A Beginners Guide to Blood Bowl – Part 1

As requested by Panzer this is the first of 3 parts that will give a brief overview on giving you an overview on bloodbowl, the teams and the best part blood bowl tournaments.

1) Basic overview

Blood Bowl, created by Games Workshop is a brutal, fun packed alternative take on American Football in the Warhammer Fantasy Universe. Despite the fact that everyone is at war with each other 24/7, even the most warmongering of races like to kick back and enjoy a bit of Squig skin with their favourite keg of Bugmans.

Blood Bowl can best be categorised as a board game with miniatures, and playing is fairly straight forward.

To play you need a blood bowl pitch, the rules, a team (More on teams later) 2D6, 1D8, a passing + bounce template and an opponent who wants their teeth kicked in.

Teams consist of 11 – 16 players, you are however only allowed 11 on the pitch at a time. Whilst there are a number of different types of players they all follow a similar convention based around 4 key attributes:

MA or movement – The number of squares they can move each turn, the more squares the faster
ST or Strength – The higher the number the stronger they are
AG or Agility – The higher the number the more agile they are and find it easier to get out of tight situations
AV or Armour Value – The higher the number the better the armour they have and more likely they are going to survive a blow

There are also a number of skills that people can have that benefit them in a number of ways, some of these skills are specific to certain teams and positions. The most common ones are block (Defensive ability used when blocking) and dodge (Defensive ability used when being blocked and for dodging out of opposition tackle zones)

So with your players ready you are all set to play, but how do you play. Well this article could go on for ages going through the ins and the outs, but there is no point when you have a rulebook next to you. You do have a rulebook. Right? You don’t… Well go get one it’s free so no excuses  – http://www.games-workshop.com/MEDIA_CustomProductCatalog/m780049a_Blood_Bowl_Competition_Rules.pdf

Turns are fairly straight forward, in your turn you can activate each one of your players and they can perform one of 7 actions:

  • Move – move up to their MA
  • Block – attempt to block an opposing player in an adjacent square to you
  • Blitz – A move and block action that can only be done once per turn across your whole team
  • Foul – Move and kick a player that is down, again only once per turn
  • Pass – throw a ball to a team mate, obviously you must have the ball and again once per turn
  • Hand off – give the ball to a team mate in an adjacent square, again you have to have the ball and once per turn
  • Pick Up – This action can be combined with a move and a pass / hand off action in which you move to the square the ball is in, attempt to pick up up and then try to pass or hand off if you want

You have to be careful in your actions though as any time you fail an action that causes one of your players to go down on the ground or for you to drop the ball you turn over and your turn automatically ends. Even if it with the first person in your activation.

However you may be lucky enough to have enough to purchase (More on purchasing later) a team reroll. If you do you can remove a re-roll counter and roll the last dice you rolled. Like in most games you must accept the result even if it is worse. You are limited to one reroll a turn.


There are a whole host of dedicated blood bowl sites where you can get good information on playing the game along with tactics and advice below are a couple to get you started:

Cyanide Blood Bowl Forums – http://forum.bloodbowl-game.com/

The PC version is a pretty good port of the tabletop game and follows the same structure as well, there are some useful tactics documents hidden in the forums

Talk Fantasy Football (TFF)http://talkfantasyfootball.org

THE Blood Bowl forum, a must visit for all your tournament and general blood bowl needs



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