This weekend I felt like gettingEleven: Football Manager to the table to continue to explore and learn 2/3 of the remaining expansions I've yet to try. I also was playing around with a new setup on the table using my new game mat (love it!). Here's how the setup turned out yesterday ...
Just to my left is my little side table I keep the other components (I use the old Viticulture insert for those, which works perfectly).
Here I am playing with ...
-International Players Expansion
-Unexpected Events Expansion
I finished a respectable 4th in the league table and felt good about what my club accomplished over the 6-week season. 😀
Today, it was time to add in the Interational Cup Expansion!!! This brings another board to the table, so once again I adjusted my table setup slightly and it felt very comfortable!! 😎
I had a tough season today though, and in the end didn't fair so well. With the International cup expansion, from week 3 and on you play 2-games per week: Wednesday is cup games and the weekends are your normal league games. The mid-week cup game obviously brings more fans, which can bring more income however you have to manage your players more cautiously because (as in real football) they get tired playing more games.
The International Cup is a signal knockout format (think round of 16 in UEFA or World Cup). Pull up your socks and get the 3-pts, otherwise you're team is out! I learned that (unfortunately today) as we didn't even make it through the first game with a 3-0 beating. 😥 The nice thing from the game perspective is, you can go back to focusing on your regular weeks as you would without this expansion. The bad thing is, you get VPs at the end of your season based on how you finish in the Cup. If you don't make it past the first game, you get -3VPs at the end of your season. 😥 Just like in real football, the further your club goes in big tournaments like this, the more money/team benefits you get (or VPs in this case).
The season just wasn't going well for me really. We finished 6th in the table. Not a good showing this season. We just couldn't seem to gain any momentum despite having a good staff and players in place.
Thomas Jansen the designer really nailed it with this game and it's expansions! The theme is absolutely present throughout the entire season of play, every time you bring this game to the table. And the variety of options for gameplay (especially with the expansions) is incredible! 😍 I really don't see myself playing without using ALL the expansions (unless I'm teaching it to somone). They all fit perfectly and just as in real life, their impacts may or may not come into play throughout your season. Fantastic!
The only things I haven't done yet is played with the solo campaign expansion or the scenarios that game with the base game. The solo campaign expansion in particular looks amazing, however it says in the rulebook it "..is not recommended to combine the solo campaign with either the unexpected events or international cup expansions" (poo! 😫) It then says... "However, if you decide to combine them, ignore the special scenario rules affecting matches when playing cup matches" 😯 Woo Hoo!!! It also includes more board meeting cards, objective cards and director cards which can be used while playing without the campaign as well. All expansions are wonderful in this regard, creating bigger decks for more variety and things that make you think!
Finally, I have to brag about my decision making and organizing for a moment. Sometimes I do smart things... 😆
I figured out a very organized and satifsying storage setup for the base game and all expansions. This is the base game box and my old insert from Viticulture Essentials edition. I mentioned in a previous post of mine that since I have the Viticulture wine crate, I put my old insert to good use and it works perfectly for Eleven: Football Manager. I saw a picture of another person storing their cards in this manner as well (right side of the box) which really helps save space. All my expansion cards and components are in here, along with every rulebook in one place (expansion rulebooks are all nice and small). The only thing missing (but not for long!) is the solo campaign rulebook, cards and components. 😁
I'll say it again - this game is right up there with Scythe for me at the top of my favourite games!! It brings my lifelong passion to the table in such a fun way. 😍