Here's a special card set for SOCCER BLAST Pro Soccer Game based on the 2019-20 European Champions League (a tournament concluded August 23rd, 2020 in Lisbon Portugal, won by Bayern Munich). The ratings for this 2020 World Championship card set were created by Phil Dorn, Hamburg, Germany. Phil is both a fan of board games and European football, and is also a former soccer coach—a winning combination in terms of expertise for creating this unique card set, which we present to you in the official SOCCER BLAST format!
The first thing that should be mentioned is this is not a pure statistical replay of the tournament. Rather, all 32 teams and their players have been rated based on their full-season 2019-20 performances leading up to the championship. (This is exactly how our 2014 and 2018 World Cup sets were rated, by the way!) There are many good reasons to rate the teams like this, the main reason being that half of the clubs played only six games in the tournament group stage, and ratings based on so few games are typically distorted and strange. Liverpool, for example, which was one of the highest-rated teams in this collection, performed only average in the tournament. After the group stage, they were immediately eliminated by Atletico Madrid. Rather than rate Liverpool on this limited and uncharacteristically mediocre performance, it's been rated more holistically. That's not to say they couldn't fall flat anyway in your tabletop re-creation of the tournament—but if they do, it will be a surprise, just as it was in real-life.
Phil employed some personal insights in creating the teams, with the idea that the cards could be used several times and also over years without losing fun. The teams were rated a bit more broadly vs. a purely historical perspective. On the Olympiacos club, for example, Fortounis is their captain and a key part of this team over years. He had a serious injury in the 2019-20 Champions season and could not participate. Phil included him for the set, for those who would like to see what the club would have done had he been in the line-up. "The 2019-20 season," Phil says, "especially the Champions League, is the base of this set, but I've put more into it than just the statistics." With this card set, there's the potential for many different plausible outcomes, just as was the case as the real-life Champions League began. So, if you choose to do so, you could dispense with the history and conduct your own draw for the Group Stage.
There are a couple other nuances with this set that are new/different for SOCCER BLAST fans. Each team's top players for Penalty Kicks have been identified with a "PK" notation adjacent to their SHOT rating (as is the case with Renaldo's card, pictured above). Also, some players have underlined "double" qualities (again, see Renaldo's card). These are players who have outstanding skills in one or more facets of the game. "Most of the double qualities are for very fast players (PACE), some players are physically very STRONG, some have an incredible technique (TOUCH) and some rare players have (TACTICS) who play tactically an important role for their team. There are no players rated double HARD, as HARD leads to cards and there is also a CARD √ rating to account for this. Also, there are no players rated double STAR, since star players normally already have very good ratings." Double qualities preclude tie-breaker die rolls on TAKE ON results, and also add two measures of the quality for the team on MIDFIELD BATTLE and BUILD UP results.
This unique card set has maximum replay value and gives you multiple options for tabletop soccer projects. You can play your favorite team against all the others, or create an expanded format where every team plays every other in a non-traditional "season," perhaps splitting the teams into two "conferences" for a shorter season. You could mirror the real-life tournament, or join the action with the final sixteen, eight, or four teams. Or, just play random one-off games to suit your taste. However you choose to use this card set, we're confident that you'll enjoy it.
The 2020 World Championship card set for SOCCER BLAST is available for $39 postage-paid* and includes all 32 teams from the 2019-20 tournament, presented in team colors. Or, get the PDF version for $21, delivered to your e-mail in-box. Included with the set are team ratings for use with the Universal Instant Results chart (also included), which will allow you to speed through whatever project you have in mind by quick-playing games that are of less interest to you. NOW AVAILABLE!
*for US addresses, international delivery of printed products requires additional postage.