Green Bay's Board-Game Obsession
January 15, 2015 7:35 PM   Subscribe

“At first we’re like, ‘What the hell is this? Brick? Wool? What kind of game is this?’” said starting center Corey Linsley. But that quickly faded. “We are completely addicted to it, we play it whenever we can,” said tight end Justin Perillo.
posted by daisystomper (54 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
 
Aww man, just wait until someone tells them about Risk.
posted by The Master and Margarita Mix at 7:39 PM on January 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


So that plus this makes the Packers what?

I vote awesome.
posted by linux at 7:45 PM on January 15, 2015 [5 favorites]


If I were a Bears fan, I'd be overnighting a copy of Diplomacy to Green Bay.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:45 PM on January 15, 2015 [59 favorites]


Immediately had to tell my sister in Milwaukee about this. The fact that Bakhtiari is the one who introduced it to the team is icing on the cake.
posted by azarbayejani at 7:47 PM on January 15, 2015


I like how the article calls the rules for Catan "complex". Because it is the opposite of that.
posted by Justinian at 7:47 PM on January 15, 2015 [20 favorites]


I can't wait until they get more into gaming. "Dude, a cleric can't use edged weapons. DROP YOUR DAMN BROADSWORD."
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 7:47 PM on January 15, 2015 [17 favorites]


As a Colts fan, I feel obligated to mention that Settlers of Catan is also a favorite of Indianapolis's beloved neckbearded quarterback Andrew Luck.
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:48 PM on January 15, 2015 [6 favorites]


Catan? We've moved on to Cones of Dunshire.

I CALL LEDGERMAN!
posted by Talez at 7:53 PM on January 15, 2015 [14 favorites]


gaming - board, video, and tabletop - is well loved by jocks in my experience. not everyone is the quarterback and the more they advance in the sport the more time they spend on buses and in hotel rooms. i sorta dated a dude who was a high school linebacker and also one of the biggest warhammer nerds i've ever met.

also, as a cowboys fan (i know, i know, everyone has their faults) i'm trying really hard to remain mad at the packers and this is making that difficult.
posted by nadawi at 7:56 PM on January 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


If I were a Bears fan, I'd be overnighting a copy of Diplomacy to Green Bay.

To minimize potential damage from tactics such as this, Packers fans out to supply the team several copies of Pandemic.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 7:58 PM on January 15, 2015 [6 favorites]


Someone brought Settlers of Catan with them to the research station I worked at in Peru. When we had rainy days and couldn't go out, or when we had days off, or when we got back from work for the day, we'd play Settlers. We wrote a copy of the rules in Spanish so that everyone at the station could play. We wrote out a copy of the rules as a drinking game for the days when someone went across the river to the illegal mining/prostitute town to purchase cheap rum ("everybody takes a shot when someone else turns their town to a city," for example). We were hugely cutthroat and kept records and statistics and such.

There was a mining strike, and we all had to go back into the main town in the area because there were pretty specific threats to the research station. While we were there, we discovered that at least two of the other research stations had ALSO been obsessively playing Settlers of Catan. Grand plans were made for an ultimate showdown for Settling Dominion of field biologists in the Peruvian Amazon, and it was going to be great, but the strike resolved and we all returned upriver to our own respective little chunks of the Amazon to squirrel away sheep and logs and bricks for a time in the future...
posted by ChuraChura at 7:59 PM on January 15, 2015 [62 favorites]


Aww man, just wait until someone tells them about Risk.

Pshaw. Foto Electric Football, or GTFO.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:00 PM on January 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


I like how the article calls the rules for Catan "complex". Because it is the opposite of that.

Sure, but compared to Chutes 'n' Ladders?

I moved to Wisconsin a few months ago and games seem to be more of a thing here.
posted by LionIndex at 8:01 PM on January 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'm not sure why this is surprising, football is essentially a turn-based strategy war game.
posted by octothorpe at 8:05 PM on January 15, 2015 [36 favorites]


It's a turn-based WeGo system where both players plan out one turn in advance and execute the turns simultaneously.
posted by Justinian at 8:09 PM on January 15, 2015 [8 favorites]


I feel like this is just completing the jocknerd conversion, since from my limited experience, 90% of the football fans I know have had their fandom almost entirely consumed by fantasy football in the last few years. Only in the last season or so have I seen some of them come staggering back out of the fog, hazily trying to reclaim the football from the fantasy.
posted by chortly at 8:10 PM on January 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


Someone needs to introduce these guys to Paranoia.
posted by echocollate at 8:10 PM on January 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


This might explain Mike McCarthy's successful rules-lawyering last Sunday.
posted by drezdn at 8:10 PM on January 15, 2015 [11 favorites]


In terms of teamwork and planning they might enjoy Space Alert.
posted by Slackermagee at 8:14 PM on January 15, 2015 [3 favorites]


drezdn - i refuse to favorite that but you have to know i chuckled, and then seethed, but chuckled none the less.
posted by nadawi at 8:15 PM on January 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


Ha, back in the early aughts, I played it every week for a few months, and we kept a running tally. I actually did the asterisk thing to a few wins.
posted by ignignokt at 8:15 PM on January 15, 2015


Meanwhile, the Seahawks players are obsessed with playing football. See you Sunday, losers!
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 8:30 PM on January 15, 2015 [7 favorites]


Sports fans and nerds have way more in common than they think.

Some people memorize the scripts to every Star Trek episode and ponder what might have been if a show had received another season. Other folks know every starting pitcher's stats for the league and wonder what it would be like if the Blazers had picked Jordan instead of passing him over and letting him go to the Bulls.

But all can agree no matter what fandom they enjoy: fuck the fucking Yankees, the Cowboys suck, and Han shot first no matter what the latest revision says.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 8:50 PM on January 15, 2015 [16 favorites]


Speaking personally, I stopped caring about football even on a casual level once I had my first couple of Blood Bowl leagues under my belt. Once you've imagined a dwarven Death Roller crushing a halfling defensive line into a bloody pulp, watching actual human beings tackling each other falls sadly short.
posted by Strange Interlude at 8:53 PM on January 15, 2015 [7 favorites]


also, as a cowboys fan (i know, i know, everyone has their faults) i'm trying really hard to remain mad at the packers and this is making that difficult.

I find it helps to think of athletes as actors in some intense, populist dramas. That way it's easier to separate the team loyalties from the real human beings.

Except for the San Francisco Giants. They are evil incarnate.
posted by Celsius1414 at 8:57 PM on January 15, 2015 [2 favorites]


It's an open secret that the Chicago Bears were using Robo Rally cards to plan their plays this year.
posted by drezdn at 9:33 PM on January 15, 2015 [16 favorites]


I'm not sure why this is surprising, football is essentially a turn-based strategy war game.

At some point I realized that this is why I enjoy football but find other sports boring. Football is deeply tactical in ways that other sports mostly aren't.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:59 PM on January 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


I like how the article calls the rules for Catan "complex". Because it is the opposite of that.

That and "reserved for the nerdiest corners of the gaming world." Catan is sold in Target, for pitys's sake.
posted by Gelatin at 3:21 AM on January 16, 2015 [6 favorites]


Meanwhile, the Seahawks players are obsessed with playing football. See you Sunday, losers!

I totally get that you are joking(in fact, I chuckled), but I'd like to think that playing board games with your team mates probably helps on field performance. Lets you get to know each other better, improves moral, etc. There are some very interesting psychological studies that could carried out around team activities outside of players playing football.
posted by Twain Device at 5:01 AM on January 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


Aw, I just want to introduce them all to Lords of Waterdeep now. Then again, I want to do that with everybody.
posted by alexordave at 5:23 AM on January 16, 2015 [7 favorites]


Of course it's the offensive linemen, bunch of nerds.
posted by Mick at 5:39 AM on January 16, 2015 [7 favorites]


Advanced Squad Leader was apparantly played by professional baseball players ie. Curt Schilling, while on the road. That game, played at full scope, is the most complex boardgame ever invented. There are 3 players at the table, the two opponents and the rulebook which continually offers surprises. It's like the two players are playing against the rulebook which is 100s of pages of dense interlocking systems. Each system a game onto itself. Whatever the lulz about Shilling's video game empire collapse, I respect his ASL gaming (and he helped save the game by funding continued development when it was close to collapse in the late 90s).
posted by stbalbach at 5:48 AM on January 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


LionIndex: "I moved to Wisconsin a few months ago and games seem to be more of a thing here."

Winters are long, and midwesterners are not too worried about seeming like nerds.

I'm not a big gamer myself but I hang out in nerdy spaces online where people talk about games, and when a game gets buzzy I always mention it to my non-nerdy friends and they all think I'm some kind of game-finding GENIUS PSYCHIC. Because around here it's just "what you do in the winter" rather than part of a subculture. A lot of people, especially women, also belong to winter-long card- or dice-game leagues. Find out before you join if it's a drinking-and-chatting league or a cut-your-throat-and-leave-you-bleeding-on-the-sidewalk league. Because, uh, apparently euchre can be played for blood.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:54 AM on January 16, 2015 [8 favorites]


The fact that the local gaming store started selling more stuff when the Packers mentioned it in an interview filled this Bears fan with more joy than Green Bay ever has.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 5:56 AM on January 16, 2015


Advanced Squad Leader was apparantly played by professional baseball players ie. Curt Schilling, while on the road. That game, played at full scope, is the most complex boardgame ever invented.

ASL + Liar's Dice. You make up rules, and if the other guy calls you on it, you lose your turn. If he doesn't, it's now a rule for that game (but the other guy also can use that rule!)
posted by eriko at 6:12 AM on January 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


So that plus this makes the Packers what?

I vote awesome.


I vote pond scum.

(That's a promotion, though, to be honest. They were fucking pond scum. I'm still sending them Diplomacy. #BearDown)
posted by eriko at 6:14 AM on January 16, 2015


I like how the article calls the rules for Catan "complex". Because it is the opposite of that.

A couple of days ago I saw this on The Facebooks. Whatever writer decided that Axis and Allies had "hardest rules ever" needs to be struck sharply about the head and shoulders with the Advanced Squad Leader rulebook. Here is a copy sitting on top of Arkham Horror, which is itself a a couple of orders of magnitude past A&A. I probably have not played a game of Axis and Allies in seven years, but the most challenging thing for me if I walked into one cold right now would be remembering things that differ from the current edition to previous editions to the old Milton Bradley version to the auld Nova Games version.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:16 AM on January 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


Aw, I just want to introduce them all to Lords of Waterdeep now. Then again, I want to do that with everybody.

Do you have the iPad app? If so, search DrAstroZoom and come at me, bro.
posted by DrAstroZoom at 6:32 AM on January 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


I like how the article calls the rules for Catan "complex".

Meanwhile, I imagine Belichick probably has all the Patriots playing Twilight Imperium or something like that. (And I say that as a Belichick- and Patriots-hater.)
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:15 AM on January 16, 2015 [5 favorites]


Of course it's the offensive linemen, bunch of nerds.

You likely know this, Mick, but others might not: offensive linemen on average score the highest on the Wonderlic, a sort of short-version IQ test administered as part of the NFL Combine (where players are tested on various physical and mental tasks to sort of flatten out their school-hyped numbers). Note on that list that four of the top five position averages are offensive linemen (okay, three and a half depending on how you count tight ends), and all are above the population average of 20.
posted by Etrigan at 7:38 AM on January 16, 2015


Yeah, Settlers is hardly complex. I don't think ASL would be the game for the Packers' OL, though. I'm thinking they should look into Starfleet Battles and start having tournament games.
posted by ursus_comiter at 7:38 AM on January 16, 2015


I vote pond scum.

(That's a promotion, though, to be honest. They were fucking pond scum. I'm still sending them Diplomacy. #BearDown)


You ever been doing your normal thing, running errands, when suddenly you see, like, a car driving backwards down the street at full speed or something else so suddenly out of place that your brain can't make sense of it for a second?

That's what it's like for me whenever I see shade thrown at the Packers.
posted by Navelgazer at 7:39 AM on January 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


Catan's rules may be relatively complex compared to popular games such as Monopoly or Risk, but they're considered relatively simple within the board gaming community. Which is not at all to say it's a bad game.

But, you know another game that has more complex rules than Settlers of Catan? American football, particularly the NFL version. So it shouldn't be a surprise that professional football players could appreciate such a game.

Which brings me to my rant: I have no sympathy for NFL players or coaches who are caught off-guard by the application of some "obscure" rule they were unaware of. If you're being paid six, seven, or even eight figures to play or coach a game, you ought to know the rulebook for that game backwards, forwards, upside-down, inside-out, and in your sleep.

In last Sunday's Ravens-Patriots game, the Patriots offense, on a few occasions, used a highly unconventional, but completely legal, arrangement of players on the line of scrimmage, and successfully confused the Ravens defense by doing so. Leading to complaints by some of the Ravens and their fans afterwards. Sorry, Ravens, no sympathy from me — if you don't know the rules, even the "obscure" ones, it's your own fault.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:44 AM on January 16, 2015 [8 favorites]


Which brings me to my rant: I have no sympathy for NFL players or coaches who are caught off-guard by the application of some "obscure" rule they were unaware of. If you're being paid six, seven, or even eight figures to play or coach a game, you ought to know the rulebook for that game backwards, forwards, upside-down, inside-out, and in your sleep.

I agree with this (it drove me fucking nuts when Jim Schwartz fucked up that challenge two years ago, and every tie inevitably brings up some moron on one of the teams saying "I didn't know we could tie").

In last Sunday's Ravens-Patriots game, the Patriots offense, on a few occasions, used a highly unconventional, but completely legal, arrangement of players on the line of scrimmage, and successfully confused the Ravens defense by doing so. Leading to complaints by some of the Ravens and their fans afterwards. Sorry, Ravens, no sympathy from me — if you don't know the rules, even the "obscure" ones, it's your own fault.

It wasn't the obscurity of the tactic, it was that it didn't provide enough time for the defense to react. Don't be surprised to see a "clarification" from the Competition Committee over the off-season (especially since Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome is on the committee).
posted by Etrigan at 7:51 AM on January 16, 2015


This uncomfortable detail is usually overshadowed by the fact he was playing the game eight years before the start of WWII.

I'm surprised that fact wasn't itself overshadowed by the fact that he was playing a board game that was only created 50 years after he played it. I mean, the Packers had time travel, and that's all they used it for?
posted by sysinfo at 8:00 AM on January 16, 2015 [9 favorites]


90% of the football fans I know have had their fandom almost entirely consumed by fantasy football

When people I know talk about fantasy football I sometimes say stuff like "oh so it's like D&D for sports nerds"? I'm a jerk! I think it's because when I was a kid the sports kids beat up the D&D kids and I was a D&D kid. But I *much* prefer a melding of worlds as is happening in Green Bay.
posted by freecellwizard at 8:03 AM on January 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


In last Sunday's Ravens-Patriots game, the Patriots offense, on a few occasions, used a highly unconventional, but completely legal, arrangement of players on the line of scrimmage, and successfully confused the Ravens defense by doing so. Leading to complaints by some of the Ravens and their fans afterwards

Harbaugh wasn't arguing that the Patriots were in an illegal formation. He was arguing that he didn't get a chance to set a defense because the notification that a given player who was eligible was not eligible came to late, and he'd had a guy matching a receiver who was now a tackle.

By rule (Rule 5 Section 2 Article 10) the defense is allow to substitute players after the offense does so. Harbaugh is arguing by the late change from eligible to ineligible, the offense has made a on-field substation and the defense should be allowed to respond. He's also arguing that this should have been announced to the crowd, much like a ineligible receiver becoming eligible is announced, that would have had the referee out of position and allowed him to respond.

I'm not sure if I completely agree with him, but he never argued that it wasn't a legal lineup, and I think he does have a defensible argument. I expect an accepted ruling (AR) to show up in R5S2A10 next year about this. I do think that the change should have been announced to the crowd, just a change the other way always is -- any time a non-eligible number is lined up eligible, or an eligible number is lined up non-elgible, they should call it out.

Ravens fans were claiming it wasn't a legal formation, but the NFL is no different than any sport in that it is loaded with fans who don't actually know the rules of the game. :-)

Note that hurry-up offenses, like the Eagles run under Chip Kelly, don't have to wait for defensive subs because they're not making a sub themselves. If they change a player, the defense gets to respond.
posted by eriko at 9:31 AM on January 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


was it not announced or were they not paying attention? i saw a lot of people who were at the game or listening on the radio say they heard the in stadium announcement from eligible to ineligible. it's totally possible they misremembered or were lying, i guess...
posted by nadawi at 9:35 AM on January 16, 2015


any time someone mentions that fantasy football is d&d for jocks in a sneering way i get to be all like, "yeah! isn't that great! i mean the rules systems are completely different of course, and i was always more of a gurps fan anyway..." some nerds have always been into sports because of the numbers and tactics.
posted by nadawi at 9:38 AM on January 16, 2015


gaming - board, video, and tabletop - is well loved by jocks in my experience.

In high school, the "least nerdy" of my friends -- football player amidst a bunch of wannabe rock musicians who turned our noses up at anything "mainstream", including ugh sportsball aren't we clever -- absolutely hated the fact that all we did every weekend was play the Vampire: the Masquerade campaign I ran, instead of drinking in the convenience store parking lot or whatever the cool kids were up to, and that we were constantly bugging him to join in. So he made the most annoying character he could think of, designed for the express purpose of "ruining this stupid bullshit so we can go party". He became one of the most committed and longest-lasting players in that game: first in, last out. Turns out, I'm competitive too, and, like Kirk, I don't like to lose.
posted by Errant at 9:58 AM on January 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


Here's NFL Rule 5. Section 2, on susbstitutions, seems pretty clear to me that a "substitution" is a player who wasn't participating in the previous play coming into play. I see nothing in section 2 which would suggest that a mere change of position by a player who was already in (covered by section 3, if it's a change from eligible to ineligible or vice versa) constitutes a "substitution."

As noted, the reverse situation, where a normally-ineligible player is declared eligible, is moderately common. Is it required that the defense be given the opportunity to substitute in those situations?

Like nadawi, I've seen online comments from people who claimed to be at the game and claim that the change was announced over the PA. I have no way of directly confirming those reports, of course.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 10:24 AM on January 16, 2015


Like nadawi, I've seen online comments from people who claimed to be at the game and claim that the change was announced over the PA.

It may have been, but not by the ref, which is who the Ravens staff would be looking to.

Interesting to see boardgame talk devolve into sports talk on the blue.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 11:48 AM on January 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


So he made the most annoying character he could think of

Ah, the dreaded Fishmalk.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:05 PM on January 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


Actually, he didn't know enough to make the classic Deadpool-like "Malkavian who thinks he's in a roleplaying game" character, which might have actually done what he wanted to do.
posted by Errant at 11:14 AM on January 17, 2015


« Older Thanks, Common Core.   |   Flashbang Grenades Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments