Half of our nuclear family is overseas on vacation, leaving me with some time for house maintenance and hobbies. I’ve been taking advantage of the latter as much as possible. I thought I would be able to use that time to finish the Dwarf team I was working on, but alas that hasn’t been the case. Finishing base painting the straps took me way longer than I planned, and then the gold has been another chore to paint. I’ve been painting and hobby-ifying some other stuff, so eventually I’ll have more stuff to show.
Since we had a bit of a break, I decided to finally get around to showing the boy, what Blood Bowl is all about. I setup a ‘mini-tourney’, with each of us using 2 teams, for a total of 3 games.
For the first one, I was going to let him use the Dwarf team I was working on. But he ended up taking Skaven. Being new, he proceeded to block, and block, and block. Not the best approach against Dwarves. Luckily, he ended the match with very few casualties. End score 0-1. Dwarves win.
Our next game, he wanted something stronger. He took Orcs. I took Underworld. I’ve played them once on Fumbbl, and I wanted to try and figure out the team more. I can’t say that I did. The Orcs butchered most of my Skaven early on. About my only tactic available after that was harassing with my goblins. I did try chucking a Goblin at the goal line, but he failed his landing roll, and I lost my last chance of scoring. End score 0-1. Orcs win.
Since this is the first time we actually sat down to play with the new rules, boards, etc. It’s a good chance to write down some thoughts about the ‘new Blood Bowl’.
First off, there isn’t a lot of change between the 2016 rules and the CRP (“Competition Rules Pack”) rules I used previously. It’s the same rules set that Fumbbl and the Cyanide/Focus Blood Bowl Computer games are based off of. So if you’re familiar with those, you should do well with the 2016/2017 rules.
The biggest difference was how the rules are organized and the use of Special Play cards.
Special Play Cards. No one I played with previously ever used the Special Play cards from the earlier rules, mainly because it was one more thing and they seemed to be horribly imbalanced. We used the point cost system rules found in the Blood Bowl almanac (my main reference book for the game) for determining how many cards we got. The cards themselves, were certainly random, but didn’t cause too much mayhem. One of my teammates was protected from additional injury piling ons for a game, which never came into play. One turn I got two blitzes, which is nice, but I didn’t use it to maximum effect. My son got a card that reduces the Go For It chance, but it didn’t impact the slow, steady Dwarves that much. In our last game, one of my Skaven got randomly catapulted into the air. Which was funny, and knocked him down, but didn’t totally derail my strategy that turn. Maybe I was expecting more devastating randomness, but all in all I felt like the cards were okay and not horrible.
Rules. Being a bit rusty, I was having to look up a decent amount of rules. The Almanac has a fair number of rules….but sadly doesn’t include rules from the boxed set book. This made it particularly challenging looking for things in two different books, especially with no index to reference. I would strongly recommend this reference guide compiled by Pistachio from the TFF forums: http://www.talkfantasyfootball.org/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=44208
That guide helped me get through a fair bit of stuff. Eventually I’ll sort out my own cheat sheet once again, I’m sure. Though Pistachio’s one-pager, has most everything covered. I just need to go a little more in-depth on pre/post match stuff.
Pitch. The new pitch is really nice to look at, and we played both sides. The Orc side wasn’t as hard to make out the squares as I thought it would be. The pitches plus dugout, do take up a *lot* of room though. I had to look at our table options closely to try and figure out what would have the right amount of space for us. On the plus side, minis were not crowded on the pitch, like they were on the old old pitch, but you pay for that with the amount of space the game now takes up.
Dice. We used some of the new dice sets during our game. They look cool and all, but we sometimes found the dice hard to read from across the table. I had a really difficult time with the Skaven dice (gold/copper markings on translucent green) my son was using. I had to ask him what he rolled each time, and given that he isn’t used to blocking dice, it slowed our game down a little as he tried to figure them out.
Range Rules/Templates. These are nice, and I decided to pretty them up a bit. Once I finish painting them up, I’ll be sure to share here.
All in all, really fun to get some face to face (in your face?!?) tabletop game time in. I love battling it out with the little minis and rolling some blocking dice. A bit sad that the minis are a sorry mix of half put together/half painted mess, but eventually they will improve over time. Blood Bowl is still the great game I remember, and this will spur me on to keep hobbying about with those miniatures.