Touchdown A Minute Football
Age: 8 and up
Playing Time: 30 minutes
Publisher: Fast Forward Games
Rating: 8 of 10
Review by Brutilus
Touchdown-a-Minute Football combines two of my favorite things: football and dice games. It's like watching a football game without any timeouts or commercial breaks. It cuts
right to the chase and provides you with all the strategy and luck that goes into a good football game.
It sets up very quickly, only takes 30 minutes to play, has great replay value, and is full of thrills, strategy & end zone dancing. (End zone dancing optional. I just sign football with a Sharpie and toss them into the stands.)
This game is perfect for football fans and dice game fans alike. It has built-in rules for almost all aspects of the actual game (penalties, onside kicks, & quarterback crunching sacks) while maintaining a fast play tempo. The rules are easy to learn without being overly simplistic and the rulebook is written to be an easy reference during your first few games.
Touchdown-a-Minute Football's rules are written to be played as a single game, but there is no reason that you wouldn't be able to adapt them to play full seasons.
Game Components & Set-Up
TDAMF comes in a very small package. The rules are very compact, yet easily readable and laid out very well to use as a quick reference during the game.
There are 12 dice in the package: 4 white (play modifiers), 4 red (offensive strategy), and 4 blue (defensive strategy). A sticker sheet is also included. The sticker sheet contains the faces for the dice. It's kind of annoying to have to put the faces on the dice, but necessary. The stickers for the blue dice aren't very colorfast.
The last item in the package is the title card, the back of which is used to track game progress.
First let me state that it helps to have a working knowledge of football to play TDAMF, but the rulebook covers all the basics you'd need to watch and understand an NFL or college game.
The game consists of four quarters of 30 plays each. The current quarter, number of plays, scores of both teams, possession, current down, yards to go, and field position are all easily tracked on the gameboard which is located on the back of the cover.
You start the game by deciding who will be the home team. The home team gets the enormous advantage of being able to force the replay of a down once each in the 2nd and 4th quarters. The visiting "coach" gets to call heads or tails during the opening coin toss and also is responsible for interpreting the rules.
Next, each team chooses their strength & tells their opponent what that strength is. It can either be an offensive strength (run inside, run outside, short pass, long pass) or a defensive strength (tackle, blocked pass, fumble, interceptions) and it can be applied once per quarter. Unfortunately, the rules for how to apply the strengths seem to be missing from the rulebook. I recommend making up your own house rule for applying the strength with whoever is playing the visiting team having the final revision of the rule.
Now for the kick off...
After the receiving team has the opportunity to return the kick off, play begins. Each player selects an appropriate strategy die and adds it to a cup that contains the four white play dice. The offense has a choice of run inside, run outside, short pass, and long pass. The defense gets to choose between stopping the run, blitzing, nickel defense, and dime defense. There are slaps and bennies for each strategy that fit the expected outcomes in an NFL game. If you make the wrong choice, your opponent will probably burn you.
The six dice are then rolled by the offensive player and results are read based on the offensive play chosen. Every offensive strategy has a counter. Running plays are broken up by tackles and fumbles. Passing plays are disrupted by blocks, interceptions, and sacks.
After you read the results, you adjust the markers on the scorecard as necessary. The offense and defense trade dice after each score or failure to get a first down.
Overall, this is an awesome game. I played it three times on the first day I got it and wanted to play again. The few gripes I had are being addressed by Fast Forward Games in version 2 which will be released in November of 2003.
Touchdown-a-Minute Football is available direct from Fast Forward Games on their website.
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