14th May2021

Football Board Games Get Fans Excited for Euro 2020

by James Smith

Some of these board games are great alternatives to other football-based games like table football

Sports and board games have not always been a match made in heaven, with the two worlds tending to be poles apart. However, in the lead up to a major international football tournament even the most diehard board gamer can get swept up in the enthusiasm that football fans and media exude. Down through the years there have been quite a number of board games that have been inspired by the beautiful game, and which are perfect companions either before or during this summer’s Euro 2020. Check them out.

The Football Game

Players of Championship Manager, or Football Manager as it is now known, will love The Football Game, which pits budding footy managers against each other. This means that each player can go about trying to appease imaginary odds makers and betting tipsters with their managerial know-how. This footy-themed board game mirrors exactly the sort of odds shattering dramas that arise during a major international tournament, as teams suffer media scandals and injury crises. In the same way that odds and tips fly during the real-life Euro 2020, board gamers can recreate all the action, as long as they have the game and some fellow players to hand. Another great feature of this game is that some of the top teams are handicapped, so even if you have the most talented team with the best overall winning record, it might not be enough if a relative minnow performs above expectations. Do not expect a similar system to be implemented anytime soon at UEFA’s European Championships.

Football board games give their players a unique bird’s eye view of the action

Subbuteo

In the history of bad ideas, Subbuteo seemed to be right up there when it was first launched way back in 1947 by a retired airman who wanted to create a tabletop football game. After all, flicking weighted miniature footballers around a felt pitch appeared to be a concept that few gamers would be able to get behind. How wrong the doubters were. The game went on to become a cult classic, taking over kitchen and dining room tables all over the world. It is debatable as to whether the game classifies as a board game, but omitting it from an article such as this would be tantamount to sacrilege.

StreetSoccer

Taking Subbuteo to the next level is StreetSoccer. It demands high levels of skills, finger dexterity, and actions executed to such a fine degree that the game was once recognised by the International Gamers Award in 2003. Positioning is everything in StreetSoccer. Players must maneuver the five players at their disposal and then hope that they roll the dice well enough to outscore their opponent. The only drawback of the game is that it is restricted to two players, but that does not detract from the fact it is a superb footy board game.

World Cup Tournament Football

If the one-on-one aspects of the aforementioned games is off-putting to some players, then perhaps World Cup Tournament Football will be more to their liking, as up to 10 people can take part in this board game. In reality, this is more of a card game than an out-and-out board game, but it still manages to channel the spirit of football very effectively. What is amazing about it, though, is that its format depicts one very similar to the Euro 2020 draw, with groups of teams lining up to begin the tournament before being whittled down to a winner.

Time of Soccer

While most soccer board games are all about the action on the pitch, Time of Soccer is more concerned with the drama that plays out behind the scenes of international team setups and club boardrooms. The game is so well researched that players will feel they are genuinely in training to become sporting directors or FCOs of major footy teams.
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