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3Jul/190

BLOOD BOWL – Journey of the Maulers: Wanderleagues

As the third lineplayer paintwise doesn't offer anything new compared to the other two, I'll talk a bit about my Wanderleague system today, but more about that in a moment. I've tried a little something on Gorhuk the Smelly. On the one hand, I'm just starting to love the color scheme of keeping the clothes completely in black and the armor in yellow, on the other hand I wanted to do something new and tried painting the logo on the side of the helmet, just to see how it would look. That turned out pretty well so far and I think the other players will get the team logo painted onto the side of their helmets as well over the course of time.

BLOOD BOWL - Journey of the Maulers BLOOD BOWL - Journey of the Maulers BLOOD BOWL - Journey of the Maulers

Okay, but now let's talk a bit about the Wanderleague. What is it and how does it work? I played a Wanderleague for the first time in 2011, when I built my undead team, the Golden Vultures, from leftovers. The goal at the time was to have a well-painted team, play a bit and not lose motivation. Basically a mix of different hobby aspects when you have diminishing time resources as a working man and as a father of two. I began with a painted a model as a test for the color scheme. After I was satisfied, I decided to completely finish a model before each game, including the base. So, after ten games, I had a team of eleven well-painted models.

Blood Bowl - Undead Team Golden Vultures

Since I found it boring to only ever participate in leagues that started every season from scratch, using a very conservative set of rules, and I had less and less time to actively participate in a league with increasing day-to-day responsibilities, I simply decided to continue my roster sheet every game, no matter how the games would go. I always chose the opponents according to their personality, not the strength of the team. Because playing in a Wanderleague has the advantage that you don't have to play with people who may make you uncomfortable and you waste your rare free time with them.

Of course, this way sometimes a team might also have a really really bad day and must replace numerous players or has to keep a couple of injured ones, since sometimes you might play against teams that have a much higher team value than your own guys. But as a true Blood Bowl coach you have to live with these things, because team management, even in bad times, is not only a typical aspect of a sport-driven fantasy universe, it also adds to the narrative atmosphere of the game.

To lighten up everything a bit more, each coach received a free card from the old Blood Bowl special play cards at the beginning of the game. I have always left the choice of the deck to my opponent.

BLOOD BOWL - Journey of the Maulers BLOOD BOWL - Journey of the Maulers

The concept of the Wanderleague has continued to evolve this way and because the new Blood Bowl rules hold a lot of potential for things like this, I now use the following Wanderleague ruleset for the Maulers:

  • Aging, with a season lasting six games
  • Special Play Cards
  • Becoming Residents
  • Sponsors
  • (In)Famous Coaching Staff
  • Rostering Starplayers

Why Aging is used so rarely in leagues, is a mystery to me, because it prevents naturally strong teams to establish too much of a gap between the rest of the league and takes effect after the second season the first time. Playing only six games this time is more of a test run. From the earlier Wanderleague I know that a duration of ten games is simply too long and sometimes motivational lows can occur. Since I intend to play several seasons with this team anyway, neither the number of games, nor the need to paint figures before the game should be a problem. You can also paint several models before a game, if you want to.

I've always found the special play cards to be incredibly entertaining. They capture the spirit of the Blood Bowl universe nicely, so I'll continue to use them. Anyway, according to the new rules, every player gets at least one card before the start of the game (up to three cards) anyway and they add an interesting nuance to the game: how do I use the card strategically and how best to react to a card that is being played.

The possibility to permanently buy a stadium is born out of the desire to build one at some point of the project. Considering the aging rule, possibly rostered starplayers and additional staff, the team cash for the first time becomes more than the mere equivalent of a point value. Especially stars that are only set up for one or two games will become financially viable and the games will become more interesting again.

The sponsors also fulfill this purpose, but in truth I just want to build a bomber for an Orc team. Although I do not believe that they really need one, the conversion of a model creates the appropriate incentive, as the squad simply becomes more colorful. It behaives similarly with the (in)famous coaching staff. It is simply the charm of a visually interesting sideline, which has predominantly given me the idea here and the meaningful use of the gold pieces.

The ability to permanently include starplayers in the squad is an interesting gimmick especially for the slightly weaker teams. Not only can a team's game strategy change permanently that way (for example, by hiring a player dedicated to throwing team members) in seemingly hopeless situations, stars are always good for a surprise. Since I'm narratively driven and the league can theoretically run endlessly long, my opponents could also follow this strategy. Therefor I slightly tweaked the rule for rostering a starplayer to prevent him showing up for both teams at the same time:

If two teams meet that have rostered the same starplayer, the star immediately takes his pay and leaves both teams. In the end, he only condescended to play for your team, because he also cashed with the other one.

 

That was was it for now with the rules for the Wanderleague. As soon as I have played a couple of games with the Maulers, you will of course see it here. Stay tuned as the Journey of the Maulers continues.

 

Greetings from the Chaosbunker

Dino

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