The Flamme Rouge, the scarlet flag that announces the last kilometer of each stage of the Tour de France, is the signal that every cyclist is waiting to see: the finish line is near and it’s time to play your cards best… And in this case we are literally talking about cards.
Flamme Rouge, in fact, is also the name of a cycling-themed boardgame with mechanics strongly centered around cards that are used to determine the progress of each cyclist along the route.
In Flamme Rouge we find 21 double-sided path tiles to build historical race tracks (thanks to the information provided by the game) or personal race tracks according to your likes.
Each player (from two to four) controls a team of two cyclists, characterized by different racing style that changes the composition of the deck: the sprinter’s one is more diversified, but has cards with a higher maximum value than the long distance runner’s one that is more homogeneous and balanced.
Each turn, the players draw four movement cards, pick one for the first cyclist, play it face down on their board and place the other three at the bottom of the deck; the process is repeated for the second cyclist, requiring to calculate action based on what already decided for the first.
Putting the cards back at the bottom of the deck also means that those discarded will be drawn out at a later stage of the game, so you also need to plan your strategy over the long term, like every cyclist knows.
Then the movement, indicated on the card, is applied and based on the positions on the board, one or more cyclists can advance further by exploiting the trail, or rather when another meeple is in front of your own at no more than one square away, and closing the distance.
Being first in the early stages of the race, however penalizes, since dictating the pace and suffering all the friction of the air causes fatigue, with addition of cards with a minimum value to your deck. To further complicate the path there are climbs, which limit the maximum movement and negate the trails, and descents, which fix the progress regardless of the card played.
These very simple and easy to learn mechanics offer great depth of play and make Flamme Rouge a very accessible and exciting boardgame, which combines the pleasure of a careful strategic planning with a flowing gameplay.
Flamme Rouge contains 4 game boards, 8 cyclist meeples, 21 course tiles and 190 cards, including 120 for movement with six different values, 60 fatigue cards, 6 course building cards and 4 summary cards; The Peloton expansion also adds another 4 meeples, new cards and new course tiles that introduce additional mechanics, expanding the game to 6 players or even 12 by making each of them manage a single cyclist.
The Organizer for Flamme Rouge offers the ideal solution to have the right sprint for the game setup!
The Organizer for Flamme Rouge, compatible with the Peloton expansion, consists of a card holder with 18 slots for sprinter and walker cards, the instructions to assemble the tracks, the guide cards, the muscle ones and the peloton one. A second ready-to-play card holder allows you to house the fatigue cards divided by sprinter and walker.
An elongated box allows you to accommodate the straights separating them into two housings, while a separate tray is dedicated to the curves.
The cyclists’ miniature rack uses a rail system to keep them well fixed without making them difficult to extract and is finely decorated by shaping the dividers like mountains.
Engravings and carvings on the different boxes embellish them aesthetically and at the same time provide the player with useful visual information to store the different game components in their respective slots and immediately find what they need during setup.
Now shut up, set up and sprint!
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