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Radioactive Press: Gridball


This is a simple boardgame based on American Football, but with reduced teams - 6 per side - controlled by a single player. Using a grid - a chess board is suggested - and leaving you to find counters or miniatures to use for the teams and the ball, all you need is this book and a couple of d10s to play.

First the different player types are explained: the blocker, the passer and the runner. Each type has four statistics, and these are explained - prowess at blocking, passing and running, plus a 'fortitude' one to see how much damage they can survive during play. Each team has a passer, two runners and three blockers. Next comes a discussion of different playing areas, from the 'old school' one that represents a grass field like the one you probably played ball on to variants like the 'dungeon' (with random traps) and the 'Greek' which rather implausibly has columns scattered round the field... and worse, there are ones with fire pits or warp pads that move you randomly around!

The rules are fairly mechanical, the two players taking turns until a goal is scored, and then resetting the field back to the start position and doing it over again. During a player's turn, he chooses each of his team members one after another in any order, and this 'active player' can move, pick up or pass the ball or block an opposing player he moves adjacent to - this is a kind of physical body-check with the potential to cause damage to the target. Goals are scored by moving into the appropriate square, no skill required. That's it, really.

As a football simulation this is pretty basic with little interaction between the opposing teams and no real opportunity for devising and playing out any game tactics. Maybe a time-passer until enough people have arrived to do whatever you are meeting for, but probably not interesting enough to get out for itself.

Return to Gridball page.

Reviewed: 12 September 2009