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Boardgame Racing

A quick race?

Download and print the F1 2011 teams here, and a track here, and note the three main rules in 2011: Rule #1 – All drivers must throw two dice: the front runners use the sum of the dice combined, the midfield uses the higher value of the two dice, while the backmarkers uses the lower value. Rule #2 – Throwing double 1 (snake eyes) means you crash out from the race. Rule #3 – The field must be split into three by YOU according to the present power balance in F1. The rules can be changed to your liking.

Preparations and Rules Download Teams and Tracks Hurry to the grid! Other



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In 1986 I was age ten and delighted to see the races on the television after only being able to read Andrew Frankl's reports in Auto-Motor (Hungarian magazine). Soon after the 1st Hungarian Grand Prix I went around my friend in the neighbourhood. Much to my surprise he didn't arrange his latest table-soccer championship or playing the next matchbox competition, but was sitting at the table and rolling dice, shifting about little slips of paper on a A3 size sheet. It was the beginning...


Boardgame Racing

1. Preparations

1.1 Tracks

Show me a curve and I say when the track was built! Through the years the 'building' of a track changed a lot and the curves show it most clearly. The first presentation grand prix of my friend was exactly the same as if somebody would see an old Detroit or Phoenix GP first in his life. We felt it's superbness but knew it's not the real yet.

Firstly the tracks were six- or seven-laned 'asphalt lines' with rectangular curves and 1 centimeter units. We drew the separating lines between the lanes thus the track looked like a square-grid-stream. They hadn't got a pitlane either.

Due to the many lanes drivers could always easily pass each other and there weren't any crashes, so we tightened the tracks to three-lanes. Moreover we curved the rectangular turns, drawn by compasses, and made pitlanes.

But it was still too easy to reach the finish line, so we made the tracks narrower, down to two-lanes. This way we could get more realistic 10-12 car finishes. We also dismissed the bisecting line as we could align the cars to the left or right edge of the track. And the curves then got drawn freehand, not with compasses. From 1992 races were kept on these kind of tracks.

Make your own track this way:

Take a A3 size sheet of paper, a pencil, a rubber and a ruler.

Make a pale line sketch of the prospective outer borderline. (Don't draw too tight curves for you must be able to align an inner borderline to it.)

Take the ruler and holding it at 90° to the outer border, mark out the inner border 2cm from the outer border.

Draw the inner border.

Draw the start/finish line.

Draw the pitlane.

Starting from the S/F line, draw lines across the track at 2cm spacings to create units.

Draw the kerbstones, and colour them.

Draw the podium.

It's worth (according the latest rules you must) marking the 10th, 20th, 30th and 40th units - they will lighten the qualifying. It is also worth counting all the boxes and write it at the corner of the sheet - just for the sake of the order.


Boardgame Racing

1.2 Teams

Cars have to match the units of the tracks. For this reason we used 1x1cm sized thumbnails in the beginning. Later, as the tracks were developed the cars were changed, becoming 2x1cm sized slips. After a while the revolutional improvement arrived: the rear wings. With this change - first - the cars became more beautiful, - second - we've got a free surface for the names, - and third, the most important - we could pick them up. (For a few events we used front wings too, but they weren't worth the trouble.)

Make your own teams this way:

Take a A4 size paper, a pencil, a rubber and a ruler.

Draw a 10x25mm size rectangle in portrait format.

Measure 5mm from the top. That will be the rear wing.

Color the other 10x20mm size surface according to the actual design of the team.

Write driver's name (or monogram or nickname) down to the wing.

Cut around this 10x25mm sized beauty.

Turn up the rear wing at a right angle. It's ready!

Worth lining up all the cars in a row - work gets easier!


Boardgame Racing

2. Rules

This game is designed to be played alone, but it's also playable up to 5 (or even 10) people. You can change the rules.

The first grand prix was rather similar to a simple "the-first-wins" boardgame. There wasn't any qualifying (drivers set their starting place in an optional order). There wasn't a strictly regulated racelength or pitstops. Later these things got included and even real weather conditions were added.

According to the present rules a grand prix is organized and played as follows:


Boardgame Racing

2.1 Qualifying

Drivers fight for the starting position in an optional order one after another. To simulate the real power relations teams have different rolls in each part of the qualifying:

After every driver has "rolled", the seven worst get the last seven grid places, while the others repeat the qualifying session. Then the second seven worst are "dropped" again - taking 11th to 17th grid positions. The rest qualify again for the top 10 grid places.

               Q1     Q2     Q3
Red Bull      d+3    d+3    d+3
Ferrari       d+3    d+3    d+2
McLaren       d+3    d+3    d+2
Mercedes      d+3    d+3    d+2
Renault       d+3    d+1    d+1
Force India   d+2    d+1    d+1
Williams      d+2    d+1    d
Toro Rosso    d+2    d      d
Sauber        d+2    d      d
Lotus         d-1    d-2    d-3
Virgin        d-1    d-2    d-3
Hispania      d-2    d-3    d-4
d = die (in case of d-x, the roll is at least 1)

When everybody has finished rolling dice the grid order can be seen. In the case of a dead heat, the driver who has the higher chance in reality gets the better place e.g. Jenson over Hamilton (as per qualifying list above). In uncertain cases e.g. Massa v Hamilton, the players must rolling a deciding dice.

Write the name of the driver in pole position beside that unit - it will be useful for making comparisons later.

You can write down the starting order in a exercise-book, or you can stand them on the starting grid and let the race begin.


Boardgame Racing

2.2 Race

For the grand prix always use one die. Drivers get their rolls in the order of their current standing on track. At the start, in the order of the starting grid. If two cars stand beside each other after rolling, the one which arrived first will get the first roll.

Two cars side by side block the track, if the next player rolls a value that would pass them, he can't, he has to line up behind them. If he rolls a value to arrive at the blocked unit, then he must queue behind them.

If a car arrives at a unit of 10, 20, 30 etc (marked previously on the track) then he must make the so called 'action roll'.

Depending on the value the following things could happen:

1 - accident/engine blow => driver has to retire

2 - tyre blow (-3) => step back three units

3 - wrong strategy (-2) => step back two units

4 - nothing happened

5 - good strategy (+2) => step forward two units

6 - fastest lap (+3) => step forward three units

If the 'action roll' unit is blocked by cars, the driver must queue behind them at the first free unit & he does NOT roll the 'action roll'.

If a driver loses positions due to the 'action roll' then he must wait for the other players to finish the current round before he plays again e.g. if a player loses 3 positions due to rolling a 2 on his action roll & therefore falls behind the next player to roll, he does not re-join the rolling order, he must wait for all other players to complete the current round.

Race ends when everyone crossed the finish line. In dead heats the one which arrived first finishes ahead of the other.

Good advice: It's not worth interrupting the qualifying/race because it's almost certain that somebody will sweep the whole grand prix away from the table. And also watch out for the dirt whipped up by the race - no one can restore the cars if a big sneeze has swept them away :-) And it's a great fun to do a whole championship!


Boardgame Racing

2.3 Points System

The system always followed reality. In the beginning we used the 9-6-4-3-2-1 division considering the rule of 11 best results. Then we changed to the 10-6-4-3-2-1 division and also erased the 11 best results rule.

In 2009 follow the official FIA system:

1st - 25 points

2nd - 18 points

3rd - 15 points

4th - 12 points

5th - 10 points

6th - 8 points

7th - 6 points

8th - 4 points

9th - 2 points

10th - 1 point


Latest update: 2010. 03. 07.   /   Translated by Jani, proofed by Roo