Whether in a city or on a circuit, every racer must always give out his best. This is because curves do not care, who you are and what you’re doing. They just stand there and wait for you to pass them. Their presence always means risk of error, but also the chance for overtaking. And that’s exactly the moment I’m waiting for.
All contestants are well aware of the situation and many of them are enjoying the tension in the Formula D board game, a very successful Asmodée racing game. It was released in 2008 and its authors are Laurent Lavaur and Eric Randall. Today, however, we will be focusing on a series of three, four and five circuit expansions published in 2010, 2013 and 2014. The new tracks are distributed in Europe by Esdevium Games.
All of them have the same packaging: a two-piece huge map contains two tracks – each on one side. The boards are folded and inserted into the hard paper wrapping. It carries a game label and possibly some new and specific rules printed on a separate paper.
And we’ll take it chronologically, starting by expanding Formula D Circuits: The Docks and Singapore. The package will offer one circuit and also street racing at The Docks.
Singapore is a very technical track full of turns that are mild, but racing does not let players relax at all. The track is narrow, but the race takes place mostly at night. This does not affect the course itself, but it is a nice detail. However, the racing track does not have any distinctive places to catch up. So if someone gets into a breakaway, players will probably not be able to catch up.
The Docks are completely different. Street races on this map are crazy, because there are three different circuits on the board. Players will try them all out gradually and according to their own plans. They can drive them in any order or make a strict order before start of the race. It all depends on agreement. An interesting specialty is the possibility to start next to each other instead of putting cars into starting positions.
That is why the overall impression of this racing route is better, than that of Singapore on the other side. Docks offer a great wide finish line, where players are crossing from one side to the other and trying to get into the right lane and circuit. By doing this, players can easily hit other cars and make unpleasant contacts. The track is full of obstacles and it is so crazy, that every player of Formule D must fall in love with it without exception.
The Grand Prix of Baltimore and Buddh raceway will take us to the US and India to race on two new tracks. The Indian Buddh is incredibly fast, full of long straight lines and therefore rich on possibility of overtaking. This makes the race very open and forces the players to try their luck and try to really go to the edge. Thanks to that speed, racing on this track is very fast and forgives mistakes because it is possible to catch up with others.
Baltimore, on the contrary, is very bumpy and technical, but still leaves a few straight lines. The specialty of this circuit is boxes located in the middle of the round, which change the tactics a bit. Otherwise, this circuit is also very good and offers great balanced battles. This side of the board is, of course, also more difficult and you know the differences between experienced players and newcomers because there is an emphasis on strategy.
Interestingly, this expansion does not include any street racing, but two regular tracks. This is certainly not a bad thing. On the contrary, this is probably the best expansion of all three, because the tracks are sufficiently variable and interesting, never last long and give players the freedom to race.
Latest map expansion we have tried are called Circuits 5 and contains New Jersey and Sotchi. And again, it’s about a pair of formula tracks. No city and no new rules to make players a little bit rampant.
But the tracks themselves are solid, though not the best. More interesting of these two is New Jersey, which is difficult because it is full of challenging slow turns. Especially the combination of three slow corners in the lower left corner is not easy, but also a return on the opposite side, is quite tricky.
Sotchi runs through the Olympic Park and certainly is not a simple one. Some turns need to be hit really well, otherwise the raceway can pretty much ruffle up your vehicle. Most bends are virtually the same and have less variation from racing, which makes it not so fun track.
All three sets of maps are great addition to the basic game. The overall experience is enriched perfectly and helps the game’s durability. Racing on two or four circuits (or even more) can not be reasonably compared. Not only can players experience longer championships with more races but, above all, each track is different and requires a different way of car handling. Formula D is simply super racing fun and is even better with these maps!
Formula D offers with new maps a tremendous amount of new entertainment. Each track brings wonderful variability and new experience. Although you do not usually find special rules for most of them, the entire route is different and players must be able to adapt their cars. Races will test luck and tactics, as is the case with all Formula D competitions. And every expansion for such a game is great news. So if you have Formula D and you are playing it with joy, you should definitely buy new maps.