The RPS Blood Bowl Cup Could Be Yours!

By Quintin Smith on May 5th, 2011 at 3:00 pm.

If I had an elf team I would tell my opponents they're about to get sh'elved.

Did you know that Rock, Paper, Shotgun has an active Blood Bowl community? It does! Our forumites, they can’t get enough of that turn-based sport, or the match reports, the injuries, everything hanging on a single simulated dice roll, all that good stuff.

If you own Blood Bowl: Legendary Edition and want to get involved with our most friendly of gaming communities, now’s the time. A new knock-out league entitled the RPS Cup (the cup itself is strictly imaginary) is starting up, and you can find all the details and the sign-up Googledocs spreadsheet here. The organiser, Daave, is hoping for a whopping 64 competitors, so you can bet you’ll be welcome, and if you own the original Blood Bowl the Legendary Edition can now be found for a paltry £9. Kieron got involved in one of these tournaments two years ago and his diary still makes for great reading, so what are you waiting for? Go play!

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57 Comments »

  1. zergrush says:

    I’d get in that if I had ever been able to win a match in that effing game.

  2. Ian says:

    A) If any Blood Bowlers here haven’t read Kieron’s diaries then they must do so immediately.

    B) You mean RPS won’t even be providing a jewel-encrusted golden trophy? Cheapskates.

  3. McDan says:

    Heard many RPS’ers talking about this game, might have to get into it myself.

  4. Ace Jon says:

    Pet peeve: ‘dice’ is plural.

  5. Raziel_aXd says:

    Where’s those Crysis 2 matches that Jim promised some time ago?

  6. groovychainsaw says:

    Get into it chaps – if the cup hooks you, you can join our Divisions of Death for ongoing games afterwards, or the Challenge league for one-off games against RPS types. Over 40 of us playing every week can’t be wrong ;-).

  7. Nullkigan says:

    High Elves? Sh’elved? Punny names are a big part of the game.

    Clearly Quinns should be a seeded coach.

  8. Lobotomist says:

    I am helplessly bad (with my dark elf rag tag team) , but .. where do i sign in ?

  9. President Weasel says:

    You don’t even need the original game; Legendary Edition is an expandalone featuring approximately seventy-twelve* teams – nearly all the teams from the board game, save Chaos Dwarves, Chaos Pact, Chaos Rules Lawyers, and Chaotic Chaos. Oh, and Latvians.**
    In addition to Play.com, the game can also be obtained from Steam and various other outlets. There’s no regional separation of the multiplayer, so it’s entirely possible for American and Australian RPS-ites to join the cup too. Even Latvians!
    I don’t know about being a seeded coach, but Iron Quinns is one of the players on my Dark Elf team in the RPS League. He’s hopeless, unlike the mighty Alec Meer, heroic mainstay of the team.
    *sixteen?
    **some of those teams may be made up.

    • DarkFenix says:

      20 teams, they’ve outdone themselves and got almost every single tabletop team in.

  10. Flameberge says:

    I would love to get involved, but I am so appalling bad at the game. Think I’ve won maybe two games against the AI out of about 10-15?

    I play a brutal team, and try and bash the enemy to death, I still seem to get out-bashed. I play a running or throwing team, and I get pounded into the ground. *sigh*

    And yet I am still tempted.

    • President Weasel says:

      Join up- you might get lucky and win a couple of games, and even if you don’t games against humans are far better than games against the AI.

    • Nullkigan says:

      Play goblins. Go out in the most hilarious manner possible.

      Or just wait for your opponent to nuffle themselves to death instead? Sometimes the dice just hate on a person.

  11. DarkFenix says:

    The Blood Bowl lot are among the most active RPS gaming communities, this should work out nicely.

    Those guys a little concerned about their ability shouldn’t worry, I don’t think a single RPS’er could qualify as truly amazing at BB and besides, tournaments is where upsets happen!

    Oh and I’m going to shameless give another shout out to people to sign up for the RPS Divisions of Death, our big organised league now in its 9th season. It’s never too late to join, with a constant stream of newcomers and team-changers alike mean even a total rookie can compete.

  12. jon_hill987 says:

    All I can say is…

    GO BRANDYWINE BRAWLERS!

    /me signed up

  13. Dana says:

    Will you record the matches ? I would like to see them !

  14. Gothnak says:

    I’m managing to squeak through most matches vs hard AI with my Khemri team, not an easy task especially against the stonger teams. I don’t think i could face being beaten by a humie though! ;)

    • President Weasel says:

      It’s an entirely different experience; the AI is basically predicatable, while humans (like the Orc gods Gork and Mork) are a mixture of burtally cunning and cunningly brutal. I’d strongly recommend joining the challenge league for some casual, no-stakes games against your fellow RPS readers.

    • ntw says:

      ^ what he said.

      Us “Humies” on RPS are an exceptionally nice bunch of chaps, many us will go out of our way to help newbies as well.

    • Gothnak says:

      I’d need to play some more to find out which team i’m really suited to… I used to have the game in the early 80′s, just never played it much with all the new races. I wish there was a zoom out button when my laptop has a spasm and zooms in and not having a mouse connected i can’t zoom back out again.. Any advice?

    • sinister agent says:

      My advice is to pick a team and sign up to the open challenge thing linked above – you’re technically ‘ranked’, but it’s not really a meaningful competition. It’s more a place for people to play casually against other RPS-ers, either to learn the game, experiment with a different team/strategy, or just have fun.

      I’ve played one multiplayer game ever, and never played the tabletop game, and there are other new players hanging about too – just jump in, I’ve seen nothing to indicate that anyone will give you any grief over it.

      As for starting teams, I’m no expert, but I’d suggest playing with one of the more ‘basic’ teams like:

      Humans (essentially average at everything). Play bashy against weak teams and flashy against strong ones.

      Dwarves (slow and clumsy, but practically impossible to kill, and start with very useful skills). Don’t even bother trying to outrun or outpass/catch anyone – just block at almost every opportunity, because most of your players have skills that prevent them being knocked down as often, and all of them have high armour and ‘thick skull’, which means they’re rarely stretchered off the pitch however many fights they start.

      Orcs (arguably somewhere between humans and dwarves, as they’re fairly agile and quite tough, but a little slow and clumsy passers). I’ve not played them much, but you can generally beat people up, but also play the occasional passing/running moves against slower teams.

      Elves/wood elves (weak, but skilled and fast). Avoid fights and dodge like hell. Most of your team can handle the ball well, so take advantage of the passing game.

      Many of the other teams could work, but they tend to have more obscure skills or require a more esoteric playing style to win, so might give you a harder time if you’re just starting. I still have difficulty understanding the ‘stunty’ skill, for example, so lizardmen are right out even though they’re a quite interesting team.

    • ntw says:

      Gothnak – linky here to a similar question on the BB forums…

  15. Mike says:

    Suggestion: http://www.trophycentre.com/prodpage.asp?productid=2845

    I’m happy to pay for it, Daave, but you should totally do it.

  16. Whiskey Jak says:

    Just want to put it a friendly warning to people who haven’t played or tried a league yet:

    1) The most important: It can be a lot of fun! :)

    2) If you live in NA (like me) and most of your opponents are from England (or wherever else in Europe) it can be hard to schedule games during the week if you have a regular job and kids.

    3)As mentioned, the game can be a lot of fun, but if you didn’t play it before, BloodBowl itself isn’t the most straightforward and simple game and Cyanide did a lot of good things but accessibility/usability (signs and feedback for example) is not one of them. Even after patches and all, there’s a lot left to improve. You can often be left wondering what the hell just happened and it can be frustrating/discouraging.

    4) That said, back to point 1: It can be a lot of fun! :)

    • zergrush says:

      The game is simply impenetrable for me. After around eight hours of play I haven’t figured anything out and have absolutely no idea about what’s happening or what the odds to do anything are, I’m even considering buying the board game just to be able to learn this fucking thing.

    • President Weasel says:

      Zergrush, you’re not wrong. Cyanide manage to hide a lot of the odds behind an obtuse and sometimes counterintuitive AI.
      I’d recommend signing up for the challenge league on the forum; we’re a decent bunch of players who’ll crush your inexperienced team, and then give you some pointers as to how you might not get quite so crushed next time :)

      The most important thing to remember is any time you fail anything you get a Turnover and your turn is, well, over. The game is really all about risk management; it’s also important to do the zero-risk moves (like moving players through uncontested space, or moving a player up to support a block) first, before you do anything risky.

    • zergrush says:

      Thanks for the tips (:

      I’m halfway through kieron’s battle reports and already got a much better notion of the game. Will try to get a match going on the challenge league asap;

    • sinister agent says:

      The game is impenetrable at first, and the tutorial and manual do very little to help. I’d strongly recommend looking up the “living rulebook” and reading it (should be free from many – legal – sources). It’s very frustrating to play at first, especially as any mistake will lose your turn – getting used to the idea that even failing to pick up the ball costs you a turn can take a few games, but once you get there, it’s easy to see why it’s so popular.

    • Captain Loco says:

      Some of the rules are not intuitive and can be difficult to figure out via trial and error. Read the rulebook so that you understand how tackle zones, blocking and dodging works well enough to have a rough understanding of the odds of success for any given action.

      Most importantly, remember that any failed action ends your turn, so it’s important to do the least risky and most critical actions first.

    • ntw says:

      Rulebook here, and it’s on the GW website so it’s completely legal…

  17. pkt-zer0 says:

    I’m terrible at the game, only played it a couple of times. Might still join this, just to fill up the brackets, or something.

  18. cwoac says:

    okay, thats probably enough to make me dust of my copy. Prepare to fear the taste of $TEAM_NAME of $RACE.

  19. Rath says:

    I’ve bought the game, but it currently sits among the pile of things waiting for when I get a machine capable of running more than Spelunky in a decent fashion. *wistful sigh*

  20. boots says:

    You know what? This news is enough for me to finally sign up to an account here after years of lurking. Good stuff. Now hopefully I’ll have better rolls than I normally do, and keep most of my team alive for more than a game or two!

  21. oatish says:

    I nabbed this on STEAM a ways back and only got one foot really into it. I think the TT version is one of Jervis’ best designs (maybe next to EPIC: Armageddon) so I have always wanted to learn it up.

    With all of the talk of this challenge league, I think I should just hop into some matches vs. real(ish) people and get all my losses out of me early.

  22. BunnyPuncher says:

    As someone very involved in other BB scenes I’m curious… are there any “names” involved in the RPS league? :)

  23. MajorManiac says:

    Are there any friendly matches available for noobs with the Dark Elf Edition?

    • President Weasel says:

      the editions are incompatible, and there are very few people still playing DE. However, we do still see the occasional post in the multiplayer chat from DE players (you can tell them apart because they don’t get the >> next to their name when they post). You might get a game or two, but in the Challenge league where we play our RPS friendlies we use Legendary Edition.

    • ntw says:

      Get thee to the Challenge League forthwith.

  24. lorddon says:

    This sounds glorious. Question is do I have the time for it? How long do matches usually last?

    • Daave says:

      A match with 4 minute turns takes the better part of 2 hours, particularly if both players really want to win! The more casual games could take an hour or so.

  25. President Weasel says:

    Indeed, a 2-minute match takes about an hour, and will probably be what you default to after playing the game for a while. However, 2-minute turns can often feel rushed – there isn’t the time to ponder that you’ll get in a 4-minute game, and especially for new players you’ll find yourself making mistakes because you fell pressured, or running out of time before you can move all the players you want to.

    For the RPS Open and the RPS Divisions of Death, plan for a little under 2 hours, at a time that is mutually convenient for you and your opponent, once a “week” (the “weeks” actually take a fraction over a week, for the Divisions)

    I’d expect the cup to be run along roughly the same lines. Can you spare a couple of hours a week? Maybe between 2 and 4 on a Sunday afternoon, say, or between 7 and 9 on a weekday?

  26. Kaira- says:

    I’ve bought the game, but haven’t tried yet. So, does this League of Extraordinarily British and Extraordinarily Extra-British gamers have something akin to “Noob League”? And any good FAQs to get started?

  27. JackShandy says:

    If I had but two dimes to rub together I’d start a fire and get this game with the insurance money. But Alas, I do not. Can some wordsmithsly RPS member write the details of this tournament, so that I may enjoy it vicariously?

  28. mwoody says:

    Dumb question, but just to make sure: this is Classic mode, not that crappy Blitz abomination, right?

    • ntw says:

      There are no stupid questions, just stupid people.

      Luckily you are clearly a smart people – it will be turn based.

  29. DCCTV says:

    I’m not overjoyed by pay-to-win but there’s no need to assume all free to play games will be like that.

    If you would rather it was a subscription: pay for the full game.
    If you rather it was free minus the perks: don’t pay at all.
    If you rather it was totally free and the devs make no money: just shh.

    If you’re just venting misplaced anger that they ruined AoE2 then alright I’ll get in line.

  30. JuJuCam says:

    If there was any hope at all of being able to coordinate matches from my GMT + 10 timezone I’d be all over this like a rash. Would it be possible to post replays somewhere for some time delayed spectatorship?

    • ntw says:

      Well we have a convict an Australian playing in the RPS DoD BB League at the moment, so it’s not impossible…