Innovation: A Better Version of Fletch67?

Dunlap Modified Fletch67 System

I know that there are many Football gamers out there who use the Fletch67 system to determine defensive line settings, but something has always bothered me about it – it seems “one-sided.”  You only take into account the defensive point totals in determining the line setting.

I have taken the basic concept of Fletch67 and modified it so that it also takes into account the offensive point total.  So, in my system, you would COMPARE the defensive point total with the offensive point total before rolling the dice to get your line setting.

Let’s say that the defense has 42 points and the offense has 36.  This is a +6 for the defense.  That means that dice roll result 11-36 would result in the most favorable defensive line setting, 41-56 would be “Standard” and 61-66 would be more favorable to the offense.

I’d love to hear any feedback on this innovation, especially if you have a way that you  get line settings that might be different.

Ray Dunlap

APBA Football Thoughts . . .

Greg has offered me the opportunity to share with this community some of my thoughts on APBA Football, a game I love, and one that I have been playing for 51 years.  And I will use this forum to share observations and ideas that I think will help anyone who plays the game to gain greater enjoyment from the experience.

APBA Football is really the tale of two very different endeavors.  Because you can play the game face-to-face against another opponent, or, you can play it solo.

I really believe that the game is truly designed to be played across a table against a real competitor.  That’s when you can truly experience the complexity and strategic beauty of the game.  When I started playing, I would ONLY play face-to-face.  I had about five friends who could coach against me.  But, honestly, that’s when the game was pretty easy.  Four plays, no funky defensive sets and 30 players in each team’s envelope.

You could sit down with someone and, in about 10 minutes, teach them how to play the game and you could start rolling.  And, about two hours later, you were done.

The Master Game changed all of that.  In fact, that “new & improved” version of the game is so complex that, for novice coaches trying to navigate all of the nuances of the Master game, the experience can go on for a long time.

Witness what happened this past summer at the APBA convention.  Two coaches played a quarterfinal round game, and it took over five and a half hours for them to complete the contest!  Also, someone who routinely plays the Master Game, because they may be in a league, is at a distinct advantage over someone who does not drag out all of those formations and rules on a regular basis.  I’ll wager that Greg Wells could compete with poorer teams against coaches like myself even if I have a superior team – because I play typically one game a year with the Master boards – and that is at the Convention!  Mr. Wells has an intimate knowledge of how each formation and line-setting decision impacts the outcome of plays from scrimmage.  I honestly feel as if my head is spinning whenever I play against him because I have so much less experience playing that game.

And, honestly, that’s because I don’t have that proverbial “circle of friends” to play against like I used to.  And, even if I could convince someone to sit across the table from me to play a game, I don’t have the time or patience to teach them the Master Game version – the Basic Game is much more suitable for the novice player.

But, the reality of my APBA Football gaming experience is that, today, I primarily play the game solo.  And, many in our community do the same.

So, as I comment through this forum in the coming weeks and months, I will be talking about ways you can enhance both the face-to-face experience, especially if you’re in a league or considering starting or joining one; as well as sharing ideas I have been able to successfully integrate into the solo experience of enjoying APBA Football.

Plus, I hope that you will ask questions.  This is one of the best ways for us to connect as a community and to share concerns and great innovations at the same time.

I want to thank Greg Barath (OGuard62) for all of the time and effort he has expended putting this format together and bringing the best of the APBA Football community into this forum.  I’m excited about sharing some ideas and learning from you at the same time to enhance my own gaming experience!

Ray Dunlap

APBA Football Tournament Process

Dallas 2016 Quotas

OK, I’m just about ready to go with my tournament, and I have to tell you that whenever someone embarks on a serious replay the “prep” work that needs to be done is extensive.  I went through each NFL team, cross-referenced with the APBA Football rosters, and assigned quotas for games played, pass attempts, rushes, receptions, punt and kickoff returns as well as place kicks, punts an kick-offs.  As you can imagine, it is a tedious, but, I believe, a necessary exercise to make sure that the games will be competitive and accurate.  And, since it takes me about 90 minutes per team to get ready, I have already invested nearly 50 hours of time before I even play my first game!

I have attached a copy of the Cowboys quota sheet for skilled player quotas.  A roll of the dice will dictate who the quarterback is, how many rushing attempts each running-back can attempt as well as the number of pass attempts I can throw to each receiver as well as the number of Long Passes that can be thrown to them.  All of these quotas are based on their actual numbers as well as the team’s overall completion percentage and the player’s receiving grade.  These quotas are calculated so that, over a 16 game season, the numbers should be pretty statistically accurate.

I have a similar chart for all of the non-skills to determine who starts at each position – and, again, it is determined by a dice roll and based on actual usage, so not every player will be available for every game.  In fact, since Tom Brady of the Patriots missed four games in the 2016 season, he has a 25% chance of not being available for New England games – and that could prove critical.  But, he missed those games during his suspension and that’s why his starts will be randomly limited for my replay.

Ironically, because I play a single-elimination tournament, half of these teams will be gone after the first round, so that’s a lot of prep work for 16 teams that will only play one game!!

I play my own version of the APBA Football Game, using my own self-created boards, four plays (Run, Plunge, Short Pass an Long Pass), and I determine my play results using my match-up system.

First game?  Giants vs. Rams!!!  Can’t wait to get started!!


Ray Dunlap’s 2014 Tournament

Ray Dunlap is a credit to APBA Football. He has played this game for over 50-years. He was the commissioner for the “Suncoast Football League” for several years, authored numerous articles addressing football innovations in the APBA Journal and has developed and fine-tuned his famous “Match-up System” for solo play over the years. I always look forward to seeing him at the APBA Convention and I consider him a “friend”.

Ray used all 32 teams in the 2014 set – and he used the “BIG” set with every player who appeared in an NFL game.  He seeded the teams based on their 2014 W-L record in each conference (see attached brackets) and played a single elimination playoff tournament.  Ray created quotas based on their regular season stats and would roll two dice before each game to obtain rushing, receiving and kick return quotas.  He would further roll two dice to get starting offensive linemen and one more dice roll to get the starting defense (see attached quota sheets).  If, because of the way the game was going, he ended up using ALL of the rushing or receiving quotas, players could get additional quotas, but with a “fatigue” reduction.  All injuries were for the rest of that game, even if the player was a j0.  Ray called all of the offensive plays for both teams and  used my “Match-Up” system to determine defensive line settings and the offensive index.  He also used a modified timing system that allows for more plays after the two minute warning (plays that stop the clock are only 7½ seconds instead of 15 seconds).

The time commitment for this project breaks down as follows:  90 minutes were required to create the quotas for each team!  So, the first round of the tournament took a while, because he would spend three hours determining all of the quotas and starters and then another three hours to play the game – so, the 16 games of the first round took my just under 100 hours to complete . . . and that was September – November.  Because the quota sheets were already done by then, he was able to breeze through the final 15 games pretty comfortably in December and January.  So, a total of 31 games . . . . and roughly 140-150 hours . . . about 30 hours a month.  It was very manageable and flowed easily, and Ray was able to use every team in the card set, which was important to him.

Ray had everything happen in this tournament . . . . upsets, thrilling finishes, great individual performances, dominating defenses . . . . . everything except an overtime game!

In Ray’s words, “I would urge the casual player to consider this type of a format, simply because in a five month period of time, you do get to see every team and still can crown a champion without the enormous time commitment that it takes to do an entire replay.”

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