Saturday, 11 March 2017

Striker: First Test of the Rules

As mentioned some days ago, I had my mind set on trying the Striker Association Football miniatures game that I purchased in pdf-form.

To this end, I dug out my old 70's Continental Club Edition of Subbuteo (I actually had the pitch rolled up on an old broomstick since forever).

The size of the pitch and players is perfect for Striker (the author actually mentions that he used Subbuteo for playtesting the game), so I set about preparing the players (coloured dots on the bases to set apart defenders, midfielders, and strikers), and the special 'scatter' die (a six-sided die with directional arrows on all faces but the 'six'.

Dice needed is a d8, two d6s, and the special 'scatter' d6.

Apart from that, you only need a measuring tape and a special marker for the ball. The Subbuteo balls are too big to look nice, and as they are designed to roll, while the Striker ball needs to stay in place until moved by hand, I opted to use an old small coin for the test game. Then, a couple of minutes ago, I remembered that I have a soft gun, and plastic ammo pellets galore, so I have just glued one of those to a 15mm washer to paint up as a football. I may decide to glue one to a 10mm MDF-base at a later point, as I am going to get some for basing my maize/corn stalks, but for now the washer will have to do.

But  now, on to the business at hand! Here is the field with rules, teams, and the 'ball'.

The game starts with an automatic Perfect Pass from the centre to any player on the starting/attacking (red) team, and then the first Attacker 4-action sequence starts. As the receiver of a Perfect Pass cannot be challenged for a Tackle, I opted to use the four actions to move some players (Normal Move up to 6").

Then, the defending (blue) team moved 3 players.

The next attacking (red) 4-action sequence: Three players moved, then a Perfect Pass to the player near the centre.

Still not able to touch the ball, the blue team used their two actions to threaten the ball and a possible receiver of the next pass.

Then the red midfielder moves forward and receives a Perfect Pass.

The crowd cheers, as he makes a Perfect Pass at the striker.

The over-confident striker seizes the opportunity to dribble towards the goal, but, alas, he cannot keep the ball under control! I used the wrong die, btw, I should have used a d6.

This is the opportunity the blue team has been waiting for! For a striker, fumbling the dribble is equivalent to receiving an Imperfect Pass, and now he can be challenged for a Tackle!

The blue defender moves in and gets +1 for being a designated defender, and another +1 for tackling from the front a stonking +2, and things look bleak for the red striker. Both roll a d6, and... it is a draw!

I made a mistake here: I should now have rolled the scatter die + another d6, the result indicating whether a foul or a deflection occurred. I did not remember this, and I went straight for a deflection.

This meant that the ball was bounced off in a random direction. The 'scatter' die was rolled, and the ball deflected 5" as indicated by the arrow.

The player closest to the ball is the blue player at the bottom of the above photo, and he is moved to take possession of the ball. I think that maybe the red player across to him was close enough to contest the ball, but I forgot to check. And right now I am not sure if in this particular situation, such a contest would happen if the players are not entirely equidistant to the ball. I shall have to consult the author for this.

This was a Turnover, and the blue team immediately starts a 4-action sequence. The defender makes a Perfect Pass at the midfielder.

The midfielder makes a Perfect Pass at the next midfielder. A couple of other players moved before that.

The red team moves three players to cover the advancing blue players.

A blue midfielder makes himself playable, and receives a Perfect Pass

The second midfielder then makes a Perfect Pass at the striker on the wing.

The red team moves two players to counter the threat from the advancing blu players.

The midfielder then moves towards the striker, who is Pressed, and receives an Imperfect Pass! The ball now cannot be progressed further this sequence, although blue has two actions left.

Blue moves another couple of players, hoping to keep possession of the ball.

The red defender at the bottom of this picture then moves to challenge the ball. The rest of the defending team's actions must be completed, before the actual tackle is resolved.

The situation at the end of the action sequence.

The defender gets +1 for being a defender, and also +1 for tackling from the front - and wins the challenge. Red takes position of the ball, and the losing blue player is placed ½" behind the winning player (approximately 😉).

This was a turnover, and red begins a new 4-action sequence. The defender makes a Perfect Pass at a midfielder.

The midfielder makes a pass at a striker further up the field, and the pass Fails.

A Failed Pass is 'scattered' as indicated by the special Arrow die. One inch directly towards the blue player, who gains possession - another Turnover!

I am not sure, whether taking possession of a failed pass, and after a Tackle, is considered to be like a Perfect or an Imperfect Pass - it may be the latter, although I seem to have considered it the former all through this test game.

The next three pictures, I do not quite remember what happened - but some passing seems to have taken place.

Here, the blue striker receives a Perfect Pass.

The striker then dribbles towards the red goal, and keeps the  ball under perfect control. Again, I used the wrong die.

Unfortunately, it is not permitted to make two consecutive dribble actions (and I do not remember, if blue had one or two actions left), but I decided to try a shot at the goal.

Lots of negative modifiers, and the shot went wide past the goal.

This was all I managed to play Striker today, as it was about time to prepare hotdogs for supper (my wife was in Sønderjylland, and I was home alone with the kids).

My thoughts on the rules?

I think I like them. I need to get some details that is not explicitly covered by the rules clarified by the author (Facebook), but there is a lot of 'football feelgood' to be had from Striker, and the way the moving and passing works, seems quite realistic.

I have a feeling, that dribbling is too difficult. Other positions than the striker automatically dribble 'imperfect', thus cannot make a pass after dribbling, and can be challenged for a tackle. I know the author of the rules is a football coach, and probably has some dialectic intentions with the way the rules favour short to medium range passing, but I think it happens often in real life that a defender tackles, steals the ball, dribbles a few yards, and then passes or clears the ball, and this is not possible to do in Striker, as you cannot progress the ball further after an Imperfect Pass/Dribble (as mentioned, I need to get some of the details clarified).

ADDED 2017-03-12:

OK - I may have been a bit tired when I wrote  the above. As for tackling, if the defender wins the tackle, the attacker is placed ½" behind him, which could be interpreted as the tackler running a few yards with the ball to get clear of the opponent - AND there is a Turnover, which means that  the defender's team is nov on the offensive, starts a new 4-action sequence, and the defender can now pass or clear the ball right away, so my interpretation of the situation above does not stand.

I shall play the game with Lea later today - she asked me in the middle of the action yesterday, when we could play the game together, but I wanted to try a bit more of the possibilities, before teaching her to play.

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