Formule De

Formule De is Ludoliere's game of Formule One Grand Prix Racing. It allows from 2-10 players to play. (I would guess that you could play with more, if you had components for the cars...). Formule De costs ~$55 dollars from Games By Mail, and each expansion track costs around $25.

The Components

The Components of Formule De are wonderful. The board is 2 3-part sections that clip together to show the Monacco raceway (and surronding scenary). There are ten minature cars (2 each of five different colors). Cars in the same color are distinguished by a small marker on the wing of the car. Each player also gets one record sheet and one big token (which is used to mark the gear on the record sheet).

If you are using the optional rules made by Tim Trant and Carl Schnurr (see the bottom of this page for the reference to it), then their record sheet has all the information on it that you need. This review will assume you are using their optional rules.

The Record Sheet

Each car is rated in 6 categories. Brakes, Tires, Suspension, Transmission, Engine and Body. All cars start off with the same ratings in each category. The ratings may change as you manuever your car or push the envelope. In each category you have a number of points which must be spent in certain situations. If you are ever required to spend a Suspension, Transmission, Engine or Body point and don't have one, you crash and are out of the race. Tire and Brake points don't put you out of the race when you run out, but do cut down on the number of options at your disposal.

The Race

Each car starts in a 'Zeroeth' Gear. Players go in turn order which is set by starting lineup (Pole position goes first, etc). During a players turn, he decides what gear he will be in, then rolls a D20 (or 2D10 if the player wishes, using the optional rules) and consults a chart to determine the number of spaces moved.

The number of spaces moved depends on the gear and the die roll. The ranges are:

  1. 1-2
  2. 2-4
  3. 4-8
  4. 7-12
  5. 11-20
  6. 21-30
When determining what gear to use, you may only change up or down by 1 (or stay the same) with no penalty. You may `Over-Rev' by changing down by 2-4 gears, which will cost a transmission point (and maybe brakes and engine, depending on the number of gears skipped). In addition, when you move in 5th or 6th gears, there is a chance of engine damage. You may also add 5 to the die roll you made at the cost of an engine point.

When moving in straightaways, the car may not zig-zag, but may only change lanes twice. This could lead to problems when passing cars. If you do not make your full movement (to avoid a crash) you must 'swerve' which costs tire and brake points, and may result in you crashing (and the loss of a body point for the car you swerved around...which may make him crash).

However, as anyone knows, the real problem in Grand Prix racing awaits in the corners. Each corner is rated from 1-3. This is the number of turns that you must end your movement in the corner. If you end one turn less than required, you must spend tire points or spin out (and possibly be eliminated). If you spend 2 or 3 turns less, you automatically crash. You can change lanes in the corners as often as you like, but each corner space has an arrow on it (which may list multiple exits for that space), and you must follow the arrows. In addition, whenever you end your movement next to a car in a corner (anytime according to the published rules) you must roll to see if a collision occurs.

Other Rules

There are also rules for weather, different types of tires, stalling the car at the start of the race, slipstreaming, time trials to determine the starting order of the car (and in the time trials you actually use a stopwatch in addition to keeping track of the number of turns taken!), multi-lap races, pit-stops, debris, and even running an entire season of Grand Prix racing (this is a shareware rule that may be found below).

In addition to the Monacco raceway, other maps are available and each is a unique (real) course on the European Grand Prix.


Well, the main strategy is picking a gear and not losing speed through the corners (while not crashing or spending too many break points or spinning out). Also remember that each map has it's own little nuances. However, here are some tips as I see them.


To find more stuff about, look in Ken Tidwell's Formule De page.

This was written by Brian Bankler.

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