View from the Front
The third WBC Formula De event was a big success; but
what else would you expect from such a great game with such loyal
fans? Three qualifying heats were run with all winners automatically
advancing to the Saturday final. Second place finishers in each
race had a chance to advance as well. All heats were two-lap
races using the basic rules. In addition, all heats used Slipstreaming
and a common tournament rule called Redlining. In each heat the
players were allowed to pick any track they could mutually agree
on (with all of the oval tracks excluded).
first heat saw three different races fielding nine, ten, and
ten cars each. The tracks used were Brazil, and Nederland #2
twice. Some pretty aggressive drivers in this heat; so aggressive
that there were three drivers at two of the tables and four at
the third table that crashed out of their respective races! Bill
Dyer on Brazil, Brad Johnson on Nederland #2, and Steve Field
on Nederland #2 managed to take home wins in this heat. GM
Note: Try and write something in the notes columns for those
forms I give out to record your race. I can't give a good write
up of your race if there isn't any information to go on.
The second heat had three more races of nine, nine, and ten
drivers each. The tracks used were Nurburgring, Monaco, and Malaysia.
The Monaco race was where I placed the two rookie drivers. On
the other two tracks the "win or die trying" attitude
of the players on these tracks led to nine DNF's out of 19 drivers!!
Barry Smith on Nurburgring, Mark Geary on Malaysia, and Harris
Anderson on Monaco managed to take home wins in this heat.
I have never seen anyone attack a racecourse with such fervor
as was shown in the Malaysia race. It started with a full compliment
of ten drivers and only four finished. Approximately 75% of the
way through the first lap Judy Krauss, who was in 9th place and
almost eight stops behind the leader (1 DNF already), mentioned
to me that the situation looked bleak and was wondering if her
pristine car had even a remote chance or if she should just pull
it from the racecourse now and say she came in last. Looking
over the other racer's car sheets I let her know that the situation
wasn't as disastrous as she thought; in fact I suggested to her
to start pushing her car a bit more in the second lap and watch
the carnage as everyone in front of her had a very good chance
of crashing out. She ended up coming in third!
Note: I purposely put any beginners on the Monaco track to make
it easy to regulate and help these new players. Unfortunately
there were two other people at that table who were new to the
game and didn't let me know! If you are new to the game, then
please let me know so I can help you learn the rules and make
sure you have a good time. I don't mind staying late to see a
race finish as long as all the players at the table also don't
mind; but this race lasted over an hour past the scheduled time.
The third heat saw two more races of seven drivers each, on
Hockenheim and Suzuka.The third heat used Hockenheim and Suzuka.
Having a power outage from 8am till almost 9:20 am Saturday morning
with a scheduled start time at 9am definitely hurt attendance;
but also made the players so forgetful that no one brought their
own copy of the game. I ended up just setting up the tracks for
the players. This was a great heat that had a lot of camaraderie
with several brand new players; in fact almost half of the racers
on Hockenheim had never before played. The cautious nature of
the early Sat. morning players led to only two DNF's out of a
field of 14; then again, maybe everyone was just still asleep.
I also got a chance to take it easy and teach several onlookers.
Lance Fogel managed to take home a win on the more experienced
table racing on Suzuka; and Darin Morley managed the win on the
Hockenheim had many new players on it; and in fact one of
them was a fellow I had played wargames with all week and taught
the game to just the night before. While the play was steady
and almost overly cautious until the last half of the second
lap, the situation was radically different on Suzuka.
Suzuka, Lance Fogel arrived the previous night to enjoy the gaming
at the WBC and his main reason for coming was, you guessed it,
Formula De! Lance Ribiero had taken the lead by the first
half of lap 1. The rest of lap 1 and all of lap 2 until the final
corner Ribeiro not only maintained his lead but increased it
to a minimum of four die rolls ahead! Unfortunately for him,
his last engine blew just before he could get into the last corner.
Since we were playing with an exclusive WBC tournament rule called
rallying to the finish, he was allowed to continue racing but
had to shift down one gear each turn. Since coming out of the
last corner with a good fourth gear roll the only thing stopping
him was bad luck. Fogel managed to get into the last turn a roll
ahead of what everyone thought he would; which guaranteed him
the win since Ribeiro was still crawling to the finish line.
Ribiero still could have taken second if it wasn't for sub-average
dice and coming up one space short of the finish line!
The Final was run as a three-lap race using all of the rules
used in the heats, the advanced car construction rules, plus
Road Holding. For the final I opted to modify the normal car
construction limits by giving everyone 22 points to build their
cars instead of the standard 20. This gave everyone more survivability
because we were using all possible corners on the Watkins Glen
track (Secane and the full Boot). No weather or special tire
rules were used. Thanks to Ron Magin at Eurogames/Descartes-USA,
we had a blown-up version of the board that measured eight feet
by five feet, complete with Micro Machine cars fully painted.
Laid out on two tables, it is a very impressive sight.
Six of the eight heat winners showed up for the final. We
had exactly four runnerups from the heats appear so all of them
were allowed to play in the final. The winners from the heats
rolled for pole positions and then the alternates got to dice
off for the remaining slots. The starting line-up was as follows:
Barry Smith, Steve Field, Lance Fogel, Darin Morley, Brad Johnson,
Harris Anderson, Ed Karpowicz, Nick Smith, Robert Kirchner and
The first lap saw the drivers pan out into the usual groupings.
By the end of the first lap, Barry Smith and Lance Fogel had
managed to pull away from the pack; and the rest of the field
panned out into two groups. The second lap saw Barry Smith and
Lance Fogel constantly fight for the lead but neither managed
an advantage over the other; although they did increase their
lead over everyone else to a minimum of three turns. The turn
before the extended boot section called Delta managed to have
fourdebris markers placed in the end of this turn and also the
wreckage of Harris Anderson's car. In fact Harris crashed out
due to being blocked at the end of the Delta; and he also rolled
a 20 on his 5th gear die roll, which is what caused his dilemma.
Harris gets the most damage caused award; lots of body and engine
damage caused by him on a single die roll!
The third lap was very adventurous. Almost all of the drivers
had already taken advantage of a full pit and were wearing their
cars quite thin. Lance Fogel managed to edge out Barry Smith
for the lead by making it into the Secane turn where Barry stopped
short of making the turn with Lance; although Lance was running
a car with no engines left to take whereas Barry had three engines
to take and much more car left in comparison. At the same time,
Darin Morley crashed out, just starting his third lap, in the
The Ninety turn. Lance came up on the dreaded Delta turn in a
very bad line; which left him with a tough decision of whether
to try and take the next corner in 5th or 6th. He rolled in 5th
gear and didn't make the corner. Unfortunately, Barry did make
the Delta with a beautiful setup to take the next corner in 6th
gear; which he did and took the lead in the next corner. Lance
cursed himself all the way to a second place finish. Ed Karpowicz
wasn't so lucky coming up on the ever so nasty Delta turn and
crashed out. Mark Mitchell was the last of the adventurous pack.
He had nothing left on his car except one fuel and two tires,
which he had since the end of the second lap! Mark managed, miraculously,
to hold his car together to get a sixth-place finish. The final
standings were in order from first to last: 1) Barry Smith (who
started in the pole position), 2) Lance Fogel, 3) Robert Kirchner
(who came up from a ninth place pole start), 4) Steve Field,
5) Brad Johnson, 6) Mark Mitchell (who came up from a tenth place
start and had a skeleton of a car for over a lap!), and 7) Nick
GM Note: Ever look at those 2 lap sheets? DO it and you
will realize that there are 19 points for a 2-lap race. For a
3-lap race, 20 points are given out to build your car per Descartes
rules. Also remember that in 3-lap races there is Road-Holding
which is a car part not used in 2-lap races.
From general consensus of the players this year:
1. Put 7-8 drivers on each track instead of trying to cram
in a full field of 9-10 on each track. --I will be implementing
this next year.
2. Try and schedule the heats this year to avoid other races.
I will be scheduling the heats next year! I have emailed the
Speed Circuit GM, evening times seem to be the best for
most people that voiced time concerns, the heats will be run
as close as possible to the time limit. But this is really up
to all of you players out there: if you have certain games you
hope to have FDE not scheduled against then let me know!! Don't
expect it to be just because you say so that it will be done
though; if there is enough response from people then I will try
and contact the GM(s) of the respective events to co-ordinate
3. Try and have tracks setup for the players beforehand. --I
will not be directly doing this next year. I will try and go
through the tracks and divide them up into categories so the
drivers of each race can have an informed decision to make. I
always bring a copy of EVERY track with me so just ask.
4. Anything else? Please email me at: Tamerlayne@yahoo.com and
let me know your suggestions/comments.