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How to Play: Flamme Rouge

Game the Game is Geek & Sundry’s tabletop board game show that airs every Wednesday starting at 4PM PT on Twitch and Alpha. Join host Becca Scott as she breaks out some of the best boardgames the industry has to offer, with new guests each week! 

This week Becca is tackling Flamme Rouge by Stronghold Games. If you love the excitement of big bike races (and learning some French), you’ll get a kick out of this game.  You take on the role of a pair of racers: sprinteur and rouleur.

This means you will be making the decisions for both characters, trying to make the best decisions to get you across the finish line. Each character gets their own deck, the differences between the decks being the sprinteur has more high and low cards while the rouleur has more middle-speed cards.  You start each turn by drawing four cards from each of your decks and picking which card to play for the characters.  The rest of your cards get discarded face up under your deck. Choose carefully when you pick, because you will never see that card again. When you hit the face-up cards, reshuffle those cards and keep racing.

You can pass through other players (bikes are skinny), but you can’t stop in the same space as another player.  If they hog the road, you lose the movement. This causes you to try to read the other players as well as adjust your team’s strategy. It could also mean that you run out of cards before you reach the finish line and lose the game.

This means you want to be out in front, right? Not really. You can conserve energy by following in the slipstream of the other racers. Pack leaders take the dreaded exhaustion cards because they are cutting through the wind. This clogs your discard pile with extra twos. The more exhaustion you take, the harder it is to get that nine when you really need it.

The track is double-sided, so there are extra possibilities to build the track. Mountains add the difficulty of ascending and descending the mountain. Ascent caps movement at five, so don’t bother with higher cards and forget about slipstereaming. Descent bumps up your minimum speed to five, so now would be a great time to dump those lower cards.

There are a bunch of strategies you can incorporate to get your team to the finish line. Do you want to put one rider out front to catch all the exhaustion or do you spread it out over both riders? Do you let your opponent take the exhaustion and hope to pull ahead at the very end? Whatever you do, you want to earn your yellow jersey.

Ready to pull out your bike? Join Becca this Wednesday, November 29 starting at 4PM PT on Twitch and Alpha as they play Flamme Rouge and see if she crosses the finish line.

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