I originally wrote this review for the website GeekPlanetOnline
Nuthin' But Net
Written by Dev Sodagar
Designer: Ben Boersma
Publisher: Two Hour Wargames
Number of Players: 2 players
Playing Time: 2 Hours
Category: Miniature, Sport, Wargame, Dice
Mechanics: Variable Player Powers, Dice-Rolling
In Brief: The UK has never taken to Basketball. Sure, there are some teams around, but, honestly, how many of you have ever been to see a game? So if you don't even play or watch the real thing, what on earth is gonna persuade you to play a game of it on a table? Dev Sodagar, intrepid Tabletop reviewer dives in to the latest Slam Dunking ruleset from Two Hour Wargames.
Two Hour Wargames is a small American company that publishes wargaming rulesets for a wide range of settings, both historical and not. Nuthin' but Net is the latest offering. In it, you play a three-a-side basketball game on half a court (if you ever see prisons in the movies this is the game they are playing outside by the bleachers). The game seems to be set in an alternate history where fantasy races settle scores on the court rather than through traditional wars. Orcs, Goblins, Elves, Ratmen, and others all vie for the title of Tournament Grand Champions. A fantasy basketball game, with little background to develop the setting. The game doesn't sell itself, especially to a UK market where interest in basketball is practically non-existant.
All Two Hour Wargames rules use the same basic mechanic, which is centred around character stats (Ball Handling, Grit, Strength, Shoot, Block, Dunk and Speed) and rolling under that value on a six-sided die (D6). In any situation (such as shooting for the net or throwing a pass) both players will roll according to the relevant table and according to how many passes each side gets, the outcome is determined. The rules are very well written for the most part (an exception being exactly when turn-overs occur) and although there are many tables, after a couple of minutes of play, you will no longer need to consult most of them. The game plays very well, even for people who aren't followers of the sport. This game feels fast and frentic.
The rules do, however, have a couple of let downs. If you aren't a big B-Ball fan, a lot of the terms will be confusing and although explained very well, there are a lot of them. The major thing the rules are lacking are some quick play sheets where a single side of A4 covers the turn sequence and relevant tables for offence and another for defence. There are a set of tournament rules that are simple but well written, allowing you to quickly set up a league with some friends and if fantasy isn't to your liking, it would be very simple to convert the game for a more traditional set of players, simply modifying stats of players - perhaps even using some real life players for inspiration!
The rules can be purchased as a PDF for $12 or as a print-out for $15. As with all Two Hour Wargames products, if you purchase the print-out, you also get a PDF copy you can use whilst waiting for your hard copy to arrive. The book provides all the rules you will need to play as well as a gameboard and set of counters that you can cut out, however you will need a handful of D6. If you want to use miniatures instead of the counters included, you may have a hard time finding Basketball miniatures but there are a wide range of fantasy football miniatures that could be modified.
Tabletop sports games are not easy to write, and trying to turn action packed, adrenalin-fulled activities into a sit-down, turn based activity is no mean feat but with Nuthin' but Net, Two Hour Wargames are 9/10ths of the way to having a true classic that could rival the likes of the legendary Blood Bowl. It feels a lot like the game is in beta-testing and with a little spit and polish Nuthin' but Net could be a game everyone should buy.
- Last edited Sun Jan 16, 2011 10:18 pm (Total Number of Edits: 3)
- Posted Sat Mar 21, 2009 11:16 pm
Re: Nuthin' But Net - A Raggy Review - GeekPlanet.co.uk
Thanks for posting this here Dev!