Football Sims

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A lot of folks visit my site because of the Statis-Pro for Windows and Statis-Pro cards downloads. Despite lots of RPG posting, I still enjoy many Football simulation games.

I love Statis-Pro. Despite issues around gaming the system, I really enjoy the individual stats, the ability to have fantasy leagues with it, and that the knowledge to create teams is available from multiple places. In fact, many visiting my site looking for the cards created by Lee Harris.

The good news is that Lee Harris is working on his website. He aims to repost everything from the old Bomber'sGolf site. I can't wait until he's back.

I also enjoy Second Season. This game was designed for solo play, so it play better alone. Even better, the Football America set features an entirely fictional league. Now when I'm playing football, I'm not concerned with emulating reality, I'm only concerned with football. Like I did with Electric Football, I sketch out articles with a commentator's description of the game. Had I the time, I would do magazines like I did when I was a kid. My cousin has about 20 seasons of storyline he and I wrote.

Also going for Second Season is that I purchased the rules to create teams. Unlike Statis-Pro, team making for Second Season is more of an art. There are also lots of fiddly bits and making up sub-systems happens. For example, a running back's rating may have a note that says "Rating is AA for the first five plays". Something about this kind of fiddling evokes the First Edition DMG.

Yeah, I know. Don't cross the streams.

I also enjoy playing Paydirt. The wonderful things about Paydirt is the incredible compactness. The team fits on one page. Using dice, you look up results on various charts and record the result. It plays quickly and does a great job emulating the ups and down of a game. I only wish that I knew how to create teams for it.

Speaking of the formula, Matt Floray passed away earlier this week. I only knew him from reading the Paydirt Yahoo group. Condolences to Matt's family and friends. He will certainly be missed.

Matt had the formulas used by Dr. Nicely to make charts. Occasionally, he made charts. Otherwise, charts are available from two or three folks that developed their own formulas. Sure you don't have individual players with as big a role, but the elegance of the design compared to Statis-Pro is beautiful. If I ever got the formula, I would develop the ability to do Fanatasy Football with Paydirt. The system is that good.

Anyway, I am still working on my Football sim based on Statis-Pro. I hope to address certain issues that I personally find annoying, but YMMV. I do not like the gaming of the system by using certain players that had a minor role in a team's play.

For example, if a running back managed a breakaway for 30 yards once in a season, but averaged 2 yards a carry for his remaining carries, his card comes out like an All-Pro player. The card would make it seem that he can get 5-6 yards every time he touches the ball despite the reality of his actual play. To mitigate this, Statis-Pro invokes a rest rule that says that this player can only play in the game for a certain length of time. This creates all kinds of strange play calls. If you have a guy that is almost guaranteed a 10 yard run or a 20 yard reception, but can only play once a quarter, when does he play? That's right, he comes in the game at critical moments. This is backwards!

I hope to use a different statistical method to shave off these odd cards. The cards for these players will still be made, but there should be no need for a rest rule as the player's contribution to the team will not be artificially inflated. He will still be able to get the big gain, because he got it in real life. However, he won't be able to get larger gains on average than he did in real play.

I recently got about 8 seasons of play-by-play data. When I get done with my analysis, I hope to have a system to make teams that's as straightforward as the current system to make Statis-Pro teams. Here's to hoping! I may find out that I crunch all the numbers just to recreate the original system developed by Avalon Hill.

Statis-Pro Football Stuff

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Link to Statis-Pro Football Cards & Utilities page

A couple years ago, I tried to play in Statis-Pro leagues, but quickly discovered that I could not afford the time to play. Somehow in my nostalgia, I didn't remember games taking 3 hours to play. I later discovered that I enjoy playing this game casually by severely  limiting substitutions, but that's fodder for another post.

One site I enjoyed was Lee Harris' site. He published formulas for making the cards as well as several sets. Unfortunately, I couldn't provide any funds for the site to keep going, so it is now gone. Going to archive.org, I managed to find everything by searching through the many snapshots. For example, the formulas page isn't in the most recent snapshot, but is in snapshots that are from the previous year. Since the last update was 2003, I don't feel like anything was lost.

I began thinking about Statis-Pro because I get at least two hits everyday from folks looking for Statis-Pro Football stuff. My previous post about streamlining the system gets traffic, but I'm certain it produces a fair share of cursing as well because I haven't finished it. Believe it or not, I got out the spreadsheets to generate my variation of the cards and began to fiddle with it again. Who knows where this may lead...

Having said all that I have added a page for Statis-Pro Downloads that have the Lee Harris cards as well as links to the UK League which also make their own cards with some rules variations. I feel like the two folks that end up here should at least get something for their trouble.

If Lee or other members of the Football Sim community feel that my hosting these files is somehow a bad thing, I'll take them down. I'm not trying to steal or infringe on anyone, I just want to promote a game that I still enjoy playing. Considering that these files are all available from archive.org, I don't see why this would be a big deal.

Rock on football sim folks! (I own five different sims.) Given the nature of negotiations within the NFL, it looks like sim action may be the only real NFL action for this upcoming season.

New Link Added

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Added a new link to Nailbiter Games. Nailbiter Games specializes in sports sims. I've downloaded a couple and they look very interesting.

These games are not in the Statis-Pro or APBA category. Each game is an abstraction that looks at the relative strengths of two teams and provides highlights of each drive.

One game, however, allows for a distribution of points to a team's roster. It is called Coach's Call Football and is avaiable here. QB's have a cost, the better rating, the more costly. Skill positions have a cost. The Defense is a generic rating, but you can rater the DL and LB on a 1-5 scale. The same is true of the OL.

It wouldn't be hard to imagine using this system to rate all the teams and recreate a season. Just may have to fiddle with it and see what turns up.

This game is chart-heavy. This doesn't bother some folks, but I thought it would be fair warning for others that may not like a game with seven results charts.