Gameday First Play – Um Reifenbreite

The 1992 Spiel Des Jahres Winner.

With Roll and Move.

Translating as “By the Width of a Tire,” this game covers a Tour de France-type of bicycle race. Each player takes control of a four-member racing team, and the goal is to score as many points as possible for the whole team.

We actually played the French language version called ‘Demarrage!’ or ‘Start-Up!’. But, the game is more famously known as Um Reifenbreite in German. It really is just a roll and move cycling game but it’s so widely liked that when I had the chance to play it I had to.

You start by picking the length of the race and the route you take and you take turns adding your 4 cyclists to to the start line. 4 rows, 4 deep. I’m sure there’s a rule to determining starting order but we skipped over it.

Um Reifenbreite Board

The player in the lead (ties broken by being furthest left) rolls two dice and moves that many squares. Then, in order, every bike behind that one has the chance to ‘draft’ by following them down the track. If they do, this will be their move for the turn.

Once everyone has moved a new round begins starting with the cyclist in front.

If you roll a 7 you draw a chance card. These mostly cause you to fall over, knocking down people around you, missing their turn. Some are bonuses and let you move faster, some let you move slower. Some make you discard or recover cards…

Yes, you have cards too… These represent the number on your rider…

Um Reifenbreite Cards

These count as an automatic 5 or 6 on one die and can also be used to ‘Break Away’. You use the card and roll a die and move that many spaces and you’re not allowed to be drafted.

You play until everyone crosses the line and you get points per position. Most points wins.

It’s very fun. You roll 11 and everyone drafts you happily… You roll 3 and everyone laughs at you. But you don’t have to move your full movement…

You can only draft if there is room to move DIRECTLY behind the cyclist you’re drafting. So, if you roll 11 you may only move 8 and put your bike directly in front of another bike so no one can follow… ha!

There are advanced rules with change the way you can move depending on the coloured sections of the board (uphill/downhill etc)

All in all though this was a VERY fun game and I will be looking to play the advanced game in the future. (Could do with English chance cards though.)

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