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My Full Weird Solo-ness or Solo Weird-ness. What is yours...?


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Ladies and Gentledudes, as I find time passing, it is getting difficult for my aging mind to remember where I've posted comments to and learned things from many of the great forums I read. I enjoy how others play the game like many of you do. I find I have my own tweaks to the game others may not have and yet find inspiration and influence from others as well, including the NFL . Perhaps someone may like or even benefit from something like this. Apologies for length and repeats from other topics. In quoting REO Speedwagon's drummer Alan Gratzer about his drum set, "This setup is mine, uniquely, exclusively mine. Go get your own." I will share some of the differences that I feel make my solitaire [emphasis on solo :)]  league unique. I would like to hear your uniqueness and specialties too, please. 🙂
My league has the Houston Oilers and the current 32 NFL teams for a total of 33 teams in both home and away jerseys. I started in alphabetical order making 11 divisions of 3 teams each. Each team plays their division teams twice, once at home and once away. The 4 game season then reorganizes them from 1 to 33 based on win-loss record, then total points scored, then total points allowed. Only twice in 17 seasons so far have teams tied in all 3 categories and the previous season records were used to break the tie for a final division placement. A game takes 3 to 3 1/2 hours to complete. Playing 3 games within a 2 week period allows me to complete a season within a calendar year. I have a 12 team tiered playoff structure where the best of the 2nd place teams as my wildcard team plays my 11th place division winner and its winner meets the 4th place division winner. The 9th and 10th division winners vie for meeting the 3rd place division winner and I think you can guess the rest. After the first game, the bases are shuffled for the 5th and 6th division winners game. Each game after that, all the bases are shuffled for each game through Superbowl. Onward to my weirdness!
First would be the actual setup. I apologize for not being able to provide pictures as technology and I do not get along. Taking in a homeless person gladly caused my wife and I to consolidate our "offices" into 1 room. My ultimate sized board is nestled up in the window between my desk and her printer shelf unit with just enough space to stand on either end of the small table it is on for passing and kicking. It is too small for my ultimate sized board to really fit on it but the problem is solved. I kept the box to my superbowl sized game board, using the open lid as a protection against footballs flying into the windowsill or getting lost on the floor. The open box my ultimate board came in was too flimsy for needed support. So I took my superbowl board and its box and put them inside the shipping box for the ultimate board. I now have the support and strength I need to play after taping the shipping box shut because the ultimate board fits nicely right on top of it. I took the cardboard insert that came with the ultimate board and hung it in my window to use as a deflector from wild kicks and passes just as I did the same with the lid for the superbowl game. The last weird setup feature is using an ironing board for deflecting passes and kicks at either end of the field. I use "deflection as much as possible because crawling under tables and searching desks and shelves for wild footballs is tiresome and time consuming. So I guess we're on to the next part which would be rules and actual play.
Part 2 is rules. A coin toss of heads has the home team receiving the kickoff whereas tails has the visiting team getting the ball, no exceptions. The receiving team is set up like it is in the NFL from midfield. The kicking team lines up at the 30 yard line. An on-side kick must travel a provable10 yards and as many players may be turned to try and recover it unless it hits a receiving team member who can then run until tackled, out of bounds, or scores. I do not count or round up half yards. I use 3 and 7/8 inch twist ties folded in half twice and then bent into a boomerang/arrowhead shape. Balanced from the top of the triple threat quarterbacks, they are very accurate and fly very far. If a football on a kickoff, punt, field goal, or free-kick split the uprights, it's a 3 point field goal. Field goals are allowed from anywhere, any time. I've made field goals from the far 20 yard line before. My record was 16 straight field goals during kickoff for Kansas City one game. The total points between them and Arizona was 84 points. Not a problem considering in real life the record for most points ever between 2 teams is 113 points (New York Giants vs. Washington Redskins, 1966). I use a stopwatch to time my games which does not run for kickoffs, free-kicks, punts, extra points, timeouts, penalties, incomplete passes, out-of-bounds. and change of possession. I allow as many field goal attempts as available downs. Let's say a team has a 4th down. They are only allowed 1 attempt at a field goal or punt and the clock does not run. But let's say they have a 1st and 10 at the opponent's 30. I have the pro-field-turf with the 20 yard lines bounded by red stripes. To get the first down, they have to break the plane of the white stripe of the 20, not the red. The 20 and a half would not work either as I do not round half-yards up to the next yard. But let's say they make the first down at the 19 and then call a field goal attempt. The clock stops and 4 field goal attempts are allowed for each down. If the ball bounces back and hits a defender even if the field goal is good [3 points still awarded], the ball is given to the defense where the defender runs until tackled, out of bounds or scores. The same is true if the field goal is missed. If missed, and no one is hit on a bounce back, the defense takes over where the ball stopped. If good and no one is hit on a bounce back, the scoring team can kickoff or let the defense take over where the ball stopped. So to further clarify, let's say the offense calls a first down field goal. The clock stops. Say 1st, 2nd, and 3rd field goal attempts all miss without hitting anyone. A field goal is made on 4th down, no one is hit, the offense can allow play to start where the ball bounces back on the field or can elect to kick off to their opponent. [As many extra field goals as they make count]. When the defense finally gets the ball, the clock will start on the defending team's first play. Timing applies to scores and their respective kickoffs / free kicks etc. That allows a team to be a little more conservative with their timeouts. Bases may be tweaked with each timeout. Overtime, starting with the same kind of coin toss as the game start is 15 minutes with a two-minute warning clock stop. Each team has 3 timeouts. Each team gets one drive, the highest score winning. If no winning score, then the rest of the 15 minute period is played out. If still tied at the end, then a tie is recorded for that game. Playoff games and Superbowl must continue until a winner is determined.  I think that covers timing rules. Rules for first downs also apply to touchdowns as well. NO DAVE once shared an EFL rule link that I refer to sometimes which agrees with the NFL about touchdowns. Both say if the ball reaches the goal line, the score is granted. I require the plane of the end zone be broken for touchdowns and safeties. Case in point. My Panthers were close to scoring at the Steeler 15, drew a 15 yard penalty against the defense [no half the distance to the goal line if a penalty fits the space] and so Carolina had a first down at the goal line. It took 2 downs to score, oh well. I believe I can move on again.
Part 3 is actual play details. If a kickoff, free kick or punt splits the uprights, it is a field goal, however if it goes out the opponent's end zone or stops in it without hitting a player, it is a touchback but any hit player may return the ball until tackled [any touch from any direction by an opponent player], out of bounds [breaking the white sideline's plane] or score's [breaking the plane of their opponent's end zone]. Progress may be stopped at any point in time to avoid yardage loss. I have enough rookie bases to load 3 full games and try to get them to run as straight as possible for as long as possible. [After the 1st game, those bases are shuffled and loaded for game 4 . They all then are shuffled after each round of regular season games]. Half yards do not count. If a ball goes out of bounds, play starts as close to the shortest possible provable yard marker.  Let's say it goes out of bounds around the 10 or 11 yard line. Play starts at the 10 and a first down would be at the white stripe of the 20. If the ball hits the reflector and bounces back onto the field without hitting anyone, where the ball stops is where play starts. Two decks of poker cards determine offensive plays and are shuffled for each drive: Aces through 7's are running plays. Black and red 8's are 5 yard penalties against the defense and offense. 9's through queens are passing plays. Black and red kings are respectively 10 yard penalties, one each of the black and red jokers are 15 yard penalties against the defense and offense. The others are a 5 yard penalty with automatic first down in favor of the offense and a turnover to the defense at the line of scrimmage. The last 2 cards designed to keep a deck in play are automatic touchdowns for offense or defense. Offensive formations start at the line of scrimmage. If an offensive player is behind yet touching his ball carrier then it may allow for an automatic lateral if it would benefit the offense. Laterals behind an offensive ball carrier with no one touching him would be played like any regular pass. I have 6 defensive formations determined by the roll of a dice. Defensive formations start 1 yard out from the line of scrimmage. Special teams defensive formations follow standard NFL setup after that. If an offensive ball carrier is tackled  or stopped with any part of him [ex the head or hand instead of the base] still breaking the plane of his own end zone, it is a safety so he must clearly and fully get out of his end zone to avoid a safety. If it cannot clearly be proven that a ball carrier is tackled, it is considered a "broken tackle" and he may continue. Sometimes momentum causes a ball carrier to advance a hair further when the game is shut off, even if tackled and I count those as those rare "special effort" yardage gains. The first player hit by a pass is a ball carrier. If a ball hits an offensive player then bounces into a defensive player, it is still an offense's ball. If the defensive player is hit first, it is a turnover. My special rare exception is for passes to the near side of the field. I have to turn my quarterback around  to where the ball is being thrown toward my waist due to my physical game setup. Any hit player is the ball carrier. If the field is hit within 10 yards of any player, as many players may be turned to try and recover it. The plane of the first eligible [not a lineman for example] player broken is the ball carrier. So let's say an offensive and defensive player on the near side of the field are touching. If the plane of the offense player is broken first, it is a catch and he is down where tackled. If not touching, he can advance until stopped or the same applies to a defensive player if his was the first plane broken. Hopefully that is clear enough. I think that covers everything and if you thought me weird before, then that has probably increased. 🙂 As solo implies, it's my game, my rules, my weirdness. My nephew sometimes joins me but he follows everything the way I have it set up which is very kind of him. Apologies if I wasted anyone's time but I hope you enjoyed this as much as I know I will enjoy hearing your playing stories. Blessings, Curt
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Thanks for posting. These are the kinds of things I like to save and keep in the archives of the museum. (Hope you don't mind I added them to the website)

"As solo implies, it's my game, my rules, my weirdness."

You are exactly right. It's your game and your rules. do whatever makes the game and hobby fun, interesting and exciting for you. 

Like I have always said "Just have fun and play the game!!"

As for myself, I just play a pretty basic game of electric football. Not too many deviations from the original rules of electric football. I do use "The Kicking Game" Kicking cards that I created, occasionally, for kicking, punting, Field goals and extra points.  But I also like to use the TTQB as much as possible, since that is a skill I don't want to lose. 

For more about Solitaire rules that others use. check out the section in the NEFGM library on solitaire rules and to learn more about the kicking card. 

Solitaire League Rules – The National Electric Football Game Museum (nefgm.org)

Innovations of the Game – The National Electric Football Game Museum (nefgm.org)


Edited by nefgm.org
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Thank you for posting this, Curt. There is always value in seeing how others play the game. I like your league set up. Mine is similar in that I have three teams in each division though currently I have two divisions (AFC Great North, NFC Super South) with 4 teams each. I added 2 teams (Dolphins and Bucs) for the current season, #16.  I have 20 teams in my league, but that will punch up to 24 when I get around to painting the new teams; Chargers, Seahawks, Bears and Lions. 

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You are most welcome Bob, glad you liked it. It all comes down to how many teams a person wants and what kind of schedule is desired. When I reached 24 teams for my league, I realized I could achieve my one goal in playing a season within a calendar year, but I could not resolve my other desire to balance out an even number of home and away games for each team. To further complicate things, my brother visited in 2004 from Seattle. He is a much bigger hobby enthusiast than I am. He rebuilds old guitars and old motorcycles for fun in his garage/workshop. A box of Testor enamel paints and many detail brushes sit on my desk. My hobby space takes up my wife's and my office window space, plus, the oversized Samsonite hard-shell brief case which holds all my 33 teams in snack size Ziploc baggies, all the rest of the accessories like baggies of footballs [mixed for each pass or kick], bases, goalposts, cards, stopwatch, yard-markers, etc. and the top section with its partitions has my still-in-use  scoreboard from my previous game, my printed rule set, records of the previous seasons and of course the record sheet for the current season. The same schedule issue arose after he sent me enough white figures to complete the 32 current teams. But then his overzealous mind started reeling with "You've got to get all the teams in all their various color combinations from past, present, and even the whacky Thursday Night Football like the total fluorescent green of the Seahawks". I politely refused as I like what I have all my teams in. My nephew showed me how adding the Houston Oilers, making 33 teams, gives me a balanced 2-each home and away game season with my playoff structure still being able to be completed in a calendar year. But again, that all leads back to you. How many teams do you really want? What kind of schedule do you wish to follow, including playoff structure? While what I have works perfectly for me, you have to find out what works best for you. Blessings, Curt

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Did any of these replies answer your question? There may be more replies than those shown here. — Electric Football Nation

To continue a bit, I'm interested in hearing from as many who will talk about their specialties for the game. Mine come from play space necessity. To make room for a homeless person now living with us [in conjunction with LifePath], I had to squeeze my hobby space into the same room that my wife and I share as office space. While it has its differences from "regular" electric football, it is still dynamic and lots of fun. Because I only care if an end score is believable, I allow far more liberty with Field Goals and the like. These are the things that make the game unique for me and I would like to hear more what makes their setup unique from each solo player. Hope this helps. Blessings, Curt

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