General

League Play!! My introduction to the DBL

I have been playing Blood Bowl competitively coming up to 2 years now but it wasnt until earlier this year that I dipped my toe into the world of League Play. For those of you who are new to Blood Bowl, there are 3 core ways to play the game

  1. Exhibition Play – this is what you will most like take part in during the first few months of you Blood Bowl journey. This is purely a friendly game between you and a friend. The great thing about this is you can decide to use a vast range of optional rules that GW have provided which can conjure up some incredibly theatrical games.
  2. Tournament Play – it is by travelling to local tournaments that really kick started my addiction to this game. Tournaments can range from 1 or 2 day events and even 3 days when it comes to the World Cup which comes around every 4 years. Each event has its own unique set of rules to allow organisers to put a personal touch on their day. A small one day event will see you playing 3 or sometimes 4 games in a day with a winner at the end whilst the larger 2 day events will see 5 or 6 games being played over the weekend.
  3. League Play – this is where an agreed amount of games is played over a certain time scale, i.e 8 games to played in 12 weeks. It is then up to the participants in the league to organise all their games over that time. After this there is normally a play off stage to see who is the overall winner of the league. The interesting part of a league is the development and evolution of your players as you earn SPP.

Unfortunately due to work and the location of my local leagues it has taken me this long in order to take part in one. In February earlier this year I decided to get stuck in and joined the infamous ECBBL aka The Blackshirts. Now this league is highly competitive and highly skilled, many of the coaches are playing for or have played for Team England for example. For me this seemed to be a good opportunity to try to learn and improve my game. I was aware I would not do great but seemed a great opportunity to progress. Unfortunately due to the location and day they met up I struggled to get my games in, and had to cancel on opponents more than I would have liked to. So when I heard about another league in London that was more convenient to get to and played their games on different days throughout the week making it easier to complete my games, I had to find out more. Truth be told I already knew about the DBL, I had the pleasure to play against a few at local tournaments and had attended their first Backbreaker cup back in 2017. So lets talk about my first month into DBL18!!

‘not only is the depth and complexity of how the DBL is being run too impeccable to encapsulate in one word but I believe the effort put in deserves more’

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The DBL and its Organisers

The DBL is a Blood Bowl League Based in Covent Garden, London and is currently knee-deep in its fourth season since being established. Here is a brief biography taken from their website http://www.dragon-bowl-league.com

The Dragon Bowl League or the DBL for short started back in 2015, the first league didn’t last long. But with a bit of perseverance the second season was a success with 18 coaches vying for the coveted Dragon Bowl trophy. In the end the Niveeungos a Wood Elf team took the title, and in the third season the mighty Marienberg Mariners stole the show ensuring that the trophy ‘stays with the Elves’ so to speak. The DBL18 will begin again this year, who will take the title this year? We will have to see…’

As you can see, like most leagues, they started off small, with 18 coached taking part in the second season but as of now I am currently competing in their 4th season with a whopping 50 coaches! No that’s not a typo, there are 50 (fifty) coaches blitzing it out for their chance to win the Dragon Bowl trophy. This leads me nicely onto the topic of how is the league organised? With 50 coaches, making sure everything goes smoothly is surely a task for the bravest of commissioners?

Well from my experience during the first half of the group stages I can sum it up in one word………scrap that, not only is the depth and complexity of how the DBL is being run too impeccable to encapsulate in one word but I believe the effort put in deserves more.

So, how do you make sure 50 coaches play all their games in the set out time, answer any league disputes and make sure everything runs accordingly all whilst making sure people are enjoying themselves (as that is the most important thing at the end of the day)?

Let me explain how the DBL set out to achieve this in a very fashionable way.

‘Seriously!! what other league does this? It is incredible! the community that these guys have built in and around London is superb!’

The Divisions and Draft Night

Before the coaches were able to roll some skulls there was the small question of divisions, who plays who? With 50 coaches the organisers decided to split us up in to 5 divisions of 10 teams which were then divided further into conference A and B. The divisions were named North, West, South, East and Central meaning overall each coach would be placed into a conference with 4 other coaches which they would have to play twice over the period of 12 weeks demanding a play rate of 2 games in 3 weeks. This to me is an optimum pace giving coaches who find it hard to get games in some leeway whilst on the other hand not forcing the others who can play regularly into having to wait weeks after they have completed their matches. In order to decide who is in which division it came down to the draft night!

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The Divisons/Draft Night

Before we move on as you can see from the image above there in an extra division represented with the letter ‘U’. Now believe it or not after enlisting the 50 competitors there were still MORE people who wanted to join in but unfortunately were too late to join or capacity had been reached. Due to this they decided to put together a division separate from the Dragon Bowl League in order for them to get involved and there it was, The ‘Underworld University’ was born! Seriously!! what other league does this? It is incredible! the community that these guys have built in and around London is superb!

So lets talk about the draft night. The first official meeting of the DBL 18 included, if I remember correctly, roughly 35 of the 50 competing coaches getting together in order to sort out the divisions. Now how was this done? Well there was a set theme to the evening which was the 80’s and we were encouraged to come in fancy dress, some of the costumes were great but I was not brave enough! To top this off the bar had an offer for £3.50 a pint all night. Very early on I could see where this night was heading but due to having to work the next morning I had to resist the temptation and be sensible. So for the cherry on top of these antics, the draw itself was done using a bingo machine with each team having a dedicated number, it honestly felt like we were involved in a 80’s saturday night TV games show. After this anyone who had an opponent to play were able to get going and play their first game. It was a great night of Blood Bowl and a superb way to kick off the next 6 months of the Dragon Bowl League.

It was then we got to meet our divisions ‘Guvnor’. Let me explain, im guessing due expansion of the league and how it grew over a couple of years, the commissioner now has Guvnor’s who look after a division each. They try to arrange the best ways for everyone to get their games in, report back to the commissioner on any issue and keep records up to date. You didn’t think it was all done by one person did you?

The Teams and Fluff

In this section I would like to talk about, for me, one of the most important and enjoyable parts of the game, the fluff and role-playing side to the sport. In my opinion the DBL are one of the best in the business when it comes to this. I would like to talk about why I believe this and just how dedicated the majority of the coaches are to the game which rubs off on the rest making it such an enjoyable league to play in. Lets start with the Teams, when naming a team and players etc I have known a lot of people to come up with a pun for the team name and fill the roster with unimaginative names and call it done. Well not these guys! let’s have a look at the quality and effort put into some of the team names and Logos below.

Alqualonde FalconsTaylor and the SwiftsArtful Dodgers

I’m sure you will agree with me about the quality of these logos, well it doesn’t end there, this effort is followed through with everything they do from match reports to the paint jobs. The character that is created in some of these teams is second to none.

‘It really allows you to immerse yourself into the league and community they have created and leaves you itching for more’

This brings me on nicely the next topic, match reports/commentary. On top of everything the DBL do in order to make a coaches league experience as enjoyable and thematic as possible we have not come to mention the match reports, commentary and publications. As a coach competing in the DBL there is as much Blood Bowl action to get involved in off the pitch as there is on. It’s an absolute pleasure to be able to keep up to date with games in your division as they are happening with some great commentary and pictures. These updates are posted through the leagues Whatsapp group and can have as many as 12 games going on at once. Its something I’ve not really thought about until now nor thought that there was a need for it but I will be the first to admit that I have been caught checking scores in the pub and having my non Blood Bowl playing friends ask ‘oh, who’s playing?’ Trying to explain I was checking the score of a board game that’s going on was interesting.

See below for an example, of course numbers blacked out etc.

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Alongside any weekly commentary posted on the groups whatsapp page, the league also publishes an article every week to sum up some key highlights from the past weeks games. This is where the league excels, the level of professionalism is incredible. All of this combined really gives you some great Blood Bowl content to enjoy throughout the week and not just on the night you end up playing your league game. It really allows you to immerse yourself into the league and community they have created and leaves you itching for more.

‘high quality Logos, team photos and History, not to mention a weekly publication show casing this brilliance really brings out the magic of the beautiful game that is Blood Bowl’

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On top of the weekly Backbreaker Sport articles shown above, once a month they publish the ‘Backbreaker Bulletin’. Now the bulletin to too long to show screen shot here and I wouldn’t know where to start in order to describe how immensely inspiring this content is so I will leave a link below for you to admire and succumb to the jaw dropping creativity in this document. It is everything you dream of when you were a kid just getting into the hobby now being fulfilled by these extremely talented individuals who are passionate about the game as anyone I’ve ever crossed paths with, Bravo!  link below.

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The Deadwood Rams

523344387_preview_BBLoading_ChaosSo the only question left to answer was, what team should I play? After my first ever league season at the ECBBL playing humans and finishing as mediocre as I thought I would, I was set on playing a team with a bit more diversity/character. I wanted to play with a team that had a clear plan going into each game, with humans it changes quite a lot. One game you may have to play the agility, passing/ throwing game against dwarfs for instance well on the other hand you can hold your own bashing against teams like Skaven. Well it was not long after GW had released their Chaos Chosen team the ‘Doom Lords’ that DBL18 was set to start and I had really appreciated the chaos models since I frist saw them. On top of that the team is fairly unique, 4 strength 4 pieces and then the rest beastmen with horns, not to mention the ability to hire and Minotaur and upgrade your players with mutations which is great fun. So that was that, I would be playing Chaos Chosen in DBL18. I present to you the ‘Deadwood Rams’

Deadwood Rams-01

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I must admit this is the first time I have sincerely put together a logo for a Blood Bowl team and I loved it. It was my first time using any sort of graphic design/editing software and don’t get me wrong it’s nowhere near as good or professional as a lot of the others but something as simple as this really adds a level of enjoyment to the hobby. It adds to the role-playing element to the game and really brings the league together, it’s not just Dave vs James (not the actual names of the following teams), it’s the ‘Alqualonde Falcons’ vs ‘The Artful Dodgers’. Yes, I know you can announce games with their team names by just naming each team, but when they are all backed up by high quality Logos, team photos and History, not to mention a weekly publication show casing this brilliance really brings out the magic of the beautiful game that is Blood Bowl.

So how have the Rams been getting on?

Well not terrible but could be doing better, they are currently on a win, a draw and two losses. The first four games have been tough, to begin with I played my first ever game with chaos a week before DBL started in a pre season friendly so it is taking time to get my head around them. Chaos Chosen have a tendency to be unreliable and difficult to get results with until they are skilled up. After the first four games they are getting there and fingers crossed the second round of games will be more rewarding.

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Round 1 Deadwood Rams vs Brain Munchen (Necromantic)

After the last result against Taylor and Swifts amazon team, I now need to beat Brain Munchen in my next game in order to have a chance of doing well in the division, if not the aim of the game will be to progress as much as possible in order to go into the knockouts with the best team possible. That will be a tough game, after playing them twice and a record of one a piece it could go either way but I am currently missing my star beastman with Tackle and Wrestle which could make it difficult. I’m sure either way it will be an enjoyable game, it always is. Also I have to give credit to my division, they are all great coaches which makes the games more challenging. Finger crossed the Rams really take off the next few games.

The Drive

So what software do they use in order to keep track of the games and teams, most league will use the thoroughly tested and loved OBBLM (Online Blood Bowl League Manager). But for some reason that I am not aware of the DBL has gone with creating its own Google Drive with shared documents, team sheets and standings there for everyone to edit when needed. This is something that I will find out more about as to the reasons but it works so why not. It has its advantages and disadvantages, it allows a lot more freedom when it comes to design etc something the DBL is keen on but on the other hand it requires a lot more manual involvement when editing team sheets which I can imagine being an issue with newer coaches. Like everything else, they don’t do anything half heartedly therefore the drive is arguably as robust as OBBLM and at the end of the day is something they can keep improving on season on season.

Summary

So to end this post I would just like to sum up my thoughts on the DBL. Honestly if you are in the London area and are looking for a good Blood Bowl league, I could not recommend this place enough. The effort put in, all for the benefit of the participants is second to none creating such a diverse community ranging from coaches who are there for the social side, have fun and play a game to the others who are very competitive and want to win the title. There is something for everyone!

I cannot wait to continue the rest of the league and, fingers crossed, the knockout stages. Let see what else the DBL has in store towards the end of the league as im sure there will be some more goodies and surprises, for instance I believe they are planning to start live streaming some of the games. Talking about Goodies, every Blood Bowl player loves specific accessories for anything they take part in whether it be a tournament or a league. It is normally just a set of custom dice, sometimes more depending on the size of the event. With the DBL on the other hand, the amount of ‘stuff’ we got just for joining was incredible. We each got given a set of division specific dice, badges with out teams logo on it, beer mat scatter templates (awesome idea) and my favourite, a mug with our teams logo printed on the side. This was a really nice touch!

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So all there is left to say is, Commish and every one else involved in managing and organising the DBL………

TAKE A BOW……

You done it right!

I will be back to discuss the second half of the league and the knockouts soon.

General

The Stunty Bug

Today I would like to take a minute to write about arguably one of the most entertaining sides to Blood Bowl, Stunty teams. Stunty teams are defined by the majority of their roster having the ‘Stunty’ skill, being small and easy to squish backed up by big (but stupid) team mates i.e Ogres and Trolls. The main three Stuny teams are Goblins, Halflings and Ogres. Although these are the most common it does not mean they are the only teams that fit this mould, other teams such as Lizardmen and Underworld have a fair amount of stunty players and the option for the big guys but their other available options (Saurus and Skaven respectively) bring the quality of the team higher than your standard stunty. This being said some tournaments will allow these two teams to complete for their stunty cup if they do not consist of these additional players.

The Misty Moon Hornets

The difficulty in winning with these teams is widely acknowledged and as someone who has attended as fair few tournament I have had to opportunity to play against them on many occasions.  In fact I believe I have played them half a dozen or so times and have never lost to them creating a curiosity as to whether my opponents were actually having fun. When ever you play a stunty team, no matter the score, your opponent is more than likely going to say they had great fun. To me this is hard to get my head around, don’t get me wrong I lose as many (if not more) games than I win and still love the game but find it hard to believe that a continuous beating doesn’t become soul-destroying.

As you may or may not know I am trying to work my up to completing the NAF 24 by bringing a different race to each NAF sanctioned event which meant I was fully aware that I would have to give these teams ago in a competitive environment at some point. When the London Grand Tournament came along a the end of May, Goblins where the only models I had that I had not yet played with. So that was it, my first dip into the painful world of Stunties would begin at the London Olympic Stadium.

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Day 2 of the LGT 2018

I was actually looking forward to it for 2 main reasons

  1. The new Goblin team models are awesome and I was really looking forward to painting them in particularly the Trolls
  2. All of a sudden the expectation and pressure to do well was lifted and I was able to enjoy myself more in the first game.

I wont go too much into the LGT itself as there will be a full write up coming soon, believe me there is a lot to talk about, but let me just say I did not do well in the rankings but had a unbelievably fun and relaxed time playing a game I love with some great people. One thing I also noticed was that I was less distracted and tied up with winning my games that I was more aware of my opponents paint jobs, their Blood Bowl story and met some awesome coaches.

Playing Goblins was an experience to say the least but one thing i did  find is it was more of an achievement when you finally get around to scoring a touchdown (especially when you threw a goblin with the ball to run in for the draw) Although i have been pitted against them and knew how they all worked, it was my first time using the infamous Goblin secret weapons. My build was not as competitive as it should have been due to not having the correct models yet but did have the 3 forgeworld Looney, Fanatic and Bomma (Chainsaw, Ball and Chain and Bomb). The combination of these 3 on the pitch at once lead to some great turns and turnovers despite under estimating and seriously struggling without the doom diver and  Po-goer. Movement 6 is pretty standard and any dwarf player would be jealous but when you have to get the ball into a cage quickly due to being strength 2 and easily squishable the extra movement from the Po-Go could have saved the game for me on more than one occasion. The Doom Diver on the other hand wouldnt of made a huge difference as I couldn’t land a bloody Goblin to save my life anyway but seeing the benefit of them in theory I 100% will be working on bringing one next time they come out to ‘Play’.

The first outing with the Goblins has wet my appetite for more Stunty madness in the name of Nuffle. This side of Blood Bowl is something new to me and after doubting whether it was for me or not I can now say I have caught the Stunty Bug! I am now in process of arranging ways to coach the whole range of stunty teams and with the gorgeous ‘Two Drunk Flings’ halfling team from kickstarter it has never been a more tempting time buy a new Blood Bowl team.

So lets see what the rest of the 2018/2019 Calender has in store and what antics await!

General

POW’s mean prizes – A year of tournaments

Tabletop tournaments is something new to me. When playing the game initially in the 90’s, it was purely for fun against a few friends. The idea of playing Blood Bowl in a tournament never even crossed my mind. Having come back to the game with the 2016 release and being introduced to the NAF (not actually sure it stands for), tournaments seemed to be a prominent part of the Blood Bowl scene.

After a bit of research and understanding what the terms Swiss and Resurrection mean in relation to tournaments. I decided to find a local event to give it a try.

Well it turned out that many events were taking place in my area. It was around this time that Games Workshop announced a one day beginners tournament at Warhammer World, Nottingham. Having never been to the home of the Warhammer Universe, I jumped at the chance and got ticket.

Mighty Blighty Underleague – February 2017

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To be honest everything that this event was a bit of a blur. Trying to take in the awesome surroundings of Warhammer World and also playing my first tabletop event of any type was a lot to take in. Now this was not the most competitive event. In fact, winning didn’t really matter. This was a fun (and free) event with the emphasis on learning the game. For example my first opponent had only played his first game the night before against his son. So most of the day was spent teaching some less experienced players the game and learning from everyone I played. It was a great introduction to gaming events in general. I could not wait for my next event.

Crash Bowl – March 2017

So I arrived at Asgard Games in West Bromwich very early on a sunny March morning for Crash Bowl.

I expected this to be a much more competitive environment, filled with serious Blood Bowlers keeping their optimal rosters close to their chests. I could not have been more wrong. Yes, everyone wanted to score touchdowns, cause casualties and ultimately win. But they also wanted to just have fun.  It was a smallish event but had some great prize support. The event organisers were owners of a local micro brewery so a few sample beers helped the day run smoothly.

After a bit of a nervous loss with my Skaven (Furham Athletic) against Norse in round 1, I came back with a couple of wins over Dark Elves and Humans. So I left with a 2-0-1 record and some cool swag.

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Blood Bowl Grand Tournament, WarhammerFest – August 2018

Having never attended a WarhammerFest before or the previous incarnation, Games Days. I was excited to see what the two day ‘Festival’ of Warhammer in Coventry was all about.

The Blood Bowl tournament was five games over two days, the rules pack was a 1.3m build and allowed the use of Special Play Cards. The inclusion of the cards is unusual for tournaments due to the random nature of the effects, some of which are can almost guarantee a result one way or the other.

Following a late start due to the security checks, the four games on day one ended for me well after 9pm. The event as a whole seemed a little chaotic at times. Last minute changes to the number of games to be played each day. And then rearranging the Specialist Games Preview Seminar on the Sunday to a time that Blood Bowl players were not playing in the tournament. But credit to Games Workshop for reacting to feedback and make changes to try and improve the event. No giveaways or tournament mementos also left a sour taste, simply due to the cost of a tournament ticket. Overall it was fun event and if you are interested in the Warhammer games systems or worlds in anyway I would most definitely recommended a visit.

My 15 player Skaven team (due to not having a painted Rat Ogre) came away with a 1-2-2. record. No prizes this time but my first two day Blood Bowl tournament was done and I still had something of a functioning brain left at the end of it. A good sign for the future.

Twisted Cup III – June 2017

If you have ever been to Folkestone you will have seen the massive Grand Burstin Hotel which towers over Folkestone harbour. The hotel may be past its heyday but we had a huge room all to ourselves down in the basement.

Another outing for my Skaven brought home a 1-0-2 record. The highlight was a final bottom table match against Ogres. Having never played against them before, I soon learnt that they can throw things, lots of things in fact to quite good affect. I managed to get the win and avoid the wooden spoon. Which I was quite pleased about as the prize was actually a trophy in the shape of someones… Well I think I will leave it to your imagination. Sorry no pictures either.

Top tip: If you ever find yourself in Folkestone checkout the great seafood kiosk right by the harbour. Serving lots of freshly prepared seafood stir-frys. I went home happy, full of seafood and with more event dice in hand.

Hard 6 Superbowl III – September 2017

Now this is how a tournament should be … in a pub! Forget clever rules packs, dice, or awesome prizes. Just hold it in a pub and they will come. 

The place was packed with over 40 players and my Underworld went 1-2-1 on the day. My only loss coming against a fellow league members Dave in the first game. This is where I learnt that a 3+ pick up with Sure Hands always fails.

Blood Bowl, with great pie and a drink fuelled Saturday evening made this an event to attend in the future.

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Warboar Tournament – October 2017

Perfect, my local games shop decided to put on a Blood Bowl tournament. A great opportunity to meet more of the local players and generate some interest in the shop league. However due to it only being announced a few weeks before the day, attendance was low with only seven players. No reserve player meant one player got a bye for each of the three rounds. After a 2-2 draw against Norse with my High Elves, I was drawn against my regular opponent Dave. The odd man out in this case was a young lad playing in his first event. Dave and myself decided that as we played each other so often we would roll to see who would switch with him. So a bye in the 2nd round meant that I was playing Dwarfs on table one. A tight game which ended with a last minute Dwarf pass play failing to get the equaliser. A 2-1 victory.

The results came in and I took top spot, winning  a copy of the miniature Blood Bowl trophy. 

Winning was great, albeit a small event. But the best thing on the day was meeting more of the local players area. Many of which have since joined the Warboar league. Local events are always worth a go no matter the size or prize fund and supporting to local shops only helps the hobby.

Burmayhem Bowl II – December 2017

And the best trophy ever goes to …

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Sadly I did not get to take this beauty home but a Minotaurs (or is it a bull?) head as the trophy was just awesome.

My Skaven came away with a 1-2-0 record. I was happy with 7th place and some more tournament dice. As it turned out, if (and a very big if) I had managed to stop my last game Lizardmen opponent from scoring in turn 16 I would have come second. But every Blood Bowl coach has many a story to tell where if only I had rolled <insert dice roll> then I would have won.

But the OTT duo did not go home without any kind of prize. Tom took home the coveted Gloworm award for coming in 4th. I understand that this has pride of place above his toilet but I cannot confirm or deny if this is the case.

UKTC V – January 2018

My first team event on the road and I am sure it will not be my last. At the UKTC teams of four face off against each other, with prizes for both team and individual performance. The Dodgefathers as were called (not my fault that one) came a respectable 33rd out of the 40 teams. A 2-1-3 record with High Elves for myself. Notes for the future include maybe not drinking so much on the Friday night and then more on the Saturday night. Hangovers and any kind of thinking do not mix well.

Hard 6 Superbowl IV – February 2018

And so for a second time I took Underworld to a Hard 6 tournament. In part to get my three NAF ranked games, but also so that I could take eight skills with Underworld being Tier 3 at the event. I took eight different skills in an attempt to confuse my opponent as much as possible. With Underworld you need every advantage you can get.

Two games in and I found myself at the lofty heights of table four, I think it was. With victories over Norse and Dark Elves. My strategy was paying off!.

But then reality came crashing in on my dreams of glory.  After two loses (another one against Dave and his Orcs … grrr) I end with a 2-0-2 record.

The traditional post tournament beer flowed and the night ended in good cheer. Always a great event and have I mentioned the great lunchtime pie yet? Well it is awesome.

So why play in a Blood Bowl tournament?

Quite frankly, tournaments are just great fun. You get to spend a day with like minded people. Yes, there are other crazy people just like you who love playing this game. Play a bunch a games. At the end of which a small group of people huddled around a laptop will announce a winner. Making sure that the required offerings to Nuffle and to his prophet ‘Score’ are made. If you are lucky you may even take home an award. First, runner-up, most casualties, or my favourite, the International Gloworm award (4th Place). For all those coaches who come 4th and go away empty handed.

Oh and you often get something cool to remember the event by. I have often said the two best things in life are dice and free stuff. Combine the two and I am there.

I have a number of tournaments planned for later this year. So I suggest you go find a tournament near year, small or large and spend a great day or two playing more Blood Bowl.

General

The beginning times…

My Blood Bowl journey began in 1990… something. While at a New Years Eve party, a friend of a friend whose name I cannot remember happened to mention a game he had recently played. The game involved Orcs and Humans playing some kind of American Football on a board. This person’s main comment was that as they played, his opponent always seemed to constantly interrupt his turn by quoting a rule which explained why they had failed something. Little did I know how accurate a description of a game of Blood Bowl this would turn out to be. As a keen American Football fan I was interested. A quick trip to the reading outpost of the Games Workshop empire and I was the proud owner of what turned out to be a copy of the Blood Bowl 3rd Edition box set.

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At this point, I was not aware of any local gaming clubs or shops so my early games were against friends and family. To my surprise, my interest in the game was not universal and I soon had burnt through all of my possible gaming bridges. Most were just not interested in playing an American Football based game for more than 2 hours. So I soon found the main obstacle to playing not just Blood Bowl, but most tabletop games. Finding someone to play against! A few friends were interested in the hobby but most focused on 40k or Fantasy. So with the very occasional game becoming the norm, my tabletop Blood Blood career slowly dissolved to nothing over the next few months.

The following years were punctuated with the occasional Blood Bowl moment. A brief outing with the Ronald Lokers’ Blood Bowl Tool, a PBeM (Play By eMail) application. Which still appears to be around, a quick Google search seems to confirm. And then the release of the first Blood Bowl PC game by Cyanide was my only Blood Bowl experiences since those early days.

But then came the Blood Bowl 2 game on the PC. This was the small stone that would become the Blood Bowl avalanche. I soon discovered that Games Workshop were rumoured to be re-releasing the tabletop game. A few preview pictures online peaked my interest. So I waited with anticipation to see what Games Workshop would come up with.

November 2016 arrived and the game was released. I picked a copy from my newly found friendly local gaming shop, Warboar Games in Bromley. A place I would be soon returning too with great regularity.

I loved all of the new content and could not wait to put them together and play my first tabletop game since the 90’s. It was at this point that the reason I stop playing back came to the fore. I have a cool new two player game, but who the hell am I going to play? Well my searches online for a copy of the game had also inadvertently provided the solution. Your friendly local gaming shop probably has a social media presence, and therefore a way to find pick up games. A quick post online and my first game was arranged. I showed up, my opponent didn’t! A small setback, but I was soon playing one off games most weeks. I meet other similar coaches who had just picked up the new release and were getting back into the hobby. These games, lead to regular weekly games, then leagues and then my first tournament.

As GW released more content my involvement grew, and I am now involved in a few ongoing leagues and have played in several tournaments around the UK. And loving every minute of it.

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So what next? Well, if I am not playing Blood Bowl, I am reading or talking about it. So why not write about it. A blog seemed the logical choice.

I met the other 50% of the One Turn Touchdown blog at one of those early Blood Bowl tournaments at Warhammer Fest. Tom and his Dark Elves against my Skaven, which ended in a 2-2 draw, I think. One of my better results for the weekend. We soon discovered we both lived in the London area and were looking to play more Blood Bowl. Tom mentioned the idea of a blog and I jumped at the idea. And so the One Turn Touchdown Blog was born.

This blog is a chance to share my views and experiences of the game. Hopefully entertaining and informing along the way. Tournaments, league play, rules, releases and all things Blood Bowl related are all on the agenda going forwards. So welcome to the blog and remember…

Nuffle doesn’t like you… but he loves me!

General

Kick Off!! Welcome to One Turn Touchdown

Welcome to One Turn Touchdown! It’s finally happened, we have began our journey into the world of blogging.Let me introduce myself, I am Tom, NAF name Tommymcg, and have recently been reintroduced into the marvelous world of Blood Bowl thanks to the re release of the game in November 2016. I say reintroduced as like so many like myself i have previously played Blood Bowl in my younger days (i believe 3rd edition).What first attracted me to the beautiful game was how a system with such simple mechanics can be so tactically complex and narratively immersive. The Joy of creating, building and branding your own team, watching them grow (or collapse) and competing against other great coaches all whilst being surrounded by a uniquely characterful portfolio of artwork and fluff to set the scene was incredibly enticing. So when i first heard the news that they were re releasing the game with newly designed models and boards etc my interest was caught immediately.

 

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Blood Bowl 2016

 

The Early Days

Well the first 6 months or so getting back to grips with the game were very slow, building and painting the new teams so that i don’t have to play with the same race over and over again. During this time i think i only played a few friendly games against friends but had a hunger to really get involved competitively. It involved endless evenings browsing the web trying to find local clubs or shops that hel events, little did i know about the beautiful thing that is the NAF website or Talk Fantasy Football.

I remember attending my first competitive Blood Bowl Tournament at IBuyWargames in Woking (check it out, a great hoppy zone), that feeling you get when you complete your first event and set the foundation for the future of your gaming was great. That was it, i was hooked and spent the next few days continuously looking out for Blood bowl tournaments, and didn’t even care if they were local anymore.

The next event i attended was the reintroduction of ‘The Blood Bowl’ by Games Workshop, hosted during their annual convention ‘Warhammer Fest’. This was GW’ first attempt at organizing a competitive tournament for Blood Bowl since the re release of the game, I believe they have been running ‘The Bugmans Full Beard Cup’ at Warhammer world and hosted an event a few weeks after release but this was set to be their first large scale event. Unfortunately in my opinion, and the opinion of other attendees, its was not the most successful first attempt but we won’t get into that now. It was here that i met Chris, NAF name Crit_Hit, another coach who has fallen victim to the addiction of Blood Bowl in the London area. It’s since then that my calendar has been full of Blood Bowl events, having someone to organise games and events with really opened up a range of opportunities to compete and after a year of playing it lead us here, beginning to write a blog about the game.

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‘The Blood Bowl 2017’ at Warhammer Fest promo

 

So why a Blog?

So during the first year of getting reacquainted with the game it was difficult to find places to play regular games so would fill these voids with reading blogs and listening to podcasts. I came to find that what i was looking for as a new player was the experience and opinions of other coaches at the same place in their Blood Bowl journey and being someone that started again during the re release meant there were bound to be thousands just like me. This is where it came to us, if we wrote a blog, journaling our progression as new coaches, it would be beneficial to us as being more involved in the community enriches our overall Blood Bowl experience particularly when playing games isn’t as easy to organise as we would like and will hopefully benefit other new coaches by sharing experiences with other like minded people.

As big fans of the game we believe there are 3 main parts of the experience, Playing, Hobbying and Blogs/Podcasts. Different people will focus the majority of their time on one of those aspects whilst others will be equally involved in all 3. Our personal ambition is to be as involved in all three of these aspects of the hobby as we can so here we are.

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Taking time out from playing 

 

What do we aim to achieve?

We discussed exactly what we want this blog to be and agreed we wanted it to be beneficial to our readers, although we will reporting on our experiences playing and hobbying etc we aim to make it relevant content to help you. Reporting on a tournament we have been to could potentially be interesting to some people but in my experience im not too interested in reading two pages about how someones ogre boneheaded 8 times in a game, i would benefit more from seeing some great paint jobs, learning from roster mistakes or even what works work in certain teams and what to expect from different events. Don’t get me wrong the frustrations and stupid dice rolls is a huge part of the game and can also be hugely entertaining and will no doubt occur on many occasions during our travels.

To begin we aim to cover the following

  • League Play
  • Tournament Play and experience
  • Hobbying, Building and Painting etc
  • The Community
  • New Model Releases

At the time of writing this we have recently been to two great tournaments which we will be doing a write up about shortly, Burmayhem 2 and UKTC 4

So if you love Blood Bowl and want great content on a regular basis about the hobby as whole then follow us here and we will see you soon.