Football Manager-style board game created in Portobello flat backed for production

IT combines the fast-paced action of Subbuteo with the strategy of Risk to turn any kitchen table into the Hampden dugout.

Tuesday, 7th May 2019, 6:35 pm
Colin Webster, inventor of new board game 'Counter Attack'

And now, the Capital-based creators of a new football board game are celebrating after backers from around the world smashed a crowd-funding drive to put it into production in less than two weeks.

Counter Attack, which took shape in a Portobello flat, promises a Football Manager-style simulation without a computer screen and has attracted fans from as far afield as Argentina, Mexico and Australia.

Designer and Caley Thistle fan Colin Webster revealed he had the inspiration for the game back in 2014, but never intended to release it for sale.

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It combines the fast paced action of Subbuteo with the tabletop strategy of classic board games such as Risk.

However, after rekindling his passion for the concept during a game night with a work colleague, Colin, 44, began testing it among friends before listing it on Kickstarter.

And Colin admitted he was “stunned” when the game reached half its £7,000 goal in just 48 hours, before shattering the target in ten days.

The game designs are now set to be sent to China to be manufactured before it is shipped out to backers.

Colin said: “When I came up with the original concept, I spent months designing it and printing off a big playing surface, but in truth, the early version was just a bit boring.

“It was a few years before I went back to the drawing board with it and only then did I start to think there was maybe something here.”

He added: “Even when I put it up on Kickstarter, I didn’t expect it to go down so well, but now I’m trying to work out how much it costs to post things to Mexico, the support has been amazing.”

The game mimics a standard 90 minutes with both “managers” picking a team of players – who all have their own individual stats – before deciding their movements on the playing surface by the roll of a dice.

Managers must also choose how they will play, whether it is adopting a silky, Hibernian-style passing game, or lumping the ball forward to a big target man like Craig Levein’s Hearts.

Colin said: “Football is such a strategic game, but a lot of the football-based board games are seemingly aimed at kids or are very Monopoly-like, I thought there must be a gap for something a little bit more tactical.”

There is even a nod to some of Colin’s favourite football video games, with the generic player names mirroring that of the Master League mode on classic editions of Pro Evolution Soccer.

Colin added: “I wanted all of the players to have individual attributes, like they do in Fifa or Football Manager, but obviously, I can’t use real names, so one of the Kickstarter perks was that backers could have themselves in the game.

“That one was snapped up pretty quickly and you 
get a really good spread of 
different names and nationalities, so it does help keep it realistic.”

He continued: “Hopefully we will have created something that people enjoy, even to get to this point has been an amazing journey.”