A friend was in from out of town the other night and I knew he’d like the racing game, Championship Formula Racing, so I put it to the table and got us all set up for some three-way racing. After the obligatory example through the first turn, we reset the track, configured our cars, and started it up.
Bret chose the black Lotus 77 with a slow start speed, high accel/decel and top speed and the worst skill option. Reese went with the blue Tyrrell P34 six-wheel and had lower than average accel/decel, high top speed and a fast start speed. I decided on the orange March 761 with average accel/decel/start speed, higher top speed and wear, and lower skill.
We bid for poll position and I won it on a stingy 1.5 points, Bret taking second with 0.5 points, and Reese leading the rear with a 0 point bid. Bret and I took off normally but Reese decided to push his start speed to 120 mph but bit it bad, rolling 11, and ground his gears instead of being able to pass Bret right away.
I finish out turn one while Bret has to temper is desire to over-accelerate through the turn. Reese gets things going and tests again to make up lost time and this time passes the check.
Bret’s Lotus is no joke. As I set up my line, Bret guns it, almost hitting his top speed, to bring him in line with me. Reese has finally made it to turn one.
Paranoid about how out matched my March 761 is against Bret’s Lotus, I blow through a ton of wear to get through the next few turns. I now know what it feels like to be the hare fleeing the hound.
We round through some more turns and Reese starts to make up for lost ground.
I get through the turn and go full throttle. Bret has the same idea but decides to push it even more to line up right behind me but even after spend a green skill token, he botches the gears and messes up his transmission. Now his acceleration is inline with mine and that is a big comfort. Reese winds through the turns as well, getting ready to make his move.
Reese decides to make a big gamble and take the 60 mph turn at 120. He uses everything he can but fate decides otherwise and sends him into a spin in the back of a turn.
Bret nipping at my heels, I set up for the upcoming turn. After I clear it, I rocket away and get some distance. It isn’t enough and after Bret comes through, he marches forward. I unintentionally trip him up by taking the outside on the last corner and he slows up more than he needed to giving me some breathing room.
I clear the first lap with a comfortable lead but misjudge the turn and I’m going too fast with only one wear left.
I try to over-brake, exceeding my deceleration but fail the roll and burn my last wear for nothing, all while limiting my deceleration for the rest of the race. The dice gods really lay down the hate and Reese tries to chance through a turn and also spins out.
I work through the next stretch knowing now I have to be ultra conservative since I only have a single green skill token left. Bret is behind a good ways but the next few turns will slow me down and Bret still has a few wear tokens to spare.
Bret makes up more ground as I slow through the turns.
And now all my gains are lost with Bret in direct pursuit.
While Reese is having the game of his life and makes it through the first chance roll of the turn only to spin out on the second half and bow out of the race.
Bret decides to make his move. He eschews the line and spends his last wear to take the inside and force me to make a hard choice. With no wear left and only a single skill token, it’ll be very risky to exceed the corner here. With Bret and I neck and neck, he’ll get the jump if we go the same speed and take the priority lane. Going 60 mph means taking the outside or forcing a chance roll if he also goes 60, pushing me inside. If I go 40 mph, I take the inside and will get out-accelerated if he goes 60, taking the outside. If he goes 40, I’ll be in the even worse position of being forced outside at 40 in the back of turn as he races off to glory.
I decide to go 60 mph hoping he takes the inside line but he opts for the outside and forces me inside.
I spend my last token but to no avail. The dice gods punish us further and I spin out into the kitty. With no racers still on the track, Bret takes home a brutal win as he Highlanders us to victory.
As always, CFR is an absolute blast to play and full of hard decisions and crucial die rolls. I wish Reese wouldn’t have been screwed on dice so early in the race as that critical false start really forced his hand. I’m sure the race would have been even more brutal had he been in the mix. Next time, perhaps!