Here, my Assistant Coach, a veteran of many years, dispenses fundamental and practical advice. Thanks, Coach.
Blood Bowl has been on my mind lately for a number of quirky reasons:
-just the mention of blood (and the bounty of it last week) got me thinking about that viciously entertaining sport;
-the figure I posted on the first blood recipe is, in fact, my Apothecary. Regular readers will have seen him a couple of times by now, as well as the cheerleader that accompanies him;
-on a slightly different note, the League dynamic works wonderfully and has a lot to offer someone constantly thinking about how to link games together both in useful and in quirky ways;
-it's a simple, brilliant game.
I had played the game once in the 80s, liked it, and then forgot all about it. Some many years later, I bought the boxed game on a whim, opened it, liked it, and then immediately put it entirely out of mind for some reason lost to time and memory. In fact, I was rather surprised to remember that I actually owned it when I was called upon to do so.
To be fair, I regret ever having put it aside now.
Last summer, an old friend, Chris, invited me to join a League that he had dutifully assembled for a short period. I was a bit surprised. First things first, I needed an "army." Yes. I called it an army at my initial pass. I'm surprised that I didn't get sent to the curbside, rulebook in hand, right then and there. But, of course, it had been over twenty years, and they are a forgiving lot.
I suppose that I was keen enough on the general principles that the particulars could sort themselves out. But that... Team. I needed a Team.
Thankfully, I was able to trade out the plastic Orcs (sp?) from that boxed set for a few of the metal humans and then collected another bunch in a batch order with the league. It's a "starter team." I know. I know. But I had to learn to crawl before walking.
So army (ahem) in hand, I set to the task and machine-painted this crowd in a manner that would make Henry Ford wince in bowel-grumbling envy. Fact. One very short but very busy week later (which is the fastest I'd ever assembled and painted a table-ready and playable force of any description and which is another reason that I've been thinking about the game lately), the boys took the field for the first time... and got absolutely stuffed by Chaotic Dwarfs. Seriously.
Well. Things got better from there, and you'll not be surprised to hear that one of the elements I liked most about the League was the narrative nature of each game, as well as the peculiar narrative phase between games. Each Team member had a name and before long a decent personality to match.
Touch McRudder, my star catcher pictured in the middle of this photo, stands out as a notable contribution. He was so loved amongst both friend a foe alike that an opposing player (in a critical game no less) genuinely apologized to me after knocking young McRudder into the casualty box. Now that's sportsmanship!