|Number of Players
|Laurent Lavaur, Eric Randall
Formula D is a high stakes Formula One type racing game where players race simulated cars with the hope of crossing the finish line first. This is a re-release of Formula Dé with several changes from the original . Whilst old tracks can be used with the updated Formula D rules, the new game features boards that have an F1 track on one side and a Street Track on the other side. These street tracks each have a novel inclusion or two to provide greater theme -
The game mechanisms are a simple race, be the first to the finish line! However, players will have to use a significant amount of planning, and rely on quite a bit of luck. Each player decides when to shift gears, with each gear providing a different speed. (For example, 4th gear is a die that rolls random numbers from 7 to 12 for spaces moved.) Every turn, players may move up one gear, stay in that gear, or move down gears. This will force players to match possible rolls with the optimum distance for that turn, and hopefully plan ahead. However, speed is not the sole issue! Corners have a "stop" rule that requires players to stop once, twice, or even three times on that corner in consecutive turns or face a penalty. This makes an effective speed limit to the corners.
Of course, things rarely go as planned! Players will take penalties if they miss their roll, bump into another car, are blocked by other cars, have to brake heavily, or have to downshift several gears. These are taken off of a car’s characteristics (Tire health, Brake wear, Transmission Gears, Body, engine, and Suspension). Losing the maximum in any of these characteristics will result in elimination, or a severe setback for that car. This requires that the players manage their car’s health, plan for their best path, and have good luck on their rolls. This high amount of luck gives the game its family appeal, and allows weaker players to have a chance at winning once in a while.
However, the fun doesn't end with a single race! The rules comes with the ability to customize your cars, use a pre-generated character, add Slipstreaming (Drafting) rules and road debris, and change tire types to modify your distance rolls. There are also variations for a single lap race, or multiple laps with pit stops to repair some of your damage. In addition, numerous expansion tracks can be bought to vary the demands on each driver and car. Each track can also have weather effects (rain) that change car handling and die rolls due to skidding on wet track. This opens up the game for rally rules scoring championship points over a number of races.
Formula D introduces a few items that are not in the original Formula De: There is the added excitement of illegal racing in the streets of major cities - anything goes! This introduces custom cars, nitro acceleration, drifting in the curves, dirty tricks, gun battles, and trash on the road to add more variation. A basic change is the use of a "Dashboard" with pegs to manage your car’s attributes instead of the paper forms from Formula De. There are also two sets of pre-painted cars; a Formula 1 set and the Street Race set of stock cars. The street cars also come with "Character" profiles to give a bit of role-playing to the game. Finally, the old category of "Fuel" for the car has been renamed Transmission Wear to give a better thematic fit to the effect of multiple downshifting.
The popularity of this game has given it a number of expansions, some simplifications to the rules (See Formula Dé Mini), and a lot of "after market" parts. There are also fan made expansions and tracks for the very dedicated player. In many ways, Formula D has become a multiple game system.