WBG Score: 7
Player Count: 2-6
Published by: Prospero Hall
Designed by: Funko Games
If you haven't watched Ted Lasso yet, where have you been?! It's one of the best drama comedies I have seen recently. And it is not just for football fans. It's full of romance, comedy, drama and a whole lot more. Just like this new party game version from Funko Games. Let's get it to the table and see how it plays.
Place the game board and location mats into the center of the table. Shuffle the event cards and place four in a face down pile on the circular board. These represent the four rounds of the game. One new event is revealed each round offering a new specific rule just for that round. Shuffle up all the trouble tiles and place them all in the biscuit box, face down if possible. Then, shuffle the character cards and place one face up in each location, drawing a trouble tile for each symbol on the character card for each location. Place Coach Lasso standee on the space in the Coaches office location, and then Coach Beard onto the Training Pitch. Empty the cardboard spacer in the main box, and then place the football dice into this. The box acts as a dice tray in the game. Cool huh! Then shuffle all the Believe cards and deal them out evenly to each player, face down.
How to Play
Now, set a two minute timer. There is a free app to use, with some thematic sound effects if you prefer. Its pretty cool to use, although quite tense! But I feel that adds quite a bit to the game. Then, flip the top event card and ensure everyone has read and understood each characters power and location effect. Then, start the timer. All players will look at their cards and starting with the dealer, one player chooses one colour. All players then play all their cards of this colour face up in front of them. They can use their biscuits cards if they wish as well. They are wild in the game. Players can then discuss how to use these cards. There are three ways to do that. The main way is to place them into one of the two spaces that currently have either Coach Beard or Coach Lasso in them. Each location has a number of trouble tiles with different coloured faces on them. You need to play a card that matches each coloured face in order to remove the trouble tile.
The second way, is how you move the coaches to a new location. Place a card face up into the move a coach space on the main board and them move one coach to a new location. The final way is to place the card face down into the self care area. Then, at the end of the round, any group of five cards here can be used to get rid of one trouble tile at any location.
But remember you are up against the clock, and whatever rule the event card displayed that round. Once all cards on the chosen colour are used, the next player will choose another colour and the game will continue. When the timer is up, you must stop playing. If players use all their cards before this, just stop the timer. If anyone has any cards left in their hand when the timer goes off, you loose three moral (points).
If any characters have not had any believe cards placed in front of them, then you must add one more trouble token to this location. Then, you can remove as many trouble tiles as you can. Matching the cards you played to the colours on the trouble tokens. If any location is left without any trouble tokens, you can then score this character. They are free of troubles and ready to reward you with juicy morale! Move the point tracker the required number of spaces on the score track located around the top of the box, now dice tray. Or, if it was a footballer that scored, it will show a number of football icons instead. This shows how many times you can roll the dice, scoring points for whatever you roll.
Remember, if you have five or more self help card cards you can remove one extra trouble token. Then, replace any removed scored characters with a new character card, flip the next event card up, replace any required trouble tokens into new character locations, and shuffle up and go again.
The game has four rounds, and you need to try and reach 45 morale points to win as a group. Anything less, and the group looses. Morale was not high enough, and everyone reaches for the biscuit tin/pub.
Is it fun?
There is so much humour in this game. On the cards there are some very amusing quotes and jokes from the show. But you won't ever really have time to read this in the game. But try and take some time between rounds to read a few out oud. Especially if you are playing the game with other fans of the show.
There are so many nods to the TV programme in this game. From the obvious things such as the characters, sets, quotes, and theme, to more subtle things such as the biscuits and pink box they come in. When I saw that, I genuinely said out loud, "Oh, what a nice touch." And I was alone at the time, setting up!
All the characters are themed so well, and the art is direct photography from the episodes. Which is some games, just doesn't work. But here, being from a live action TV show is the right choice. It looks good, comes with clear and simple symbols, and adds to the overall theme.
The box that becomes the dice tray is awesome. More games should do this. What a great way to use the box. It's so simple and yet so thematic and pleasing. This is also the score tracker too, which works very well, although the clip is quite stiff, and instead of sliding it, I have to take it off and replace it each time. For fear of ripping the artwork.
The dice is pretty cool too. The shape of a football, and with lots of sides, it wobbles and rolls a perfect amount. Not so much you get board waiting, but the perfect amount to make it look like a ball rolling around a football pitch.
But you asked a question. It is fun? And I seem to be stalling. So, let me answer this now. Yes, it really is a lot of fun. This game looks a bit cheesy. Or maybe even like a lazy TV spin off money maker from the box alone. But inside is a game much like the show. Full of charm, character, and a lot of laughs.
The frantic rounds of trying to pick the right card based on which characters need what, and where the coach minis currently are is challenging, and tense under the time pressure. More so with your friends all shouting at you. But then once a colour is picked, you then need to decide how to best use those cards. How many do you need to put where, and can you place a few before using one to move the coach to help another character out. All under time pressure.
It's funny to see how well you have done, when the timer ends you can then calmly go through each location to see if you plans have paid off. Often you will find a random extra card you don't need, or a colour that was never useful here and you will wonder why and how it got there when all players insist they were not the one to place it! But getting it right feels good. Removing the troubles and scoring a character rewards each player with a warm sense of achievement.
I would recommend this to anyone who is looking for a new fun party game to play with a group of friends who have enjoyed the show. Would people have as much fun playing this had they not watched the show? I would say no. And evidence for me of playing with and without fans of the show proves this. But it was still be entertaining for them, but a lot of the charm was lost on them. So, really this is for fans of the show. But most spin off products are, right? I found most of the games of Tad Lasso I won, but as the great Roy Kent once said, "Enjoy your trophies for winning nothing." Winning or loosing, it is great fun. But the game seems well balanced to allow you to mostly achieve success in the final round. But I did have a few occasions where we smashed it and won in round two! But generally speaking, I would say the scoring is well set. And of course, they are your only options. Win, or loose. “If God would have wanted games to end in a tie, she wouldn’t have invented numbers.”