Die Wilden Fussball Kerle


Author: Thorsten Löpmann &
Andreas Wetter

Publisher: AMIGO 2003

Awards: none



Die Wilden Fussball Kerle is a game based on the series of children's books Die Wilden Kerle by Joachim Masannek and Jan Birck. Although the game has been released at about the same time as a movie about the books, the game is much more than a merchandise product and offers a rather well-done playing mechanism which is bound to fascinate a lot of fans of lighter cardgames.

In basic, the game is about a match of soccer played between two rival youth-gangs, and the game will be won by the player who has scored most goals after two rounds of play (for reasons of terminology, the players from now on will be referred to as "coaches"). Being essentially a cardgame, the gamebox also features a rather small gameboard depicting a soccer ground and a ball-shaped playing piece which is placed on the board to indicate whether the ball is in midfield or whether one or the other team is attacking.

At the beginning of the game, each coach receives a deck of 30 player cards, 1 goalkeeper card and 33 action cards. While the coach puts the goalie directly in front of him, the two decks of player cards and action cards will be mixed up and each coach will receive a hand of 7 player cards from his deck.

At the beginning and after each goal, the ball will be in the midfield of the gameboard for the kick-off. The coach who has the kick-off now will start the game by playing one of the player cards from his hand. Each player card has ratings for playing skills in defense, midfield and attack, and furthermore a player also has a special action which is assigned to one of his skill ratings. After the first coach has revealed his card, it is now the other coach's task to play one of his own player-cards in response.

After both player cards have been played, both coaches will get the opportunity to increase the skill values of the players. Starting the the coach who has played the player card with the lower skill, the coaches may decide to turn over the uppermost card of their deck of action cards, and now the revealed skill number will be added to the skill of the player card. The clash of both players usually will be won by the player with the highest skill rating, with a draw meaning that the player who did not possess the ball will have won.

The coach of the player who did win possession of the ball now starts the next round of play by playing another player card from his hand. However, before the card is played the coach may also decide where the ball was passed, thus moving the playing piece on the gameboard for one zone in a direction of his choice (from defense to midfield to attack or vice versa). Thus, the coach also determines which of a player's skill ratings will be essential in the next round of cardplay.

However, a special situation arises if a coach should win a round while already being in his attack zone. Now the coach may try to score a goal, and to do so he turns over the upper card of his action deck to determine the goal-shot rating for that shot. The card may reveal either a "miss" (meaning that the opponent's goalie gets to kick off), a "goal-post" (allowing the coach a direct second shot) or a number (indicating the strength of the shot. If a number was revealed, the defending coach also turns over one of his action cards to determine the strength of his goalie for this round. If the coach of the defending team has revealed the card with the higher value his goalie will have catched the shot and he may now initiate a kick off, but if the attacker has revealed the higher card this will mean that a goal has been scored. The goal then will be marked on a piece of paper and the game will be resumed with a kick off of the former defending coach in the midfield.

A special event arises if a coach turns over an action card which reveales a Yellow Card at some instance during play. This will mean that his active player will be warned by the referee for a foul which he has comitted. If that player will be captured comitting another foul, then that player will be disqualified, meaning that the coach may not use any cards of that particular player for the rest of the match.

The game will last for two rounds, which means that it will be played until the deck of player cards of a coach has been depleted twice. When the game is over, the coach whose team has scored most goals will have won the game. If both teams have shot the same number of goals, the game will be resolved through a series of 5 penalty-shots.

As indicated above, I consider the playing mechanism presented in this game to be of a quite good entertaining value. Although the game might not appeal to serious strategy gamers due to the obvious high luck factor which comes into the game through the use of a random deck of action cards, the game certainly will be attractive for all fans of somewhat lighter games. The rules can be taught within minutes, and the game rather well succeeds in capturing both a soccer atmosphere and also the spirit from the books. I can recommend the game especially for families with younger players.

Looking for this game? Visit Funagain Games!

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Copyright © 2006 Frank Schulte-Kulkmann, Essen, Germany