Jim Johnson: Welcome to another great season of Blood Bowl, Team Manager fans! I'm Jim Johnson, and with me, as always, Bob Bifford, say hello to the nice fans, Bob!
Bob Bifford: Hello to the nice fans, Bob!
Jim Johnson: Well, as you can tell, Bob either is still recovering from last week's Legends of Blood Bowl match to support the Malignant Referees Association, or he's still recovering from the post game party! Anyway, this season we'll be focusing on three of the top teams in Blood Bowl...
Bob Bifford: That's right, Jim, when you think of top Blood Bowl teams, three names come to mind. The Reikland Reavers, the Gouged Eye and the always dangerous Chaos All-Stars!
Step 1: Each week, a Spike Magazine Card is flipped (which either is a global modifier to games played that week, or one of the Big Four Tournaments), and one highlight for each coach in the game.
This week, the Spike Magazine Card is:
"Rivalry Week Kicks Off"!: In addition to collecting the central payout, the winner of each highlight gains an additional two fans.
The highlight Cards are:
"Illegal Proceedure": Rewards: Left 1 Fan, Central 2 Fans, One Star Player pull, Right Two Star Player Pull (choose 1)
"Skullcracker Suite": Rewards: Left 2 Star Player Pull (Choose 1), Central 2 Fans, Right 2 Coaching Upgrades Pull (Choose 1)
"Right in the Jibblies": Rewards: Left 2 Fans, Central 3 Fans, Right 1 Fan
Jim Johnson: Yes indeed, and we're about set for the kickoff of the opening round of the season, so let's go down to the field.. it's time to play..
Bob Bifford: BLOOOOOD BOWL!!!! RARGHH!
Jim Johnson: Don't hit me Bob, Don't hit me..
Step 2: Play the week out: Each team in turn plays a card on a highlight (you can only play players on the side of a highlight which is unoccupied or has your players, Tournaments are special, they're basically free for alls)
The Chaos All-Stars Player goes first and places "Beastman Thrower (2 Star Power)" to the right side of the Illegal Proceedure Card. The Beastman Thrower has a ball icon, so the ball moves from the center of the highlight, to the Thrower (If you have the ball at the end of a highlight, it's worth 2 Star Power towards winning the highlight)
The Reavers are up next: They decided to stay away from the Beastman and play a Human Lineman (Star Power 1) to the left side of Skullcrakcker Suite, hoping to get the Star Player pulls from that side.
THe Gouged Eye ddecide to play "Orc Lineman (1 Star Power)" the left side of Right in the Jibblies.. if they have a player there at the end, they get two fans, the central reward is three more fans, and the special card for the week gains two fans.. so if they win here, that's SEVEN fans and a good chance at having the early lead!
Jim Johnson: Interesting, the Chaos All-Stars are going for the ball instead of their opponents. That's unusual for them..
Bob Bifford: I hear that they've decided that if they have the ball, the other team HAS to come to them to get it, and this makes sure that the All-Stars can get them within arms reach!
Jim JOhnson: I hear that negotiations between the Reavers and Griff Oberwald are not going as well as the Reavers would hope, the Reavers last offer was Griff Oberwald's weight in Gold Pieces..
Bob Bifford: And why didn't Oberwald take it?
Jim JOhnson: His agent told me that he's holding out for Morg'th N'hth'rog's weight in gold pieces.
Bob Bifford: That's... That's a lot of gold.
Jim Johnson: Indeed. Meanwhile, the Gouged Eye are serenading us with their most popular song 'Ere we go 'ere we go 'ere we go"
Bob Bifford: That's because it's the only song they know![
Turn 2: The Chaos All-Stars decide "Enough of this Ball stuff, let's start kicking people where it hurts! They Play: "Beastman" (3 Star Power) on the right side of "Right in the Jibblies" (opposing the Orc Lineman. The Beastman has two special Icons on them. the first, the skull (for cheating) is Mandatory (The only special skill which is mandatory). So, they pull a random cheating token out of the cup, and without looking at it, place it face down on the character's card. THe other skill, is the Pow Symbol which means that the Beastman can now attempt to tackle an opposing player at that highlight. There is only one opposing player there, the Orc Lineman. Since the Beastman has more Star Power (3-1), the Chaos player rolls both of the tackle dice, They come up * (defender down) and X (Attacker down). Natuirally, thie Chaos player chooses defender down, so he places the Orc Lineman prone. THat means the Orc Lineman's star Power is reduced to 0 (they use the figure in the lower left corner when knocked down).
The Beastman has a special ability that states whenever he knocks a player down, he gains (Skull), so the Chaos coach pulls a second cheating token from the cup and also places it face down on the card.
The Reavers play Human Blitzer (3 Star Power) to the left of Illegal Proceedure, and attempt to tackle the Beatman Thrower.Again, two dice are rolled, because the Blitzer has more star power the two tackle dice come up * and blank. However, the Beastman Thrower has the special ability Dodge, which means that the Chaos coach may force any tackle attempt against the thrower to be re-rolled once, so the Reavers coach rerolls the dice, and they both come up blank! The Beastman Thrower is still up right (and with the ball)
The Orcs have a decision to make, they really want to get stuck in with the Chaos for stompin em in one highlight, but there's only one open highlight available, and if they get locked out of it, they'll only get one highlight's reward at the end (while Chaos, who go first in every turn, would get THREE highlights reward, and the Reavers would get two).. so they shrug and say "Weez Gonna Stomp some of dem hoomies!" and play "Black Orc Blocker (3 Star Power) to the right of Skullcracker Suite The Black Orc Blocker has the tackle icon and a special ability of Frenzy,if they attempt a tackle, they gain one Star Power during the Tackle Attempt. It doesn't really matter, because the Black Orc already has more Star Power, but it's important to note. So, the dice are rolled, a blank and an attacker down. Ouch. Not a good turn for the Orcs.
So, at the end of two turns, here's how the Highlights breakdown as to Star Power
Illegal Proceedure: Reavers 3-2 All Stars (All Stars have ball)
Skullcracker Suite: Reavers 1-3 Gouged Eye (Ball in Center)
Right In the Jibblies Gouged Eye 0-3 (Ball In Center)
]Jim Johnson: I've heard it said that Orcs judge wealth by the amount of teeth they collect.
Bob Bifford: Well, if that's so, that All-Stars beastman just made a withdrawl at the Orc Lineman Bank!
Jim Johnson: Ha! I've heard that Varag Ghoul-Chewer, former captain of the Gouged Eye hates to play the All-Stars, says it messes up their strategy!
Bob Bifford: Oh? How so?
Jim Johnson: Well, he says that the Orcs game plan is to break their opponents legs until there's few enough unbroken legs for the Orcs to count..
Bob Bifford: And turst me, that number isn't too high, folks!
Jim Johnson: Well, Ghoul-Chewer says that he spent all day breaking Chaos All-Star legs, and every time he turned around, the Chaos players were growing new ones!
The All-Stars play "Chaos Lineman" (Star Power 1) at Illegal Proceedure.. The Lineman only adds 1 star power to the highlight, but it's their special ability that helps, their guard ability means that whenever one of the other Chaos Player at the same location get tackled, the Chaos player can have the Lineman take the hit instead.
The Reavers play "Human Thrower" (Star Power 2) at Skullcracker Suite, and use the Thrower's Ball Ability to take control of the ball at that highlight.
The Gouged-Eye play "Orc Blitzer" (Star Power 3), place a cheating token on it (as demanded by the skull icon), and attempt to tackle the opposing team's beastman. Since the two players are equal in Star Power, only one die is rolled. Unfortunately for the Orc, an X is rolled, attacker down! This reduces the Blitzer's star power to 1.
At the end of turn 3:
Star Power Battles:
Skullcracker Suite: Reavers 3-3 Gouged Eye (Reavers have ball)
Right in the Jibblies: Gouged Eye 1-3 Chaos All-Stars (Ball in Center)
Illegal Proceedure: Reavers 3-3 Chaos All-Stars (All-Stars have the Ball)
Bob Bifford: You know, no one appreciates the Linemen in Blood Bowl. They spend all day bashing each other's head in, while the big name players prance about throwing the ball, scoring touchdowns, etcetera.. The only time that Linemen get in the press is whe when they complain, after all, you've heard the phrase "Moaning like a lineman, right?"
Jim Johnson: Ah, but you're wrong Bob, they're also in the press one other time..
Bob Bifford: Eh, when's that?
Jim Johnson: When one of those "fancy boys" splatter them all over the pitch.
Bob Bifford: Heh. That's right, but I'm not the one who treats the obituary section of the paper as a buffet menu, Jim..
Jim Johnson: Now I'm hurt, Bob.. you know I prefer my blood fresh...
The Chaos All-Stars play "Chaos Warrior" (Star Power 3) at Right in the Jibblies.. This player has a tackle icon, which resolves first. He decides to attack the fallen Orc Blitzer. Normally, it'd be even up and one day, but since the Orc Blitzer was already knocked down, his star power has been reduced to 1, so the Chaos player rolls 2 tackle dice.. and rolls a blank.. and a POW.. Since the Orc Blitzer already was knocked down, that means he is now INJURED, and removed from the highlight entirely (going to the Discard Pile)!. The Chaos Warrior's DIRTY PLAYER Skill kicks in, and since the Chaos Warrior injured an opponent, the Chaos All-Stars gain one Fan Point. The Chaos Warrior also has a cheating icon (Chaos has this problem with rules, they never met one they didn't want to break), so yet another Cheating token is drawn.
The Reavers play one of their top basic players, the "Ogre" At Star Power 4 at Illegal Proceedure. The Ogre has a tackle skill, which he uses against the Beastman Thrower. Rolling two dice (SP 4 vs SP 2), he rolls.. a pow and an attacker down.. the Chaos coach uses the Dodge ability to make the Reavers coach roll again, and curses (Chaos coaches do a lot of that) as the dice come up double pows, instead! Normally, the Chaos Player would have the Chaos Lineman at the location use the Guard skill to "Take the hit" for the Thrower, unfortunately for the Chaos team, the Ogre has the Juggernaught skill, which means Guard skill cannot be used to "defelect" the hit! The beastman thrower is knocked down, and drops the ball, meaning it's back at the center of the field.
The Gouged Eye are steaming at this point.. their "kunnin plannin" is coming all for naught.. they play their other Black Orc Blocker at Skullcracker Suite, and attempt to hit the human thrower. They are successfull (blank, and Pow) but the Reavers coach uses the Lineman's Guard skill which shifts the tackle from the Thrower to the Lineman, so it's the Lineman who gets knocked down instead
Turn 4 Star Power:
Skullcracker Suite: Reavers 2-6 Gouged Eye (Reavers Ball)
Right In the Jibblies: Gouged Eye 0-6 All-Stars (ball at center)
Illegal Proceedure: Reavers 7-2 All-Stars (ball at center)
Jim Johnson: So, when hitting a downed player, what areas do you hit first, Bob?
Bob Bifford: Well, for downed players, I generally go for the mouth, the neck, the diaphram..
Jim Johnson: Re-arranging their face, eh?
Bob Bifford: Well, it's more to try to keep them from screaming in pain and getting the referee's attention Bob!
The All-Stars are in a bit of a quandry. They're pretty sure to lose the Illegal Proceedure highlight to the Reavers (they're down 7-2 in Star Power), and while they're way out in front of the Gouged Eye of the "Right in the Jibblies" highlight, both of the Chaos players there (The Beastman and the Chaos Warrior) have cheating tokens on them. It's possible that both players could be thrown out of the game when the cheating tokens are revealed (some provide increased star power, or rarely a fans increase, but there's also whistle tokens, which eject the player from the highlight).. and if you have no players at a highlight when it's resolved, you get NO reward for it, and if the other team has any players at the highlight, they get all the rewards (left, right and center). So, the Chaos All-Stars play "Chaos Lineman" (Star Power 1) at Right in the Jibblies.
The Reavers are in good shape, they're out in front of the Illegal Proceedure highlight (although not guaranteed, the Ogre has a cheating token on it), and while they're behind 6-2 at the Skullcracker Suite Highlight, they have the ball (worth two star power), so it's still possible! They play Human Catcher (Star Power 3) at Skullcracker Suite. The Human Catcher has an arrow icon, which is Sprinting.. The Human Coach is allowed to draw one card from his team player deck, and then put a card from his hand in the discard pile. The human player puts "Human Thrower" in the Discard pile. Interesting...
The Orcs look things over. They're still ahead in star power at the Skullcracker Suite, but if the highlight were to resolve now, the fact that the Humans have the ball would flip the tables, so to speak, they trail 6-5, but with the two star power from having the ball, the Humans would actually win, 7-6.. so the Orcs play Orc Lineman (Star Power 1) at Skullcracker Suite. And so we enter the final turn...
Turn 5 Star Power Battle:
Skullcracker Suite: Reavers 5-7 Gouged Eye (Reavers have Ball)
Right In the Jibblies:Gouged Eye 0-7 Chaos All-Stars
Illegal Proceedure: Reavers 7-2 Chaos All-Stars (Ball in Center)
Jim Johnson: As we tick away the final few minutes of this week's games, let's remind you of this week's trivia question: Which famous Chaos player/coach stated "It's not whether you win or lose, it's how you cause the pain?"
Bob Bifford: Oh, I know that one, Jim. It's Rudy Chitterlings!
Jim Johnson: That is correct!
Bob Bifford: Ah, the good old days of the All-Stars, when a man was a man, a two-headed were-beast was a two-headed were-beast, and a fracture was a fracture!
Jim Johnson: er.. yes. Of course.
Final Turn (Turn 6:)
The All-Stars have covered themselves at "Right in the Jibblies", even if both cheaters are sent off (the beastman has two tokens on him, the Chaos Warrior has one), since they placed a third player who will be there at the end (the Chaos Lineman) they will at least get the right side-reward , and depending on what the Orcs have in their hand, they likely will win the center reward even if one player gets thrown out. At their other highlight, they're down 7-2.. and all they have in their hand is a Chaos Lineman, BUT.. they realize that the Ogre has a cheating token on them, if they put the Chaos Lineman down there, and the Ogre gets sent off, they could tie the highlight and deny the Reavers the reward for winning (and the extra fans that go with it). So in a strategic move, they put the Chaos Lineman there.
The Reavers coach is smiling (not a pretty sight), and we now see why he discarded the Human Thrower last turn (when you sprint, you pull one card per arrow icon, and then discard that many back to your discard pile (and you can discard the cards you just drew), he pulled the OTHER Human Catcher from his deck! He places it at Skullcracker Suite, and now takes the lead in starpower there, 8-7, and with the ball, it'll take something special for the Orcs to steal that highlight from them!
Well, if the Reavers are smiling, the Gouged Eye are well.. frowning isn't a good word. Probably scowling. Or maybe death stare would be a better term. All they have left is a lowly orc lineman. There's no way they can win at Skullcracker Suite (they're down 8-7 in Star Power, and the Reavers have the ball, for two more star power). However at Right in the Jibblies, they're down 7-0.. BUT.. two of the players have cheating tokens on them. IF they both get sent off, it's 1-0 really, and at least they could deny the Chaos team a victory there.. so they place the Orc Lineman at Right In the Jibblies:
So now, with the final turn complete, it's time to resolve the cheating tokens:
The beastman turns up the first cheating token, and it's 1 Star Power.. The Chaos coach turns over the second Beastman cheating token.. and uncovers a whistle.. the Beastman has been SENT OFF and is removed from the highlight!
The Chaos Warrior token is huge then, the token gets flipped.. +1 Star Power for this highlight!
One more token to reveal, on the Reavers' Ogre.. the token is flipped, and to the disgust of the All-Stars and Gouged Eye Coaches, it's +1 Fan!
So, the final star power battles breaak down like this:
Reikland Reavers (10)
(Down) Human Lineman (0)
Human Catcher (3)
Human Catcher (3)
Human THrower (2)
Gouged Eye (7)
Black Orc Blocker (3)
Black Orc Blocker (3)
Orc Lineman (1)
Reavers: (Left) 2 Star Player Pulls (Choose 1), (Center/Winner) 2 Fans (+2 Fans for the Weekly Card)
Gouged Eye: (Right) Two Coaching Upgrade Draws (Pick 1)
Right In the Jibblies
Gouged Eye (1)
(Down) Orc Lineman (0)
Orc Lineman (1)
Chaos All-Stars (4)
Chaos Warrior (3)
Chaos Lineman (1)
Gouged Eye (Left) 2 Fans
Chaos All-Stars (Right) 1 Fan, (Central/Winner) 3 Fans (+2 for the weekly Card), Bonus: +1 fan (Dirty Player Skill/Chaos Warrior injured Orc)
Reikland Reavers (7)
Human Blitzer (3)
Chaos All-Stars (3)
(Down) Beastman Thrower (1)
Chaos Lineman (1)
Chaos Lineman (1)
Reikland (Left) 1 Fan, (Center/Winner), 2 Fans, 1 Star Player Pull, +2 Fans for the Weekly Card)),Bonus: +1 Fan (Cheating Token/Ogre)
Chaos All-Stars: Two Star Player PUll (Choose 1)
The Reavers get two star players, one a random draw from "Good" deck, the other pull 2 and choose 1:
They pull: Eldril Sidewinder and Freebooter Thrower, and choose to keep Eldrill Sidewinder
And for the Random Draw they pull: Mighty Zug!
The All-Stars get one Star player, but they can draw two (from the "Evil" deck) and choose the one they want. They pull Headsplitter, and Varag-Ghoul Chewer.. they decide to keep Headsplitter (probably because the Gouged-Eye coach is giving them a glare)
The Gouged Eye get two Coaching upgrades (coaching upgrades are generic, team upgrades are race specific): THey have a choice between Hired Wizard and Apocathery. THey choose to hire the apocathery (a chance to stand a downed player)
So the Fans Count After Week 1:
And to wrap it up, here's the post-week show from Bob and Jim:
Jim Johnson: So a good week for the Reavers, as they take the lead, and strengthen their team..
Bob Bifford: Agreed: Jim, any team that can put Eldrill Sidewinder, Mighty Zug and their all-around talent on the field at the same time is one to watch out for.
Jim Johnson: But don't count out the All-Stars, I think we'll be seeing the TPK (Total 'Ponent Kill) strategy put into play more in coming weeks, as they've added Headsplitter to a dangerous lineup already!
Bob Bifford: Just as long as Headsplitter doesn't try to increase his "Refs eaten" record!
Jim Johnson: Well, I hear next week will be the national Referee's convention, so I fully expect some black and white to be red all over..
Bob Bifford: Wait, are we talking about referees or zebras?
Jim Johnson: There's a difference?
Bob Bifford: Yeah, I've never skinned a zebra alive!
Jim Johnson: And for the Gouged Eye, a disappointing first week..
Bob Bifford: Yes, I talked with the Gouged Eye Coach and they told me exlusively they plan to have extra drills at practice this week.
Jim Johnson: What kind of drills.. passing? Throttling? Punching?
Bob Bifford: No, you misunderstand, Jim, I mean the Gouged Eye coach is bringing extra drills to practice next week to use on players who don't shape up, and quickly! Apparently the ones they have aren't enough of a motivational tool!
Jim Johnson: Ouch! Any way, that's it for us, see you next week for more Blood Bowl action!
This is a great writeup! You should post it as a session report on BGG. I know folks over there would love to read it.
Thanks. Glad folks enjoyed it. If you or anyone else have any further questions or whatever, I'd be glad to answer them :)
I have a question about star players. Since you're drawing from a shared pool, do they have to match your race/team? If not, how do you keep track of who is whose if two "evil" teams are playing each other?
Also, could you clarify how arrows work? Do you just discard as many as you want to draw that many?
There's tokens in the game that you can place on players to show who owns them, but in most highlights, you don't need to, as there are only two teams to a highlight, one on each side, so you can tell who owns a player by what side he's on. You'd probably want the tokens for tournaments, though (where it's a free for all for all teams.
And yes you can have players not of your race in your team. In my demo, I had Barik Farblast working for my Wood Elves *grin* There are even cards that reward you for players of your race, I know the Reavers have a team upgrade that gives you two fans at the end of the game for every Reavers star player you have on your roster, and one fan for each star player that's not a Reaver.
And Arrows yes: For example: If a card has two arrows on it, you can draw up to two cards from your team deck (it is optional, but since it cycles through your deck faster, I'm not sure why you wouldn't), and then put the same amount of cards you just drew into your discard plle (shuffling the discard pile as needed)
Thank you SirFozzie. I only asked about the ownership issue because it appeared in the photos and your demo that you can place players on either side of a highlight (not just the side facing you). So if you're in a Chaos mirror match with more than one opponent maybe, things might get confusing.
Well, the base teams are one to a coach (there won't be two chaos teams, for example, unless you combine multiple board game sets)
I loved reading through this as well! Thanks for showing how the game plays.
My question is how many star players are there for each of the teams? Is there an equal amount for each team or are there more Reavers then Gouged Eye for example? I ask is case you wanted to do a variant by separating the stars in there own decks and managers would just draw from those. Thanks.
No, each race has five star players, and there's 10 "unaligned" Star players (so you'd have to shuffle in the freebooters, etcetera for each star player pull, which is a pain in the butt, and it would affect some team upgrades (for example, the Reavers get a team upgrade that gives them +2 fans at the end of the game for each star player with the Reavers symbol on it, and +1 fan for each "other" star player)
Here's the break down of the two decks:
Morkai the Everchanging
Lord Borak the Despoiler (Note: THREE CHEATING TOKENS)
Snotlobba (A Troll who can throw a teammate all the way over to a different highlight)
Freebooter Runner (2)
Freebooter Lineman (2)
Freebooter Blitzer (2)
Freebooter Thrower (2)
Morg 'n Thorg
And the Good Deck:
Long Bomb Silver
The Death-Roller (Three tackle Icons and SP 5.. yikes, starts with one cheating token and gets another one every time they run someone over, I mean tackle them)
Freebooter Runner (2)
Freebooter Lineman (2)
Freebooter Blitzer (2)
Freebooter Thrower (2)
Morg 'n Thorg (yes, there's one of him in each deck, and the rule is, if one Morg is in play, the other one cannot be played)
Thanks for the great write-up. I have a few questions for you if you don't mind.
- If a player has more than one cheating token, what happen let's say if you reveal a +1 fan and then a whistle. Do you still receive the +1 fan, or is it cancelled since the player is removed from the highlight?
- My second question is how do the upgrade like the wizard and the apothecary work. Once you have them, are they always in play and you can use them when it says so on the card?