Attack the Pack is a game for 2-4 players. To win you must get your strongest rider into the lead group and win the final sprint!
We explain the rules and run through example plays in our tutorial video:
Look through the deck and find three riders per player, and one road card at random. Shuffle the riders and deal three to each player – these riders should be placed face-up. These are the starting teams.
Place the road card face up in the centre of play – this is the starting road surface.
Shuffle the remaining cards and deal three cards from the deck to each player face down – these are the players’ starting hands. Then put the rest of the deck back in the centre of the table. This is the draw deck.
For a two player game: begin as above, but discard 6 rider cards from the deck, as well as approximately one-third of the draw deck, before shuffling.
Whoever last bought a bike goes first, play then proceeds clockwise. As the team’s Directeur Sportif each player can give three orders in their turn. A player can:
At the end of their turn, players pick up two cards from the draw deck. The maximum hand size is five cards, so no cards in excess of this number can be picked up.
Over the course of the game riders will create two groups: the lead group or ‘Break' and the main bunch or ‘Peloton'
At the start of the game all players’ riders are together in the Peloton, laid out in front of each player, nearest the table edge. New riders are always put into play here. When a break is created, any riders attacking are placed in front of the Peloton.
There are four types of cards in Attack the Pack:
Each player can have up to five riders in their team at any time. Riders have stats matching the road surface currently in play. These abilities are used when attacking, defending, to determine the winner in the sprint for the line and may come into play with actions played during the game. A player can choose to discard any of their riders in the break or the Peloton in exchange for a new rider which is played from their hand directly into the Peloton.
Players can dictate the current road surface by playing a road card. When played, all riders in all groups are considered to be riding that surface and their matching ability must be used during attacks and in the sprint. Road cards cannot be played during the Final Kilometre.
Can be played onto riders in your own team or an opponent's. A player can only play an Action card during their turn as one of their three orders. Reactions can be played in a player's turn as an order, or for free as a reaction to someone else’s play out of turn (e.g. player 1 plays a Puncture card on one of player 2’s riders, but player 2 plays Panache to make his rider immune to effects, so the Puncture card is discarded with no effect). A reaction cannot be played to your own order. Discard after use.
Attacks create a break or move riders from the Peloton to an existing break. The length of the break’s gap from the Peloton is determined by the strength of the attacking group versus the strength of the defending group.
During a player’s turn he or she can choose to attack: An attack must be led by one of the attacking team’s riders. That rider must be 'Exhausted' by turning the card to the right so that the red indicator faces upward (i.e. turning it 90º to the side) The player can then select up to two further riders in the Peloton to ride in support of that attack. These riders are not Exhausted as they are in the slipstream of their team mate.
Proceeding clockwise, each player can now choose to join the attack or defend against the attack with up to three riders of their own. Each rider doing so must be Exhausted so that the red indicator is upward.
Once every player has had the opportunity to attack or defend, add the stats for the current road surface for each attacking rider, then subtract from this the sum of the same stats for each defending rider.
If the number is positive then create a break with a gap of this number of minutes, by moving each player’s attacking riders toward the centre of the table, as per the playing area illustration. If the number is zero or negative the attack has been defended successfully and no break is formed or caught. If every player has a rider in the break then set the gap as the first three riders that lead the attack.
Example. Player 1 attacks, on a Mountain, his riders have stats of 3, 4, and 5, totalling 12. Player 2 defends with riders stats 3, 4, and 2, totalling 9. Player 1 successfully creates a break of 3 minutes and his three riders leave the Peloton to create a break or join a break already established with up to three minutes’ gap.
Use cards from the top of the draw deck to mark out the break's gap: place the number of cards equal to the break's gap in minutes next to the draw deck, face down (ie if the break is 3 minutes, this pile should be made of 3 cards). This is the gap count. Place these cards back on top of the play deck as the gap is reduced.
If the gap is greater than the number of cards left in the draw deck, then the gap will be be equal to the number of cards available. Example: Player has riders with an attack of 12, but there are only 5 cards left in the play deck, therefore the gap is only 5 minutes.
Any player with an fresh rider in the Peloton can initiate an attack to join the Break, as described above. If the attack gains a gap equal to or greater than the Break’s current gap then riders in the attack move from the Peloton to the Break.
Any rider that is Exhausted (turned on it's side) is unable to animate the race, that is they are unable to attack, join an attack or defend an attack or participate in the sprint. Players must find a way to Refresh them first (e.g. by discarding a card from their hand or playing an energy gel card).
Once per turn a player can exhaust/tap one of their riders in the Break or the Peloton. Using that riders stat for the current road surface, the player can choose to either add to or reduce the gap by moving cards from the gap count to the draw deck or vice versa.
If all riders have moved from the Peloton to the Break the Break is said to have been caught and becomes the Peloton. All cards should be moved back to the edge of the table to the Peloton. New attacks can now be formed.
The player that draws the last card from the play deck initiates the final kilometre: the penultimate phase of the game in which each player has one last chance to get their riders into the best position to win the race. After the final card is dealt from the deck the race will finish at the start of that player's next turn. No road cards can be played in the final kilometer however players can play cards that affect rider abilities (Energy Gel, Empty Bottle, Tailwind, Headwind etc) on their turn which continue to affect riders in the sprint.
Remove all exhausted/tapped riders from play, and if there is a break any riders still in the Peloton. Each player’s rider with the highest value for the current road surface will sprint for the line – these riders gain a +1 advantage for each additional rider in their team. The rider with the highest total (including any cards that affect a rider’s stats such as Headwind or Energy Gel) will win the race.In the event of a tie the team with the highest base total stats for the current road surface wins the race. If still tied then the winner will be decided by a real bicycle race between players!