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Cubo Magazine
Spain
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This review was originally posted on CUBO Magazine and have been translated into english from the original spanish version

In recent weeks we had the opportunity to test the prototype of Masters of Football, that have just arrived to crowdfunding platform Kickstarter. This new title has been developed jointly by the Portuguese authors Pedro Natário, Rafael Pacheco, Luis Rosario and Luis Silva who have created Thinking of a Number publishing company to release the game. Although the rules have undergone some changes since our first games, this review covers the fundamentals of the game and only some small details may differ from the version that is finally published.

As its name suggests, Masters of Football is a new approach in the form of board game to the so called beautiful game, this time from the perspective of the coach. The initial preparation of the game is really simple and fast. At the beginning of the game each player receives two coach cards (from which you must choose only one) that will determine your budget to buy players, that depending on their skills will be framed in one of four categories (gold, silver, bronze and wood ). Players receive 1 Gold player, 2 silver players and 3 brass players (each with an increasing cost category) among which will have to distribute the available budget. If players take less than 3 players they have to complete their team with players from the last category whose characteristics are significantly lower. Then players receive 5 action cards tha tin general terms modify the events taking place during the game and that they can be discarded in exchange for an additional 1 million for the budget. Finally, players receive 5 million more(to be spent later to buy new players) and the game is ready to start.

Each player chooses three players that are placed face down on his side of the board as well as a card from the four tactics they have available. Each of the football players selected for the game has associated numerical values ​​depending on whether attacking or defending and the chosen tactics, for a total of 8 values. In addition, each player has a value of tactic, which added to the value obtained in a dice roll modifiers and possible action cards, determines who begins the match.


Players now determine the color of the die that will be allocated to its defense value (represented on the board by a goalie glove) and attack (represented by a ball). To do this they must add the values ​​of the chosen players and modifiers applied by cards. For example, if the sum of the players resulting in 2 + 2 + 1 and the cards change that result with a +2, we have an overall score of 5 + 2 = 7, which would make the defense die green (see chart on the board) that will be addedd to the given special black in all cases (both in attack and defense). The colors of the dice, in increasing order, would be red, orange, yellow, blue green and purple, whose values ​​also vary in ascending order. Thus, the red dice have values ​​0-0-1-1-2-2 while purple have 0-1-2-3-3-4. If the roll (more possible modifiers) attack surpasses the rival defense roll, it is considered that the attacker has scored a goal. One of the faces of the black dice, which always throws by the given corresponding color of attack / defense gives an immediate success regardless of the amount obtained if one of the players is considered a genius (marked on the chart with a blackboard in flames).

Masters of Football is designed to play full championships, so heading to 4 players is recommended. One of the main features of the game is that the players themselves are the ones who will determine the playing time, choosing to play long finals in which each team plays twice against each of its opponents (for a total of 12 games), or playing a qualifying semifinals with three games in total, to mention just two of the possibilities. The base system of the game is simple but action and tactics cards, the different values ​​of attack / defense players, substitutions, etc. provide additional tactical depth to the game. In this way the players could for example choose a ultra-defensive team at the beginning of the game, a defensive tactic to then make a change in the match, to output a high level player attack to try to solve the game in the second half .

Masters of Football is much more than choosing the players, roll the dice and hope for good luck. Of course that luck plays a role in the game, but the possibilities to control and mitigate such luck factor is so wide that we can say that the tactical depth of the game is considerable. Best given access both to attack to defend, although don't a guarantee of success, significantly increases the chances of get away in different rounds of the game. In this sense, the game is perfectly balanced and, as happens in the real sport, having a good team and a well defined tactic does not always get good results and there is always room for surprise.


In the championship game mode, players have several aces up its sleeve, because they can improve their team during the course of it, both new players as action cards. The introduction of this variant also makes each game is different from before. Both action cards as the budget is limited, so their management throughout the match is a fundamental aspect.

Throughout the different games we played we feel that the game shows its best in fast games for two players. In this game mode the game displays its full potential and allows games lasting around half an hour, leading to a possible immediate rematch. In this sense the weakest aspect of the game could be in games to 3 players, in which you need to enter a virtual player with predefined teams (if they are well balanced) without action cards. In this sense some players positively assess the possibility of introducing even solo games against these predefined virtual player, something that certainly has not been included in the rules but it can be implemented without much difficulty.

Without being a simulation game, the game incorporates many elements that give realism such as granting small advantage playing at home, counter-attack cards, team improvement, substitutions during the game, etc. that undoubtedly give flavor to the game that football is reflected in the games and that make Masters of Football a solid alternative to other football games market.
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Nico Conti
Italy
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mbmb
I would like to know the scores of the faces of the dice to understand the success rates of attack and defense.
Translated from Italian by Google

thanks
 
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