Sunday, June 07, 2009

Blood Bowl

I've recently become interested in Games Workshop's Blood Bowl. I always find it interesting how I develop a new passion for a game. I often forget exactly how or when the initial spark of interest occurred. Often it will be through noticing an image or comment on BoardGameGeek or a blog. In the case with Blood Bowl it was listening to a podcast.

First up let me say that I've been aware of Blood Bowl pretty much from when it was first released back in 1987. I was a big Talisman fan around that time and read White Dwarf magazine for its role-playing articles (yep, back in the early days White Dwarf actually had non-GW related miniatures articles!). I saw the advertisements for Blood Bowl, but not being into Warhammer I wasn't that interested. Fantasy football with orcs, humans and elves? Pfft! I never gave it another thought.

Then back in June 2008 my wife picked up the 3rd Edition Blood Bowl boxed set at a school fete for $2. Sure, it was missing the rules and 4 human players (1 catcher, 1 linesman, 1 blitzer and 1 thrower if anyone has any spares!) but pretty much everything else was there. And it was only $2!

The 3rd Edition Blood Bowl Boxed Set

Even with the boxed set in my hands I didn't think it was a game I would seriously get into. I thought I'd probably sell it on eBay or perhaps see if I could trade it. I stuck it on a shelf and pretty much forgot about it. Until, that is, a couple of weeks ago when I listened to the latest World's End Radio podcast.

The World's End Radio podcast is produced by a couple of Western Australian guys, Luke and JJ. They had an episode (episode #19 'Going for the Grope') devoted entirely to the Sand Groper Cup. The Sand Groper Cup is an annual WA Blood Bowl tournament and this year was attended by almost forty players.

Listening to this episode, with Luke and JJ's discussion around their team composition, tactics and strategy, the interviews with the tournament organisers, and interviews with some of the attendees, and how much fun these guys were having, it really made me reconsider my original opinion of Blood Bowl. So much so that I downloaded the latest free version of the Blood Bowl: Living Rulebook from the Games Workshop specialist games site and have been researching the game like crazy over the last few weeks.

What appeals to me about Blood Bowl is that the rules are free and you only need 11 miniatures for a team. That means it's a fairly cheap game to get into. There's also the almost roleplaying-like aspect of league play where you develop a fledgling team through a season of games, increasing individual player's abilities as you progress.

I've been pretty surprised at what appears to be a huge cult following of the Blood Bowl board game world wide. And coincidentally, a new Blood Bowl video game will shortly be released for the PC, Sony PSP, Nintendo DS and Xbox 360 platforms.

An image from the computer game

The ratings and personal comments on BoardGameGeek give this game a glowing recommendation. I may just start painting up the teams from the boxed set and will look around at whatever other miniatures I have that I can use. Oh yeah, I even found a Blood Bowl league currently running in Brisbane.


Fraser Anderson said...

You made my day. I had no idea Blood bowl would come to xbox.

When it ships, I will challenge you to the trans-continental championship sir.

Ozvortex said...

You know Fraser, this game may be what pushes me over the edge to signing up for Xbox Live. If I do then, YOU'RE ON!
- Wayne