Formula De

Formula Dé House Rules

Author: Lutz Pietschker
Version: 2014-05-04

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These rules are my attempt to re-write the Formula Dé rules (Eurogames, previous edition by Ludodelire, current edition by Asmodée) to my own needs. Beware: This is no official set of rules, but rather my grumbling minority opinion. I have given my own 2002 rules an extensive overhaul in 2014.
In developing my own rules I drew heavily on the ideas of other players, especially the Formule Dé Race & Series Rules by Tim Trant et.al. as found in the Game Cabinet, and the discussions on the Boardgamegeek forum.

As a background music to the game I recommend "The Race" by Yello, from their excellent "Flag" record.

Content

Editions and Web Links

Format

house rule iconThese rules are a mix of the official Asmodée rules, tournament rules, rules proposed in forums, and my own ideas. Rules that deviate from the official rules are marked with the house rule icon shown to the right. The rules have a main text in the broad column and remarks in a side bar.

Examples are marked like this, and Author's Notes like this.

The rules sometimes reference "play aids", "charts" or "displays". These come from a set of graphics I made myself; you can download them from my website. (PDF, more than1 MB). The rule text assumes that you have these graphics available, and some rules may be hard to understand if not.

Please note that the rules as written assume a certain familiarity with the game and may not explain the very basics in all cases.

As of 2014-05-04, these rules are still partly experimental and liable consolidation.



Overview

Abbreviations

Game Sequence

Before the start of the race, players configure their cars and then decide on starting positions through a qualifying round or by the roll of a die. The race steward rolls for the weather for the qualifying rounds and later for the race itself, and players decide on the type of tires they want to use after that roll.

In each turn one car is active and moves. In each game round, cars are moved in strict order from first to last position, and then a new round starts. This continues until all cars have passed the finish line.

In a turn for one of his cars, the player may perform these actions in the order given:

  1. Announce the gear for this turn and, if he decided to shift up or down, move the gearshift lever accordingly. Apply damage if skipping gears on a downshift.
  2. Roll the die corresponding to the gear.
  3. Move the car according to the die roll. During the movement, handling and concrete wall tests may be necessary, blocking rules may need to be observed and engine and collision tests may be necessary.
    1. On a wet track, additional mandatory movement may occur in corners (sliding).
    2. If using soft tires, an optional bonus move may be possible.
    3. If slipstreaming is possible, the car may make an optional slipstreaming move and then go back to a), above.
  4. When the movement ends in a pit, tires may be changed and repairs made (pit sequence).

Winning the Race

By default, a race has 3 laps, i.e. each car must run the complete circuit 3 times. Players may agree upon a different number of laps before the race.

The first car to pass the finish line after the specified number of laps immediately wins the race regardless of remaining movement points; the other cars are likewise assigned their finishing position in the sequence they pass the line. If the race is part of a series, the cars in the first positions win championship points according to the World Cup Points table.

house ruleTime Limit

Formula Dé should be played fluently. Players should count and do lengthy calculations before shifting gear or moving, and they definitely should not touch the map if and when counting spaces.

If you feel it is necessary in your group, you may impose a time limit for players' "shift gears, roll and move" sequence; a total of 30 to 40 seconds seems appropriate.
When time has run out, no more gear shifts are possible; if there are unspent movement points, the player to the left of the active player completes the movement. Apart from the usual movement rules, the only limit is that he may not attempt to consciously scrap the car, i.e. he has to minimize wear point expenditure.

It is possible to give less experienced players an advantage in the form of a higher time limit. When organizing tournaments, players should be grouped according to experience or previous results, with the most experienced referees supervising the "faster" groups.


Prepare for a Race

Officials

Players agree on one players to do duty as race steward; he will be responsible for weather die rolls, book-keeping, and to decide what to do in case of suspected rules violations. He shall also make sure that all players agree upon the following specifics:

Overview of Pre-Race Actions

To adapt the complexity and playing time, you may skip car configuration and/or driver and pit configuration, run the race without weather and/or tire type rules and use fast optional rules for determining starting positions.

Car Configuration

For each car, assign up to 20 wear points (WP) to the following categories:

Note that each category must receive at least 1 wear point. The car configuration can be changed between races, but not between qualifying and the actual race.

It is not possible to carry unspent wear, driver and pit crew points over to the next race.

The wear point allocation does not change if the race is run for more or less than 3 laps; you just have to husband your resources differently.

house ruleCampaign Limitation

If you run a season of races, all damage on the cars is automatically repaired before the next race.

You must start configuring your car with the same wear point values as in the previous race; then you may reassign up to 2 wear points to other categories (including driver & pit crew points). Of course, you may still not exceed the limits for each category.

Alternative "Fast Config" Rule

Run all cars in the standard configuration:

Wear points (WP) determine the amount of mistreatment the car can stand without falling apart. Some types of wear points can be re-gained during pit stops.

house ruleDriver and Pit Configuration

You may assign points of your wear point allotment (see above) on driver and pit crew improvement instead of spending them on your car. You may re-assign 2 points per lap that the race will have. You may distribute the points between the categories

but you may not assign more points to each category than the race has laps.

Driver points can be spent to re-roll any die in the course of the game; each re-roll costs 1 driver point. If you re-roll, you must use the new result, even it is worse than the original roll. You cannot spend more than 2 driver points per car per turn.
Additional driver points may be available if the driver has earned a status upgrade; see the Driver Experience rules for details.

Pit crew points improve the chance for a fast pit stop (see the pit stop rules for details). Unlike driver points, pit crew points are not spent but remain in effect for the entire race.

Use tokens placed on the pilot card and on the pit to mark available driver and pit crew points.

You may decide to invest in a better driver and/or a faster pit crew instead of improving your car to the maximum.

In a 3-lap race, you may re-assign up to 6 car configuration points for driver and pit crew improvement; each category may be assigned up to 3 points.

Weather

Determine the weather by a roll of the black Chance Die (D20) according to the weather table printed on the circuit map; make weather rolls after configuring your car, driver & pit, but before choosing the tire type.

Changeable Weather

During the race, each roll of 20 on the purple 5th gear die and each roll of 30 on the blue 6th gear die immediately triggers a new weather die roll; then resolve any other effects these die rolls may have.

house ruleResolve the weather die roll on the weather table printed on the circuit map, then apply the result by moving the weather token on the weather/track condition display:

track wetdry trackWeather Effects Overview

The weather itself has no effect, only the track condition (dry/wet) has. On a wet track,

These effects are also influenced by the tire type and are described in detail in the relevant sections of the rules.

Suggestion: Ignore weather & tire type rules if playing inexperienced players.

Suggestion: Mark the numbers 20 on the purple die and 30 on the blue die in red colour with a felt-tip marker as these numbers trigger special events.

The weather display is my answer on the official rules for changeable weather which I never really understood. It does not matter a lot, because weather changes do not occur very often in the game.

Tire Types

You may choose the type of tires for each car after the weather die roll, but before the qualifying or race starts. During the race you can change the tire type at no extra cost on each pit stop. Three types of tires are available:

Tires are "fresh" in the 1st lap after the start or after changing tires at the pit. Soft and rain tires change their behaviour if used for more than 1 lap.
A summary of tire type effects in different track conditions and over extended use is given on the play aid cards.

dry trackTire Type Effects Overview - Dry Track

track wetTire Type Effects Overview - Wet Track

If you use the weather rules you should also use the tire type rules.

qualifyingQualifying for Start Positions

Each car must drive one single lap of the track without any other cars on the track. You need a stopwatch for qualifying and you need to count the number of turns (= number of gear die rolls) taken for the round.

Cars do the qualifying in the configuration used for the race. Before qualifying commences, make one weather die roll which will be in effect for all cars throughout the qualifying (i.e. there will be no weather changes, see Weather rules). Each car may choose the tire type individually after the weather die roll, and tires may be changed for the actual race.

In the qualifying round, it is not possible to use brake points, no wear points of any kind are used. This means that there will be no double-downshifts, engine damage, debris spots, concrete wall accidents or pit stops.
Overshooting is only significant because it makes for a bad qualifying time or if you miss more than 1 required stop, as this will still eliminate the car.
Because the car is alone on the track, there can also be no blockades, collisions and slipstreaming.

Qualifying Procedure

The penalty for violating the procedure in any way is that the car is taken out of the qualifying immediately, and the track position at the end of the turn preceding the violation is noted (you may just place the car beside the track in this position). These cars will get start positions behind all cars that finished their qualifying round; among themselves, they go in the order of their relative track position (the car closest to the start line goes last).

Qualifying Result

For each car that finished its qualifying round, add

The car with the least total starts from position #1 (pole position), the other cars follow in order of ascending total results. Use the actual stopwatch time as a tie breaker; roll a die to brake remaining ties.

Alternative "Fast Qualifying" Rule

Use this procedure with inexperienced players or if you do not have the time for "real" qualifying.

house rulePit Assignment

Players choose pits in reverse starting order. Mark your pit with a car token showing your colours. The pit colours printed on the board have no significance and do not limit your pit choice, you may chose any pit regardless of the colours your car wears.

Usually the starting positions are determined by qualifying rounds. Alternatively you can determine starting positions by a die roll.

Note: A qualifying time sheet is included in my Formula Dé PDF package.


Start of the Race

start 1Determine the weather for the race and choose the tire type you want to use. You may not change the car configuration between qualifying and the race.

start 2Put the cars on the numbered starting positions in the order determined in the qualifying procedure. All cars start in 1st gear and take their turns in starting position order, #1 going first.

start 3Each car rolls the black Chance Die (D20) before rolling the gear die.

Pre-start procedures, start order, start procedure.


Driving

Turn Order

Each car has exactly one turn per round. Cars take turns in order of their current position, from first to last.

There are special rules for cars in the pit lane and the pits.

After the last car moved, the round ends, and the end-of-round bookkeeping is done before the next round begins.

Remember that turns are taken per car. A "player turn" is the turn for one of his cars, if he runs multiple cars.

Gears and Gear Shifts

The player then rolls the die for the current gear.

Now place a token into the car's current space (to enable rollback), then move the car for the full number of spaces indicated on the die.

Depending on the situation, penalties, bonus moves and checks may be possible or necessary during your move:

General Rules

gears

gears

Note that, to help you in your decision whether to shift gears,

3rd or 4th gearThe official weather change rule gives you an average of 10 weather die rolls per 100 5th- or 6th-gear rolls if the weather is changeable. Consequently, you will probably not see a lot of weather changes in a 3-lap-race.
If you want more changes, make a weather die roll on every 7 rolled in 3rd or 4th gear, which changes the probability to about 15 in 100, not counting that there are probably more total die rolls in these gears per race.
This variant requires a higher "alertness" effort (one more event to watch) but will, I suspect, not change the average race very much.

Straights

Tunnels

Some maps show tunnels, i.e. parts of the track that are invisible while it runs below another part of the track.

Bad Road

Some tracks have debris spaces printed on the track. They have exactly the same effect as debris markers placed during the race due to collisions etc.

Shaded Track Spaces

These spaces have effect on the race. They may indicate features of the real-life circuits (for example, the shaded spaces on the Asmodée Monaco Track indicate that in reality there is a covered gallery in this section).

house ruleHouse Rule: Shaded spaces in straight track sections cost 2 movement points per space. However, if you have a single movement point left over towards the end of you move and you can only enter shaded spaces from there, you may enter a shaded space for 1 movement point.

straight

A straight is any segment of the circuit that is not marked as a corner and is not a pit lane.

Summary: Do not zigzag!

Corners

Cars are required to use at least the number of turns indicated near the corner in a yellow field or a yellow flag. Turns are counted by the number of stops the car makes in the corner, i.e. the number of complete moves that end in the corner area.

wet trackSliding on Wet Track

If the track is wet, cars who entered any corner spaces in their move must add a sliding move immediately after their regular move (the regular move may have included braking).

The slide movement may cause or increase overshooting and emergency braking.

overshootingOvershooting

An overshooting car

If overshooting carries the car into the next corner, this stop does not count as a stop for that next corner.

spinSpinning after Overshooting

The car is out of control and spins if an overshoot has caused it to lose all its remaining tire wear points plus one.

Note that this car is still in the race and can even overshoot corners by exactly 1 space, which will cause it to spin again, but any overshoot by more than 1, or any other loss of tire wear points, will cause it to be taken out of the race or be eliminated.

corner

Corners are marked with a red or blue dashed line on the track border; the corner limits are outlined with red or blue lines across the track.

Bonus Moves

All bonus moves are voluntary.

bonus moveSoft Tire Bonus

A car on a dry track with fresh soft tires (i.e. in use for no more than 1 lap) may add 1 space to its move once per turn, and at any time during its turn, even in the middle or at the end of a series of slipstreaming manoeuvres.

Slipstreaming

Slipstreaming allows you to add 3 spaces to your move. To use slipstreaming,

Under these conditions you may make one of the following moves:

Slipstream moves follow normal rules and limitations; in particular, arrows on the track must be followed even while slipstreaming.
There are some more rules that apply to slipstreaming:

Tire selection and driving skill may give you bonus moves; your choice whether to use them or not.

Obstacles & Dangers

debrisDebris

Debris markers indicate spaces with dirt, oil, fuel or small parts fallen off the cars; no more than 1 debris marker can be in a space. Debris spaces carry an increased risk:

concrete wallhouse rule Concrete Wall

Some tracks (usually oval tracks like Indianapolis or Daytona) feature concrete walls on the track border, indicated by a red line next to the track. Such walls protect spectators, but are dangerous if the car touches them.

dangerhouse ruleCollisions

If your car has completed its move (including any sliding or bonus moves) and is directly adjacent to cars to one or both sides or your front you must make a collision check.

If a car loses it last body wear point, it is eliminated from the race.

Now, the car that caused the collision check makes its check:

Apply the rules and results given above to this check as well, but apply the reduction for eliminated cars only for cars that had been eliminated before this collision.

emergency brakingBlocked Track/Emergency Braking

If the track is blocked by other cars you may not be able to move your car the full number of spaces it should move, even if you apply brakes. If that happens, you need to do an emergency braking manoeuvre.

Spaces to Go Brake Points Lost Tire Points Lost
1 1 -
2 2 -
3 3 -
4 3 1
5 3 2
6 3 3

Engine Over-Revving

5th or 6th gearA die roll of 20 in 5th gear or 30 in 6th gear triggers an over-revving check. After the active car has completed its movement, all cars that are in 5th or 6th gear must roll the black Chance Die (D20).
A die roll result of 1 to 4 (1 to 3 if the track is wet) means that there is engine damage:

A car that loses its last engine wear point is eliminated from the race.

eliminatedEliminated Cars

If a car is eliminated from the race for any reason, flip it to its back as a reminder of the fact. Remove it at the end of the round and place a debris marker in its place if none is there already; until then, it is considered part of the field and can cause collision checks and blocking.

These are situations that require special attention and that may damage your car.

lappedLapping

A car running at the end of the field and overtaken by the leading car is "lapped", i.e. it has lost one or more complete rounds against the leading car. Place one lapped car marker per lost round under the car as a reminder immediately when the car is overtaken; remove a marker if the car manages re-gain a lap.

By definition, lapped cars go after all non-lapped cars; cars lapped twice go after those lapped once, etc.

blue flag

Lapping does not change any of the normal rules; the markers are just there to prevent confusion.

Note that lapping is not a very likely event in a 3-lap race.

house ruleGhost Cars

This is an optional rule and only used if agreed upon before the race; be default, they are not in force.

Add a number of "ghost" cars (cardboard car tokens) to the track at the end of the round in which the leading car completes his first lap.

Ghost cars do not keep track or lose wear points. They are considered in determining collisions like any other car, but never take damage themselves, thus they cannot leave debris on the track.

Ghost cars move according to their position in the field; when first placed, they are considered to be ahead of all cars and will move before all player cars in the subsequent turn.

Ghost cars may be removed after they have been passed by all player cars if it is obvious to all that they will have no further effect on the race. They are completely ignored for determining finishing positions.

Ghost cars are additional cars that populate the track. They are introduced exclusively for their nuisance value and should only be used if the track looks "empty" otherwise.

Pit Stops

Use pit stops to change tires and to repair your car. All pit stops are voluntary.

There are two types of pit stops:

The pit lane is wide enough for any number of cars; cars cannot be blocked in the pit lane. They can even occupy the same space as other cars; it they do, movement order is determined as

Entering the Pit

You may enter the pit lane with a move in 4th gear or less. Cars entering the pit lane must make a pit stop in their assigned pit.

To enter the pit itself, the car needs enough movement points to arrive at the pit lane space marked with the entry/exit arrows plus 1 point to enter the pit. Place the car in the pit space off the pit lane. Discard excess movement points; this does not cost wear points.

Tire Change & Repairs

Immediately upon entering the pit you must declare whether you want to do a tire change only (fast pit stop) or want to make additional repairs (full pit stop).

Leaving the Pit

Roll the black Chance Die (D20) and subtract 2 for each pit crew point you assigned.

Then roll the appropriate gear die and move your car; your first movement point is spent to move from the pit to the pit lane.

You may not leave the pit lane with this move. If you reach the last space of the pit lane you must end your turn there and forfeit any additional movement points; this does not cost any wear points. You may shift gears and continue into the race with your next turn normally.

Example for a very fast pit stop:
Enter the pit lane in 4th gear with enough points to enter the pit itself; declare a fast pit stop (change tires only), which allows you to leave the pit in the same turn.
You have 1 point assigned to your pit crew and roll an 11 on the black die, which gives you a total of 11-2=9, enough to start the "leaving" move in 4th gear. You roll the green gear die and get enough movement points to enter the track again, but you must still stop in the last space of the pit lane.
Next turn, you may shift gears and continue into the race.
You spent part of one turn in the pit and continue the next turn in 3rd, 4th or 5th gear.

Example for a very slow pit stop:
Enter the pit lane in 4th gear with enough points to enter the pit itself; declare a full pit stop. Change tires and repair up to 2 wear points (but max. 1 engine wear point); adjust your wear point marker accordingly.
Next turn you decide to do more repairs; you may repair an additional 2 wear points.
Next turn you decide to leave the pit and roll the black die for a 19. Oops! You start in 1st gear and move into the pit lane, but do not reach the final space of the pit lane.
Next turn, you may shift to 2nd gear and roll enough points to enter the track again, but you must still stop in the last space of the pit lane.
Next turn, you may shift gears again if yo like and continue into the race.
You spent part of one plus 3 full turns in the pit and repaired 4 wear points; you the continue the race in 1st, 2nd or 3rd gear.

house rulepit stop

The pit stop rules are mainly house rules, as I did not like the original pit stop rules.

Note that fuel consumption is not modelled in the game at all; you could also say that refuelling is implicitly included in the pit stops.


End of a Round

At the end of the round,

Then, a new round begins unless all cars are either eliminated or have ended the race.

Some small bookkeeping may be necessary at the end of each round, i.e. after all cars have moved once.


End of the Race

The race ends when the last car has completed the course and passed the finish line.

Race Result

The first car to cross the finish line after the indicated number of laps wins the race, the other cars win positions in the order they complete they also complete the course and pass the finish line.

World Cup Points

If the race is part of a series or tournament, cars that finished the race are assigned world cup points:

Place house ruleOfficial F1 Rules of 2010 Asmodée Rules
1 25 10
2 18 8
3 15 6
4 12 5
5 10 4
6 8 3
7 6 2
8 4 1
9 2 0
10 1 0

If a player runs more than one car, statistics must be kept separate for each car.

house ruleDriver Performance

Drivers can earn driver points by driving well; points won in this way must be used in the next race or be forfeit, but they can be used in addition to the driver points that you may assign during car configuration.

end-of-race flag


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, last change 2014-08-08