If you want to learn how to play Counter Attack, then this is the place for you.

On this page, you can:

Download the rule book (in multiple languages)
Watch videos explaining the rules
See amendments to the rule book
Read the frequently asked questions

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Download the rule book

View and download the Rules of Play on Issuu here.

Or you can download the PDF  from the links below:

Download the English language version

Download in English


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Coming soon: The Rules of Play in Dutch and French.



The Movement Phase:

Passing, Heading and the Zone of Influence:

All about shooting:

Learn from watching this 45-minute game:

5 Questions people tend to ask:

Drafting Players:


Amendments to the rule book

Sometimes the incoming pace of great ideas is faster than printing deadlines, so some ideas didn’t quite make the rule book! The amendments listed in this section will be added to the rule book on the next print run. We find the game works even better with these in place.

Successful tackles
Following a successful tackle, the player who takes the ball can move into one of the hexes surrounding the opponent. This mirrors what happens after an unsuccessful tackle. The rule book says the players simply swap positions (if desired). We find the amendment gives a better advantage to the player who has made the tackle.

Corner kicks and free kicks
Before taking corner kicks and free kicks, the attacking manager picks up and moves 3 players to anywhere on the pitch. The defending manager then does the same. The managers repeat this process until 6 moves have been made (the same player can move more than once). The rule book says the attacking manager moves all 6, then the defending manager moves 6. We find this amendment is more realistic and it removes the possibility of the attacking manager blocking off the opponent.

Moving the goalkeeper
Whenever the ball moves into the box – whether through a dribble, a high pass, standard pass or shot – the goalkeeper always gets a free move of 1 hex. This helps you get your goalkeeper into position for a potential save attempt.


Frequently Asked Questions

Can I pass during a Movement Phase?
No. You cannot pass until the entire Movement Phase comes to an end. However, you can shoot during a Movement Phase if you manage to run with the ball into the box.


Do I have to pass the ball to my player’s feet?
No. You can pass the ball into space. Resume play with a Movement Phase. Attacking team moves first.


If there is a loose ball and I start a Movement Phase, can one of my players collect the ball and keep moving with it?
Yes. Your player can move according to their pace attribute. If your player’s pace is 5 and you move 2 hexes to collect the ball, you can then move the final 3 hexes with the ball (if you want to).


Can I move my goalkeeper in a Movement Phase?
Yes. Your keeper has a pace attribute as well. Use it wisely – perhaps you want to play as a sweeper keeper. But, whatever you do, don’t forget that your keeper can only dive 3 hexes parallel to the goal line. You don’t want to get caught out!


Is the maximum dice penalty -1 when you shoot?
No. -3 is possible! Dice penalties accumulate: you get -1 for a snapshot, -1 for shooting from outside the area and -1 for shooting from the awkward angle spots.


When an opponent tries to run past me with the ball, can I make a tackle in the normal way?
No, but you can take the ball from your opponent. If the opponent runs into your Zone of Influence, roll the dice. If you roll a 6, you win the ball. If you roll a 1, you commit a foul. Any other number rolled means you play on.


What happens after a successful or unsuccessful tackle?
If you are the attacking team and a defender tries and fails to win a tackle, your attacker can skip around that defender to any hex surrounding the defender. This can be a very handy way to advance forward with the ball. The same happens if the defender wins the tackle: the defender takes the ball and then gets to skip around the [former] attacker to any surrounding hex. Note that this is a change to the printed rules: the rules state that the defender and the attacker simply swap places if the defender wins the tackle.


Is there offside in Counter Attack?
Yes. If a player is in an offside position and the ball is passed either (a) to that player’s feet or (b) into an area near where that player has influence (i.e. they are in the way of opponents or they move towards the pass), then the player is called offside. Resume play with a free kick to the opposition team.