John Weber
United States
Ellicott City
Maryland
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This is an excerpt from my games club blog about a recent face-to-face session playing Luke's excellent game.

There were three of us: Scott, Patrick and myself, and I gave everyone their choice of teams. Scott went for the bag with the green cyclists (representing the Italian Liguigas team). Patrick originally had the bag with the yellow cyclists (representing an Albert Contador-led SaxoBank team) but then said he wanted the team with "that British guy" who had just won the Tour, so I handed him the black cyclists pieces of the Sky team, led by Bradley Wiggins who just recently had become the first British Tour de France champion ever. I selected red cyclists representing a hand-picked Radio Shack squad, mainly because I knew they had Sammy Sanchez (drafted on to the team for my 2011 replay series) as he had done quite well in my recent 2011 Tour de France replay. We only had time for one stage, so we tackled the very tough Stage 19 from last year's Tour, the Alpe d'Huez stage, partly because it was a section shorter, but also because it would likely provide some exciting action.

Each of us put a cyclist in the early break, I went with Johnny Hoogerland, can't remember who the other two were, but as I observed to the other team managers' tactics my thought was that they were doomed because of using up way too much energy early. Undeterred, Patrick made the unusual move of sending Wiggins out to chase after the break, eventually joining his teammate up the road. Then all heck went loose when Scott decided to attack with both his top guys, Cunego AND Basso. This put me in a tough spot, so I rotated three guys (Brajkovic, Greipel and Horner) at the front while trying to save some energy with Sanchez and my #2, Andreas Kloden. Water bottles came out around turns 4 and 5.

Next thing I remember was the break being reeled in but then Patrick sent Geraint Thomas off on a power move off the front. So, heading into the final climb up the Alpe, Thomas had a minute on the Peleton, but I had messed up with an illegal play with Kloden, trying to escape with both he and Sanchez at the same time, which of course shot my whole strategy to you-know-what. In fact, I never got Sanchez out ahead of the Peleton in a small group where I would have a chance to use his special 8-star descending skills. Anyway, we finally had an incident on one of the downhill sections, which seemed to please Scott (who was cheering for more and more carnage as the race went on, even if it was his own cyclists), and we each lost a couple of guys but one of them was Scott's best guy (Cunego) who lost a minute and never caught back up.

To make a long story short, Thomas got reeled in on the final climb, and everyone -- including the aforementioned Bradley Wiggins -- got tossed back to the cars except for five guys: two from Patrick's team, two from mine, one from Scott's Liquigas team. It came down to a sprint for the win, and who had the most form points remaining (which we had kept secret the whole time). Sanchez, not a great sprinter, had one left, so 6 +1 = 7 but Scott had Sagan at the front with a higher sprint rating and a form point left over. Patrick's guy at the front, Gadret, had no form points left and was out of it but , wait a minute -- his second guy, Uran, was in the middle and had THREE form points left. However, this just left him tied with Sagan and ties go to the guy in the front over the guy coming from the middle.

So, final results:

1. Sagan (Liquigas)
2. Uran (Sky)
3. Sanchez (RadioShack)
4. Kloden (RadioShack)
5. Gadret (Sky).

Everyone had a fun time, and I enjoyed a rare opportunity to play a game I usually only get to play solitaire or via email.
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Filip Cam
Belgium
Kontich
Antwerp
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Sounds awesome. Never heard of this game and doesn't seem to be for sale anywhere I check, but you make it sound great.
 
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John Weber
United States
Ellicott City
Maryland
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Filip, it's available here on BGG as a free download. Check out the files section and the recent posts by Luke, the game designer, responding to a recent "newbie" question.
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Luke Morris
England
Faversham
Kent
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Yep, you don't need to buy it! It's free, HERE on Boardgamegeek! Hooray!
 
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scott shaffer
United States
Shippensburg
Pennsylvania
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This was blast to be a part of! I could hear Phil and Paul announcing!!

Thanks for running a great game John.

Scott
 
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