Sunday, February 26, 2006

Mark's #7: Um Reifenbreite

Um Reifenbreite is the "Oh, Mickey" or "99 Luftballoons" of German gaming - the designer (Rob Bontenbal) has never published another design (to my knowlege). That's kind of OK, as he did a bang-up job of the one design he did publish.

A bicycle racing game, it manages to capture the "feel" of team racing (as in the Tour de France) while still be an incredibly enjoyable game to play. We don't use the cheating rules (I feel they imbalance the game) and use a dice chart for falls rather than the action cards (which makes the game a little less random), but you can throw this stuff without damaging the game. It's wonderfully resilient.

I'm still longing for a 3-4 race series of this - the rules are there for yellow jersey, supporting the team leader & all that. Sigh.

(I realize as I finish writing this that I've made the game sound dry & dusty - and it is ANYTHING but. Turns are quick, there's enough luck of the dice to keep things fluid, and yet you still have meaningful control of your team. What a great game...)

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