Review – Soccero (second edition) from Gamina Ltd.
Design – Jarmo Kuitunan, Martti Ojalainen
A copy of this game was provided by Gamina Ltd.
I am a Football (Soccer) fan, no doubt. A fairly rabid Manchester United fan for the last 22 years actually (Go Red Devils!). I haven’t really played many Football games, in fact Subbuteo and the Fifa games on my PS3 are the extent of it. I’m rubbish at the Fifa games and Subbuteo, although fun, is a dexterity game which, to me, doesn’t really translate the tactical feel of the “beautiful game” as well as it could do.
Offered the chance to review Soccero, which has it’s 2nd edition recently published by Gamina Ltd., I had a look at the website and was very interested to see what looked like a game that could be fun and provide strategy and tactics of Football.
This is a lovely, very good quality production which should please Football fans. The 22 footballers are of a higher quality and more sturdy plastic than those found in Subbuteo (at least the version I used to own) and you get a nice, solid game board compared to the cloth pitch that you get in Subbuteo, 2 plastic goals, along with nice custom dice which are used for movement of the players and determining the direction and flight of the football, and 2 timers. Lovely.
Game play overview
Although listed as a game 2-player game for age 11+, I think that you could play Soccero with 8-9 year olds with little problem. You can play 2 halves of 45 minutes but I preferred playing shorter time periods and the game can easily be played for whatever time you agree to.
After the initial set up of the players and kicking off, each game turn is very simple in structure. Before you roll the dice, you must decide whether you will move players or kick the ball. Then you roll the dice, move players or kick the ball, and then it’s your opponent’s turn to do the same. It’s dead simple.
Yes well, there is more to it than that as in the basic rules you can find rules to
– carry the ball – you can’t just have one player keep the ball, you do have to pass it
– steal the ball – the advanced rules allow for fouls
– kick the ball – the special dice determine if the ball changes direction or travels through the air or along the ground
– move players – must be in a straight line
– take shots at goal – needs to reach the goal or can be blocked by other players or the goalkeeper
– have your goalkeeper save against shots on goal
– offside decisions
And you can choose to use the sand timers to limit how long each player has to take their actions. Probably a good idea if plays take too long to make choices and moves. Football is at its best when it’s fast-flowing after all.
Extended rules add more realism and in my view, hardly slows the game down at all once you are familiar. They cover such things as –
– Goalkeeper saves
– Weak shots
– set piece plays
There should be enough here to satisfy most footy fans.
How did I like Soccero?
With the popularity of console footy games, its hard to see how a board game can compete. I can’t see that any Board game will replace what the console games offer in playability and depth. Having said that, I do think that there is a place for footy board games and definitely for Soccero.
The quality of the components is very good and adds a good feel to the game play.
I am very pleased with the level of complexity. The rules are clear and provide basics to get you started and extended rules that you can gradually add without to much trouble at all. The dice are at the heart of the game engine and makes it very easy to manage moving your players, kicking, passing, etc. I particularly like the use of the special dice to simulate ball movement. The player movement feels a bit like chess as you really have to think about tactical placement to get in a scoring or defending position.
Soccero is a fast playing game and is all action. The timers will keep things moving for sure. I haven’t played other football board games so I don’t know how it compares but I can say that this is a fun, enjoyable game for this footy fan.
For more information go to – https://soccero.net/index.php/en/–