The Foundation’s second game, SUPERCHARGED, has some videos for it that provide an introduction to the game and give a look at the components. The small clips are here with a bit of explanation for each.
This is a look at the team cards. The big thing is that all the teams will get used. Players will have their teams and unused teams become ‘privateers’–cars from small operations or with limited financing. This means there’ll be a full race grid and not just 3-4 cars out on the track every race.
Position to start is random with “A” teams having an advantage over the “B” and “C” teams. Not relevant to the video, but the choice of nations was intentional. The Royal Automobile Club of Egypt (RACE…nice, huh?) opened in 1924 and by 1925 it was sponsoring regular races, a race for ladies, and a ‘slow race’ to see which car took the longest time to cover fifteen meters. Siam is in the game due to ‘B.Bira’, the nom de course for Prince Bira of the royal Thai family. He was the only Southeast Asian driver in Formula racing in the 20th century!
This is a quickie look at what a starting grid looks like. The track will have some more art on it, but it will be modular so players can create their own designs.
This is a top-down of the grid and a really quick briefing of the game. Looking at the grid, I can’t help but picture Speed Racer! You can see from this that SUPERCHARGED is different than a lot of racing games that only put a few cars on the course. This has everyone.
SUPERCHARGED doesn’t use dice. Everything is determined by a quick flip of the action cards. Using these for the first turn creates a variable start and an opportunity for the “B” and “C” teams to jump forward–that’s important coming up because you’ll see a really quick corner coming up and things will get crowded fast. The variable start creates questions for the player moving forward–since each player has two cars, which will you move first? Who gets to move the greater space? It seems like you’d want your lead car to be the one moving faster, but there’s money to be won for cars in the top 5-12 in the standings, so you don’t want your second car at the back of the pack or caught unable to move because of slow drivers blocking the road in front of him.
Pretty easy to manage the turn–just count spaces and move. You can see here that the track’s going to get narrow very quickly…so it isn’t really that easy in terms of decisions.
You can see how the cards worked for the first turn here. Unless you’re out front, there’s a lot of exhaust fumes being sucked in by the poor drivers at the back of the pack. All tracks have optimal paths–the racing line. In SUPERCHARGED, that’s the inside lane. The only time you’re going to use the outside is to pass or if you’re moving the privateers (the cars no one playing controls).
Winning with a “C” team would help your chances of winning. An “A” team is expected to do well. As Mike notes, you get $100,000 for winning with an “A” team–but a “C” team? Their sponsors are so happy, they triple that–providing a $200,000 bonus.
Easy-peasy to move on your turn…if the road is clear. Otherwise, you’ve got problems. This is where a driver may wish to use his “Great Maneuver” card to get past blocked spaces. If that’s not possible, the driver isn’t moving and worse, is going to spinout, effectively losing a turn’s worth of movement.
Here’s the spinout.
For the privateer teams, when their turn comes up, all you have to do is check the Action Deck to determine their move.
Slipstreaming works like in most racing games. If you can get in behind a car, they’ll pull you forward. Depending on card order, you could go a long, long way without it even being your turn. Of course, if the front driver plays his card to prevent slipstreaming, then it’s no-can-do. The catch is, each driver only gets to prevent a slipstream once per game. Knowing when it’s time to breakaway is critical. You’ll see that in a couple clips when Mike talks about open track and ‘charging’.
Pitting is abstracted. Rather than remove a car from the track, it’s presumed everyone has to stop. That’s actually represented by bonus movement. Rather than stop the game, you draw a card and add that movement to your current turn. This way no player sits around losing a turn–keeps the game moving quickly.
During the Golden Age of Racing, cars broke down regularly and didn’t finish races. There’s even an instance where no cars finished the race during the 1920s! Cars dropping out due to problems has to be considered with your tactics. Dominating with one car may look appealing but can be foiled by an accident; two cars contending has a better chance of collecting prize money but less of standing on top of the podium when the race is over.
This is charging. It’s another reason to potentially not take a big lead. Just like with the Tour de France, if one driver has a breakaway, the pack will work hard to catch back up.
There you go, a brief introduction to Supercharged. Simple, quick, and with more strategy than meets the eye (and yet playable with the whole family)