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Football Play Selection Mechanic

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jasongreeno
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Help me think through this Play selection / defense mechanic?

Players (GMs) draft NFL-style players, then select (4) Offensive Plays to run against their opponent, placed face-down.

The GM on defense may look at one of the facedown cards, select one to remove (Simulating defensive's ability to recognize the offense at the line of scrimmage, and to defend against it. Defensive Coach abilities may increase the number of cards that can be looked at/discarded. Offensive Coach abilities may also add buffs.

The remaining cards are turned face up and the Offense may run one or more of plays. The reason you might not run all the plays is that you run the risk of fumbles, interceptions and injuries if your roster does not match up to the play requirements.

Considerations:

• Duplicate offense plays perform worse each time they are repeated in the same turn, simulating the Defense figuring out your strategy. However, if you are too diverse in your play calling you may not have a roster of athletes to score.

Sorry if this is not clear. Happy to answer questions.

questccg
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Coincidence

Hi Jason,

Your idea about "Plays" reminds me that I am working on another game where I must use a "language" to describe how to "execute" the card.

It reminds me of your "Plays".

How are you planning to identify "Plays" on a card?

Similarly in my specific case, They are "Elemental" cards for different categories of Magicians. I figure I need some sort of "LANGUAGE" that allows me to express the condition that must be met by the card...

So having an idea about how you are expressing "Plays" could help me with my deterministic language.

I don't think this is TOP-SECRET, but you may want to keep it under "wraps". If so you may PM me.

Thanks!

jasongreeno
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Nah, not top secret... My

Nah, not top secret...

My plays are going to have two types of requirements:

Requirement one: You must have these 'X' types of Athlete cards (QB, OL, WR, etc.) attached to the play. A play can require up to (4) cards that attach (Top, Bottom, Left and Right) to the Play card itself. A play that is missing some of the required players is said to be Exposed and more susceptible to counters.

Requirement two: Each athlete has a dice # in his given skill (Passing, Blocking, Catching, Running, etc.). You must achieve a certain amount of Pass icons, Block icons and Catch Icons to succeed at the play. The resulting reward for each Play card might be Victory Points, a Special Effect or a buff towards the next Play you run. Sort of like the Netrunner Ice have rows of effects.

JamesSylvan
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Great stuff!

Hey Jason,

As a football fan, this sounds really exciting. It sounds like you've got a lot of great ideas here.

The drafting makes complete sense; It's an obvious fit for a sports game.

Can you tell me more about how the plays are run? Play selection makes sense as a mechanic, but is the defense running plays as well? For example, I imagine that the offense would run a play, assigning their players to it. The defense would do this as well, and you would compare the plays and the players of the offense and defense to determine the outcome (yardage?).

Where there any questions in particular you have about your mechanics?

Cool stuff, I would love to see more.

jasongreeno
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Hey James, Thanks for the

Hey James,

Thanks for the interest :)

I started with the idea that the game would be focused on draft and trade (my favorite part of the Fantasy Football), with the resolution of the season being more minimal. However, the season aspect of the game is starting to balloon (with a more tactical game than I had anticipated). I figure I'll go down that path and hopefully be able to simplify after the fact.

That's the long way of saying that I'm not sure what the defense does yet. The easy answer is to have the defense do exactly what the offense is doing. Hopefully that doesn't make the season too long.

It's actually a game where the players/GMs are pitted against the game (Rival Teams, simulated by cards), then at the end of the season the human players would face off against each other (maybe a bit forced).

I'd be happy to share you with my google doc rules to get your feedback and suggestions. PM me if interested.

questccg
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GMs versus actual game

IF you want to stick to the GM aspect of the game, I have IDEAS for you.

  1. Assume this is a two (2) player game.
  2. Player's alternate playing the second team in a match up. So on Player #1 turn, Player #2 plays the opposing team - not his own.
  3. Instead of playing game, I propose you roll 2d6s for each team.
  4. This becomes the NUMBER of offensive plays for each team.
  5. Next you draw cards from a score pile (one for each play): 8, 7, 6 and 3 points.
  6. The opponent can CANCEL a play with a Fumble, Interception or Penalty card.
  7. Add up the plays and that's the score of the game.

Something along those lines. You can expand on the idea - basically what you want to do is quickly simulate a game based on plays, scores and offer the opponent some "take-that" cards to alter the results...

Alternatively

You can use custom dice: 0 pts (x3), 7 pts (x2), 3 pts (1x). Each player can roll 10 dice (2x 5 dice) and add up the scores. This is more luck - but cards also have a luck factor also.

Now that I think of it, I would use DICE. Why? Because the GAMES played could be chosen from a DECK. Each match up would have different odds of winning. Like vs. the Bears: Roll 10 offensive dice, you roll 8. Or vs. the Falcon: Roll 8 offensive dice and you roll 10.

Maybe this could somehow be linked to your teams STATS... Not sure... About the stats, your "lines" could ADD UP to the total # of dice. You get 3 base dice + the player's you DRAFT! You could have like 5 or 6 SUPERSTARS in your team: QB, LB, DE, etc. And each one contributes to your OFFENSIVE (+x dice). IF somebody gets injured, he gets removed from your superstar lineup (you lose some "ability").

Definitely needs some thought... but dice could be an interesting mechanic.

Victory points = $$$

When you win a game - you gain victory points giving you more $$$ which can be used to DRAFT from the table new players (with their own special abilities...) Again from a GM perspective you don't spend as much time only playing games - but there is bidding, etc.

jasongreeno
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Must keep it simple :)

Ok, I just read this article, which helped me reaffirm my desire to keep this game about drafting / trading:

http://www.leagueofgamemakers.com/game-elements-actions/

I'm willing to consider this a game for two players but I'd prefer the 2-4 option.

I really like your idea of drawing point cards which could double as visual replays of what happened in the game.

I certainly want the Athlete cards to be differentiated enough to promote trading, so card abilities that change the rules of the game seem likely.

Maybe if the point cards are played one at a time there would be an element of strategy and surprise as the Athlete cards are triggered in response.

ON THE OTHER HAND...

Your dice suggestion would keep the focus on the Athlete cards and quick resolution of Gameday. It requires less art from a production standpoint. Against my usual tendency (more cards and art) I'm going to try out the dice mechanic first. Other than Dicemasters, can you suggest any games I should be inspired by?

$$$ seems like a solid direction for VP, allowing for multiple Season play, Dynasty building.

Thank you!

questccg
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Don't know many dice games

jasongreeno wrote:
Other than Dicemasters, can you suggest any games I should be inspired by?

Ask Jewell Games

He likes designing light dice game. He may no more about that section of the board game industry.

The only dice rolling games I know are: "Yhatzee", "Dungeon Roll" and "Pocket Sport Games".

Note: I am sure there are others - but not knowing means that there aren't probably too many...

trichinosis
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Other games to be inspired by...

Reading the description reminds me of Blood Bowl: Team Manager and/or Baseball Highlights 2045.

Seems like the "Game Highlights" versus "Game Simulation" would be the way to go, to keep the focus on that aspect of the experience.

jasongreeno
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Thanks for the feedback

I enjoyed Bloodbowl Team Manager and may even try flavoring my football game with some supernatural element, but for now its straight up realistic football. I'll have to take a closer look at Baseball Highlights 2045.

I agree on the Highlights approach as I want the players to play multiple seasons. with a more lofty GM role, trying to build dynasties as the win condition (first to win 3 rings etc.)

questccg
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GM idea is very good!

jasongreeno wrote:
I agree on the Highlights approach as I want the players to play multiple seasons. with a more lofty GM role, trying to build dynasties as the win condition (first to win 3 rings etc.)

That's good because you want to stick away from a more tactical game such as https://www.thegamecrafter.com/games/the-red-zone

But I really like the GM ideas. I too have a GM game in mind: it's called All-Star GM. But it's for HOCKEY! :) I'm not too sure where it's going and so I that game is on the back-burner. Originally I wanted to use actual hockey cards to play the game...

But your idea of winning multiple rings is a cool idea (for Football). It's sounds like a really good game!

questccg
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Just because we seem to share common interests

I would add like the possibility to HAVE 6 SUPERSTAR cards. If you "buy" the SUPERSTAR Coach, you earn the possibility of have 8 SUPERSTAR cards (+2 card bonus).

Some SUPERSTAR could be a "GUARD" and his "special ability" could be "Protects Quarterback from injury". So your opponent cannot play an "injury" card to try to sap you "game simulation/highlights". And your Quarterback special ability could be like "roll +2d6" which means you get two more dice to try to score more points!

Having 6 SUPERSTARS is like Dynasty building - you want the BEST SUPERSTARS on your team so that they can HELP you win more games!

Maybe your "Team" cards could have a set-up that DEFINES that specific team's SUPERSTARS... So it changes each game you play, how your superstars match up head-to-head. Like outside Linebacker = "-1d6 to your opponent", which means you would lose 1 dice when simulating a game...

Man there are so many cool things you can do with the GM concept... Football is a good choice - hockey sucks, there isn't as much strategy!

Anyhow, just some ideas!

Cheers...

Zag24
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I'm a big football fan (Go

I'm a big football fan (Go Patriots!), and I'd love to look over your rules.

I could see this being a really interesting and fun simulation, if you can hit just the right level of abstraction. I like your "duplicate plays" rule, and I'd really like to see how the rest of it comes together.

I can imagine that each position has different skills -- for instance a QB has the skills short pass, long pass, and scramble; a running back has middle run, outside run, and pass reception; your offensive line has pass block and run block; etc.

Then the plays would require certain skill levels of the critical players, as compared to the skill levels of the defense, adjusted by the defensive play called. The pass plays would also have a 'time needed' which is how long the QB needs for the play to develop, and it would compare to the difference between the offensive line's pass blocking and the defensive line's pass rush (which could vary dramatically between 'safety blitz' vs. 'containment zone' as the defensive play choice).

Anyway, I'm curious how you worked these out. Too much detail and the game bogs down, but too little and there aren't interesting choices to make. If you can make it elegant and clean, this could be really awesome!

jasongreeno
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@questccg Yeah, acquiring

@questccg

Yeah, acquiring your favorite players is definitely a goal for this game.

I usually flinch at using standard d6 as it feels too generic. I'm considering custom face dice (in rookie, seasoned and veteran colors) that simulate getting a set: Pass-Catch-Run=7 points, Run-Block-Juke=7points, block+kick=3 points, etc. This is to help provide levels of depth that my athlete cards can use to differentiate themselves. That way not every QB is +1die. Otherwise why trade players?

@Zag24

I was starting to bog down in two ways:

1) Game Design: I'm not a football expert, which left me struggling to capture the right mix of football elements and abstraction in my rules, though I've been doing my research.

2) More importantly, I was getting away from my original goal of a draft/trade game with multiple season, dynasty building pacing. I'm shelving the early iteration that included play calling in favor of the faster resolution mechanic, but your welcome to take a look, I'll PM you.

jasongreeno
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Current, custom dice

Current, custom dice resolution mechanic:

Dice Ranks:
Rookie: 0-0-0-1-1-2 (# of icons)
Seasoned: 0-0-1-1-2-2 (# of icons)
Veteran: 0-1-1-2-2-3 (# of icons)

Dice Types:
Passing
Running
Blocking
Catching
Kicking
Juking(?)
Injury Die

Example Athlete cards:

Young Quarterback. +1 Rookie die
Gunslinger Quarterback: +1 Seasoned die
Elite Quarterback: +1 Veteran die, +1 Re-roll
Hotshot Quarterback: +2 Seasoned dice, +1 Injury die

Thoughts?

JamesSylvan
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jasongreeno

jasongreeno wrote:
Thoughts?

Actually, when I was reading this thread I was thinking about player cards describing the dice that player gets to roll while executing a play. This has been done in many games, and I really like the way it plays out.

The way I imagine it, you would lay down your plays (i.e. the "highlights" of the game) then assign players to them as you described. Then each player involved with the play would be able to roll their dice to affect it.

I think the dice mechanic is a great direction. It sounds like you have a solid game already. I would love to give it a playtest.

HPS74
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Pocket Sports Football

We did a quick fire dice football game and released in August.

Stripped down to Red Zone attacks, no board, no line of scrimmage, simple play and a Pro Mode with audible calls!

Feel free to check it out and it may inspire you :)

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/174748/pocket-sports-gridiron

jasongreeno
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Pocket Sports are definitely

Pocket Sports are definitely on my radar. Thanks!

Today's design work has been about trying to use as few dice as possible while offering as much variation as possible between athletes. Tricky stuff.

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