Bloodbowl - a game loosely based on American football and played by half crazed zombies, troll slayers, vampires and Chaos warriors to name but a few.
My bro picked up the first edition of the game when it was released by GW back in the mid 1980's. We played a few times but somehow the game just never quite grabbed me. In those days tho, there were no minis, you played with cardboard stand up counters which usually fell over and there were only a few teams available to pick from.
So I went and played other things and never gave the game another look until about a couple of years ago when I started listening to the guys on Worlds End Radio, who raved about the game. Funnily enough Dave T had been bringing a set of Bloodbowl to the Kirrie club but there had been no takers. By this time tho the game now had minis and the rulebook had lists for over 20 teams and had an active Internet community supporting the game. It now used unique block dice rather than rely on D6's. So I took the plunge and after acquiring a second hand set on ebay started getting the boys on board to play. I was hooked. And fortunately for me so were the boys: - Dave T eventually got a game with the set that he had been bringing faithfully along to the club and a few of the other members also got sucked in as did my bro who hadn't played for years either.
Since then games have been played on a semi regular basis at the club although it has proved difficult to get a proper league running at the club due to players being involved in to many other game systems to give BB the attention it deserves.
But the game does get played at home and my mate, Alan, and I are trying to get a regular gaming session going in order to play. Last week my Drow Desperadoes Dark Elf Team squeaked home with a narrow 2-1 win over Alan's Norse Millfield Marauders team.
The Drow Desperadoes.
Tonight though Alan brought out his novice Dark Elf team so I decided to go back to my one of old favourites - The Dwarrow Boys.
The Dark Elfs choose to receive at the start of the first half and having only 1 re-roll were quickly forced to burn it having rolled double skulls on their first block of the game. However, they recovered quickly from that set back and moving the ball skillfully downfield eventually found the gap in the Dwarrow line for their Witch Elf to score the first touchdown in their turn 4.
It did mean, however, that the Dwarves had 4 turns to get an equalising score before half time and as I would then be receiving in the second half, I knew I could then grind down the second half and get my 2nd touchdown and leave Alan no time to get back into the game. That was the plan anyway.
And so the first part of the strategy worked to plan although it almost came a cropper when the Dwarf Runner, Forez Gunp, when making an essential go for it roll in order to make sure he wouldn't get tagged by a Dark Elf Blitzer in the final turn of the First half, failed his GFI roll but fortunately I still had 1 re-roll left, made it, moved the runner to the safe square from where he was able to jog into the touchzone for the equalising score on the last turn of the first half.
The second half, started promisingly with the Dark Elves ambitious kick bouncing out of bounds and giving the Dwarves a touch back of the ball which went straight into the hands of my grateful runner. I started to clear the pitch of Elves, whose knocked out box started to resemble the Casualty department at Ninewells Hospital.
But I wasn't knocking all the Elves out and those remained standing were doing a good job of slowing down the Dwarves advance up the pitch. But that was fine I thought, I still has plenty of time to get the second score and not leave Alan anytime to equalise. Then in turn 4 disaster!
After a few fortuitous dodge rolls, Alan managed to get one of his blitzers onto the ball carrier. A 1 die block and down went the ball carrier and the ball spilled. I was able to recover the ball the next turn and pay the Blitzer back for his impudence but a turn had been lost trying to recover the ball. The next few turns saw me move down deeper into the Dark Elf half, who were quickly running out of players. End of my turn 7 saw my runner who had the ball, in the clear, 4 squares from the touchzone. I thought I had covered all the approaches to him and Alan's nearest player was a blitzer who been knocked over (but not stunned). Alan started his turn, the blitzer got up made 3 dodge rolls and a GFI roll (with no re-rolls left either) to get himself adjacent to the ball carrier. My turn 8, I had a 2 die block to get the Dark Elf Blitzer down and had 1 re-roll left. I rolled - skull and a push. The push would leave the blitzer still standing next to the ball carrier. Do I use the re-roll? After swithering for a while I decided to take the push result and save the re-roll in case the runner failed his dodge roll. He did, he rolled 2, needing only a 3. But I called in the final re-roll, Alan held his head in his hands knowing he was powerless to intervene. - I rolled - 1. Down went the runner, ball spilled, turnover and the game ended 1-1!
The scene at the end of the match - Dwarf Runner on his back having tripped over his own feet. No wonder the Troll Slayer is gnashing his teeth in frustration!!
I realised long after the event that I should have used my ball carrier to do the blitz - would still have had a 2 die block and if I had got a push then he would have been clear of the tackle zone and wouldn't have had to dodge but in the heat of the moment the obvious play isn't always so obvious!
Blood bowl is one of these games where the rules are pretty fool proof, easy to pick up but tactical and very very entertaining. A league can give you the scope to develop your team and for your players to acquire new skills and the choice of teams mean that you are never short of different opponents. I have, in addition to the Dwarves and Dark Elves, an Orc team, Humans, Chaos and Undead/ Necromantic. Ruaridh has Skaven , Goblins, Orcs, Ogres and Wood Elves. Cameron has dwarves, my bro has Dwarves and Chaos and Alan has Norse, Dark Elves, Chaos and Khemri. It's one of these games I would happily play every day (if real life would stop getting in the way). It's just a pity it involves rolling dice........