There are a pile of games which look to simulate football.
They include fantasy gems such as Bloodbowl, abstract strategy offerings such as Gridiron Master, and straight board game examples such as Pizza Box Football.
While there are some fine football games already out there, such as the three aforementioned games, there always seems to be new ones popping up.
Which brings us to Dice Bowl Football.
As you might expect dice lie at the heart of the game, with 12 custom dice provided. In this case the dice come with stickers you need to apply. Since each dice is different based on colour, stickers are the only viable option which allows the creator to maintain some level of cost control.
Now it should be understood here that Dice Bowl Football is not a high budget offering.
The board (football field) is actually created by laying out 14 cards (playing card size). It works, although a regular player might end up gluing the cards on a board, but in doing that you would sacrifice a neat aspect of Dice Bowl Football, its compact nature. The dice, associated cards (14 Field cards, 16 Game Clock cards, 1 Time Out card, 1 Quarter/Down card) and associated game pieces, all fit in a small drawstring bag provided with the game. This is really a grab and go anywhere game.
The game plays simple enough, yet it does allow a player to feel in control of things since there are generally some choices to be made.
For example, a player on offence takes six offence dice, three having run options, and three detailing passes. Some, such as a short pass, are safer in terms of not being intercepted, or missed, but the yardage gained is less. A long pass is the opposite.
Since you need to get first downs, just like in real football, which single dice you select each play varies on what you need to gain.
On defence the player gets to guess what the offence will do, and if right, gets to roll some defensive dice which may impact the offence’s success.
With cards also used to indicate time passage in a game, players face that pressure as well. A nice touch is a running plays reduce the time by 60-seconds and passing plays reduce the time by 30-seconds.
The game allows extra point and two-point plays, time-outs, kick-offs, or in general terms pretty much everything you’d see in a real game.
Unlike many sport sims Dice Bowl Football does not rely on a series of charts which must be referenced after each dice roll. That is refreshing.
When you open the box it’s hard to imagine a few dice and cards can simulate a football game, but Dice Bowl Football quickly transcends first impressions. There are a lot of coaching choices here, and while dice rolls ultimately determine success, there are ways to maintain an element of control on just how great an influence rolls mean.
A step above the average in terms of football sims, with compact size, not charting to track, and in-game decisions making Dice Bowl Football as easy game to recommend.
Check it out at https://www.thegamecrafter.com/games/dice-bowl-football
If anyone is interested in this game, or other board games feel free to contact calmar...@sasktel.net