On the heels of last fall's release of the "express" version of SECOND SEASON Pro Football Game, it's time to head north of the border for the 2020 Canadian football season! Presenting COLD SNAP "Express," the new fast-playing football version of COLD SNAP Canadian Pro Football Game, NOW AVAILABLE!
So—what IS SECOND SEASON/COLD SNAP "express?" And WHY were they created? Well, here's the scoop...
In the founding era of sports simulation board games, back in the 1960s and '70s, a 90-minute football simulation board game play-through wasn't considered unreasonable. (We had a lot of time on our hands!) Today, though, it's different. Many (most?) of us just don't have that kind of availability for hobby time. So, several years ago, we began experimenting with ways to reduce our football game's run time to better fit the 21st century lifestyle. In 2015, we released the 4.0 version of SECOND SEASON with several new time-saving components and a completely re-configured "one and done" game book that dramatically reduces page-turning for chart look-ups. The "instant results" fast-action deck gives you the option to eliminate chart look-ups entirely for select game situations. After introducing these innovations to SECOND SEASON, we added them two years later to the 4.0 version of COLD SNAP, in the fall of 2017.
In December of 2017, we created a "late-game scenario generator" tool for SECOND SEASON which, with a few rolls of the dice, fast-forwards you to the end of a close game where you can play to completion in about 20 minutes. We featured it at a live event in Milwaukee, and at our first PLAAY-Dot-CON convention in 2018. It also works for COLD SNAP.
Then, last year, we fine-tuned development of a brand-new quick-play tool, which we named SECOND SEASON "Express." Using SECOND SEASON's established ratings, terminology and play mechanics, the express version breaks the game's play down into sequences or "chunks" of plays, rather than individual play calls. The offense chooses pass or run as the primary play-call mode, and the defense calls one of the four classic SECOND SEASON defense settings (pass, run, safe or blitz) as its primary defense mode. The dice are rolled and the result is generated, same as with the original game. The difference is, the result will represent what happened over a sequence of plays, not just one play. It's also assumed that the result generated could very well be a mix of plays, both passes and runs. The field is expressed in zones rather than yards, which streamlines the action without eliminating the context. A play sequence might move the ball to the next zone, or a couple zones, or it might stall out and not gain any ground (zones) at all. Kicking and return plays are also expressed in "zones" rather than yards.
Each play sequence fills a minute of time. The ebb and flow and strategy decisions of a real football game are succinctly captured, but because you're resolving clusters of plays at a time, the total game-play time is condensed by about two thirds. So if it typically takes you two hours to play a game of SECOND SEASON, you'll be able to play the Express version in about 40 minutes. If your game time is more in the 75 minute range, you'll be able to finish a complete game of SECOND SEASON Express in about 25 minutes.
It's important to note your existing SECOND SEASON/COLD SNAP teams will work with "express." You don't need to buy new teams. The express games were designed and built around the full parent games—they are not separate entities. They were designed to work together so that it's easy to jump back and forth between fast-play and full play modes. You can start a game in "express," get to the fourth quarter in about 15-20 minutes, then switch to full-play mode and watch the game-ending drama unfold play-by-play, decision-by-decision! Or, conversely, you can start a game in full-play mode and, if it gets out of hand (as football games sometimes do), you can switch to express and wrap it up in a snap.
However, it IS interesting that although we intended the "express" games to be used back-and-forth as just outlined above, many fans have embraced the express concept and have played full seasons, purely in express mode! It's just that fun! Realistic action—(without the stats, which, in and of itself, can be very liberating!)—realistic scores, realistic results.
Now that the SECOND SEASON Express has found a foothold, it's only natural that we extend the express route to include COLD SNAP! Same great game, same great concept.
• You can watch a demonstration of COLD SNAP Express here (very exciting finish!). Note that the express version on screen was our beta test version from last summer—the actual express game components look different.
• Here's a video of SECOND SEASON Express in action, featuring two of the team from our upcoming 1969 Pro Season release.
SECOND SEASON Express and COLD SNAP Express Fast-Playing Football Games are each available for $19 postage-paid*, and include the express charts, instructions specific to the "express" version, and a playing field game board, enclosed in a handy sleeve that can be tucked inside your existing game box. (Dice, tokens and teams are not included—we assume that you already have those!) However, we learned from our introduction of SECOND SEASON Express that there are football board game fans out there who want to try the express version without having to buy the full version. We get that. So, we're offering the SECOND SEASON and COLD SNAP "essentials" as an add-on to your express game. The "parts package" gives you the full game rules, dice, defense play call cards and four sample teams—everything you need to understand and play the express game—for $9 (instead of buying the entire game for $49).
Questions? Comments? Let us know, we're always happy to help!