Designer Diary: Eleven | BoardGameGeek News

Board Game: Eleven: Football Manager Board Game

Hi! I’m Thomas Jansen, designer of Eleven. As well as Ignacy Trzewiczek and their development group at Portal Games, we’ve labored on Eleven for the long time. Hopefully you’ll appreciate it up to we did creating it.

How Everything Started

Back in 2016, I made the decision to create a soccer supervisor game. I happened to be for a vacation. We sat down during the dining table using this empty paper facing me personally and began composing and drawing my very first a few ideas.

The main thing had been the theme. It needed to be a genuine experience, with countless activities and decision-making to offer the gamer the sensation to be a genuine club supervisor. I’d enjoyed plenty soccer supervisor games on my Computer. Should anyone ever played one, you understand how addicting it may be. We regularly play all day and hours until 3 o’clock each morning. I recall calling the authorities one evening after watching a burglary effort within my next-door neighbors — bad, although my chosen club went for advertising that evening. Life’s saturated in pros and cons.

I desired the gamer of my game to possess that exact same feeling. After numerous months of development and playtests, Club tales came to be. Just 200 copies had been created for my Elven Ear Games. Players had been extremely good concerning the game, and quickly there have beenno copies. We nevertheless get e-mails from individuals asking me personally whether i’ve a duplicate kept.

I visited the Dutch meeting Spellenspektakel to demo Club tales. Kurt van Hoeyveld (a.k.a., The Vitrivian Gamer) had been demoing for Portal Games. He liked Club tales really and promised to provide a duplicate to Ignacy Trewiczek, owner of Portal Games.

I knew Ignacy actually soccer fan. He when did a YouTube video clip about soccer games he enjoyed. After a few years, we received a brief message from him: “i must say i enjoy your game. I wish to publish it global.”


That’s just how everything began. We visited SPIEL in which We came across the people from Portal Games. We consumed some their Polish snacks and returned house to start out a fresh stage for Club tales.

Club Tales actually solamente game, so we must change it out in to a 1-4 player game. Plenty needed to be done. Ignacy, their development group, and I also visited work.

We never ever came across in actual life throughout the procedure of development. We reside ten hours aside. We did numerous video clip phone calls; delivered huge number of e-mails, WhatsApp communications, game play videos, etc. A few of the modifications we introduced, i’ll talk about below.

First the title changed: Club tales became Eleven.

Club Tales includes a press-your-luck dice system. This method works well in a solamente game because it’s extremely thematic and contributes to your tale, your adventure. Obviously, you will not be successful at getting Messi towards club each time you decide to try.

But we quickly discovered this technique is not perfect whenever playing multiplayer competitively. It may be quite difficult once you cannot be successful at an essential action as well as your opponent does simply because of this consequence of a die roll.

This is excatly why Ignacy introduced a difference.

Club Tales has four songs. The spending plan track creates money, although the other songs (physical fitness, morale, fans) cannot. As an alternative, they’re utilized during particular tests: low physical fitness means a heightened potential for accidents, low morale can cause suspensions, etc.

Ignacy kept the thought of the cash-producing spending plan track. He introduced similar system to another songs. Now, every track creates its resources, which you yourself can spend to complete particular actions. You will need physical fitness tokens to stimulate your players, fans to refill the really stands, operations (formerly morale) to provide you with extra actions.

From gallery of ThomasJansen

This approach decreases the crucial dice-rolling moments up to a minimum. You nevertheless roll dice during the board conference and match effects, you can re-roll as much times you would like for those who have sufficient fan resources to complete it.

But nevertheless, often…you are only unlucky. It occurs. A suspension system, a two-week-long damage. That is soccer.

Another thing that changed had been the match system. Computer soccer supervisor players understand this is certainly merely a tiny element of good supervisor game, but we place in plenty hours to have it appropriate.

I will begin by suggesting the real history of this match system.

whenever We designed Club tales, i needed to create a soccer supervisor game, prompted by the fantastic supervisor games in the Computer. I didn’t desire to produce a soccer game. Do not get me personally incorrect; I happened to be a massive fan of this Fifa show. We also were able to turn into a nationwide top 50 player in the Computer about a decade ago, but i needed this game become about managing a soccer club.

That does not mean matches are not crucial, but I’d to locate a fast system the match-resolution component that did not just take a lot of time and had been interesting sufficient, therefore I developed a method that worked well. You can find three areas in the pitch: ahead, midfield, and protection. There was space for four players in each line. It is possible to put player cards here, or make use of the energy 1 player currently here. You decide on your players by placing cubes on it. You have to provide a player one away from two feasible tasks: you will need to get (ball) or press (shield). You assign these tasks by putting the gamer card onto a ball or shield area. The forward part has 3 balls and 1 shield to select from, the midfield has 2 balls versus 2 shields, and protection has 3 shields and 1 ball. Each area is set alongside the reverse area of one’s opponent. Including, your protection area is set alongside the forward area. Your players whom you will need to get (ball) are set alongside the players that are pushing (shield), etc. You decide on which players meet. The scoring effort of the player works if their energy is greater than the pushing player. For complete details, browse a Club tales playthrough on YouTube.

From gallery of ThomasJansen

Club Tales had been effective as well as the match system had been loved by the players. It fits the sort of game Club tales is.

So this is where Eleven shot to popularity. Ignacy and their group quickly developed the jersey tokens. It is possible to flip the tokens to improve the tasks of this players. You’re additionally capable place more players in a part. We utilized nine parts, in place of three, for faster resolving. Additionally provided more choices for the flanks. Exactly how cool would it not be to possess these jersey tokens in your pitch and also go them anywhere you would like such as a genuine supervisor prior to this match on their whiteboard? We additionally wished to ensure it is harder for the defender to get an objective, so we had other a few ideas.

These brand new a few ideas managed to make it plenty cooler. Rather than just choosing the fixed Club tales system that currently worked well, we began a more available and free proven fact that provided many choices and alternatives for the players — but due to this freedom, the possibility of this system being “hacked”, in other words., getting a solution to constantly win, increases aswell.

We had plenty cool a few ideas, so we additionally got some recommendations away from you dudes, but each and every good notion would have to be tested completely. We did not are interested become hacked! We’d a few playtesters (usually Munchkin players, based on Ignacy) whom broke a fresh concept. They allow their groups perform in systems that soccer fans like united states never ever looked at. Keep in mind, we’re able to experienced a method prepared ahead of the Gamefound web page went real time, but we did not desire to. We simply desired an ideal system, an ideal experience.

From gallery of ThomasJansen

There had been no goalkeeper in Club tales, but following the beginning of the Eleven campaign, many people had been requesting one. Some had been talking about the title of this game. Exactly how could we’ve just ten players in the pitch and phone the overall game Eleven?! cannot argue with that, obviously.

So we have added goalkeepers. Keepers could make saves. The greater they’re, the greater amount of and better efforts they may be able stop. They might also develop in to the coolest players in the pitch, I think. As a result of your needs.

The match system had been the most difficult component to build up. It took lots of time, but we wished to do so well. Whenever we produced Computer soccer supervisor, we’re able to have released the overall game and delivered you lots of spots afterward that fixed issues, but we have been creating a game. And besides that, we would like to enable you to get a really, extremely great soccer supervisor experience.

For a far more step-by-step description, check out the manual right here on BGG.

Eleven is over a dry soccer supervisor. It is an event. After having a game of Eleven, it’s possible to share with the tale of one’s period as though it just happened for genuine, therefore let’s present a synopsis of the week (round) during the club.

From gallery of ThomasJansen

what is Eleven about?

Eleven actually competitive strategy game for 1 to 4 players occur the planet of soccer. In solamente mode, you perform against various situations.

Your task is handle and develop your soccer club during the period of a period and outperform other groups. It is usually good to get rid of up greater into the league than your opponents, but remember there clearly was more to it. Do not forget you’re not playing Fifa 23. You are a supervisor; you will find various ways of end up being the most readily useful one, therefore avoid being amazed as soon as your buddies’ club leads to mid-table and wins the overall game, as you took the name.

whenever you have arranged very first game of Eleven, it seems somewhat such as your very first time as supervisor during the club, therefore allow me to provide you with a trip:

From gallery of ThomasJansen

Every player has three panels facing them that express the arena, the boardroom, while the pitch.


This is where in actuality the secret occurs. Just what a view, right? Listed here is in which you place your fans. For those who have an adequate amount of them, you’ll offer out of the arena. You should use sponsor cards to refill the advertising panels for more income, or make sure they are be your kit sponsor. There is also space to grow the arena. If you believe your club is much too big for the arena, why not expand it having handful of really stands? More fans brings you more cash each round, or build brand new training grounds for better performance and group physical fitness. Just a few examples.

From gallery of ThomasJansen


Welcome to your boardroom. See those empty seats? There was space for three directors. They’ll make crucial choices for the club. Yes, they are doing, maybe not you — even though there are techniques to influence them. Below it are four songs in which you monitor your appeal, operations, physical fitness, and funds.

From gallery of ThomasJansen

Pitch Board

Let’s go exterior. Mmm, rainfall. In the pitch board, you make your line-up utilizing the jersey tokens. Go them over the board until such time you are pleased. I’m able to inform you, you’ll feel just like a genuine mentor whenever going these pieces.

There can be space the present opponent card. You’re working at a specialist club. Scouts offer details about the future opponent. According to this, you are able to choose strategies and select a line-up. With this board, additionally you get the match rating while the match effects dining table, that you utilize after having a match. It is fundamentally regularly observe the players got through match. Accidents you can do, stats may alter.

From gallery of ThomasJansen

Transfer Area

In the center of the dining table could be the transfer area, open to all players. Right here you are able to employ staff, purchase players, agreement brand new sponsors, and discover brand new strategies.

League Table

On an inferior board you retain monitoring of the league dining table. You can find eight AI groups into the game. You perform against them, however they perform their matches, too. Some are top groups, some normal, plus some are fighting against relegation. You shouldn’t be tricked because they have actually a few techniques to play and may also opt for a various line-up the next time you perform against them.

From gallery of ThomasJansen

In a four-player game there are not any less than 13 panels available!

Every round is known as a week. From Monday to Thursday, activities you can do and actions are taken. In the weekends a match is played.

Are you settled? Let us take effect then.


First part of the early morning, you obtain your resource tokens the week. You check your four songs and gain that quantity, therefore if your allowance track are at 2, you get 2 money. If the morale track are at 4, you get 4 morale.

From gallery of ThomasJansen

You can invest these tokens in numerous circumstances later on throughout the week. Including, make use of your fan tokens to refill the arena, or make use of your physical fitness tokens in order to make players perform unique actions in the pitch.

Then, you go to the board space for the board conference. A club has three directors, and so they all have actually various views. Including, some begin to see the club primarily as company. First and foremost, they would like to earn money. I will not phone down any genuine groups right here, you most likely understand a couple of that fit the description. Some directors think the club is one of the fans; some can do any such thing to really have the most readily useful group. Got one at heart? Every one of these various views influence the choices they just take, and that means you must be careful which directors to place on those seats.

Every player has a board conference card that may influence their club. There constantly actually dilemma become talked about with three various feasible results, as an example, “Shall we raise admission costs?” Imaginable it earns cash, but wont allow you to be well-liked by the fans. The board will determine, you might want to join the conversation and attempt to influence them.

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday

From Tuesday to Thursday you’ll perform actions. It is possible to employ players whom vary in quality from 1-4, but note a number of them have actually unique abilities which can be in the same way effective as top-quality player. Besides, players are trained.

You can contract a sponsor. They’ll enable you to get cash and raise up your stats in the four songs. It is possible to train strategies in order to make your group better. It is possible to purchase infrastructure. It is possible to employ staff. They provide you with additional feasible actions. Including, for those who have an initial mentor, you’ll train your players, making them better — at the least, generally. Or employ a physician to eradicate accidents. There was plenty to complete throughout the week.

From gallery of ThomasJansen

In the meantime, you check your goals card once more. They provide you with additional triumph points. Or go with an ideal success for twice the points. Including, you may need to win the match against the local competitors since they overcome you final period. Cannot take place once more, obviously.


You most likely are accustomed to a totally free week-end. Just forget about that. As supervisor, you’re constantly in. You will need to learn your opponent. It may be very useful. Discover their system, discover their characteristics and weaknesses.

Then you decide on your players and select strategies. All tokens are players with standard quality of just one, you likewise have player cards. These represent the token with similar kit quantity. They often times are better or have actually unique abilities. Then match is remedied. For those who have sufficient physical fitness resources, maybe you are capable choose sufficient players while making utilization of player abilities aswell. Never be prepared to win very first game while you’re simply beginning your job.

Now let us see just what another players did, not forgetting the 8 AI groups. When you adjust the rating track, you roll the match effects. Accidents you can do, fans could have had sufficient and then leave, group morale may alter, etc.

Now you can find some rest. There was another board conference the next day you might want to go to. Time flies.

Further Developing

As quickly because the base mechanisms of this game had been completed, we proceeded taking care of producing content: creating more cards, situations, etc. We additionally dedicated to the expansions. With this stage, we worked and game designer Janek Maurycy a great deal. He could be a really skilled designer whom earned numerous strategies.

Board Game: Eleven: Solo Campaign

One of this expansions that changed a great deal set alongside the initial proven fact that had been described in the Gamefound web page could be the Solo Campaign expansion. I can not wait to listen to of one’s experiences along with it.

I constantly began having reduced league English group playing on my Computer, then attempted to work my method up. We additionally liked to maneuver to some other club and carry on my adventure here. Purchasing players, attempting to sell players, discovering brand new talents, expanding the arena, constantly, constantly away from spending plan after 2 or 3 periods… period after period passed, beginning a fresh campaign only once the existing 12 months got too “science fiction” for me personally.

But that is precisely what we adored: the campaign. The tale of the job you created your self. It had been such as a good RPG game. We bet some soccer supervisor freaks love games like Skyrim aswell. I understand I Really Do.

That’s why the solamente promotions are perfect to provide you with similar feeling. The bottom game currently includes a great solamente mode, however the expansion takes the next phase. It’s eight situations — fourteen in the event that you count the backs aswell — which can be connected in an original solution to produce a great tale. You begin at a lower life expectancy league club. After playing a period, you’ve got different alternatives dependent on just how you did. It is possible to remain during the club: You flip the situation card and go with another period. In the event that you did well, other groups may be enthusiastic about you. You might carry on your job at another club. This method lets you wander the league pyramid. This may provide you with a genuine sandbox feel. It is possible to have fun with the game for all periods, like everyone else did on your computer in the afternoon. Your choices actually matter and also an impact on another situation.

Your ultimate objective is achieve the top top league, therefore prepare to construct your self an excellent job.

From gallery of W Eric Martin

A unique solamente deck of 36 cards is made because of this expansion. They affect game play as well as your progress into the campaign. You can find 14 brand new cards the multiplayer mode including brand new goal, manager, and board conference cards, increasing the entire variability into the base game.

Of program, the solamente campaign isn’t needed to relax and play Eleven solamente, however it improves solamente game play through the base game rendering it more strategic.

I think you cannot get nearer to that Computer soccer supervisor feeling than this. I am actually anticipating the production of Eleven and hope you love it in so far as I do. Many Thanks!

Thomas Jansen

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