Being a huge fan of American football we have looked at quite a few football board games in the past on Geeky Hobbies. Despite being a big fan of the sport, I have to say that I have been pretty disappointed by a lot of the football board games that I have played in the past. While I actually enjoy BattleBall and Jukem Football quite a bit, most of the football games that I have played have been average at best. The problem with most football board games is that they are pretty dull for the most part which is surprising as football is generally a pretty exciting sport. I was hoping that today’s game GoLong Football would fix that problem. Unfortunately GoLong Football suffers from the same problems as many other football board games where it is technically sound but is an overall boring experience.
How to Play GoLong Football Dice Game
- Take one of the score sheets and write both player’s team names on the corresponding spaces.
- Place all of the dice on the table where both players can reach them.
- Flip a coin to determine who will receive the opening kickoff. The other player will start the second half with the ball.
Playing the Game
These instructions assume you have a basic understanding of the rules of football. If you are not familiar with the rules of American football, you will need to check out another article for more information.
GoLong Football Dice Game is played over four quarters with four possessions in each quarter.
To kickoff the player receiving the ball rolls the black kickoff die. The number rolled indicates the yard line that the kick was returned to. A “X” indicates a touchback. The goalpost indicates that the ball was returned for a touchdown.
When the player starts their turn on offense they roll the white die, the three green dice and the blue die. The player looks at the white die to determine whether their offensive play was successful. If a football was rolled on the white die the player is able to use one or more of their dice to gain yardage. If any other symbol was rolled, check out the appropriate section below.
After rolling the dice the player will have to use at least one of their dice. If the player rolled a “TD” on the blue die, the player automatically scores a touchdown. Otherwise the player will choose one of the number dice and will gain the corresponding number of yards. The die is placed on the 1st down section of the score sheet. The player then has the option of choosing another of the dice they rolled for second down and/or third down. Otherwise they can choose to re-roll all of the dice that were not set aside.
If the player gains enough yardage for a first down they get a new set of downs and will get to re-roll all of the dice.
If while rolling the white die a player rolls the “QB” with a slash through it symbol, the player’s quarterback was sacked. The player rolls the yellow die to determine how much yardage they lost on the sack. The player will then set aside one of their green or blue dice to indicate the lost down. The player will then re-roll their remaining dice.
If a player is within their 20 and they roll the sack symbol and the TD symbol on the blue dice, the player’s quarterback is sacked for a safety. If the player loses enough yardage to reach their own endzone, their quarterback is also sacked for a safety. The defensive team scores two points and the player who was on offense punts from their own 20 to start the next possession for the other player.
If the yellow flag symbol shows up on the white die, a penalty has been committed. The player rolls the yellow and red dice. The yellow die indicates penalty yardage while the red die determines whether the offense or defense committed the penalty. An O on the red die means the offense committed the penalty while a D means the defense committed the penalty. If a number is rolled on the yellow die, the side who committed the penalty loses that many yards. The player who didn’t commit the penalty can choose to decline it and then the offensive player chooses one of their dice to use for the play. The player then re-rolls the rest of their dice.
If the hand symbol is rolled on the yellow die, there was pass interference on the play. If the offense committed the penalty the offensive team loses ten yards. If the penalty is on the defense the penalty is either ten yards or the number on the blue die (whichever is higher).
If the double sided arrow is rolled, there were offsetting penalties on the play. The offensive player re-rolls all of the dice and play continues like normal.
If the red star is rolled on the white die, there is a potential turnover on the play. If “TD” was rolled on the blue die, there was an interception returned for a touchdown. Otherwise the offensive player rolls the red die to determine who will get the ball.
If an “O” is rolled the team on offense keeps the ball and chooses one of other dice that were rolled to determine how many yards they gained on the play. The player then re-rolls the rest of their dice.
If a “D” is rolled the team on defense takes possession. The player on defense takes one of the dice that were rolled to indicate how far the ball was returned.
If the defensive player gets a turnover on the last possession of a half, they get an additional possession to try and score more points.
If the player on offense hasn’t gotten a first down in the first three downs they can choose to punt. To punt the ball they roll the black die. The number rolled indicates how many yards the ball was punted. If the field goal post is rolled the kick was a touchback and the other team gets the ball at their 20. If the “X” symbol is rolled, the punt is blocked and the other team gets the ball at the prior line of scrimmage.
If a player chooses to kick a field goal they will roll the black die. If the yardage on the dice matches or exceeds the yards to the goal line, the kick is good and the offense scores three points. If the player rolls the field goal post, the kick is also good. If the player did not roll a high enough number or rolled the “X” symbol the kick is blocked/missed. The other team gets the ball at the previous line of scrimmage.
If a player gains enough yards to reach the end zone or rolls a combination that leads to a touchdown, the player on offense scores six points. To kick the extra point the player rolls the black die. If they roll anything other than the “X” symbol, the extra point is good and the player scores another point.
If the player decides to go for two, they will roll the white die and one of the green die. For the two point conversion to succeed the player has to roll a football and either a two or three on the green die. If they succeed they score two more points. If they fail they score no additional points.
End of Game
The game ends after the players have completed all four quarters. The player who has scored the most points wins the game. If there is a tie at the end of regulation, the players play overtime by giving both players one possession. This continues until one player has scored more points.
My Thoughts on GoLong Football Dice Game
At its’ core GoLong Football is a pretty basic dice game that has adopted a football theme. You basically roll dice and try to score more points than the other player. As you are mostly just rolling dice, GoLong Football is a really simple game. Probably the most difficult part of the game is understanding the rules of football. For people not familiar with the sport, most of your time will be spent teaching them the basic rules of the sport. Otherwise the mechanics are pretty straightforward as you just roll dice trying to get enough yards for a first down. In addition to being easy to play, the game is also pretty quick. You should be able to finish most games of GoLong Football within 30-45 minutes.
While technically sound I think the biggest problem that I had with GoLong Football was the fact that it is really boring. Basically all you do in the game is roll the dice trying to gain at least ten yards in order to get another set of downs. If you succeed you do the same thing all over again. This is repeated over and over until the game finally ends. There are occasional turnovers, sacks and penalties but they don’t add a lot of excitement to the game.
I think the biggest culprit for this problem is that the player on defense basically has to just sit there doing nothing. I want to know why the game doesn’t allow the defensive player to do anything in the game. The game could have given the defensive player a die that could have potentially offset what the offensive player was doing. The offensive player would still have more to do on any given play than the defensive player. By giving the defensive play a die they could have had something to do and might be able to impact the game. As the defensive player has next to nothing to do in the game, it is quite boring when it is your turn to be the defensive team.
Another reason why the game is boring is that there are few decisions to make in the game. At the beginning of each set of downs you roll all of the dice. You are then given the choice of choosing to keep one or more of the dice. This decision is generally pretty obvious. If you rolled more than ten yards you are obviously going to keep all of the dice that will get you the first down. If you don’t roll ten yards you should only keep the higher number(s) you rolled and then re-roll the rest of the dice. Honestly it usually is really obvious what you should do at any given time.
As a matter of fact most of your success in the game is going to depend on just two of the dice. First you need to roll a football on the white dice. As long as you rolled a football, you are hoping to roll a high number on the blue die. As the green dice only go up to three, it is impossible to get a first down without getting some yardage from the blue die. The easiest way to gain yardage in the game is to roll high numbers on the blue die. If you don’t roll high numbers on the blue die you are going to have a hard time scoring points in the game.
All of this leads to GoLong Football being a a simple dice game that relies almost entirely on luck. Roll well and you will do well in the game. Roll poorly and you have no chance of winning. There is so little decision making in the game that there are few opportunities for strategy in the game. With next to no strategy in the game, you don’t have the opportunity to overcome bad luck while rolling the dice. If you want a game that you don’t have to put a lot of thought into that also relies on a lot of luck, GoLong Football might not be bad. If you want a game where your actions actually have an impact on the outcome though, the game is not going to be for you.
While the GoLong Football Dice Game has some problems, I actually think the game does a pretty good job with the components. The dice are pretty nice as the symbols are engraved into the dice which means they won’t fade off with extended use. The dice cup is also pretty nice and the game comes with a travel bag which is useful if you plan to travel with the game. I will say that the scoresheets could be better though as it is kind of hard to keep track of where the ball is at any given time.
Should You Buy GoLong Football Dice Game?
GoLong Football is a pretty basic dice rolling game with a football theme pasted on. You roll dice to run plays trying to score more points than your opponent. The game is easy to play and plays pretty quickly. There really isn’t anything wrong with the game on the technical side but the game is just boring. You mostly just roll dice in order to get a first down which allows you to roll more dice. The player on defense doesn’t even get to do anything as they just sit around waiting for the other player. Even the player on offense doesn’t get to make many decisions as any decision they make is usually pretty obvious. This leads to the game relying almost entirely on luck.
If you love football and want a simple dice rolling game that utilizes a football theme, you may have some fun with GoLong Football. I would only recommend picking it up though if you can get a good deal on it as there are better football board games. Otherwise I would recommend passing on GoLong Football as it is a pretty boring dice game.