Blood Bowl: Kickoff one day away!

League Update: The first ever Inquisition / Hardcore Casual Blood Bowl season is only one day away, and we have 14 of our 16 possible slots filled. Get in now or miss out!

I think I’ve pointed this out before, but one of the best things about Blood Bowl is that the core game and its rule set has been around for a long time, and over the years everything has been tweaked and updated to get the balance of the game to a very stable point. The video game adaptation of Blood Bowl follows the core rulebook point by point (a few tech issues aside) means that, from day one, the overall balance is near-perfect, and updates to the game need only to focus on either adding ‘more’ (as was the case with the Legendary Edition), or shoring up some of the technical aspects. This is a not-so-insignificant advantage when compared to most turn-based (Civ V for example) or RTS (StarCraft 2 is a similar example, using SC1 as the ‘base’) games.

Blood Bowl also plays very differently from a game like Civ V or Heroes of Might and Magic in how you approach decisions. In both Civ V, and especially HoMM, you make decisions based on a more-or-less known outcome. You attack a city in Civ because you feel very confident that the force you have beat the forces the enemy has. In HoMM, you make tactical decisions based on the knowledge that creature X or spell Y will do Z damage, and so the ‘puzzle’ is in figuring how to put it all together to get the result you want. It’s more of a chess match than say, a hand of poker.

BB is more poker-like, in that almost all your actions are based on probability, and the best coaches are the ones who stack the odds in their favor. The order in which you perform actions during your turn is huge not just in terms of outcome, but in the probability that you will be able to continue rather than suffer a turnover. Any guaranteed action such as movement should be done first, unless you have a good reason (say a block you expect to free up tackle zones) to wait. Preparing for unforeseen actions is also huge, as even a three-dice block with a reroll will, 2 out of 100 times, result in three skulls. Knowing the odds of an action is one thing, but being able to take steps to push things in your favor is what BB is ultimately all about.

It’s this ‘chess with dice’ gameplay that is so addicting, because while any one game can indeed be decided by pure luck ( I was down 2-1 with my human team against dwarves with just two turns remaining after they scored, outnumbered by two players. The kickoff result was pitch invasion, knocking 2/3rd of our teams down for two turns, allowing for a fairly easy score on my part), over time luck evens out and player decisions determine your teams success. Add in that not everything is determined by the dice (starting positions, when to use rerolls, team composition, skill upgrade choices, etc), and the strategic layer is indeed very deep, perhaps somewhat hidden by the comedic football exterior.

Another great aspect of Blood Bowl having been around for so long is the resources available.  Sites like Blood Bowl Tactics cover nearly every aspect of the game in incredible detail, and allow you to focus more on your strategy than crunching the numbers. For coaches old and new, it’s always worthwhile to see what others are doing with your favorite team, or to read up on the general strategies of your next opponent.

Is it time for the kickoff yet?

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
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2 Responses to Blood Bowl: Kickoff one day away!

  1. Vodun says:

    I can’t wait to jump onto the pitch and get this party started!

  2. Coach says:

    Nice summation of the game there and thank you for the link.

    Eventually everything will be covered on the website so by all means keep coming back.

    Good luck with the league and if any of your players want some advice, they are more than welcome to come and ask on the BB Tactics forum.

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