Normally speaking, you don't want your bag to be too big, you want a well balanced one.
Here are some pros and cons for a big bag with lots of non-wear cubes.
* Some cards powers depends on how many cubes or how many different colors you have in your discard. A big bag make a bigger discard on average.
* Some cards are useless when your discard is empty, a big bag means that your discard will less often be empty
* A big bag makes you shuffle less often at the end of turn. This means that you will less often have wear cubes earned just before shuffling that you have no chance to remove before they annoy you
* If you somehow can't avoid piling up wear cubes (you should), a big bag will make it less painful.
* In some rare situations, you might be able to deprive some other players from the cubes they need (usually require a concerted effort from multiple players over more than 1 course in a season).
* It usually takes many unused cubes to buy a lot of cubes
* With a big bag, you are more likely to get too homogenous draws. Example, you are more likely to draw 2 or more purples when drawing 7 cubes if you have 4 purples cubes in a bag of size 28 than if you have 2 purple cubes in a bag of 14 (25.3% instead of 23.1%).
All in all, I think that a bigger bag can often be better than a smaller one (depending on cards) but not at the cost of proper balance or sacrificing many moves to make purchases. And the proper balance usually means having many costly blues and greens (again depending on cards, see below), so do NOT buy a cube just because you have enough money to do so.
Shuffling Time Management
Quite often, you simply can't manage that at all.
Some cards like Nitro can offer you the shuffle your bag in the middle of your actions phase. This is usually very good because it means that wear cubes earned during this round, including those earned in the decline phase, are not going into your bag just yet. You'll have a chance to remove them using a purple next round. With many Nitros you might be able to do this consistently.
Even if you can't manage to shuffle during your actions phase, some cards or pilot effects can let you decide whether you shuffle at the end of this turn or at the end of the next one and how many of the 7 cubes normally drawn at end of turn will be drawn before and after the shuffle.
Typically, you will want to shuffle at the end of a turn where you don't have many wear cubes. If you know exactly what remains in your bag, you can also decide based on whether those cubes are useful or not when the discard is empty.
Things that let you fine tune the turn where you shuffle include Manager , Supercharged (though you often want to use this one for max effect no matter what) and some pilots effects like 04 and 10.
Last round in a race
If you are playing game with multiple races, the last round of every race but the last race is a bit of a special thing.
Essentially, anyone that doesn't finish first or last earn the same victory points. This means that you might have better things to do that go as far as you can like reduce wear or purchase some cubes you'll need for the next round.
Just don't miss an opportunity to finish first or risk ending last when you could have avoided it.
If the next race is a cramped circuit, it might be better to finish 2nd rather than 3rd or 4th in a 5 player game.
White and Yellow Cubes
You start the game with a bit too many white cubes and way too many yellow cubes. It depends on the circuit, pilot and cards of course so there can be exceptions (Monaco?) but it's usually true. Sometimes you'll even want to get rid of all the yellows at some point. Which ones to remove first depends on the situation: whites might still be useful to move a bit even on circuit that does not favor them but unused yellows are often a source of purchase power early on.
For that matter, it is often better not to play a yellow cube so you have some purchase power rather than use it say just to remove a wear cube that you'll probably be able to remove with a purple on the next round anyway. If your yellow cubes are the only option you have to remove non-wear cubes (often the case if the purple card is "Crew Chief"), take that into account when planning in which order to remove unwanted cubes.
If you are playing in season mode, remember that you'll probably have some opportunities to remove a few cubes at the end of the race and that buying back some white cubes if you need more of them for the next circuit is quite cheap.
Blue and Green cubes
These are usually the strongest cubes.
As they are usually more costly, you might buy them a bit sooner that you would normally if the occasion presents itself : it's easier to slip in the purchase of one or two $2 4th gear cubes or purples than it is to setup an occasion to buy a blue at 6$ or even 4$.
Impact on wear: Generally speaking, blues and greens will increase the amount of wear that you get, so you might want to exercise some moderation if the purple is a poor one like Pit Team. If the purple card is good, you still want to make sure that you have enough of those purples in your bag: The aim is to have at least one active purple cube on the round before you shuffle. Any power that lets you put some cube back in the bag or back from the discard to the active zone can also help mitigate the risk.
Whether you want more blues or more greens depends on the situation but you usually want a good proportion of your bag to be greens and blues: moving 2 or 3 spaces is better than moving one even if it comes with more wear as long as you have something to keep that wear in check.
Remember that some blues are useless when the discard is empty.
Note also that you can use Supercharged cubes to recover other Supercharged cubes from the discard which can be great as long as you have enough worthy cubes (often greens) to recover at the end of the chain.
Keep an eye on the other players
It's rarely important but you can see what cubes the other players have for their next turn.
Once in a while, you might see a situation where ending your movement on a particular space would seriously hamper your opponent's next turn. A typical situation would be if your opponent opponent has some 6th gear cube that he can play but only if his path is clear.
Just be sure of your assessment before you reduce your movement to hamper someone else and remember to take your opponent's pilot power into account.
Thoughts about pilots
I personally divide the pilots into 3 groups:
- The extra actions or moves ones: 01, 02, 06, 07, 09
- Removal ones: 05, 08
- the versatile ones (by lack of a better name): 03, 04, 10
But here are a few observations anyway.
Seems quite powerful to me.
Strengths and weaknesses:
- Seems very strong overall
- Hampered if the purple is Pit Team (poor removal of wear). Slightly made worse if Aerodynamics is also there (other players will just avoid wear)
- You want to avoid 1 lap races and maybe 2 laps ones as well (because this pilot effect doesn't help you on the very first round)
- Single races aren't his strength. He isn't really bad at single races but some others are probably better
- As you'll likely earn more wear than other pilots, you benefit even more from nitro as you really want to shuffle during your actions phase when possible.
- As you draw more cubes per turn, you might want to aim for a bigger bag
Strengths and weaknesses:
- He is quite versatile as you get to choose what to discard depending on the situation
- He is useful early on as you get to play your best cubes a lot more often
- You are somewhat less hampered by wear in your bag than other players
- Cards that only works when you have stuff in your discards are much less of a problem
- You have some control as to when you'll shuffle which increase the chance to shuffle et the end of a turn where you are drafting and have few wear cubes.
- Purple "Crew Chief" is nice for him as it will often be enough to shuffle during actions phase without helping too much the other pilots in doing the same thing. Still, mid-actions shuffles are in themselves less of a boost with this pilot.
- you don't get free moves or fee actions or free money for purchases...
- Because you can kind of refuse to draw some cubes, some cubes that are only useful in relatively rare situations are better with him. Example: manager can be used to put back a Supercharged in the bag if all your supercharged cubes are in the discard.