Hat-Trick - card-driven football (soccer) sim for 2 players
(Visit our website to read complete reviews of the 'Hat-Trick' Base Game)
In theory Hat-Trick started over 20 years ago. Back in our teenage years, infected with football fever, we spent all days playing football managers (first on Amiga, then on PC). Dissatisfied with their limitations, we decided to make our own tabletop simulation. Thus, the journey through several editions of football games had begun (you can read the entire story here).
Our main goal when we created this game was to replace luck, chance and randomness by high realism and replayability.
Two decades and a dozen of games later, in 2014, we decided to put our passion into practice and, thus, Hat-Trick was born. Take a look what we’ve come up with.
So, what is it all about?
(scroll down to the 'How to play' section to watch video-tutorials)
Football is all about scoring goals and so is Hat-Trick. To score goals you'll need to capitalize on the scoring opportunities you create. Scoring opportunities result from strong build-up play.
1. Build-up play
Look at these little footballs on the Player Cards. These are players’ stats, namely – attack and defense.
So when you move a player, you basically use his stats to strengthen the line you have moved into (and weaken the one you have left). In other words a big part of the build-up game is about balancing your formations, just like in real football.
2. Scoring Opportunity
Once you're near to your opponents goal a Scoring Opportunity is created. Scoring Opportunity is similar to the buid-up play but much faster. No adding up footballs, no counting – this time the focus is set on player movement and choosing the perfect timing to perform your actions.
Try to outmaneuver you opponent to find best shooting position!
3. Shot on goal
And finally, everybody's favourite part, no matter it it is real football or Hat-Trick. To some extent the shoot on goal is a mini-game of bluffing and mind reading and therefore the only part of the game where a bit of luck is involved. Make your appointments with the Football Gods!
Later 2014 we took the 'Hat-Trick' Base Game to Essen to see, if the game could rise to the challenge of SPIEL's demanding international audience. The positive feedback we have received back then kept us working on the Hat-Trick 'Players' Expansion ever since.
(Read the comments the 'Hat-Trick' Base Game has received after SPIEL 14 here)
...but most important of all - we had lots of fun...
In Hat-Trick Base Game players function as one unit in order to realize your tactical assumptions.
What we needed, however, was some individuality. After all, football is all about individuals. We wanted to recognize our players. To have our Men of the Match. To see who underperformed.
And, thus, we came up with the idea for the expansion. Have a look.
From now on your team will not only operate on macro-level but you will also have to micro-manage it. If it gets funded, the Players Expansion will – first and foremost – introduce 22 player roles, replacing the Base Games' Player Cards with those.
And now imagine you have 22 of those, each available in the regular and star variant. This amounts to 44 different skills to choose from when setting up your team.
(Visit our homepage where we introduce the new Player Cards one by one).
Beforehand, however, we need a way to determine how many players you can have in your team. This is where another new thing comes handy: the Budget Cards. Here’s how they look.
Shortly speaking, if we wanted to create a defensive-minded team of 2nd tier, we would have 21 stars to spend on defensive players and 9 on offensive ones.
We realize, however, that you may want to leave the transfer dealings to the board and simply play football. In that case, we have prepared something for you as well. Behold.
24 national teams – fully customized, up-to-date and ready to play. Just flip them over and follow the guidelines. And by ‘guidelines’ we mean pretty straightforward illustrated set-up. Take a look.
We simply take the Player Cards illustrated on the Team Card and place them on the 'pitch'. Have a look.
So, basically, what we end up with looks similar to the base game set-up. Only this time we have new players on the field. And now, with all those individual skills at their disposal, they can really make a difference.
(Visit our homepage and click yourself through all the teams)
And last but not least, the expansion will introduce a few new match events – for example, corners – which, we felt, were missing from the base game.
But this probably does not tell you much if you’ve never played the base game.
Note that the following Video-Trainings refer mainly to the base game. The 'Players' Expansion introduces player skills and a few new rules which broaden the scope of the existing system but the basic 'engine' stays intact. For more, see the last part of this section.
From now on, in place of the Player Cards from the base game we will be using Player Cards from the expansion (devoid of skills so as not to complicate matters).
The goal of the build-up play is to place your player with the ball in the final line of the pitch (in front of your opponent’s goal). Doing so will trigger a Scoring Opportunity (presented in the video number 3).
The game in midfield is highly tactical and requires plenty of skill to outplay your opponent.
Scoring Opportunity is similar to the buid-up play but much faster. No adding up footballs, no counting – this time it's all about player movement. Try to outmaneuver you opponent to find best shooting position.
And finally, everybody's favourite part, no matter it it is real football or Hat-Trick.
We don’t have any videos for you here because there’s no need. If you understand the basic game system, you know everything there’s to know. Players will simply allow you to ‘bypass’ certain rules or use them in a slightly modified fashion. Hava a look at the Playmaker to get a better idea.
If you decide to sign, let’s say, a gold Playmaker, his skills will let you make a Short Pass that will travel not 1 but 2 lines forward. This is supposed to reflect his vision and creativity.
Note, however, that once you use the skill, the player flips to the other side leaving you – in this particular case – with a regular Playmaker. To flip back, you will have to use his regular skill which lets you replace the Action Card played that turn but only if it is stronger than your opponent’s card.
As you can guess, regular skills are bit more difficult to execute but that is the idea – using (and losing) your gold skill is supposed to be easy. Raising your game, on the other hand, will require some effort.
But that will also differ from player to player. Let’s take a look at, possibly, the easiest player to flip no matter if it’s his star or regular side.
This player, on the other hand, flips to the other side whenever he participates in his teams’ action – either defensive or offensive. So, even though his skill may not be so impressive as the Playmaker’s (hence the lower price), he makes up for it with his, well, versatility. Enough to say that before tests we have thought that he‘ll never make it to the final version. In the end, he‘s become one of our favourite squad ‘fillers’.
To sum up, you will have 22 players, each with 2 skills, giving you 44 skills to choose from when selecting your starting XI. If you wish to see them all, just visit our homepage.
And now, let’s wrap up by showing you what you are getting for your money.
This campaign is primarily concerned with the ‘Players’ expansion. However, we assume that you might be new to Hat-Trick and – since the expansion requires the base game – you can get it here as well.
Still, we’d like to begin by presenting you the content of the expansion followed by the base game.
Keep in mind that the ‘Players’ Expansion requires the base game. So if you are new to Hat-Trick and don’t have the base game yet, please choose other pledge levels.
The Manager is one of the most basic pledge levels where you can get the base game ‘Hat-Trick’ and the ‘Players’ Expansion. For those, however, that already have the base game, we offer the chance of choosing 2 expansions instead, so you could create symmetrical line-ups with, for example, 2 Playmakers in one team.
Like THE MANAGER pledge level above, only including the 'Hat-Trick' Base Game.
Football is full of surprises and so are our stretch goals! For every 100€ raised above the minimum funding goal, we'll show our gratitude to our backers by adding one card to the 'Players' Expansion box.Which additional card you have unlocked will be revealed the very moment the stretch goal is reached.
There will be 2 types of stretch goal cards: national teams and backer all-star teams
All the games ordered by Kickstarter will be delivered with stretch goals which will have been unlocked. There won't be any additional shipping cost.
This is how we'll use your pledge.
The largest chunk; 75% will be used for the actual production of the games in the factory. The more pledges we receive, the more games we can produce!
15% of the money we raise we’ll be spending on bringing the game to your door!
Kickstarter fees take up 10% of the pledges and includes admin and payment handling fees.
The game is practically ready to print. We will be working with the same manufacturer that printed the base game, so there will be no unwelcome surprises. You, the backers, are our top priority and we feel communication is a non-negotiable necessity in this relationship. If there are any adjustments or changes you will be notified.
Kickstarter 21.VI.2016 – 21.VII.2016
Production 22.VII.2016 – 16.IX.2016
Shipping to EU 19.IX.2016 – 30.IX.2016
Shipping outside EU 19.IX.2016 – 14.X.2016
As for shipping, we like to keep it simple. All pledge levels already include averaged shipping costs. In terms of shipping we cooperate with a reputable national company. Enough to say, each and every game we ever sold has reached its destination. We hope to keep it that way.
Our goal for is to create an ongoing ‘Hat-Trick’ brand not just a one time Kickstarter project.As for the Hat-Trick Base Game we can already boast about an ongoing cooperation with such well-known German player as
Retailers or partners can contact us directly via mail at unplugged[at]@htspiel.de. Visit our website for more information.
We have hundreds of ideas for future expansion which include:
Risks and challenges
We have already two games under our belt. The first one was Moto-Craze Speedway, released in 2013 (back then we operated as ZGrani).
One year later we moved to Germany and changed our name to Unplugged where we released Hat-Trick. Both games had exactly the same format (box, number of cards, rulebook) and were printed by the same trusted and reliable people. Everything worked fine.
Now, we want to continue with exactly the same format and the same people. In other words, we know what we are doing so you can trust us. All we need is your support.
- (30 days)