(Although in English we use the term ‘diving’ these rules will preserve the German expression ‘swallow’ – By the way: the title may also be translated as “Mililons from Swallows/Dives” )
The game components allow for the formation of any type of football tournament – the following rules specifically replicating the final 16 teams in the World Cup, control of which is divided amongst the players. Each team’s strength is represented by the number of cards it starts the game with. In each match one player plays a (green) ‘Offensive Manoeuvre’ card – to which the opponent can play a (blue) ‘Defensive’ card. In addition teams posses ‘special’ (red) cards, which can also be played. This procedure is usually followed by a shot at goal for which the attacker rolls a die (modified by the cards played) – a goal being scored on a roll of 7 or more (unless ‘saved’ by the goal keeper) This procedure alternates between the players until both decide to stop – the match then being over. A third player plays the ref who is allowed to determine the outcome of uncertain events plus modifying die rolls – for which he is allowed to accept bribes! At the end of the match players surrender blue and green cards played but retrieve the red cards. The acquisition of replacement cards is dependent upon the outcome of the match. At the end of the game prize money is awarded. In additional players are allowed to bet on the final positions of the teams, which can produce a substantially higher income than the prize money. Then the player with the most money is the winner.
Two sheets (back and front) from the Record Block are placed in the centre of the table so that the Teams for Groups A, B, C and D can be seen. The cards are sorted according to their colours (having removed the Ref. card from the blue deck) and are shuffled. (Before shuffling the red deck remove the ‘Personalised’ cards applicable to certain nations)
16 teams form the four groups A-D Argentina is at the top of Group A, Brazil Group B, France Group C, and Germany Group D. (But advanced players might even want to change this set-up) 12 more Teams are needed to complete the set-up. (chosen or selected randomly...)
Once the 16 teams have been chosen they are distributed among the players in whatever way is preferred. This can be random (but ensuring that the same player does not receive more than one of the top teams) or, which is preferable, they can be displayed and players choose a team - first in clockwise rotation and then anti-clockwise, and then clockwise, etc. When there are insufficient left to equally satisfy each player give the remaining teams to the player(s) whose total card value (sum of figures top right) is the least, but not to the German player as Germany is stronger than the card value might indicate...
The teams are then placed into their groups. This, too, can be done randomly or by general agreement (But do not let a single player have more than two teams in the same group).
The players put their Nation Cards on the table in front of them. They take any Special (Personalised) Red Cards to which a Nation is entitled (shown with a star). They then randomly take as many red (non-personalised) + blue + green cards as indicated on their Nation Card. These cards belong to the Nation and not to the player. So each Nation’s cards must be kept separate. The players may look at the cards of their own teams. All remaining red/blue/green cards (but not the personalised ones) are than shuffled together to form a Draw Pile.
Betting (via the Betting Block)
Each player has at his disposal 100M (Millions of Roubles, the Currency of the game.) Each may bet on as many teams as he wishes but he may not place more than one bet on a single team.
A bet must be for:
(V) = reaching the quarter finals for a payout of 16M
(F) = reaching the final for a payout of 36M
(S) = winning the tournament for 56M.
The amount of the stake is always the strength figure (top right) shown on the Nation Card.
It is a game rule that all players must bet on Germany but they have the choice of making it a V,F or S bet. During this phase of the game players may talk amongst themselves, give recommendations and warnings about their teams. But they may not show cards of their teams or their betting slip to other players.
Example: A bet on Mexico reaching the final (F) costs 11M. If it’s successfull you’ll get a payout of 36M, even if Mexico wins the tournament. If Mexico only reaches the quarter finals you don’t get anything. (not even 16M as you didn’t place a bet for V)
The record Block indicates the order of the matches in the game.
The Magic ‘7’ (successful actions need to reach a value of 7 or more)
In every match the first named team is regarded as being the Home Team. Before the start of the match the Home Team draws one additional card from the Draw Pile The Visiting Team starts the match as the first ‘Attacker’ by playing an Attack (green) card. The Attack may possibly be followed by a Defence card of the opponent (the ‘Defender’), a possible shoot on the Goal, maybe saved with a Goalie card. After the Attack is completely resolved play switches between players and the Home Team plays an Attack card. This procedure of alternating Attacks continues until one player decides he does not wish to play any more Attack cards. He is then limited to defending should his opponent continue playing Attack cards. Play continues until the second player also decides not to play any more Attack cards.
The Attack Cards (Green, A) In all matches both teams must play at least one green card – assuming they have one. If the value of attack is ‘0’ the attack is abortive and the attacking initiative passes to the other player. If the attack has a strength of 1 or more that attack is threatening. The opponent then has three options:
Offside (blue) The defender rolls a die.
Shooting for Goal
If the defender did not defend, or if a call for Offside fails, or if a free kick or a penalty is given the attacker rolls a die.
Some of the cards directly score a “Tor” (Goal) with a Attacker committing a Foul. If the Foul is called nothing happens and the initiative passes.
“Eigentor” is a Goal on your own side.
“Swallows/Schwalbe” (Green, S) The attacking player can play a green Schwalbe card in place of a normal Attack card. In this way he does not shoot for the goal but just faints a foul, hoping to secure a free kick or a penalty. In such cases the defender can only protest – no defence card is permitted. The attacking player rolls a die to which is added the Foul-Value of the Schwalbe.
Special Cards (Red) Each cards states when it can be played. Some can be played in place of a green or blue card. Some can be played as a modifier in addition to other cards. Also more than one modifier can be played at any one time where this makes sense. NOTE: At the end of each match the red cards are returned to the player, whilst other (played) cards are lost.
End of the Match
At the end of a match the points are entered on the pad. A Win secures 3 points / A Draw 1 point
The teams take new cards from the draw pile as follows:
Whilst other players are not permitted to read the text on drawn cards, they can, of course, observe the colour of the backs of the cards.
“Taking Part is more important than Winning!”
Is the motto after the qualifying round is terminated. The top two of each group move forward to the Quarter Finals (as indicated on the Record). Eliminated teams hand in all their cards and their National Card (which is removed from the game).
The teams moving to the Quarter Finals take at random one Special Card*. This represents the effect of the rest they will now have.
(*This is taken from the shuffled Special Cards (never the Personalised cards) that remained in the Deck or were returned by the eliminated teams. If there are not sufficient you may even mix in some unused Personalised ones. In the rare case that this is still insufficient (which may often happen if you play a World Cup with 32 Teams) let the teams draw a random card from the newly mixed Deck of remaining and discarded blue, green, and non-personalised red cards.)
Then all cards plus any remaining special cards are shuffled to form a new draw pile.
The Quarter Finals sees the start of the Elimination Matches where only victorious teams move forward to the next round. In the case of a draw (after the normal Time) Extra Time is played. Each team (starting with the guest team) may again play Attack Cards if they wish (followed by defence cards as usual). Some of the red cards may only be played in Extra Time (“Verlängerung”)
If there is still a draw it goes to a Penalty Shoot Out. Both teams shoot five Penalties (5). “Goalie” cards can be played. If it is still a draw both teams continue until victory.
In any match going into Extra Time or a Penalty Shoot Out the winner takes only 2 cards from the Draw Pile
In the Final both teams are fully motivated. They must play all of their green Cards. But the use of blue and red cards is not mandatory. If it comes to a Penalty Shoot Out “Goalie Cards” must be played – assuming that they would lead to a save
The Pay Out
After the Final has been played players receive Trainers’ fees for their teams as follows:
Then the Bets are also paid out. The player with the most cash is the winner
At the start of the game the Ref. card is given to the player who controls Germany.
After each match the Ref card is passed one place to the left. It is then passed further on - to the player on the left - if its recipient is controlling one of the teams in the match.
Each player can once only during the whole Tournament and prior to the start of the match object to the choice of Ref. In this case the card is once more passed one place to the left.
The referee has the power of determining a situation where there is an element of doubt:
‘Knobbling the Ref.’
Once the Referee for a match has been agreed he is then ‘available’ for bribes! The moment he accepts a bribe from a player each shows the transferred money on their account sheet. Once a bribe has been accepted the Ref. may not during the course of the match make an arbitrary decision (Penalty Area) nor a dice adjustment against the interests of his sponsor. Nor can he call a special ‘out of the blue’ penalty against that team. It is most important to understand the Ref’s responsibilities in relation to his Sponsor. Whilst he is not permitted to make an arbitrary decision against the interests of his Sponsor, he is not compelled to intervene in favour of his Sponsor. For example, in the case of a die roll, whilst he would not be allowed to adjust the die roll to the disadvantage of his Sponsor’s team, he would not be compelled to adjust it so that it favoured his Sponsors team – he could merely let it stand.
It is an ethic that the Ref. is not allowed to make any decision against Germany! However even Refs are human and may make a mistake on a particularly bad day. If a Ref decides anything against Germany (modifying a die roll, decisions on the edge of the penalty area, etc.) he will, once the match is over, be banned from refereeing any further matches in the tournament.
A ‘Dummy’ Ref The situation could arise where nobody is available to referee a match – all being either objected to or banned. In this case there is no Ref. as such. Instead, any arbitrary decision as to whether it should be a Penalty or Free Kick is decided in favour of Free Kick. And all die rolls stand without any adjustment.
Special rules for tournaments involving 32 teams
The Tournament with 16 teams will take 2 hours to play. (The World Cups until 1978 and the actual European Cups were played like this)
If you want to play an actual World Cup with 32 teams feel free to do so. The tournament might take some time but still needs tactics to be won. The following rules apply:
Either download the appropriate record sheet from www.fatamorgana.ch/schwalben or use 2 of the normal (16-Team) records and let the two winners play the big finale.
Translation: Derek Carver, with additions by Lukas Merlach
Copyright Fata Morgana Spiele, Bern, Schweiz
Those rules are still „Work in Progress“.
Of course you will not be able to enjoy the realistic commentary of soccer games you get by simply reading out aloud all the cards that are played. But we tried to include rough translations to make the game playable even if you don’t uderstand any German. If you find any mistakes or missing translations just ask us. (verlag at fatamorgana dot ch)