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I remember playing this as a 17 year old in the games room of the local pub where under age trainee drinkers were squirreled away out of sight whilst their dads enjoyed a quiet pint in the snug. That's where I became quite proficient, especially since we were able to uncover a way of getting free credits for the machine. It took the landlord about a month to realise that there was a problem - oops - boys will be boys. A reasonably new Foosball set came up at auction recently and since both my sons were visiting for the weekend, I thought it would be fun to buy it and organise a bit of a tournament in the garage whilst the womenfolk did their usual gossiping. I bought it for £12 and set it up in the garage when I got home. As it happened, it was a fine weekend last weekend and we later moved it into the garden. A neighbour's lad joined us and we had a couple of hours of fun which was a bit different. The game requires, ideally, 4 rather than 2 players - 2 each side. One of each pairing takes control of the goalkeeper and defenders whilst the other stands next to him and controls the midfield and forward players. The opposing team stands on the other side of the table and they seek to stop you scoring a goal whilst seeking also to slot one into your goal. You do this by moving your players (fastened to a bar in the centre) from side to side by pushing or pulling on the handle. When you have lined up one of your players behind the ball, a cock of the wrist and a quick flick, if applied correctly will send the ball scooting goalwards. Your opponents seek to block the path of the ball and gain control of it so that they can pass/shoot their way up the table. There isn't much passing going on at this very amateur level because everyone just wants to score a goal The game requires good hand/eye coordination and to get maximum speed on the ball you need to have developed a strong wrist action. This didn't appear to be a problem for my sons or the neighbour's lad, but I was a bit out of practice. None of us were as good with our 'wrong' hands, which perhaps tells us something (!) My boys are quite competitive and Richard, the lad from next door was by common consent useless, although we told him that it was because he wasn't very tall in case he went back and told his Dad. It was perhaps inevitable therefore that Dad's team took a bit of a whooping. When they went home on the Sunday, I gave them the Foosball table to take with them as I probably wouldn't use it often. You don't often see these tables in pubs anymore, although I have seen bigger ones in amusement arcades. It's good clean fun - ideally the table should have a bit of weight in it as it is easy to get over-excited and lift the table from the floor by the handles as happened quite often when we played. If you can pick up a table cheaply, it makes for a good buy but I wouldn't get one of the smaller lighter ones if your boys (or girls) are any size or they will be too rough with it and it may well not survive the treatment it may get.
Foosball, also known as table football might just be one of the most addictive games I've ever come accross. I've played it in common rooms, arcades and even one or two pubs around the country, my grandad also used to have a table where I used to delight in whooping my brother everytime we went to visit. The idea is a simple one, a large sturdy box housing a scaled down footie pitch, two goals, 22 wooden or plastic players organised in rows, mounted on a metal bar that can be twisted round and a little mini football. On the tables I'm used to playing on the mini players are arranged on four different poles per side, that being one for the goalie, one for the defence (2 mounted players), one for midfield (5 players) and one for the strikers (3 players). The action is very fast paced as the only time the ball leaves the playing area is when a goal is scored. Most tables have a goal counter above each goal, in the old days these would be changed manually, the table I played most often only went upto 10 goals per side, as anyone who's had a proper session on a foosball table knows this makes for a rather short game. Now though it's possible to get more sophisticated tables that keep track of the score electronically, as well as adding crowd noises and a digital timer. Games can become quite heated and the table will take a lot of battering, it's important to remember this and make sure you buy a well made table that can take the occasional punch of frustration as well as keeping it's nobs from being ripped off during a frantic attack on goal. Other than the optional digital scoring systems and electronic add ons there are also more practical differences between game units. Most obviously is the size, a full size table can be quite large (around 6 by 3 feet) so make sure you've got enough space to fit it, although if not there are smaller tables available, right down to a diminutive 2 feet by 1 foot. There are also differences in the distribution of players, some tables have a weaker midfield but a stronger defence and some of the older tables even have multiple goal keepers, these changes can have dramatic effects on how each game plays out. If they weren't so expensive (expect to pay in the region of £200 for a good table) I'd buy one today, I will be asking my grandad if he still has the old table though as writing this review has rekindled my love affair with the game, not to mention my love affair of beating my sibling into annihilation. A Foosball table is at it's best when there are a load of mates (or family) all having a big knockout tournament, winner stays on, loser makes the tea I find works particularly well ; ) You will definately find yourself over using the phrase "just one more game" and "next goal wins....no, NEXT goal wins". If you don't own a table and are put off by the high prices don't despair, it is really easy to find a table near you. Any arcade will have one, most bowling alleys as well as the very occasional pub, and I'm sure if you go to enough car boot sales you should find a second hand table for a fraction of it's original price.
No word of a lie. This game was the reason behind my poor college attendance records. The best bit is that the table football was in the common room, so I was in college all the time. Just in the common room, all the time. At 5p per go, and winner stays on, I could be there all day, and usually was. We called it Nipper for some strange reason, not really table football, and a personal urge to kick against Americanisms.. (we had the language first, stop buggering around with it. Topic deviation warning: Why do they have to change everything into their terms? Foot and Mouth is Foot and Mouth, NOT Hoof and Mouth as they insist on calling it. And it's not BSE either, open your ears and get back to being a tourist in this friendly, welcoming and non-xenophobic country of ours!) <Small cough, deep breath and resumes calmly> .. means that I refuse point-blank to call it Foosball. Unless I can do so in a sarcastic manner, which clearly shows my disdain for the phrase. Foooooozzbaaaaaaaall. Anyhow. You are presented with a large, glass-topped box, which sits on table legs, that has 8 poles running through the said box, allowing 4 poles per side. You have 9 balls per game, so there is always a result and never a draw. From the left, your first pole has the goalkeeper on it. He has no arms so it must be Mark Bosnich, but he can be moved from side to side in order to block the hole in the wood behind him. The next pole in has your three defenders, and you'll notice that this too are slid backwards and forwards in order to block or shoot the ball. (At this point I'd like to point out that spinning the poles is considered bad form, cheating and a lack of wrist strength and skill. Practically guaranteed social death in the refectory afterwards). The 3rd pole has 5 midfielders, and I'm sure you can guess what actions they carry out. Goals scored from this point on the pitch look totally cool, and give a satisfying THUNK has they smack into the back of the hole. Your last pole has your two strikers. Should you have become as accomplished as I was at this, you should be able to score goals from an angle, rather than just trying to position your player directly in front of the goal. Points to watch for: 1. The addiction. It can be total. 2. Your mate's opposing poles which thrust somewhat intrusively, although necessarily, through the box. If you're standing too close when they are giving a mighty shove, you can get jabbed on the thigh (or corresponding body part due to individual height) which can be quite painful, and 'dead leg' in public can be embarrassing. 3. Invading the pitch is OUT. 4. Playing with two people on each side can lead to rows. Things like, who goes front or back, whether you're better in front of goal than them, they're useless at being goalie, in fact, just sod off and let me play the game myself... 5. If you're female like me, don't be put off by sneering blokes. Most of the girls in my college were better than the boys, as our reactions were faster. Nothing to do with the debauched comments about wrist strength from the spotty and lonely morons at the back of the room. 6. Practise the art of rolling the ball between the players, sideways passing. This tends to show any abnormalities in the actual table being level, and therefore a bias towards a certain side. If you come up against this, make sure you're on the side that is clearly Man United. 7. When playing as a single, move players forward of you, out of the way by quarter-turning the pole, so that they don't inadvertantly block your own shots. It's mortifying to carry out great saves with the goalie, only to whack it into the back of your defenders legs and thence past you into your own goal. ********* Two years ago whilst at the seaside with friends, I spotted a table football in the arcades. An overwhelming desire to play made me drag one of my male friends, who's always boasted his prowess on these things, over for a game. He was very up for it. I still had the touch. A total whitewash. I beat him 9-0, but he made me agree not to tell anyone. I think two years is a fair amount of time before boasting publically, don't you?? I WON. 9-0. I WON. 9-0. I WON. 9-0. I WON. 9-0. I WON. 9-0. I WON. 9-0. I WON. 9-0. I WON. 9-0. I WON. 9-0. I WON. 9-0. I WON. 9-0. I WON. 9-0. I WON. 9-0. I WON. 9-0. I WON. 9-0. <to the tune of Amazing Grace> nine nil, ni-ine nil, nine nil, nine nil, ni-ine nil, ni-ine nil, ni-iiine, niiiiiill <hands in the air and swaying from side to side> I'm forever blowing bubbles, pretty bubbles in the air... <clapping and chanting> Salgirl...<clap, clap, clap>...Salgirl <clap, clap, clap>... Oh yes. It can still do it to me. I AM still a child, and I'd mis-spend it all over again if I could.
Foosball then, the game of Drunken kings, also a handy little game to be playing if for some reason (suspension, injury etc!) you can't play the real thing. For those of you who don't know this is table football, it doesn't care if you have 2 left feet, this is the way you can score goals like David Beckham or pull off a save the quality of Peter Schmeichel. We've all seen the table in Friends (excuse my language - hate Friends, whoops there I go off on that tangent again), well this is it, the rules are simple, you have one ball 2 teams of 11 plastic men and 4 handles for each team to control their players, drop the ball in the middle frantically twirl your handles and hope for the best? Well yes and no, if you're under the influence of Alcohol then definitely, in fact you'll probably have more luck doing this than you would trying to use tactics, however if you're sober (put me in a pub and realise thats a VERY rare occassion), you might be wise to use some tactics, the first one being - The unwitting friend, if you see somebody who you know just stood around watching grab him/her!, 2 players are nearly always better than one (depending on how sore a loser those players are). Not only do you have someone to take over two of your handles, but you can palm the unenviable job of controlling your keeper onto someone else (brilliant when you're losing theres always somebody else to blame then!!), just make sure of one thing - that this friend isn't better than you at the game because if so, you're going to get shown up! Then theres tactic number 2 - beer, just casually offer to buy your opponent a drink, A drunk opponent is always easier to beat than a sober one, so just quietly keep the unwitting fool topped up with alcohol (If they drink alcohol that is!) and watch as they slump to a humiliating defeat Of course we have to remember tactic number 3 - blinding, this is a tough one, but if for any reason your opponent is a teetotaller, we may have to resort to a bit of cheating! Take your weaker hand and just impare your opponents view as much as possible (without resorting to poking or violence), whilst hitting that brilliant goal straight from your keepers feet (or head!!), but be warned this makes you about as popular as Paul Ince in Upton Park - this tactic is not reccomended, you may soon have no friends if you continue like this!! Now then tactic number 4 - Eye Candy, this one has to be planned to perfection, find a partner in crime who is VERY good-looking and just have them be one of your supporters, make sure it is somebody you know your opponent will be attracted to and just watch as his/her mind goes somewhere else! Finally tactic 5 - Honesty, I know we all hate to do it but try and play the game fair and square, manouvere the ball from your goalkeeper straight up to your midfield, move your players out of the way and shoot! If you're lucky you might score a stunning goal, but whats more than likely is your opponent gets one of his players in the way and you find yourself frantically trying to stop a shot! There you have it my definitive guide to trying to win a game of foosball while sober, But please before anyone decides to give me a Not Useful on this one please remember I'm only having a bit of a laugh here - no offence intended, honest!
this is truly a great game. It can be enjoyed by all age groups and doesn't need great players. If played to average rules (as in: no spinning) it can be a skillful game. But apart from that, its a good laugh, very addictive, normally cheap, and can equally be played with men and women, its gotta be the best pub game. however, the type and state of a table can affect the enjoyment, find a good one. Also, like other pub games, ie. pool, darts, there are table football leagues, which can bring good friendly competition, and hey, who doesn't like a bit of competition.
Foosball, or table football as it was better known before Joey and Chandler bought one, is a great game. Essentially it is a two player game where you twist little pegs on sticks in order to get a ball to go into a hole! This underestimates the incredible competitiveness of the average pub goer. This is a fast and furious football game which requires skill, self control and an overdeveloped competition gland. People who have never kicked a ball in their lives can win at this game, and it is great fun to torment lesser players by offering to beat them with one hand behind your back, or standing on one leg. You can buy childrens sets relatively cheaply for home, but these are unlikely to withstand the serious battering that drunken adults will inflict on a set. www.firebox.com will sell you a proper pub table, but it will cost you a fortune, take up a whole room and cause serious domestic strife! The Millenium Dome boasts a multiplayer version, where you can play 11 a side table football. This brings out the worst in everyone, and it is always fun to scream abuse at total strangers and take delight in whupping small children who expect you to let them win.
This classic game is highly addictive and always good for a laugh. The skill envolved is minimal at 'pub level' which allows luck to play quite a large part in the game. BEWARE - Regular pub users may become skilled at this game and the fun (and lots of money) can be lost. I personally found this game so highly addictive that I just had had to find a cheap table for my flat. (If your looking for one Boyzstuff.co.uk do a good one) but as a pub game, it is one of the games that you can have the most fun for the least cash.