Tuesday, January 3, 2017

A Critique of Strat-O-Matic Football

I was never that impressed with SOM football.

The original game lacked penalties, the special teams did not have the say kickoff team's "defense" affecting the receiving teams returns, in general just 11 rolls for a special teams result was very limited (SI football had 30 possible results).

But most important I felt it was a stupid guessing game - guess run or pass and have the results vary incredibly on whether the guessed right or guessed wrong column was used. To this day, I don't think there is much realism in guessing run or pass, I would say in baseball you don't guess fastball or curveball but are ready for both/all pitches (with obvious exceptions). You could have a good lead and guess pass every play and if your opponent had a very good running back he could reel off huge chunks of yards on his guessed wrong column. Even the 50% roll on defense was subject to the occasional short gain and sometimes long gain. If you tried to cross him up with a once in a while guess run defense, you subject yourself to a long pass play and this is why it turns out to be nothing but a guessing game, which is stupid.

You did not have draw plays, screen passes or reverses, these were lamely explained to occur on line plunges (draw), short passes (screen) or end run (reverses).

You also had a few QBS who could run say the end run and have tremendous gains if guessed wrong, and these play calls and results would be over used. Say you had third and ten with one of these QBS and the offense would call an end run hoping for the guessed wrong column. This call would NEVER be made in real football.  I thought that was very unreal also.

Also, there were WAY too many rolls for fumbles. Say you rolled a fumble +2 2-8, +2 9-12, you had to roll to SEE if even it was a fumble and then roll to see who recovered it if it was a fumble. Nonstop fumble rolls.

The flat pass interception return for TD was way too prevalent and in general the charts for sacks etc were not done very well either.

You also had the players card limiting their long gains (run or pass plays) to their regular season stats so Marcus Allen in 1983 could not gain more than 38 yards, while he had a spectacular 74 yard run in the Super Bowl which could not be replicated.
It may have been somewhat statistically accurate but I think the things mentioned above made it a poor game  to play.

And as constant changes and "improvements" were always being made, the older cards became obsolete and were not compatible with newer versions. In contrast, you could play an original 1960s baseball team against a team from 2015 (basic). In football you might have 3 or more upgrades in a decade so teams from 1972 could not be played against teams from say even just 1974. MAJOR downpoint.