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Techno Bowl: Arcade Football Unplugged» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Anatomy of a Play rss

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Stephen Rochelle
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Alabama
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This is a step-by-step runthrough of how a given play in Techno Bowl might shake out. We’re taking this formation and game state from Gen Con as a given starting point. All left/right references are from behind the offense (normal Madden view), and left/right has been flipped because, uh, that’s how I screwed things up.

First, the scoreboard: it’s late in the first half, the score is 0-0, and the offense is facing 3rd down from the opponent’s 20. However, there’s only enough time remaining for one play. Based on time elapsed, this is not the first possession of the game; there’s a good chance that Orange is due to receive the ball to start the second half. Back-to-back scores could be huge.

Orange sets its formation first, very tight to the line at the left hash with 7 at QB/RB and 69 split very wide right at WR. These positions aren’t formally fixed, but it’s useful for talking purposes. However, there are some problems with this formation. In particular, the far left sideline has been left open as a blitzing lane (no offensive player is in or adjacent to the leftmost row to slow a defender), and there’s no backfield depth on that side to screen the quarterback (as is the case with 48 on the right, who forces a blitzer to loop farther upfield to maintain speed).

Blue now sets its formation, and does position players to threaten those blitz avenues. Blue must threaten (be adjacent to) Orange’s three linemen (the center and the nearest line-of-scrimmage player to left and right) before other defenders can be placed on the line of scrimmage. 58 and 45 accomplish this, and 44 helps contain the left edge of Orange’s line. With the linemen threatened, 39 can be placed on the line opposite Orange 69. 39 can’t maintain speed with 69 down the field, but should be able to follow and tackle him for one move due to the speed penalty 39 imposes by threatening; 39 can also use a positive block modifier against 69 to attempt to generate a bonus activation elsewhere. 65 backs up 39 in coverage, while 7 and 61 threaten the blitz lanes. In particular, 7 is 6 MP (one full move) from threatening Orange’s QB. In a timed game, each team has one minute to set their formation.

Note that, for the board illustrations, the Blue team is in blue text, Orange in orange text, and the ball carrier is in brown text. Vertical double lines indicate the sidelines and the hashmarks (which have no effect during a play); the horizontal double line is the goal line. Additionally, while the cards are split between hand (play call), bench, "seen" (discarded but face-up prior to that) and discarded (discarded as face-down), all of these cards are face-down to the opponent at any given point except for the currently active player.
╔══╤══╤══╤══╦══╤══╤══╤══╤══╦══╤══╤══╤══╗
EZ║ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ ║END
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
EZ║ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ ║ZONE
╠══╪══╪══╪══╬══╪══╪══╪══╪══╬══╪══╪══╪══╣
║ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ ║
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
10║ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ ║10
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
7│ │ │ ║ │ │ │ │61║ │65│ │ ║
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
20║ │44│ │58║ │ │45│ │ ║ │ │39│ ║20
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
║ │ │61495533│ │ │ ║ │ │69│ ║
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
30║ │ │ │ ║ 7│ │48│ │ ║ │ │ │ ║30
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
║ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ ║
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
40║ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ ║40
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢

ORANGE HAND: N/A
ORANGE BENCH: 33 33 48 48 49 49 55 55 61 61 69 69 7 7
ORANGE SEEN: N/A
ORANGE DSCRD: N/A

BLUE HAND: N/A
BLUE BENCH: 39 39 44 44 45 45 58 58 61 61 65 65 7 7
BLUE SEEN: N/A
BLUE DISCARD: N/A


Teams now consider their play calls — the first five player activations are queued up from a set of two copies of each player. When timed, the teams have one minute (concurrently) to set their plays. It’s also worth noting that teams will, once plays are set, be able to send players who are not on the line of scrimmage in motion prior to the snap. Orange could use this to cover the blitz that Blue 7 is showing, but because so few players are in Orange’s backfield (one of whom must line up as QB), any move to block Blue 7 will instead open the door for Blue 61.

We set Blue’s playcall first: seeing that Orange is pinned by the blitz threat, we assume that Orange 48 will stay put and queue up both 7 cards to open (one to get in position, one to tackle). The high leading digit improves Blue’s chances of gaining the initiative (which goes to the team showing the higher leading digit, with a roll-off for ties). Next is 39 to block or tackle Orange 69 as appropriate, followed by 61 and then 65 as speedy players who can account for the unexpected. Leaving at least one 61 card on the bench to be able to flip the blitzing side if necessary is critical. Why not reserve a 7 card? Well, among other reasons, it appears from the basis photo that the Blue player was opening 7 7 (or at least considering it at the time of the photo). Blue’s call is 7 7 39 61 65.

Orange’s playcall, however, looks to take advantage of a weak midfield by Blue. 69 is well-covered and is nothing more than a decoy at this point. However, 49 has a favorable block attempt against Blue 58 that could open a wide running lane. Orange can’t stop a Blue blitz from reaching the backfield, but stands a decent chance of running out of it if the opening block works. One 7 card will be left in hand for contingency, and the follow-up will be the center, 55, who may be in a position to follow the play downfield. Finally, 33 might have a decent positive block opportunity to generate a bonus activation. The play is 49 7 55 55 33.
╔══╤══╤══╤══╦══╤══╤══╤══╤══╦══╤══╤══╤══╗
EZ║ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ ║END
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
EZ║ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ ║ZONE
╠══╪══╪══╪══╬══╪══╪══╪══╪══╬══╪══╪══╪══╣
║ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ ║
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
10║ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ ║10
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
7│ │ │ ║ │ │ │ │61║ │65│ │ ║
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
20║ │44│ │58║ │ │45│ │ ║ │ │39│ ║20
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
║ │ │61495533│ │ │ ║ │ │69│ ║
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
30║ │ │ │ ║ 7│ │48│ │ ║ │ │ │ ║30
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
║ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ ║
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
40║ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ ║40
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢

ORANGE HAND: 49 7 55 55 33
ORANGE BENCH: 33 48 48 49 61 61 69 69 7
ORANGE SEEN: N/A
ORANGE DSCRD: N/A

BLUE HAND: 7 7 39 61 65
BLUE BENCH: 39 44 44 45 45 58 58 61 65
BLUE SEEN: N/A
BLUE DISCARD: N/A


Now pre-snap motion is available. There are two rounds, offense then defense. In the first round, the team discards any one card from their bench to move one player not on the line of scrimmage up to their movement; in the second round, any two cards are discarded. These cards need not match each other nor the player moved, nor are they revealed to the opponent. Orange, as noted, has no pre-snap motion that actually fixes a problem, and Blue is content to remain in place when Orange stays put.
The ball is snapped and play begins!
╔══╤══╤══╤══╦══╤══╤══╤══╤══╦══╤══╤══╤══╗
EZ║ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ ║END
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
EZ║ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ ║ZONE
╠══╪══╪══╪══╬══╪══╪══╪══╪══╬══╪══╪══╪══╣
║ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ ║
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
10║ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ ║10
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
7│ │ │ ║ │ │ │ │61║ │65│ │ ║
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
20║ │44│ │58║ │ │45│ │ ║ │ │39│ ║20
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
║ │ │61495533│ │ │ ║ │ │69│ ║
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
30║ │ │ │ ║ 7│ │48│ │ ║ │ │ │ ║30
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
║ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ ║
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
40║ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ ║40
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢

ORANGE ACTIVE: 49
BLUE ACTIVE: 7
BLUE INITIATIVE

ORANGE HAND: 7 55 55 33
ORANGE BENCH: 33 48 48 49 61 61 69 69 7
ORANGE SEEN: 49
ORANGE DSCRD: N/A

BLUE HAND: 7 39 61 65
BLUE BENCH: 39 44 44 45 45 58 58 61 65
BLUE SEEN: 7
BLUE DISCARD: N/A


The first flip is Blue 7, Orange 49. Blue chooses who has initiative. Their options are to move first, threatening the ball carrier in the backfield (which lets them discard two Orange bench cards at random) or to move second and see how 49’s presumed blitz develops: something short of a full success could allow Blue 7 to do a half move (or more), which would allow the normal activation to then do a half-move-and-tackle, but a full success might let Orange 7 freely run away from the blitz. Finally, Blue could Read & React, discarding the current 7 card for a player off the bench. Blue decides to open with the planned blitz and limit Orange 7’s actions following 49’s block attempt. Blue 7 runs upfield along the sideline and spends 6 MP to end adjacent to Orange 7, forcing Orange to randomly discard two bench cards (61 and 69 are randomly chosen). Note that MP spent by the active player is shown in black for the cost of the space left, and that the active player is italicized.
╔══╤══╤══╤══╦══╤══╤══╤══╤══╦══╤══╤══╤══╗
EZ║ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ ║END
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
EZ║ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ ║ZONE
╠══╪══╪══╪══╬══╪══╪══╪══╪══╬══╪══╪══╪══╣
║ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ ║
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
10║ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ ║10
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
║ 1│ │ │ ║ │ │ │ │61║ │65│ │ ║
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
20║ 2│44│ │58║ │ │45│ │ ║ │ │39│ ║20
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
║ 3│ │61495533│ │ │ ║ │ │69│ ║
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
30║ 4│ │ │ ║ 7│ │48│ │ ║ │ │ │ ║30
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
║ │ 5│ 6│ 7║ │ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ ║
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
40║ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ ║40
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢

ORANGE ACTIVE: 49
BLUE ACTIVE: 7
BLUE INITIATIVE

ORANGE HAND: 7 55 55 33
ORANGE BENCH: 33 48 48 49 61 69 7
ORANGE SEEN: 49
ORANGE DSCRD: 61 69

BLUE HAND: 7 39 61 65
BLUE BENCH: 39 44 44 45 45 58 58 61 65
BLUE SEEN: 7
BLUE DISCARD: N/A


Orange now activates 49, who has a +3 block modifier against Blue 58 (+1 for 4-vs-5 on block, and +1 for each of 61 and 55 assisting by threatening the target block). Blue should probably consider spending one or both Blue 58 cards from their bench to provide a -1 each modifier, but elects to hold them for possible Read & React later. Plus, as above, Blue decided they were content with limiting a possible Orange 7 move following this block, since Blue 7 is up again next turn and remains unthreatened. Orange rolls a 2,5 which, with the +3, becomes a 10 and a full success triggering a bonus Orange activation! 49 pushes Blue 58 back and to the left, and takes a free step into the space 58 vacated.
╔══╤══╤══╤══╦══╤══╤══╤══╤══╦══╤══╤══╤══╗
EZ║ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ ║END
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
EZ║ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ ║ZONE
╠══╪══╪══╪══╬══╪══╪══╪══╪══╬══╪══╪══╪══╣
║ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ ║
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
10║ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ ║10
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
║ │ │58│ ║ │ │ │ │61║ │65│ │ ║
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
20║ │44│ │49║ │ │45│ │ ║ │ │39│ ║20
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
║ │ │61│bk║5533│ │ │ ║ │ │69│ ║
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
30║ │ │ │ ║ 7│ │48│ │ ║ │ │ │ ║30
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
║ │ │ │ 7║ │ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ ║
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
40║ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ ║40
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢

ORANGE ACTIVE: 49
BLUE ACTIVE: 7
BLUE INITIATIVE

ORANGE HAND: 7 55 55 33
ORANGE BENCH: 33 48 48 49 61 69 7
ORANGE SEEN: 49
ORANGE DSCRD: 61 69

BLUE HAND: 7 39 61 65
BLUE BENCH: 39 44 44 45 45 58 58 61 65
BLUE SEEN: 7
BLUE DISCARD: N/A

BLOCK BONUS: +1 for 4 vs 5, +1 for 61 assist, +1 for 55 assist
BLOCK ROLL 2,5 +3 = 10 (full success)


The bonus activation sets Orange’s plan for a hole up the middle in motion: the line is still too congested for Orange 7 to move through (players cannot normally move through a diagonal when each adjoining corner is occupied, as is the case to slip past 49 and 55. The bonus activation instead goes to 55, who moves up to help seal off Blue 45 and 61 and in doing so opens the lane for Orange 7.
╔══╤══╤══╤══╦══╤══╤══╤══╤══╦══╤══╤══╤══╗
EZ║ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ ║END
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
EZ║ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ ║ZONE
╠══╪══╪══╪══╬══╪══╪══╪══╪══╬══╪══╪══╪══╣
║ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ ║
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
10║ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ ║10
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
║ │ │58│ ║ │55│ │ │61║ │65│ │ ║
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
20║ │44│ │49║ 2│ │45│ │ ║ │ │39│ ║20
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
║ │ │61│ ║ 1│33│ │ │ ║ │ │69│ ║
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
30║ │ │ │ ║ 7│ │48│ │ ║ │ │ │ ║30
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
║ │ │ │ 7║ │ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ ║
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
40║ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ ║40
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢

ORANGE ACTIVE: 49
BLUE ACTIVE: 7
BLUE INITIATIVE

ORANGE HAND: 7 55 55 33
ORANGE BENCH: 33 48 48 49 61 69 7
ORANGE SEEN: 49
ORANGE DSCRD: 61 69

BLUE HAND: 7 39 61 65
BLUE BENCH: 39 44 44 45 45 58 58 61 65
BLUE SEEN: 7
BLUE DISCARD: N/A

Bonus Orange activation: 55


The next round begins and each player reveals that #7 has been chosen. That’s a tie for initiative, and as Blue’s best hope is now a sack, no Read & React is done (any other player would hand initiative to Orange). And the roll-off goes to Orange, 4,1. The lane is clear up the middle! Orange 7 spends 3 MP to step away from Blue 7 (movement penalties for being threatened are increased for the ball carrier), which leaves Orange 7 just shy of the goal line.
╔══╤══╤══╤══╦══╤══╤══╤══╤══╦══╤══╤══╤══╗
EZ║ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ ║END
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
EZ║ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ ║ZONE
╠══╪══╪══╪══╬══╪══╪══╪══╪══╬══╪══╪══╪══╣
║ │ │ │ ║ 7│ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ ║
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
10║ │ │ │ ║ 7│ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ ║10
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
║ │ │58│ ║ 6│55│ │ │61║ │65│ │ ║
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
20║ │44│ │49║ 5│ │45│ │ ║ │ │39│ ║20
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
║ │ │61│ ║ 4│33│ │ │ ║ │ │69│ ║
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
30║ │ │ │ ║ 3│ │48│ │ ║ │ │ │ ║30
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
║ │ │ │ 7║ │ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ ║
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
40║ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ ║40
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢

ORANGE ACTIVE: 7
BLUE ACTIVE: 7
TIE INITIATIVE
ROLLS: ORANGE 4, 1 BLUE
ORANGE INITIATIVE

ORANGE HAND: 55 55 33
ORANGE BENCH: 33 48 48 49 61 69 7
ORANGE SEEN: 49 7
ORANGE DSCRD: 61 69

BLUE HAND: 39 61 65
BLUE BENCH: 39 44 44 45 45 58 58 61 65
BLUE SEEN: 7 7
BLUE DISCARD: N/A


Now left behind, Blue 7 has no good options — pursuit up the middle runs into a mess of 4 MP spaces due to Orange 33, 49, and 55. It’s too late now to Read and React to some other player. Blue instead opts for their once-per-play Adjustment, where the active player and any other player (neither of whom can begin the Adjustment as the ball carrier, in the case of the offense) perform a half-move. Blue 7 runs upfield toward the 50 (not shown) to remove himself as an easy block target now that both 7 cards are spent, and Blue 58 takes the other half-action to position adjacent to Orange 7, ready to make a desperation stop next turn.
╔══╤══╤══╤══╦══╤══╤══╤══╤══╦══╤══╤══╤══╗
EZ║ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ ║END
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
EZ║ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ ║ZONE
╠══╪══╪══╪══╬══╪══╪══╪══╪══╬══╪══╪══╪══╣
║ │ │ │58 7│ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ ║
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
10║ │ │ 3│ ║ │ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ ║10
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
║ │ │ 2│ ║ │55│ │ │61║ │65│ │ ║
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
20║ │44│ │49║ │ │45│ │ ║ │ │39│ ║20
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
║ │ │61│ ║ │33│ │ │ ║ │ │69│ ║
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
30║ │ │ │ ║ │ │48│ │ ║ │ │ │ ║30
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
║ │ │ │ 1║ │ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ ║
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
40║ │ │ │ 2║ │ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ ║40
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢

ORANGE ACTIVE: 7
BLUE ACTIVE: 7
TIE INITIATIVE
ROLLS: ORANGE 4, 1 BLUE
ORANGE INITIATIVE

ORANGE HAND: 55 55 33
ORANGE BENCH: 33 48 48 49 61 69 7
ORANGE SEEN: 49 7
ORANGE DSCRD: 61 69

BLUE HAND: 39 61 65
BLUE BENCH: 39 44 44 45 45 58 58 61 65
BLUE SEEN: 7 7
BLUE DISCARD: N/A


For the third round, the reveal is Orange 55, Blue 39. Orange holds initiative and is in position to run 55 toward the goal line and take a contested handoff from 7, needing only to avoid rolling doubles (which would fumble) to score. Blue chooses to Read & React, playing Blue 61 off the bench. 61 isn’t close enough to make the tackle this turn (4 MP away from Orange 7, more than the half move of 3 MP) but could certainly interfere with 55, and Blue 61 is the next play call. Once Blue performs a Read & React, however, Orange gets the same opportunity and switches to Orange 7 (Blue’s only real hope was that the other Orange 7 was either in the back of the play call or lost to the blitz pressure). Note that Orange doesn't know what Blue has reacted to, but does know that both Blue 7 cards are spent, and that Orange 7 is therefore guaranteed to win initiative. Orange retains initiative, moves first, and waltzes into the end zone for the touchdown.
╔══╤══╤══╤══╦══╤══╤══╤══╤══╦══╤══╤══╤══╗
EZ║ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ ║END
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
EZ║ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ │ ║ 7│ │ │ ║ZONE
╠══╪══╪══╪══╬══╪══╪══╪══╪══╬══╪══╪══╪══╣
║ │ │ │58║ 3│ 4│ 5│ 6│ 7║ │ │ │ ║
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
10║ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ ║10
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
║ │ │ │ ║ │55│ │ │61║ │65│ │ ║
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
20║ │44│ │49║ │ │45│ │ ║ │ │39│ ║20
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
║ │ │61│ ║ │33│ │ │ ║ │ │69│ ║
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
30║ │ │ │ ║ │ │48│ │ ║ │ │ │ ║30
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
║ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ ║
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
40║ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ ║40
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢

ORANGE ACTIVE: 55
BLUE ACTIVE: 39
ORANGE INITIATIVE
BLUE READ & REACT 61
ORANGE READ & REACT 7
ORANGE INITIATIVE

ORANGE ACTIVE: 7 (R&R)
BLUE ACTIVE: 61 (R&R)

ORANGE HAND: 55 33
ORANGE BENCH: 33 48 48 49 61 69
ORANGE SEEN: 49 7 55 7
ORANGE DSCRD: 61 69

BLUE HAND: 61 65
BLUE BENCH: 39 44 44 45 45 58 58 65
BLUE SEEN: 7 7 39 61
BLUE DISCARD: N/A


What If?
There are a few turning points in this play. The most obvious is if Blue 7 had won the initiative in the second round, attempting the sack. In that case, Blue would have been looking for a modified 7 or better, with no modifier for jersey number (7 vs 7) and a -1 for Orange playing their bench Orange 7 card. That leaves a 42% chance of a tackle (natural 8+) and a 58% chance of Orange getting a free activation (choosing, probably, Orange 7 to run to the endzone, followed by the regular Orange 7 activation, or perhaps Orange 48 to step back and block Blue 7 away to clear the path for Orange 7 to score). Whatever that activation, a failure to tackle is almost certainly a touchdown for Orange on the back half of the round.

The big point, though, is the initial Orange block: if Blue commits both 58 cards and drops that bonus to +1, the full success probably doesn’t happen. (oops: this isn't legal except in the case of particular special powers. Bench bonus is for the active player only!) On a partial success, 58 could slide back toward the middle of the field, or 61 could begin his own blitz. A full success puts 61 even closer blitzing or lets 44 start turning the left corner. And in any of those cases (now a 72% chance, up from 42%), Orange 55 doesn’t move and the running lane doesn’t open for Orange 7. That last bit is what I see as the other major flaw in the Orange formation — it’s so tight that natural running lanes are constrained, even with the initial block to move 58 aside. I’ve illustrated a touchdown here, but between the two blitz threats, the locked-down receiver, the lack of motion options to adjust pre-snap, and that wall of Orange linemen, this play should have been stopped — and a fair bit of that is on Orange.

On the Other Hand
Then there’s always that option you see just a bit too late: the best score-now option that Orange has is to open the play 55 7, with 55 (instead of 49) performing that opening block on 58. The natural modifier is one less, which is why I missed it at first, but playing 55’s second card fixes that. Now, on a full success, the running lane is open because 55 follows diagonally and leaves the column open for Orange 7. But here, Orange is still having to play for that full success; even a partial success lets Blue 45 step over to threaten the hole. However, Orange might have chosen to limit that by putting 48 in motion pre-snap to move down and right, preventing Blue 45 from making a half-move and forcing any blitz by 61 out wider. Ultimately, though, this one still comes down to Orange hitting that full success — anything less is still leaving 7 somewhere shy of the endzone with a lot of Blue tacklers closing in.
╔══╤══╤══╤══╦══╤══╤══╤══╤══╦══╤══╤══╤══╗
EZ║ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ ║END
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
EZ║ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ ║ZONE
╠══╪══╪══╪══╬══╪══╪══╪══╪══╬══╪══╪══╪══╣
║ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ ║
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
10║ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ ║10
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
║ │ │58│ ║ │ │ │ │61║ │65│ │ ║
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
20║ │44│ │55║ │ │45│ │ ║ │ │39│ ║20
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
║ │ │6149║bk│33│ │48│ ║ │ │69│ ║
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
30║ │ │ │ ║ 7│ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ ║30
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
║ │ │ │ 7║ │ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ ║
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢
40║ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ │ ║ │ │ │ ║40
╟──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──┼──╫──┼──┼──┼──╢

ORANGE ACTIVE: 55
BLUE ACTIVE: 7
BLUE INITIATIVE

ORANGE HAND: 7 49 33 48
ORANGE BENCH: 33 49 61 69 7
ORANGE SEEN: 55 55
ORANGE DSCRD: 48 61 69

BLUE HAND: 7 39 61 65
BLUE BENCH: 39 44 44 45 45 61 65
BLUE SEEN: 7 58 58
BLUE DISCARD: N/A

BLOCK BONUS: +0 for 5 vs 5, +1 for 61 assist, +1 for 49 assist, +1 for 55 card, -2 for 2x 58 card


I hope this helps show, even with a fixed setup, just how many ways you can tailor your strategy and spin out a given play in Techno Bowl.
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Paul Schulzetenberg
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This is amazing. Some analysis and rules that we can really sink our teeth into. Thanks for doing this, as I have a much better idea of how to play the game than I did before I read this.
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Unitoch wrote:
This is amazing. Some analysis and rules that we can really sink our teeth into. Thanks for doing this, as I have a much better idea of how to play the game than I did before I read this.

And it won't be too long before some videos are posted so that you can see it in action!
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Stephen Rochelle
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That was very nicely done and almost perfect! There are just a couple of small corrections that I'll point out.

1. It wouldn't have made a difference in the outcome, but the first blitzing move by blue #7 would have only taken 6 movement.
2. A coach can only perform a bench boost to gain a +1 bonus for each card pulled at a 1:1 ratio. You aren't able to pull a player's card to create a -1 penalty unless benefitting from a special ability [like dodge].

You really make some seriously good reads. I'll add for others checking out this thread that each coach only has one minute each to set-up their formations and then a shared minute to call a play.

lomn wrote:
The Kittens (blue numbers, defense) are very spread laterally.

As you noted in the other thread examining the same set-up, Blue is weak in the center. I'll show an alternate set of play calls using the picture as reference.

I'll do the Orange play call first. Orange #7 activates first and depending on Blue's first card will either: hand-off to Orange #48 and then reverse to the other side of the line to seal the gap where Blue #7 and/or #44 could move through, OR hand-off to Orange #48 and continue around to engage Blue #61. Orange #33 is isolated on Blue #45. He could move forward a space and still perform a block on Blue #45. While the block wouldn't enjoy the +3 bonus that Orange #49 on Blue #58 would, the Orange coach could block with #33 on Blue #45 [at a +1 bonus already] and pull #33's other card from the bench to increase the bonus to +2. If successful, this would completely open up a hole. A 10+ result on the skill check would generate a free activation that Orange #48 could use to move through the line. A 7+ result would allow the defense to take a half move [rounded-up] with any one player. Either way, Orange #48 could be queued up next to take the hand-off and move through the hole. He's not fast, but would be very hard to tackle. Also, he could move up to 2 spaces and still perform a block while carrying the ball and push lighter defenders out of the way. #48's other card would be placed next in the play. Finally, Orange #49 would be placed last in case another 10+ skill check roll was needed to generate a free activation that #49 could use to grind his way into the end zone. The play is 7 33 48 48 49

Blue is looking to blitz, and will begin with blue #61 with the intention of conducting an adjustment. This will be used to perform a half move with Blue #7 into the backfield and Blue #61 will perform a half move either into the backfield or crash into the center of the field depending on the opening move of the Orange team. Blue #7 will be queued up next and hopefully be in position to attempt a sack [his other card will be left on the bench to either be used as a +1 boost on the tackle attempt OR to be swapped to on a read and react]. Blue #65 will be next to either fill the gap left by Blue #61 or drop back in coverage on Orange #69 if needed. Blue #39 will be up next to either block or tackle Orange #69 [at a +3 bonus] as the situation warrants. Blue #45 will be next and can be used to read and react, tackle, block, fill a gap, or lockdown an offensive player. The play call is 61 7 65 39 45

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Just to piggy back off of this and show how a different coach might act on this same formation. Assume I'm blue (Defense).

My play set would have probably been 39, 39, 44 or 39, 44, 39, followed by 58 twice. I don't know much about football so don't feel comfortable reading a formation. However, as a gamer, this play gives me a lot of flexibility. It leaves 2 of each of my faster players (7, the 60s) on the bench for read-react. 39 blocking 69 and 44 blocking 61 all give me a statistical expectation (~59%) of full success and a bonus activation of anyone.

As I would have read the formation, 69 is my big play threat as it's really the only option for a fast receiver. Opening with 39 means I give up first activation but I'm usually willing to do that if it means a likely shot at 2 activations in a row. Between adjusting and a bonus activation I'd feel pretty comfortable I could react.

Now, I wouldn't have seen Orange 33's chance at opening a hole to run. However even looking at it, 58 and 61 are nearby where an adjustment could clog it up and make it hard to run. Having 61 and 7 on the bench also mean I can use the cards to boost my tackle roll if I need to.

Strategically, Brent may be laughing at me right now, but I figured I'd chime in and show how much flexibility you have.
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captainraffi wrote:
Strategically, Brent may be laughing at me right now, but I figured I'd chime in and show how much flexibility you have.

I'm not laughing. I promise!

Your plan isn't a bad one and probably safer than blitzing. The ability to switch to any of your faster players on a read-and-react would give you plenty of flexibility without overextending yourself. I wouldn't have #58 twice though since he's pretty much completely locked down by the 3 offensive linemen threatening him. Keeping with your overall plan, I would likely do #44 followed by #45 as the last two cards. #44 could give you a +3 on a block by pulling his card off the bench, and he might even be in position to tackle depending on whether you use him on a free activation or how the play develops. #45 would be central to clean-up with a strong tackle if things get that far.
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Is it me, or does this seem incredibly confusing? I thought this game would be pretty simple and arcadish, but fun. Instead it seems like doing calculus homework.

I'm still hoping we see a rulebook someday and that this game will eventually be released (and that it will be fun!)
 
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I hope that most of the complexity you see is falling out of of the text "graphics", which are certainly not the clearest -- but building a football field and movable player images seemed like overkill. The core game really is pretty simple; most of the core rules fit on three pages of the quick start guide. The meat of the complexity lies in trying to outthink your opponent, not in wrestling with the system.
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KevinMask wrote:
Is it me, or does this seem incredibly confusing? I thought this game would be pretty simple and arcadish, but fun. Instead it seems like doing calculus homework.

I'm thinking that it's just a combination of text 'graphics' and all of us [I'm totally including myself here!] geeking out and analyzing the formations and possible play calls. That stuff is the sort of thing that just happens naturally and in a matter of seconds while you're playing the game. I think that almost every single player that demoed the game at Gen Con had 99% of the basics down after running a single play and would only need a reminder on read-and-react and adjustments once.

If you haven't watched any of the Periscope broadcasts, it might help to see the game in motion. One viewer, who's a user here on BGG, had this to say at the start of the ENGINES vs RAGNAROK game:



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It looks novel and challenging, but the plays seem to take very long. It would take some getting used to, as I am used to football games where the play calling and resolution are pretty quick.
 
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kenntak wrote:
It looks novel and challenging, but the plays seem to take very long. It would take some getting used to, as I am used to football games where the play calling and resolution are pretty quick.


You don't really notice the time issue when you play it. It's pretty engaging.
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kenntak wrote:
It looks novel and challenging, but the plays seem to take very long. It would take some getting used to, as I am used to football games where the play calling and resolution are pretty quick.

Glad you like the look of it! When you're in it, the time flies by no matter how long you play for since you are quite literally constantly involved and reacting to the ever-changing complexion of the plays. I'll add that when you consider the fact that the longest it will take for both coaches to completely build any formation and play they can think of from scratch is 3 minutes [and it's usually more like 2 minutes], it's actually very quick. Just wait till your on the clock!! It's really fast.

The playtester that you've seen me playing against in the videos so far was specifically chosen because of his slower and more deliberate style of play. I thought it would give me more time to talk through the various mechanics and rules without having to constantly put one of my faster opponents on pause. He also makes traditionally good calls and reads which are good for teaching but also stretch out a down.

I plan on filming a pure gameplay video against one of my regular faster opponents where I'm not teaching to the camera, and you should see a game that clocks in around 45-60 minutes and some quicker/bigger plays on both sides of the ball.

Although, Danders did have some pretty quick big plays in the last game on Periscope.cool

Toenail21 wrote:
You don't really notice the time issue when you play it. It's pretty extremely engaging.

That was almost perfectly stated! Fixed it for you.
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