Homo Ludens
St. Albert
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So I like to play Street Soccer at www.mastermoves.eu.

Recently I decided to start playing in the Street Soccer championship. Right now championship #19 has almost wrapped up, and the winner of the top division (the Premier League you might say) is Cwali (in real life Corne van Moorsel, the designer of the game!).

This was my first go around in the top division, having recently been promoted. There are three divisions (and a very small fourth division). At the end of every championship, the bottom four teams in each eleven team pool or division are relegated to a lower division. The top two teams in each division (except for top division) move up.

It’s obviously a challenge to move up, especially with a good chance at relegation. Since it was my first time in the first division my goal was just to see if I could stick around. It turned out to be a real roller-coaster ride, and it went down to the wire. Here’s a report of my matches.

Match # 1.
Opponent: Cwali
See the full game report here

This was a tough one and I was down in the hole right away. The more I play the more I realize that more goals are scored on turn 2 of the game than on any other turn. If you go second and you start with a low roll (usually 1 or 2, sometimes 3) and your opponent gets a good roll on turn two you’re nearly always one point down. That’s just the way it goes. I guess you could keep more players back to bring the percentages down, but I think it’s just part of the game. And it’s not like I don’t benefit often myself.

In any case, Cwali scored on turn two, and again later, but I managed to tie it up at 2 a piece. However, after that nothing went right anymore and he scored three more times. I suppose the score line could have been more flattering if I hadn’t been pressing for an equalizer. But such is life. Final score: 2-5

Match # 2.
Opponent: Marc1974
See the full game report here

Another tough opponent, and this time it was the dice gods who were against me. By turn 17 or 18 I was still in it, and the score was tied 1-1, but that’s where things went downhill. From turn 13 to turn 23 Marc1974 rolled nothing less than a 4 (and that only three times), whereas my rolls went steadily downhill. Eventually it just came down to numbers and the goals came in quick succession. I was forced to press for the equalizer but never got out of my own end. Final score 4-1.

Match # 3.
Opponent: Nacional Montevideo
See the full game report here

Another chance to play a great player - what a privilege! Everyone has his own style and NM seems to like a more defensive approach. After a couple of early goals (making it 1-1) NM bunkered down, and it was tough going trying to get any passing angles to his goal. However, I kept up the pressure, and things finally seemed to be opening up by turn 20 or so. But then tragedy struck. He got 3 sixes in a row and I got two 2’s and a 3, and I was down 3-1. It could have been just 2-1, but you’re getting the idea here - when you’re down in a game with one or two turns to go you might as well move it up field and hope for the best. Apparently, hope was not my best friend! Final score 1-3

Match # 4.
Opponent: jedwards
See the full game report here

This was a see-saw battle that ended up in a win for me (finally!). I also finally got some luck coming my way. On my last roll I needed a 5 or 6 and I got it - phew. Overtime avoided. Final score: 4-3.

Match # 5.
Opponent: Holadola
See the full game report here

Another great opponent: Holadola. And another tough match. About a third into the game he put the ball right on my goal mouth. He had no forwards nearby, but my keeper rolled a one and was three spaces away. The next move Holadola got his forward a little closer. What did my keeper roll? Another 1. Groan. I guess my players were a little tired that day. The rest of the match saw me trying to equalize. Kudos to Holadola for great defence, but I did feel a little cheated by this one.

Match # 6.
Opponent: Womble
See the full game report here

I like playing Womble because his players have funny names: Sticky, Micky, Tricky, Ficky, and Dicky. This one saw me get a few good rolls at the opportune times, and go up 2-0 before Womble scored a consolation goal. I’m finding more and more that while there is a tremendous amount of skill in Street-soccer (who wouldn’t say that if playing in the top division...) the dice often make the difference between equally matched players. But it’s not necessarily who rolls the highest number of pips in total. It’s more when you get the good rolls and when you don’t.

Match # 7
Opponent: Tonywuhk
See the full game report here

Another match that I lost! You’re probably wondering how I managed to stave off demotion! With good luck, let me tell you, but we'll get to that later.

Tonywuhk was up 2-0 before I got one back. But right away the next turn he rolled a six and stuck it right in the back of my net. You have to have all your players perfectly lined up to do that, and he did. I managed to score one more to make the final score 2-3, but that third goal was the nail in the coffin.

Match # 8
Opponent: Pako
See the full game report here

This was a game with another player who would end up at the bottom of the division! And I managed to squeeze out a win deep in overtime. But let’s not get into the details because there is much more exciting stuff coming...

Match # 9.
Opponent: Chedre31
See the full game report here

... Like my awesome win over Chedre31!!! Actually, he forfeited all his matches because he didn’t make his moves - he was probably on vacation. That gave me 5 points, which ended up being a quarter of my final points total. Something to be proud off.

Match # 10
Opponent: Richardv
See the full game report here

This was my last match to complete, and it all came down to this one, or so I thought. I knew at this point that to make sure that I would not be relegated I would have to tie or win. It was 0-1 for quite some time, but with 3 turns to go I managed to tie things up and send it into overtime. This was an edge of your seat kind of game. We both had our chances, but I had perhaps the most glorious one half way through overtime. All I need was a 4 or higher to score. I rolled. Got a 1. What did he roll? Also a 1. So I had another chance to score with a 4 or higher. What did I roll? You guessed it. Another 1. He then rolled a 1 as well, but now he was blocking my shot. Now I would need a 5 or 6. Again, things did not work out. I rolled a 3. Grrr.

On turn 33 (there are 35 turns in an overtime game) he moved the ball up field. I need a 3 or higher to regain control of the ball. Guess what I rolled? Yep, a 1. So he put it in the back of the net and that was it.

I thought I was probably relegated to the next division down. It all came down to Richardv’s last game with Nacional Montevideo. I needed the latter to win. This one went into overtime. It went on and on. Things were not looking good. Finally, on turn 32 I though NM had it in the bag. He rolled a 6 and put the ball right on the goal mouth. Richardv would need at least a 5 to get his keeper all the way back, and if he didn’t get it NM would just need 2 or higher to put it in. A 66% chance for the win. I was feeling optimistic. What does Richardv roll? Yep, a 5.

But luck would not stay with him. On the last turn NM could score if he rolled a 6. I didn’t think the odds were good.


Wow, that went down to the wire. I didn’t think I could get so tense over a little computer game where I make the odd move and go on with my daily life. But this was amazingly exciting. I just managed to avoid elimination!

It’s kind of bizarre in retrospect how excited I was by this. You might think that I would have been demoralized by not coming anywhere close to winning. But when you realize how tough this competition is you sense how difficult it is just to remain competitive.

It has also given me much more sympathy for those teams who in real life go through this same process. The bottom-feeders of the English Premier League for instance.

Anyway, I hope perhaps this report will inspire some others to join the championship, even though that will make it even harder to stay anywhere near the top.

Happy gaming.

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James Ondatje
United States
Marina Del Rey
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great stuff!!!!! really enjoyed your report, I was in the chmpship(3-4loss) i remember are game, real barnburner
see you next season
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Mike Brian
United Kingdom
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Great stuff.

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