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Monday, February 29, 2016

Strat-O-Matic Pro Football (1968)

Strat-O-Matic Pro Football (1968)

Ratings

7.06766 out of 10 with 297 ratings
Board Game Rank: 2747
Thematic Rank: 439
Strategy Game Rank: 1167

Description

One of the several statistically-based sports simulations produced by the Strat-O-Matic Game Company. The game consists of player cards and team defensive cards that accurately reproduce play outcomes and player, team, and league statistics of the National Football League for the season on which the cards are based. Play progresses with the gamer on offense calling his play (run or pass, where the play is directed, the ball carrier or primary receiver, etc.) and the gamer on defense setting a defensive configuration (blitzes, double coverage of receivers, stacking the line, etc.). In the cards and dice version, three dice are then rolled, with one die determining whether the play result comes from the offensive or defensive cards and the other two determining the result from the speciifed card. Play takes place on a game board that resembles a football field, and the gamers keep track of the ball position, the down, and the time remaining in the quarter being played. Penalties and injuries are part of the game. Gamers play from the perspective of a head coach and/or general manager.

The game also comes in a computer version that automatically determines play outcomes and compiles and reports player, team and league statistics. The computer version grapically portrays the plays using X's and O's to depict player movement. The computer version also features a sophisticated computer coach that faciltates solitaire play.

Each year the Strat-O-Matic Game Company issues a new set of player and team cards (or computer disk) based upon the most recent NFL season. The company also issues from time to time sets of players and teams from past seasons.

  • Designer: Hal Richman
  • Publisher: Strat-O-Matic Game Company
  • Year Published: 1968
  • Number of Players: 1 - 2
  • Suggested Number of Players: 2
  • Manufacturer Suggested Ages: 11
  • Playing Time: 120
  • Suggested Ages: 12
  • Language Dependence: Moderate in-game text - needs crib sheet or paste ups
  • Subdomain: Strategy Games, Thematic Games
  • Category: Sports
  • Family: Sports: American Football / Gridiron
  • Alternate Names: Strat-o-Matic Football, Strat-O-Matic Pro Football

Reviews

9 out of 10
By
First football sim I ever played so it holds a place for me. As good as any football sim out there, some complain about the solitaire play but with a few tweaks and innovations from others, it works fine. Just a fun game to play and a host of seasons to purchase from the game co or via eBay or other means.

By
1991 season (for Larry?) 1996 season

9 out of 10
By
For a sports game with realism, this is it - especially if playing the "super-advanced version." I played in a league once, and felt like a real coach formulating my game plans. This is as realistic as it gets.

7 out of 10
By
Sports sim

8 out of 10
By
A very fine sports simulation. Played many times in the early eighties.

By
Have 2013,2010,2007 and 2005 teams

6 out of 10
By
This was once the best football sim out there, with fairly realistic results and great "flow." Originally it had many shortcomings (but some have been addressed in recent years). Additionally, the ratings are very subjective and sometimes blatantly skewed in favor of a Super Bowl winning team. S-O-M's computer version pales in comparison with Data Driven Football's. Ultimately, S-O-M is still flawed in several areas; a prime example is that a team with a great running back and a poor passing attack will be forced to use the pass to set up the run. This is due to the extreme run/pass defensive choice inherent in the design. Using the silly run+key defensive call makes the problem far worse, especially in the current era of single running back offenses. Similarly, a team with a poor running defense will typically have a very good passing defense, which is often a far cry from reality. In real life, if a team stinks against the run it will *naturally* give up fewer yards and first downs than average against the pass as opponents rumble along on the ground; however, this doesn't necessarily mean that the team is *good* against the pass. In S-O-M these stats make such a team an unrealistically tough opponent on third and long. No provision exists for a bend-but-not-break defense. If a defense gave up an average amount of yardage in real-life, in S-O-M the team will have an average defense -- even if it only gave up 14 points a game, This is absurd. There are REASONS why such a defense gives up so few points (and it is not luck), something lost on this game's designers. Incredibly, quarterback sack+fumbles don't exist in this game (unless it's been added in recent years)!

By
Opened but most everything unpunched. Only 2 teams separated. Like new.

By
Well, in my search for a good non-fantasy football game I stumbled across this. I don't know what to think. I played once and felt first like I was doing my taxes, then I got into the game and it felt "intense".

6 out of 10
By
Have owned this game for many years and enjoy it. Andrea likes to play on the "elementary" level. I prefer that as well -- the advanced game gets too long and too complex.

9 out of 10
By
Strato sets the bar.

8 out of 10
By
More good stuff from Strat-o-Matic. Rating would likely go up if I played it more. Update: I have been playing this game more lately and my rating did indeed go up.

7 out of 10
By
Not enough yardage variation for each play-call column

10 out of 10
By
Have stats for 1999, 2001, 2002 & 2003.

6 out of 10
By
Spent many a great afternoon or evening with buddies playing this head-to-head as a teen. Fun, despite some typical clunky aspects as per all Strat games. Unplayable solitaire. Haven't played in over 20 years, no desire to go back to it as I'm just not interested in football anymore.

6 out of 10
By
Dry simulation. Used to run a league of this.

7.5 out of 10
By
Not quite as good as the S-O-M Baseball. The game takes nearly as long to play as a real football game. The game seems to place too much emphasis on the quarterback and running back cards. You can’t sack a quarterback unless you call pass and you can’t sack the quarterback on a flat pass making sacks very rare. This game becomes a game of outguessing your opponent (run or pass). The game does not capture football the way the S-O-M manages to capture baseball. Many of the finer points are missing. Still it is game I will pull out a few times a year and enjoy.

7.5 out of 10
By
Complete seasons from 1972 to 1982, 1991, All-Time Franchise set, various individual teams

10 out of 10
By
Many, many hours played. Unfortunately, done very well by EASports so the board game never gets played anymore. Rating of 10 only for league/tournment play

6 out of 10
By
This is a fun game, but it just takes too long for what it is. I do love pouring over the player cards and building my dream teams, though.

8 out of 10
By
Playing again this year (2008) after a fifteen year break. Now I regret selling all my teams... Ah well, we'll get plenty plays out of the two seasons we have now.

9 out of 10
By
If you love sports board games and you love football. There can be no other choice than Strat-O-Matic Football. When you are able to play the super advanced version - you have everything football has to offer. The players are statistically accurate as are the game results. I would love to find a league close by where this board game is used. It seems computers have robbed the sports board game world of its players due to speed and time. The quality of this football game and the player card printing is exceptional. It plays solitaire very well. No other football board game compares to it. Not even close.

6 out of 10
By
Takes about as long as a football game.

8.5 out of 10
By
In depth football action. If you like detailed sports simulations this game is for you. With 2 levels of play (elementary and advanced) the game allows you to jump right in (almost) or play a true boardgame simulation.

7 out of 10
By
Good simulation football game, difficult to play in solitaire.

1 out of 10
By
too complicated

3 out of 10
By
its not a game - real jocks only need apply

6 out of 10
By
$15

8.5 out of 10
By
Great great great game! I usually play online which makes changing formations nice and simple, but the board game is great too!

7 out of 10
By
A fun game, although not overly realistic. Been playing since 1988.

7 out of 10
By
This is an awesome game! I'm a board game nut, a professional football nut, and a statistics nut. This game has it all. Strategy, football, and statistics. What more can a man ask for! How about a little shorter game and someone to actually play this with? That keeps it from being a 10.

7 out of 10
By
Good game and seems a decent simulation, and I preferred it to Statis Pro

5 out of 10
By
I wanted to like this game like I did the basketball game, but just never got into it. I preferred the individual player cards from Statis Pro and the options it gave. Second Season is better from a chart standpoint.

7 out of 10
By
Football about as good as a board game can get it. Playing defense is a game within a game. Lots of dice getting rolled. Fun though.

7 out of 10
By
Lots of fun.

By
Well, we had to pick up one board game during the Favre era, so we are hoping it will be playable.

4 out of 10
By
My last forays into Strat football were more than 20 years ago with my college roomie. I remember throwing to Mark Bavaro ... and throwing ... and throwing. Stuff I remember that keeps me from going back are the clock rules with run plays always eating up :15 and passes eating up :30, sacks always resulting in the same loss of yardage, and the abstracted card for team "D". Statis Pro did football better, I think.

By
I did enjoy this game when I had it. I had the 1987 version. While it produced realistic results, there were a few problems that could result in gaming the system if one were to go off script concerning non conventional play calling for the particular down and distance. I am very nit picky with football strategy games. Most are simply garbage in that the realism is just not there. I have owned every type of football game imaginable, from board games, to novel games, to video and computer games. Strat-o-matic actually played a really solid game of football. In case anyone is wondering, Action PC Football by DK Sports is the most realistic and deeply satisfying football game out there. It's a computer game, though. It is my favorite game of any game to play.

9 out of 10
By
Currently in 3 online leagues

By
box crushed and all components loose

10 out of 10
By
Still love it - the closest thing to being on the sidelines.

7.9 out of 10
By
My football simulation of choice.

7 out of 10
By
So many games played against my brother growing up. Line buck! Flat pass .... nice memories with this one.

4 out of 10
By
Start Baseball is better.

By
2002 season, with CD Rom and 3.5" disc. Some box damage.

7 out of 10
By
I remember playing this game with my dad. I had fun playing the 1972 Steelers vs. Raiders game again without them cheating us on the "immaculate reception."

7 out of 10
By
Wasn't wild about this when I played it eons ago, but I may give it another shot. I suspect that the split rolls work better for baseball than for football.

By
Enjoyed it very much in 60s & 70s. Learned a lot of football strategy from it,for instance: do NOT Onside Kick unless you are behind and very late in the game.

9 out of 10
By
Best of the bunch.

8 out of 10
By
Own 1990, 2010, 2011 C&D seasons. 2005 AFC North. 2011 Computer season.

7.5 out of 10
By
Not nearly as solitaire-friendly as SOM baseball, but a great game in its own right. Elementary version is super-easy to play, but lots of fun. The advanced and super-advanced versions introduce more personal, complex, and satisfying aspects of the NFL game. These can be added a little at a time to ease the transition from easy-to-more-complex game play. You could create a great league with the best 6 to 10 teams in any given year. Again, simply an outstanding game, especially if you're a fan of season-replays, but fun for casual play as well.

9 out of 10
By
Loved this game the few times I played it. We liked Strat-o-Matic baseball so much as kids we didn't even mess with this until we were older, and then of course other interests overtook. But the way you manipulate the defense is ingenius.

By
1996 Season. Gift from red_herring.

7.7 out of 10
By
Already in the SOM baseball cult, I bought the football game when it first came out, have returned to it only in recent years. A little tweaking and the solitaire version is more than satisfactory.

2 out of 10
By
My early '80s game was impossible for me to decipher. So I spent countless hours playing Statis-Pro instead.

6.5 out of 10
By
Affords more control than is common in statistical sports games in that you both call plays and position players on the defensive side of the ball. Good times.

10 out of 10
By
No better football boardgame exists! Skip the basic game and go straight to advanced (it's not really too "advanced"). Statistical results are somewhat realistic, and yes, there are a lot of dice involved. A full-length advanced game is playable in about an hour after you get a good feel for the game (say 2 -3 games). Yes, the game is largely unattractive in the component realm, but it rocks!

9 out of 10
By
Great simulation for the football fan! A much better implementation than PizzaBox, you feel less like you are just throwing dice and more in control of the game.

9 out of 10
By
I have every Strat-O-Matic Pro Football Team from 1987 to the present day. This should speak for itself.

6 out of 10
By
A fun game face-to-face.

2 out of 10
By
Naw, not a Strat game fan. Hard to play, didn't care for it much. Traded away, see ya'

By
Contents in shrink. Thrift list: http://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/71301/item/1799834#item1799834

10 out of 10
By
massive strat o collection including baseball, basketball and hockey as well

7 out of 10
By
Ahhh, teen memories of spending Saturdays conducting Strat-o-matic playoffs with my buddies. Yes, it's a bit complex, especially compared to new games like Pizza Box Football which I also enjoy. But this game gets very deep into each position on the team and I love that complexity.

7 out of 10
By
I think all the strat-o-matic games is what made me a statistics freak. This was #1.

8 out of 10
By
A bit of a learning curve, and it is my fault that I haven't played it nearly often enough. Would love to organize a league of people to play it with. Speaking of which...maybe I'll do just that...

By
14 1993 Teams (entire NFC, I believe) 1958 Cots, 1962 Packers, 1968 Jets Cards separated

10 out of 10
By
The very BEST Football Game I have ever played (except the real thing, of course). I LOVE Football. I LOVE this Game! This might not be the most objective review... The ability to recreate any game/season or possible match-up with teams who perform as their historic counterparts make this the perfect game for me. I have played hundreds of games over dozens of years and have loved every moment.

7.5 out of 10
By
Keeping in the Strat-O-Matic wheelhouse, this is a good realistic NFL sim. Doesn't play all that well as a solo, so best if you have another SOM (and football) fan with whom to play.

8.5 out of 10
By
Obviously loving football is a must; great if you are into it. Ill never be without some recent copy in my collection Even though I prefer the NFL much, much over baseball, the game just isn't quite as good. There is more to football that just cannot be captured in a "game"

By
1980 player cards

7 out of 10
By
Beer rating = 3

9 out of 10
By
In a league setting, this is always my most tense gaming experience. Close games with playoff ramifications are so tense, I have been nauseated. Compared to the other SOM games, Football offers to broadest range of strategies and tactical plays, the best opportunities for bluffing, and for playing the opponent rather than the cards. I would like to see more offensive play calling options (double-teaming defensive linemen, passing to sides of the field, play actions, etc.), but playing in a continuous SOM football season is just about the most satisfying and nerve-racking gaming experience for me.

7.5 out of 10
By
Fun, but not as good as SOM Baseball. Takes almost as long to play this as an actual football game.

By
1983-84 Season

By
Newest edition p/u Jan 2015. :)

6 out of 10
By
Can be extremely strategic, particularly using the super-advanced rules, but I've tended to find it a bit too tedious overall. It seems that many of the additional rules over the past 10-20 years, while making the game more realistic, hurt the flow of gameplay. Still a good football game...just not one I'd be inclined to play much any longer.

6 out of 10
By
This is an incredibly detailed statistical football game that simulates the NFL as accurately as is reasonably possible and has taught me (a lifelong casual football fan) a great deal about the game. I truly admire it. Unfortunately, in the hyper-super-duper Advanced version that we play in my league the constant consultation of 30 or more charts beyond the detailed player cards themselves begins to drain the life out of the system for me. I would enjoy this game a good deal more if it played in an hour or so, but after a number of plays I'm still lucky to finish in three hours.

10 out of 10
By
Of all the sports games I own - and there's a lot of them - football is the one I enjoy playing face-to-face more than solitaire. SOM Football, especially the super fanatical advanced version, is one of the best.

By
No teams.

8.5 out of 10
By
Great football boardgame based on stats of players from the previous year. League play is a must.

By
$2.99 Dearborn GW 11/15/14 1994 teams. Mostly unpunched.

By
Multiple years

7.5 out of 10
By
Countless hours of enjoyment from this game back in the day. Not quite as good as SOM Baseball but still good. A little surprised at the low average rating. Obviously lacks the wow and pizzazz of modern day computer games and arguably could have simulated some aspects of the game better (e.g., interception returns, punting out of bounds inside 20 yard line) but for its time it was very good. To caveat this review I have not played in 30+ years so I'm sure there's adjustments that have been made over the years.

6 out of 10
By
Good game but I never liked the team defense ratings

6 out of 10
By
Own playoff teams from 79, 84, 85, and 86 seasons.

9 out of 10
By
I was attracted to this game at first back in 1982 because of the number of older teams available which has only increased over the years. Great gameplay with either the basic rules or advanced that allow you to position your individual defensive players. Computer version is great too.

7 out of 10
By
Finds a sweet spot between statistics and coaching choices. The components are tatty, it could use some new artwork. This would be a good candidate for a board/video game hybrid.

By
It's football, so I'm glad to have it.

10 out of 10
By
Have the 2009, 2012 cards. Also have the PC version for 2012. Love it!

6 out of 10
By
Flawed but fun- gets extra points for being the only sports game I have with a bluffing element. Game components (board, cards, charts etc.) seem cheesy when compared to the high quality I've come to expect from the boardgaming world in recent years.

10 out of 10
By
Can not get enough Run two leagues

7 out of 10
By
My first Strat-o-Matic game. Doesn't solitaire that well, the defensive play-calling is either pointlessly simplistic (Basic Game), or overly complicated and thematically nonsensical (Super Advanced Game). Plus, it takes too long to play. That being said, it got me into the hobby, and I would still pull it out and give it a try on occasion.

By
2

2 out of 10
By
Wanted to like this game, a lot. But ... the basic game was too basic (just a stats generator) and the advanced game (which was cool) took way too long to play.

8 out of 10
By
One of the better football simulations. Allows for formation/position decisions and still keeps true to statistics.

5.5 out of 10
By
Decent football game for authentic historical play. Has lost some ground in my eyes after playing Pizza Box Football and 1st and Goal. Those games keep the game moving at a much better pace and is much easier to teach. Still disappointed that defensive players do not get their own cards, but instead have to be bunched on a team defense card. That reminds me more of fantasy football than real football.

By
Can't seem to find any info on getting more up to date teams.

9 out of 10
By
The King. The Game is in the NFL Hall of Fame. I learned more about football playing a month of Strat O with a High School Defensive Guard friend than years of anything else. Look on EBAY and you'll see Strat O is alive and well. Can buy cards for your favorite team '73 to play against a dynasty team '95 because the game's mechanics mesh well. My only complaint is it's a little statistics heavy ? and not easy to learn the first few times out. Could have some play variation (Flat Pass is a catch-all term, right ?).

By
Cabinet 3
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