Tim Chandler, Ft. Pierce, FL e-mailed me recently about the frequency of corner kicks in SOCCER BLAST. Tim has completed two full season EPL replays (Manchester United and Southampton), in which he recorded an average of 7.6 corner kicks per game. He included a couple of online references which point to an expected 11 or so corner kicks per game, a figure that is fairly consistent across all leagues and levels of play. He wondered if there might be a way to generate those extra corner kicks by modifying a chart or changing a reading or two. Hmmm….
I should preface my thoughts by say that in designing the game, I felt there was enough abstraction for speed of play that each and every corner kick did not need to be resolved. I incorporated the same philosophy regarding corner kicks as I did for direct free kicks: since many of them have no real chance of scoring, why not have the game only resolve those that DO? So, in the same way there are fewer direct free kicks resolved in SOCCER BLAST than in real-life, there are also fewer corner kicks. One of the side benefits to doing it this way is that it allows for more drama for the kicks that ARE resolved, as they have been granted a somewhat better-than-real-life chance of scoring, factoring in the kicks that you’re not resolving.
That said, I told Tim that I understood where he—and other SOCCER BLAST gamers—were coming from. Corner kicks are exciting, and I understand wanting more of them. So, after pondering possibilities for a few days, I came up with this idea for increasing the number of corner kicks…
• On defended ATTACKS where the defender does NOT have a circle (dice combinations that add up to 2, 3, 4 5 or 6), instead of simply awarding possession to the attacking team, give the attacking team a corner kick. This should add between 3.5 and 4 corner kicks per game. The better defenses will allow fewer corner kicks this way, and the poorer defenses will give up more. It also adds value to the circle symbol, which is something I think is cool.
One of the concerns Tim and I both had was that, since the chance of scoring is somewhat elevated in the game’s Corner Kick chart, adding more corner kicks will boost scoring. Making this change will nudge scoring up, perhaps an additional goal every eight to ten games, if my calculations are correct. If the potential for a couple extra goals is something you don’t want, you can simply RECORD the aforementioned results as corner kicks, but assume that the corner was turned back, with the kicking team maintaining possession on the main chart. (Or, obviously, you can disregard this option entirely—it’s a win-win-win!)
As a post-script, Tim contacted me several weeks later and reported that idea had worked extremely well. "For the 38 matches in my Swansea City 2013 season replay, total corner kicks for those matches was 413, for an average of 10.9 corner kicks per match. That's good stuff, for me at least!” Excellent results!