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Subject: strategic depth rss

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pau bo
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How to define this game in terms of strategic depth? That is, just released data and consulted the letters of defense-attack tactics or we can choose to really change the course of the game?
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Greg Lott
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paubo wrote:
How to define this game in terms of strategic depth? That is, just released data and consulted the letters of defense-attack tactics or we can choose to really change the course of the game?


Well... I REALLY wanted to like this game, but here's the rub. It's essentially rock/paper/scissors where occassionally rock beats paper, scissors beats rock, and paper beats scissors. In other words, it's a randomness-fest with a thin bluffing layer. It never felt like football to me.

Too bad, the concept was right up my alley. So much so, I bought all the expansions before I came to these conclusions.
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Dan Conley
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I think the game's fun, but it's definitely lightweight in terms of mapping out any sort of effective strategy. Throwing a surprise long bomb pass when the defense expects a run is great fun, though!

I'm no expert re. actual football, but I'm not sure how different it is from 1st & Goal. In real football, you guess whether the opponent will run up the middle, run a sweep, throw a screen, go for the bomb, etc. Lots of guesswork involved there, too! Of course, those decisions are made based on hours of film study and charting the tendencies of the opponent. In 1st & Goal, your first game is just like that first game of a real season when there's no film to study! If you continue to play the game with the same opponent, you may be able to mentally chart THEIR tendencies as well.

Bottom line...it's a great beer & pretzels game and a load of fun to play! Just have fun with it! If you're looking for a bigtime brain-burner, look elsewhere.
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Greg Lott
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yosemite wrote:
I think the game's fun, but it's definitely lightweight in terms of mapping out any sort of effective strategy. Throwing a surprise long bomb pass when the defense expects a run is great fun, though!

I'm no expert re. actual football, but I'm not sure how different it is from 1st & Goal. In real football, you guess whether the opponent will run up the middle, run a sweep, throw a screen, go for the bomb, etc. Lots of guesswork involved there, too! Of course, those decisions are made based on hours of film study and charting the tendencies of the opponent. In 1st & Goal, your first game is just like that first game of a real season when there's no film to study! If you continue to play the game with the same opponent, you may be able to mentally chart THEIR tendencies as well.

Bottom line...it's a great beer & pretzels game and a load of fun to play! Just have fun with it! If you're looking for a bigtime brain-burner, look elsewhere.


Well, I DO know football, and I promise you it's not just a matter of guessing pass vs run. How do you handle an offense with an outstanding WR, but not much else? Double coverage maybe. Or maybe a zone. How do you handle a team with a great RB? 8 man box or zone blitzing maybe, it really depends on the personnel the defensive coordinator has to work with. If you are stout against the run, you may be alright. If not, then you just take your licks and hope your offense can keep up with theirs... so here, a great offense on the other side will effect the play calling of YOUR offense. You will take more chances down field hoping to keep up. Likewise, you'll take more chances on D with blitzes and whatnot hoping to get a drive stalling sack, or maybe even a turnover. How do you handle a team with a RB that's not much of a runner, but great out of the backfield. Or when the QB is as dangerous with his feet as he is with his arm? Here it gets even more complicated. These are the cool strategies and dynamics in football, and you really don't get any of this in 1st and Goal. Granted, it WOULD be a lot to ask from a dice game. But as I said earlier, this game is simply trying to outbluff your opponent. Which is fine, and might even be fun. But it's not football.
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Paul Hackman
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Certainly this is nowhere near an accurate simulation of being a head coach, but it doesn't have to be to be a fun "football" game.

The limit on strategic depth seems to be the fact that there are few inherent strengths or weaknesses in the plays themselves other than the fact that running plays shorten the game. The game is all about outguessing your opponent. If you say run up the middle and he says nickel defense, you will probably gain a bunch of yards. The fact that a run up the middle is less likely to gain big against any defense is not a significant factor in the game (as far as I can tell) and the fact that a long pass play is inherently more risky isn't either. The expansions seem to address this a bit by making some teams better at certain things, but still, you aren't making football decisions, other than when you fake a punt or go for it on fourth down.

Turnovers and penalties are random and are just as likely to happen on any play.

So there is a little bit of strategy there, but not really in a way that a football expert would have any advantage over a novice. The components and basic system are very nice, though, so I imagine a dedicated player could house rule a little more strategy into the game.
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Stephen Glenn
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ferris1971 wrote:
How do you handle an offense with an outstanding WR, but not much else? Double coverage maybe. Or maybe a zone. How do you handle a team with a great RB? 8 man box or zone blitzing maybe, it really depends on the personnel the defensive coordinator has to work with. If you are stout against the run, you may be alright. If not, then you just take your licks and hope your offense can keep up with theirs... so here, a great offense on the other side will effect the play calling of YOUR offense. You will take more chances down field hoping to keep up. Likewise, you'll take more chances on D with blitzes and what not hoping to get a drive stalling sack, or maybe even a turnover. How do you handle a team with a RB that's not much of a runner, but great out of the backfield. Or when the QB is as dangerous with his feet as he is with his arm? Here it gets even more complicated. These are the cool strategies and dynamics in football, and you really don't get any of this in 1st and Goal.


Correct.
 
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Ken McElhaney
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That's a pretty tall order to simulate in any game system. Throw in fatigue, individual match-ups, weather conditions and a myriad of other intangibles and there is simply no board or even video game system that can rightly simulate all the important aspects of football.

The key question for any board game that attempts to recreate football is whether the feel of the game can be represented in a format that is simple and quick to play.

Having played 1st & Goal a few times so far, I believe the answer to that question is yes. Football is a game of percentages and 1st & Goal places the emphasis on the decision-making skills of the player in choosing the right play for the situation.

The dice represent the myriad of possibilities that can occur once the play happens. For example, it is possible to call the right defense for a particular play and still give up yards. A lot of people probably don't like that, but you can point out in basically every football game where the defense was perfect, yet they still gave up yards.

1st & Goal is not perfect by any stretch, but I've played a few other tabletop football games, the AH classic Football Strategy comes to mind, that are no closer to "simulating" real football anyway. Throw in the expansion teams and a couple of optional rules and 1st & Goal features enough strategy to qualify as providing a good enough feel of football.
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I agree with your take on the game. I have played about every football game out there and you can blow up every game with this is wrong that's wrong etc etc. You can always address certain game inadequacies with house rules and a 10 or 20 sided dice for odds if you see fit.
 
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