Techno Bowl | Fortified Niche playtest!

Sports? In my miniature games? More likely than you would believe! For example, we just played Techno Bowl, a miniature game of American Football that’s less violent than in real life!

Listen to the Fortified Niche episode. 

When you get READY FOR SOME FOOT-BAAALL in Techno Bowl, you pick an already assembled team. None of this buying team members nonsense – the teams are immutable. Which is great – as far as I remember Blood Bowl, the choice to buy members was a lie as there was always an optimal starting build.
However, unlike most(?) Fantasy Space Future Blood Sport Bowl games, Techno Bowl actually rewards having knowledge about actual football as some of the rules just game-ify the rules of the real thing. Of course, both of the hosts come from countries with sane-ish medical systems, we had very little understanding of anything.
But we did know some rules of Rogue Planet, and Techno Bowl runs on a similar PbtA-inspired system. This works especially well considering that your failed actions give the enemy the freedom to act with a single player, and your total successes allow you to activate one of your own. These things can chain, so the regular flow of the game could be momentously disrupted.
And there is a set flow to the match, because for each “play”, you choose five player cards, gives them both guaranteed activations and a set order of activations. Each player flips over a card and the player with the highest jersey number goes first. And that’s where test success/failure mechanics start messing things up.
Note on the jersey numbers: that’s all the stats most players have. The higher the tens number, the faster the player moves in squares, and the better they are in agility tests. The lower the number, the stronger the player is at blocking and tackling. Some players may also have special rules. A team may have four rules spread around in any combination. You may have four players with one each, or a three-skill player and a single-skill player.
Techno Bowl also has an interesting relation to time: the game progresses based on the events on the field. There’s also a time limit on the players: one minute to draft the five cards. One minute to setup. This is not a long game and it aggressively enforces this. And it works to its benefit: it’s a lot less annoying to lose a fast game.
All in all, Techno Bowl is the best thing to come out of the sport the colonials precociously refer to as “football”

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