1st & Goal is a game designed by Stephen Glenn, published by R & R Games. It is for 2-4 players. In this game, players will be competing against each other in a head to head football game. The players will be calling the different plays as the coaches for their teams. The player that can prove their superiority on the gridiron will be declared the winner.
To begin, players will decide which team is the Home team and which is the Away team. The away team will call heads or tails on the RFL coin which is flipped. The choice is then made for offense or defense, just like in a real football game. The board is laid out and 2 clear disks are placed next to each scoreboard. The remaining 2 disks are placed on the number 3 of each of the two Time Out charts. The Referee and Penalty dice are place on their spots on the board. Each player is given one fake/kick card. The Offense deck and the First Down marker are given to the beginning Offensive player. The Defensive player is given the Defensive deck. Each player shuffles their decks and draws 8 cards, placing the remaining deck face down on the table. Play now begins.
The game plays a lot like a regular football game starting off with a kickoff. The offensive player chooses whether to take a touch back and start on the 20 yard line or to run the ball out and roll the dice. Once the starting position is set, both players will select a card from their hand and place it face down. Players then reveal their chosen cards simultaneously, announcing the play. Running plays cause the offensive player to discard the top card from the offensive deck. Players compare the cards played. The offensive player will roll the dice shown on the card along with the Play die which can yield some spectacular things. The Defense rolls the black die. The total of all the dice is how far the football moves down the field. Just like in regular football, the offense gets 4 downs to advance 10 yards down the field. The football is placed on the new line of scrimmage and the 1st down markers are moved if there is a first down. Once the play results have been determined, both players draw a card from their respective decks and the played card is discarded.
Just like in regular football, scoring is done by touchdown, field goal, 2 point conversions and safety. Touchdowns score 6 points. Field goals require the defensive player to roll the referee and play dice. If 2 X’s are rolled the field goal is blocked and the ball is turned over where it is. Otherwise, the offensive player will then roll the yardage dice to see how far the ball travels. If it crosses the 0 yard line, the field goal is scored. Two point conversions score 2 points if a play from the 2 yard line is successful after the touchdown. A Safety scores 2 points if the Offense’s end zone. After a punt, score or turnover, players change hands and positions. Offense becomes defense and vice versa. The cards in a player’s hand are added to the unplayed deck and shuffled then handed to the other player. Players draw 8 cards from their new deck and play resumes.
Players have time outs that allows both players to search their discard deck for a play and add it to their hand. They then shuffle their hand into the deck and draw as many cards as they placed in the deck. The player that called the time out then has their time outs adjusted on the board. Halftime happens when the offense has no cards left in their hand or deck. Time outs are reset and the team that started the game on offense kicks off to the other team. The game ends after the second half. The team with the most points wins.
This game is football 101 in a box. The board is magnetic and resembles a regular football field. It’s very nicely done and looks fantastic. The Football and first down markers are magnetic as well and work great with the board. The dice are really neat and have lots of bright colors. The cards have all the different plays on them and really draw you into the mind of a football coach. The coin and scoring/timeout disks are really neat additions. This game drips theme from every pore. It’s amazing how awesome it looks. It really impressed me how well made the pieces are. I’m really happy with everything inside this box.
9 out of 10
The rulebook is a somewhat thick book. It has a lot of information in it. There are optional rules throughout the book, including using the expansion teams and for kickoffs and punts. Everything is explained extremely well and will have you up and playing fairly quickly. There are also rules for onside kicks, punts, red zone plays, running out the clock, hail mary passes, unplayable hands, quarterback kneel, quarterback sneaks, fake punts and field goals. There are lots of optional rules that can be added to the game to give lots more depth. I won’t cover all of that here, just know that it’s there. I really like how well written everything is. There are lots of examples and pictures on almost every page. The last couple of pages show the running plays, passing plays, run defense and pass defense cards, explaining them thoroughly. Just like the components, I’m really impressed with the quality here.
9 out of 10
All the depth and theme of a regular football game is packed into this game. This game is lots of fun. I believe that this has to be the best football simulation game that I’ve ever played. I really enjoy how the play die can really change things up, just like in a regular game with breakaways, turnovers and penalties. It feels like you are coaching your own team as you play the different play cards. There are lots of options, you won’t just keep doing the same 1 or 2 plays like I see done a lot of times on the Madden video games. Another cool thing is that the cards tell you exactly which dice to roll so there’s never any guess work there. You compare the cards and start rolling. There’s just so much to like with this game. It plays in around an hour. The first game or two will probably take you a little longer as you learn the wealth of rules to the game. Once you’ve got it down though, you’ll have the time of your life.
10 out of 10
1st and Goal is a light to medium weight game of dice rolling football goodness. The components are really stellar and everything looks amazing. The game plays a reasonable amount of time, usually in about an hour. It’s a little bit of reading to get how everything works but isn’t a big deal. Once you learn the rules, you’ll be ready to go. Football fans of all ages will love this game. There are expansions that can be bought for different areas and regions of the country which add new teams. I will definitely have to check into this. As it is though, the game has lots of replayability by itself. I really enjoy football and this game gives me the ability to take the role of armchair quarterback to a new level. I highly recommend this game and look forward to playing it a lot more.
9 out of 10
For more information about this and other great games, please check out R & R Games at their site.