Blood Bowl – BlitzBowl Ultimate Edition

Blood Bowl has a very special place on this blog. We've covered multiple teams on here, the Mordheim Marauders, Golden Vultures or Morks Maulers and Dino and I even had the chance to give the older versions of this game a try. So, when Games Workshop offered me the chance to cover the Ultimate Edition of Blitz Bowl in a review, I happily agreed.

The Ultimate Edition of Blitz Bowl released this year, updates initial the 2018s release (and later update with a second season in 2020) and basically the third season of the game. Blitz Bowl is meant to be an introduction game  - self enclosed board game - to reach out to new players, therefore it is sold via stores like Barnes & Nobles or Thalia.

BlitzBowl Ultimate Edition BlitzBowl Ultimate Edition

Blitz Bowl Ultimate Edition has a RRP of 44,99 EUR / 49,99 USD and will be available (for pre-order) at the end of August (depending on your location). It comes with all you need to play some quick rounds of fantasy football, covering a board, card decks, two teams and tokens as well as dice.

Blitz Bowl is - as the name suggest - an even faster variant of Blood Bowl. We will cover a brief comparison between Blood Bowl and Blitz Bowl in this section. Blood Bowl had faster house rules, for example Blood Bowl 7s, but this is even leaner / quicker and easier to grasp. For multiple reasons. Instead of 11 players, you have teams of 6. Which is half a regular Blood Bowl team, so as soon as you have access to a single frame from one of the plastic team boxes, you have a Blitz Bowl team.
The board itself is more compact, as you "only" have 11 by 15 squares compared to the full Blood Bowl pitch of 15 by 26 squares. This gives you quicker turns and higher scores compared to Blood Bowl. And this is important, as you have card decks, which cover cards who can be activated by fulfilling their conditions on the board (like fouls, successful blocks, scoring a touchdown and so on). With this mechanics, Blitz Bowl seems to be closer to Mantic's Dreadball than its big brother Blood Bowl. But enough on this, if you want to take a closer look on the rules, you can find them for free on the Blitz Bowl website.

So let us open the sturdy card board box. Once you take away the top half, you are greeted by the rules them self. A full coloured booklet, giving you an overview on the 24 pages about all you need to know, not only the rules, but assembly instructions, a glossary and a quick reference sheet on its back.

BlitzBowl Ultimate Edition

The rules are available as a free download via the Blitz Bowl page itself, which is identical to the printed booklet. The layout is very clean and captures the fantasy football design introduced with the latest Blood Bowl instalment in a fresh way. You get a quick hold of everything you need to know, and due to the simplicity, it is open for younger gamers as well. From our own group of wargaming daddies, we had the feedback that people this game with kids younger than 12.

BlitzBowl Ultimate Edition BlitzBowl Ultimate Edition BlitzBowl Ultimate Edition

Below the rules there is a stack of card board plates, which covers the pitch itself as well as some templates.

BlitzBowl Ultimate Edition

You receive two dug outs, similar to Blood Bowl, but smaller as you don't differentiate that fine between the conditions of the players. The dug outs in addition provide a reference for the turn sequence as well as the block dice symbols. There is a throwing template for passes, which gives you the information on short and long throws (once again, simplified in comparison to Blood Bowls four categories of Quick Pass, Short Pass, Long Pass, Long Bomb). And of course, the pitch itself, double sided with two different designs and layouts (the base is 11 by 15 on both, but different squares are blocked by obstacles).

BlitzBowl Ultimate Edition BlitzBowl Ultimate Edition BlitzBowl Ultimate Edition

And below the card board, we see  the tinted plastic sprues. These are exactly the same as from the Blood Bowl range, just coloured for easier differentiation on the board. Blue for the Reavers and brown for the Scramblers. These miniatures are push-fit, so you don't need glue to assemble them. We've seen this in the past, for example with the Warhammer Underworlds Range.

BlitzBowl Ultimate Edition

Regular blood bowl teams cover two identical sprues. For Blitz Bowl you usually just need a single one, giving you about three regular field players and three special positional players. This way most of the teams are split. Casting is very clean and crisp on these. Minor to nil mould lines, and only the areas where the pieces were connected to the sprue needed some clean up.

BlitzBowl Ultimate Edition BlitzBowl Ultimate Edition

The push fit really works great on these. All the models below are just pushed together, no glue used. And in addition to the three linemen, you get a thrower, a catcher and a blitzer. As well as three balls, a team coin and a team marker. The later bits are used to keep track of the turns and score. The second picture shows them painted on an 'eavy metal standard.

BlitzBowl Ultimate Edition BlitzBowl Ultimate Edition

Similar setup with the Skaven. The casting here is again very clean and only minor mould lines. For beginners these might be a bit  tricky, as the tails are rather delicate and they have some spikes modelled on the miniatures, who don't create the most pleasant building experience with push fit.

BlitzBowl Ultimate Edition BlitzBowl Ultimate Edition

Again, three lineman and three positionals, Blitzer, Thrower and a Gutter Runner. As well as three balls, a team coin and team marker. These are neat models, but as mentioned above, due to their fine details and rather fragile tails, I would have chosen a different opponent for the humans, that would be more beginners friendly from a  model building perspective.

BlitzBowl Ultimate Edition BlitzBowl Ultimate Edition

A close up of the markers and balls. The balls have only different rules in Blood Bowl (covered in White Dwarf and Spike! magazine) but are all the same for Blitz Bowl. You will notice that the 32mm round bases used for Blood / Blitz Bowl are a bit different than the regular slotabases by Citadel. There is a small hole in there, where you can place the ball to stay with the ball bearing player during the turn.

BlitzBowl Ultimate Edition BlitzBowl Ultimate Edition

In the layer  below that, we gain access to the card decks and dice. If you're familiar with Blood Bowl, you'll recognize the three block dice, as well as the two D6 and two D8, they are identical to the regular Blood Bowl dice. Yet, the block dice are used in a bit different way and their symbols match the alterated Blitz Bowl rule set.

BlitzBowl Ultimate Edition

The card decks are very extensive. You get the team cards for 19 (!) different Blitz Bowl teams. Once again, you just need a single sprue from the Blood Bowl range and can use them in Blitz Bowl. This was much cheaper in the past, when the Blood Bowl team boxes were 25 EURs but now are 40 EURs (same content), raising the prices of additional teams from 12,50 to 20 EURs.

In addition to the team cards, you get 40 challenge cards (double sided), a rookie watch card (with Jim and Bob) as well as a seven drill cards.

If you want to sleeve your cards, there are different options available on the market, for example Tarot sized sleeves.

BlitzBowl Ultimate Edition BlitzBowl Ultimate Edition BlitzBowl Ultimate Edition BlitzBowl Ultimate Edition

And the bottom layer of the box is a vacuum formed plastic inlay, which gives you the option to store all the items inside the box. This seems very practical, especially to protect the fragile tails of the Skaven. Yet, I have to say, that I found it a bit tricky to place the bases in the plastic without using too much pressure. So I'd recommend using for example the foam inlays by Feldherr, which they produced for the earlier seasons of Blitz Bowl (and we've covered them for Warhammer Underworlds as well). I assume we will see the one for Ultimate Edition briefly.

BlitzBowl Ultimate Edition BlitzBowl Ultimate Edition


Blitz Bowl certainly proofs its name right. It is a faster version of Blood Bowl. Where a regular Blood Bowl game runs for about 1,5 to 2 hours, a blitz bowl match is easily done in about half an hour. On top of that, I don't feel Blood Bowl as too slow, but it can be very tactical. This is something where Blitz Bowl is fast paced and easier (maybe a bit more forgiving), so something for casual players easily. From that point of view, it fulfils the role as an introduction game in a convincing way.

The materials are made in a proper quality. The prints are nicely done, the artwork repurposed and kept in the style of the video game. The dice for example much more value than what you get from other board games (etched sides, not just printed) and of course the miniatures. The miniatures are proper Citadel products from the main range. High level of detail, proper fit and due to their size (they are a bit taller than 32mm scale) easier to paint. But due to the tinted plastic, you don't need that per se. The push fit really works well, so you keep the entry barrier low and as long as you have a pair of plyers or a hobby knife, you can assemble the miniatures.

As for the price. It got a bit more expensive compared to the earlier seasons, but at 45 EURs it is just 5 EUR more than a regular Blood Bowl team box (which covers two sprues as well), but you get so much more gaming material. Beyond that, at least at Thalia there are often promotions, where you get a discount or things like a 5 EUR voucher, so this provides a proper entry level board game experience.

From my point of view, Blitz Bowl makes a proper present for a friend, who's interested in the miniature hobby, but doesn't want to go all in directly. Even more friendly than Underworlds, and surely more controllable than the regular Blood Bowl game, as you don't need the booster packs, Star players and Big Guys. Grab the boxed set, split a few team boxes and you have a proper variety to play, without a big invest or space consuming project.

And the best thing for me, with the team cards I can put a lot of my Middlehammer Blood Bowl collection to use with the board and rules.

Blood Bowl and Blitz Bowl are brands by Games Workshop.

The reviewed product item was provided by the manufacturer.

Posted by Dennis B.

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  1. Thanks for the great review. I have one big problem though: Can you provide help on how to buy the ENGLISH version in Europe/Germany? I cant find a single online shop which has the english version. Any recommendation on how to get an english version? The people I would play with are all english speaking. Thanks for any links & best regards

  2. As far as I know, the distribution is more or less exclusive to Barnes & Nobles as well as Thalia / Mayersche Buchhandlung. So Thalia might be able to get you an english copy if you ask them.

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