Billabong Boardgamers

Finale - Translation

See the 26/05/1998 session report by David Coutts for an early view of this game.
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Before you play please read this introduction first. The actual rules begin on page 4. FINALE is a soccer game with cards, which offers various tactical possibilities. It is meant to be played with two players. Naturally, the highest scorer of goals will win the game. Each player takes a team and receives 60 cards. One player takes SV Stollen (red cards), the other player takes FC Acker (blue cards). The cards of each player consists of 30 tactics cards of 30 soccer player cards. Eleven soccer players play on the field, and four sit on the reserve bench. Each player must select 15 soccer players for their team.

The Soccer Player Cards

The nice young man here (on page 2) - Sven Abseits - is a striker. You can tell that by the symbol in corner. Apart from strikers, there are midfield players (blue corners), defense player (yellow corners) and goal keeper (grey corners).

The players current strength is situated on top of the card, over the players head. The current play strength is always on the top of the card, so when the card is turned in direction of arrow (anticlockwise), the new current player strength appears on the top of the card.

Situated in the corner of some players are coloured symbols. With Sven it is one red cross (Sven may be hurt and must be changed) and a yellow card symbol. This means that Sven may commit a foul and be shown a yellow card. If Sven commits a second yellow card Sven must leave the field. Other players have red cards.

As well as the name of the soccer player, another number is also present - this is the players point value. That is important because at the beginning of a game, each player has only 50 points with which to build his soccer team. Teams with more than 50 points in value are not permitted.

The red "X" to the left of the soccer players name is useful for getting started on the first game. Instead of sitting helpless looking at all the cards, you pick the 15 cards out with the red "X" - that is your team for your first game.

The Tactics Cards

Now to the tactics cards. These cards decide which team attacks and which team defends. The cards also determine which players of each team are used. Each player must select twelve tactics cards at the before play starts, three of which got into his hand. For the first game we recommend to use the six white and the six lilac coloured tactics cards.

Besides these two colours there are also six tactics cards in yellow, blue and red. These cards strengthen soccer players in those respective colours. Yellow = defense , blue = midfield, red = striker).

Kampfstarke (Combat strength) (Refer to diagram on page 3).

See the white card "open exchange" pictured. The large number defines the attack strength of the card. The player who reveals the card with the higher attack strength is the attacker. The opponent must defend.

Spielaufbau (Attack Setup)

On the card are two green areas with soccer player symbols. The upper area applies to the Attack Set-up Phase.

Spielabschluss (Attack Results)

The lower area applies to the Attack Results Phase.

Additionally each area has a left and a right half - separated by two small, white arrows. On the left side the soccer players which the attacker uses, and on the right side are the soccer players the defender uses.

If the shown card "open exchange" is played, then the attacker uses the following soccer players in the Attack Set-up: the goalie, a defender and a midfield player, whom it can select. The current attack strength is the total of the soccer balls, which are situated currently at the top of the card. Added to this total is the roll of one dice. The defender also must choose his soccer players and add a die roll result to his total. To show which players have been used, place a "!" chip on the players cards.

If the attacker obtains a equal or higher total result with the Attack Set-up, then the attacker continues his attack with the Attack Results phase. Before this, however, the "!" marked soccer player cards are rotated to the left. Each player then marks its soccer players for the Attack Results phase - played the same was as the Attack Set-up phase. If the attacker obtains a higher total result (equal is not enough in this case), then he scores a goal.

If the attacker however fails with the Attack Set-up (lower total result than the defender), then the defender counter attacks. Attacks are carried out in this way, one after the other, over 6 time periods!

Prepare to Play

Selection of Soccer Player Cards

Each player takes a team and receives the 60 cards in the team colour. Each player selects 15 soccer players from his 30 soccer player cards. Eleven field players and four reserve players. The 15 soccer players may not exceed a total value of 50 points (the total of all numbers on the right next to the players names).

When selecting the soccer players the players have free selection. There must always be a goal keeper, and a second goal keeper must be the reserve bank. After that the player has free selection from all the other soccer players, usually picked to match the tactics of the cards. The players may set up as many defenders, midfielders and strikers as he wants.

Recommendation for the first game.

Take the 15 soccer players, who have a red "X" on the card, and select the eleven field players and the four reserve players. The 15 cards have exactly the 50 points. Set the following soccer players on the reserve bench and start with the eleven remaining players on the field:

SV Stollen Reserve: Bernd Schranke, Paul Walze, Ali Balla, Simon Joker.

FC Acker Reserve: Hans Greifhin, Wladimir Ballnich, Tim Talent, Erwin Pfosten .

Only when both players have selected their teams are the teams set up on the table, simultaneously. Thus in the example on page 5, SV Stollen have 3 strikers, 4 midfielders and 3 defenders. The FC Acker team has tried a 4-4-2 set-up. The four Reserve cards are stored openly beside the players.

Notes on play.

Football is an attacking game. The defense against an attack is not possible if the current play strength of your soccer players is low. Make sure therefore that all your players are not at low strengths at the same time.

Injuries, yellow cards and red cards can decimate every team. However, you must play to the end regardless of how many footballers you lose. Use caution with your four substitute players.

If you should lose several soccer players from a group (eg. strikers) and have no more back-up on the reserve bench, you are then forced to regroup your soccer players. If a line is without soccer players (e.g. no more strikers), you must provide backups from a neighbouring line (eg. move a midfield player into a striker position).

The selection of the tactics cards.

Each player selects 11 tactics cards and mixes them. They place the cards face down in a pile. The last card in the pile is the card "Schlusskarte". Each player then takes the top 3 cards to form their hand, with which they begin play. Important: If a player uses all 11 tactics cards, then he must the use the "Schlusskarte" for the remainder of the game.

Recommendation for the first game.

Use the six white and the six lilac-coloured cards. They are quite balanced and offer a good combination for becoming acquainted with the game. For later games we recommend to always use the six white tactics cards and exchange the six lilac-coloured for tactics cards of another colour. The white "Schlusskarte" must always be situated at the bottom of the deck.

Important: The tactics cards in a player colour (yellow, blue, red) use the strengths of soccer players this colour. ie. it is sensible for example to only to play with the yellow tactics cards if you have a strong defense line. You will find a further tip for the selection of tactics cards at the end of the rules.

The Play Board

The play board is laid out: The goal markers (balls in red and blue) are put on the zero spaces, the umpire is placed on the first 15 minute period space. The player "!" markers and the yellow cards are placed in reach of both players.

Flow of the play.

Six "time periods" are played - see the game board. The game ends after the sixth time period. Who shot the most goals wins the match.

First time period.

Determine the Attacker and Defender.

At the beginning of the first time period each player chooses a tactics card from their hand and places it face down in front of them. They are revealed simultaneously.

The player who plays the card with the higher combat strength is for this time period the "attacker", and their opponent is the "defender".

If the two combat strengths are alike - see below.

Each player immediately draws a new tactics card from their deck - each player must always hold three tactics cards in their hand.

The attacker now has a number of attacks equal to the difference between the attack strengths of the two played tactics cards.

Example: Red plays the card "single-handed attempt", attack strength 2. Blue plays the card "open exchange" with the attack strength 4. Blue is the attacker, and must execute the two attacks in this time period.

First Phase - The Attack Set-up

The Attacker selects now the soccer players, whom it may use according to its tactics card in upper area on the left.

The Defender selects its soccer players likewise using the tactics card of the Attacker, from the upper area using the soccer players in the right half.

If a question mark is represented instead of a footballer, the player may use any player type for that player, except the goalie.

Both players mark their selected footballers with a "!" marker.

The attacker places his "!" chips first on his soccer players. The defender then places his chips after - he is allowed a chance to react to the tactics of the attacker.

Each player adds the strength of his selected soccer players - that is the number of balls, which are situated on the top row the the players cards.

Each player then throws a dice and adds the result to their strength.

If the attackers strength that is equal or higher than the defenders strength, then this Attack Set-up has succeeded and the attacker must proceed to the Attack Results phase.

If the attack strength is lower than the defenders, then the defender has a counter attack - see the rules "Attack Set-up fails - Counterattack".

Now each player checks in sequence its assigned soccer players to see if there is a symbol in the right upper picture corner. If there are symbols (red cross, yellow card, red card), then the affected footballers are resolved.

At the end of the Attack Set-up, all players with a "!" marker are rotated anticlockwise by 90 degrees. These soccer players now have a new play strength.

Important: If no soccer players are in the upper area of a tactics card, then the Attack Set-up is omitted and the Attack Results follows immediately.

Second Phase - The Attack Results

Both players again select their soccer players - according to the tactics card of the attacker. Now however from the players are picked according to the lower half of the tactics card.

Again the attacker marks his selected soccer players with a chip chip - but this time however it's a "!!" chips. Then the defender marks his players.

Important: Normally a soccer player who was already used in the Attack Set-up and has a "!" marker, cannot be used in the Attack Results Phase. However if an arrow on the tactics card connects a player from the Attack Set-up to the Attack Results, then one must use this player again in the Attack Results Phase.

As before the players add their totals to determine their strength and adds a die roll to this total.

If the attacker obtains a higher total result than the defender, then the attack succeeded and a goal is scored. Move the soccer ball one space up.

Again each player checks its players to see if they are injured or fouled, applied as before.

Players marked with a "!!" chip are rotated 90 degrees anticlockwise.

The "!" and "!!" markers are removed from the players.

Second and subsequent attacks.

If the attacker has still another attack (according to difference of the attack strengths), then he plays a new tactics card from his hand over the tactics card previously played (and immediately draws a new card).

The defender may discard one of its tactics cards for each new attack from their hand and draw a new tactics card from their deck.

The players play again a new Attack Set-up and Attack Results as described above. This attack now uses the new tactics card of the attacker.

If the attacker performs all his attacks, then the time period ends.

Second to sixth time period.

If one time period is terminated, the umpire is moved up to the next time period. The new time period begins again with both players selecting a tactics card from their hand, as covered above. These cards are revealed simultaneously, and a new attacker is determined. Play continues, as described above under Attack Set-up. Altogether six time periods are played. The play ends after the sixth time period. The player who scored the most goals wins. If scores are equal, then extra time and a possible penalty shootout can follow.

Attack Set-up Fails - Counter attack.

This special rule is allowed once in each time period. The defender is allowed to counter attack if the attacker fails with an attack set-up.

If the attacker obtains a lower result than the defender in the Attack Set-up, then the defender has now a Counter Attack. That is, the defender must attack and attacks with the players on the defenders tactics card.

Both players select the soccer players for the Attack Set-up. These are shown on the defenders card - the counter attacker (now the attacker) players on the left half, the defender (ex attacker) players on the right half.

As before, player strengths are added to a dice roll. The counter attacker gets an additional bonus, which is the difference between the attack strengths on their currently revealed tactics cards. Eg. if the cards strengths are 5 and 2, then a bonus of 3 is added to the counter attackers roll.

As is the case for normal attacks, possible injuries or fouls must be resolved.

If the Attack Set-up succeeds, the Counter Attacker now resolves his Attack Results, but no Counter Attacker bonus is awarded here. If successful, the Counter Attacker scores a goal and the counter attack is over.

If the Attack Set-up fails in the counter attack, then the counter attack is finished. If the original attacker still has further attacks, then he continues play with his next attack. Further counter attacks are not allowed until the next time period.

Attack Strengths are Equal on Tactics Cards

If both players tactics cards with same combat strengths uncover, then roll dice to decide.

Both players roll dice, high number wins the right to attack. One attack is awarded, no more, no matter what the difference in numbers rolled. If the attacker fails his Attack Set-up, then the defender is allowed to counter attack, but without a counter attack bonus.

If both players roll the same number, keep rolling until there is a difference.

Special Symbols on Players Cards.

If a coloured symbol is in the top right hand corner of a player card that contains a "!" or "!!" marker, then a die must be rolled for each such player. After the die rolls, the players are rotated 90 degrees.

Red Cross - On a roll of 2 the footballer is hurt and must be changed. The player puts the hurt soccer player back into the box and replaces him with a soccer player from the reserve bench. Substituted players may be replaced by any type of player.

Yellow Card - On a roll of 0 or 1, the player is warned by the umpire. Place a yellow card on the soccer player. If this player gains another yellow card later in the play, the umpire sends him off. See Red Card below.

Red Card - On a roll of 3, the player is shown a red card and sent off. The player must be removed and put into the box. The player must play with one man less for the remainder of the game.

Important: If a tactics card (e.g. " single-handed attempt) requires a particular type of soccer player, who has been removed from the game, then a soccer player of same colour must substitute. If a player of the same colour is missing, another soccer player must be used.

Player Substitutes.

Four times during a play each player may make a substitution. There are 3 players and one goalie. Replacements can only be performed at the start of a new time period, before the new tactics cards are revealed. The changed soccer player is put back into the box and replaced by a reserve soccer player. The new player may be a different type of player - this leads to tactical modifications. Note: The reserve goalie may not be used as field players. If the reserve bench is empty, no more players can be substituted.

The Conclusion (Schlusskarte) Card

If a player has used all 11 tactics cards - thus the ninth, tenth and eleventh of the hand have been taken, then the only card remaining is the Schlusskarte.

The conclusion card, once picked up, remains face up all the time.

If a player plays their last tactics card, then he must use the Schlusskarte for the remainder of the game.

That is, in the time periods or attacks which still remain to be completed, the player has in each case an attack strength of 1 and can in the case of attacks or counter-attacks only use the players indicated on the Schlusskarte card.

Game end.

The player who scored the most goals after the sixth period wins. If there is a tie, players can agree to play into extra time.

Extra Time

If both players decide for extra time, then two further time periods (105 and 120 minutes) are completed. Each player takes back all his white tactics cards, no matter whether they were used or not. The Schlusskarte is again put at the bottom of the deck. Each player draws three tactics cards from his deck. Normal rules are played, and if it's undecided after 120 minutes, on!

Penalty shootout

From now on ignore all the fouls and injuries on the players cards. Each player picks up all his players and selects five players to conduct a shootout (the goalie can't be selected). Each player sorts these five players into an order required by him, turned back up to initial orientation. Dice are used to see who starts.

Each player puts his goalie out. The start player takes his first soccer player and competes against the opposing goalie. Both players roll dice and adds the result to the play strength. The goalie does the same. A goal is scored if the goalie is beaten (a higher total). Then the goalie is rotated 90 degrees to a new play strength. Players alternate this procedure until all five players have had a shot from either side. If it's still a tie, select another five players and go again!


Choose any tactics cards. If you want to choose tactics cards without the white cards, follow this procedure:

you must select 12 tactics cards!

you must select two cards with the combat strength "5".

you must select two cards with the combat strength "2".

you must select one cards with the combat strength "1".

you must select the "Schlusskarte" card.

each player may choose the 3 cards to start in their hands.

The Trophies

The cups are a small addition if you want to play a German or European competition with friends. The respective winner receives the appropriate cup. The winner would then have to defend his title, maybe with a bonus or penalty. In such a competition there is always a replay. Extra time and penalty shootouts follow only after the replay, if there is still no decision.

The Tactics Cards

1. Schlusskarte! Conclusion Card - With last strength!
1. Elfmeter! Eleven meters! A clear foul!
2. Eckball! A corner kick! Everybody forward!
2. Flanke! Flank! And the shot!
3. Kontrolliertes Spiel! Controlled Play! Ball possession is everything!
4. Offener Schlagabtausch! Open exchange! Running it up and down!

1. Cheating with offside! So one makes that!
2. Alleingang! Single handed attack! From the text book!
2. Einwurf! Throw in! Very far!
3. Vorsichtiger Spielaufbau! Careful attack! Proceeds
4. Brechstange! Breakout! By force ?
5. Alles oder Nichts! All or nothing!

1. Rueckpass erlaufen! Back pass! Fast and clever move!
2. Schwalbe!? Dive !? Foul or not ?
2. Steilpass! Steep pass! In the points!
3. Fore-Checking! Checking! Team structure disturbed!
4. Sturmlauf! Storming run! Everything forward!
5. Powerplay! Power play! Do not relent!

1: Abschlag! Anticipate a goal! At least 70 meters!
2. Befreiungsschlag! Release a player! Away with the ball!
2. Konter! Counter! The deadly pass!
3. Abseits! Clear! By at least 2 meters!
4. Betonmauer! Concrete wall!
5. Kick'n Rush! High and far forwards!

1. Freistoss! A new tactic!
2. Doppelpass! They can do it blind!
2. Ferschuss! Long shot! Outwit the goalie?
3. Kamfp um jeden meter! Fight for each meter! However hard!
4. Kurzpassspiel! Fast passing game! Almost Brazilian!
5. Pressing! Close the spaces!

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