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Last updated:
October 24, 2009

German rules for Breaking Away (also in Word For Windows (2.* and above) format

QBasic version of Breaking Away

Instructions for the QBasic computer game (also in Word for Windows 2.0 format)

Frequently Asked Questions

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This Breaking Away variant has been designed by Ton Segers. It's based on a "Madison" which is a type of race developed in New York in the early part of the last century (presumably the races took place at Madison Square Garden)

In a Madison, teams consisting of 2 cyclists have to ride (in alternate turns) a certain distance (100 laps or an hour) gaining points (5-3-2-1) every 5 laps. The final sprint doubles these points (10-6-4-2). The winner is the team that has concluded the most distance. In case of a tie the team with the most points is victorious.

Ton has devised the following rules to allow you to use your Breaking Away set to stage Madisons.

1. Teams of 2 instead of 4 are taking part of the race (you can paint the riders with different colours, perhaps putting stripes on their shirts but leaving the bases and bikes the same colour so you can still use the teams for the original Breaking Away game). (Or you can buy extra sets of cyclists.)

2. Every player gets 2 cyclists and determines if the two will be rated a Cyclist 1, 2, 3 or 4. So there will be good teams (cyclist 1and 2) and there can be bad teams (cyclist 3 and 4), but in real life this is common. Of course players can handle more than one team by playing series, semi-finals and so on.

3. Between 9 to 14 teams should take part in a Madison, twelve is most common.

4. Set up: every player chooses one of the riders of each team and lines him up at line (space) 0. The other team member (who we will call the "relief cyclist") is placed on any given space along the rightmost border of the track, i.e. near the number of the space; these riders are resting and waiting for their turn to take over. All "relief cyclists" must be on individual spaces; in other words, you can only have one relief cyclist per space.

5. The race: the starting procedure, movement and the calculation of the replacement factors are not changed from the standard version of Breaking Away.

Variant: after all the standard procedures have been gone through (e.g. replacement movement factors have been calculated) certain cyclists may opt to let their partner take over in the race; in game terms that means that the cyclist who was on the race track is moved off the board adjacent to the space he was on, to be replaced by his partner. This change-over can only be effected if the retiring cyclist is occupying the space nearest the outside; so if three cyclists occupy the same space, the one nearest the inside and the one in the middle cannot change with their partner. Note, also, that the change-over cannot take place if a relief cyclist occupies the same space as the retiring cyclist. So, if, for example, Orange cyclist B is resting on square 12 and Red cyclist A lands on square 12, he cannot be replaced by Red cyclist B. This rule makes it harder for replacements to take place.

Cyclists are obliged to change partners at least once a lap. If a cyclist is prevented from doing so by blocking tactics (or incompetent play!) he must change with his partner at the earliest opportunity - i.e. if he is able to land on a space which is not blocked by a relief rider, he must do so.

Tactics: So players have to consider exactly when to change partners just before a sprint; because a tired man cannot"change" partners when he is "tucked in". Opponents can hinder favourite teams just before sprinting in this way.

6. Scoring points: because of the decreased number of (active) racing cyclists the point system will be as usual in the Madison, i.e. 5-3-2-1 and a final sprint of 10-6-4-2. The races are run over 4 laps, and there is only one scoring stage for each lap and this is triggered by cyclists crossing the Start line. In other words, ignore the Sprint lines and Finish lines on the Breaking Away board.

Future development?

Here's Ton's thoughts on extra tweaks to this game: "My latest contemplation is about recovery. I think that you should reward a resting cyclist in upgrading his figures the moment he becomes an active cyclist. I have been thinking of rewarding him a +1 on all his figures he had had when he becomes inactive. Another option is giving him back his original (starting) figures or giving him slightly modified starting figures, let's say all figures minus 1. The last option can be adjusted by the lap he is in, i.e. when relieved in lap 1 the figures he receives are modified by -1, in lap 2 the figures are modified by -2, etc. I am still contemplating this option but I also do realize that it complicates the fast playing system and therefore would drag it into a bookkeeping game, and that is really not my intention.

Ton Segers

If you have any questions about the above variant, send me an e-mail and I will forward the question on to Ton. I have not tried this variant myself yet but it looks promising. I wonder whether the rule about resting cyclists preventing cyclists on the same square from retiring should be waived if the resting cyclist is the partner of the one who is trying to retire?




Breaking Away


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