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Leader 1: Hell of the North» Forums » Rules

Subject: Help - need a rule walk-through... rss

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Don Schiewer
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Is there an english video walk-through of this? I'm struggling to 'know' if I am understanding the rules correctly. I've played once and the game was good...but it felt like I was missing something.

As mentioned in other threads...the english translation of the rules are very unclear - simple but vague and therefore seems like I'm missing things.

Even a written walk-through would be fantastic!

Anything?!?! Thanks.
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Skip Maloney
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I second this (e)motion. I am hoping to get some answers clarified at an upcoming game night, at which a member of the group who owns it, will assist me with clarifications. I'll get back to you with any "light bulb" revelations. .
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Don Schiewer
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SkipM624 wrote:
I second this (e)motion. I am hoping to get some answers clarified at an upcoming game night, at which a member of the group who owns it, will assist me with clarifications. I'll get back to you with any "light bulb" revelations. .


Excellent! Thanks.

I've now played the game several times with some folks who've played the original Leader1 game and so I have some clarification on a few things...but still would love a proper walk-through.
 
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Rui Silva
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I also feel that a Video Tutorial(English), would be an enormous help.

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René Christensen
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I second that!
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Martin Swift
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I third that and is that a Chelsea badge I see on Slotracer's avatar?
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René Christensen
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Yes, been a Chelsea fan since 1969!
 
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Martin Swift
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Then it's time for a change.
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René Christensen
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NEVER!
Once Blue, always Blue!

 
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Rui Silva
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No volunteers?
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Wulf Corbett
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Time to resurrect this thread... I will have to teach this game to anyone else if I want to play, and I'm not at all sure I can... I have happily played many games declared vague & even incomprehensible by others, but this one keeps dodging me... shake
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Holger Doessing
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I have been staring at this thread since it was created. I would love to help, but I don't find the game's rules very complicated (though I agree that the rulebook could be better), so I really have no idea what people are looking for. Answering specific questions should be easy enough, but asking for a walkthrough is not very specific. What exactly is unclear? What may other geeks add that is not evident from the rulebook?
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Wulf Corbett
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A walkthrough (better yet, a video of a game turn or two) would show all the common rules in action, how energy is allocated & spent, how the peleton interacts with individual cyclists, etc. I just can't see how the game flows within a game turn.

It's rare, as I said, that I find a game I just can't understand, I think it's just the translation - I keep rereading the poor English sections and wondering just what the hell they meant to say... The words translate fine, but there's just something fundamentally wrong with many of the sentences...
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René Christensen
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I also have to read, translate and understand the rules of any game before I can teach other players a game. They do not like to read rules in English. I then sometimes forget some rules, but that goes for everyone, so no big deal. A long as we have fun, that's what counts for me.
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René Christensen
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How is your Dutch?

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Holger Doessing
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This is the basics of the gameplay. Most of the flow should be pretty straightforward if you compare it to real-world cycling. I think this game lends itself very well to houseruling, so just leave out the stuff that seems confusing. Although I haven't covered every little rule I feel I may have just rearranged the rulebook, so I don't know if this text is actually helpful. Your feedback is always appreciated. I may take the opportunity to sneak in a few edits...

In a nutshell:
This is a racing game, so it's all about moving forward. As in most racing games the rider in front moves first. The overall flow of the game therefore becomes:
1. Move any riders in front of the peloton. They'll get part of their move for free. The rest they'll have to pay for in energy. Don't over-do it!
2. Move the peloton. Some riders may wish to break away. Others may want to take control of and speed up the peloton.
3. Move any riders behind the peloton.
4. Rinse and repeat.


1. Move any riders in front of the peloton.
Start with the front-most rider.

Determine how fast/far the rider will move this turn -

In the open terrain the various riders can coast with really no effort, but they do so at different paces. A climber, for instance, will have a base move of only 1 space on flat terrain ('plain', green), while a leader will have a base move of 2 (cf. fig. 11).
A rider that starts his turn behind another rider may benefit from slipstraming and move an additional space for free (p. 10, middle).
Sprinters and descenders also get an additional free space if they start in a sprint zone or on a downhill, respectively (p. 8, top).

In order to go faster than their free coasting speed the riders will have to expend energy. Going just a tad faster only costs a little energy; going flat out requires a huge amount of energy (cf. fig. 12).
This is referred to as the 'paying' movement. The idea is that since the rider pushes himself this part of his move is inherently more risky than the free moves. For instance, he may crash/fall on bad asphalt, but only if spent the exhausting 'paid' part of his turn going over the dangerous potholes (cf. fig. 22).
The weather, such as headwind, may also impact how much energy the rider must spend. Tailwind is the exception, which actually decreases the effort needed and restores some of the rider's energy.
In mountains going above your normal limits can be costly and your rider may experience a breakdown. The amount of 'paid' moves that a rider can do without risking a 'crack' is indicated by the mountain grade tokens. If he takes more paid moves than indicated by the grade he will have to roll a die. Regardless of the outcome the move will succeed, but a bad roll means that the push required a lot of energy. Note that the rider must be able to pay this energy before attempting the push; a worn-out rider obviously cannot even begin to try a sprint up a mountain.

- and how he gets there -

- Always move to an adjacent space (i.e. sides or corners are touching, fig. 14) and never move purely sideways nor backwards (fig. 14).
- Don't use spaces occupied by other riders! (The exception being when the road is so crowded that you'll have to force your way through. See p. 9, top.)
- A rider can safely go over potholes, as long as he does so during his free movement.

- then move the next rider.


2. Move the peloton.
The order of movement for riders in the peloton is determined by the order of the support tokens. (Having your team's support token on top means that you are effectively in charge of the peloton, which is often a defensive position.)

Riders can chose to leave the peloton. They can also move to the front or back of the peloton. Finally, teams may use their support riders to accelerate the peloton.

A Breaking away from the peloton
As in real life, if a rider wants to escape the peloton the breakaway will happen from the front of the peloton (so the rider needs to be in the right half of the peloton tile). The team whose support token is 2nd will be the first team to chose whether their rider(s) will break away; the team whose support token is 1st is attempting to control the peloton and will therefore be the last to join any efforts to escape.
Breaking away means that you move your rider's figurine from the peloton tile and onto the course. The rider starts from the same space as the peloton figurine, which may impact how easily the jump away will be (cf. the energy expenditures discussed above). Remember that the peloton figurine hasn't moved yet, so the breakaway rider may next find himself gobbled up by the peloton if he doesn't move far enough ahead.

B Moving within the peloton
Now its time to move within the peloton. Staying in front enables you to attack or take control of the peloton and speed it up. However, staying in the back, where the wind resistance is much less, means that you'll catch a break and spend less energy. Your rider(s) will also be able to drop off the peloton to assist a teammate that has been left behind (due to e.g. a crash or puncture).
The order of movement is not clear from the rulebook, but I suggest using the same play order as for the previous item, 'Breaking away from the peloton'.

C Pursuit/pace
Each team has a support rider. He won't be able to break away, but he can aid in chasing down attacks and run-away groups by taking charge of the front of the peloton. He will only be able to do this 6 times, though.
You declare your support rider's effort in pacing the peloton by putting your support token on the 1st position. Note that the player whose token is already in the 1st position will go first here. This is probably to ensure that the team that is currently pacing the peloton cannot just wait and see if another team takes over; if they really want to be sure that the pace is high they will have to do the work themselves. Each team can only pull the peloton for 2 consecutive turns, however, before their support rider wil need a short break.

D Moving the peloton 'figurine'
Roll the die and see how many spaces the peloton moves. Add +1 if the support rider in front has declared that he is pacing (accelerating) the peloton. Depending on the speed, their individual positions within the peloton, and the peloton's starting terrain the riders may have to subtract some energy; the table at the top of the peloton tile is fairly straightforward.
Move the peloton figurine along the course. Whenever there are multiple paths around the course the peloton follows the dotted line. This typically also happens to be the longest path around the course. (The peloton figurine actually takes op the full width of the road and 2 spaces lengthwise. I found it easier to just mount the plastic base to the front of the peloton cardboard piece and just place the figurine such that the base is on the dotted road space.)


3. Move any riders behind the peloton.
See 1.


Notes:

coffee Breakaway riders that simply coast along won't be able to escape the peloton. They will have to expend energy to maintain a suitable speed. Like in real life it is generally more echonomical to spend a little energy to keep a steady pace.

tobacco The conflict in breakaways is an important aspect of the game. On one hand you want to join forces with the other riders in the breakaway. That way you can take turns battling the wind resistance in the front of the group and keep up the pace without spending too much energy individually. Consider which rider in the group would be best suited to keep up the pace in the current terrain. Remember that the terrain where you end your turn will also be the terrain from which you start your next turn. Should you spend that extra energy to reach your 'favorite' terrain?

indigo On the other hand you want to rid yourself of your opponents. Again, positioning on the course can be important. If you end your turn here, does that mean that the riders behind you could end up starting from a terrain that they will struggle to keep pace in? You may have to simply coerce your opponents into spending too much energy for the group, leaving you with excess energy to mount the decisive attack to escape for the victory.

sugar Should you find that one or two riders refuse to let go of your tail, again have a look at where you end your turn on the road; your opponents will have to stay on your wheel to slipstream. If they need to spend 1 or 2 extra spaces to end their move on your tail the splipstream is negated. Also look for positions where any tailing riders will have to use paid movement to land on potholes behind you; they will then be forced to risk a fall or leave your tail.

corn Mountains present another opportunity: If a rider spends for example 2 of 4 paid moves on his turn on a cat. 2 mountain (e.g. because the remaining paid moves took place below the mountain) he will not have exceeded his limit on the climb. This is especially important if you are pushing to drop other riders. If you have positioned yourself correctly on your previous turn you should be able to push over the last bit of the steep climb without risking to crack; your opponent just behind you won't, however, and he will have to risk spending a substantial amount of energy to keep up with you.

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Wulf Corbett
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Thanks. Straightforward in the basic version, but there's a lot of bits in there... I'll have another go soon, once my new tropical fish have acclimatised... laugh
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Wulf Corbett
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Slotracer wrote:
How is your Dutch?
Ik kan niet spreken Nederlands. Google translate kan lezen, is het geen doel hulp met een video ...
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Billy Bob Thwarton
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I am yet another Hell of the North owner having a hard time understand the flow of the game...

Some questions...
1. Since a die roll determines the peloton movement, how does having your support rider at the top of the peloton list dictate the actions of the peloton. It is described as a defensive position, but I don't understand how.
2. My wife and I are trying it out together. Should we be managing one team each with three figures and the support rider while we learn...OR should we just stick with one figure and the support rider.
3. Why would one ever drop behind the peloton? How would doing so benefit a teammate that suffered a puncture?
4. A different thread/review talked about how the food tiles remind them of the food they eat before the race...are my riders supposed to be getting food tokens at the start of the race as well as when they pass food checkpoints?
5. When breaking away from the peloton, should I be using all my guys or just one?

As others have mentioned, whoever makes a nice video demonstrating flow will be a hero. In the time that we have had the game on the table, our inclination is just to keep our figures in the peloton till the last few tiles and then try to go for it. Is it really possible to break away on a starter tile and just never be gobbled by the peloton? It seems like the peloton is always catching up even though the peloton takes the longer route.

 
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Holger Doessing
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Allowishes wrote:
1. Since a die roll determines the peloton movement, how does having your support rider at the top of the peloton list dictate the actions of the peloton. It is described as a defensive position, but I don't understand how.

The team whose support token is at the top of the peloton list is leading the peloton and therefore decides whether the die roll that determines the peloton's speed gets modified.
The reason I described this as a defensive position is that (a) it enables the peloton to reel in any breakaways and (b) it acts as a deterrent against breakaway attempts, as one or two teams keeping a consistent high pace makes it very difficult to escape the peloton.


Allowishes wrote:
2. My wife and I are trying it out together. Should we be managing one team each with three figures and the support rider while we learn...OR should we just stick with one figure and the support rider.

I have never played with less than my entire team. Cycling is a team sport, and you'll want your entire team to support each other.


Allowishes wrote:
5. When breaking away from the peloton, should I be using all my guys or just one?

On the other hand, if you break away with your entire team you'll have a group of riders, where you have full control of how they spend their energy, how they support each other, and how the various rider types interact. In short, you'll be a serious threat against anyone else back in the peloton and they'll likely attempt to hunt you down.
A classical tactic is to send out a rider and let your opponents wear themselves down in an attempt to catch him. Then, at a suitable point, send out another two riders to catch up with the first and let him spend his last energy by offering slipstreaming to his team mates. Once he's gone, let one of the other two guys pull his remaining team mate as far as possible, before that guy then finishes the job and crosses the finishing line for the win. Here, the catch is to perform the 2nd breakaway at the optimum point where the winning rider burns his last energy as he crosses the line. However, you also want the peloton to be nicely cooked so they won't catch you. And if they call your initial bluff, then you'll have to think up something else.


Allowishes wrote:
3. Why would one ever drop behind the peloton? How would doing so benefit a teammate that suffered a puncture?

Slipstreaming. By offering to let a fellow team mate slipstream he'll save 1 energy per turn, which could be vital to your game plan. Don't hesitate to dump a dropped rider if you don't need him or if you find it will be too expensive (energy-wise) to bring him back to the peloton.


Allowishes wrote:
4. A different thread/review talked about how the food tiles remind them of the food they eat before the race...are my riders supposed to be getting food tokens at the start of the race as well as when they pass food checkpoints?

No, the food tokens only simulate the feeding zones in real life cycling. In addition, they also add an element of bluffing to the game, as you are not required to reveal your food tiles until you use them.
Edit: The HotN rulebook says:
Quote:
If you play a one day race (classic), remember to draw a "feed zone" tile for each cyclist at the beginning of the game. It can be immediately added to the energy or it can be secretly
kept and added later on during the race. It represents your cyclist’s form on that particular day.

So one-day classics are obviously treated as an exception to the general case, where feed tokens are only available from the feed zones along the course.


Allowishes wrote:
In the time that we have had the game on the table, our inclination is just to keep our figures in the peloton till the last few tiles and then try to go for it.

If your riders make it across the line with more than 0 energy left, they could probably have went earlier to go for the win. If your opponent's riders win with >0 energy left, you didn't put up enough of a fight - or you could have broken away earlier yourself.


Allowishes wrote:
Is it really possible to break away on a starter tile and just never be gobbled by the peloton? It seems like the peloton is always catching up even though the peloton takes the longer route.

Early breakaways will most likely be caught by the peloton - unless of course if the other teams try to call your bluff and ignore the breakaway only to find out the hard way that a rider in front cannot simply be ignored!
However, a big part of the game is knowing when and where to break away to be able to make it home at max speed. If you are only two people playing the level of strategy will be limited, as there will be very little incentive to pursue a breakaway with representation from both teams. If you bring in a 3rd player/team, you'll find that riders from different teams will have to work together in order to form a successful breakaway group, while they'll also try yo outsmart each other and figure out how to maximize the utility of their opponent's abilities and when to ditch them.
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Billy Bob Thwarton
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OK - this is all very helpful. One clarification however is on modifying the peloton die roll. This is only modified by a value of one correct? The way I was reading the rules, it seemed to me that each team has a max of 6 persuits, and when you announce a persuit, you go to the top of the support list and during that turn the peloton goes one extra value.

Looking at your answer, I would re-interpret this to mean that you use a persuit to get to that position, but whenever you are in that position you can add a value of one each turn (but no more than 2 times in a row).

Correct?
 
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Holger Doessing
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Allowishes wrote:
The way I was reading the rules, it seemed to me that each team has a max of 6 persuits, and when you announce a persuit, you go to the top of the support list and during that turn the peloton goes one extra value.

Looking at your answer, I would re-interpret this to mean that you use a persuit to get to that position, but whenever you are in that position you can add a value of one each turn (but no more than 2 times in a row).

Correct?

Yeah, going over the HotN rulebook I realize this isn't very clear for newcomers to the series. In the original Leader 1 and in Giro d'Italia there was no peloton tile. Instead, the peloton die was passed to the left each turn, and the player holding the die was free to declare 'pursuit!', i.e. +1 on his subsequent die roll. This meant that it was often difficult to modify the pace of the peloton, as you had to either sweet-talk the leading team or simply wait until you got the peloton die. One of the major improvements by the 'Leader 2' variant and Gubban's Peloton Tile (as well as other variants, I presume) was to offer a much better approach to peloton control.

In HotN the DNA of these variants is quite visible. The players now have the option of actively taking control of the peloton by declaring a pursuit at any time. The player declaring a pursuit moves his support rider token to the top of the token list. Should another player also opt to declare a pursuit, he'll move his support player token to the top and push the others down. (I don't know why anyone would ever want to replace someone else's pursuit efforts with one's own, though.)

From the HotN rulebook (emphasis mine):
Quote:
* The player whose team is leading the peloton rolls the die. The peloton is moved by the result of the die value.
* If the peloton’s pursuit is announced the peloton's movement will be increased by 1 square.

In light of the game's history and the absence of any direct mention of combining multiple pursuits to achieve even greater peloton speeds, I'd say that HotN retains a max of +1 to the peloton die roll.

If you want higher peloton speeds, consider house-ruling. I recommend having a look at some of the variants in the game's pedigree. I personally prefer a variation of Gubban's Peloton Tile, which - in my rendition - enables peloton speeds up to +3, but at dear cost to the riders doing the work.
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