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Global football has moved beyond the restrictive rules of the U.S. Football League. Physical enhancements have made the sport more intense and more deadly. Players have developed distinctive skills to overpower enemy players. Some are fast. Some are strong. All are out to eliminate their opponents.
Plan your strategy to get safely into the end zone. Your opponent will do everything he can to destroy your players and take possession of the ball. Can you overpower them and score a touchdown? Score 2 touchdowns and you'll be the Battleball champ!
- 22 detailed miniature players
- 1 zinc football pawn
- 13 dice
- 1 gameboard: 20 x 40 in.
- 24 carnage tokens
- 2 locker room cards
- 2 team play tokens
Average Rating: 4.2 in 6 reviews
This is a well balanced game with a solid and consistent game engine and rule base. The game is complex enough (and uses polyhedral dice) to appeal to a core gamer, but it's streamlined enough to have mass-market appeal. After playing several games, I would like to dispell the idea that this is a luck-heavy game. An experienced player has a distinct advantage over a newer player. Strategy plays a big part.
This one is a winner ... very fun.
Finally, a game that that gets it right. Football has been said to reflect American society (Constant violence and endless committee meetings!). Other futuristic football games such as Blood Bowl were too complicated to invest the time (not to mention the price). This game is reasonably priced and actually has a good bit of skill for the sports game genre. No, it not a realistic simulation of the NFL (It's pretty close to some games at the tailgating parties given by New England Patriot fans in Foxboro, but that's another matter) but it isn't suposed to be. Hasbro seems to understand that a good game doesn't need to be overly complicated or require a heavy investment.
The characters are cool as well and my son has already given them his own names. Anyone looking for some fun and unusual football like action should give this one a try.
My wife keeps saying that it's not realistic for football, especially since everyone tackles - even the running back that's carrying the ball, but I still think it's fun. The rules are simple enough that kids can play with adults but I think there is enough strategy to keep most moderate game players interested. If you're looking for a simple sports-based game with a few cyborgs thrown in for that 'futuristic' look, I'd highly suggest this game. On another note, the quality of this game is quite good too.
The latest foray into 'future' football is great for the beer-and-pretzels crowd and worthy of a second look by serious gamers as well.
The game is basically a combination of 'Kill the Guy With the Ball' and American Football. Playing pieces (called Players) such as Tackles, Linemen, and Running Backs have different abilities -- speed, tackle strength, and pass reception -- with speed inversely proportional to strength. These values are based on the type of polyhedral dice the various players roll ... a D20 Running Back is very fast (higher rolls = greater movement), but much weaker than a D6 Tackle (low roll wins tackles).
Tackling is a key component of the game, as every time opposing Players move adjacent to each other, one of them ends up getting crushed. As Players are tackled, they are removed from play for the half (or in some cases for the entire game). This ultimately opens the playing field for your faster Players to make a dash for the end zone.
Handoffs and passing add flexibility to your offense, and allow greater opportunities to outmaneuver your opponent. Fumbles, interceptions, and an occasional malfunction by some of your more powerful Players round out the tactical elements you must overcome to win.
There are even optional rules allowing the coach to 'customize' certain team abilities, giving one team a slight offensive advantage, and the other team a slight edge on defense.
Luck does play a role (dice dictate many aspects of the game), but after several sessions our group still finds the game engaging. The components are nice (painted miniatures, color coded dice, and a large, attractive board) and at $20 (Toys-R-Us price), this is a good gaming investment.
I had read with interest about several of the new games Hasbro / Milton Bradley was releasing, including Battle Ball. Although I knew Battle Ball would be a light, bash-‘em-up dice fest, it still sounded like fun. When I saw the abundance of highly detailed miniatures that were included in the game, that was the clincher.
My initial impressions were immediately confirmed: this one is a light dice-fest that falls squarely in the beer & pretzels category. Lots of dice rolling, with shouts of glee or despair when the dice go for or against you. There are some choices to be made, but there’s just no getting around the fact that the dice will determine the outcome. But, you know what? It is still lots of fun and good for some laughs. From everything I can tell, that is all that the game is meant to be, so it serves its purpose well.
Each player represents the coach of a futuristic football team. Over the years, the league has gone high-tech and turned violent. Players are clad in armor and the rules have been changed so that carnage is the law of the game. Scoring touchdowns will still win the day (2 are needed for victory), but another important objective is to tackle and injure as many of the opponent’s players as possible. In game terms, this means that whenever one of your players moves adjacent to an opponent’s player, you MUST attempt to tackle that player. A successful tackle results in that player being injured and removed from the game. To add to the atmosphere, the location of the assault is marked with a ‘carnage’ marker and becomes impassable. Ouch.
The eleven players on each team are divided into various categories, including linemen, receivers, safeties, etc. The bases of the figures are color coded to match the category and also dictate the color of the die which that category rolls when moving or attempting to tackle or receive a pass. For instance, the lumbering heavy tackle rolls a 6-sided die, while the speedy receivers roll a 20-sided die.
When moving, a higher number is more favorable, as this allows the player to move a number of spaces up to the number rolled. Thus, the swift receivers can fly down the field. When tackling, however, a low roll is better. When a player attempts to tackle an opponent’s player, each player rolls their corresponding die and the player with the lowest roll is successful. Thus, those linemen may be slow, but they are devastatingly effective when tackling an opponent’s player. Woe to the light-weight receiver who is tackled by a beefy lineman!
The game itself is very easy to play. Each player sets their team of 11 players behind their own 20 yard line and the ball is placed in the middle of the field. Players alternate choosing one of their players, rolling its corresponding die and moving that player. The object is to grab the ball and get into your opponent’s end zone. The game flows much more like rugby than it does American football, as the ball can be passed freely and there are no set formations.
If a player carrying the ball is successfully tackled, the ball is fumbled and other players may scoop it up by moving onto its location. Players may also execute “hand-offs” to other players on their team, but there is a slight risk of a fumble if doubles are rolled during the exchange attempt.
Passing allows a player to move a player, then attempt to throw the ball. This attempt involves the rolling of the ‘passing die’ (a five- sided die that is shaped like a football!) and the die that matches the base of the target. These two numbers are added and if they equal or exceed the distance between the passer and the receiver, the pass is complete. Otherwise, the ball falls to the ground and may be scooped-up by anyone. The moral here is to keep your passer and his target relatively close together. Long passes are risky.
As mentioned, when a player is tackled, he is injured and sent to the locker room. The site of the tackle is marked with a carnage marker and this space cannot be moved onto for the remainder of that period. There is SO much tackling occurring that the playing field eventually becomes tough to navigate, forcing players to weave their way around these impassable locations.
When a team does manage to score a touchdown, the game is “halted” (similar to half-time in a regular football game) and the board is re-set. All carnage markers are removed and injured players are returned to play. The teams re-set behind their respective 20-yard lines and play resumes. The first team to score 2 touchdowns is victorious.
Other rules allow for the permanent removal of a player (a ‘serious’ injury) from the game whenever a ‘1’ is rolled during a tackle attempt. Further, the advanced game introduces special rules for each team, as well as the passing option explained above.
For what it is designed to be, the game accomplishes its objective well. Light, fast, lots of dice rolling … and fun. I’m not sure if it will maintain its allure after repeated plays, but for now, I’m enjoying this brand of “smash- mouth” football. If only my hometown New Orleans Saints played with such intensity!