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ScuzzBlog: Diaries February 2020

Entry 25th February 2020: Post 01: Formula 1 - Dicing with danger.

Formula 1 - Dicing with danger.

In this modern era of computer gaming it is easy to forget that
there was once a time when games had to be played with your friends
face to face and around a table, without any internet or electrical
gadgetry. For this was a time of board games.

Games came in many forms and could be long, short, simple and or
difficult. Age of player and numbers needed to play, all coloured
the type of games that interested you. Some games became very
elaborate such as Mousetrap and other were classic to the extreme
of being cult as in Monopoly or Cluedo.

The biggest challenge for me was to find games that required real
skill. No game can ever compete with chess for strategy. What is
more chess is a game that rules out RNG by not using dice. For
me using a dice in a game meant it was total luck as to whether
you succeeded. And so in the early eighties when we played games
lunchtimes in the office we searched for games that offered a
real challenge.

Enter the very wonderful Formula 1, a game first released in 1962
though ours was bought from the Games Workshop in 1981/82.

This game does not use dice for determining moves. The dice are
only used when determining a penalty for taking risk. The pace
and movement around the board is totally in your control, though
hindered by other players in front of you. And so when moving
your car you decide how fast you want to go. If you are forced to
slow down because of the proximity of another car, or bend or
cars travelling at a slower speed you will risk placing wear on your
brakes and or tyres depending on the resultant penalty. This can
be reduced by use of cards, but risk is within your hands as is 

You cannot leap-frog cars you must work your way through the field
to win. And once in front you can control the actions of other
cars and even cause them to fail by making them take risk. For me
there was no other game like Formula 1. Although a racing game it
could be used as a blueprint for any number of strategy games.
Sadly by 1982 the era of computers was upon us and the day of the
innovative board game appeared to be over. A shame really as the
whole human interaction aspect of face to face gameplay can not
be matched by any computer game. Much like actually talking to
someone cannot be replaced by social media.

If you ever get chance to buy this game and are able to play with
real red blooded individuals I would certainly give it a try. I
think you will be surprised as to how involved it can get and how
skill plays a real part in succeeding.

Modern computer games, especially MMORPGs fail hopelessly to
overcome the RNG (random number generator) , basing most results
for combat and rewards from challenges and dungeons as a luck of
the draw. I came to the conclusion a long time ago regarding
playing against a computer... don't bother. Cus they cheat.
Especially when they can make profit from  your failure. They can
create an illusion of success only in a bid to keep you playing.
And yet board games are just plain honest. The fun is enjoying a
game with your mates.

'Although luck plays its part, a driver has to use skill and
calculate risks throughout the game, should he take a corner at
100 mph or should he risk a greater penalty and take it at 120 mph?'

Formula 1 - Dicing with danger.

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Last updated 25th February 2020

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