This site has some of the brightest minds that have ever been gathered as authors for everything associated with APBA Football, so, I was pleased when Greg asked me to address what he called the “missing void on his site”. There is ample guidance for preparing and conducting a full-season replay and Greg Well’s is doing a superb job covering the finer aspect of Face-to-Face play. Ray Dunlap is posting his tournament, innovations and clarifying rules/scoring. Dave Urban has provided historical information. Mark Zarb is expertly replaying the 1978 NFL season and Greg is working his way through 1974. So what’s missing? What about the casual player who enjoys grabbing two teams and playing a game without all of the prep work that goes into a replay or tournament but still yearns for some added realism. The following excerpt is from my email correspondence with Greg, “Doug, I truly believe that your Offensive Index methodology and Play Calling/Defensive system is perfectly suited for the casual player. Without question, it’s an upgrade over the +8/-8 system for determining offensive indexes and not as time-consuming as the Offensive Index Finder System. Your Play Calling/Defensive system was not created in a vacuum, but thoroughly play-tested and continuously being improved upon.” This article will address my alternative for determining each team’s offensive index.
First, the offensive and defensive indexes are computed as normal, and the differential for each team’s passing and rushing offenses are compared to the opposition’s defensive team’s totals. In my system, teams that have a differential of eight or more points above the opposing defense are always in “A” index. Conversely, teams that are eight or more point below the opposing defense are always in “C “index. That’s easy enough. All of the rest of the teams are in a B-Offense category. So far, this looks just like the Basic Game rules. But, here is where it changes:
Let’s use some actual team ratings from the current 2016 season as an illustration. Let’s look at the first two teams on our sheet, Buffalo and Miami. (You just knew that I would pick Miami, didn’t you?) We will look at Buffalo’s offense. Buffalo’s pass offense is 35 and their rushing offense is a 39. Miami’s passing defense is a 37, and their rushing defense is a 35. So, Buffalo will be a Minus 2 in passing offense, but a Plus 4 in rushing offense.
I have divided the deferential totals into three tiers. The first tier is for teams that have a 1 or 2 point differential; the second tier is for teams that fall into the 3, 4, and 5 range; while the third tier is for teams that fall into the 6 and 7 point differential range. What do these tier ranges really mean? Well, the first tier means that the team will be a B-Offense for all but one quarter. For that one quarter, it will change. If the team has a positive rating, it will rise to an A-Offense for that quarter; if it has a negative rating, then it will fall to a C-Offense for one quarter. Teams in the second tier will do the same, but they will do it for two quarters, while teams in the third tier will rise or fall for three quarters.
Before we get too confused, let’s look at our Buffalo and Miami example. Buffalo’s passing was a Minus 2, so that’s a tier one change. So, Buffalo will be a B-Passing Offense for three quarters, but they will fall to a C-Offense for one quarter in the game. Buffalo’s rushing offense, however, is good. They have a Plus 4 differential, so they will be a B-Rushing Offense for two quarters, but will rise to an A-Rushing Offense for the other two quarters. That’s pretty team specific, and it provides exactly what we were looking for.
But, when does this happen? Well, at the start of the game, for all B-rated offenses, you roll a die for the passing team rating and a die for the rush team rating. If the die was an odd number, then the change occurs for that quarter. If not, then they will be a B-Offense for that quarter and you will have to wait until the next quarter to roll again. For example, let’s say that we rolled a 6 for the passing offense and a 1 for the rushing offense. The 6 is an even number, so no change occurs this quarter for the passing offense, as they will continue to be a B-Offense. But, the 1 is an odd number, so a change will occur for the rushing offense. Since Buffalo is a Plus-rated offense, for this quarter, the will rise to an A-rated rushing offense. Make note that one of the two designated changes has occurred. As you progress to the second quarter, another die roll is made. Any odd numbers will activate the change. So, if you rolled a 5 Passing) and a 3 (rushing), then both will change this period. The passing offense would drop to a C-Rated Offense, but the rushing offense would again be a A-rated offense.
Continuing with the example, at this point, the passing offense would have changed once, and the rushing offense would have changed twice. Since that is the total number of required changes, Buffalo will not be making any more changes in the game, and they will be a B-Offense for the rest of the game.
If each successive period passes without a change being made, then automatic changes will be forced to occur. Say, for example, the first two rolls for Buffalo’s rushing offense were even die rolls, then Buffalo would be an A-rated rushing offense for the rest of the game because they would need to change twice, and there are only two quarters left to change. So the change is automatic. You have to monitor the possible changes, and the quarters left in the game to accommodate these changes.
If the team has a zero differential, then the team is a B-rated offense for the entire game with no changes.
That’s it. It’s simple, it accomplishes exactly what you want, and it works. It cuts out about between 120 to 130 additional dice rolls if using the Offensive Index Finder System for each play and still places an emphasis on the differential aspect of the game. I have tested it, and I am extremely happy with it, and I believe that you will be, too. Try it out, and let me know what you think.
My next article will cover version III of my “Play Calling/Defensive system.