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Steffan O'Sullivan
United States
Plymouth
NH
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"To be honorable and just is our only defense against men without honor or justice." -Diogenes of Sinope
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Scoozie is a game so unique it's patented. An abstract representation of American Football, Scoozie is a game of pure skill - no chance involved at all. The game requires as much thought as chess, but is much quicker - a complete game can be played in twenty minutes, usually. There are rules to allow for longer games, if desired.

The Board

The board is very hard to describe - see the image with this game. Picture a chessboard, with alternating green and white squares. Turn the chessboard 45 degrees, so you are now looking at diamonds instead of squares. Expand the diamonds out so the green diamonds are seven rows long by six columns wide (the white diamonds are six by five).

At the junction where two horizontally adjacent green diamonds meet two vertically adjacent white diamonds, place a large circle. Connect all the circles, orthagonally and diagonally. Ah, see, I told you it was hard to describe . . .

The Pieces

At any rate, there are only three types of pieces, all represented by handsome wooden pawns. The defense has eleven tackles. The offense has eight guards and three ball-carriers/receivers. Guards and tackles can only move from square to square - they can't go on the large circles described above. Ball-carriers/receivers, which have a peg on top to hold a wooden ball, are limited to movement on the circles, along the paths connecting the circles, and must always move forward when they move. They may not move on the squares, nor may they move through a tackle, or through a path next to a tackle. However, they may pass the ball to one another along a clear path, as far as possible, so long as it follows a path in a straight line.

Course of Play

Each turn, beginning with offense, you move exactly two pieces. You can block another piece by moving into its space, and pulling it to the side of the path through that space. Both pieces, the blocker and the blockee, are then locked in place the rest of the game. A blocked tackle still controls the paths along his half of the square, but not along the other half - the player initiating the block decides which half of the square is occupied by which piece.

The object for offense is to open up a path to allow a ball-carrier through, and for defense to tackle the ball-carrier as soon as possible. Points are awarded to offense depending on how far the ball travelled before being tackled (if at all), and then the players switch sides. Play as many rounds as you wish, so long as you each play defense for every time you play offense.

Summing Up

While hard to describe, the game plays very well. It doesn't provide the lightning fast moves that some football fans expect, but instead a deep-thinking, satisfying game that can be played twice in a lunch hour. Recommended.

-Review originally from 1989
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David Hardt
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Recently I purchased the game for christmas. Intriguing pictures and descriptions at Kadon, and the review at this site encouraged the purchase.

The board and pieces are quite nice, and the play concept is interesting and not complicated. The game can be played at any speed, and perhaps playing it at faster "time controls" (if you will) could produce the "lightning fast" atmosphere of real football.

In general, after a couple of play session with a few other opponnets, I find that looking for reasonable defensive ideas is the more difficult aspect of the game.

That being said, has anyone else played this game enough to see a particular defensive "blockade" with 11 v 11 scoozie? If I understand and apply the rules correctly, then this blockade idea effectively confines the offense to no further than "midfield." And if this is the case, unfortunately the game loses all scope of variation and chances for "victory."

Because of this apparent "strategic bust" of the game--and since I am yet so enamored with the concept, look, and feel of the game and gameplay--I'm experimenting with simple rules changes; fewer pieces than 11 (as set forth in the patent); other board sizes and dimensions; possible chance elements. I hope to find a version of the patent concept that maintains an even and fair game, allows for varied and effective offensive and defense, while preserving the simplicity and feel of the original.

Any other players equally intrigued with this game to discuss it for a bit?

David
 
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Steffan O'Sullivan
United States
Plymouth
NH
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"To be honorable and just is our only defense against men without honor or justice." -Diogenes of Sinope
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"Today is the yesterday you won't be able to remember tomorrow" -Pinkwater
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I would discuss it more, David, but unfortunately none of my local group enjoy the game enough for me to play it regularly! I really only play it at conventions a couple of times a year.

I will say that I never found one single defensive blockade that could work against any offense. We have been able to confine the offense to no more than midfield, but you have to adjust your tactics depending on what the offense does to achieve that.
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David Hardt
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I am glad you do get to play it some. It seems to be clear from the your posts that you like this game quite a bit. And nothing is sadder for a gamer than having a great game that no one else will play.



Since you and your friends do enjoy a varied game play, I won't print the blockade notion in this reply.


========

(I will print it in the "strategy" section in case anyone is interested in determining whether such a blockade is possible under the rules, or whether the offense has a way around it.


If the "blockade" strategy actually works, it would rather deaden the concept of Scoozie by reducing its varied possibilities to one unplayable dimension.

So, later, after I try some variant ideas, I may put a possible rules changes in the "variants" section.)

 
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Michael Taylor
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hardtdavid wrote:
Any other players equally intrigued with this game to discuss it for a bit?

David


I just got referred to this game and it's very interesting to me.

Are the rules anywhere to look at?
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