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Subject: The World Cup 2010 Card Game scores a goooaaaal! rss

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Casey Rogers
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The World Cup 2010 Card Game scores a gooooooaaaaaallllll!

The World Cup 2010 Card Game by Shaun Derrick does an admirable job of condensing The World Cup Board Game into a more portable, faster playing format. As a disclaimer I’ve only played the game twice so far, and they have both been two-player games. I don’t normally like to pass judgment on a game so early but I know there are several of you who want more details on how the Card Game compares to the Board Game.

Where to get it

Currently there is no place in the US to purchase The World Cup 2010 Card Game. Designer Shaun Derrick said on BGG that no US distributors were interested in stocking the game. So it won’t be at your FLGS and it won’t be at your favorite US online retailer either. Your best bet is to order it directly from publisher Games for the World website. But that’s OK because the game is cheap and the exchange rate for the British Pound is pretty good right now. The game is £5.95 with another £3 to ship to the US. That translated to less than $15 for me and the game arrived in a week. Not bad at all I say.

What you get
The World Cup 2010 Card Game is a small package. You get 32 team cards, 32 action cards and a small, double-sided rules sheet. Not included are the score sheets. Those you’ve got to download on the Games for the World website. The cards are light, flexible and very glossy. I like flexible cards because it makes shuffling easier, but I hope the card stand the test of time as you will be shuffling the action deck a lot every game. A lot.

How to play it

The game follows the format of the real World Cup. Thirty-two teams are divided into eight groups for four. This is called the Group Stage. Teams play three matches against each team in their group. Three points are awarded for a win, one for a draw and zero for a loss. The two teams with the highest points advance to the Round of 16. If any teams are tied for points ranking is determined by goal differential (the number of goals scored vs. the number of goals scored against), then total number of goals scored, then who won the match between the tied teams and finally if there is still a tie you flip a coin. That’s how they do it in real life, folks.

The dealer shuffles the team cards and deals out all the teams to the players. Depending on your number of players the number of teams per player may not be even.

Team cards include information pertinent to game play and fun facts so us Americans can be turned into proper hooligans. Well, no, there’s nothing in there on how to throw darts at spectators in a match or conduct yourself in a riot. But they do tell you how the team has performed in previous World Cups and its match lineup for the real Cup. Disregard this info, this is not the order in which you will play the matches.

The vital info on the Team cards is how many cards the team receives in the group stage and whether or not it can play the powerful 3-Goal and 2-Goal cards.

Since the Board Game is essential a Card Game at heart it is reasonable to expect to two to play fairly similarly. This is true, but the big difference is how the Group Stage is played.

In the Card Game each group is resolved one match at a time before moving on to the next group. So starting with Group A, players who have Group A teams reveal them and the dealer deals Action cards to each player depending on what their Team Cards indicate (either seven cards or eight). If a player has more than one team in a group that player must keep the two hands separate. Players are limited to the cards dealt for all three of their matches. Only the owners of the teams in a match are allowed to play cards. To resolve a match each player selects one to four cards, places them face down and then reveals them when both players have made their selections. The totals are added up and the results are declared and recorded on the score sheet.

There are eight different kinds of action cards: Attack, Defence (British spelling), 1 Goal, 2 Goals, 3 Goals, Penalty, Foul and Offsides.

Attack cards are worth ½ a goal each. Two Attack cards are worth one goal. If a team has an odd number of Attack cards a card flip is required. If the card drawn is an Attack an additional goal is scored.

Defence cards removes an attack card from the opposition or fills a card slot in the knockout stages.

1,2 and 3 Goal cards score goals as you can imagine, however teams can only use them to score two and three goals if their team card allows them to. So a crappy team like North Korea can’t use the 3 Goal card to score three goals, instead it treats it like a 1 Goal card.

Penalty cards award your team a penalty kick to be resolved via a card flip. A goal is scored if an Attack or Goal card is drawn from the deck.

Foul cards remove a goal from the opposition or demote a 3 Goal card to two goals or a 2 Goal card to one goal.

Offsides works like Foul and Defence. You can either remove a goal or an attack card.

After the cards are revealed any card flips are resolved, Penalties are resolved first and then Attack cards.

If you’ve played the Board Game this should all be pretty familiar stuff. The difference is in the Board Game you roll the dice to determine if any teams get bonus Attacks.

The first match of the game is South Africa vs. Mexico in Group A. Play then continues working down Group A all the way through Group H.

Once you hit the Round of 16 and beyond the Card Game plays a lot more like the Board Game. Because the Action Card deck is so small the Round of 16 is handled four matches at a time. I recommend lining up the teams across each other so you can see who is playing whom. Four cards can be played on each team. Here Defence cards can be played to cover an attack card thus negating its effect but not filling a space or you can play it to fill up one of a team’s four slots. Foul and Offsides cards can only be played to cover cards, not fill up slots. Only the top-most card played can be affected by Defence, Foul and Offsides cards. So say I have a 3 Goal card and then I play an Attack card on that team the next turn, it’s too late for you to play a Foul on it.

Each player is dealt a hand of three cards. A player plays a card and then draws a card.

The team with the highest score wins and advances to the next round. Ties are resolved with a penalty kick shoot-out. Taking turns, drawing one card at a time each team gets five shots. Goals are scored on Attack and Goal cards. If it is tied after five shots it goes to sudden death, but each team must have had an equal number of attempts.

In the Quarter-Finals, Semi-Finals and 3rd Place Playoff/Championship matches a deck of 12 cards is used to draw from instead of the entire Action Card deck.

So what’s the score on The World Cup 2010 Card Game?

Pros

Shorter playing time: While The world Cup 2010 Card Game isn’t a short game, it is significantly shorter than the Board Game. Our two games probably clocked in 1-1.5 hours.

Unscripted: As the Board Game and its expansions are based on real results, the designer decided not to include a color code system in the Card Game. With the color coding and dice absent the results of the game can vary widely. This is good as its likely no two tournaments will look the same.

What a story: Like the Board Game, the World Cup 2010 Card Game creates an energetic narrative. Watching teams work their way through the tournament, watching a powerhouse Goliath fall to a little David and penalty kick shoot-outs are a riot. When you’re done you will sit back and look over the results reminiscing over some of the key matches and biggest upsets in the tournament.

Cheap: It’s only $15. That’s a good deal for a lot of game.

I’m so board: While I do kind of miss the board as it adds to the epic nature of the game, the Card Game is so much cleaner without all the fiddliness of sorting, drawing and placing chits. The Card Game keeps things clean.

Cons
Unscripted: This is listed on my pros, too, I know. While its great to see such variability in the results, sometimes it sucks to see the better teams go down in the Group Stage. Neither Mexico nor USA have advanced in the two games I’ve played so far. This also makes the game feel a bit too “gamey.” If your powerhouse gets dealt crappy cards there is nothing you can do about it. In our second game I had Slovenia and was dealt six 1 Goal cards. They beat England 3-1. I highly doubt were going to see that happen this summer.

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Ian Smith
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Quote:
I had Slovenia and was dealt six 1 Goal cards. They beat England 3-1. I highly doubt were going to see that happen this summer.


I'm English and a football fan. Unfortunately, I see this as a very possible result this summer!

Nice review


Edited for clarification in response to metalface and jingoism as the tournament approaches.

Quote:
Ha! That's what I hear a lot from you Brits!

44 years of hurt and I'm only 45! ( Hurray for 66! )

(adjusting tin helmet for incoming)

Still, at least we have a nice safe 3 points from the Yanks!
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Casey Rogers
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Ha! That's what I hear a lot from you Brits!
 
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mojo shivers
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Just bought this game. I can't wait to get this on the table.
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Mya
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Great review. I've been sorely tempted by the World Cup Board Game (and will probably end up getting it, just to sate my World Cup mania) but this looks like it will have a much greater chance of actually getting played with my non-football-loving friends and relations.
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T. Fred
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I love the World Cup game, and so I just ordered the card game based on your review. $15 shipped to USA seems very reasonable.
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Mattias Fall
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I love the boardgame, but this game seems to be too much blind bidding for my taste. Do you recognize that from your games?
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McDog
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iansmithksa wrote:
Quote:
I had Slovenia and was dealt six 1 Goal cards. They beat England 3-1. I highly doubt were going to see that happen this summer.


I'm English and a football fan. Unfortunately, I see this as a very possible result this summer!

Nice review


Edited for clarification in response to metalface and jingoism as the tournament approaches.

Quote:
Ha! That's what I hear a lot from you Brits!

44 years of hurt and I'm only 45! ( Hurray for 66! )

(adjusting tin helmet for incoming)

Still, at least we have a nice safe 3 points from the Yanks!



Ian, I was talking to an Englishman several years ago and telling him I was really excited for the world cup. I told him I was a big USA supporter but also cheered for England every world cup because I liked their team and I wanted to root for a team with at least a chance.

His deadpan response? "A chance? Why choose England then?"


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Ian Smith
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My favourite is the traditional response from my Scottish friends and colleagues.

'The World Cup?, Aye, looking forward to it, I've got 31 teams to support!'

almost forgot the classic

'I support 2 teams, Scotland and whoever's playing England!'
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Rick Weckermann
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On any given day any like team can beat any other team, just need enough of these type of days that is all. I think my team has a better chance at winning in this game, team is a lost concept for them. Nederland Nederland Ned er land hope they make the final, it was my Grad year when i got hooked on them (was made to watch by my Mom, and enjoyed it). Another second place?
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Jon Pessano
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iansmithksa wrote:
Quote:
I had Slovenia and was dealt six 1 Goal cards. They beat England 3-1. I highly doubt were going to see that happen this summer.


I'm English and a football fan. Unfortunately, I see this as a very possible result this summer!

Nice review


Edited for clarification in response to metalface and jingoism as the tournament approaches.

Quote:
Ha! That's what I hear a lot from you Brits!

44 years of hurt and I'm only 45! ( Hurray for 66! )

(adjusting tin helmet for incoming)

Still, at least we have a nice safe 3 points from the Yanks!


Isn't it funny how the Yanks won the group??

:-)
jonpfl
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Mark Farr
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nastycleavage wrote:
On any given day any like team can beat any other team, just need enough of these type of days that is all. I think my team has a better chance at winning in this game, team is a lost concept for them. Nederland Nederland Ned er land hope they make the final, it was my Grad year when i got hooked on them (was made to watch by my Mom, and enjoyed it). Another second place?


That is quite a prediction! Well done, sir!
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Kris Mummery
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My son and I played this again last night and it is still a blast!
 
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