Sports Simulation Board Games

How to play SECOND SEASON Pro Football Game

SECOND SEASON Pro Football simulation board game is easy to play! This page will show you how the game is played, using the Detroit and Los Angeles teams from the fictional Football America set. (The Football America set was created for fans who prefer an open-ended "what-if?" kind of scenario for their table game football adventures. Of course, there are numerous actual pro seasons available, too!)

We'll start with the Los Angeles offense on the field, facing the Detroit defense, first and ten at its own thirty-five yard line. If you'd like to follow along with the actual Los Angeles and Detroit team cards, click here for a printable PDF which will open in a separate browser window.

You'll notice that each player is given a numerical rating, expressed as a fraction. The top number represents the player's ability on pass plays, he bottom number his ability on run plays. "2" indicates superior ability, "1" average ability and "0" indicates a deficiency. Note also that there are various symbols appearing after some players' ratings. These are additional ratings that further alter play, depending on field position and time left in the game. All ratings are fully explained in the instructions.

To begin,you'll select the offensive play and intended receiver or ball-carrier. There are six basic offensive plays--inside run, outside run, screen pass, short pass, medium pass, and long pass--and several limited-use plays such as a bootleg or trick play. Since it's first down, we'll keep it simple and call an outside run play, giving the ball to LA's running back, Alonzo Curtis.

Next, we roll one die to determine which of the four basic defense settings Detroit has called--pass, run, safe or blitz. The solitaire defense table is printed on the playing field for easy reference, but you'll quickly memorize it! You roll a "3," which indicates a "safe" defense has been called.

To resolve the play, you turn to the "Outside Run vs. Safe Defense" page of the SECOND SEASON game book, page 11. You roll the dice, reading the result as a two-digit number; the black die first and the white die second. Thus, a "6" on the black die and a "5" on he white die is read as a "65."

Checking result "65," we are directed to defensive player "K," the left defensive end, Darrell Holmes. The game book asks us if Holmes is a superior run defender--and we see that he is NOT. (He's a superior PASS defender, but this is a RUN play!) The game book tells us that Curtis has slashed past the Holmes for a nine-yard gain! (We can also see that had Holmes BEEN a superior defender, he would have hauled Curtis down for a three-yard loss!) Curtis gets a high-five as the players un-pile, and Los Angeles now faces second and one.

You decide to try for a quick chunk of yards with a medium pass play to Los Angeles' WR Blake Edmonds. You roll a "1" for the defense, which means Detroit wasn't fooled--they're playing to prevent the pass. You roll both dice for the play result--a "15." Turning to the "Medium Pass vs. Pass Defense" page, the game book directs you to check the quarterback's CMP grade, which is a measure of his passing accuracy. LA's Matt Harrell is rated "A," an accurate passer, but not accurate enough in this case; the pass is incomplete! (A passer with a CMP grade of AA or AAA would have completed the pass for a first down.)

Facing third and one, you decide to go with the percentages, and select an inside run play, calling for your fullback Cannon Hunter to--hopefully--grind out the first down. You roll for the defense--another "1," that means Detroit is looking for a PASS again! (You smile to yourself--you've got them right where you want them!) You roll the dice for the play--a "35." Checking the "Inside Run vs. Pass Defense" page, the game book asks if your right guard (player GB) is a deficient run blocker. Uh-oh! Dale Dubiago IS deficient--he missed his block! The game book indicates that Dubiago's missed block forced Hunter outside, where he was tackled for a three yard loss! Yes--in SECOND SEASON, just as in REAL pro football, you'll sometimes be chagrined to watch your brilliant play-calling short-circuited by your players' poor execution!

We'll leave the game here, with the Los Angeles offense shuffling off the field, and you, the coach, glaring at your right guard. That's how SECOND SEASON Pro Football board game works! It's a lot like watching a game on TV! SECOND SEASON gives you a perpsective on the game of pro football like no other board game out there--except for its Canadian football companion board game, COLD SNAP!