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Subject: Initial thoughts rss

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Carl Parsons
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Note that the game has German rules and the only translation I have is one coming from Babelfish and my limited knowledge of German. It is quite possible that I’ve got some of the rules wrong.

The game is quite impressive component wise. There are four teams worth of players in four different colors. Each of those teams can be a different team in Die Budesliga as there is a tile for each team in the league when the game was produced. This makes it quite handy if a person were inclined to play out an entire season. There a few extra tiles in red/yellow cards and a replica of the trophy to hold up in triumph when you beat your friend. All games need to come with their own trophy. Imagine how your game shelves can be improved with the addition of a trophy case highlighting your numerous victories. But I digress.

The best component of the game and, indeed, the most essential one is the pendulum. The major mechanism of the game is that all passing and shooting is accomplished via a weighted pendulum. This pendulum is swung at the ball, a small twenty sided die, in order to move it around the field. The pendulum, base and weight, is made of very heavy metal and performs its function quite ably. It is easy to allow the full weight of the pendulum to smack the ball clear across the field. It is exactly this property of the pendulum that makes the game interesting.

When I first read the rules my first thought was, I need to get this translated because I don’t read German. Once I got it translated and read, my first thought was, this seems too easy. Why wouldn’t I just shoot from wherever I got the ball on the field? All I have to do is hit this little ball into that net. The pendulum is heavy enough to let me do that. Then I tried it in practice. First the ball is not a sphere; it is an icosahedron. All of those points make the ball do some unexpected things, like not roll in a straight line. Second there are players on the field. Technically they are tiles but that’s my point. There are all of these tiles that are thick enough in relation to the ball that they have a dramatic impact on what the ball does. In short if you shoot the ball in one direction it will not go there. Shooting and making a long shot is, well, a long shot.

To overcome this you have to get the ball close to the goal some what like in real soccer. At this point I need to mention the facing of the players. Each player is a hexagonal tile which means it has six sides. Three of them are the front or attacking sides, two are the defending sides and one is the rear. If the ball is in one of the attacking sides the player can pass, shoot, dribble or fight for the ball. The ball in the defending sides allows the player to fight for the ball and the ball in the rear doesn’t allow any options.

As long as a team passes the ball with the pendulum from one player to another and it lands in the attacking hexes of that player they maintain possession. They can keep passing the ball from player to player as long as the ball always stays inside a player’s attacking zone. These continuous passes are allowed without the defender being able to respond. Once the ball does not land in an offensive player’s attacking zone the defender can move a player of their own to attempt a tackle or cut off some passing/shooting lanes.

This means that if a player is proficient at short passing they have the run of the field until they can get close enough to attempt a reasonable shot. That’s a big IF. Reference my earlier talk about the pendulum’s heavy weight and the die’s irregular rolling patterns. With such a heavy pendulum mastering the precision pass takes a good bit of practice.

For beginners without experience at pendulum swinging it becomes a matter of taking turns moving players on the field. The offensive player has the option of dribbling the ball which is nothing more than putting the ball on top of a player and moving that player. This option allows the defense to respond. It’s a back and forth game with the offense trying to move the ball forward and the defense trying to steal the ball. Again, very reminiscent of real soccer.

The advanced game offers some complexity concerning player positions. Each player has a number associated with certain actions: dribbling, passing, shooting, defending, ball possession and fairplay. If the number showing on the ball is less than the number of the playing attempting the action they can perform that action. If not they have to try something else. Obviously forwards are better at shooting than defenders, etc. The defending and ball possession numbers are added to the die rolls used when a defender tries to steal the ball. The fairplay numbers are used to determine if a yellow card is handed out or not during a fight for the ball.

That’s the gist of the game. I’ve left out a few details but with what I’ve written you should be able to jump right in and play a game. Not that you’d be any good at it. Did I mention the difficulty re: pendulum meeting ball? Despite all of that I’ve had some fun with this game. It plays out much like a soccer game including the same wild shots that miss the net by the width of the field that cause the fans to question the thought processes of their favorite forwards. It’s the erratic behavior of the ball when traveling across the pitch that brings excitement and something new to this game.

I recommend this game to all soccer fans. I can’t recommend how to get a hold of one though. It was produced in limited quantities in tandem with a computer game many years ago. There’re probably not too many copies outside of Germany right now. If you really want to give this game a try you can visit me in Dallas and I’ll gladly play it with you.
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James Ondatje
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Marina Del Rey
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got it. So the main dynamic is pendulum/bouncing ball. It sounds like you like it but maybe dont love it......yet. Perhaps could get better with more plays! I wonder what the playtime is? How they handle time in the game? Seems a little klunky.. But you know what I do like!? Is the 'bouncing ball' factor and unpredectability of it!!!!!!!
If that could be incorporated in a tactical soccer game(rather than dexterity which I prefer) ,I think that would be a good mechanic to have in a soccer boardgame! thks Batman

P.S. do me a favor....Beat Sunderland,wouldya
 
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Carl Parsons
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I'm still growing into the game. It's hard to find soccer opponents here. The time is your typical soccer game. They say to play so many minutes per half or to a certain score. A good time is 20 minutes a half.

jedwards wrote:


P.S. do me a favor....Beat Sunderland,wouldya


I need to beat him to have any chance of advancing. Just like you. I need more help than just the one win however.
 
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James Ondatje
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Marina Del Rey
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Yeah, that can be a great surprise when a game finally 'hits' you. I hope you have that experience with Meister. I initially dismissed Streetsoccer afte a few plays and then one day the subtleties started coming out and Ive been hooked ever since!
But I would like to see more good tactical soccer games. Weve been fortunate last couple years but I still think there might be room for an elegant 'masterpiece' boardgame in Soccer!!
Good Luck with your SS matches!
jim o
 
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pau bo
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I was very curious about this game. Does anyone know where you can get the rules?
 
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