Greetings blood bowl fans. With Nurgles latest predilections finally having receded enough to allow the clubs back open*, the latest season of Blood Bowl is on!
With financial strife and ruin running rampant, in a similar vein to the great NAF collapse, many of the existing teams were forced to disband and this year sees a host of new contenders for the coveted SELWG trophy.
* subject to change, due to the current NAF commissioner, Bojo’s, inept handling of the affair.
New team, Same team
Having played so much online blood bowl over the last year or two, due to lockdowns and the club having shut, it was fair to say I was totally burnt out with that game and although I picked up the Second Season on release, I hadn’t played a single game. A few weeks ago the new club tournament was announced and I was questioning whether I’d even participate.
However, one of my club mates was after a tournament practice game so I picked out a team and we both tried out the amended rules for the first time. They weren’t bad at all. Enough was the same, that despite my initial grumbles, it felt like the same game. Some rule mistakes were definitely made (especially by me, around the Hail Mary skill) but it got my interest going again. The board version is just so much more satisfying to play than the online one.
So with my interest once again garnered, a decision had to be made on what team to take. This was actually quite an easy decision. Although I own a good number of teams, I only actually have 2 fully painted*! Of these two I really fancied taking the Vampires again but I have a thing about trying to take a team that no one else is playing, in order to add variety to a league and as I ‘knew’ Greg was planning on taking Vampires**, I settled on Norse. (Which I’ll admit is a bit of a boring choice for me but I do love their style).
* I need to pull my finger out and build my lizards and paint my halflings as they are the two I’m keen to get on the field.
** As it happened, he decided not to take Vamps but never mind.
Demise of the Gronn Fjord Raiders
Like many teams, the Gronn Fjord Raiders had gone into liquidation during the last bout of the virulent plague, Capa-delta-omni-belter. This process had been hastened by the team coach, ‘the auditor’, running off with the Raiders cheerleading squad and the entirety of the proceeds from the much lauded* ‘McFerlow’ scheme.
* Much lauded by the owners, treasurers, coaches and anyone else who managed to get hold of the freely flowing gold during that brief period of time!
With their team disbanded, the remaining raiders went back to what they knew best, ransacking plum Empire coastal towns. Whilst crewing under the notorious freebooter, Captain Knoffles ‘Mighty Blow’ and after seeing them tear apart the garrison of the town of Shlumpkt in short order, he recognised the opportunity to make more gold with, importantly, lower risks to himself and swiftly registered his new team: Block it like it’s hot, with the SELWG commissioners.
I took a bit of a different and perhaps, a more risky approach with the roster vs previous years.
I wanted to ensure that I had the 3 higher Str positionals from the get go, to give the best chance of maximising their SPPs. So 2 Ulfwerner @ 105gp each and a Snow Troll @140gp started off the roster at a solid 350gp. Expensive, yes, but they gave me an abundance of high Str, frenzy & maximised the higher armour available to the team (which don’t get me wrong is only a 9+ but that’s better than the other players!).
Having been the wrong side of some player deaths in earlier games and with the Norse positionals not being the cheapest (or toughest!), my next auto include was an apothecary @ 50gp
With only 600gp left to spend and with a minimum of 8 additional players to buy, I knew I was facing some tough choices.
Knowing I wouldn’t be able to fit in all runners and berserkers I decided to break with my tradition of taking one of each and instead take duel runners @ 90gp each. I figured that with no throwers in the team and with the runners additional pip of movement, they would be the primary scorers/ball carriers.
With 420gp left in the kitty, my next choice was to take 6 linemen @50gp each to ensure I had the minimum 11 players required.
With just 120k left I had a hard choice to make. Did I take 2 rerolls or did I take 1 reroll and then a thrower? In the end I went for 2 rerolls, figuring that their cost would jump to 120k each after the initial team creation.
So this meant my team consisted of just 11 players, 2 rerolls and an apothecary. With such low armour across the board and so few players, I would be taking a big risk, as one lineman casualty (and let’s face it, it will happen) and I’d be fighting against the odds, especially if I lost a game and didn’t have the winnings to replace them. Still, with two Str 4 players and one Str 5 player from the get go, the opponents would need to commit players to take them down and they should pose a considerable threat to opposing team numbers too.
As per previous years, I’ll be aiming for (and likely failing to get) just one thing, most casualties in a season!
League kick off
To celebrate the launch of the league, the commissioners put on a mini 7’s event using the rules from the Deathzone supplement. The only other restriction was that you must pick your team from your main submitted tournament list. No SPP could earned and no injuries would be carried forward (which was a relief as the 1st block against me in my second game, killed a runner…).
In true tradition, I decided to forgo additional players and opted to take as many positionals as possible. In this case the snow troll, 2 Ulfwerners, a single runner and 3 linemen.
As an added bonus for taking part, before the first game, one random player would gain a free random skill, that would carry across to the league. One of my linemen gained the fend skill as a result.
6 players took part which meant we played two games each.
My first game was vs Paul and his necromantic undead team. In a devious display of coaching, he managed to sneak 8 players onto the field for the first half of the game (in fairness, entirely by accident and not picked up by myself). It was very funny when we realised and very thematic! The final score was 1-0 to the Norse.
The second game was vs Si’s dark elves, out for blood after the not entirely fair 3-1 defeat of a few weeks earlier. The game started well for him, killing my runner in almost the first action and after that turned into a game of attrition with the dark elves coming out on top and getting a convincing victory.
The overall victory for the evening went to Pete and his Skaven, whose gutter runners romped home touchdown after touchdown.
Brief initial thoughts on Blood bowl 7’s
This was the first time I’d played the smaller version and it was very fun. The smaller pitches and rosters, together with increased costs for re-rolls and support staff, made it an interesting proposition. The biggest difference, which I was completely unaware of, was that neither team sets up opposite each other on the line of scrimmage. Instead you have a ‘no mans land’ in between the teams. This really gave the game a different tactical twist for the first few turns. If I’d known, I likely wouldn’t have taken the snow troll as with his movement of only 5 this meant there were a few turns where he struggled to close with the elves due to needing a 4+ if he wasn’t blitzing or blocking.
Still it was good fun and the games were very quick so it’s convinced me to also get Dungeonbowl as that will give further options to play the game!
And yes this was the song that inspired the team name. Now would it be off putting to an opponent, if I were to play this every time I placed the models on the table ;p: