Forceball is a fast and futuristic sport card game for 2 players. Each match consists of three periods. A period starts with a face-off to decide who's the attacker and who's the defender, and then progresses with the players taking turns either attacking or defending. The period ends when all cards in the deck have been used, and the deck is then reshuffled for the next period.
During a period the attacker uses his attack maneuvers – Pass, Dribble or Shot – to try to score a goal. The defender uses his defense maneuvers – Block, Tackle or Interception – to try to prevent a goal. If the attacker scores a goal or the defender intercepts the ball, the roles are reversed and the game continues.
In addition to the regular attack and defense maneuvers, the players can use special maneuvers to score a lucky shot or intercept the ball using the goalie. It's also possible to foul by making illegal maneuvers, but beware – you don't want the referee to see you.
Forceball consists of 55 cards and is a complete game in itself, not a trading card game. The game is easy to learn, easy to carry around in your pocket, and a period takes less than 15 minutes. It's suitable both as filler and for lengthy tournaments.
The game starts with dealing each player seven cards. Each game will have a draw pile of unused cards, a discard pile and then each player has a speed pile they control. The cards in your speed pile allow you to make maneuvers, power-up maneuvers or draw cards into your hand.
Each card has several important attributes, including type, force, speed requirement and a special ability. Cards are either offensive (blue), defensive (red) or combo (both, purple). The force is the number in the blue/red teardrops on the top left of the card. The speed requirement is the number of cards showing in the symbol to the right of force. If a card has a special ability, you will find it in the bottom left corner. These include lucky shot, goalie, referee, etc.
During each player’s turn they have three actions: Draw a card, adjust your speed, make a maneuver. While each of these actions is optional, a player generally chooses to do all three in their turn.
There are three offensive and three defensive maneuvers available to players. If you have possession of the ball you can play offensive maneuvers.
Shot = Score
Interception = You take possession of the ball
Pass/Block = +3 cards to your hand
Dribble/Tackle = +2 cards to your speed pile
To be able to make the maneuver you must have the required number of cards in your speed pile when you start making the maneuver.
Speed is critical in Forceball as it determines what maneuvers you can attempt, restructure the speed pile or power-up maneuvers. Each turn during the player’s phase of adjusting their speed, they have five options. They are as follows:
1. Increase your speed by placing a card from your hand face down on your speed pile.
2. Decrease your speed by taking the top card of your speed pile into your hand.
3. Restructure your speed by swapping the top card of your speed pile with one in your hand.
4. Transform speed into maneuvers by discarding the top card of your speed pile and drawing two cards in your hand.
5. Restructure your hand by discarding any number of cards from your hand and draw the same number of cards.
Your opponent must respond to the maneuver made during their turn. They must play a maneuver that equals or exceeds the force of the maneuver you played. This way, the game escalates and endurance becomes a factor. When you’ve made a maneuver that your opponent can’t or won’t respond to, you win the attack. You can win the attack while you are the attack or defender. The winning maneuver decides the outcome. Note that the attacker can lose the attack via block/tackle and remain in possession of the ball.
Level of Play
There are five levels of play in Forceball. The game adds or modifies rules to add layers of strategy to the game. They are:
1. Little League – Base set of rules. There are no options for adjusting speed other than increasing the speed. You cannot power-up maneuvers.
2. Junior League – Adds Face-Off rules. Adds all five options for adjusting speed. Cards from your speed pile and hand used to power-up maneuvers all count as 1 Force.
3. Minor League – When taking cards from your speed pile or your hand to power-up a maneuver, the force added equals the speed requirement of the card. Cards from your hand must have the same maneuver type to be eligible to play. Special abilities Lucky Shot and Goalie are added in.
4. Major League – Adds in Fouling rules and the Referee and Stress special abilities.
5. All-Star Series – Adds in Raised Stakes to make the value of points variable.