Superclub LaLiga expansion adds all 20 clubs from LaLiga and 2 new ways to play Superclub.
OK, there are a lot of ways to play Superclub already and in my opinion, the core box of Superclub is one of the most balanced games money can buy. So why would you need more Superclub and more specifically, what does the LaLiga expansion bring to the game?
In the Box
Firstly let’s take a look in the box, there is a new LaLiga board, it’s small like the Draft/World of Football board in the core game and is also dual-sided. One side has the standard places for the Draft however the other side simply has 5 spots for player cards and one place for discarded players.
There are also 2 dice, the rule book and the main attraction, 240 player cards from all 20 clubs. If my maths is correct that is 12 players from each of the 20 clubs.
The question I suppose is “Do you need this expansion” and the answer is a definite no. You could buy the core box of Superclub and have a great game that you will play for many hours with no expansions or further purchases and you will be very happy.
But that’s not the real question, is it? We are board gamers and we need all the boxes, we need all the shiny objects and extra bits, don’t we?
So the real question is Do you “need” this expansion? The answer is “Of course I do”.
I really like the LaLiga expansion for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it’s another way to play Superclub one of our all-time favourite board games but secondly, within this little box, there are a few things that will surprise you.
LaLiga Expansion Gameplay
Let’s start with the obvious, if you are buying your first expansion, real players make it easier to build your squad.
You can visualise the player, and you know if you think they are a good or bad pick for your squad, you have probably seen them play and can understand their space in a team.
The downside is that the draft is not as easy. Sometimes you end up going with a “name” rather than the right player for your squad but that must happen to real managers too (remember when Barcelona paid £155 million for Coutinho and they didn’t field an attacking midfielder so just played him in the centre mid role?).
It happens in real life so it happens in Superclub LaLiga expansion. The other downside is that during the draft you will also pick players because of their value. Being able to sell players anytime allows you to use them as a currency.
We have a house rule that drafted players cannot be sold in the first or second season unless injured and then only to another manager. We added this rule so that our drafted players were picked for their roles in our side, not for their value for initial deadline days.
These downsides improve the game dramatically as those players that cannot avoid the shiny things will end up grabbing “superstars” and then find that their squad is a complete mess. I say those players but I clearly mean me.
I suppose I should explain that there are two ways to play the LaLiga expansion. The first is the Domestic Game or LaLiga mode as we have taken to calling it.
In this mode, you simply use the manager folders, dice, staff cards and tokens from the core game but instead of using the world of football/draft board, you use the LaLiga board and only the player and development cards from the LaLiga expansion.
The game plays as you would an ordinary Superclub game and is more fun and balanced than you would believe given that there are so many named players.
It’s odd how different the Domestic Game feels, not in the way it plays, the gameplay is just as balanced and well thought out as the main game, it’s simply because the player cards have a different back to the standard player cards. It’s a lighter blue and white and the board matches the card backs so the whole game is brighter on the table.
We have played around 5 games in this mode and it’s a great way to play Superclub especially when it’s just the two of us, however, we don’t just have the core game, we have many expansions and our Superclub games are quite often an event.
So this brings me to the second way to play the LaLiga expansion, the Global Game. In the manual it suggests this is recommended for 5+ players and I would agree however, we played with 3 players and it was still great.
Again, the game plays similarly to the Superclub core game but you have to make a few changes.
Firstly during the draft, you choose half of your players from the World of Football board and a half from LaLiga expansion during each round of drafting. We found it easier to manage if we all drafted from the same board for each turn.
You will still end up with 16 players but you will have 8 from the expansion and 8 from the normal game.
When you are scouting you will first have to draw cards only from the LaLiga board but as you invest in Scouting you start to take cards from the other board. For example, if you were scouting 3 players you would choose 2 from LaLiga and 1 from the World of Football. There is a list in the manual but it doesn’t take long before you get how many and from where.
Finally, the only other change is to deadline day where again there is a table in the manual but for example, if there were 6 of you playing you have 7 deadline cards of which 4 would be from the LaLiga expansion and only 3 from World of Football.
Any other time (like game changers) you can choose where you draw from but with just the core box and LaLiga players mainly take from LaLiga which demonstrates the power of a shiny named card.
Another important change to note, but only for those who don’t have the Wildcards expansion is the addition of multi-role players.
These guys have either an orange or lime-coloured background and this signifies that they can be played in different positions with no penalties applied. For example, the Orange-coloured players are defensive midfielders and can be played in defence or midfield without losing stars. Similarly, the lime-coloured backgrounds are attacking midfielders and as you may have already guessed can be played in midfield or attack without losing stars.
Before you play make sure everyone knows that you want to keep the developed player decks separate from one another. It is time-consuming to separate them after they have been shuffled together by a fool that doesn’t know we don’t shuffle those decks.
If you want my top tip for Superclub as a game it is to buy a 6-deck automatic card shuffler and some poker chips. The poker chips can replace the dreadful paper money and you can use them on the side of the card shuffler to make sure your cards stay centred when they are shuffled.
Something to note when using all of your collection is that you will need to house rule duplicate players as I cannot find an official rule. I do not have the Barcelona player pack (yet) but there could be a situation where one or two managers scout and find a player, for example, Lewandowski, one from the player pack and one from the LaLiga expansion and so it should be stated from the start of the game what you intend to do in that instance. We would remove the card but you might want to have the option of playing two of the same players in the same position. “Lewandowski in a quick 1-2 with himself to score a wonderful goal just before the whistle”.
Whichever way you choose to play the LaLiga expansion is a great addition to a wonderful game and there is no reason not to buy it.
Everything about Superclub is tailor-made for a football fan but it’s more than that, it’s a fantastic board game that even non-football fans can enjoy.
There is a balance to Superclub that means in all the games we have played no one has ever completely run away with a victory and the decisions you make about club investments impact who you draft, scout and transfer and in turn those decisions will have impacts on your decisions about who you field in your team.
Balancing your squad against another manager’s likely squad whilst they are doing the same is incredible. I am happy to say that the LaLiga expansion changes nothing about what makes Superclub great and the addition of real players only enhances the experience for fans and non-fans alike.
Ultimately the choice to purchase the LaLiga expansion is yours but you already knew you were going to order it before you searched for this review, didn’t you?