$10.00
Information
Designer
Publisher
Year Published
1959
# of Players
2 − 4
User Suggested # of Players
Best with 2 players
Recommended with 2 players
(6 voters) [poll]
Mfg Suggested Ages
10 and up
Playing Time
150 minutes
User Suggested Ages
10 and up
(4 voters) [poll]
Language Dependence
Some necessary text - easily memorized or small crib sheet
(4 voters) [poll]
Subdomain
(6 voters) [vote]
Category
Mechanic
Family
Primary Name
Football Strategy
Alternate Names
Website
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ObjectID: 951
Description Edit | History

Football Strategy boils the sport down to play calling skill. The game's structure is simple: The defensive player selects one of 10 formation cards (ranging from an 8-man line "goal line stand" to a pass prevent defense with five safeties); the offensive player calls a play (a choice of 20, plus punting). Cross-indexing the choices on a matrix shows what happened. Except for "long gains", the outcome of each play against each defense is always the same. Dice are rolled only to determine the distance of long gains and the results of kickoffs and field goal attempts.

Each play consumes a prescribed number of seconds, from 15 to 45. The players mark off the time and play four quarters, following the standard football rules.

For variety, three types of offense ("pro style", "aerial game" and "ball control") are available, each with a different, though not radically different, results matrix.

Simple though it is, the game is engrossing (see the "More Information" screen), and play generally follows realistic patterns, though the handling of punts and on-side kicks (both more effective than in real life) is questionable. Also, because the design changed little after its debut in 1959, the plays and defenses don't reflect the state of the art in contemporary professional football. This is the era of Otto Graham, not Eli Manning.

For those who are so inclined, Football Strategy lends itself to mathematical analysis. Many years ago, an entrant into the tournament at Origins went to the trouble of using game theory to generate charts showing the optimal mix of plays in different situations. He reached the finals but, in a victory for human intuition over number crunching, lost the championship game by a touchdown and a field goal.

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More Information Edit | History

from The Avalon Hill Company History, 1980

Football Strategy (1962) Revised 1965, 1972, 1980
Prior existing published design redesigned by Avalon Hill
Designed by Tom Shaw

The matrix game system has been imitated many times in dozens of games since, but none ever quite matched the brilliance of this simple design. The revisions have been mere fine tuning of a game which undergoes constant evolution in the AH R&D offices--the site of the AHFSL: a 28 member league which plays out the actual NFL schedule with yearly franchise fees of $31.


Magazine References:

The GENERAL Index Article List:

the general volume 25 number 2

Versions
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Football Strategy
Nick: 
Sixth Edition
Publisher: Avalon Hill
Artist: 
Year: 1982
Size: Avalon Hill Bookcase
English
Release Date:  
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Football Strategy
Nick: 
Fifth edition
Publisher: Avalon Hill
Artist: 
Year: 1981
Product Code: 815
Size: 11.30 x 8.20 x 2.10 inches
English
Release Date:  
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Football Strategy
Nick: 
Avalon Hill Edition 1979
Publisher: Avalon Hill
Artist: 
Year: 1979
Size:  
English
Release Date:  
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Football Strategy
Nick: 
Avalon Hill Edition 1976
Publisher: Avalon Hill
Artist: 
Year: 1976
Size:  
English
Release Date:  
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Football Strategy
Nick: 
Avalon Hill twelfth printing
Publisher: Avalon Hill
Artist: 
Year: 1972
Product Code: 815
Size: Avalon Hill Bookcase
English
Release Date:  
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Files
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Pg. 1 of 2 »
2 Defensive Coordinator Aid Sheet
This is fan generated and to be used in Football Strategy to help Defensive Coordinators record offensive plays called by either down or quarter and keep track of play calling trends by the Offensive Coordinator. Could also be used in a league format as well.
English
2014-11-05
4 Updated Rules, Tables 1-7
Updated Tables part 2
English
2014-06-17
5 Variant Football Strategy Rules
Updated and refigured rules for FS.
English
2014-06-17
4 Football Strategy Defesive Coordinator's Card
All of the defensive plays, updated, onto one landscape sheet PLUS an offensive play counting chart to help watch for trends.
English
2014-06-05
7 Uppdated Defense Cards
The title says it all.
English
2014-05-25
2 Two-Minute Clock
TWO-MINUTE CLOCK: In the last two minutes of each half use the time system described in the attached document. The key improvement over game rules is that the exact length of a play is somewhat variable, using the roll of one die for a range of one to six seconds in addition to standard amounts associated with the type of play and play yardage. Board game users need only create a set of time cards numbered 0 to 15 (writing the numbers on index cards works great). The result is a very realistic and exciting period in which both offense and defense attempt to play each second to full advantage as in real games.
English
2011-12-29
10 Hi-res.zip
No charts version - hi-resolution images
2007-01-18
0 charger field base.pdf
Chargers field, print 11x17
2006-12-10
0 NY field base.pdf
Jets field, print 11x17
2006-12-10
1 patriot football field.bmp
New england field, print 11x17
2006-12-09
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Statistics
Board Game Rank: 2915
Strategy Game Rank: 1082
Num Ratings: 346
Average Rating: 6.36
Standard Deviation: 1.56
Num Views: 126578
GeekBuddy Analysis: Analyze
Similarly Rated: View
Avg. Game Weight: 1.5
Fans: 22
Personal Comments: 181
Users Owning: 647
Users Wanting: 9
Users Trading: 70 [find trade matches]
Has Parts For Trade: 1
Want Parts In Trade: 5
Price History: View
Total Plays: 399
Plays This Month: 0
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