Blood Bowl and I Hot

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Mr. White     
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Blood Bowl

A brief summary of my journey with my most played and explored game.

I think my first game of Blood Bowl was back in ’90 or ’91. Somehow my brother ended up with a copy of the second edition and I managed to land a skaven team. We fumbled through several games. Rolled on a few charts, then rolled on some others, finally we rolled on some more. At the time I didn’t mind. I had already been a seasoned Dark Future Op so rolling on charts for results (these weren’t technically CRTs) seemed like GW business as usual. We played around with it a bit, but it didn’t quite stick in our house and we went back to RPGs, Heroquest and the like. 

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(Throwers #5 and #16 are still my favorite BB minis of all time. Hands down.)

Not long after that, 3rd edition came out. We had seen several preview images in White Dwarf and I liked the look of the minis on this new game with their aesthetic more closely matching that of their Warhammer cousins We played a few games with the standard humans and orcs, and were blown away by the mechanics. Gone were most of the charts as these new dice took over the bulk of the results. We grabbed a few buddies and started up a small league which killed off most of any other type of gaming. Sure, we still played the occasional game of Advanced HeroQuest, Man O War, Silent Death or Necromunda, but they all seemed to be diversions between Blood Bowl leagues.

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(The King of All Gaming)

This tapered off a bit around ’97 as I was finishing off college and focusing more on going out to music venues and hanging out with various crews.

Upon graduation, I moved to Austin, TX only keeping two of those minis heavy GW games. AHQ and BB. Not knowing a soul in Austin, I did something I never thought I’d do. I went to a D&D meet-up advertised at a local game store. The game was a disaster, but about midway through the game a DM from some other group happened to pop by to visit with our DM. Somehow he and I hit it off talking about pro-wrestling…I ended up dumping that group and joined this other dude’s.

A few months after joining this D&D group, I floated the idea of Blood Bowl to a few of the players who, being football fans, were receptive. Well, that effectively ended the D&D campaign...

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(Iconic icons. Even know a fella with these as a tattoo.)

I run a pretty tight Blood Bowl league. The elevator pitch to interested coaches is that we’re more akin to an RPG group than a standard Blood Bowl league. I don’t do open format, but have a season schedule posted. All coaches are expected to attend on game nights, but we’re flexible when these nights are. Coaches are also expected to contribute to the weekly league newsletter. I’ve found that these sort of regulations provide more buy-in than the standard open format does where coaches drift away when their team does poorly. The self-generating peer pressure in my leagues prevent that…you can hose all the other players by pulling out. Well, I do throw a bone or two to the lower placed teams as they can play in a Dungeon Bowl or the like that same week the top teams play for the final. So, there’s still something fun to do even as a basement team.

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(League logo circa 2002)

So, my league is called The XBBL, the Xtreme Blood Bowl League. Sounds lame and uncreative, but it’s based on the failed XFL (Xtreme Football League) that Vince McMahon ran for a season in the early 00’s. In another nod to pro-wrestling, the fluff on our league is that teams travel around The Old World putting on matches…think of it like wrestlers travelling around in the days of the territories (a setting, I’d still love to see gamed). So, we have different weather charts depending on where we’re playing. Playing the games at the same time, when a weather change is rolled in one match, it affects all of the matches immediately. We also allow for bounties to be put on other players, have weekly featured players, and allow loans. These small rule additions provide a ‘togetherness’ between the various tables on a game night. It’s an easy way to give us all the sense of interacting ‘in-game’ even though we’re playing separate 2-player games.

Oh, since we have more structure than most leagues, I try to keep the count small. 4 is always my minimum, but I’d never have more than 8 coaches in. Beyond that, it’ too hard to schedule that many folks and get the season done in any respectable time


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(My most successful team in the early 00's. I miss these fellas...)

 

So, back to my timeline here…We must have run though about 8-9 seasons during this period. We’d do all novice seasons, all elf teams, all human teams, veterans, all sorts of combinations. We had a couple of players attend the first Official Blood Bowl Tournament in England. I wasn’t able to attend this, but was doing fairly well in local tournaments when they came up winning the top spot in tourneys in San Antonio, Dallas, Houston, and Austin.

During those years I was fairly active on what was then TalkBloodBowl (now TalkFantasyFootball ) talking with Tom Anders who was running the Rules Committee with BB’s creator Jarvis Johnson. The NAF started up, which is the worldwide organization that hosts player rankings and such.

About 4-5 years of BB pretty much nonstop, a big blow up in the TBB forums, and I found my BB itch no longer just an itch, but it was turning into a sore. A sore I was tearing. I was getting tired of it all. I suppose the timing was right as several of my favorite coaches had moved away, I started revisiting boardgames, and switched careers.

So, I fell out of the game. Folded up the league, sold all of my stuff and thought I’d be moving on to other things. In my time away was the whole C&D by GW vs the internet, the screwing of Tom Anders, and the killing off of the Specialist Games line. I felt vindicated having distancing myself from the game.

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(BB:TM – fun but not the same)

Years rolled on and focusing on boardgames as my nerd hobby began to start feeling empty and hollow. The camaraderie was still great as I continued to game with friends, but my hobby felt more like a weekly fix rather than any sort of substantial gaming. I started longing for something campaign based again. A few of the old XBBL coaches moved back into the area and I started meeting up with fellow F:ATTie and BB fanatic, Metalface.

The stars were realigning. The company may suck, the game may be dead, but it was time to reclaim glory on the pitch.

I caught up on the current scene…which is thriving. Maybe even moreso than a decade and a half ago.

The game has a worldwide presence despite GWs attempt to kill it. Companies, mostly out of Europe, are cranking out beautiful new minis for all of the existing teams. There’s a fairly solid rulebook out for competitive settings. The NAF seems to have taken over any further development of these rules which so far seems to be a positive. I like the new skills and feel they ‘re dynamic and add more depth to the game. A few of the second edition teams are legit again such as the Slann and Underworld Creepers, but some of the lamer 3rd/4th edition ones managed to stick around like that damn pro-elf team (a rant for another time) and I understand there may be a push for a few more…I’ve heard an ape team mentioned, but I dunno…

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During my years away, one of my old XBBL coaches started up the ABBL, The Austin Blood Bowl League, and they have a large, open format league that meets-up weekly. They also have a coach who continues to put on an annual tournament, the R.O.T. Cup. He’s hooked up with BB banner wavers out of Norman, Ok (who put on 3-4 annual tournaments themselves as well as the BB podcast, Both Down) and with a few other cities (Dallas, Kansas City, hopefully Houston soon) have created the SCARS series - a series where players get points for tournaments that go toward your series score so there will be an overall winner of all.

I went to my first tournament last year and didn’t fare so well. I blame my time away from the game and its new skills as well as playing a new-to-me team, the Chaos Dwarves. Still, I managed to avoid going home empty handed as I was awarded the dirtiest player at the tournament. It wasn’t my fault I had a few sons of Hashut with a penchant for fouling… Overall, I had a great time and it was good to reconnect with the game.

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(Current 'Attitude' Era XBBL Crest. Courtesy of F:ATtie Sgt. Dave)

I’ve since attended a two-day tournament up in Norman, where I did much better, and have fired up the old XBBL engine again. Still with similar fluff, but we’ve now added a rule where the commissioner, Vince McMayhem, may get involved in matches further tying our league to the world of professional wrestling. Oh, to that point, I’ve found the personalities, rankings, newsletters, and campaign structure of Blood Bowl leagues to fill the void of any pro-wrestling gaming in my life. A solid Blood Bowl league contains all the same drama and plenty of elbows.

So, here I am in 2015…25 years on from my first games with that second edition set my brother brought home. I’ve sold off most of my boardgames, I’m running a BB league, and am considering lending some tournament support in the future. I doubt I get as active in the BB online forums as I was and I’ve never cared for my NAF rankings (having a membership only to help my opponent’s rankings), but being back into Blood Bowl feels like a homecoming. To be honest, it’s also great to be a part of an underground gaming community, while gaming as a whole has gone mainstream. Blood Bowl is more than just a game for me now. It pretty much defines the past three decades of my gaming life. As I roll into my 40's, I can clearly state that I’m Blood Bowl….4 Life!

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(My Iron Maiden and Misfits inspired Dark Elf team...who need some publicity photos. Logo courtesy of F:ATtie Metalface)

Reference Links:

Competition Rules: http://cdn.akamai.steamstatic.com/steam/apps/58520/manuals/Blood_Bowl_Competition_Rules.pdf?t=1407400777 

S.C.A.R.S and Both Down Podcast: http://bothdown.com/scars/ 

R.O.T Cup: http://www.rotcuptx.com 

XBBL Site: https://xbbleague.wordpress.com (more than just bad fiction...be sure to visit the store!)

Some of my former minis (yes, I wish I still had these figs):

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Blood Bowl and I There Will Be Games
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Posted: 23 Jun 2015 06:45 by edulis #204815
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Great. Now I want to dust off the halflings and see if I can get a league started...
Posted: 23 Jun 2015 07:10 by birdman37 #204818
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A great read, thanks for posting!
Posted: 23 Jun 2015 07:33 by charlest #204819
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I remember seeing Blood Bowl being played back in its heyday and thinking it looked pretty awesome but never got into it. Warhammer Quest was my obsession at the time and wouldn't let me go.

This makes me want to give it a shot though.
Posted: 23 Jun 2015 07:51 by VonTush #204820
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Blood Bowl is the game that I both love and hate in extremes.
The design is tight and the community is like none other where 25 years of worldwide development has taken place making the game tight and just short of perfect.

That said, the turnover rules make me despise the game because my brain does not function in the way that it needs to in order to be successful at the game. I get too caught up in the excitement of the game and jump right into the action which of course involves risk instead of taking the time to setup and reorganize the rest of my team to prep for future turns.

So I sold my Dwarves and Norse teams to my buddy who is an avid BB player/collector (over a dozen or so teams at least), traded off my copy of the game...BUT, I did still keep my Chaos Dwarves around because stovepipe hats are awesome and I wanted to keep one team waiting in the wings should a league spring up in the area.
Posted: 23 Jun 2015 07:51 by Gary Sax #204821
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3rd edition was my entry into the series as well. What a great package...
Posted: 23 Jun 2015 10:00 by metalface13 #204825
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Awesome post Jeff! I'm sad to be leaving Austin and the XBBL, but we'll keep it alive with the XBBL Online!

I'd like to see others post similar stuff about how they got into various games/aspects of the hobby. I always love talking with gamers about their hobby roots. Maybe I'll do my personal BB history when I get the chance.
Posted: 23 Jun 2015 10:17 by hotseatgames #204827
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Great article! I've only played the game proper once, but I'd love to give it another go. I don't have enough regular gaming to ever be able to pull off a league, but I'll bet that's a lot of fun.
Posted: 23 Jun 2015 14:49 by Space Ghost #204842
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If one were interested in purchasing teams/minis, are there dedicated stores (seems like it was alluded to in the article)? What are the best ones?
Posted: 23 Jun 2015 17:47 by Brewmiester #204849
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NAF has a good list

www.thenaf.net/resources/suppliers/

I'm fond of Impact.

Rolljordan has an Indiegogo norse team ending in three days

www.indiegogo.com/projects/rolljordan-ic...tasy-football#/story
Posted: 23 Jun 2015 21:01 by birdman37 #204854
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Actually, what the hell, I'm feeling generous, and it's great to see the the love of Blood Bowl being spread on non-specialist forums.

Mr. White, I'm currently in the process of getting a set of custom dice engraved to help out with my armour and injury rolls in Blood Bowl, as I've been rolling like crap for the last two seasons in my local league here in Oz, and have decided that it's the dice that are at fault. They're actually just D6s, with the six pip side replaced with a cracked helmet (armour) and cracked skull (injury).


If you're happy to PM me your mailing address, I'll do my utmost to arrange a complementary set of these dice to be sent to you. Just think, you'll enjoy the privilege of being the only Blood Bowl player in the US able to actually celebrate rolling double skulls! ;)

Now having said that, I won't guarantee that I can get them to you, because that's up to the manufacturer. However, hopefully the lovely folks at Chessex can handle a slight split in the order, because it would be crazy and expensive to have them sent all the way to Oz, and then back to the US!
Posted: 23 Jun 2015 22:41 by Dr. Mabuse #204856
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metalface13 wrote:
Awesome post Jeff! I'm sad to be leaving Austin and the XBBL, but we'll keep it alive with the XBBL Online!

I'd like to see others post similar stuff about how they got into various games/aspects of the hobby. I always love talking with gamers about their hobby roots. Maybe I'll do my personal BB history when I get the chance.
Umm....that logo is fucking fantastic Metal.

The Talent is strong in this one.
Posted: 23 Jun 2015 23:32 by Mr. White #204858
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Wow, Birdman, that _is_ generous. I'd be happy to roll a set of those dice during my league games. Address inbound...cheers!

Space Ghost, as far as companies making miniatures, Brewmeister's NAF link is pretty good. It also has the link to the swedish league page that has done us all the great service of listing potential new minis by race.

Some notes on these companies:

Impact does a lot of tourney support in the US and is run by the esteemed Tom Anders. I have a soft spot for this company, whose head honcho has done so much for the worldwide BB community. They offer a line of teams for $35 in their 'trollcast' line that can be used to get new coaches into the game fairly cheaply.

Willy miniatures look amazing, but I think are actually 30 or 32mm, so are a bit larger than standard GW 28mm minis. This may or may not be an issue for you. I'm a huge fan of their treemen and look to order both Oldstomp and Treeman 3. Larger than usual treemen is no biggie, IMO. www.willy-miniatures.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Halflings

Vortice make very fine models, and I think the line is about right in size. We've got a coach in the league with several minis from this line and I can say the quality is fantastic. Starting with this page and forward, there's info on the new Ogre team that Vortice currently has for pre-order. The cardboard box to put over an ogre who failed 'bonehead' is an inspired touch. I know a few folks who have put in for a pre-order. The Vortice website has much to be desired but they seem to be on the straight and narrow. Just need to email them what you want.
www.talkfantasyfootball.org/viewtopic.ph...23&t=38693&start=330

Also, I don't see a link to RollJordan's actual website on that NAF resource page, so here it is if I missed it: lnx.rolljordan.com

Back during the initial release of 3rd edition, i was a big fan of the minis. Then I went through a phase where I preferred the look of GW 2nd edition. I've sort of swung back to the 3rd edition minis and focusing on GW models keeps me sane. A lot of the newer figs are fantastic, so I have to contain myself from buying in on the new lines. Focusing on GW allows me to sort of 'treasure hunt' online if you will _and_ keep my spending focused. However, there are some models, that I felt GW never did right (treemen) and others that are simply too expensive for me to buy oop at this time. GW amazons, lizard men, and vampire teams fall in this category for me. I'll probably pick up the Impact trollcast amazons: www.impactminiatures.com/index.php?optio...s_profile&id=TC_AMZN
Posted: 24 Jun 2015 00:19 by Mr. White #204859
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metalface13 wrote:
Awesome post Jeff! I'm sad to be leaving Austin and the XBBL, but we'll keep it alive with the XBBL Online!

I'd like to see others post similar stuff about how they got into various games/aspects of the hobby. I always love talking with gamers about their hobby roots. Maybe I'll do my personal BB history when I get the chance.

Casey, your enthusiasm is going to be missed at our tables. I'm serious when I said we need to find a way to get you back with the xbbl pack for a tourney or two.

Good luck in Pittsburgh!
Posted: 24 Jun 2015 01:30 by sydo #204861
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What a great post! I love those 2nd Ed Skaven and the unusual colour choice for the Nurgle team.

BB is my favouritre game of old time now. After many unfinished leagues, we now have a great commissioneer who runs the league well so we are now in a 2nd year of our tabletop Chaos League (12 coaches). Managed to finish second in the first year with my human team, now I am enjoying the struggle in the end of the rankings with my vampires. Trying to collect the GW figures as I like them the most. BB is my obsession now and I am proud of it :)
Posted: 24 Jun 2015 01:31 by sydo #204862
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Damn, I meant "of all time".
Posted: 24 Jun 2015 07:14 by drewcula #204866
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What a great read! I have a lot of awesome memories with both the 2nd and 3rd edition. Did you ever get a copy of the 1st edition?

I look forward to hearing your opinion about DreadBall.
Posted: 24 Jun 2015 07:33 by drewcula #204867
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JW,
Could you give us a run down of the "screwing of Tom Anders?" I'm familiar with GW's C&D and the Specialist line death sentence - but not so much on Anders
-AW
Posted: 24 Jun 2015 09:48 by Almalik #204880
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I remember ordering from GW mail order years ago when they had crazy clearance sale on "random" blood bowl blisters. I ordered I think 50 packs and got 50 blisters of Skaven mutants!

Also: Someone find me a job in Austin!
Posted: 24 Jun 2015 10:47 by metalface13 #204883
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Dr. Mabuse wrote:
Umm....that logo is fucking fantastic Metal.

The Talent is strong in this one.

Haha, thanks! I kind of cheated, the dragon head is from shutterstock, I downloaded it on our work account and modified it. I've painted maybe two minis in my entire life, it's not my strong suit, so making logos, advertisements and what not are how I participate in making the game look better.

Here are my BB spoof ads











Jeff's season 1 chaos dwarf logo


Any my winning team's logo


And a logo I was commissioned to do by somebody on TFF
Posted: 24 Jun 2015 10:57 by metalface13 #204886
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As for buying new BB teams, www.comixininos.com is pretty good as your one-stop shop, but they don't have everything.

Blood Bowl Blog has a good list of makers/retailers at the bottom of this page as well as a link to some Swedish forum where people have alternative models for each team.

www.bloodbowlblog.com/buy-figures/
Posted: 24 Jun 2015 12:15 by Da Bid Dabid #204887
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I currently do not have the time to discuss at length everything I want to share about my long running BB league, I will revisit this thread when I can. But I do want to at least share one of my favorite pre-season posters I make every year to get the coaches excited about the upcoming season.

Posted: 25 Jun 2015 00:55 by sydo #204906
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I have two a couple of problems with Dreadball:
1) The rules are scattered through several books so finding the right rule is a pain
2) The game takes itself too seriously whereas BB is a parody of the real world
3) Blood Bowl needs both good tactics and overall strategy. DB is just tactics.
4) The game sucks :) Sure, dice can (and will) screw you in BB, but BB is still a chess match compared to DB. A card that steals you a ball and throws it again in the middle? WTF?

I really tried to like DB but couldn't bring myself to finish a season. And other coaches are disappointed too now at the end of the season. Sure, it's shorter than BB but that is no concern to me as I like long games as long as they are good.
Posted: 25 Jun 2015 06:03 by drewcula #204908
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sydo wrote:
I have two a couple of problems with Dreadball:
1) The rules are scattered through several books so finding the right rule is a pain
2) The game takes itself too seriously whereas BB is a parody of the real world
3) Blood Bowl needs both good tactics and overall strategy. DB is just tactics.
4) The game sucks :) Sure, dice can (and will) screw you in BB, but BB is still a chess match compared to DB. A card that steals you a ball and throws it again in the middle? WTF?

I really tried to like DB but couldn't bring myself to finish a season. And other coaches are disappointed too now at the end of the season. Sure, it's shorter than BB but that is no concern to me as I like long games as long as they are good.

I don't wanna curve too far away from Jeff's awesome post, but as FATie's unabashed fan of DreadBall - I'll offer a few counterpoints.

Firstly, I should state that I love Blood Bowl. I always will. But at this point in my life - DreadBall is a better fit.
1) DB rules are poorly laid out, period. I've read worse from GW and FFG (that's not an excuse). However, additional/optional DB rules are laid out via season alongside new teams. Everything someone needs to get started can do so with the first book. If a coach wants to play with a team beyond season one, they'll need the accompanying season rulebook. Blood Bowl is no holy grail of rule lay out either. Whereas BB has had 29 years of development, DB has had 3.
2) The DB rules are a bit dry. There's flavor text, and it tries to be humorous (increasingly) - but it's not as overt as BB. I think part of this is due to the poor lay out.
3) I just can't agree with this statement at all. In our league's experience, the "meta game" is just as important as the individual match. Ex: Do I resurrect a dead player, buy a coaching die, hire an MVP at the expense of not leveling a team player? How do those decisions effect my team ranking and my next opponent's underdog bonus?
4) I'd suggest DB is more like speed chess. Is the DB 'The Ball Shatters' card all that different from a BB ball going off the pitch? There's only one of those cards in the deck of 52. Referring to tactics, it's a fun ruse to bluff your opponent into believing you have the card in your hand.

The shortened game length is imperative for my league. I'd love for everyone to experiment with a BB season. But with several news fathers in the group; cost of entry and length of game is big deal.
Posted: 25 Jun 2015 23:02 by Mr. White #204972
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Dreadball - I do plan on writing up an article on it, but it'll be at least 6 months out. I'm in the process of collecting/painting what I need and reading through the league rules. I've got another BB season to run after this current one is done, but yeah, I'll get to Dreadball. It'll be more of a 'Starting a League' article though as I'm coming to this new. I have no history with it, missed all the kickstarters, etc. It already has me wanting to make a small cosmetic change to my XBBL league, but I'll have to see if coaches are receptive.

Tom Anders - The brief version is that during the GW corporate hammer dropping (the C&D era) they realized Tom was doing all this free work. Well, if he's doing all this BB work free...why is JJ around? JJ didn't want to lose his position due to redundancy, so all communications with Tom were dropped. I've also heard that Tom's name was scrubbed from any BB related document per GW legal, but can't confirm that. I still see his name on the Living RuleBook 6, but maybe I have an older edition? I dunno, I use that 'competitive' ruleset, so maybe LRB 6 is outdated and GW doesn't care? There was talk about it over in the TalkFantasyFootball forums if you dig back to around 2009 or 2010.

Da Bid Dabid, Metalface, I'd love to read y'alls experience with the game.

It's funny to think that BB's heyday was back in the late 80's or 90's, I guess we'd only feel that way because that's when product was being produced by the parent company, but really it's heyday may be closer to present time. I feel like I know far more active BB coaches now than I have at any previous time over the past 25 years, there were those somewhat recent comics, BB:TM, and that cyanide videogame. BB's brand as a whole may be stronger now than it's ever been.

One of the guys in my league has talked about running a tournament under the XBBL banner, but I dunno. Most cities have one league and their league name involves the city. I kind of like how we're this rogue league in Austin with only allegiance to ourselves. I feel we're sorta like the NWO in a way. :) Plus, I'd really rather support the current Austin tournament organizer rather than potentially fraction his coach base. I've read that in Europe attendance at BB tourneys is dipping, but that's most likely because the number of tourneys have gone up. The league and tournament scenes are both strong in our area. So, in regards to tournaments, my argument has been to support what exists over create another. Who knows if it's the right call or not.
Posted: 26 Jun 2015 03:45 by Jazzbeaux #204982
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We managed a mini season here ending in a four way game on one of the Comixinos boards. I can recommend their service, although being in the EU they might not be so good for those based outside of it.

Sam
Posted: 26 Jun 2015 12:02 by metalface13 #205005
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Jeff, I like how you say you feel like you're playing an "underground" game. I'd never really thought about it before but it's true, the current rules are governed by a body of fans rather than a publisher and free and available to all. You can use models from pretty much anywhere, old official GW models, conversions and all these new third-publishers with new sculpts. Add to that all the tournament support that again comes from fans and not publisher support, it really is like a grassroots movement.

But funny that you're also right, the Blood Bowl brand is stronger than ever. It's kind of confusing to see those two things happen at the same time including Cyanide getting the reins to make changes to the rules and create new teams to their video games.
Posted: 26 Jun 2015 13:19 by Columbob #205009
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This is one of the best "Tell us a little about yourself" type of post. Cheers!
Posted: 26 Jun 2015 17:22 by Brewmiester #205020
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Jazzbeaux wrote:
We managed a mini season here ending in a four way game on one of the Comixinos boards. I can recommend their service, although being in the EU they might not be so good for those based outside of it.
Sam

Noble Knight Games here in the US seem to have a pretty good selection of them

www.nobleknight.com/ViewProdLine.asp_Q_M...ID_E_5_A_GenreID_E_0
Posted: 27 Jun 2015 10:07 by Mr. White #205032
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If i recall correctly, that four-way board is a variant called Death Ball. I remember reading about it as a featured article in one of those little Blood Bowl Magazines GW used to put out that contained fan material. I cut up two of those 2nd ed 'astrogranite' boards (wouldn't do that now!) and made a four-way Death Ball board in about 2002 and we tried it out. Pretty chaotic.

Other BB variants I've played are Dungeon Bowl and two designed within our league:

All-Star game - We had 6 coaches at the time and we split the races into what we thought would be a best order/chaos alignment, so three teams a side. Each coach brought their top 4 players based on SPPs and one re-roll (plus, any Leader re-rolls a player would have). This gave each side 12 players and about three re-rolls. Each turn, the three coaches would play their teams' minis in random order...that is, between a ork, undead, and skaven coach the order they would play would change, but on his sub turn that team's coach could move his 3-4 minis in any way they saw fit. Actions such as passing and hand-offs between players would involve an animosity roll as these players would rather grab the spotlight for themselves or their real club over their all-star team. This was fun and chaotic as well. Some coaches enjoyed it for grins others weren't impressed as they didn't want their stars taking casualties in this gonzo 'side' game. Much like real life coaches...ha!

Hell Game - This was a match another coach came up with that we'd do for the two last place teams. Basically, they'd get a ton of sponsorship money to 'test out new footwear'. Each side would also get three wizards and play under a pretty harsh water chart to test the durability of these shoes. The idea was to play a brutal game but reap a lot of money in the end to help bring the teams' ratings up a little for the next season.
Posted: 01 Jul 2015 13:09 by Mr. White #205231
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This Friday, the two undefeated teams at the top of the table collide in the first game of a double header.

The chaos dwarf coach (SGT Dave), sketched up this image in anticipation. Sharing because I think it's awesome and needs to be seen.

Posted: 01 Jul 2015 16:31 by quozl #205239
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Does he do that professionally? Because that is awesome!
Posted: 01 Jul 2015 19:38 by metalface13 #205244
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quozl wrote:
Does he do that professionally? Because that is awesome!

No, but I think he does some independent comics on the side.
Posted: 16 Aug 2015 18:04 by Mr. White #208663
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Birdman37's dice came in yesterday and I'm going to need them!

I'm doing terrible with only one win on the season and one more regular season game to go and against one of our leading teams (who's part of a three-way tie for first). If I can beat him convincingly I can spoil his parade and prevent him from securing a spot in the final. It's my rival, James, so a noble goal. :)

Thanks again, Birdman37, these dice are ace!
Posted: 17 Aug 2015 07:05 by birdman37 #208674
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My pleasure, Jeff, glad to see they arrived safe and sound. Good luck in the match, I hope you roll many cracked helmets and skulls with them!
Posted: 16 Oct 2015 19:34 by Mr. White #212617
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drewcula wrote:
JW,
Could you give us a run down of the "screwing of Tom Anders?" I'm familiar with GW's C&D and the Specialist line death sentence - but not so much on Anders
-AW

AW,

Here's a little more. I was looking around for a halfling chef and saw this Impact mini buried in their Eflball line. I had never seen it before, but the description is great. I'll probably pick up the version of this halfling without the witch for my team.

www.impactminiatures.com/index.php?optio...r_profile&id=EO_TAND
Posted: 16 Oct 2015 20:08 by drewcula #212619
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Mr. White wrote:
drewcula wrote:
JW,
Could you give us a run down of the "screwing of Tom Anders?" I'm familiar with GW's C&D and the Specialist line death sentence - but not so much on Anders
-AW

AW,

Here's a little more. I was looking around for a halfling chef and saw this Impact mini buried in their Eflball line. I had never seen it before, but the description is great. I'll probably pick up the version of this halfling without the witch for my team.

www.impactminiatures.com/index.php?optio...r_profile&id=EO_TAND

Wow. New respect for Impact Miniatures. Thanks for the share.
Posted: 16 Oct 2015 21:21 by wadenels #212637
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Despite the goofy name Elfball is a lot of fun and I appreciate having a bunch of paper standee teams for cheap.
Posted: 21 Oct 2015 21:39 by GalakStarscraper #213049
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A really great read. Thanks for the kind words about Impact! I do my best to make it the best place to get anything you need to have a great BB experience without breaking your wallet.

I got a laugh from the "screwing of Tom Anders" comment (which is how I found the forum doing some Google searching to make sure I was not missing any customer complaints on a forum that I could fix).

Since it was asked ... here is what that was:
Jervis Johnson asked me to help rewrite Blood Bowl to get it to be a better game. There were 3 people at the head of this project. JJ, myself and Ian Williams. JJ had to drop out as GW would not allow him to spend the time continuing to work on it and Ian had family commitments that meant he could not continue. So JJ was actually attending Gen Con that year and had dinner at my house. He said ... no one else can or will lead this project so I'm willing to make what we have as the rules now the official new rulebook unless you are willing to take full control over the process. The rules were still in the works ... making that version official would have been a major mistake so I agree to take over as the sole person working on Blood Bowl. This lasted for a little over a year with me as sole rules editor. In that time, I think I did some good things ... I pushed in the change to the Norse roster based on the original 3rd edition first version of the team, I created the Slann team and the rules for the Chaos Pact team and was able to tweak a LOT of skills to get them better or more balanced. I worked with fan of the game, Stephen Hutton, to put in all new background to match the new edition. And the entire PDF you see online ... I typed that myself along with all the graphic and layout work. In total, I spent roughly 2,500 hours working on the new rules (split between discussing the changes with playtesters, multiple forum discussions and work on creating the layout copy of the new rulebook (along with having to type in all the text of the rules).. I was never paid for any of this work. (in full disclosure as a thank you Jervis gave me the GW copy of the helmet that was given as the prize for the 1st ever BB tournament GW ever held. They made two copies of the helmet, one went to the winner of the tournament and they kept the other. When JJ asked if there was anything not monetary he could give me for multiple years of work (both on the committee of 3 and then on my own) I asked for the helmet. So I did get something for my work but it was not meant as payment ... but it was a cool thank you.)

In the final weeks of finalizing the new rulebook, Jervis told me that GW was concerned about how many new star players I had added to the game that did not have miniatures and that several of these small mini companies would try to profit from it and if they thought that would happen that they would force us to remove all those star players from the rulebook. Making sure each team had 6 Star Players spread out at different cost points was one of the things we had spent many many games and hours testing to balance and to just start deleting star players would mess with the overall inducement balance. So based on Jervis telling me this like he did frequently on items he wanted me to discuss with the players about (but I will admit he did not tell me to go talk to the players about this concern but it was common for him to bring up points for me to work on and get back to him as I was the head of the rules project). ... anyway I went to the community via TFF and put an appeal to the mini companies for the sake of the game to not make any star player minis or announce plans to do so .. thus allowing the rules as we had finalized them to become official.

This post was picked up by TableTopGamingNews.com and it was ran with a very negative GW spins that they would destroy 2 years of work over missing a few minis. GW had just hired a new head of legal and she was notified of this bad press and immediately wanted heads. In short order ... I was offered up as a scapegoat to her under the statement that I had discussed a private conversation between Jervis and I publically against my non-disclosure agreement. Which was nuts ... I frequently talked on the forums about things JJ asked me to check out with the playtesters ... it was commonplace. But the new head of legal wanted a head ... and mine was easy to offer. See the testing was completely finished, Jervis had already announced to the rules committee that he was disbanding it and I had already finished all the graphic layout and text work for the new rulebook and turned it to Jervis. My role was done ... so there was no negative to anyone at GW with offering me up to the new head of legal. So it was publicly announced by GW that I would never be allowed to work on Blood Bowl every again, that I would not be allowed to assist Cyanide anymore with their development and my name was removed from the rulebook as the Handbook and Rules Editor of this version and the one that really broke my heart ... all my new background material was removed from the book. But I was happy that by allowing myself to be the scapegoat meant that GW was willing to publish the rules as I had finalized them without changing them ... so I took the kick from them and didn't fight it. The game was all that mattered to me and the game changes were good in my opinion and if GW would make them official in exchange for kicking me in the teeth ... okay. They also took away my domain for my fan run BB site and forced me to delete about 50% of the content on it at the same time so that was in the mix as well.

And then just walking away and time fixed a lot of the worst kick in the teeth issues. Despite being officially banned in writing from GW legal from working on anything related to Blood Bowl, a few years later the woman who was head of legal was gone and forgotten and Cyanide needed help designing a new team and GW allowed them to bring me as a consultant. A few years after that ... the best thing of all happened. GW allowed my original rulebook that I created for the game to be published to the internet as the official rulebook for Blood Bowl. All my hours of work with all that background and images and layout was now officially available for everyone to get for free and approved by GW ... that was a good day (this is normally referred to online as the Icepelt Rulebook if you go looking for it).

Now I spend my time making Impact! as good as possible. Elfball is a really solid game that I designed after being kicked out by GW. It is my hope in 2016 at some point to bring the game out with a new name, an updated version of the rules based on a lot of player feedback along with a high end box to get hopefully some more players to actually get a chance to see it. The good news is that your BB teams work as teams in Elfball so you don't need to pick up new minis to play the game.

Hope that helps ... great post and thread.
Posted: 21 Oct 2015 22:07 by Mr. White #213053
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Tom, thank you for taking the time to create an account and fill us in on the deets!

I had _no_ idea the story had a happy ending nor that the icepelt rulebook was online. Doing the search I see that Cyanide now officially hosts these rules. If you've got another minute I've got three questions.

1) Are you and Jarvis on good terms? I hope y'all have been able to make amends.

2) Since Cyanide hosts the rules, and makes the only new bb game, are they the official stewards of the game now? Does this mean brettonians may become an official team?

3) We're aware of the Age of Sigmar and the death of the old world. Also, we understand bb is not exactly in the warhammer universe. With that, what's the thought that the old world is no more... I mean, does that have any impact on potential development by either yourself or Cyanide?

Thanks again for dropping by and for all the work you've done for the game and it's community! I know you have also been very generous with prize support for tournaments. Thank you. I'm going to get the icepelt (oh, where'd that name come from?) printed out this weekend and look forward to Impact's continued growth.
Posted: 22 Oct 2015 05:34 by GalakStarscraper #213057
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1) Are you and Jarvis on good terms? I hope y'all have been able to make amends.

Unfortunately no. The last email I ever received from Jervis was when the new lawyer was in charge and it asked me to never email him again and if I had anything I wanted to email to send it directly to GW legal. I have never heard from him since. However, I was not a good friend of his. I was at best a co-worker who had him over for dinner once. He had to take the GW line at the time that I was the scapegoat for the bad PR to keep his job and pay his mortgage and feed his kids. I do wish after everything calmed down that he had reached out just once to say "thanks for everything and sorry for how that went down" but it didn't happen. I do not hold a grudge on this.

2) Since Cyanide hosts the rules, and makes the only new bb game, are they the official stewards of the game now? Does this mean brettonians may become an official team?

This is one of those points that I think will be up to leagues ... but at this time I know the NAF has no intention of adding Brettonians to the official rules. Cyanide does not even see their own changes as being official. My evidence for this is two fold. One they created the Khorne team for their last game with the help of both Ian and myself (2 of the 3 principals in making the current rulebook) and then they come out with BB2 ... that team is gone. If you are changing the rules ... I'd have thought that would go along for the ride. And 2 ... they made no effort to include the Brettonians in the rulebook. Several people I know helping them work on BB2 could have helped them contact me about modifying the Icepelt rulebook to include the Brettonian roster in it ... but no such contact happened and Cyanide was happy to host the rulebook on their site to support BB2 that does not even mention the Brettonians. So I don't think they are the new official stewards and I do not think GW thinks they are either. Some REALLY bad choices were made on rule changes for BB2 ... so probably better for everyone if they are not the official stewards.

3) We're aware of the Age of Sigmar and the death of the old world. Also, we understand bb is not exactly in the warhammer universe. With that, what's the thought that the old world is no more... I mean, does that have any impact on potential development by either yourself or Cyanide?

I think BB is a great standalone game with SSOOOO much of its own background in the rulebook (now that Icepelt is public) that it can easily survive entirely without WFB being around. Heck I never played WFB or read those books and I completely knew the world that BB was in from the BB background from 1st and 2nd edition. It might mean that GW is really walking away currently from BB ... but that is not the end of the world for the game as long as they are licensing the video game and the card game ... it stays in gaming culture and the secondary market keeps it going. As an example when GW stopped selling BB, I worked with some of the guys in Australia to get the rights to several of their items so that I could add a kit to the store that had EVERYTHING from the BB boxed set (and MORE) for the exact same price that it was selling on the GW site before they removed it. ( www.impactminiatures.com/index.php?optio...q_profile&id=SB_BKIT ). So the game carries on.
Posted: 22 Oct 2015 05:54 by GalakStarscraper #213058
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Mr. White wrote:
I'm going to get the icepelt (oh, where'd that name come from?) printed out this weekend and look forward to Impact's continued growth.

It is called the Icepelt rulebook because right after GW posted the CRP with all the background, images and several pages of rules removed, a person calling himself Icepelt Hammerblow came on the scene. He had seen and saved the original final rulebook that was up on the internet for a few days before GW had it taken down an all the fun stuff stripped from it to make the CRP. He used a PDF editor to clean up a few things and then had 50 of them professional printed. He then emailed the 50 people that he thought had done the most work helping create the new rules and sent them a copy of this book for free and he paid for the shipping. I love my copy that I received as one of the 50. The book had a letter with it thanking for all the work and a statement that if each person wanted to pay it forward to another person they could send $25 to a PayPal address to cover the cost of the book and shipping and a copy would be sent to whoever they asked. Though this underground effort based on my understanding about 300 Icepelt rulebooks were printed in full color and sent out to people running leagues all over the world. Which kept the original work alive and as a result we ended up with two names for the rulebooks. The CRP which was on the GW website and the Icepelt rulebook which was the printed. These names stuck. 2 years later, Icepelt Hammerblow sent out an email to everyone that had received the books that he was unfortunately done printing them and as a final act of rebellion to GW he posted his electronic copy to a free download site for everyone else to be able to get. That version he posted several years later was the electronic file that Cyanide used to post as the official rulebook for BB to support BB2. Which as I said was a really good day for me as that was the book that I spent thousands of hours working to create.

And that is why it is called the Icepelt rulebook.
Posted: 22 Oct 2015 08:18 by metalface13 #213063
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Thanks for stopping by Tom, I hope you stick around as I know there are lots of casual BB fans around here (and more with BB2 just released). I really admire what you're doing with Impact, keep up the good work. I was actually thinking the other day with Age of Sigmar and the end of the Old World, if GW hadn't licensed the video game and the card game if the fans could have created a new setting for the rules that wouldn't have been GW dependent.
Posted: 22 Oct 2015 08:25 by GalakStarscraper #213064
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I have a notify me set up on this thread. So you can use it to summon me if you have a question on a different thread. ;-)
Posted: 22 Oct 2015 08:30 by Gary Sax #213066
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Ending the old world as a business decision is a really interesting one, because they have a lot of IP that is not miniature gaming that still depends on the old world setting.
Posted: 22 Oct 2015 16:48 by wadenels #213120
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Wow, thanks for all the info.

I hope you remember to drop by and post when the next generation of ElfBall materializes, because I am completely on board with that.
Posted: 22 Oct 2015 22:40 by Mr. White #213156
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Tom, a buddy of mine went in on your kickstarter for the Impact ogre team. If you are thinking of using kickstarter again for a new version of Elfball, this site runs banners at the top for what I believe is a small fee. I thought I read that other KS organizers found the return on their advertising here well worth it.

Back to Icepelt and the state of the BB universe. It may be my old age creeping up, but I want to say either the first printing of the 3rd edition rule book, maybe it was even Death zone, had a two page spread of a map of the old world with some stadiums listed on it. Again, BB isn't in Warhammer's old world, but very similar. I'm not sure if icepelt can be updated but if such a map could be inserted into the book, I feel it would go a long way toward perserving BB's universe. Dunno why but being able to see the locations of places mentioned in the fluff feels like it gives the world more weight. Maybe it's just because I'm a visual person, though.
Posted: 24 Oct 2015 08:41 by GalakStarscraper #213274
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If/When we do the Elfball relaunch ... will definitely check out the rate for an add. Thanks.

As for the rulebook and the two page map ... so that it worked with anyone (including GW) that wanted to print the box. The page count had to be a multiple of 8. So a lot of careful layout had to happen to make sure it all fit in 80 pages as 88 was consider to be too many.
Posted: 26 Oct 2015 06:30 by Mr. White #213355
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Interesting. I'll probably splice the map into my copy of Icepelt then.

Also, I see you've got some special play cards on the Impact! site. Are these the same as in the current rulebook? I'd like to have some nice copies of those cards.
Posted: 26 Oct 2015 11:27 by GalakStarscraper #213378
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Professionally printed decks to support the game.

Yes these are all of the Special Play Cards from all the tables in the current rulebook: www.impactminiatures.com/index.php?optio...q_profile&id=WQ_CARD

And this deck is all the current Star Players done in a short of baseball card style so you can put the star card near the field to easily remember skills and stats when you induce them: www.impactminiatures.com/index.php?optio...q_profile&id=AB_STAR

We make a kit that has everything you need to play the game ... so I carry a lot of unique accessories to help players in the store.