The SUBBUTEO technical page

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To better serve the Subbuteo and table football (soccer) community, the Subbuteo technical page staff along with the folks at MetroWest Boston Subbuteo club are now producing some low-budget videos to better explain what Subbuteo/table soccer is all about. Those videos are especially aimed for people that have never heard of such a fine game or that are just beginning.

All headers in this section will have the title "The art of the ...". It certainly doesn't mean the guys featured on the video are any good.

All videos produced by the Subbuteo technical page staff will be uploaded on youtube because it's just easier that way.

The art of the block

Those 3 videos have been shot with a Canon ZR500 on a tripod. Transfer to the computer thanks to ScenalyzerLive (Sclive). The clips have been compressed in VirtualDub (a totally free awesome program that can compress both video and audio) using the divx6 codec.

Between player and ball

Most effective way to block a figurine. Try to place the block as close as possible to the figurine.

Behind the ball

Not the greatest way to block a dangerous figurine unless the block is placed very close to the ball. Good players can usually negotiate this kind of blocks but it surely slows the pace down. Also, it's possible there's not much else you can do.

Proactive blocking

Let's call Becks the fig that's being flicked by the attacker to make things easier. Instead of blocking Becks, it often makes sense to block the attacking figures that are likely to be flicked when Becks either gets blocked or runs out of flicks. In other words, you have to think ahead. Clearly, if Becks seems dangerous and seems likely to get to the shooting zone, you should concentrate on him of course. Also, if you defensive line is out of order, you may want to reconstruct it first.

The art of the passive offside

Video shot with Canon ZR500, transferred to the computer with winDV (a nice free program) and compressed to divx6 with VirtualDub.

The figurine that's doing the pass will be offside when the shot is taken by the other dude, but since the ball is rolling, the passive offside rule is in effect and there's no offside. The passive offside rule says that if a figurine that was not offside plays itself offside, there should be no call as long as the ball is moving. Well, something like that. Note that the passive offside rule in Subbuteo has nothing to do with the FIFA passive offside rule.

The art of the through ball

Alrighty, figured out how to put a logo on the video in VirtualDub. This video has some sound, well just the sound of the figs hitting the ball.

If you are somewhat of a risk taker, that's the move you wanna do. You may want to practice a lot though because it's easy to miss. Actually, it's a pretty neat exercise if you think about it.

The art of the one two shot

Shoot as soon as the ball passes the shooting line for better control of where the ball is gonna end up. That should induce some fear into your opponent's head.

The art of the curl

Mid range

Fig is on a Subbuteo Parodi 2003 base (polished) and the pitch is Woodentop prima. Technique to be used varies widely depending on what base you are using and whom you talk to. For me and my beloved Parodis, it's just putting my flicking finger to the right of center for a curl to the left, and vice-versa. If the curl is short, the finger goes way under the base. If the curl is longer, the finger does not really go under the base, kinda like when Tiger does a punch shot under a tree.

Long range

It's just beginner's luck.

The art of the cut

To soften the touch

This is a must. For best touch, you really need to cut the ball, that is, hit it off-center. Cutting the ball enables you to make contact with the ball even if you are not the best at judging how hard you should flick the figurine to the ball. With cutting, you can play it safe and "over-flick" without completely losing control of the ball.

To protect the ball

Cutting also enables you to put a figurine behind the ball, acting as a "shield". This will make the flicking of another figurine much easier because you can flick with more force (to guarantee contact with the ball). Ball containment, if you will.

To clean house

Cutting can also be used to "push" figurines away. The player that will "clean house" should be quite close to the ball because the flick should be quite forceful.

To reposition a figurine

If you think about it, cutting also enables you to somehow re-position a figurine, the one that's being flicked. If there is a gaping hole in your defensive wall or if you need to put a player in a certain position, cutting the ball is the way to go about it, and it will save you a defensive block in case you lose possession later.

The art of the corner kick

Cutting to prevent being offside

Well, here you go, another use for cutting the ball. If you don't do that and let the ball stop, then you're probably gonna have to take an onside (tick) flick to put the corner kicker onside. That's not the greatest because then you kinda give an extra block opportunity to the defense.

Rolling shot corner

If your attacking figurines are not well marked, it may be a good idea to try to hit the ball as it passes through. That's another good example of the "passive offside" fistf rule, the corner kicker cannot be called offside because the ball is rolling when hit by the other dude, well assuming the ball is actually hit.