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Subject: The kick is up......and its GOOD!! rss

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I will not rest until Biblios is in the Top 100. - Steve Oksienik
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Well I been watchin' while you been coughin, I've been drinking life while you've been nauseous, and so I drink to health while you kill yourself and I got just one thing that I can offer... Go on and save yourself and take it out on me
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When I was a kid my family moved from the house I grew up in to a newer bigger house about 30 minutes away. Like most kids, I was lonely because I didn't know anyone. To pass the time, I started a paper football league in which I did nothing but kick field goals through uprights made of Legos. This was a great way to fill my afternoons when I had nobody to hand out with. Imagine my surprise when I saw the Paper Football Card Game! Would this be the nostalgic fix I was looking for?


Rules

The Paper Football Card Game is based around players trying to score touchdowns through cards. Unlike many other football games, there is no offense and defense: you play both at the same time.

Each player has 2 card zones on their half of the field with a Kickoff card space between them. To start the game, one player will draw a Kickoff card which gives them a starting advantage. The other player will draw a Kickoff card to start the second half. Players also draw one after they score. On a player's turn, he will play 2 cards and then draw 2 more. The cards are divided in half with one side being offense and the other defense. Each card has a number 1-11 or is a Flag/Blitz card. The number indicates what type of play it is. To play a card as an offensive play, you place it on one of your 2 card spaces. Every time you play a card, you check your total yardage. If you play 2 cards of the same number directly on top of each other, you double the yardage they provide. Three of a kind triples the yardage and four of a kind quadruples the yardage. Alternatively, you may play a card as a defensive play to nullify one of your opponent's cards. The number on the defensive card must match the number on the offensive card to play it. If successful, the defensive and offensive cards are discarded and the offensive player gets a Down card. Additionally, offensive cards sometimes have Fumble or Interception written on them. If a defensive card nullifies one of these cards, the ball is turned over and the offensive player loses all his yardage cards.



Just like the NFL, there are Challenges which can be used when a turnover happens. Each player is given 2 Time Out/Challenge cards per half. When a turnover happens, a player may use his Challenge card to challenge the play. That player draws a card from the Instant Replay deck which will either say Overturned or Stands.

Once a touchdown is scored, the offensive player may either kick the extra point or go for a two point conversion. If they go for 2, they draw a card from the Extra Point/Conversion deck which will indicate whether the conversion attempt succeeds or not. If they choose to kick the Extra Point, there are two options. The first method requires both players to draw an EP/Conversion card. If the offensive team's number is higher, the kick is good. If not, the kick fails. The second method is the reason I was intrigued by this game. You actually have to flick the paper football a set distance through field goal posts made by your opponent's hands! The Down cards double as yardage markers so an Extra Point of 20 yards requires 4 of the cards. The "ball" is kicked off the Turf Card which is a nicely textured card which makes kicking on a smooth surface much easier.



Just like in real life, 4 Downs means a turnover. So once you've accumulated 3, kicking a field goal becomes a good option. Follow the same steps as for the Extra Point, but you have to flick, you can't use cards!


Components

There's some good things and some bad things to be said about the components of this game. First, the playmat is really quite cool. Jeremy chose to use a nice vinyl mat resembling a football field. Its really unique and is just the kind of extra touch you expect from a self-published game. Its a really nice touch and drives home the theme quite nicely. This provides a nice surface to play on and since its vinyl, you can play it outside without fear of the board getting ruined.



As good as the "board" is, Paper Football is a card game and as such the cards are the most important part of the game. This is where the game comes up a bit short. The cards are printed very nicely and they have a nice semi-gloss coating, but the stock is not thick enough. I like the game enough that I'm going to ruin these cards if they don't fit in sleeves. Additionally, I hate non-rounded corners on cards and these are definatly not rounded. Its a minor gripe, but I'm sure the reason was cost savings so I can let it go. Despite the flaw in the stock, the cards are really quite nice and work perfectly for the game. Their not as pretty as games like Politico or GUBS, but they're ideal for this game.

My personal favorite part of the game is the paper football. Everyone has made these in their life and Jeremy really has the fold lines down perfect. The laces even end up in the right spot!!



The game comes in a poster tube which is really neat. It makes the game easy to take on a hike or to leave in the car. Its very portable and sturdy due to the thick cardboard wall.


Gameplay

Paper Football is a pretty easy game to understand because the rules are not complex. However, there is certainly some tactical thinking required to play the game. The interesting twist is that you are playing offense and defense at the same time. This forces you to take extra consideration when playing cards because they may be useful to you for both sides. Since you only get two actions per turn, you need to carefully weigh your options. Do you decide to press the offense forward, or do you play defensively and try to stop the opposition? One of the most important cards in the game is the Blitz/Flag card which further impresses the importance of choice. If you use the Blitz defense side of the card you can nullify ANY one offensive card. If you use the Flag side, you can remove one of your own Down markers. I think the Blitz side is more useful about 85% of the time, but sometimes that Flag option is pivotal to keeping your drive alive. This also adds a bit of "press your luck" to the game

As this is a card game, there is a fair amount of luck in the draw of the cards. This is not to say that smart playing can't prevail, but that luck plays a bigger factor than some people may care for. All things considered, this is a light football game and is by no means a simulation.

Kicking the paper football is so much fun that I wish it was more integral to the game. Its an interesting element to add to the game. I'm not usually a fan of dexterity games, but I think everyone will appreciate the joy they get from kicking a successful field goal or extra point. Be warned though, flying paper footballs hurt, so watch out for your eyes.


Compare it to...

I've never played Card Football, but I own its cousin NHL Ice Breaker. Ice Breaker uses a similar mechanism of playing offense and defense at the same time. Bianca and I felt like there was a lot of similar feel in that aspect. I believe Card Football works the same way, so thats probably a good comparison. Paper Football Card Game has more aesthetics than Card Football.


Overall

Paper Football Card Game is a great light football game. Football fans will appreciate it for its theme and familiarity. Non-football fans can get into it because of its easy rules and fast gameplay. This could be a real hit at sports bars or football parties. I can also see this getting a lot of play during the long football off-season. This will certainly help to dull the pain of a football-less summer.

While the cards are less than ideal, the gameplay is good enough to make me overlook most of that complaint. This is not a simulation but instead a light and fast football-based experience. People looking for hardcore simulation or football strategy will want something deeper, but gamers looking for a fun football game to play with family and friends will find a perfect match with Paper Football Card Game.

I rate this game 7/10. I'll definately play if asked and will probably suggest it from time to time. Bianca loved it so I'm sure it will see a lot of play.

Paper Football would make a great gift for the upcoming Christmas season or any time of year. The rules are simple enough for older kids (8+) to play it yet there is enough decision making to make it good for adults as well. This is a great game for football fans or to pull in new fans.

The kick is up......and its GOOD!!
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Eddie
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Hi Steve, Great Review.

Could you expand on the kickoff part of the game. Is it as easy as the player who does not get to draw the card has to get 100 yards total to score, and the person who draws the card only has to get the number of yards from where the card tells them to start from?

Thanks

Eddie
 
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Jeremy Rayzor
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Quote:
Is it as easy as the player who does not get to draw the card has to get 100 yards total to score, and the person who draws the card only has to get the number of yards from where the card tells them to start from?



Hi Eddie

Ya, there is an advantage but only if the other player doesn't play good defense.

In the kick of return cards the outcomes vary from 5yrd, 10yrds, 20yrds, 50yrds, a safety and or a touch down, running all the way......like Hester does best! cool

I hope this answers your question Eddie.

Jeremy
 
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I will not rest until Biblios is in the Top 100. - Steve Oksienik
United States
Howell
Michigan
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Well I been watchin' while you been coughin, I've been drinking life while you've been nauseous, and so I drink to health while you kill yourself and I got just one thing that I can offer... Go on and save yourself and take it out on me
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To expand upon Jeremy's answer: To start the game, one player receives the kickoff and gets to draw a kickoff card. The other player gets to draw one to start the second half. Additionally, you draw one after you score a touchdown or field goal, which is kind of weird and not thematically appropriate, but it does the job.

 
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Eddie
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Thank you Gentlemen,

I think I understand it now.

Eddie
 
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Brian Calhoun
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North Carolina
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This Game was Gay!
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