Thursday, 1 December 2016

Blood Bowl is back!

It's back! Blood Bowl, the fantasy football game set in the Warhammer world has been released under it's 5th iteration from Games Workshop. As you may have guessed from all the Blood Bowl related posts on this blog I'm a bit of a fan of this game.
The new game doesn't greatly change from the old. There are a few tweaks around the rules and they have enlarged the board to fit the 32mm bases used for the new models but it otherwise appears to be much the same game. I've unfortunately not had a good look inside the box as mine is sitting under the Christmas tree, however there are a plethora of reviews out on the interwebs that highlight all the changes if you're keen to find out what they are.

So if I don't have anything really to say about the new game or it's unboxing then what the heck am I posting about? Well for me this is more of a nostalgic post. With the release of the new edition I thought it might be high time to retire my old Blood Bowl board for the shiny new.

Over 20 years ago I bought my first copy of Blood Bowl with the release of Blood Bowl 3rd Edition:

It was a thing of beauty; 9,860 cubic centimetres of beautiful cardboard prints, plastic templates, heavy duty card playing board, custom dice and 24 plastic miniatures. However to see the game now in comparison to the new edition, it does show it's age. The development of both miniature design and digital graphic design have come a long way over the last two decades and the new models and supporting game elements are, in my opinion, vastly superior to 3rd Edition.

Despite how awesome this game was 20 years of constant use will take it's toll and these days my copy of the game is looking a little worse for wear...

The box looks mostly intact from far enough out but closer inspection tells a different story.

As you can tell the corners are now mostly held together with tape. The box top itself has even taken a few knocks leading to the creation of 'breathing holes' just to help air out the board and templates inside. Speaking of which, my templates over the last 20 years have developed an interesting yellow hue.

They are slowly developing the warm amber hues of a good Scotch. A bit more time and I should be able to distil and bottle them into a fine brew to be enjoyed alongside future games.

My board has held up pretty well overall with very little wear and tear; a testament to a great product from GW's heyday. My tokens are also in pretty good shape though the Turn and Score markers have had a lot of their print rubbed off from dragging them across the trackers on the boards. I have lost one Orc Re-Roll token somewhere along the line, and I also lost the original D8 at some point too. The replacement D8 is starting to look a little worse for wear but the Block Dice look as new as the day I bought the game.

So where to from here then? Well I thought I would give the old board a bit of a send off before I bring in the new 'stadium' as it were. I've been throwing round a few ideas but I keep coming back to having some kind of 'Grand Final' game on the board before it gets taken to the rubbish dump. This has kind of played into another idea I've been simmering on for a few months...

Narrative and story arcs have always been the more interesting aspect of gaming to me. The actual gaming itself is more of any offshoot of the models I enjoy painting and the story lines I create around them. While games like Warhammer 40k are quite easy to develop a narrative around I've found it more difficult doing so with my Blood Bowl teams. About 6 months ago though I had an idea that has really grown on me. Story development in Blood Bowl tends to come out of playing games and seeing how your players evolve through both skill increases in leagues and antics that happen during games. To start building a story around each team I was thinking I would base them all in a fictitious league and allow the story of each team to grow based on the results of their games. I could manage most of the games through some kind of roll-off system without having to even pull figures out of the box, the first Grand Final though I thought could be played between myself and an invitational coach on the old board. It'd be a nice way to have one last game on the old board with my own models.

I'll start drafting this all up and get a post up in the next couple of weeks, then before Christmas day I will have a post of the first NIBBL (Nuffle Independent Blood Bowl League) final! Well at least that's the plan, lets see how things go.

As always, thanks for reading. I've not forgotten about the Tale of One Gamer, I'm a little behind on my target as I'm trying to do this Object Source Lighting thing and I'm really struggling to get it right. More on that later though so check back next week and I'll have some final photos of the Dunecrawler.

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