For those APBA Football players out there who only play the Basic game and have ever wondered if they are missing something not using the Master Game booklet, my answer to you is a resounding “YES”. Let’s review the game I just rolled in my 1968 AFL/NFL replay between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Los Angeles Rams. The Pittsburgh Steelers had a record of 2-11-1 compared to Los Angeles Rams 10-3-1, however, they just upset the Rams 31-26 on my tabletop.
The Pittsburgh Steelers offense has a split rating of 30 (pass)/33 (run) against the vaunted Rams defense rated 46 (pass)/47 (run) resulting in the Steelers being -16/-14. The Rams offense is +7/+2 and generated 449 net yard of offense and were PLUS 4 in the turnover department. So how in the world could they possibly lose this game? Fortuitous rolls at the right moment and features only associated with the Master game. Twice the Steelers stopped the Rams on fourth down and one situations on called run plays even though the Rams averaged 6.1 per carry. Since the Steelers were -16/-14, they would only be in “C” index if using the Basic game, however, the Master game offers an “Offensive Index Finder System” which allowed them a reprieve on a couple of plays. Secondly and most importantly, the Master game has a “Rare Play (RP)” section. The Steelers racked up 414 net yards of offense and 31 points, however, 163 yards and 14 points came off of RPs. Pittsburgh scored a 95-yard TD on RP8-10, “Pass complete for 22 yards to 01, who immediately laterals to 010, who runs for a touchdown.” This play resulted in a 95-yard yard touchdown pass. To make matter worse for the Rams, the Steelers also had RP3-5, “Ball carrier scores touchdown, flag on play, see penalty Column TE.” The penalty was against the Rams, resulting in 68-yard touchdown run for Dick Hoak. Los Angeles could have survived one of these RPS but two was too many.
So if you were rolling the Basic game, most likely the Steelers would have only generated 251 net yards of offense and lost 31-12 but as a gamer you would not have experienced the fun and excitement of this thrilling upset.
If the Master game is not on your Christmas wish list, it most certainly needs to be!