This is the conclusion to my how to play guide for Formula D. In part one I covered the rules and mechanics needed to complete a basic race. Here, I will cover the advanced and optional rules. Players unfamiliar with Formula D may benefit from reading part one first.
For an advanced race, players will need components used in a basic race, all additional pegs, and the damage/weather tokens.
Give each player one car, the matching driver card, and one dashboard. Players wanting to use multiple cars will need a driver card and dashboard for each car.
Have the dashboard insert placed with the yellow box face down. The insert side for advanced races has six coloured sections denoting zones on the car. Starting from the top, the zones represented are Tires, Brakes, Gearbox, Car Body, Engine, and Road Handling.
In a basic race a car has eighteen generic Wear Points (WPs). In an advanced race, cars have WPs assigned to each zone. Remove a car from the race if it would lose its last WP in any zone: Tires, Brakes, Car Body, Engine, or Road Handling zones.
A standard WP setup is: six Tires, three in each of Brakes, Gearbox, Car Body and Engine, and two Road Handling. Place a peg in each section to show the cars starting WPs.
The core game mechanics covered in part one of this guide still apply to advanced races. However, WP penalties now apply to specific zones on a car and will affect how you approach the game:
Losing Wear Points (WPs)
A player will brake to avoid moving the full number of spaces shown on the die. Braking reduces the cars Brake (and potentially Tire) WPs. Refer to the rulebook for a reference table.
- Skipping Gears
Players can skip up to three gears to decelerate. Skipping one gear reduces Gearbox WPs, skipping two or three gears will also reduce Brake and Engine WPs. Refer to the rulebook for a reference table.
- Colliding with other cars
A car ending its movement behind or beside one (or multiple) cars must make a collision check. The active player rolls the black die. The car loses one Car Body WPs on a roll of one. Each player with cars beside (or in front) of the active player must also roll the black die.
- Overshooting a corner
A car overshooting a corner loses Tire WPs equal to the number of spaces moved beyond the corner - this includes the space the car stopped on.
- Motor Damage
If a player rolls a 20 or 30 in fifth or sixth gear respectively, they must immediately roll the black die. A roll of 1 - 4 denotes engine damage, and the car must lose one Engine WP.
- Car Damage and Road Handling
Place a damage marker on to the circuit every time a car loses Engine or Car Body WPs (beneath the car)
If a car moves over (or stops on) a damage marker, the player must roll the black die. A roll of 1 - 4 denotes damage to the underside of the car, it loses one Road Handling WP.
A car can slipstream by ending its movement directly behind another car. Both cars must be in fourth gear or higher. Additionally, the car behind must be in the same gear (or higher) than the car ahead.
If the requirements are met, and the player elects to slipstream, they move their car forwards three additional spaces. A car carried into a corner by slipstreaming will lose one Brake WP.
Players have the option to pit at the end of each lap. There is no speed limit in the pit lane; players must roll and move until they reach their team garage. A car reaching its garage regains all lost Tire WPs. The player then rolls the black die.
A roll of 1 - 10 denotes a fast stop. Divide the number rolled by two (rounded up) and move the car that many spaces along the pit lane. The car leaves the pit in fourth gear.
A roll of 11 - 20 denotes a slow stop. The car remains in the pit until the next round, then leaves in fourth gear (or lower).
Starting formation, movement, and turn order are the same in an advanced race, as with a basic race. The major difference is in the distribution of WPs and how WPs penalties will affect gameplay. I like to play with the advanced rules, as the game feels much more strategic with them. The optional rules are also fun, and add further depth to the game.
I recommend playing a few games with the advanced rules before adding these into the mix:
The following are 'official' rules (included in the Advanced rules) that may be employed by players. Optional rules can be used singularly or collectively to add additional layers of strategy to the game.
Customising Your Car
A car can have a maximum of twenty WPs, distributed amongst the six car zones.
Players can opt to customise their cars, allocating WPs as they choose, within the following restrictions: 1 - 14 for Tires, and 1 - 7 for each of Brakes, Gearbox, Car Body, Engine, and Road Handling.
Three Lap Race
The race lasts for three laps. Players may pit between laps.
Technical Pit Stop
Players may make a Tire pit stop as described earlier. In addition, they can opt for a technical pit stop. A technical pit stop allows a player to regain all Tire WPs and regain 2 WPs to one (or two) zone(s) other than Tire. Players taking a technical pit stop will not roll for a quick stop bonus.
Weather Conditions and Tires
Introducing weather and tires will add a fun dynamic to your game. Each circuit has a weather chart, just beneath the circuit name. It has three symbols representing (from left to right) Rain, Changeable Weather, and Good Weather. The number ranges vary from circuit to circuit.
Before the race starts, a player rolls the black die to determine the weather:
Good weather has no effect.
Changeable weather has no immediate effect. When a player rolls a 20 or 30, they must roll the black die and consult the weather chart. If the result indicates good weather or rain, the rest of the race is completed under that condition.
Rain makes things interesting. Some WPs penalties (See 'Losing Wear Points') will change in wet conditions:
Collisions: A roll of 1 - 2 on a collision check results in a loss of one Car Body WP.
Motor Damage: A roll of 1 - 3 results in a loss of one Engine WP.
Road Handling: A roll of 1 - 5 results in the loss of one Road Handling WP.
Place a damage/weather token on the weather chart to track race conditions.
Players can choose between Hard, Soft, and Rain tires.
Hard tires do not change the game rules. If it is raining, a car with hard tires will move three additional spaces on a turn - provided that at least one space is within the limits of a corner.
Soft tires allow a car to move one extra space each turn (optional). The penalty for overshooting a corner is doubled for a car using soft tires.
If the driver does not change tires after one lap, the movement bonus is lost. The penalty for overshooting a corner is trebled, if the driver does not change tires after two laps.
If it is raining, a car with soft tires will move three additional spaces on a turn - provided that at least one space is within the limits of a corner.
Rain tires will usually only be used if it is raining. A car with rain tires will move one additional space each turn - provided that at least one space is within the limits of a corner.
If the weather is good or changeable, the penalty for overshooting a corner is doubled for a car using rain tires.
Each player takes one timed lap of the circuit, moving normally. Starting formation is determined by the number of dice throws - the player with the least starts on pole. Where players tie, the player who completed their lap quickest gets the position.
A player who does not stop in corners requiring two or three stops automatically starts from the back of the grid.
A team race plays according to rules explained above, but cars score points based on their finishing position. The team with the most points wins.
In a team race, each team has four WPs to repair cars during a pit stop. The bonus can be given to one car or split.
Road Races (GT)
I covered the basic differences for street racing in part one of this guide. The two notable differences between an advanced and basic street race are drivers and WPs mechanics:
There are ten unique drivers, found on the reverse of the driver cards (the other side will be a generic, helmeted driver). Each driver has a distinct set up for their car; players must set their dashboards up accordingly. Drivers also have a special ability, detailed on the back page of the advanced rulebook.
I covered these in part one. Here are the changes for an advanced race:
The residents taking pot shots at drivers have slightly worse aim. Rolling 16 - 20 on the black die will result in a hit:
16 - 18 means the car loses one Tire WP
19 means the car loses one Car Body WP
20 means the car loses one Engine WP
This is the same as in a basic race. Only the player receiving the two WPs can assign them to any zone on the car. However, the original WPs values set at the beginning of the race cannot be exceeded.
Each car regains all Tire WP when crossing the finish line. Players can also recover two WPs (in total) to other zones on the car.
That brings us to the end of my how to play guide. There are a lot of rules, but players can pick and choose them to suit their own tastes. Personally, I like to play with all advanced and optional (bar Qualifying) rules. I believe they make Formula D one of the best racing themed board games on the market.