I have a limited scope of American football tabletop games. It amounts to two at this point, Strat-o-Matic Football and Second Season Football by Plaay Games. I’ve also purchased Statis Pro Football, but need to invest some money in printing.
After playing a SOM Football project for several months, I got the craving to go back to Second Season. It has some advantages over SOM, most importantly that the footprint is greatly condensed. You can fold and fit the SS teamsheets into a binder sheet for easy flipping between the combinations. With SOM, you have player cards which take up a lot of table space. You are also quite limited in the number of players that you can use in a season project with SOM.. With SS, not only is much of their depth chart included on the team sheet, they also include Fringe Players on another list can you can plug in when necessary.
My biggest issue with most of these games can become project completion time. For instance, the SOM Football project I started involves 8 to 10 games per team, using all teams. My ideas tend to migrate into those areas, wanting enough breadth to put a game to the test. On the downside, it takes a lot of breaks & space to help keep from burning out on playing one game for weeks and months. That necessary down time can lead you to “lose touch” with a project, where resurrecting the immersion factor you had before can be so much of a chore that you never get it back.
Back to that Second Season craving. The yearly Black Friday/Cyber Monday Sale/Release for Plaay included a SS set called the “2023 College Bowl Binge.” 16 fictional teams & a recommended batch of 8 Bowls to play them in was just the ticket for someone who doesn’t really think through a simple & short project very often.
So after playing through the 8 Bowl games, you can then select the two “National Championship” combatants. That’s next on my list, and is likely to pit #1 Old Alabama against #2 Georgia Northern as they both won their respective bowl game.
But I also think this set would be a cool way to try a single elimination bracket to see how those matchups would fare. You could even jumble up the rankings and/or records, and see if changing the seasonal power balance leads to alternative results.