Having read the reviews and other session reports I knew I had to give this a go. After a practice game on the 1930 board with my Son we ended up playing a 2002 session with 4 players ( including my Son)
The mix of a random draw was fairly even ( the draw of course was carried out one team at a time in player order from a suitable cup- couldn't find Pele to help with this though..........)
I did have Germany and Turkey, but Brazil and South Korea were held by other players.
With 4 players working out where your 8 teams were took a few minutes ( we ended up laying them out as per the group format in front of us)
We all had groups we were not in. The whole first round was a mix of groups being very quiet or very intense. The most intense early activity was around England, Sweden, Nigeria and Argentina with a flurry of goals and defensive plays forcing Argentina out before the dice were rolled.......
Costa Rica and Turkey both beat Brazil and out went Brazil at end of round one.
At the end of the round when the dice were rolled two yellows came up causing the biggest up upset to a group as Slovenia beat Spain to leave three teams on 6 points and sneaking through on GD
The final 16 ties and scores were as follows.The penalty shoots followed with Italy and Mexico showing the better dice rolling ability.
I had 6 teams left at this stage but you have to decide who you want to protect. I still Turkey and Germany left
Germany 3 Slovenia 0
France 0 - England 2
Sweden 4 - Uraguay 1
Spain 3 Rep of Ireland 2
Mexico 2 - Portugal 2 5- 3 pens
Turkey 3 Belgium 0
Japan 2 - Costa rica 3
South Korea 2 Italy 2
So to the qtr finals and the game gets very intense. Sweden and Germany each playing 3 goal bursts early ( cards saved from last round - this is a key play - its hard to judge the timing)
The dice added one goal to Germany the results were as follows.
England 3 Turkey 1
Germany 3 Mexico 0
Spain 2 Italy 1
Sweden 3 Costa Rica 0
Everyone concentrated on their strongest team so surprisingly we all had a team in the last 4.
the ties were as follows
Germany V Spain
England V Sweden
In a reversal from the group game England beat Sweden 3-0 playing a 3 goal burst and then removing Swedens goal. In the other semi the game was 1 -1 the dice not giving the 1 black spot to take germany through in normal time buts its ok Germany don't miss penalties ..... well they did this time going down 4,3 and missing two !!!
On to the final games
Germany 3 v Sweden 4 was the final result in the third / fourth play off ( who cares !! pointless game I hear you all shout)
In the final England and Spain traded goals but as the final cards were played England were winning 3-2. Adrian the England coach rolled the 4 dice and 3 came up red, the other dropped on the floor, and with all the skill of a true wargammer he proceeded to reroll and it came up blue providing the half required that meant Spain scored in injury time....... ( they had a n extra 1/2 goal attack card)
So to penalties for the final - surely England can make it this time..... err no actually , they only missed one out of five ( which must be some sort of record) but not good enough as Spain were crowned World Champs with 5 of 5 put away.
What a great game - we will be playing this again. The whole theme and tension was just great. The penalties are random but so what.
If I was to look to change anything I think I would up the card count at end of the last 16 so you would draw 1 extra card and keep 4 in hand - this would reduce the luck slightly in the draw but I would want to play this a couple of more times before being sure of this.
I thought it was too good to be true. Sounds like you had a good game of this brilliant game.
Great report! It would be nice to have an idea what teams the players got. Is it just me or does Brazil (and often Argentina) tend to be kicked out early in these session reports? Is it b/c we are in a tough group or maybe b/c most these sessions are played in Europe and people prefer to see us out early???
I am still waiting for the day I will be able to avenge our loss in 1950. Like Pele promised his dad and came through.
Anyway, great report.
Argentina often struggle cos of Sweden and England normally being high enough ranked in players' hands that they take interest in them.
Although the last two games I've played (where my interest in the group has been Sweden) us and the Argies have managed to knock England out before they even get properly started...
I agree I should have told you who got what teams but the slight problem with this is I did not record it
I only decided to write a report after about the half way stage- this is my first games report........and I only had a short time to write it in
Republic of Ireland