Flamme Rouge is one of my favourite racing games of all time and the Peloton expansion is an absolute must have addition. The Meteo expansion adds weather effects to the game, but is it an essential purchase?
Where's The Box?
Okay, first things first, this is a very small expansion which is reflected in the price. It does not come with a box instead it is wrapped in plastic. What you are receiving for your money is a new set of rules, 4 weather standees and 13 weather tiles.
Set Up And Play
This expansion can be included with any player count of Flamme Rouge with or without the Peloton expansion.
During set up of the game you shuffle all of the weather tiles and deal one to each straight except the start and finish straights. Any weather tile that shows one of the four possible kinds of weather is replaced by the equivalent standee that goes next to that straight (this improves the table presence of the game without hindering the view of the track). Then all of the other weather tiles are removed.
As the placement of the tiles is randomised you can go several races with very little to no weather or have a race with all four weather effects hitting your riders. I would recommend having a race deliberately with all four kinds of weather so you can get used to the effects.
Looks Like A Storm Is Coming…
The weather effects are fairly simple to grasp and the symbology on the tiles and standees are easy to read. The effects occur when your rider is on the straights associated with the standees.
Crosswind stops the rider from receiving or giving any slipstream.
Tailwind allows the rider to draw 5 energy cards rather than 4.
Headwind restricts the rider to draw 3 energy cards rather than 4.
The Wet causes riders to crash if they have been restricted in movement due to another rider ahead of them.
Easily the best part of this mini expansion is the crashes that occur due to the Wet weather.
When a rider crashes you lay them on their side in the space they finished their movement. Then no slipstream can occur to or because of a crashed rider. If all lanes are blocked by crashed riders then no other riders can pass through and would also crash if their movement was restricted and it is still within a Wet weather straight.
During the next round, any rider that has crashed will have two subtracted from the energy card played and they will stand up and move. However, if they only play an energy card with a value of 2 they would just stand up and stay where they are.
The penalty is applied after Descents and Supply Zones adjust the value of the energy card so you can use that to your advantage. The rule does not modify the cap of 5 for Ascents.
Is this expansion worth the money? The simple answer is yes. I would suggest that anyone playing the game regularly and who has enjoyed the Peloton expansion should buy this but be aware that there isn't very much content added. It would have been nice to have some new tiles or maybe another colour for the racers. However, the crashes really add a lot to the game so I will be including the weather every time I play Flamme Rouge.