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 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.
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
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
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.
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.
- When looking at how to handle a corner, don't just look at how
far you have to go to get into the corner, look at how far you would
have to go to overshoot the corner, and how far the next corner is from
- In multi-turn corners, it's always better to be in a position
to upshift after your first stop. For example, in the monacco hairpin,
it is better to barely enter the corner by going 2, then shifting into
3rd and fourth (possibly burning some tires) than to go 3rd 3rd 3rd.
Remember, you are going to spend the same number of turns in the corner,
but using the first method, you'll be in a higher gear for the straightaway.
- Engine points should be used when you fall just short of a corner
while travelling at high gear.
- Don't be afraid to over-rev. What else are transmission points for?
- The farther back you are, the more agressive you have to be.
To find more stuff about, look in
Ken Tidwell's Formule De page.
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