tire points makes all the difference.

This is not a game for the stoic gamer though. As with real racing, cheering, taunting, risk taking and hoping for a spectacular crash are part of the fun.
 
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