Saturday, 3 July 2010

Warhammer World Sportsnight

Blood Bowl is set in a Warhammer World. Not the grim world of Warhammer Fantasy Role-Play (WFRP), nor even the markedly lighter world of Warhammer Fantasy Battle (WFB). The world of Blood Bowl is violently silly. I do wonder what a game of WFRP set in this version of the Warhammer World would play like. There is enough background material in the various rulebooks, companion books, magazines, annuals, and even novels, to layer a Warhammer World devoted to the Cult of Nuffle over the grimdark world we already know. I would love to hear from anyone who has done this, whether for a one-off game or for a Blood Bowl-themed campaign.

Blood Bowl Stadium
When they said that their home ground was a fortress...

A few days ago, D retrieved his 3rd edition Blood Bowl (and Dungeonbowl) and we played a human v dwarf game. His human team sported their 15-20 year old paint jobs, while the dwarfs rumbled across the field flashing their bare lead. The first half was played without the four-minute per turn rule; it is a little difficult to play to that rule when you are consulting the rulebook on a more or less continuous basis. By half-time it was 1-0 to the humans, gifted a touchdown when their catchers broke the iron-wall of dwarven defence and we misinterpreted the mechanics of passing and catching. The second half was played with the four-minute per turn rule in effect, which made for a much more urgent, exciting, even tense playing experience. The game flowed - at least, the board game that D and I were playing flowed, the game of Blood Bowl that was being represented on the board was a static battle as the dwarf team ground its way upfield, eventually scoring a touchdown against the four remaining human players able to stand upright. Final score, 1-1, with the humans counting 2 dead, 2 seriously injured, and 4 knocked-out.


Miniatures, miniatures, miniatures. I have never used them when playing RPGs. I am not a great painter, never had the money to collect many, and given that the strength of using miniatures is in creating a vivid visual representation of the scenarios being described, I could not see the point in using a miniature to 'stand in' for some other monster or character. That the game takes place in the imagination is surely the very point of RPGs. Isn't it?

But miniatures, miniatures, miniatures. Before this game of Blood Bowl I had rescued by 1st edition Space Hulk from storage, and had made a start painting up a few genestealers in the classic blue/purple colour scheme. And while I am still not a great painter, I am a hell of a lot wealthier than I was when I was a teenager. So where does that take me? Straight past a fully-painted Blood Bowl team, a star player or two, and towards Warhammer Fantasy Battle, building a dwarf army, and some kind of Chinese hell in which tiny little plastic and lead men beg me to paint them to a standard that I can never achieve, and yet my disappointment only sharpens my appetite for more. And more.

A hell of a lot wealthier than when I was a teenager? Not for much longer.

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