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8Feb/160

Evaluating Blood Bowl

What better day to take on the Evualation of Blood Bowl than just after Super Bowl 50? And with the re-boot "around the corner", it is about time.

As Blood Bowl is classic, let me give you a short introduction. Blood Bowl was released for the first time in 1987, and brought a brutal fantasy version of American Football into the world of Warhammer. More a board game than a tabletop, it is played with 11 miniatures on each side, and up to 16 per team, chosen from the different races of Warhammer.

Emotion is a really strong one with Blood Bowl. The 3rd edition, that was released in 1994, was my first miniatures game. It wasn't Heroquest or The Dark Eye's boardgame "Dark World - The Castle of Secret" that got me into the hobby, it was Blood Bowl. I was already hooked on American Football, watching the NFL Europe, mostly Rhein Fire in Duesseldorf. And on christmas 1995 i got my first starting box, the lovely yellow-blue box of Blood Bowl. It was compact, a team box with a few blisters was under 100 Dt. Mark, so much more affordable than the warhammer armies that easily got into the hundreds buck.

The rules were straight forward and years later, with the Living Rule Book, they still are lean and easy to understand. A game is easily played in 60 to 90 minutes, so it is something that grows on you. The style of the "older" miniatures is appealing and iconic, and Blood Bowl doesn't takes itself to serious, a lot of tongue-in-cheek humor and great star players. The Mighty Zug was my second miniature (after a Blood Angels Captain).

So you see, Blood Bowl has a special place in my wargaming heart, and is something that is until this very day hasn't been matched. Dreadball is nice, but it is no Blood Bowl, and the JavaBBClient was a good way to play a few matches before the video games were available.

Blood Bowl - Athletic Altdorf

Out there with the skirmish games, Blood Bowl teams are a comprehensible project. So the probability of finishing a team, is quite high, and you don't even need additional terrain. As the theme is american football, you got bright colours and mostly uniform clothing / armour, you can get a whole team painted in a productive weekend. Blood Bowl got the axe along with the others Specialist Games, but kept on living due to the community and got even a more or less regular updated rulebook with the Living Rule Book. The brand is so strong, it even was made into multiple spin-offs like video games and board games.

Beside that, it is so popular, that third companies start a load of successful crowdfunding campaigns for entire teams. There are even specialised online shop, that cover the broad range of additional teams, starplayers, dice and other accessoires. So with the new edition coming in 2017, popularity for sure isn't going to shrink.

Space is not really a problem with Blood Bowl - usally. A single team fits in a cigar box or small miniature box, like the Feldherr Mini. Even my extensive collection fit's quite easily in two medium sized boxes. I got lucky and got a large lot of team boxes and blisters from a closing sale. As the gaming board is flat, the whole game fits in a medium sized gaming box (or if you go with the mats, you can even roll them up). Long story short, Blood Bowl is out there with the board games space wise.

Warhammer World - 2004 Warhammer World - 2004

But all of this doesn't matter, if you don't have anybody to play with. What about the players? And that is another great aspect of Blood Bowl. As already mentioned, the rules are quite easy to understand, so you get other people quite fast into the game. And as the starter set gives you 2 teams (and the new one will too), you are already set up to invite somebody else into the game. Players are likely to be found, as there are some older players who still love their occasional round of Blood Bowl, and board gamers or casual players are more likely to join a Blood Bowl league or tournament than a full sized wargaming event.

How do i sum it up? If you haven't had the chance to try out Blood Bowl, grab a friend who has and give it a go! The selection of miniatures is so incredible broad, with the official miniatures, new ones upcoming and older ones by second hand, and on top of that the dozend of third companies, who provide alternative teams and star players. Getting started with Blood Bowl will set you back around 50 to 100 Euro, depending on how you want to give it a go. In the late days of Blood Bowl, it was common practise to use a regiment plastic box and convert them into a team, especially with the orcs this is an incredible great option.

Thanks a lot for reading, come by again soon and leave a comment or give me a like on Facebook if you like this blog!

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