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Subject: Question about American football rss

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James Hutchings
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In some American Football-themed games, the defending player can choose between defending against a rush, and defending against a pass (often with more sub-options).

Would it make sense to have defending against a kick as another option?

If so, would defending against a punt and defending against a field goal attempt be two separate choices?

If not, is defending against a rush or defending against a pass better if the offense chooses to kick? Or is there no difference?
 
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Robert Lesco
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I am going to say YES to both. Sometimes a team focuses on blocking the punt, other times they want to set up for a return. You always want to block the field goal.
 
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Eric Miller
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Here's one point of view: (for a simple game)

There really is no need to "defend" against a punt. The offensive team is willingly giving the ball to the defense.

-->Yes, there is a "chance" that the offensive team (the one punting the ball) will do a fake punt, which would require some defense. There is also the chance the defense (the one receiving the punt) will attempt to block the kick in order to get better field position. Both of those are small odds/chances.

Much of the same goes for a field goal. The offensive team is trying to score, so by definition, the defensive team is trying to stop it. There are many rules in place to make it difficult for the defensive team to block the kick. And in the American version, it is very rare that a field goal is caught by the defense and returned. Canadian football has some rules that encourage the returning of a missed field goal.

James wrote:
If so, would defending against a punt and defending against a field goal attempt be two separate choices?

Not really. A "block" would be a defense against both. A "return" would also work for both. So if the offensive team chooses to "kick" then it wouldn't really matter what kind of kick it was.

-->If you are after an in-depth statistical game, then yes, there are different defenses, different types of returns and different types of blocks that could all become choices.
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Al Walker
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I'd say yes to blocking a field goal but not a punt, unless you are including fake punts

Blocking a punt would involve having line backers who can move like Sonic the Hedgehog given the opposition has got to make up the 15 yards between the center and the punter
 
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Andrew H
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In a typical play, it is unlikely the defense would defend against a kick at the same level of consideration as defending against a pass or run. The offensive side rarely kicks from the common play formations, or on earlier plays. The offense gets 4 plays to move 10 yards (by rush or pass), and usually only on the 4th play (down) if it looks unlikely they'll reach that 10 yard distance, would the offensive team choose to kick.

Before they kick, the offense would usually line up in 1 of 2 clear kick formations (field goal, punt), so the defense would have a good idea of a kick attempt, and thus wouldn't need to guess. It's 4th down and they see the offense in the kick formation, they would probably anticipate a kick. However, there are a ton of exceptions too this rule.

The offense could be trying to fake out the defense, looking to kick but really running or passing. The offense could kick on an earlier down in a regular kick formation. The offense can even kick from a regular formation (called a quick kick or drop kick). There are other exceptions as well.

Most of the time, these exceptions are relatively rare, and are often left out of board game versions. If any of the exceptions are included, they're often simplified as well. For example, the offense has to first say they line up for a punt, then the defense can choose block punt, punt return, or fake punt defense, and even if the offense sneaks a fake punt past the defense, the yards made are only 1-3 (high odds against a 10 yard play). Choosing "fake punt pass defense" or "fake punt run defense" would probably be too much.
 
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Sean Carduner
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apeloverage wrote:
In some American Football-themed games, the defending player can choose between defending against a rush, and defending against a pass (often with more sub-options).

Would it make sense to have defending against a kick as another option?

Only on 4th down plays. NFL teams almost never kick on 1st, 2nd, or 3rd down.

apeloverage wrote:
If so, would defending against a punt and defending against a field goal attempt be two separate choices?

They would, but the choice is obvious for the defending player: if the offense is in a punt formation, and has it's punter and punt coverage specialists on the field (instead of its normal offensive players), the defensive will set up to defend a punt (and will substitute its own normal players with specialists).

If the offense is in a field goal formation, and has it's place kicker and extra blockers on the field, the defense will set-up to defend a field goal (and will substitute its own normal players with specialists).

It is possible for the offense to run a non-kicking play, even with it's normal offensive players not on the field, so it might make sense to allow the defending player to still call run or pass defense if he thinks some trickery is brewing.

apeloverage wrote:
If not, is defending against a rush or defending against a pass better if the offense chooses to kick? Or is there no difference?

A defending team would be better off with the appropriate field goal or punt defense, but assuming the defending player chose to call otherwise because he suspected some trickery, he would want pass defense, since that type of defense is more likely to have a deep safety who could catch and return the football.
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Jay Klitz
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apeloverage wrote:
In some American Football-themed games, the defending player can choose between defending against a rush, and defending against a pass (often with more sub-options).

Would it make sense to have defending against a kick as another option?

If so, would defending against a punt and defending against a field goal attempt be two separate choices?

If not, is defending against a rush or defending against a pass better if the offense chooses to kick? Or is there no difference?
What type of game are you making? A simulation that is true to the sport of American Football or just a loose interpretation that gives the feel of football in a more abstract way.

Example for special teams: If you want to make a full on simulation you need to account for everything involved with it such as regular kickoffs and returns, squib kicks, trick returns, onside kicks, touchbacks, fair catches, punts, field goals, fake punts, fake field goals, and of course penalties.

However if you go the more abstracted route you could streamline the game and make it easier to play by including only the areas of football that you like.

Look atBreakaway Football it is an abstracted take on American Football that still retains the key parts of the game so those involved feel like they are playing a football game and not a card game loosely resembling football like say Football Highlights: 2052.

Both can be successful games and target the football enthusiast as well as some of the true simulations of American Football like Strat-O-Matic Pro Football, Statis Pro Football, and APBA Pro Football. Know what your trying to make then stick with that view to let your design come to life.
 
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Daniel Blumentritt
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Quote:
Would it make sense to have defending against a kick as another option?

Yes but the issue is that the specific alignment of players needed for optimal punting or kicking is very different from the normal formations that offenses use when attempting to gain yards.

So if the offense is in a normal formation, then it would almost never make sense to choose any sort of "defend against kick" option.

Quote:
If not, is defending against a rush or defending against a pass better if the offense chooses to kick? Or is there no difference?

If the offense is in a kick or punt formation instead, then generally the defense is defending against a kick and not a run or pass. There are, roughly speaking, 3 ways to defend a kick.

* Set up to try and block the kick/punt. This gets harder to do at higher levels of play, and is slightly more common for longer field goal kicks than short ones. It also increases the risk of committing a penalty.
* Set up to try and maximize return distance. This is generally only done for punts or for very long field goals.
* Set up to try and watch for a fake. This would be a run or pass defense as well (a fake kick/punt could be either a run or pass).

Quote:
If not, is defending against a rush or defending against a pass better if the offense chooses to kick? Or is there no difference?

The offense in a kick/punt formation is aligned very sub-optimally to try either runs or passes and is relying on the trickery and surprise instead, a defense in "watch for fake" mode that can't be surprised will usually succeed in stopping the fake - picking "run" or "pass" correctly, although it matters a little bit, isn't as important.

Quote:
If so, would defending against a punt and defending against a field goal attempt be two separate choices?

There are some differences. It depends on how detailed of a treatment you are aiming for.
 
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Joe Salamone
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Alixian wrote:
I'd say yes to blocking a field goal but not a punt, unless you are including fake punts

Blocking a punt would involve having line backers who can move like Sonic the Hedgehog given the opposition has got to make up the 15 yards between the center and the punter

Punts are blocked multiple times every season in American football. The risk of being aggressive, though, is that you will be penalized if you make contact with the kicker.
 
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James Hutchings
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Thanks everyone.

In the game Pen & Paper Football the defense chooses to defend against a pass or a rush. If the defense matches the offense the offense is more likely to fail, and if they don't match it's more likely to succeed.

In the 4th down the offense can also choose to punt, attempt a field goal, or make a fake punt.

However in these cases, the defense doesn't make any choice. There's just a dice roll to see what happens.

I thought that, if there was also the option of defending against a kick in the 4th down, this could give an advantage to one side in the resulting dice roll--that is, punts and field goals might be more likely to fail, and fake punts more likely to succeed, against a kick defense.

So my question was whether 'defending against a kick' is an actual thing in the way that 'defending against a pass' and 'defending against a rush' are.

I'm not necessarily aiming for the outcomes of plays to match the outcomes of the same plays in actual games. It's fine if the game is more 'dramatic' than real life--more interceptions, more injuries etc. But it should feel at least as realistic as, say, a film in which a football game is part of the plot.
 
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Andrew Rintoul
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apeloverage wrote:
Thanks everyone.

In the game Pen & Paper Football the defense chooses to defend against a pass or a rush. If the defense matches the offense the offense is more likely to fail, and if they don't match it's more likely to succeed.

In the 4th down the offense can also choose to punt, attempt a field goal, or make a fake punt.

However in these cases, the defense doesn't make any choice. There's just a dice roll to see what happens.

I thought that, if there was also the option of defending against a kick in the 4th down, this could give an advantage to one side in the resulting dice roll--that is, punts and field goals might be more likely to fail, and fake punts more likely to succeed, against a kick defense.

So my question was whether 'defending against a kick' is an actual thing in the way that 'defending against a pass' and 'defending against a rush' are.

I'm not necessarily aiming for the outcomes of plays to match the outcomes of the same plays in actual games. It's fine if the game is more 'dramatic' than real life--more interceptions, more injuries etc. But it should feel at least as realistic as, say, a film in which a football game is part of the plot.

In case it isn't on your radar you should check out the rules and game play of Blood Bowl. Blood Bowl (2016 edition) there are heaps of Youtube and twitch streams of Blood Bowl 2 the computer game which is an electronic version of the board game.
 
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James Hutchings
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Big A wrote:
In case it isn't on your radar you should check out the rules and game play of Blood Bowl. Blood Bowl (2016 edition) there are heaps of Youtube and twitch streams of Blood Bowl 2 the computer game which is an electronic version of the board game.

Thanks!
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James Hutchings
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Thanks both of you--these were very helpful.

SeanC wrote:
apeloverage wrote:
In some American Football-themed games, the defending player can choose between defending against a rush, and defending against a pass (often with more sub-options).

Would it make sense to have defending against a kick as another option?

Only on 4th down plays. NFL teams almost never kick on 1st, 2nd, or 3rd down.

apeloverage wrote:
If so, would defending against a punt and defending against a field goal attempt be two separate choices?

They would, but the choice is obvious for the defending player: if the offense is in a punt formation, and has it's punter and punt coverage specialists on the field (instead of its normal offensive players), the defensive will set up to defend a punt (and will substitute its own normal players with specialists).

If the offense is in a field goal formation, and has it's place kicker and extra blockers on the field, the defense will set-up to defend a field goal (and will substitute its own normal players with specialists).

It is possible for the offense to run a non-kicking play, even with it's normal offensive players not on the field, so it might make sense to allow the defending player to still call run or pass defense if he thinks some trickery is brewing.

apeloverage wrote:
If not, is defending against a rush or defending against a pass better if the offense chooses to kick? Or is there no difference?

A defending team would be better off with the appropriate field goal or punt defense, but assuming the defending player chose to call otherwise because he suspected some trickery, he would want pass defense, since that type of defense is more likely to have a deep safety who could catch and return the football.

Statalyzer wrote:
Quote:
Would it make sense to have defending against a kick as another option?

Yes but the issue is that the specific alignment of players needed for optimal punting or kicking is very different from the normal formations that offenses use when attempting to gain yards.

So if the offense is in a normal formation, then it would almost never make sense to choose any sort of "defend against kick" option.

Quote:
If not, is defending against a rush or defending against a pass better if the offense chooses to kick? Or is there no difference?

If the offense is in a kick or punt formation instead, then generally the defense is defending against a kick and not a run or pass. There are, roughly speaking, 3 ways to defend a kick.

* Set up to try and block the kick/punt. This gets harder to do at higher levels of play, and is slightly more common for longer field goal kicks than short ones. It also increases the risk of committing a penalty.
* Set up to try and maximize return distance. This is generally only done for punts or for very long field goals.
* Set up to try and watch for a fake. This would be a run or pass defense as well (a fake kick/punt could be either a run or pass).

Quote:
If not, is defending against a rush or defending against a pass better if the offense chooses to kick? Or is there no difference?

The offense in a kick/punt formation is aligned very sub-optimally to try either runs or passes and is relying on the trickery and surprise instead, a defense in "watch for fake" mode that can't be surprised will usually succeed in stopping the fake - picking "run" or "pass" correctly, although it matters a little bit, isn't as important.

If the offense is in a kick or punt formation instead, then it

Quote:
If so, would defending against a punt and defending against a field goal attempt be two separate choices?

There are some differences. It depends on how detailed of a treatment you are aiming for.
 
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James Hutchings
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In Football Strategy, every combination of a particular defense and a particular offense produces exactly one result. The only defense which blocks a punt is defense B, which is otherwise very good against running attacks and very bad against passes.

So that suggests that a 'kick defense', if there was such a thing, would be closer to a rush defense than a pass defense.
 
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Alec Glen
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I know a lot more about football than board games so I'll try to help where I can:

It's reasonable in real life for a Defense to have the option of trying to block the kick (FG or Punt), maximise the return (returning missed FGs happens but not enough for games) or guard against fakes. If choosing binary options for a game I'd offer:

FG Defense: Block (10 man rush) OR Cover fakes (6 man rush)
Punt Defense: Return (6 man rush) OR Block (10/11 man rush)

Also, reality blocking kicks (and protecting for them) is more akin to pass rush/protection than run game.

Feel free to hit me up if you've any specific game questions.
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Chris Robbins
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I attended a game in 1973 when a monsoon hit in the second half. The University of Tennessee used a player not expected to be a kicker who punted on first down. It ensured a long kick with no return by Auburn. I was quite happy with the 21-0 win as well as being soaked.

When you have individual players represented, substitutions are made for special teams players who practice for the kicking part of the game. This also gives the starting regular players a breather and avoidance of injuries. This is the standard response on fourth down when the known punter or place kicker is inserted.

But trickery is not prohibited.
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david tamali
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Are you looking at making a football game? I've been working on one myself. If interested I would be willing to work together on this. Mine is quite different from the usual on this though. Still working out the kinks.
 
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david tamali
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As for the subject at hand it's actually probably easier to block a punt than a field goal/extra point. The punter generally has to take two relatively, long slow strides before kicking the ball. He also has to drop the ball from mid-torso height. A kicker takes much shorter, quicker steps to get to the ball and the ball is stationary. Also, field goal block squads are not going to be running down to tackle a returner. They have one job and that's to block. A punt squad is not necessarily filled with the best blocking players. They have to be able to do it all, block, run, get off blocks, and tackle. Most players on the punt squad are taught to try and hold their blocks for 2 seconds and then release and now try and beat the guy who's now blocking them. So if a punter starts fumbling the ball around it will often get blocked because the players on his side are no longer trying to block.
Also, most field goals I would say are blocked by inside penetrators, not the outside speed guys. These are guys that get a lot of push and are generally tall or have long arms. Punts can generally be blocked by any player, probably even more so by the speed guys

Edit: I forgot to mention that field goals are more likely to be blocked when the field goals are being attempted at long distances. This is because the kicker will oftentimes have to kick the ball at a lower trajectory to get the distance needed
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Geoffrey Burrell
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I own the game Playbook Football and it doesn't have specific block kick mechanics but the kicks can otherwise be missed depending on the dice rolls.
 
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