There were eight of us this week and I'd set up, for the five of us who'd played before, the advanced version of Race! Formula 90. This adds a number of additional elements that players need to manage during the race. During the set-up, players adopt a driver skill in addition to their race strategy and can then customise their car to vary their tyre wear, how much damage they can take and how many cards they can hold. During qualifying, you can improve or worsen your qualifying time dependent upon how much fuel you put in the car, which in turn determines when you must pit. The weather can also vary which also gives choices on which tyres to put on your car and changing weather can lead to players wanting to pit to alter their tyre strategy, although in our game it started wet and stayed wet throughout. The race procedure is similar to the basic game but flags on the cards now can affect things and going off the track can have more serious consequences.
In our race, just like last time, it was mostly a two horse (car) race between Guy and Nige, although Steve did get quite close going into the last couple of laps. Mark K started at the back of the grid and stayed there retty much most of the time. Although he did manage to pass four of the robot cars, he was eventually lapped by the winner. It didn't help that the team director bailed out half way through the race (Mark had to leave early) but finishing behind two of the robots wasn't the most glorious of outcomes for the orange team. I had one late-braking episode that would have moved me into second place if it had worked but, just like last time, I came off the track and ended up losing a place. Grr! However, it was Nige's early "Lucky" strategy that paid off when he drew five pairs in his first seven turns giving a fistful of powerful Track cards. And when he later switched to a "Hazard" strategy, he put together a massive move combining all of passing checks, taking damage and late braking. Although Guy put up a brave fight, Nige's expanding deck of track cards weren't to be denied and he ended up with a pretty comfortable lead when he took the chequered flag. Well played.