“ Brand: Impact! Minatures / For 2 players „
ElfBall is a Fantasy Football Board Game and is manufactured by Impact! Miniatures, who are based in the USA and the UK. Games take on average 90 mins to play, but can take longer when you are learning the game
The basic premise of the game is that you have a circular pitch, a team of 6 players and the objet of the game is to score more goals than your opponent. There are a large amount of teams available to play in the game, almost all of which are 28mm metal figures made by Impact!. These are supplied unpainted so you can paint them to whatever team olours you desire! In general the minis are of excellent quality, but some look more professional and polished than others (eg Pharoahs -> Night Elves)
The field uses hexes, there are several zones where players must be setup at the start of the game. Once the game begins players move one piece at a time, however the piece may perform any number of actions, depending on their Jog Stat. Each ation uses up a certain amount of Jog.
There are more stats, such as Might (used as a measur of strength), Tackle (Used as a measure of how good the player is at tackling), Skill (Ball handling ability) Grit (how resistant to damage the player is) and Dodge (how good the player is at avoiding getting hit, and how good they are at escaping a foe.
To perform any action in the game you roll a certain amount of special dice, depending on your specific stat. If you have a player of Skill 4, then you will roll 4 dice. You then need to roll high enough to successfully complete the task. Each dice has several faces, simply put, -1,0,+1,+2, otherwise called Flop, Blank, Success and Conditional Success. However those are the optional simple rules, Conditional successes allow you to keep the result and reroll the dice again, of which you must keep the result.
There is a really cool feature called Momentum, if you get a bigger total than you needed for an action, you can store them up for the remainder of the turn to use on subsequent actions, however you need to be careful, if you srew up a dice roll badly and have momentum stored up, it shifts over to your opponent!
If you push a player out of bounds then they are ejected from the game! You can then bring a player on from the side if you are down in numbers as your turn.
ElfBall is very much a team game where all your players work together to score and stop goals being scored. If you try a one man blitz down the field you soon end up on your backside! Players support each other and can team up to take players out. However this takes some planning as the direction the play is facing plays a factor. Run in front of a Deadwood and you are going nowhere, but run behind him and he will never see you!
The game has league rules for you to develop your team. there are a lot of skills available and there is plenty of sideline staff to help your team in the game, cush as cheerleaders, barrells of energising drink, coins to bribe the ref with etc. My only complaint is that there isnt enough background to the game, I feel if there was, it would surely knock BloodBowl off the top of its perch as the best Fantasy Football game in the market!
The rules I would say are really balanced, unlike rival games such as BloodBowl, who for which, after 20 years some of the issues are not ironed out yet. This cannot be said for ElfBall. The game plays a good clean game of fantasy football, without too much fuss.
I will go through the list of minis that the game currently has, some of the minis are in production.
· BLACK WIDOWS - These are not to my taste, they are half elf women, who dress a bit too provocatively, think Dark Elves in Warhammer. They are skilled with the Ball and have a real nasty player, called "The Widowmaker"
· DEADLINGS - These guys are an assortment of zombies, skeletons, mummies, werewolves and Vampires, albeit hobbit sized! Don't let that throw you as these guys pack a big punch!
· DESERT DOGS - These guys are kind of like Arabian, topless men with baggy trousers, I quite like these minis, they are simple and stand out. They have a player called a Dervish, who is really good at pushing opponents out of bounds.
· DIVINE WIND - Coming from the far east there are a mix of Samurai, Sumo and Ninja. These guys are pretty cool!
· DWARVES - BLACK ROCK - There are 3 player types to this race (Masked Evil Dwarves, their comical HobImp sidekicks and mechanised Dwarven Centaurs!! They are quite a strong team but arent that good with the ball!
· DWARVES - THUNDER HAMMER - The flip side to the Black Rock. They are pure Dwarves, very tough and strong and not great with the ball, and they can have acess to the ImpCrusher, a terrifying machine of death!
· GNOLLS - The Dogmen in the game, they are similar in location to the Desert dogs, they are almost hyena in appearance
· GNOMES - Gnomes are basically mini Dwarves with a twist, they have huge mechanised contraptions controlled by a Gnome. They are really strong, but are not reliable and break down quite easily. The Contraptions are really customisable.
· MIDDLE KINGDOMS - A Roman/Spartan themed team, they have a real sword and sandals look to them and boast a Cyclops player. The team is quite expensive to buy but you get a completely unique team
· NIGHT ELVES. - This team is comprised half of elves and half of Imp. they are difficult to pin down but not too strong. Im not too fond of the minis though.
· ORCS - No minis have been created for this race yet
· PHARAOHS OF VIHKTORA - An Egyptian themed team with humanoid Crocodiles, Falcons, Vultures et. My favourite team and it was sculpted by Victoria Lamb, a renowned artist.
· RAZORBACKS - A race of small pigmen with a Large Swinetaur!
· SAMHAINO - A halo'een themed team. A cool theme that sadly isnt backed up with appropriate minis at the present time. I believe Impact said they were looking at updating the minis for this race at some point in the future.
· SARCOS - A race of Crocodile men. These guys are currently in prodution and they look absolutely amazing from the limited shots we have seen of them. They are being sculpted by a guy with the handle "RollJordan" and the work is top notch. They have a big Monster called a Leviathan
· SIRINGIT - A unique team of African animals in humanoid form, with Lions, Rhinos, Buffalos, Meerkats, Cheetas Hyenas, Gorillas and Hippos to make a completely unique team.
· VALKYRIES - Nordic women who pack a punch, they have an Ice Troll to help deal out punishment.
There are some teams with no minis at preset, such as Timberline Elves
In addition to this, Impact supply minis from other manufacturers. They offer a Targetted scheme, whereby any budding sculptor can send them their work, Impact! cast it up if good enough and sell it on their site, while the sulptor gets a commission on each one sold.
Impact provide an excellent customer service, and take onboard all suggestions. Visit their forum at artistsunited.myfreeforum.org
The game doesnt ship with any minis, to keep costs down. You can buy teams separately but they provide cardboard cutouts of teams that you can use. When I bought my game, they offered discount when buying the game and metal minis together. I bought the Pharoah team as it really is the business. The game is nicely presented. It doesnt have the polish of a big name game as Impact are a small company who are growing quickly with a growing fanbase. The box the game comes in looks a little like a pizzabox, but I guess its whats inside that counts!
A fantasy football/rugby simulation board game.