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Hey folks! I’ve just gotten into this hobby about a week ago after stumbling here while looking for some figures for my Battleball board game. Instantly hooked! As I usually do, I immersed myself in the research. I hit google so hard their servers were smoking, I watched a ton of YouTube videos, and spent a lot of time emailing some fixtures in the community who graciously fielded my questions. Thank you so much to Jerry McGhee, Lynn Schmidt, Peter Grina, and Bryan (Beenut?). The sign of a good community is how well the veterans welcome the newbies who are asking the same questions they’ve heard a million times, and this community did not fail me.
If you’re a newbie, there’s a good chance you’re going to have the same questions I did and I thought since people were so kind to me in my research, I would pay it forward a little by compiling all the answers to things I’ve found in hopes that it helps out some of the new coaches and saves them from having to hunt around for all the information scattered around the web and bother the ol’ vets like I did. While this is written from the perspective of me answering the questions, please note that these are answers I’ve either gathered on my own from reading the forum or moreso a result of a conversation I’ve had with one of the vets. Without further adieu…
Pro tip: Never call it “Electronic Football.” The correct terminology is “Electric Football.”
I’m here, so I’m probably excited, but not excited enough. How do I get even more excited about Electric Football?
Watch this video:
How is this game played?
There are many ways, evidenced by the overwhelming number of rules threads you can peruse. Here’s a great primer for beginners. This video starts with some football rules, but if you’re already a football expert, skip to 11:50 where the electric football content starts:
This is another fantastic site that I spent a lot of time on to learn how the mechanics work:
I’d love to get into EF. I was thinking of getting a Tudor board as a starter. Will Tudor model xyz be a good start?
Tudor makes great products, but you’re better off building a custom board. The Tudor boards are made of plastic and they don’t disperse the vibrations as well as a metal board. Metal boards are fairly easy to build on your own! If you’re not handy, Tudor is working on a metal board in the 18”x36” size which should be available early September 2016.
What size board should I get?
The bigger, the better. I’m told if you go smaller than a 24″x48″ you’ll regret it and will want to upgrade soon after.
Building a Board
What are major supplies I’ll need?
Sheet metal, vinyl field cover, motor, controller, extension switch, players, bases
What does a board cost to make?
This all depends on the area you live and how resourceful you are in finding deals. The major costs come from the vinyl field cover, the sheet metal, and the controller.
What is an extension switch?
What kind of controller do I need?
It’s basically a railroad transformer. Here’s an example:
The 1300 series is popular.
Where do I get a motor?
You can build your own or buy one. Steve Toth sells them for not much more than what you can build them for yourself. It’s not as scary of a process as it sounds. Here’s a video on what goes into making a motor and attaching it to a controller:
What kind of metal should I use?
The most typical is a 24 gauge galvanized sheet metal. 22 gauge can also be used, but is better suited for the no-frame pan-style field.
What are my options for board styles?
The world is your oyster, but the two I have seen are flat fields and pan fields. A flat field is the most typical and consists of a flat sheet of metal mounted to a frame of sorts. The pan field is the creation of Lynn Schmidt, and is essentially a frameless 24″x48″ field with 1″ around the perimiter bent into a square pan that sits on 4 rubber feet.
The pan field thread can be found here:
The fantastic guide by Jerry McGhee on building a flat field:
Looking for rubber feet for the pan field?
What’s the deal with vinyl covers?
This is the part that turns your metal into a work of art! It’s essentially a custom field printed onto a sticky-backed vinyl material that is attached to the sheet metal. Contact Wierdwolf (Lynn Schmidt) for all your field cover needs. Want to make your own? Here are some templates from Tory Bliss (see comments for links) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DmGB7bKumPQ
I’m scared to attach the vinyl cover. What if I mess it up? That’s an expensive mistake!
Fear not, there are many tutorials on how to apply it and it’s not scary. The trick is to use soap and water. Yes. This is a must. There are many stories of strife coming from people who opted not to use soapy water. Don’t be a story of strife. Here’s a great video tutorial by Jerry McGhee on how to apply field covers:
djjkarate says: USE MORE THAN LESS. I too was freaked out about messing this up.. BUT, I used a lot of soap/water.. It’s not going to hurt, just be someplace where the liquid can
run off and not ruin anything.. I did it in the garage (not on a carpeted floor)… I had zero problems… !!! but I used a lot of paper towels as it was WET !!!
I think Jerry didn’t give a ratio of soap to water.. So I went with about 4 tablespoons to the bottle of water he shows in his instructions. Again, it won’t hurt. It all dries in
a day or two or three so no problem.
What is the deal with offense painted dark and defense painted light?
There are so many kinds of bases (cleats) to put my players on. Which is best for a beginner?
Go with invisibases to start. They are known for working the best straight out of the box with no tweaking. Tudor games is the best and most affordable place to start. Get the NFL player sets and some invisbases. As you get comfortable, add a pack of rookies and a pack of TTC bases and a strong Proline to get started with. Once you get the feel for the game and do some more research you will want to expand your poses to more and more realistic versions.
How does passing work?
There are a couple of methods, but the two main ones that I’ve found are the standard Triple Threat QB that requires you to flick a ball and hit the WR to complete a pass. There is also the stick method.
TTQB method: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_c…&v=Zr9jc2XPWH8
Sticks method: http://playef.com/how-to-play/passing-sticks/
More will be available as I uncover more stuff, and I’ll continue to update this first post as needed. Please move this to the correct forum if necessary. I wasn’t able to start a new thread in the tips forum.