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The Rules of Play

More exciting news: the rule book (or ‘Rules of Play’ as Rachel decided it should be called!) is ready for public viewing!

[edit: the rule book has been removed from this page as it was out of date. The completed rule book will be shared on the Rules page once it’s ready.]

Screenshot 2019-04-25 at 18.05.30

We really want your feedback on the rules, the look, the language. Please post your comments on this page.

In our experience, people learn by playing, but a sneak peak at the Rules of Play should give you an indication of the depth and detail in the game. Enjoy!


  1. Gordon Sinclair

    Hi Colin. I am a little confused about the ZONE OF INFLUENCE. From the rule book it looks like exactly the same rules apply to the ‘6 surrounding hexes’ and the ‘2 hexes away’. Why are they separated if they are the same (or am I being stupid)?

  2. It’s a mistake 🙂 We need to change the ‘2 hexes away’ info!

  3. The Rules of Play have been updated since this morning. A few typos and other errors (such as the Zone of Influence mistake) have been rectified. I’m sure there will be one or two other errors in there – please tell us if you find them!

  4. David Lederman

    Game looks amazing Colin, I spent half an hour going through the rulebook and can’t wait to play. All looks great, only query I have regards goal kicks: is it reasonable for goal kicks to be accurate to anywhere in the middle third and the attacking team to just retain possession? Would it not be more realistic to allow the defending team to move a player to challenge for a header in the middle third? Maybe deduct a point from the defender if they are in the attacking half? Maybe all goal kicks into your own third can be accurate and possession is just retained in the normal way but into the middle third the defence can challenge to win the ball (as in the real game)? Apologies if I’ve misread the rules on this!

    1. Hi David. That’s great that you’ve read through it all and spotted a potential irregularity! You know, this particular rule is kinda new. It used to be that both managers could pick up and reposition all players anywhere on the field, and then the keeper could kick it to anywhere in his/her own half. We changed it recently to what you see in the rules and we found it favours a swift counter attack. But I do agree with you that perhaps a little more realism is needed in there…

      How about this? The keeper can kick the ball with total accuracy in his/her own half, and any kick into the opponent’s half (up to the final third) has the same rule as with a high pass – i.e. both teams can move one player up to 3 hexes each before they challenge for the ball. (BTW I’m also worried about ‘rules creep’ – where more and more rules/complexity is added. There is a beauty in simplicity sometimes!)

      1. Therron Thomas

        Makes sense to simply treat a goal kick as a high pass with the existing range limits for a goal kick. That way there are no additional rules to keep track of.

  5. Therron Thomas

    Page 11 in reference to the yellow X’s. Perhaps they should read so it is clear the who rolls the dice? Also the note about the red X’s and dueling for a header, this is also the defender who rolls the dice, correct?

    Page 15. Reference the sand timer, the sentence ends with ‘tough’ but doesn’t explain what happens if the timer runs out. What precisely does tough mean? No more moves? Turnover of possession?

    Page 18. In reference to the outcome of a header that is inaccurate, who gets to choose which Defender it goes to if there are multiple Defenders equal distance from the intended target?

    Page 19. The text indicates that when one is rolled on a tackle by the defender the attacking player can claim a foul or play on. However on page 20 it says that when one is rolled a foul IS committed and the attacker can choose a set piece or play on. This could confuse players who are new to the game of soccer.

    Page 21. You mentioned the penalty area. Nowhere else prior to this in the manual or any of the pitch markings explained. It might be useful to those new to soccer to understand what the penalty area is.

    Page 24. In regard to being deflected to the nearest attacker or nearest defender following a deflection, whose choice is it when either of those have mutilple choices equal distance from the point of deflection? i.e. 2 defenders are both 2 hexes away from the deflection

    Page 25. In regard to challenging for a header. If there are three players eligible to challenge, for example two Defenders and one fellow attacker, what order do those players go in when challenging? Might I recommend by jersey numbers ascending?

    Page 30. What exactly constitutes offside? Players new to soccer may not understand and using a hex map, is it equal to other players or a half hex ahead? A full hex?

    That’s all for now. I hope these make sense.

    1. Really useful, thanks! Lots for us to think about…

    2. Hey Therron. I finally got a chance to go through all of your suggestions, and I made a bunch of edits on the basis of your comments! Thank you for your help here – you showed a terrific eye for detail, picking up on many aspects I simply hadn’t seen. Much appreciated :))

  6. Had a lok through the rules and a bit of a think in light of my first experience of playing the game on Wednesday night.

    P6 Obviously the player attributes on the cards are in alphabetical order but as movement, aka Pace is the most used attribute could it be at the top? Then perhaps sequence according to how the attributes are used in the game? Pace – Dribbling – Tackling – Resilience – High Pass – Heading – Shooting and for keepers who don’t move so much Saving – Aerial – Pace – Dribbling – Resilience

    Keep ‘combined score’ phrase consistent viz-

    High Pass You need a combined score of 8 or higher to make a successful high pass.

    Shooting If your combined score is higher than the goalkeeper’s Saving combined score then you have scored a goal!

    Dribbling and Tackling If a defender attempts a tackle, your Dribbling combined score is used against the defender’s Tackling combined score.

    Heading Used in a duel against defenders competing for a header, or against a goalkeeper’s Saving combined saving if making a headed attempt at goal.

    More information about pitch markings for people less familiar with football, specifically halfway line, penalty box, penalty spot and penalty spot arc.

    High Ball on distance stick should be High Pass

    Move Zone of Influence explanation to after pitch markings and before distance stick. Start with brief explanation of use of player markers on the pitch surface
    Correct two hex info that is no longer correct

    What Next – been pondering this. It seems the attacking player has four basic options, with one outwith their control. That is the first distinction – is it a Set Piece or Open Play?

    Set Pieces can be Kick Off (needs a section), Free Kick, Penalty or Corner and the Attacking Player must follow the appropriate Set Piece instructions.
    During Open Play the options are Movement, Pass or Shoot

    A Movement Phase includes movement by both Attacker and Defender and can include Dribbling by the Attacking player with the ball, Tackling by a Defending player (or players) being passed by the Dribbling Attacking player, Tackling by a Defending player (or players) on their turn to move and can end in a Snap Shot on goal if a Dribble ends in the Penalty Box. Tackles may result in Fouls, with play restarted with a Set Piece – a Free Kick or a Penalty, if the foul takes place in the Penalty Box.

    A Pass Phase can be a Standard Pass, a Long Ball or a High Pass (as well as the special circumstance of a Goal Kick Pass immediately after a successful Save). A Standard Pass, if successful, can immediately lead to a First Time Pass and/or a Snap Shot on goal if the Attacking player receiving the ball is close enough to the opposing goal. A Long Ball is a Pass into space and must therefore be immediately followed by a Movement Phase as the Attacking team looks to retain possession. A High Pass, if successful, can immediately lead to a Header towards goal if the receiving Attacking player is close enough to the opposing goal, or a Header Pass to another Attacking Player who may be able to take a Snap Shot if close enough to the opposing goal. All passes may be intercepted by Defending players depending on successful dice rolls. After a Snap Shot or a Header towards goal if the Attacking Player is successful a goal is scored and play will restart with a Kick Off. If the Defending Player is successful the shot may be deflected behind the goal, when play restarts with a Set Piece – Corner, or the goalkeeper catches the ball cleanly and makes a Goal Kick Pass.

    A Shoot Phase is only possible if the Attacking player in possession of the ball starts the phase close enough to the opposing goal. The shot may be blocked or deflected by Defending players depending on successful dice rolls. If the Attacking Player is successful a goal is scored and play will restart with a Kick Off. If the Defending Player is successful the shot may be deflected behind the goal, when play restarts with a Set Piece – Corner, or the goalkeeper catches the ball cleanly and makes a Goal Kick Pass.

    While there can be repeated Movement Phases, one after the other, after a Pass Phase has completed it must be followed by a Movement Phase. A Shoot Phase will resolve itself into a goal, a Set Piece – Corner or a Goal Kick Pass.

    P15 Needs a set-up instruction on placing your players on the pitch. Perhaps have a recommended 4-4-2 pattern, with specific hexes to use for beginners? Should there be advanced rules formalising who places their counters first / whether changes to position are possible having seen what your opponent has done?

    Kick Off Set Piece section here? Perhaps a recommendation for beginners based on the basic 4-4-2 pattern to start with a Pass back to a specific player to get them going.

    Leads on to existing Movement section

    Needs an explanation of Offside Rule – when exactly players are offside with respect to hexes.
    Need some mention of offside – are players in offside positions simply unable to be the recipients of a Pass? An advanced rule could be to have a refereeing mistake on a roll of a 6 in that a player in an offside position is permitted to play on. Otherwise the offside is given and play restarts with a Set Piece – Free Kick where the offside player was.

    P19 Include the attacker switch around the defender if they are successful in dribbling past the tackle

    P22 Are Goal Kick moves done one at a time, attacker first or all six attackers and then six defenders?

    P26 Defender success – Defending player is now the Attacking Player. Header pass to team mate within heading range and then make choice of Open Play Phases. If no team mate in header range ball ends up in open and must follow with Movement Phase (like Long Ball Pass).

    P29 Just repeat movement pattern instruction rather than referring to another page.

    P30 Worth specifying that if no defenders manage to block/deflect then Goalkeeper attempts to make save

    Offside – needs more explanation

    Substitutions when? What counts as a break in play? Set Pieces or Half Time presumably.

    P33 Home advantage – limits on using those extra six points? No attribute above six? Only one attribute can be boosted per player?

    1. oooh, lots for me to chew over there. I’ll get on it soon. Thanks!

    2. Hi Jon. I’ve just been through all of your suggestions. Thank you very much for dedicating the time to doing this! I’ve made a bunch of changes on the back of what you’ve said here 🙂

  7. Hi Colin,

    Regarding the distance stick and the passing, have you considered a templete something like this??:

    Where you may need to roll a dice depending on the distance to see how much accurate was that pass.

    Also, it seem that a cross from a sideline to the other is not possible, and that is needed for some Counter attack!!

    Maybe a longer distance stick can fix that.


      From mu understanding (after just one game!) cross field passes into space are possible using a Long Ball. Not quite the same as a long pass but a useful option!

      1. I love tht stick, Roberto! I had always wondered how to make the passes go astray; a stick like that would do the job. However…not for now – maybe something v2?

        Jon’s right about the long ball option – that’s a pass that can travel to anywhere on the pitch, but it cannot land with 5 hexes of any of your own players. It’s perfect for crossfield passes or quick counter attacks when you have a player in some space.

  8. Anonymous

    Balls into space does that require a dice roll or is it classed as a standard pass ?

    1. The only time a pass requires a dice roll is if a high pass is being attempted, and those cannot be played into space. A standard pass, first-time pass and long ball can all be played into space.

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