For me, this 2012 season of Blood Bowl is over. After playing the 13 league games and finishing third in our division of five, I made it to the playoffs – somewhat to my surprise. Less surprisingly the first playoff round proved to be my undoing, with Vikings IF sending the Drakwald Ravens packing, as well of killing one of my veteran ghouls, Karl Eye-Popper, and putting Ludwig Wightenstein in a wheelchair with a thoroughly destroyed hip. The poor wight suffered a “smashed hip” result in his first game of the season, never amounted to anything during the games he played, and received a second “smashed hip” in the Ravens’ last game. Poor Ludwig!
With my gaming part done, it’s time to look back upon the season. All in all I was more than pleased. My last season of Blood Bowl saw my orc team the Naughty Grinders finish with a 2-2-6 (wins-draws-losses) record from ten games, whereas this season the Drakwald Ravens managed a 4-5-5 record from a total of 14 games. So, fewer defeats, twice the victories and more than twice the draws. Can’t really be disappointed!
The Ravens steadily upped their game throughout the season, and before the playoffs actually had a four match long undefeated streak with two wins and two ties. The only thing I wasn’t happy about was my team’s seeming inability for violence. While a virtue outside the Blood Bowl field, 11 inflicted casualties in 14 matches is appalling, especially compared to the league (sans Ravens) average of over 21. Out of those 11 casualties no less than five were executed (tee-hee) by my number one flesh golem, Max Hurtheimer.
The more I play Blood Bowl, the more convinced I am, that this is the best game GW has put on the market. Blood Bowl combines luck and skill wonderfully – while sometimes horrible luck can bring you down no matter how good you are, most of the time the more skilled player will have the upper hand. It is an important skill in itself to minimize the role of luck, in other words the number of dice rolls you make. While I’m slowly learning the game, the more experienced players often seem to be a move or two ahead of me, no matter what I do.
What makes our Blood Bowl league especially fun is the narrative built around it on our internet forum. Press releases are made after matches, game reports are written for every game and players provide other content such as news, advertisements and rumours or even obituaries of dead players. A great example of this was the surprising death of one of my werewolves, Anti-Christian Wolff. Having just scored a touchdown, Wolff died due to amazingly bad dice rolling during a routine block against a dwarf player. The interpretation was that his heart suddenly gave out. This lead to several news items:
Ravens head coach disappointed in dwarf fans’ racist chants
This sprang from a few of our friends who were watching the game and celebrated the death of the werewolf by chanting the now-legendary “hukasta rukkaset!” which is Finnish for “make the wolf into mittens!” They were interpreted as being dwarven fans.
Dwarf fans respond to racism allegations
In this item the dwarf fans accused of racism were shocked and appalled. They claimed the chanting was a joke, nothing more. This was a parallel to several then-current events where Finnish politicians made racist comments in public, and then claimed that they had been ironic or joking.
Werewolf overbreeding: “This would be illegal with humans”
This was an adaptation of an actual news item dealing with genetic problems caused by overbreeding in dogs.
Drug scandal in the league! Warpstone overdose to blame for Anti-Christian Wolff’s death?
In which a Norse team’s werewolf comments that the combination of overbreeding and warpstone use is a deadly one, and that it is a public secret in the werewolf community.
2 in 1 furry mittens from Stockkleinemann sale!
A parody of then-current sale campaign of the Finnish department store Stockmann. Made by dwarven artisans, the luxurious leather mittens could be turned into furry ones by the touch of Moonstone™.
And so on. This is what makes our Blood Bowl that extra bit special. It’s very similar to the idea of Warpg’s I’ve often talked about.
What’s next? Well, there are still games to be played in this season’s playoffs, and then at some point it’s time for the 2013 season. I’ve already bought a new team from Impact Miniatures, the Middle Kingdom humans who are done in a classic Greek/Spartan style. I’ll have a lot of fun coming up with a back story for those guys. With all this, I’m happy to report that in our group Blood Bowl is alive and well!