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Last updated:
October 24, 2009

Open or secret movement values?

On setup

Breaking away rule

Lapped cyclists

Retiring cyclists

Extra teams

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Frequently Asked Questions

I don't know, maybe I am lousy at writing rules or maybe games players just think of weird questions to ask. Either way, if there are some things about Breaking Away that need clarification, chances are you'll find them covered on this page.

This is a tough question to answer as it depends on the playing style of the group you play with - some people might prefer a (much) longer game in which the aim is to work out the optimum move for each cyclist each turn.

However, the game was designed to be a fast moving race in which many of the decisions are made "by the seat of your pants". On most turns there is a choice to be made between "taking what's on offer" (i.e. slotting in behind another cyclist) or taking a gamble on making something better happen (e.g. a breakaway attempt, or hanging back off the pack in the hope the gaps will be filled). My own view is that to allow players to halt the game whilst they mathematically work out all the permutations would be detrimental to the game. My ruling therefore is....

All movement values for cyclists remain secret but a player may choose to reveal them if he wishes.

The exception to the above would be when one player suspects another has made an error, such as using cyclist number 2's movement value for cyclist number 3. In such cases I think it is reasonable for a "time out" to be called to sort out any possible errors. Of course, it is possible for some players to abuse the time out option but they are the sort of people who pretty soon can't find anybody else to play with.

No, a cyclist may not start with a movement factor of 0. The rules should say that all starting movement values for each cyclist must be in the range of 1 to 15 inclusive.

  • On setup, can a player put in a value over 15 as long as they do not use that particular value on the first move off of the start line? Or is the rule that you cannot put a value over 15 on the sheet?

You cannot choose a starting movement value higher than 15 even if you don't intend to use it on the first turn. The only way you can get a movement value higher than 15 is by receiving it as a replacement value.

  • On the Breaking Away Rule, one player insisted that the "breaking away bonus" meant that the player gets the lead value (6 for Red 2 in the 1st example) plus 3. In other words, he said the example was wrong because a lead of 1 would only get a new leader 1 replacement movement factor and that is not a bonus -- that's a penalty.

The example in the rules is correct - that is to say, when breaking away it is possible to get a replacement value of less than 3. I agree that the term "bonus" implies that the replacement value should be higher than if you had not broken away, but in a game where it is good to be able to go slower than other cyclists (because you can then slipstream them) one could still argue that a replacement value of less than "3" is a bonus. (OK, it was sloppy terminology but the ruling still stands; the rationalisation is that a cyclist who has attempted to break away but has not managed to do so by more than 2 squares is worse off than had he remained back with the pack).

  • If a cyclist starts to lap the field, can that cyclist "draft" off the lapped riders to get a bigger replacement movement factor? Example - a rider in 3rd place is directly behind the 2nd place rider. On the same square as the second place rider are 3 riders in the rear of the race. Does the 3rd place rider replace with 4 or 7 ?

This is covered in the rules in the section about the race track. The reason there is a thin line on the circuit dividing it up into 2 lanes is to enable lapped cyclists to be put on the opposite side of the central line to the cyclists who have lapped them, thereby indicating that the two groups are on completely different parts of the track.

I know the circuit on the board looks like a velodrome or perhaps a road race on the London Orbital Motorway (the M25) but this was done purely for space considerations - ideally the track would be single lane straight track about 10 feet long!

A cyclist may only be retired from the pack with the agreement of all the other players.

  • How much are the extra cyclists to add a 7th, 8th or 9th player -- what are the colours?

The extra teams of 4 cyclists cost 1 each, including postage, unless you are outside Europe, in which case the cost is 1.50 (or $2.50 if you are paying in US currency). We have in stock the following colours: black, white, blue, red, green, yellow, purple, orange, pink, brown, gold and silver. When ordering the extra cyclists specify which colours you need.

  • For assigning the values for cyclist #1, the rule says either 3 or 4 values. Is it up to players or we should discuss before the game? Also I assume that once we started with 3, there is no way to get 4 values later on the game as we use one and get one replacement value, correct?

Choosing 3 or 4 values is personal preference for each player, so some players may play with 4 values (greater choice of tactical options) or 3 values (higher starting cards). The starting values allocation is done simultaneously and secretly.

  • When you use a movement factor does it become zero until the replacement factor is worked out? i.e.. Is it used up?

Yes, it is used up. Cross it out when you use it and copy the unused ones down to the next row. 



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