What is Blood Bowl?

Blood Bowl is a maniatures board game created by Jervis Johnson for the British games company Games Workshop as a parody of American Football. The Game was first released in 1986 and has been re-released in ned editions since. Blood Bowl is set in an alternative version of the Warhammer Fantasy setting, populated by traditional fantasy elements such as human warriors, goblins, dwarves, elves, orcs and trolls.

Blood Bowl is a two-player, turn-based board game that typically uses 28mm miniatures to represent a contest between two teams on a playing field. A board containing a grid overlay represents the field. Using dice, cards, and counters, the players attempt to score higher than each other by entering the opponent’s end zone with a player who possesses the ball. The “blood” in Blood Bowl is represented by the violent actions available to players. Game play is based on a hybrid of American Football and Rugby. Players may attempt to injure or maim the opposition in order to make scoring easier by reducing the number of players on the field. The player races are drawn from the ranks of fantasy races and have characteristics that reflect the abilities of those races. Elves tend to be agile and good at scoring, while dawrves and orcs are more suited to a grinding, physical style of play. All teams offer a choice between player types with different statistics: related races (e.g. skeletons and zombies in undead teams, various lizardmen types), guests of allied races (e.g. trolls in orc and goblin teams), exotic or monstrous units (e.g. ghouls, wights and mummies in undead teams), and specialists of different roles (usually some combination of Blockers, Blitzers, Throwers, Catchers, Runners and Linemen). Teams can include any number of players of the most basic type (usually linemen), while the stronger units are limited to 1, 2, 4 or 6 per team.


How to play Blood Bowl?

Teams consist of eleven to sixteen players, of which eleven are allowed on the pitch at any one time. Each player is represented by an appropriate miniature and has statistics and skills that dictate their effect on play. To avoid confusion, the human playing the game is always referred to as the “coach” and never the player. There are five player statistics as of the 2020 Season 2 update:

MA (Move Allowance) indicates how fast the player is.

ST (Strength) indicates the player’s basic fighting ability.

AG (Agility) indicates how well the player handles the ball and evades opposing players.

AV (Armour Value) indicates how difficult it is to injure the player.

PA (Passing) indicates how well the player can throw the ball. This is the only stat which some players do not possess.

In addition, players may have special skills that affect any number of circumstances in play. Some of the more commonly used skills are Block (for fighting), Dodge (for dodging out of an opponent’s tackle zone), Sure Hands (for picking up the ball), Pass (for throwing the ball), and Catch (for catching the ball). These skills are not necessary to perform their corresponding actions, but will give the player an advantage.

In Their turn, a coach may have each player take one of the following actions:

Move – Move the player through empty squares (opposing players may try to trip the moving player if they move close to them).

Block – Fight an adjacent opposing player who is standing.

In addition, the following four actions may be taken by one player per team turn:

Blitz – Move and then Block an adjacent opposing player who is standing (or Block and then Move).

Foul – Move and then foul an adjacent opposing player who is prone (or just foul an adjacent player who is prone).

Pass – Move and then throw the ball (or just throw the ball). In certain circumstances, players may instead throw their own teammates with this action, who may not bre carrying the ball – for instance an Ogre might throw a Goblin teammate.

Hands-Off – Move and then give the ball to an adjacent player (or just give the ball to an adjacent player).

Some skills also allow for special player actions.

Teams, and in a few cases players, have a limited stock of “re-rolls” which can be used to re-take failed rolls, though not more than once per turn.

Whenever a player action fails, a “turnover” occurs: the team turn ends immediately, and the opposing team begins theirs. This turnover rule is arguably the defining feature of Blood Bowl. It sustains tension throughout the turn, rewards effective planning by coaches who seek to prioritise actions which are the most virtal to improving their position, and can result in dramatic moments from unexpected outcomes. Further, a turnover automatically occurs after 4 minutes of play, to encourage fast-paced play.

Blood Bowl Events @ EPIC Ipswich

EPIC Ipswich does not currently run a regular Blood Bown event as of yet.

A singular ‘testing’ event is hosted on Sunday the 19th of September 2021 starting at 10AM.

Blood Bowl Resources

The Tackle Zone: Blood Bowl Guide – A useful guide to all of the teams in Blood Bowl.

Blood Bowl – The official homepage of Blood Bowl.

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