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Blood Bowl: Living Rulebook» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Bloodbowl: Light-hearted Fantasy Grid Iron rss

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Steve McIlhatton
New Zealand
Palmerston North
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Blood Bowl

Summary:
Imagine the Superbowl but with fantasy teams of Orcs, Elves, Dwarves etc. That's Blood Bowl! Players try to score touchdowns while simultaneously trying to bash the other team into submission. Different teams have different strengts to play to. You can be a team of fast, nimble, lightly armoured Wood Elves or slow, steady, butter-fingered dwarves. Your team develops over time, learning new skills, picking up injuries, and getting money to buy more players.

Game Length:
150 to 210 minutes.

Components:
None. I am only reviewing the freely downloadable rulebook.

Rules:
The rules have been modified continuously for a number of years and the game is all the better for it. Balance between teams has been improved and the overpowering nature of star players and some teams has been reduced. Also fouling has been improved as in the past it was far too easy for a skilled player to murder large numbers of your team.

Thematic Integration:
Great. It definitely feels like a titanic battle of fantasy teams.

Suitability for Casual Gamers: low, it's not hugely complicated but there is some investment in time and money.
Suitability for Medium Weight Game Fans: Good. Failing an action will generally end your turn so there is a need to decide whether to do the things you need to do which may be hard or do some of the fun things which are easy at the risk of failing and ending your turn.
Suitability for Heavy Game Fans: Low, not a huge amount of strategy or complexity.

Scales:
2 players only although it can be played in a league format.

Replayability:
High due to the league play possibilities and the way in which your team develops from game to game in terms of money, skills, injuries, and deaths.

Value for Money:
High. A free rulebook has got to be a great deal right? There is nothing to stop someone from making their own game bits even if just to try out the game.

Strengths:
Solid game that's been positively improved over the various iterations.
Great variety of teams available.
League play makes the game shine.

Weaknesses:
Can be a bit of a long game if you aren't having fun.
Minor downtime while your opponent takes their turn.
Analysis paralysis can be an issue (although to me this is more a player issue than a game issue)

Recommended for:
Past players of Blood Bowl.
Warhammer Fantasy players (who can use their figures)

Not recommended for:
Anyone looking for something too heavy or something quick.

Aspects you might want to take into account:
If you do want to play and aren't interested in making your own bits it can be quite expensive and hard to buy as the box game is OOP and has been for quite a while.

Other random notes which might be useful:
None
 
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Marco Keja
Netherlands
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I won this overtext in the Rummage-o-rama! Thanks Cate!
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On the whole I agree wholeheartedly!!

The living rulebook is almost at it's 5th incarnation by now.

Just a few notes:
Games can be played in 2 hours. During tournaments the regular time limit is 2 hours which is enough for the majority of players.
The game is available from the online store of Games Workshop and has been for a few years now. Although it doesn't make it a cheap game, it's not as bad as a hard to find OOP. Teams can also be found on eBay quite a lot. Painted as well as unpainted. The previous will cost you a lot more, but does save you a lot of time.
 
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Peter Gousis
United States
Ellicott City
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Although this is a light game to pick up and learn the basic rules for, I have to disagree that there is little strategy. In fact this game is quick to learn, but takes a long time to master. There are many strategic decisions made every turn and more to be made in a league setting when picking new skills. Although luck definitely plays a large role in this game and will determine the outcome of some games, a better player will win the majority of their games even against people with better dice rolls. If you don't think there is strategy go over to fumbbl.com and try to win your first few games.

So I would agree that this is a medium weight game, but can definitely scale up to a heavier game with time invested. I have hundreds of games played and still see new strategies and different ways to win all the time. With so many teams and the skill progression of your players there is unlimited replayability. Very good review, just disagree about the amount of strategy.
 
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The Galaxy is Just Packed!
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Innocent Bystander wrote:
Weaknesses:
Analysis paralysis can be an issue (although to me this is more a player issue than a game issue)


Officially, each player must complete his turn within 4 minutes. It's in the rules. While I usually think a rule like that is pointless, I can see how it can help eliminate AP and should certainly be used in tournament play.
 
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Marco Keja
Netherlands
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Although it is in the rules around here the time limit is never used. In tournament play you usually get 2 hours for a game with a little time to spare if necessary. This means you can take your time on 1 turn, as long as you speed up on another. For most people the 2 hours are enough.

In league play games sometimes take longer, especially when both teams have gained a lot of skills. All the extra skills change the rules player by player, which gives you more to take into account.
 
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W. Beljo
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Quote:
Officially, each player must complete his turn within 4 minutes. It's in the rules. While I usually think a rule like that is pointless,


This rule isn`t to be underestimated as with slooow players I gone through 5 to 6 hours game.

The time pressure should assure that not on every turn you can execute the perfect play.
Also with time pressure the play style changes and there is more adrenaline involved, especially in play-off games.

After the 2nd learning game I would play always with the time limit. Players adjust very fast to this and the game is just more entertaining.
 
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