Hi chaps and chapesses, Garfield here to share my first impressions of Blood Bowl with you.
I’ve always liked the idea of BB ever since first edition many years ago, but never really had the opportunity to play it. That was until my local gaming club recently announced they were setting up a BB League. I was suffering a bit from 8th edition burn out so took the plunge and entered a team.
After doing some research I decided to go for Dwarves (The Cunning Stunts). They are fantastic models and from what I could see, would be pretty forgiving of a complete BB noob.
Their armour value and ‘Thick Skull’ Ability makes sure they stay on the field and their Tackle Skill completely negates opponents ‘Dodge’ which I hoped would be a game changer. The downsides are their low mobility and narrow skill tree as they progress in level. Something that some of the other teams, such as humans, don’t suffer from.
My first game was against a player using an entire proxied Dark Eldar team. I’m a fan of proxies and have no objections to my opponent running them but being able to clearly see what the model used is representing is essential. Unfortunately, every model on the team looked identical (I couldn’t even tell who made the model – presumably a blind Ork – let alone what the proxy was meant to be) and was completely unpainted. It was a bit disappointing that this would be my first foray into BB but thought “oh well, I just want to play” and started my first game.
The game actually went pretty well and ended in a 1-1 draw. In hindsight I should have won as I completely forgot to use the special abilities of my dwarves. Not surprising given it was my first even gam but Oh well, you live and learn. The strengths of Dark Eldar the are their speed and their ability to dodge. Once they broke my lines I found it difficult to catch them. In fairness, it was also my opponents first game so he probably forgot a lot of his team’s rules too!
Game 2 was against another entirely proxied Amazonian team (spotting a theme here?) At least these were painted and you could roughly tell which model was which with little difficulty. Luckily I remembered my special abilities in this game and stopped his little Amazonian girlies dodging.
This made it tough for my opponent and I ended up winning 1-0! Last play And last Go for it roll. After this I was hooked. I found the Amazonian play style similar to the Dark Eldar. They rely on their agility, speed and dodge. As I said above, the Dwarves have the Tackle Skill which stops the Dodge Skill. This caused my opponent a few problems.
Game 3 was against Orks. Now, if you’ve ever seen a game of Blood Bowl with these two teams it’s resembles a game of rugby from the 1920’s, just endless mauling. I ended up losing 1-0.
I found the Ork play style similar to the Dwarves. Big tough chaps punching dudes to get ahead. I probably should have won this game but I made a couple of mistakes which cost me in the end. One being having a runner run down the edge of the board only to be smashed into the crowd by a gigantic Black Ork.
Game 4, against Halflings and the proxy situation was becoming somewhat of a joke! I kid you not, my opponent used a bloody Pop! Groot toy as a Treeman. Seriously! It makes me wonder why I go out and spend money on GW products and paints and brushes and spend hours painting and basing my models when I could just go to my local toy shop and pick up 12 Lego models. Anyway…..the game was actually quite fun and thematic. The Treeman throwing the Halflings down the pitch is almost unstoppable. The game ended 2-2 and was great. To be fair to the Halflings, they rely on the Throw Teammate Skill which needs a few lucky rolls to pull off which my opponent did. Their low toughness and armour are a major downside though and at one point my opponent was down to 6 players on the field.
After these 4 games I must admit I’m pretty hooked on the game. It’s much more tactical and taxing than I initially thought and generally great fun. I really enjoy the turn mechanics. If you make a bad roll or make a mistake, it’s a turnover, this keeps the player on the edge. I also really liked how each team plays so differently and with character.
These games were my group stage games and now I’m moving onto the next knockout stage. I’ve managed to pick up a few skills along the way. One of my Troll Slayers has picked up both Guard and Mighty Blow which are fantastic skills to have on the little nutter. My runner has also got his movement up to 7 which is pretty dangerous.
I’ll keep you posted!