The World Cup Game
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The World Cup Game recreates the fascination and excitement of the Football World Cup tournament. Can you guide one of the European teams to victory after crossing thousands of miles of ocean to Uruguay in 1930? Or, can you repeat the triumph of Brazil in the Far East in 2002?
This is the boldest concept for a World Cup board game ever devised. You can play the very first World Cup tournament which took place back in 1930, or you can play the more recent World Cup tournament in 2002.
Players will control the destinies of the national teams, taking them through the group stages into the knock-out stages and hopefully to the greatest prize itself—The World Cup!
The World Cup Game has a subtle mix of luck and skill. Through the play of cards each player will score goals, press attacks and shore up defences; but fouls, offsides and penalties can thwart your strategy. All matches in each round are resolved simultaneously, so a complete World Cup tournament can be played from 1 to 3 hours.
Revel in the nostalgia of the 1930 World Cup, or the thrills and tears of the penalty shoot-out to decide the fate of teams in 2002.
It's all in The World Cup Game -- the whistle has gone, let play begin!
The World Cup game is an ambitious attempt to recreate the tension and drama of soccer's World Cup tournament in a board game. The game comes with two large playing boards and beautiful bits used to mark teams and play down "chits" which reflect goals, defense, and the like. The components are quite nice --with chits for every team in the 2002 and 1930 World Cup, playing cards (with goals, attack, defense, and penalties) of a good stock and in nice colors. The two boards are used to play out the tournament. The 1930 tournament only has 13 teams and therefore is the better choice when you have less time or fewer players. The 2002 tournament takes up 1.5 boards and has all 32 teams. A blast for a good-sized group of players (4 to 16 is recommended).
Game play is NOT a simulation of a soccer game. Instead it is a simultaneous recreation of early rounds and then, later, the elimination rounds. The object is for each player to get her or his teams through to the finals by playing good cards on his own teams and bad card (penalties, etc.) on the opponents' teams. Of course a clever player may help another team beat a third team if it means knocking out a key opponent (like, say, Brazil in 2002). There is a lot of tension and "screw your neighbor" elements, but play never gets too serious.
Soccer expertise is NOT needed. The "playoff" atmosphere is why non-soccer fans enjoy the game as much as serious football fanatics. It is simply a fun game. I happen to be a huge soccer fan, and I really enjoyed the game.
There is a player elimination element as many teams will not make the elimination rounds (playoffs), but it is fun to watch and see how things work out. The biggest luck factor occurs at the beginning of the game when players draw for their teams. The better teams have a significant advantage over the weaker teams --so if you're playing with kids you may want to assign them the better teams. I've played the 1930 version 10 times and have yet to draw one of the three top teams. Though I've won only once, the game keeps drawing me back for another crack at the cup.
My highest recommendation.