Driving Miss Daisy

Last night saw the monthly meet up of the Fenland Gamers. After a quick discussion about why I had handed in my notice at work, we had to decide on a game to play. I suggested that we played…

Formula D

I've wanted to play Formula D for a while, I even picked up a second hand copy off the Facebook trading and selling page late last year. Sadly I hadn't got my copy to the table. Over the previous weekend Gavin and I discussed what games we would be bringing along to the evening. Gavin mentioned he had got Formula D for Christmas, so being the lazy person I am (hey these games aren't light to carry you know), I encouraged Gavin to bring along his copy for us to play.

Before the race started we rolled for our starting positions on the grid. I was at the back of the grid in the fifth spot. The omens weren't looking good, my first dice roll, and I was rolling low.

I was going to have to drive aggressively if I was to make up for my poor starting position. I was determined to fight my way to the front and make a historic win.

We were playing the beginners rules.

I managed to claw my way into contention for first place with Jonathan and Gavin, by using some great rolls of the dice (oh yes I was rolling high when I needed to be low, truly the dice hated me), managing my damage, and when I'd take it on corners to catch up and put myself in the running.

Katie managed to join the battle for first on the last two or three corners. However Gavin stole first place, with a close second going to me. I think Jonathan was third with Katie coming in fourth and a distant last Debbie.

In fact it was Debbie and her distance behind the pack that inspired the title of this blog post. Yes it seemed like Debbie was driving Miss Daisy in her little plastic formula one car round the race track.

In an old episode of the Simpsons where if my fading memory is not playing tricks on me the Simpson family are racing round a kart track, Marge says “slow and steady wins the race”. This indeed did seem to be Debbie's game plan for Formula D.

Now as you may have guessed there was some “gentle” banter at the table about Debbie in last place. And while Jonathan was plotting to take any shine off a historic win (if I had gone on to win it), Debbie too was plotting her revenge for the next game.

Wow I enjoyed playing Formula 6 a lot. It's more than a simple just roll and move game. There are some tactics to employ. The game cleverly uses different sided dice to represent the different gears of the formula one car you are racing in. These dice have different number ranges on them. For example in fourth gear you will roll the green dice that only has values in the range seven to twelve.

You have to stop a predetermined number of times on each corner. One corner may be once, while another might be three times. So you have to plan which gear you need to be in so that you are rolling numbers that allow you to stop the required number of times.

Then you have damage to your car, end up adjacent to another players car, and you both roll to see if you take damage. Fail to stop the correct number of times on a corner, take damage. Take too much damage and your car engine blows up. So managing your damage is an important factor. In the advanced version of the game, this damage is applied to more specific areas of the car.

The game does a fantastic job of simulating the “thrills” of racing round a track. I'm not a formula one fan, I find watching it boring. But I still enjoyed playing Formula D.

Hopefully Jonathan's idea of having a Formula D league can see the light of day for our group. It certainly would be fun.

The next game of the evening to hit the table was…

Ticket to Ride: Europe (TTR:E) aka Debbie's Revenge! Her part in my downfall

I've played TTR:E only within the rather excellent app version of the boardgame. And only then a couple of times at most.

Naturally the map for TTR:E is a map of Europe instead of the U.S. Of A. for the original game. We didn't play with the stations, a decision Gavin, Jonathan and myself would later on come to regret. However we were using the other additions of tunnels, ferries and long routes.

I really wasn't focusing during the initial stages of the game. I had not a clue what I was doing, what carriages I should have been collecting, the optimal routine I should be having to complete etc etc.

Did this lackadaisical approach at the start of the game cost me the game? Well it didn't help.

There was a lot of routes being built in Northern Europe by everyone. It was becoming very clogged, and gave Debbie her first chance to get her revenge by building a route I needed. It happened again later on, forcing me to try another way to complete my longest route. I needed two links to complete my long route and get twenty one points after being blocked by Debbie, and forced to find another way to complete my card.

I had one pink in hand, was planning to take the multi coloured engine my next go ready to complete my long route. When BANG! Katie played her last four trains to complete her card and end the game!

I had finished an eight point route only, got totally shut out by Katie and Debbie from completing my twelve point route, and now had failed to complete my long twenty one point route by two pink trains.

So during the end scoring while everyone else was happily adding on lots of points for completing cards, I went backwards. If Katie had scored nine more points she would have lapped me on the score board. I think this was my lowest scoring game of TTR ever!

The final game of the evening was the new crowd pleaser…

Codenames

So that the teams were even I sat this one out.

After taking a call from Kate, I had a bit of good news about a potential opportunity. Which was followed by a call from Nath. Who I thought was calling to gloat about ARSEnal being three two up against my beloved Liverpool. But no, he was telling me to take my go because he was going to win on his next go on Star Realms.

I took my go, which did some damage to him, but more importantly parked an outpost on the board and increased my authority. Which meant Nath was not able to get the win he was predicting. Although to be fair I only delayed the inevitable by about four turns.

But back to me being a bad Dad and disappointing my sons plans for victory at that moment in time. After Nath had taken his turn I got a text that was one word “lucky”. About five minutes later when Liverpool had scored a last minute equaliser in extra time I got another text “lucky lucky lucky”.

Back at the gaming table the game of Codenames was progressing. Now both teams ended up winning a game each. However I have to say I enjoyed spectating this game, and trying to work out which word(s) were meant by the clue.

This was another blooming brilliant evening of gaming, with great company. Thanks folks.

 

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