by Ray Dunlap
I know I speak for all of the authors on this site in saying that I really do hope EVERYONE makes it to Alpharetta for the June Convention. It is hard to put into words how remarkable the experience is of spending time with people who share our hobby and our passion!
I also wanted to let everyone who is planning on coming know about our Football Tournament. We have tried, over the past few years, to do a tournament and we have had marginal success. And the problem is really two-fold.
First, the games just take way too much time, especially when you have a coach who is unfamiliar with the Master game rules. In fact, we had one game last year that lasted over six hours! and, frankly, that is unacceptable.
The other frustration is that, because of the length of these games, we have had to really limit the participation in the tournament. We had four people two years ago and eight coaches last year.
We hope to get 16 this year, and we are making a couple of pretty significant changes to try and accommodate that goal. First, we will NOT be playing the Master Game. I know that many of you truly LOVE the Master Game for it’s coaching nuances and the great flexibility and array of coaching strategies it allows. And, I get it! But, there are two reasons that the baseball tournament uses the Basic Game only – speed and simplicity! And, we need to embrace the same concept with Football.
Honestly, if you are not accustomed to playing the Master Game, you will be at such a disadvantage in a head-to-head matchup with someone who is, and, frankly, that is not the spirit of what we’re trying to accomplish. The Basic Game is simple, but still gives each coach plenty of opportunity to use strategy to out-maneuver their opponent.
I know that I have already lost Greg Wells in this narrative – he is a Football Master Game purist, and I respect that . . . . but, John Herson has charged me with the goal of getting more coaches involved in football and that’s why we’re going to use the Basic Game this year at the Convention.
The other significant change that you will see is that we will shorten the games by 50%. You will start each game at the beginning of the third quarter with the score tied 10-10. This should shave about an hour off the playing time and allow us to easily finish the four rounds necessary to get this tournament completed.
The “Super Bowl” will, however, be a full game and, if both coaches wish to, they can use the Master Game at that point. But all of the elimination games prior to the Championship game will use the Basic Game format and they will be two quarters in length.
Now, you can pick any team you like so long as the player cards are compatible with the current game boards. So, for instance, if you wished to use the 1976 Steelers, you would have to use the new, reprinted version, not the cards that have been collecting dust in your basement for forty years!
So, if you’re interested, let me know (firstname.lastname@example.org)! And make sure you tell me which team you are going to coach, So far we have one taker – not surprisingly – Greg “OGuard62” Barath will be there and he’ll be coaching the powerhouse 1993 Dallas Cowboys!
I really hope to see EVERYONE in Atlanta this June!!