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Techno Bowl: Arcade Football Unplugged» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Joey Mean, from hero to zero rss

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troy jones
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Huntsville
Alabama
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Been a few months since anyone's posted a Session, so thought I'd contribute one.

This was an "all pro" (8v8) game against my brother, who wanted us to randomly pick teams instead of choosing our favorites. After some discussion, we decided to do this by flipping a coin five times and use the resulting binary number to determine the teams. Five flips will produce a binary number between zero [00000] and thirty-one [11111]-- just add one and consult an alphabetic list of teams numbered 1 to 32. Simple enough, eh? My brother flipped five heads in a row somehow, giving him the last team in alphabetic order: the Yellow Jackets. I ended up with the Pit Bulls. An old-fashioned Shove grudge match!

It ended up being a nail-biter of a game that could easily have gone either way.

Once we had our teams, my bro flipped the coin again which I called in the air (heads, obviously), so I chose to be on offense first.

1st and 80
I tend to prefer the passing game, and my brother has noticed this, so I thought starting with a run might help keep him honest.

I set up a formation with two 5-rated wingbacks (kinda like tight ends but one square back from where a TE would normally be), two 6-rated wide receivers (one on each side), and no one in the backfield aside from my QB, #78 Nealon, who is lined up two squares behind the center. My idea for the play was to run the wide receivers up as if for a pass, then hand off the ball to a wingback for a run instead.

It didn't work out too great haha. I underestimated how quickly Tony Boss (the Yellow Jackets's Shove-player), could Shove his way into the backfield and disrupt things. Especially when he is the first player activated. After two defensive pressures and with the play collapsing around his ears, my #78 made a contested hand-off to a #51 wingback, who managed to truck his way over the line of scrimmage before being brought down. I counted myself lucky. Five yard (i.e. one square) gain on a play that was very nearly a complete disaster.

Two cubes added to the clock.

2nd and 75
One thing I have noticed about my brother is that if he finds a strategy that works, he will tend to stick with it. (I on the other hand like to experiment.) So I figured Tony Boss would be trying to Shove his way into the backfield again, having worked pretty well before. I decided to set a little trap.

I kept 78 as QB, two squares behind the center, but put 33 (Joey Mean, my Shove player) in the square to his right. My two 6-rated receivers lined up wide to the left, 62 on the line, 66 one square diagonal back from him. I think I set up the remaining player as a wingback, but can't recall which side.

The defense covers all presumptive receivers but otherwise piles it on in the box (line and linebackers), I think expecting Mean to try a Shove-based run. No safety.

I set my first three cards as 62, 33, 62. Both of 78's are on the bench. Classic passing-play call. First activation, I show 62, he shows 33 (Tony Boss). 62 runs past the man covering him on the line. (Something to be aware of is how easily 6-rated receivers can get behind someone marking them directly... Just move 2, 4, 6 and you have a square of separation between you and the defender who is now behind you.) 62 is now on my 40 yard line, also known as 12 squares from the endzone.

Tony Boss uses his bench boost to shove my #44, who has Team Player, forget his name now, diagonally back, such that Boss is now directly in front of Nealon. I lose two cards to defensive pressure. All part of the plan though. The bait has to be worth something or they won't fall into the trap.

Next activation, I show my #33; he shows a 4-rated lineman. I remind him he can read and react if he wants, but he doesn't want to do that. Would rather block with the 4 guy and try for a full activation for Boss. He only gets a partial. I don't recall what I did with the partial... Maybe side-stepped Joey Mean for a better shove angle. Anyway, on Mean's turn, he shoves Boss back at +3, due to team player and the QB assisting also. He gets a full success and knocks Boss down too. I activate 78 with the bonus activation, pull both his cards on the bench, throw the pass to 62 at +2. Full success. And with the second bonus activation, 62 runs straight forward 6 squares.

Too far back to be caught now, even with a read and react, and he was the next card in the play stack. Love it when a play works out exactly as I imagine it. Touchdown!

One cube added to the clock.

1st and 80
I tend to be more of a read-and-reacty defender rather than blitz-happy, usually lining up with one safety deep, though I have been known to go with two safeties. One safety this time.

I rarely run a designed blitzing play, but sometimes a series of good rolls on the line will open up a pass-rush target of opportunity. (Shove is good for this, obviously.) That is what essentially happened on my opponent's first offensive play. I managed to get two players in his QB's face. He tries a desperation contested hand-off like I had done on my first play, but rolls doubles! The ball scatters to Joey Mean who happens to be standing on the 10 yard line. He recovers! His cards were already expended at this point, but eventually I get a full success, allowing him to try to shove his way into the endzone. There is a 7-rated player by him and one other opposing player, so he can just Shove the 7 at +2, needing only a partial success to score a TD. He rolls a 3! Pushed back to the 15... by a 7-rated weakling! The shame! I'm not able to get another full success on the play before Mean is swarmed and tackled there.

Two cubes added to the clock. Only one square left. I thought about calling a time-out, but it turns out I don't have any sense.

1st and 15
I set up a formation similar to my previous offensive play, with receivers to the left and Joey Mean next to the QB on the right. I spread the O-line slightly, putting a hole directly in front of Mean as if trying to set up an inside run for him. That's a little too obvious, so my opponent jams up that lane very tightly. IIRC, I motion Mean closer to the corner, into a wingback position. Will try an off-tackle run to the weak side. Surely he can Shove his way in this time.

Play starts, O-line collapses (Shove, man), but 78 has moved out of the way as the first activation and handed off to Mean. Mean then gets to the line of scrimmage and tries a Shove at +2 that would take him to the five yard line. Critical fail! He falls down and the ball is fumbled. Opponent wins the scatter. But rolls doubles on the pickup! Ball scatters again, and this time I win the scatter. The ball bounces back to 78, who recovers but is surrounded by opposing players on the weak side of the field, with one of his own cards expended. He is tackled almost immediately.

End of half. My brother is a bit salty at this turn of events, but scoring a TD after recovering on his own 10 yard line would have been hard even if he had managed to not roll doubles.

1st and 80
My brother lines up trips right (his right), i.e. three wide receivers on the right side. But interestingly, it's not a pass play. He bootlegs (moves horizontally) the QB over to that side and hands off to one of the WRs. Not something you are likely to see very often in real football, but it is a decent play in TechnoBowl (a bit slow to develop, but low risk). His 6-rated ball-carrier gets to the 40 before being brought down by my safety, #66 (Woodsman), who has +1 Tackle. (Thank you, read and react.)

Two cubes added to the clock.

2nd and 60
Remember how my brother keeps trying the same thing once he figures out something that works? He runs the trips right, bootleg, hand-off thing again. This time only gets to the 50.

Two cubes added to the clock.

3rd and 50
No time-outs called, so he knows he will need to pass if he wants another play. Or if he runs he could score a TD. But the O-line collapses again-- hey, I have Shove too! And he tries a screen pass to a guy standing on the sideline. He only had one QB card on the bench to pull, so it's only at +1. Fail on the throw. He wins the scatter, 2 squares, but I have a 6-rated guy two squares away who is about to be activated and he has no one else on his team nearby. He scatters it out of bounds. Incomplete pass.

One cube added to the clock. One square left. I call a time-out.

4th and 50
My opponent sets up his trips formation again, but this time actually passes-- full success. Ball-carrier nearly gets away with the bonus activation. I happen to have #78 as the third card in the play stack, which was perfect timing for him to get back and mark the 6-rated ball-carrier... At the ten yard line!

78's other card is on the bench so I am able to read and react to it (on the next activation) and try the tackle. It's at -1. Roll the dice... see a two come up on one of em... other die rolls out of sight behind my bench... I lean over to see... It's a six! Eight minus one is seven, just barely a partial success.

Turnover on downs. First time I have seen that.

There is one more play to run, but at this point my opponent concedes. A victory formation/taking a knee is not a thing in this game, but it is not too hard to run a 7-rated player straight out of bounds on the first activation even so, especially since this play was spotted on the hash mark. To be honest, if I were him I would have called both timeouts and hoped for a miracle. But he had had enough. Thought it was a good game though.

7-0 Pit Bulls!
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Barry Miller
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A great session report. Very entertaining and informative at the same time. But this is where you had me!:
trojo wrote:
... we decided to do this by flipping a coin five times and use the resulting binary number to determine the teams.

After that, the rest was merely icing on the cake!

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