The 1st & Goal Expansion sets from R&R Games take tabletop American football gaming to the next level of engagement. It just wouldn’t be football without rooting for a favorite team, complete with team colors and insignia. Thanks to these expansion sets, a single game of 1st & Goal expands to a whole league, leading up to one’s own championship game.
1st & Goal is a two-sided game (up to four people with teams) where players take on the role of coaches and pick the plays for their troops out on the field. One coach draws from the Offense deck while the other draws from the Defense. The two reveal their choices, and each combination of plays has a corresponding roll of the dice to determine its outcome as players attempt to charge down the field for a touchdown or at least a first down. When the ball turns over, players switch decks so the defender becomes offense and vice-versa.
While 1st & Goal is a solid game in its own right, it proves so balanced that players may begin to feel some repetition. This is where the Expansion sets step in. Six different divisions, making a total of 24 playable teams, create the “DFL.” The teams have vivid icons and mascots with city affiliations and names that sound like they should be right off the sports page, such as the Boulder Barrage, Milwaukee Monsters, Newark Nighthawks, Oklahoma City Ogres, Raleigh Reapers, and Scranton Scorchers.
Instead of the players being balanced by using the same dice, the expansion sets give each team a unique set of dice with strengths and weaknesses in three areas: Defense, Running, and Passing. The sets blend seamlessly into 1st & Goal, even using the same card decks. The only thing that changes is the numbers on the dice, and thus the outcomes from the core mechanics. This creates a whole new aspect to the game as players will have to not only determine their favorite team matching their own style of play but also will have to study their opponents’ strengths and weaknesses in the battle for the win.
As players grow familiar with the ins and outs of 1st & Goal, particular plays will best fit their taste. Players who want to go for risky long bombs in passing will want teams like the Virginia Beach Valiants or the Rochester Rockets, then determine between the two whether to have the Valiants’ backup offense in running or to focus on the defense in the Rockets. Aggressive players might like the Portland Pounders’ relentless offense, while more conservative players will prefer the Los Angeles Leopards or Springfield Spartans to hold their opponents and make their own way up the field. For players seeking balance, there are many teams toward the middle of the spectrum while still carrying their own slight advantages.
DFL Expansion Teams are dice sets for use with the 1st & Goal game set. They do not largely affect the length of the game, keeping at about an hour except for those who make so many running plays that they burn time on the clock by discarding extra cards. With two dozen teams, players will enjoy setting up a bracket to play their way through the league to the championship or even challenge another league of players to a Super Bowl all their own.