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Battleball» Forums » Variants

Subject: Simple changes that bring a tiny bit of strategy rss

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Thomas Fredericks
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Light Analysis

Battleball is a very simplistic game of future football. The components are very nice (from the unique miniatures to the zinc football), but the game play is rather lame: you can never really develop a strategy (or tactic) because you must roll for movement and you can not determine the level of threat of the board areas, and you can't even predict the movement of your own players. Also the board is too big and the board can never be completely covered properly.

Passing is an optional rule and understandingly so, because it has no use in the game: you roll the receiver's die and 1D6. If the total is higher than the distance between both miniatures, the pass is successful. That means that the maximum number of spaces you can throw is 26 squares. But, your running back can almost cover as much distance in one move (20 squares) without any chance of dropping the ball: there is never really any incentive to actually make a throw.

Battleball hurts! There is usually two tackles per turn (one for the defensive team and one for the offensive team), and one player is always removed per tackle (sometimes two). After 10 turns, your 11 player team is usually reduced to at most 2 players: a touchdown is always made because of the lack of defensive players on the field and not because you outwitted your opponent.

My latest variation

SETUP:

Both teams must set up near their respective 50 yards lines. Defensive coach sets up his team first, then attacker. Defensive coach can not place a player adjacent to the ball. No more than three players per side may touch the 50 yards line.

TACKLING:

Tackles are too random, recurrent and powerful. I suggest that on your turn, you must decide if you wish to tackle or move. A tackle can only be made if at the start of your turn one of your players is already adjacent to an opponent. As a coach, you must decide: should I try to tackle or would I gain more by moving a player.

MOVING:

All players can move 1/2 their die value (this is never rolled,ie tackles can move up to 3 spaces, linebackers 5, safeties 6, etc), except for the running back that can move 7 spaces. A player ends his move once he is ever adjacent to a member of the opposing team. Also, a player can not be moved if he starts his turn adjacent to a member of the opposing team (in which case, he may only tackle).

HANDLING THE BALL:

If at the start of any coach's turn, the ball carrier is adjacent to a player of the opposing team, he automatically fumbles the ball.

Passes are only allowed at the end of a turn. Hand offs can be done at any moment. In both cases, the player receiving the ball must not be adjacent to a player of the opposing team.
 
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tim Tim TIm TIM TIMMY!!
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I think you need to play more, the pass can be a huge part of the game, but that is just for me and all the people I have played with ( 12 or so - so far, I have bought 4 more BB games for friends so it is at there house and we can play it any time, it is my spread the love program )

Try reading MR. Bistro's advanced rules, only 2 pages of additions to the regular rules, and man do they make a big difference, gives it a American Football feel verses Rugby. I have been getting in a lot of great games lately, a few have been lop sided from lucky dice rolling, but some have been amazing games going back and fourth and us never knowing who is really in the lead?

Here are the new rules:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/file/info/28242

It is 12 pages, but only the 1st 2 are needed for the advanced rules, the rest is on having a league and league play. Just 2 pages of add on rules makes the game so much better.

Hope this helps, you like it, or it makes you add on to your custom rules in some way to make them even better!

Check them out.

I also take away the 1/2 spaces on the side of the board it narrows the board by 1 space really ( before you would have 16 & 15 spaces across, now you have 15 & 14 ) but it makes it a little easier to defend being a little smaller. Deciding where to attack some one from to leave carnage to make your side of the board more defendable is part of the game!
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Thomas Fredericks
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I do not think that MR. Bistro's famous advanced rules solves Battleball's game play issues, they simply add more rules to a very thin base. The only significant change I can see is that you move more than 1 player per turn (as the choice between a tackle and a block is always obvious depending on the player's relative strength) . In that vein, it would be even better if you could move your whole team every turn but that can drag out the length of the game.

An interesting mechanic used in Elfball is that you can never play the same player in two successive turns ensuring more players move without adding too much downtime.

Follows the inspirations for my variant and possible advancement of the Battleball rules :
Blood Bowl (Third Edition)
Crash Tackle Rugby Board Game
Bladder
ElfBall

You should try my variant Hendal, you will see it does feel a lot more strategic and the choices are a lot more ambivalent ( I find that in Battleball and Mr. Bistros Battleball the choices are always obvious). My variant is far from perfect, but I believe it is a step in the right direction.
 
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Thomas Fredericks
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Oh yeah, I think it would be important to add (to Mr. Bistro's or mine) a rule for supporting players during tackles:
when tackling (the player initiating the tackle is the tackler and the player being tackled is the target), count the number of adjacent team-mates to the tackler, then count the number of adjacent team-mates to the target. These are the supporting players. The team that has the most supporting players gets to roll a smaller die than they usually would (that means that a running back would roll a 1D12 instead of 1D20 and the tackle would get to roll 2D6 ). Because the heavy tackle is such a stupid hulk and an individualist, he can never gain support from any players when tackling.
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owen oliver
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One thing with passing: I'm pretty sure you perform the pass after you move. Which means you could potentially run the football 20 spaces and then pass it for 26... moving it for 46 total. While not incredibly likely, still possible.
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tim Tim TIm TIM TIMMY!!
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I don't think Mr. B.'s rules are a famous, as far as I can tell I am the only one interested in them! I think the beauty of them is as you stated, it is the same rules it just adds to it. For me only, I like the 3 person moving because it gives it an American football feel , verses a rugby feel I got from the official rules. I have been playing a lot BB lately and getting in really good fun games, which I didn't get with the regular rules. It adds a lot of strategy to the game, again IMO, that wasn't there before. I have read through some of the old custom rules, and it is all a totally different game that someone came up , but not if it seemed like it got play tested a lot, and a great part of this game is how easy the rules are.

I will try your way out and see what I think, but it will be hard for me to play a game moving 1 guy at a time, but I think I can handle it.
 
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