Roughly once a month post pandemic (since we're all too old and surly and strange for the pubs now) we'll be getting some mates, beers and pizzas and filming some live play-throughs of classic, vintage and modern football board and some computer games.
The rules for board games are that no-one playing is allowed to have played the game before and that we will only open the box just before we start playing. For computer game we'll load it up and let them loose, no rule books, no tutorials, straight in to the action with two feet!
What if all the parts aren't there? We'll play anyway. Fun? Perhaps. Falling out? A given.
Here the games we've got on the 'to be played' shelf so far...
Striker League Champions (1977 Edition - Palitoy / Parker Games)
Published by Palitoy / Parker in 1977 Striker League Champions occupies a netherworld somewhere between the classic click and flick Subbuteo and a traditional board game. Like its classic predecessor Striker you play with physical elements such penalty takers, nets and goalkeepers while moving on a game board and also taking chance cards and luck cards that determine your fate.
In the box:
Billy Hamilton’s Football Academy (1985 Academy Games Limited)
A particularly bizarre treat for us (as we sit in Belfast writing this up) is the curiosity that is Billy Hamilton's Football Academy published by Academy Games Limited in 1985. For those not familar with fairly obscure Northern Irish players Billy Hamilton was most famous around these parts for providing the assist to Gerry Armstong for the goal that beat the mighty Spain in the 1982 World Cup.
In the box:
Leeds United The Board Game (1991 CDS Software Limited)
One of two unofficial board games made under the Leeds United name, Leeds United The Board Game is actually a board game variation of the Brian Clough's Football Fortunes game without the computer programme and made by the Cloughies makers CDS Software Ltd in 1991.
Aside from the lack of the computer game element Leeds United the Board Game follows the Cloughies model with the same player cards, board, counters and other items as the classic. The main difference is that players have to self manage their league results, league tables and more. Curiously there's not a lot of Leeds United players in the pack, perhaps an oversight and maybe explains why Leeds didn't really get on board with the title which wasn't a success.
In the box:
European Superleague Football Fortunes 2 (CDS Software Limited 1991)
Published by CDS Software in 1991 European Superleague Football Fortunes 2 is the official sequel to Brian Clough's Football Fortunes. The game was devised by a Scottish computer programmer Keith McLeman who was such a fan of the original game that he coded a new version for the Commodore 64 / 128K. Football Fortunes 2 features a slew of new features added to the original game including four leagues, relegations, a bunch of Scottish teams littered around the place that weren't here before and, prior to the Champions League being a real entity, a European Super League like in the title where successful teams play against European giants.
There are quite a few Cloughies die-hards who consider the Football Fortunes 2 game to be superior and use the app from the second title to play the original game. Football Fortunes 2 also has a hardcore following in Italy and Germany where in many cases it was the best known Football Fortunes title.
Keith McLeman now creates unique board games under his label Cardboard and Coffee Games
In the box:
Kickstarter Football Board Games
Kickstarter has kicked off a brand new generation of football board game creators allowing indie developers to bring forward a new golden age of football board games funded directly by fans. It's absolutely brilliant and the games being developed are as good as anything that would have been seen when football board games were at their peak in the 1980s.
We'll be playing and reviewing these great new games on our Away from Home series.
Superclub: The Football Manager Board Game
Following a very successful Kickstarter campaign the very beautiful looking Superclub: The Football Manager Board Game is to be produced by a number of friends based in Norway. Similar to Football Fortunes the game will allow 2-6 players to manage their squad, build up their club and more. There's a lot of detail on the Superclub Kickstarter page but inevitably given the current COVID-19 pandemic the game (as of the end of April) is likely to suffer quite a long production delay. When we get it, we'll play it on Away From Home!
In the box:
There isn't one yet! More to come...
Tac-tics by the Crafty Footballer
A simple to learn and easy to play football card game, Tac-Tics sees players compete to complete their squad first in order to win the game. Pick it up on Amazon
Counter Attack - The Football Strategy Game
Designed in Scotland this modern football match tactics game looks great, we'll be peeling back the shrinkwrap and delving in a.s.a.p on this one too.
BE Soccer by Torsten Dinkheller
We've recently taken delivery of a print and play of this soon to be Kickstarted game. More to come when we get around to printing and playing!
TimeVault Soccer - Sneaky Prawn Games
A quick-fire deck builder and squad game, TimeVault Soccer allows players to build squads and tactics using players from across the classic eras of football. Click play below for more or visit the games website at https://timevaultsoccer.com
A sort of hybrid between Tac-tics and Counter Attack tabletop affair Golazo is a new dice-based strategy game coming to a Kickstarter near you very soon. The Golazo campaign is due to launch this summer but meantime you can grab a stripped down Print and Play version on their website or play the game online on Tabletopia
Other games on our shelf!
We've a bunch of other football games on the dusty shelf just waiting to be played. We've recently added...
SuperLeague - Football Manager Board Game by CDS Software
Terry Venables The Manager
Who’s Got Ron?
Gary Lineker’s Footballer of the Year
The Club Soccer
Kevin Keegan's Matchday
Roy of the Rovers
Strike For Goal!
Michael Owen's Total Action Football
Baddiel and Skinner's Fantasy Manager
You Are The Ref
Any games you think we should add? Would you like to join us for one of the games? Get in touch we're all ears.