phases of the game
In Stadium: A Sport Odyssey both coaches take turns in parts called phases. There are three main phases in a round (or play); Draw phase, Set phase, and Hike phase. There is also a Drop phase and Audible phase which happens occasionally throughout the game.
When starting a drive, the ball is delivered into the game by the Stadium’s ball entry relay device (aka B.E.R.D). This is the drop phase. Basically this is where the dropping team (on defense) drops the ball off to the receiving team (on offense). The receiving team is then able to “drop return” the ball, i.e., attempt to advance it towards the dropping team's end zone for a possible touchdown.
Drop phases take place at the start of the game, when a team scores, the beginning of overtime and if the offense decides to end their drive and dead drop the ball back to their opponent. To begin the drop phase the dropping team (on defense) grabs a drop die (six-sided die) and decides whether to drop-off or onside drop the ball to his opponent.
ONSIDE DROPS - are high risk but high reward. This is where the dropping team attempts to regain possession of the ball by catching the receiving team off guard and dropping the ball short of the field. This is usually a strategy used by a team trailing in score; however it can be a game changer when used surprisingly.
To onside drop, the ball is placed on the receiving team’s onside drop zone. The dropping team now needs to roll a six (or Stadium symbol on custom die) with the six-sided die. If the roll is failed, the receiving team takes possession of the ball in this zone to begin their drive. If the roll is successful the receiving team now must roll a six ( or Stadium symbol) as well to save the drop. If the receiving team's roll is successful they have possession. If the save roll is failed, the dropping team takes back ball possession in this zone to begin their drive.
DROP-OFFS AND RETURNS - If the dropping team decides to drop-off the ball, the six-sided die is handed to the receiving team. The receiving team now has the option to return or touchback.
On the return, the receiving team can now play (face up) any permitted offense player cards with the drop return stat. Once done, the dropping team can counter with any permitted defense player cards with the drop return stat. The difference of the combined stat total equals how many additional six sided dice the receiving team gets to roll. The total dice roll results in how many zones the ball is advanced from the receiving team’s end zone. This is where the drive begins. Note: A six (or Stadium symbol) results into an automatic touchdown when rolling for zones.
If the receiving team chooses to just take the touchback, no dice are rolled and the drive starts in the receiving team's touchback zone.
At the start of a game, both coaches draw five cards from his/her Pull deck. This is your hand, just as in most other card games. At the beginning of each play round (before the offense’s set phase); coaches draw as many cards needed to equal five in hand. This is called the draw phase. Five cards is the maximum amount of cards a coach can hold at any given time. If caught with more than five, the opposing coach can call a holding penalty (See penalties).
You start the game with an empty action panel. The offensive coach begins his or her turn by selecting one play card from their offense playbook deck. This card is now placed face down on its action panel play area. The coach may now place any offense player cards also face down on their designated areas. Other supporting cards such as equip and convert cards may cost momentum and are always played face up in their areas.
Note: Only one card of the same play area symbol can be placed down at any given time regardless if they can occupy both areas. For example: A coach cannot play two Signal position player cards from his/her hand at the same time.
Once done, the coach announces “Set” to end his or her turn. It is now the defense’s turn to repeat this process; but by selecting one play card from their defense playbook deck and any defense support player cards instead.
AUDIBLE PHASE ( optional )
This is an optional phase. If no audible is called by the offense, skip this phase and start the Hike phase.
An audible is used by the offense if the defense’s set cards appear to be too much for the offense to handle. To do this, the offense can swap their face down play card with another play card from their Playbook deck. The coach once again announces, “Set” to end his/her turn. The defense now has the option to audible as well.
NOTE: Audible can only be called by the defense after the offense has called one. This is allowed only once per down by either team.
This is when the action begins. The offensive coach announces “Hike.” The ball is snapped. The offense now flips all cards on their action panel face-up and totals their play card’s stat number and any other supporting cards with the same stat. The type of play and total stat score is declared as a positive number and ends the offense’s turn. It is now the defense’s turn. The defense repeats this process but declares their total stat score as a negative number instead. The difference of the offense’s total and the defense’s total represents the final success number of the play. (see success results)