An introduction to Play Togga
Rather than this being a simple website review, take this article as a final warning before you sign up for a Fantasy Football experience that will consume 99.9% of your brain.
The game that will cause unbridled joy when N’Golo Kante’s 900th interception of the game leads you to a narrow victory in a crucial matchup is also the one that will lead to sleepless Friday nights choosing between Joel and Stephen Ward as your solution to your defensive crisis, and cause self loathing for that last minute decision to bench a randomly inspired Eric-Maxim Chuopo-Moting. Becoming a Play Togga manager isn’t a decision to take lightly; it’s a life choice.
Nine and a half months of agony and ecstasy commences with the best day on the calendar: Draft Day.
The draft can take ages or be as quick as you like. Before the draft, the order in which managers pick players can be set in any way you choose. This year, my league did a duck race (video footage available upon request) with the person who owned the paciest rubber duck taking first pick in the draft. You can do this however you like or even let the site pick at random for you. We just thought ducks were the safest and fairest method.
Each manager gets 16 picks in a snake draft format (in other words, in a 10 team league the 10th manager gets 10th and 11th pick, the first manager gets 1st and 20th pick etc.) with each pick getting more and more obscure until you draft Mohamed Elneny or Wayne Rooney. That’s when it’s time to stop.
In 2016/17, Togga introduced an incredible Offline Draft feature which enables you to don your best dress and show your mates how to build a winning team while enjoying a few cold ones (your league commissioner has the power to input the teams manually after the draft. Make sure he/she is trustworthy).
If your league is from far and wide, it’s still possible to draft over the internet and it’s probably a lot quicker as the timer cuts out a lot of faffing around.
I highly recommend the offline draft feature though as it’s the perfect chance to get into your biggest rival’s head and cause a frenzied panic by convincing them that their first four picks have been atrocious and that they’re destined for a bottom half finish before a ball has been kicked.
Oh and it’s also a good excuse to have a laugh with your mates. Assuming your fantasy football peers are also your mates…
Saturday (and Sunday. And some Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays) is when Togga comes into its own as a fantasy football format. Firstly, rather than pitting your wits against the rest of your league each week, you are handed the task of unleashing all kinds of misery on one unfortunate opponent by destroying their lovingly crafted handiwork and putting their fantasy team to shame. Not many things better than bragging rights. All Togga leagues are head-to-head leagues.
One thing Togga boasts of is the ability to tinker with your lineup right up until kick off. This reduces the likelihood of fielding half a team (at least it should do) and leaves great reward for those with a well thought out Plan B. Two O’Clock on a Saturday blows the whistle on a mad scramble to check lineups and swipe up the necessary scraps left on the waiver wire to bolster teams destroyed by unexpected rotation (Pep. And Jose).
With this in mind, the sub standard wifi in my local often struggles with the overcomplicated graphics put out by clubs on Twitter to announce their selection, yet another reason why my teams are often short of Everton players.
Monday Night football can be a pain, especially if you work late (like me), necessitating a timely 6.55pm “toilet break”.
This feature of the game also means there’s no need for the auto-subs feature (though I believe that is an option that your commissioner can now select) so quite literally if you snooze, you lose.
Lineups can be tinkered with up until 5 minutes to kick off so you never know exactly what beast you are faced with until the first ball is kicked. Transfers throughout the season are also unlimited.
Another outstanding feature of Togga’s format is their advanced scoring system, powered by Opta, which means almost every action in a game can be a point scoring one. As with every fantasy football game, rewards for goals, assists and clean sheets are bountiful, meaning matchups are never over until the last player has finished their match. Goals total up to 11 points (12 for a defender/goalkeeper) while assist king Mesut Ozil receives a score of 8 every time Olivier Giroud nods in one of his inviting crosses.
It’s the advanced scoring system which sets Togga apart with key passes, shots on target, interceptions, tackles, aerial duels won, effective clearances and even successful take ons all rewarded through live score updates, making even the dourest of “Super Sunday” games worth a watch.
Yellow cards, red cards, goal concessions, own goals and even dispossessions are penalised heavily in Togga, meaning a comfortable lead can be whittled away in no time. It’s exciting stuff. Or stressful depending on how you look at it.
Three points for a win in your mini league is always the most important statistic.
Official Draft FPL take note. The ability to trade in Togga is great. It’s probably my favourite part of the whole game and gives the perfect chance to discover your inner Harry Redknapp (everyone’s got one).
Togga allows you to freshen up your roster by giving away one or more of your players in return for a more desirable option owned by one of your rivals.
To succeed in Togga, an ability to be a bit of a wheeler dealer is (arguably) a necessity. I managed to snatch a last ditch title last season by swiping an out of form Mesut Ozil from a long term disillusioned owner who had had a season to forget. Luckily for me, the gamble paid off when Ozil remembered how to play football towards the back end of the season and assisted me in retaining my crown.
You’d be incredibly fortunate to draft a team and ride it to the end of the season with so much faith in it that trading with rivals is never necessary. There’s a lot of skill in polishing damaged goods tossed onto the waiver wire but you’re never going to get yourself an Alexis Sanchez without getting in contact with his owner.
It certainly pays to be a wheeler dealer. Don’t tell ‘Arry.
In summary, the option for an offline draft, the chance to face off against your mates each week and the advanced scoring system in place makes Play Togga an extremely appetising way to play fantasy football, especially if you’re tired of cheering a Harry Kane goal only to realise that every man and his dog also owns him.
From the satisfaction of getting one over your mate by demolishing their team to the pure misery of a last minute dispossession causing a loss by half a point, Togga will keep you hooked.
You can play Togga here www.playtogga.com.