radynski wrote:Chris here...
So the last time I raced this track was at the finals of WBC just last year, so I was very familiar with Marina Bay. In that race, the best finishers all had 60/60 cars and max wear. Now, that was possible based on the way the cars get built in the finals for that tourney, and its not really applicable to us. So I was unsure of how successful a 60/60 car could ultimately be. Furthermore, the last time I raced this track online I ran a 40/40 car and felt it had a lot of potential.
So I chose to run the 40/40 again and set out to prove that it was the right car for the track. Even though I didn't win in the end, I feel that I *mostly* achieved my goals. I proved that a race-from-the-front car has some big strengths on this track. And ultimately, I only needed two more wear in order to stay a full turn ahead of Rando. So perhaps I should have fought less? Would Fabio and I both be in better place if one of us had dropped back earlier? Hard to say.
What I do know is that my plot was designed very specifically to be a race-from-the-front and I had planned to spend lots of wear earlier in order to try to jump out to a full-turn lead on the rest of the cars. Where you do that specifically is in the Sling/Fullerton combo. Moving through both of those in one turn for 2W total is hugely helpful, but also requires you to continue spending lots of wear to really take advantage of it. You not only need clean air to pull that off, but you've also committed yourself to spending in every other corner too.
Now, on the plus side, Fabio pretty much let me have my line for the whole race. In the first lap, he jumped out ahead of me in turn 7 and didn't try to block off Esplanada or Raffles later either, which allowed me to mostly run my line with clean air. In the second lap, Fabio made the calculation to just let me take the lead in turn 23 instead of continuing to fight each other. And again, it afforded me clean air to execute the Sling unimpeded.
Where I really lost the wear that would have handed me the win, was in the lead up to Memorial Corner. On turn 6 I lost a wear being forced to go inside without the line. Then on turn 18 when I caught up to Fabio again, I lost another wear going outside in Boulevard. Then again Memorial Corner bit me in the butt on turn 21 by forcing me to spend the skill chips I was saving for some rolls in lap three. So that's where my carefully planned resources disappeared to.
Based on my fewer remaining resources, I decided to revise the plot I had set up before the race started. Originally, I was going to spend two wear on turn 28 to run hot into the Gallery. But that was when I still had 2 wear left for the final lap. With those resources gone, I had to reconsider. So instead I slowed down, which cost me a full turn on the back chase pack.
More than that though, it changed my whole final lap. Originally, I was planning to be 2 turns ahead of everyone else going into lap 3. If that's the case, then I lose a turn between Sheares and Boulevard, but never actually spend wear until the end of the course, on Esplanada and Raffles. But because I was only one turn ahead of everyone at this point, I couldn't afford to lose that turn lead. So instead I replotted where my wear got spent, this time on Sheares and Stamford instead to run a line closer to what I did in lap 1 and 2.
This allowed me to maintain my lead until Esplanada, where I was forced to slow down without even making it into the corner. My hope was that everyone would have run out of wear by this point and wouldn't have been able to catch me anyway. But man oh man, if I had that 2W I lost earlier and could spend one in each of Esplanada and Raffles? It would have been sweet.
And isn't that how it goes? The best laid plans of mice and men... a plan only survives its first contact with the enemy... etc.
Heading into that third lap, there were a bunch of people that all had a lot of remaining wear and was starting to make me sweat. Tim B looked like a legitimate threat, and Rando, Cody, and Kal all seemed like they could do some damage if they were able to get around enough people.
But now we come to it... the end of lap 2 and what Brad did to the rest of the pack. When Brad slowed down it forced everyone into Gallery more slowly than they wanted, but also forced them to spend precious wear on braking, which is just about the last thing you want to do. This event ended up being really pivotal to the whole race. It destroyed Tim B.'s chances of winning (which at the time I felt were good), but it really killed the other leader's chances of placing. Suddenly, they had all lost position and the chase pack with wear would soon be in charge.
If you take notice, the only person unscathed by Brad's move was Rando.
The next big moment came at turn 33-34. Sheares Corner became a meat grinder where people lost wear all over either through braking or trying to maintain position. Again, the only one really unaffected by all this was Rando who (very smartly) chose to play it slow. At this point in the race, Rando really was in charge. When you line up ahead of a corner next to someone, the person with more wear is going to win. So with everyone but Kal effectively having no wear at all, all Rando had to do was play smart and spend his wear at the correct spots.
And that is exactly what he did. I was really hoping that he would get held up in Raffles a little more effectively by Brad and Kal, but it was not meant to be. And though I had a turn lead on everyone, that only really meant a lead on people without wear. Because when you plot 60 5 turns in a row (like I did) then it really doesn't take much wear to make that fake turn lead evaporate.
So congrats to Rando! He ran an opportunistic race and succeeded admirably. He sat and went slow when he saw the way blocked, and bided his time never trying to force his way through. This kept him from spending resourced unnecessarily, and eventually allowed him to just gracefully pass everyone.
Chris, thanks for writing 80% of my after action report. You captured my actions very accurately. I will add some thoughts, opinions, and motivations.
First thought (and I will copy track creator / game savior Doug with this comment) -- I dislike this track. I dislike it because I think that the winning car design envelope is too narrow. None of the cars which finished well have a top speed higher than 140. To me, that narrows the design envelope too much. I hope I don't sound assholishly ungrateful to the guy who has transitioned this racing game I love so much to the internet and also to successful face-to-face racing.
Second, I also saw that WBC final race. I saw how Mike A crushed it coming from the back. He won fairly decisively.
I chose not to go 40 - 40. With 60 - 60, I didn't have enough stuff to bid to the front. As Chris described, I employed as much patience as I was able. I hoped that a small fraction of the field would off themselves in front of me and the remainder would be crippled by lack of wear on the last lap. It turned out pretty much that way. I rolled relatively few dice (I think?), and when I did it was with many skill chips.
Brad did me (and Chris) a big favor near end lap 2. Tim B and I emailed about that yesterday. I rejoiced at the time!
Nobody made it easy to pass on the final lap -- I gained the use of very few racing lines. But with a huge wear lead and as Chris described a long slow section, I wended to the front. Then at the very end my 60 accel beat his 40.
Thanks Mike (Steward), Chris (for the kind comments), and all my competitors. See most of you pretty soon.