Recommend
9 
 Thumb up
 Hide
8 Posts

Moto Grand Prix» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Partial review of Moto Grand Prix. rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Lane Taylor
United States
Wichita
Kansas
flag msg tools
I call this a partial review, because it's only based on my solo games I've done, running 3 bikes to start, and one longer race (Laguna seca, 3 laps) using 6 bikes.

Any game is going to be a compromise between simplicity for the sake of fun and playability, and more complexity to lend some flavor and 'realism', or at least a realistic feel, to the gameplay.

I think both Formula D and MotoGP have a lot of the fun factor with a good theme and flavor. They sacrifice a bit in terms of the 'realism' and simulation nature by doing so. At the end of the day, if it isn't fun, who's going to play? :)

I was specifically asked to write this on another thread, from the perspective of someone who has some (albeit limited and very out of date) experience with motorcycle racing. I am still an avid sportbike rider, and follow all the roadracing on TV as well.

In the real world of roadracing (not just going in circles. :p), most races come down to braking duels going into the corners, especially after the longer straights where there is room to draft and pass. The difference between first and second place often come down to a split second test of nerves and how much trust and feel the driver has in their vehicle, particularly the brakes.

Frankly, neither MotoGP nor Formula D simulate this very well. Even the more simulation like Bolide and similar games play more like a 2 D drive in freespace, although that kind of system adds a lot of flavor to the game.

I don't think it is really possible to simulate the world of racing on a board game, so if I want that, I have a PC with force feedback steering wheel, and brake/accelerator pedals. :)

The things that MotoGP do well, though, it does very well. And that's make a fun, fast, flowing game with just enough decision making to keep the players feeling involved, but not bog down into counting spaces and other mechanics that slow what should be a frantic feel to a game like this.

The system is easy (with a few minor rule clarifications), fast to play and should be quick to pick up for new players and casual gamers.

The one complaint I have currently is that it seems there are very limited choices available to a player to make a desparate move on the last lap (win it or bin it!), or otherwise really affect the outcome based on some tactical decision and not just a lucky dice roll.

I think a few more advanced rules and some minor tweaks could help, and I've already posted some ideas in the variants section.

I'd rate this game an 8.5/10, mostly based on the sheer fun and simplicity of the system. I do love the components and the modularity of the track. I will probably be buying a second copy for both the additional bikes and the extra track.

I will post a followup after my gaming session next Friday...assuming I can get enough players away from the Agricola table to try it. ;)
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
René Christensen
Denmark
Solroed Strand
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Wylan wrote:
The one complaint I have currently is that it seems there are very limited choices available to a player to make a desparate move on the last lap (win it or bin it!), or otherwise really affect the outcome based on some tactical decision and not just a lucky dice roll.


Nicely written.
I have only one remark about what I have quoted here - isn't this just what you have your engine points for, if you as the only one have saved them to the last lap - unless you are so far behind it doens't matter?

Like in real racing, a game like Formula Dé makes it hard to come back if you have missed to move into a corner - hate it when it happens - and you have to wait for the other guy to mess up too.

Looking forward for your game seesions.
I have the same problem gathering people on a monday evening!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Lane Taylor
United States
Wichita
Kansas
flag msg tools
Slotracer wrote:
Nicely written.
I have only one remark about what I have quoted here - isn't this just what you have your engine points for, if you as the only one have saved them to the last lap - unless you are so far behind it doens't matter?

Potentially, yes, engine points can make a difference. In most cases, flipping the dice is almost a no-brainer, but otherwise, there's not a lot of decision making going on during the course of a race in MGP. I think it would be nice if every move at least involved a minor decision (like selecting a gear) that could have a useful tactical outcome. Otherwise, the game is 90% roll of the dice with only a little bit of tactics involved.

I don't know, maybe it will get a lot more interesting with more people and all the bikes running over a longer race.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Doug Palmer
United States
Birmingham
Michigan
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Nice review. I think you pretty much nailed the game. But I think that you'll find, with more bikes on the track and more players, that the game doesn't really suffer from a "runaway leader" syndrome unlike Formula De (which suffers from that more times than not).

Our group played it several times when it first came out and there were several last lap passes and nail biting finishes. I also brought it out for some lunchtime fun at work with collegues. Was able to get 3 lap races in under 1 hour with 3 and 4 bikes. Again, last lap heroics were common as the dice could turn cold at a moments notice.

But, unless the gamers are both racing AND moto enthusiasts, the game tends to sit on the shelf. There are other, better racing games out there that tend to see the table when a racing game is asked for. But compared to Formula De, this one (for me at least) is hands down better.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
René Christensen
Denmark
Solroed Strand
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Hopefully this game will be raced quicker than Formula Dé.
Formula Dé had too much counting spaces unless you made a rules that you could only count one or twice. 6-8 guys racing 3 laps took forever!!!
So I turned dead cold on Formula Dé after 4 (!) years playing!

That's why I think MotoGP will do the trick for me. Roll the dice, flip one or two and move your bike. That's got to be quick!!!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Lane Taylor
United States
Wichita
Kansas
flag msg tools
I agree, not getting bogged down in counting has a big appeal to me after a few games of Formula D(e).
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Lane Taylor
United States
Wichita
Kansas
flag msg tools
Ok, I finally got to actually play a game friday night.

We had 6 players, so there was a full grid. :)

I went through the rules in about 5 minutes with the group. The youngest player was 12, the oldest was in his 60s, so we had a good spread. We all decided to run a single lap with the standard rules for a qualifier, using the "Startline Driving Park" course.

We rolled the 2 dice for the starting order and off we went. There was a bit of jockeying into the first corner, and about halfway through the qualifying lap, the bike that had started #2 had a good 10 space lead over the rest of the pack. We were thinking he was going to have a runaway win.

After some generous use of engine points (it's just one lap after all) and a bit of luck, the field was approaching the final corner in two packs of three, with 6 spaces separating them. It really wound up coming down to the wire, and the lead qualifyer only won by one space over the second and 3 spaces over the third place qualifying position.

The second group came through neck and neck as well, but one turn behind.

The starting grid -> finishishing order was 1->3, 2->2, 3->1, 4->6, 5->4, 6->5. Strangely, the second row and first row were the same, but shuffled around, even though during the race, almost every player was leading at least briefly.

We decided to only run 3 laps, since we got a late start and still wanted to have time to play something else that night.

I won't attempt a play by play recreation here, but just give the overall impression and players' feedback after our short race.

The game itself turned out to be exciting, and we only needed to consult the rules a few times to clarify the rules about doubles and passing turns. So for ease of play and short learning curve, I'd give this an 8.5/10.

There was a lot of jockeying for position, and engine strategy turned out to be the winning factor in the end. Almost every player led at least breifly, so all thought they had a shot at it. Even the guy who wound up finishing last really had fun, since it came down to a neck and neck finish between 5th/6th. Tire wear was not so much a limiting issue as the engine wear. For fun factor, I give this a 9/10. All the players had a good time, and several spectators also enjoyed watching. By the beginning of the third lap, several people expressed interest in starting a campaign season. :D

There were the obvious comparisons to Formula D(e) throughout the race. Most of the players and observers noted that MGP was simply more fun, and because it played faster, seemed more 'race like'. Once you're in the game and going, you don't really miss the shifting rules. The dice flipping gives the players enough of a decision making process to feel like there is a decent level of tactical choice throughout the game.

Some observations:

Few players bothered to avoid level one corners. Early on, when engine and tire points were in abundance, most players would opt to avoid level two corners, and most of us would spend an engine point to get out of, or avoid landing in a level two or three turn. About midway through, we started thinking conservation, and only used brakes and engine to avoid level 3 turns, unless we thought we had a good chance to avoid them.

The last lap really came down to a photo finish, and what decided it was the lead bike had one more engine point to spend than the second place bike (me).

Even with only a 3 lap race on a standard track, several of the bikes were nursing their machines home, mostly due to rolling a lot of doubles. I can see how a longer race could really wear a machine out, and a player would have to sacrifice a lot of good rolls to keep their bike all the way through the race.

Our group meets again next Saturday, and I'll try to take a note pad along and give a more detailed play by play.

FWIW, none of the players were fans of motorcycle racing or followed any of the series, but they all anjoyed the racing.

Oh, and I need to put some tack in the bike stands, they are already starting to flop over.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
René Christensen
Denmark
Solroed Strand
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Wylan wrote:
Oh, and I need to put some tack in the bike stands, they are already starting to flop over.


A little piece of paper inside the little tip (don't know what it's called) you have attached to the bike should do the trick.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.