Category Archives: Formula D

Upcoming events

We haven’t done an “upcoming events” blog post in a while. There has been quite a bit of activity lately. Now might be a good time to inform everyone about what’s up.

1. Twilight Imperium: Prep for the Long War  (January 31)

Muskegon's favorite board game is Twilight Imperium from Fantasy Flight Games
Twilight Imperium

We’ve been pussyfooting around the idea of playing “The Long War” for some time now. Twilight Imperium: the Long War is basically just more Twilight Imperium. Instead of playing to 10 victory points (9 with Bureaucracy), you play to 14 (13 with Bureaucracy).

We’ve been discussing the pros and cons of the Long War. If we play it, we have to use as many of the add-ons as possible. This means leaders. Keen observers of this blog know that TI3 leaders and the Muskegon Area Gamers do not mix well. But the leaders seem important for play balance to some of the races. And this will be important for the upcoming Long War.

To prep us for this, we should play a game with leaders. We really need the practice. Plus there are other add-ons that people are simply not using like mines and facilities. We will be using all of these.

I’m not sure if we will be using Distant Suns though. We will discuss this soon. ūüôā


2. Formula D League: Every Thursday until I finish a race

Formula 1 racing in Muskegon!
Formula D from Asmodee Games

We’ve had three races in our Formula D league. And I’ve yet to finish a race.

That trend has got to stop.

I’m hoping to bust out the fourth map this Thursday and speed my away around the curves to 1st place. Tasha be damned!


3. Game Day at The Brew House                          (Saturday, February 20)

The Brew House in Muskegon
The Brew House in Muskegon

The Brew House has invited us back for a second game day. Our last game day was a success. We had about 14 people come by, if memory serves.

This time around I think we will break 20. The interest level is quite high. Surprisingly high. I posted the event on our facebook page and it’s going like wildfire.

It was about a year ago when we had our last game day there. If interest is this high, we may have to have a game day there once a quarter. Maybe even more frequent than that.

4. Crossover Event with The Burrow                   (Tuesday, February 23rd)

The Burrow in Grand Haven
The Burrow in Grand Haven

We’ve finally broken some bread with the good fellas at The Burrow. The Burrow, formerly known as Grandiosity of Norton Shores, moved to lovely Grand Haven. Their facility is on Washington Street in a strip mall.

They are looking to partner with the Muskegon Area Gamers.

Muskegon's favorite LCG: A Game of Thrones: LCG
A Game of Thrones: LCG

And we are happy to make such an alliance. I spoke in great length to David, the proprietor. He is willing to have his store do A Game of Thrones: LCG events on our behalf. This should keep Matt happy.

The first crossover will be on a Tuesday in February. We will be meeting there. We are hoping that the crew at The Burrow will also have gamers on hand to play with us.

We are looking forward to having a fruitful relationship with a FLGS.


5. A Game of Thrones Championship at AFK Games in Holt, MI (Saturday, February 27)

AGOT LCG 2nd Edition
AGOT LCG 2nd Edition

The Burrow game night coincides with the state championship for AGOT the LCG. This will be held at AFK Games in Holt. Matt will be driving if anyone is interested.


6. Twilight Imperium: Final Prep for the Long War (Sunday, March 6)

Twilight Imperium gets played in Muskegon, MI all the time.
Twilight Imperium Leaders

I figured we will need a second game of prep for the Long War. I don’t want anyone to get screwed over by leaders or mines or what have you. It would suck if someone got hosed on the first game round of the Long War because they didn’t know how something worked.

Let’s nip it in the bud with a second prep game.


7. The Long Awaited Long War                              (Saturday, April 2 at 8am)

Twilight Imperium Twilight Struggle Muskegon
When it comes to Twilight, Muskegon hates vampires but loves board games.

Virtue will be conquered. Chance will not be the same for all. The disciple will outshine the master.

And the Muskegon Area Gamers will play Twilight Imperium: The Long War. This will be in all its glory: eight players,  all the optional rules (that make sense) and 12 hours of non-stop gaming.

Seating will be limited to eight players. RSVP soon!


8. CabinCon III: the need for a name                              (June 16 to June 19)

Muskegon Area Gamers love Into the Woods Retreat
Into the Woods Retreat

Our third CabinCon is already on the books. Excitement is high for this year’s event. The first CabinCon had six of us playing games for three days. This year it will be ten of us playing games for four days.


Even Nick Sima has RSVP’d. Check the meetup for more details. But for some of us, CabinCon has replaced GenCon.


9. Where our group meets

Muskegon Area Gamers

Muskegon, MI
109 Muskegon Area Gamers

This group is for anyone interested in playing board games, card games or any table top game. This group learns and teachs new games all the time. We welcome fresh players. We…

Next Meetup

Tuesday: Pandemic Legacy

Tuesday, Jan 26, 2016, 6:00 PM
6 Attending

Check out this Meetup Group →


Formula D League: Our first session and a look at the optional rules

I first picked up Formula D at Out of the Box Games in Zeeland in 2009. After I read the rules, I was not impressed. It was roll-and-move. I didn’t think such a game could be compelling. But I taught the game to my little brothers. And we had a blast! Since then, I’ve acquired all the maps for Formula D. (I don’t have any of the maps from Formula De. The maps for Formula De are compatible with the rules of Formula D but not compatible with the rules for my wallet). Our Thursday night group has the right temperament for a league play of Formula D. Last night we had our first session. Here are some of the details of that session along with a look at the optional rules for Formula D.

1. Formula D League: Monaco session

Formula D: Monaco
Formula D: Monaco

We had five gamers last night for the first session. We used the original game board: Monaco. The Monaco board is interesting because it has 1, 2 and 3 stop curves on it. There are also two straightaways that will allow a clever player reach 6th gear.

The game started with Joe in pole position. I was middle of the pack. (Nick Sima was in dead last). Joe rolled a “1” on the black die so he couldn’t move. This is the second time this happened to Joe.

About half way through the first of our two laps, there were some definite haves and have nots. I was in a strong position along with Jake. Matt and Joe were in last.

Nick took a pit stop. He was positioned at the mouth of the pit when I wanted to go into the pit. This prevented me from going in so I played without a pit stop. I had a decent amount of tires, brakes and gears left. I only had 1 body point left because Jake and Nick kept ramming me into the guide rails.

During the 2nd lap, I was in a strong position along with Jake. He and I kept overtaking each other for the lead. Joe, who was in last for most of the first lap, didn’t need to break for a pit stop. He kicked it up to 6th gear and caught up with us. Going into the home stretch, it was going to either be me, Jake or Joe for the win. I rammed my car into Jake but I was the won that rolled a “1”. My poor formula 1 racer couldn’t take it. I was a “DNF” for the Monaco race.

Joe proved too savvy for Jake and passed him in the last few curves. Jake was second. Matt and Nick were a curve behind Jake. The outcome was:

  • 1st: Joe
  • 2nd: Jake
  • 3rd: Nick Sima
  • 4th: Matt
  • DNF: Chris

I think everyone had a good time with it. And I think with some of the optional rules below, the game will really shine.


2. General rules for the Formula D League

Formula D Seabring
Formula D Sebring

Each session will use a different map. There are six map boards to date. And each is double sided. Some of the map sides are not conducive to Formula 1 racing. They are geared to the street racing optional rules–an option outside the realm of this league.

Monaco, Sebring, Hockenheim, Valencia, Singapore, Buddh, Baltimore, New Jersey, Sotchi and Austin will comprise this first season of Formula 1 racing at The Gaming Annex.

I wanted to have a set of rules for a league that negotiated several constraints. I want first place to get the lion’s share of points. This will ensure everyone is trying to win the race. I want to encourage people to show up to league nights as well. So even if you get a “DNF” (or did not finish) you get some points. And I want racers who did finish to get more points than those who DNF.¬†The goal is to have the most points at the end of the season. The season is comprised of 10 sessions, one at each track. To this end, I’ve constructed the following point system. This is not written in stone so feel free to give me feedback.

  • 1st place: 2x the number of players
  • 2nd place: 1x the number of players
  • 3rd place: ¬Ĺx the number of players + 1point
  • 4th place: ¬Ĺx the number of players
  • 5th through 10th place: 2 points
  • DNF: 1 point

In yesterday’s game, we had five racers. Joe came in first and thus scored 10 points (2x the number of players). Jake came in second and scored 5 points. Nick scored 4 points (¬Ĺ times the number of players + 1). We round up in this case. Matt scored 3 points. And I scored 1 point. BOOOOOO!


3. Optional rules: Weather Conditions and tires

Formula D Sinagpore
Formula D Sinagpore

The addition of the weather rules is a no-brainer for serious players. We didn’t use it last night because we still had a novice or two. But going forward, the weather rules will be in full effect.

At race start, you roll a die and compare the result to the map’s weather chart. There are three possibilities: rain, changeable weather or sunny. If the race is sunny, there are no real changes to the rules. Rainy weather makes collisions twice as likely (on a 1 or 2) along with making road handling damage more likely (on a 1 through 5). Due to the cooler temperature, rainy weather helps with engine damage. You only damage your engine on a roll of 1 through 3 instead of the normal 1 through 4.

Now, when the weather is changeable, you reroll on this chart under the same circumstances as when you check for engine damage. Changeable weather starts out as “Sunny” (changeable). But if you reroll on this chart, it could become “Sunny” (invariable) or “Rainy” (changeable). Thus, the weather can undergo some important changes that will effect game play. And the optional rules afford players a nifty decision for how to deal with this: tire selection.


4. Tire Selection

Pirelli racing slick
Pirelli racing slick

Players can decide which tires to use at the beginning of the race. There are three types to choose from: hard tires, soft tires and rain tires. Each has there own pluses and minuses.

Hard tires have no special rules if it’s sunny. However, racers with hard tires will experience less control over their Formula 1 car if the weather is raining. The car will move an additional three space if it is raining and the movement includes any space in a curve.

Soft tires give a racer a lot of control if it’s sunny. The racer may move an additional space on each of his turns. If he overshoots any curve, the damage to his tires, due to the fact that they are soft, is doubled. But soft tires are not very good in the rain. Soft tires suffer the same rain penalty as hard tires. Soft tires also require a pit stop. Failing to take a pit stop will nullify the bonus of the soft tires while tripling the damage from overshooting a curve.

Rain tires are the most efficient way to slosh through a drizzly day. If it’s raining, rain tires cause you to travel one additional space in a curve (unlike the other tires which make you travel three additional spaces). Rain tires, however, are not so good when the weather is sunny. The penalty for overshooting a curve is doubled.

Because of the difference in tire selection, players now have some extra choices when making a pit stop.


5. Pit Stop

Pit Stop
Pit Stop

Players have a few different choices when making a pit stop. They may change their tires to one of the other types listed above. They may then choose to get all of their tire wear points replenished or get two wear points added to any system.

One of the house rules I read that I liked was that you could continue to skip your turn and stay in the pit. This would give the player an additional 2 wear points to any system (up to their starting total). This is a house rule we might try out.


6. Racing Schedule: Sebring is next

Sebring raceway
Sebring raceway

Our crews and equipment will be heading to Sebring, Florida for the second Formula 1 installment of the season. The weather forecast is 88 degrees with a 15% of rain.

The race will be televised live at The Gaming Annex in Muskegon one of these Thursdays, quite possibly next Thursday. Check local listings for details.



7. Get all the details here

Muskegon Area Gamers

Muskegon, MI
87 Muskegon Area Gamers

This group is for anyone interested in playing board games, card games or any table top game. This group learns and teachs new games all the time. We welcome fresh players. We…

Next Meetup

Thursday Night Games

Thursday, Oct 1, 2015, 6:00 PM
4 Attending

Check out this Meetup Group →


The Gaming Annex’s September List

I thought it would be cool to have an ongoing segment about what games we played at the Gaming Annex so people would know what actually takes place within our four walls. Here is our September installment.


1. Wars of the Roses (Z-Man Games)

Wars of the Roses
Z-Man’s Wars of the Roses…a board game that Muskegon needs to play much more often

The battle between York and Lancaster heated up at the Gaming Annex. This game is quite fun for what it is. And it needs to hit the table more often.


2. Twilight Struggle (GMT Games)

Twilight Struggle
The Cold War is fought in Muskegon almost every Sunday. Thanks GMT Games.

The USSR defeated the USA in a game of Twilight Struggle this month. This is my second favorite game. Only TI3 is better. I love it!


3. The Three Musketeers (Sirius Products)

The Three Musketeers

The Three Musketeers along with their trusty d’Artagnan slipped past the Cardinal’s dragnet of goons and deftly saved the Queen from embarrassment. This was our first play of this. And I am confident it will get much more table time in the coming months.


4. X-Wing MIniatures Game (Fantasy Flight Games)

X-wing base game
X-Wing Miniatures Game is The Gaming Annex’s favorite minis game.

After teaching Nate how to play, he went on to defeat me ūüôĀ His Green Squadron Pilot (A-Wing) slapped the #%$@ out of Darth Vader. Now I have to trade this game.


5. Perry Rhodan and the Cosmic League (Kosmos)

Perry Rhodan
Perry Rhodan: The Cosmic League is a solid offering from Kosmos & Z-Man games.

Players take turns picking up/delivering in this action-move game. It only accommodates two players but it plays two players very well. 30 minute run time is also attractive.


6. Pirate’s Cove (Days of Wonder)

Pirate's Cove
Pirate’s Cove is a good, family game. Arrr!


We took to the high seas with this adventure game. Tense battles and lots of booty were had by all.


7. Martinique (White Goblin Games)

The Gaming Annex set sail for Martinique (from White Goblin Games)

Martinique is a nice tactical/logistical/deduction game for two. The pirate theme is totally pasted on but that shouldn’t detract from this otherwise filler-esque game.


8. High Society (Gryphon Games)

High Society
There’s plenty of High Society at The Gaming Annex.

A nice 4 to 5 player filler, High Society sees lots of table time at the Gaming Annex. It’s got a few hooks that keep the game interesting.


9. A Game of Thrones 2nd Edition (Fantasy Flight)

A Game of Thrones
The war for Westeros was finally decided. Historians called it, “The Siege of Muskegon”.

We had a six player game of A Game of Thrones this month. We used the expansion A Dance of Dragons. This expansion gives a different set up to the normal rules. It was quite good.


10. Formula D (Asmodee Games)

Formula D from Asmodee Games
Formula 1 Racing in Muskegon

We played the full rules to Formula D. This game has it all: thrills, spills and chills. If you do not like NASCAR or other forms of racing, you will still like this game. I am not a fan of NASCAR or its ilk either. But I do like this game.


11. Fury of Dracula (Fantasy Flight games)

The Dark Lord visits the Gaming Annex in Muskegon
The Dark Lord visits the Gaming Annex in Muskegon

We cut our teeth on Fury of Dracula. Nate, who loves this game, had never had the chance to play as Dracula. Nick and I hunted him across the North Sea and the English Isles. We trapped him in Iberia where we finally buried the stake, sending him to the nether reaches.


12. Dungeon Roll (TMG Games)

The Muskegon Area Gamers assembled their adventurers in Dungeon Roll.
The Muskegon Area Gamers assembled their adventurers in Dungeon Roll.

Dungeon Roll is my favorite 2 player filler. The theme is quite good for a filler. And the decisions you make are often tough.


13. Confusion: Espionage and Deception in the Cold War (Stronghold Games)

Stronghold Game's Confusion is a favorite at the Gaming Annex in Muskegon
Stronghold Game’s Confusion is a favorite at the Gaming Annex in Muskegon

We played a tense game of Confusion. This is a deduction/logistical game where players know how their opponent’s pieces move but must deduce how their own pieces move. It’s very good but can be heavy.


14. Memoir ’44 (Days of Wonder)

Muskegon Loves Memoir '44.
Muskegon Loves Memoir ’44.

We played several scenarios of Memoir ’44 this month. This game is fantastic! I love the hand management aspect. I love trying to set traps for my opponents. I highly recommend it.


15. Mage Knight (Wizkids Games)

The Muskegon Area Gamers plays Mage Knight about once a month.
The Muskegon Area Gamers plays Mage Knight about once a month.



As you can see, we have eclectic gaming tastes. And we certainly do not agree unilaterally on any game. This is also an abbreviated list of games. We played several more than what is listed but all of them cannot be crammed into a single post.

See you in October!

Our 2014 Bucket List

Late in 2013, the Muskegon Area Gamers had a discussion about what games and/or events we wanted to accomplish in 2014. There were about fourteen or so who gave contributions. In no particular order, here is what was discussed and what we’ve accomplished.


1. Twilight Imperium

Twilight Imperium box
Muskegon Area Gamers: we love Twilight Imperium

We resolved to play Twilight Imperium. Lots of TI3. We have accomplished this. But we also resolved to play The Long War–a 14 victory point saga of Twilight Imperium. As of this posting, we are still trying to get this scheduled. The constraint? We need eight players who will commit to coming to two consecutive Sundays to finish this beast. Due to various gamer/recruitment snags, we have not yet accomplished our goal of playing Twilight Imperium the Long War.


2. Avalon Hill’s Civilization

Civilization game box
Avalon Hill’s Civilization in Muskegon, MI

I used to play Civilization back in the day. Then we moved on to other gaming areas. But some of our group had never played and wanted to try it really badly. We managed to play this twice in 2014. We also have it slated again for a Sunday in October (see our meetup if you want in). The game was a success, as you can imagine.


3. Pax Britannica

Pax Britanica
Old time board game: Pax Britannica

I’ve read the rules to Pax Britannica three times now. And we still haven’t managed to get it to the table yet. This game has everything that our group would find interesting: negotiation, tactics, economics, historical theme. If we can set aside 7 hours on a Sunday to get it played, we will have an uproariously good time.


4. Formula D: with the advanced rules

Formula D
The Muskegon Area Gamers love Formula D. Or they at least tolerate it.

I’ve always enjoyed the base game of Formula D. But some members of the Muskegon Area Gamers didn’t like it so much. The desire to try the advanced rules has been mentioned many times. Well, we’ve finally tried it (twice!) in 2014. The advanced rules modify how you take damage, requiring players to manage several systems on their race card. These include brakes, body damage, tires and gear box. The advanced rules were a success and we will never look back.


5. Titan

Titan from Valley Games. Titan is good; Valley Games is bad.


Matt bought the newer Valley Games’ edition of Titan, an old Avalon Hill game from back in the day. Matt had fond memories of this game and thought he would enjoy it with his new group in Muskegon. Valley Games, unfortunately, is a horrible game company and Matt’s copy of Titan (which cost him a small fortune) suffered from water damage from the boat trip from Asia. Boooooo Valley Games!

We did try this nonetheless. It was an intro with three of us. The game is kinda cool but might take a long time considering the object is player elimination. A full game of this may be scheduled in December. Check or comment on the meetup if you want to try it sooner.


6. Mage Knight

Mage Knight
Mage Knight is a favorite in the 49441


A few of our gamers are very fond of Vlaada Chvatil’s Mage Knight from Wizkids Games. So much are they enamored that they want it to get played once a month. It’s on the docket for tomorrow. If our showing is strong, it will be put on the docket again in November.

This game is a very heavy strategy game with lots of moving parts. To fully appreciate it, one would have to play it about five times in order to really be competitive.


7. Cabin Con in Gun Lake, Michigan

Map of Gun Lake
Gun Lake: where the gamers in Muskegon go to camp + game


We go to GenCon every year. Since GrandCon is so close to Muskegon, we usually go there as well. But what we liked most about all these conventions is just playing games. So why don’t we have our own convention? Dusty put together a trip for six of us. We spent the weekend in a cabin. We cooked our meals outside. We played games non-stop for three days. It was by far, the biggest success we’ve had this year.


8. A foray into Roleplaying games

Cthulhu calls Muskegon. Will you answer?

Many of us board gamers were one time RPG’ers. We simply moved onto better rules, better games, better everything. But the RPG’er in us wouldn’t die. We have discussed the possibility of doing a one-off RPG session. Kevin, one of our regulars, is very theatrical and loves doing storytelling/RPG stuff. He has a Cthulhu session that he wants us to try. The session is slated for October, just in time for Halloween.


9. Memoir ’44: Overlord Campaign

Memoir ’44

I love Memoir ’44. It’s so much fun playing with toy tanks and infantry. And managing your hand to maximum the effectiveness of your units is very fun. The Overlord rules for Memoir ’44 look intriguing. Four players to a side with one of them acting as the general. He manages the hand of cards for his side. And then issues the cards to them. The cooperative/competitive nature sounds like it will be a coup-de-grace with our game group. Dusty has the rules. The game will probably take place in October or November. Check the schedule on meetup.


10. Blood Royale from Games Workshop



Blood Royale


GW’s Blood Royale was recommended to our group. On paper, this game appears to have everything we would like: negotiation, trade, warfare, conflict, deal making and deal breaking. In practice, it went over like a lead balloon. We tried it twice. We failed it twice. Jon’s copy and my copy went the way of the Dodo. Too bad. We really thought this game would rival Republic of Rome and Civilization.



On behalf of the Gaming Annex in Muskegon