CICLISMO A FONDO
Roberto Redruello, Spain, 2022
Some months after the 2020 pandemic, I started receiving emails from people who had been making cycling games during their confinement. I received at least half a dozen games in various stages of development. While some of them were just sets of rules for which a lot of work remained to be done, others were probably overcooked (for my taste), with rules that were too long and covered too many topics, threatening to make the game(s) unplayable. I engaged in email exchanges with many of the games' developers but, unfortunately, I had to postpone all my cycling-games-related activity for some months, and I lost track of most of these games' evolution. I guess some of them were eventually abandoned, and I still hope I will receive news from others.
However, at least one of these games was released to the public. "Ciclismo a fondo" was available for a few months through a Spanish copy shop website. It was an unusual distribution strategy, almost a print-and-play game, except that you did not need a printer: you bought the prints, but you still had to cut and assemble the parts. Unfortunately, this strategy did not seem to work, and the prints are not available anymore. Nevertheless, all the work has not been done in vain, and I can (proudly) announce that this game is offered as a free print-and-play download for the first time (scroll down for the direct link).
Some road tracks
This game is a very ambitious one that tries to cover every aspect of road cycling, and when I say "every aspect", I really mean it. It is an all-or-nothing idea that takes no prisoners. There are rules for every aspect of road cycling races that you can think of, including rules for side-wind, rain, and even cold weather (to my knowledge, it is the first game that includes a rule for cold weather).
Needless to say, the game is meant to represent a stage race, including rules for time trials (both individual and team time trials).
The teams are composed of eight different riders, each with different parameters (and this is just the simplified version, Roberto tells me that he plays with personalized parameters for every rider). Up to six players can play the game, which makes a big peloton. Of course, you can play with fewer players, or fewer riders per team.
The movement of the cyclists is controlled by dice, but the dice, though six-sided, are not numbered 1 to 6, but modified with stickers. The game uses 6 "triple dice" (dice with sides marked 1-1-2-2-3-3), 4 "double dice" (marked 1-1-1-2-2-2), and a special die with race incidents. There are tables that indicate how many dice are needed for each type of rider and each type of terrain.
Definitely, this is not a game for the faint of heart. Just reading the 16-page rules booklet will take quite some time. Then you will have to print (and cut) the cyclist cards, the tables, the tokens, and lots of road tracks (the road tracks are formatted for an A3 printer, there are 8 pages and you'd better print them twice, except for the page with the start and finish lines). Of course, it is up to you if you do not print them all and make shorter stages,
By the way, the rules are in Spanish only, but I am sure you know how to use an online translator ;-)
The promo sheet above says that the game plays in 15-90 minutes. Maybe when you have played it many times you can get faster, but I would say that the playing time is much closer to 90 minutes.
I have blurred the author's email address and telephone number in this picture for privacy reasons, but you will find them in the download. Roberto will be happy to hear your opinion about the game. Of course, you can also email your comments, thoughts, or doubts, to me.
Roberto has sent these pictures of his prototype. Fortunately he has a huge table.
Click here to download the game (zip file, 18 Mb)
Description written in June 2023