Billabong Boardgamers

Billabong Boardgamers - 26th May 1998

A strange evening, with Pedro down for the week, we had 4 and were about to start a game of Quandary, when Donna arrived. Then as we were about to start Bohnanza, David and Alan arrived. So we played a 7 player game.


Not a lot to report here, apart from the fact hat the lucky few got 2 turns in the second and third rounds, the rest only getting 2 in one or the other. I was a particularly tight game, with long fields being harvested.

Final scores

Pedro 10
David 10
Donna 9
Janet 8
Alan 8
Doug 7
Julian 7

We then split into a 5 and a 2, with David and Alan going into the kitchen to play Finale (report to come from David).

Qvo Vadis

The rest of us played a Qvo Vadis. Great game. Pedro was in a superb, commanding position and could have taken the game from about the 4th round, but lack of understanding meant that he ended up squandering it, because he could see all of us making deals etc, and thought he should do so too, but could have got the game on his own. In the end he didn't get a senator in at all.

Donna 27 4th
Julian 22 2nd 5th
Doug 16 3rd
Janet 14 1st
Pedro 11 -

Rette Sich Wer Kann

The Finale was still in progress, and Neil had arrived during the game, so we proceeded to a Rette Sich Wer Kann. No surprises here, lots of mistakes, broken promises, alliances made and broken. Doug and Pedro made a strong alliance and move a boat to the last line, meaning the rest of us put 100% into sinking it. In the end 3 boats sank, and innumerable people drowned.

Janet had felt ill all evening, and when David and Alan returned from their game, took over from Doug and Janet who left to go home.

Question: I have the rules from the Games Cabinet but it is a bit badly written. Does the piece removed from a boat by a leak get removed from the game, or sit behind the boat, to potentially get recovered later, during the swim phase? We started with the latter and found the former to be more satisfying.

The final scores were
Janet / David 28
Julian 24
Neil 21
Donna 18
Pedro 8
Doug / Alan 5

Quote from Donna: "I think you should vote to drown Julian, because it was his fault you lost the last game [Qvo Vadis], by telling you how to win, and you didn't follow it."

Also, I have a white and orange sailor missing. Anyone have any spares?

David Coutts writes:


Whilst the Lounge Table group set about "Qvo Vadis", Alan and I decided to give one of my recent arrivals a try. I must admit to being a bit of a soccer fan (France'98 - can't wait!), and I had read the rules and pawed the components for long enough. It was time for Finale by Kosmos, strictly a 2 player game.

The rules are fairly brief, so Alan and I got through those well inside half an hour. However, I think we had an "early" translation of the game, which took some debate, so I'll explain our interpretation of the rules as well as giving a game report.

For those not familiar with game, it's a card game with square cards like those in Settlers The Card Game. There are two basic types of card, the player and tactic cards. Player cards may be rotated anti-clockwise, varying their strength (depicted by a number of soccer balls). Thus, individual players will have moments of brilliance during the game (and it's up to you to use that fact to best effect). There is also a small board to indicate the score, and how many rounds through the match you are (15, 30, 45, 60, 75, 90- full time, 105, 120 - extra time if still tied, then a penalty spot!). Yellow card markers are provided, as well as "!" markers and "!!" markers (more on those later). Some football trophies are also provided, and two dice (0, 1, 1, 2, 2, 3).

Normally, a game would start with players selecting teams, then selecting their squad of 11 players plus 4 substitutes. Each player is marked with a point value, and you can select up to 50 points for your squad. A default squad is available for each, however, so Alan and I used them. From your 15 players you must then decide who starts on the pitch, and who starts as a substitute. The usual division between Goalkeeper, Defence, Midfield and Attack applies with players being marked with grey, yellow, blue and red respectively.

There is a wide selection of tactics cards to choose from, marked in German, but the pictures speak a thousand words so linguistic skills are not really necessary. Again, a default selection of 12 tactics cards is possible (values range from 1 to 5), so that's what Alan and I chose. The bottom card in each deck is always the Schlusskarte ( End Card), a fairly feeble tactics card effectively reflecting the fatigue and lack of drive towards the end of a game. Players draw 3 cards to start the game.

Each round both players secretly select one of their tactics cards, which are revealed, and both players replenish back to 3 cards. The player with the higher card is considered the attacking team, with a number of attacking opportunities equal to the difference between the values of the two tactics cards. The first such attacking opportunity will then use the attacking team's tactic card for the first attacking opportunity.

Tactics cards are divided into the preparation phase (top half) and goal phase (bottom half), with a depiction of how many of each type of player must be used for that tactic (attacking team on the left, defending team on the right). So, one attacking opportunity comprises the preparation phase, followed by the goal phase. Each attacking opportunity requires the attacker to select a new tactic card.

After the player controlling the attacking team has selected the required players for that tactic, then the defending team chooses his players for the defending team's tactic. The defender has the advantage of knowing the attacking player's basic strength. All player's used in this preparation phase are marked with a "!". A die-roll is added to each team's strength for this attack. If the attacker's score is equal or higher then he gets a shot at goal. Otherwise, the defender gets to counter-attack (but only a max of one per round regardless of the number of attacking opportunities). A counter-attack goes straight to the goal phase using the defending team's tactic card, adding the difference in value between his tactic card and the attacking team's tactic card.

Player's used in the preparation phase are then checked for injury (roll a 2), yellow (roll a 0 or 1) card and red card (roll a 3) - but only if the appropriate symbol appears in the players top-right corner of their card. Then, all players used in the preparation phase are rotated.

In the goal phase, the attacking team again selects players for their tactic first (this time using the bottom-half of their tactic card), then the defending team. These players are marked with a "!!", and neither team can (normally) select a player marked with a "!". Again a die roll is added. In the goal phase the attacking team must score higher than the defending team to score a goal, otherwise no goal.

Again, check for injuries, yellow cards and red cards BUT, do not rotate players. This makes defensive play a viable option, as strong players can remain strong. However, Alan and I usually "went for it" with every attack and ended up rotating our best players. Throwing the prep phase when in defence, thus rotating weak players to become stronger, was also a widely used tactic (provided you felt you could win the goal phase). Effectively, this felt like soaking up the attack, hoping for a counter-attack. A typical soccer tactic, in fact.

After each attacking opportunity (prep then goal phase), all "!" and"!!" are removed.

Each round (representing 15 minutes) took about 5 minutes to actually play, with plenty of decisions in every attack and defence. So, how did our game go?

For the first 15 minutes Alan put the pressure on, gaining one attacking opportunity, but I managed to counter-attack. My counter-attack equalled the defence, not enough for a goal.

15-30 minutes I attacked (two chances, I think), and scored a goal! I got a yellow card and Alan may have got an injury.

30-45 minutes and Alan attacked, two chances, and scored. 1-1. My goalie was injured (and substituted), Alan had a player sent off!

45-60 minutes and I went ahead again. 2-1. More yellow cards, resulting in another of Alan's players (his goalie) being sent off.

60-75 minutes, Alan still manages to equalise. 2-2. I think Alan was down to 8 men!

75-90 minutes, no score. Extra time required, just as we both were out of tactics cards! You get 6 tactics cards back in your deck (schlusskarte at the bottom again, and draw 3), and play 2 more rounds.

90-105 minutes. I score a goal. I got the better of the random draw, using a 4 against a 2 tactic card. It helps. 3-2.

105-120 minutes. I use a 3 against a 2, still on the attack. Alan's only hope is to counter-attack to equalise. He fails to do so, but I also fail to score.

I win 3-2 in a very tight, and enjoyable, game. I was glad not to have to face the penalty shoot-out!

My main criticism (after one game) is that there were too many injuries, red cards, and double yellow-cards, resulting in Alan's team being down to 6 or 7, mine on 9. Silly. Perhaps we played it wrong. Certainly, we realised later, that it would be sensible to substitute a player on 1 yellow card to avoid him being sent off with a second. Especially early in the game.

I'd rate it 7 (until I see an official translation!). Good chrome, lots of decisions, fairly high replay value.

See Doug Adams' Finale translation for more information.