Balls For The Ball God – Blood Bowl II Announced

By Alec Meer on February 26th, 2013 at 4:00 pm.

Nuffle be praised!

See that picture above? That’s quite literally all there is to tell you about Blood Bowl II right now.

Why are you here? Why are you still reading? WHAT DID I JUST SAY? Damn you and your neediness.

I’m just going to post the picture again, then.

Now, what do you suppose that means? Hint: oh come on, you don’t need a hint.

This arrived via publisher Focus’ Twitter account earlier today, none too subtly implying that a sequel to the cult classic videogame adaptation of the cult classic Games Workshop tabletop sports game is on the way, accompanied only by “There’s something big brewing… and it’s not Bugman’s Beer!” So we don’t know when, what platforms, whether Cyanide are still developing, whether it’s a whole new game or a tweaked re-release, or ANYTHING. One more time:

See that picture above? That’s quite literally all there is to tell you about Blood Bowl II right now.

Don’t say I didn’t tell you so.

Important update: an extra fact! Sounds as though Blood Bowl II will land next year, and has six months of devtime under its gore-splattered belt already.

So: what do you lot particularly want to see in BB2?

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107 Comments »

  1. caddyB says:

    SPACE HULK

    • Danbanan says:

      Face Hulk!
      Well hopefully its not Cyanide.
      Overpriced and all the races were not in from the start.

      • UmmonTL says:

        Seriously, don’t give this game to cyanide again. I have no problem with a 30-50$ pricetag but please give the game to someone who knows how to make a goddamn user inteface. And maybe make a decent tutorial, I love blood bowl and I want other people to like it too. But with a game where most people who try it can’t even find the rulebook and an interface that actively hides information they need that’s not going to happen. Improve the graphics a bit, add in all the races and you’re golden. Maybe as an extra make the AI not shit or add mod support so people can tweak it to their hearts content.

    • almostDead says:

      I think a reasonable case could be made that this announcement would be well served with a wall of BLOOD BOWL.

      Please don’t spend any time developing the real time stuff.

  2. pakoito says:

    I will enjoy this game (provided I roll a 4 or more).

    • darkChozo says:

      Critical failure, reroll, critical failure, turnover

      • SkittleDiddler says:

        Because no one else is willing to say it, I will: the die rolls in Blood Bowl are fixed. The developers should be ashamed of coding in an AI cheat system.

        • Ted D. Bear says:

          The only people who constantly claim this are terrible at the game. If it helps you feel better about losing against a brain-dead AI, it’s okay. But spreading this type of misinformation is annoying. The AI will constantly do terrible moves first and cause a turnover before even standing up all players. If you know the rules and force the AI into lots of dice rolls, it will lose. It has no concept of proper play.

          • Grygus says:

            Oh, yeah? Well, I’m terrible. And I’m blaming the dice. And you can’t stop me. Probably.

          • SkittleDiddler says:

            I’ve heard that all before. In my experience with the single-player campaign, the AI consistently and overwhelmingly gets better die rolls. Prove me wrong by rolling out all those biased charts and tables you Blood Bowl players love to harp about.

            Did I suck at the game? Yes, most certainly — I only put in about 20 hours before I got tired of the game’s rule-bending in favor of the AI teams, so I never got a chance to get really good at it.

            Blood Bowl is a shitty game made by a shitty developer, and the fanbase tends to sink to that same level of shittyness when they insist on defending the most blatantly broken parts of the game.

          • sinister agent says:

            I’ve never heard any players defend Blood Bowl’s broken parts. Quite the opposite, in fact. And I’d never even heard of the board game before I played the game (full disclosure: I actually bought it thinking it was a real-time sport game, a lá the why-is-nobody-remaking-this Brutal Sports Football I had on the Amiga 20 (arrrgh) years ago. Yes, I am an idiot, thanks for noticing). And I’ve never lost a game against the AI, even playing as goblins, one of the teams who are expected to lose most of the time by design.

            If the dice are fixed, I must be an incredibly good player to literally never lose, but I’m not, as my record in the RPS leagues will show.

          • Daave says:

            That which can be claimed without evidence can be dismissed without any.

            Wouldn’t it be easier to create something which can accurately simulate the roll of a 6 sided dice than to build some sort of elaborate cheating mechanism? I would be astonished that a developer which let a lot of crippling bugs into a game was capable of such a feat.

          • darkChozo says:

            A claim regarding AI cheating probabilities is going to have to be substantiated by someone actually doing a statistical analysis of the dice rolls. Humans are absolutely terrible at judging that kind of probability-over-time. There’s a good reason why people think they can be bad at rolling dice or flipping a coin (the efforts of the Random Number God, of course).

          • Geen says:

            The Random Number God is punishing you for your randomly-generated sins.

          • drewski says:

            I’m terrible at the game, but I *don’t* blame the dice. I’m perfectly aware that I suck.

        • Delixe says:

          The die rolls aren’t fixed they can be just as harsh on the AI as a human player, that’s just Blood Bowl. The AI does cheat by stacking the odds in it’s favour. Get a program like SQLite and examine the database and you will find after nearly every game the AI gets +Stat rolls and doubles all the time meaning their players get abnormally overpowered teams. You can change this yourself but then you find that without stacking the odds in the AI’s favour in that manner you just faceroll every game.

        • SkeleTony says:

          The AI does not cheat (at the very least as far as die rolling is concerned). This has been proven countless times and you seem to know this, as evidenced by your follow up post below.

          The problem is with the game design itself. This (along with pattern recognition behavior, confirmation bias etc.) is what leads to people thinking something is fishy. You see in a typical game rooted in actual 6 sided dice being rolled, the ‘extremes’ of ’1′ and ’6′ only happen 1/6th of the time (using two dice systems 1/11th of the time etc.). But in Blood Bowl using it’s ‘block dice’, there are roughly two out of 6 ‘Bad’ extremes (red skulls if you are the blocker), 2 ‘good’ results (Pow-stars) and two ‘average/mediocre results. These latter ‘average’ results are actually ‘Bad’ when push comes to shove because of the way the game is designed. Making a charging block against the Dwarf Death Roller will usually result in being your player being sent to the injured box or morgue.

          Bottom line is that extreme results are way more common in BB than they are in typical games and humans tend to not take notice of or remember the ‘Good’ results but get understandably perturbed when the bad stuff happens so often.
          The problems are with the design of the game itself. It is a poorly designed game all around (and I am a table-top veteran from the days when 2nd edition first appeared) because it was designed by folks who have VERY little understanding of American football and so did not have any idea how to go about representing such in a fantasy genre and on top of that, with 3rd edition, they intentionally set out to make it a ‘coffee break’ type of game that could be played within an hour (as opposed to 2nd ed. games which could sometimes last 4-6 hours). And that is why we have the current iteration of the game which will anger even the most level-headed person who repeatedly tries to play an enjoyable game using the system.

          But it does not cheat.

  3. Temperance says:

    I hope it’s not a clusterfuck of different release versions at full price like the current Bloodbowl.

    • telpscorei says:

      I really hope it’s not Cyanide developing. They seem to get half a good game out and then some how screw up. Blood Bowl is the only game of theirs I like, and quite frankly that’s because of the underlying game systems. The stuff they had to do on their own (like introducing new players to the rules) they really messed up. Hell, I think the manual is a link to the board game’s manual.

      • Reapy says:

        Strongly agree. I encountered bloodbowl when I was a small kid via the pc game and didn’t know wtf was going on. I cam back around and got the legendary edition after RPS held a gun to my head and made me purchase it with their awesome AARs.

        The game itself is awesome as hell, but all the things you said were so true. Coming in not knowing anything it was overwhelming. Also the implementation of it just seemed, well, bad. It obscured game mechanics, and when you went to go to that ‘details’ tab the dice roll formulas were done in such a cryptic way it looked like utter gibberish, even when I had read several strategy guides and knew mostly what was going on.

        I still think the game of blood bowl itself is awesome, the fact that there can be such a significant difference between having a 2 or a 3 for a stat in itself is really cool.

        I have a feeling though we are going to see a micro transaction laden ‘buy your race for XXX dollars’ game though. I smell it in the air.

  4. Surlywombat says:

    Too elfly to tell if this will be good.

  5. Captain Loco says:

    Cautiously optimistic for this. I still play Chaos Edition nearly every day.

    Hopefully they can fix some of the long-standing bugs and improve the matchmaking system.

    • Malibu Stacey says:

      Hopefully they can fix some of the long-standing bugs and improve the matchmaking system.

      That’ll be those long-standing bugs which have been around since the original release and 3 commercial releases plus numerous patches later still exist?
      They still can’t even make a turn-based game which allows a disconnected player to rejoin the game. Even Dota 2 which moves at a slightly quicker pace being a real time game allows basic functionality as this.

      No thanks Cyanide, not buying any more of the buggy, unsupported, unfinished crap you’d like your customers to think are actually finished games.

  6. sinister agent says:

    Oh great, force everyone to shell out at their lousy prices just to be able to play with the already splintered and unsteady playerbase. Wonderful.

    Cyanide are pretty damn shifty as far as I’m concerned. Blood Bowl still has the same problems it had two years and two full price iterations ago. If they think I’m going to hand them more money just to do it all over again, they can shove it up their arse.

    • wyrmsine says:

      As much as I love Blood Bowl, I have to agree. There’s 3 versions of BB out now, each one a modded version of the last, all with the same bugs and awful AI. There’s no way Cyanide is getting any more money from me.

      • President Weasel says:

        Actually, to be fair to them, the Chaos Edition is much less of a rip-off compared to the Legendary Edition – compatible multiplayer with legendary, whereas Legendary wasn’t compatible with the original, forcing people to shell out for the new version or stop playing. Chaos Edition is optional, you only need to buy it if you want the three teams it adds, plus it’s heavily discounted if you already own Legendary.

        However it’s true there are several niggles still with their implementation of the rules, the occasional bug like players going missing when you set your team up then reappearing out of position when you kick off, the ‘end turn’ button is still in an idiotic place, and they still, after three iterations, haven’t included the full roster of Star Players.

        “Blood Bowl 2″ sounds like code for “you will lose all the existing teams you’ve developed over years of play” to me; I am hells of looking askance at this. What is it, a new engine? Why?

        • Dog Pants says:

          Why indeed. The issues with the existing versions could be fixed with a patch. This just strikes me as another tug on the udder of the Blood Bowl cash cow. A new, prettier engine is lovely, but since the rules would need to remain the same for it to remain Blood Bowl then is it really worth shelling out for again? Lots of people still play Fumbbl despite the limited graphics, so pretty isn’t really a big deal to Blood Bowl players. However, for the right price, a unified version with decent net code, an improved online league system, and inevitable engine update would be worth it. What are the chances of them releasing one complete version though, given their track record?

        • frenz0rz says:

          I actually used to have a mod for LE that reduced the size of the End Turn button and moved it to a spot in between the scoreboards. It stopped working after I upgraded to CE though…

        • Archonsod says:

          Every version has been heavily discounted if you owned the previous ones. I’ve got all four, and in total I haven’t spent more than £40 on it.

        • Squirrelfanatic says:

          You’re right with the points you raise PW, but still – Chaos Edition has just been released. We’ll have to wait and see if there will be any way in which BB player can play against someone who owns BBII. There is no chance I am shelling out for a bugfixed version of a game I already own. Bloody hell.

        • Hmm-Hmm. says:

          How long has it been since CE was released? I dunno, it feels a bit soon. As said it’s likely to divide the playerbase even further. And I wonder exactly why there’s really a need for a new game. They just have to fix the bugs and implement all the rules correctly (and, y’know, add missing bits).

      • iniudan says:

        Actually there is 4 version, original, dark elf, legendary and chaos. =p

        • somnolentsurfer says:

          Wasn’t Dark Elf released as a free update to the original?

          • SkittleDiddler says:

            Only for a limited time, so those who waited too long to upgrade got screwed.

          • somnolentsurfer says:

            Ah. Can you claim it on Steam now, or was that time limited too? I had the original preordered from Cyanide at release, and recently got it added on Steam by entering the code. I’ve not played it since though. All my friends long ago moved to Legendary.

          • SkittleDiddler says:

            I’m not sure — pricing schemes that I’ve seen for the upgrade deal have been confusing. Amazon stopped offering it almost immediately after Dark Elves was released, while Gamers Gate held on to the discount a bit longer than that. I don’t purchase from Steam so I have no clue which offer they’re currently pimping.

            I think it all comes down to Cyanide and the publisher. They can’t seem to keep track of who’s selling what. When your distributors are featuring conflicting versions of the same game right next to each other, you need to step up and clean house.

          • Hmm-Hmm. says:

            @somnolentsurfer: perhaps you could, but even so, Legendary contains all previous content -and- isn’t compatible with previous editions. So if your friends play LE you’re probably best off by getting the LE yourself.

  7. povu says:

    Nice timing, I was just watching some youtube videos of the Blood Bowl tournament that The Game Station network has going on at the moment.

  8. Reset says:

    Hoping for-
    A way to do asynchronous play, even if it’s under an optional alternate rule set
    A way to save and resume online league games later, to get around connection loss issues
    And it’d be nice to be able to have a little more options and control over player visual customization, given BB’s miniature gaming roots

    • Captain Loco says:

      Asynchronous play would be awesome. I suppose it’s too much to hope for an iOS version, I would play the shit out of this on my iPad.

  9. Choca says:

    Actually there is more to tell : the game is set to come out in 2014 and has been in development for 6 months.

  10. ocelotwildly says:

    Oh please please please let them include vaguely functional AI which can provide a bit of a challenge. The current version always gives me flashbacks to when I attempted to teach my 8 year old brother and utterly indifferent sister how to play the boardgame, with similarly frustrating consequences.

  11. Discopanda says:

    Creative Assembly blood bowl on the Rome 2 engine, with thousands of animated spectators, potentially a real time mode that isn’t awful like the cyanide version? So much potential!

    • KikiJiki says:

      I’d rather whomever is developing this title get the turn based version right and stuff any idea of real time back in the ‘terrible ideas’ box.

  12. Random Gorilla says:

    Praise Nuffle!

    • Vorphalack says:

      One does not praise Nuffle lightly, for he is a spiteful god who will send dooms upon you (in the form of triple skull re-rolled triple skulls) should you attract his baleful gaze.

      Yes, i’ve been having a bad run lately.

      • frenz0rz says:

        I can confirm through over 700 hours of trials and experimentation that avoiding his gaze, putting your fingers in your ears and pretending he doesn’t exist or cowering under your desk makes absolutely no difference whatsoever. Nuffle will catch up with you eventually, and when he does, he’ll bring the pain.

        Invoking his name, however, will always spell doom on your next roll. Always.

  13. jmexio says:

    So: what do you lot particularly want to see in BB2?
    A picture with a logo, clearly.

  14. Ian says:

    I fear that if it’s Cyanide that alone will be enough to put me off. Short of the response after release being unanimously along the lines of “They’ve fixed all that annoying shit.”

  15. Rich Tea says:

    I love BB, but I could never recommend the current pc version. Look at it. It’s horrible.

  16. Skeletor68 says:

    Improved UI, camera, player customisation, transparency of rules and campaigns AI etc. would be good.

    We all know how ridiculous pressing ‘Quit’ to save is, so how does three iterations of a game ship like that!

  17. Kapouille says:

    I’m looking forward to the new random ways in which it will crash or mess up your gameplay experience. Maybe they can manage to make the UI even more confusing? I’m sure they can, Cyanide have proven to have plenty of potential in that area.

  18. almostDead says:

    I want to see much more blood and violence on plays. Including modelling of injuries specific to body parts.

  19. Screwie says:

    I hope for at least all the star players this time around, and optional rules such as the special play cards being implemented. Better league management tools (especially if they extend to custom rulesets with custom team rosters like NTBB or BB7) would be amazing, as would a play-by-email option.

    If it’s under development by another studio, then mostly I hope that they don’t take a step backwards but instead try and out-do Cyanide’s effort in making a faithful translation of the tabletop experience.

  20. Loyal_Viggo says:

    I want to see other Games Workshop IP developed, like:

    Battlefleet Gothic – you know this!
    Man’O'War – Warhammer on the High (Elf) Seas
    Necromunda – Gangland massacres are fun
    Epic 40k – Stomping across the battlefield in your titan… majestic!

    In other words:

    BB2 can fcuk right off.

  21. iucounu says:

    I have the Legendary Edition, I think? Which is kind of a mess – the graphics are kind of naff, the UI is atrocious – but it feels like Blood Bowl is all there, at least. What’s annoying is that they didn’t try to build on or reinterpret any of it. The Blitz mode stuff and extended inducements are deeply unexciting additions and all very boardgamey.

    I like boardgames, but if this is just going to be another Cyanide Blood Bowl conversion with some extra frills and teams, I’m not going to shell out the silly price they’ll put on it.

    Oh, years ago I remember there was a controversy about multiplayer – that the die rolls were being handled server-side, and so could be manipulated to cheat? Did that ever get sorted out?

  22. Captain Loco says:

    Cyanide Studio retweeted the logo, so I think it’s a safe bet to say they’re involved in the project.

  23. naetharu says:

    The main thing I really want to see in here is some better support for campaign games. The first game is great for one-off sessions but the campaign stuff felt like a bit of a mess. Also, much better customization options and a generally cleaner menu system would be really nice. The first game was deeply flawed in many ways, but at its core it was a brilliant direct translation of BB onto the PC. I have high hopes!

    Oh, and I am with you on wanting to see a PC version of Necromunda. That game was fantastic – I spent way too much time and money on it in my early teens. If they did a version of it that was true to the actual rules it would be fantastic.

    • sonson says:

      And Mordheim.

      An RPG set in either 40K land or the Old World is probably the most obviously missed cash in I can think of in PC gaming also.

    • iucounu says:

      I would like a procedurally-generated UFO-style TBS based on Necromunda rules, maybe about the WH40K Inquisition, and including a psychological model for each soldier that would work like a beefed-up version of what they were doing in Valkyria Chronicles; like what Dwarf Fortress does. Your troops remember stuff that happened, tell stories about it, have relationships and trauma and stuff that needs to be managed. Also, craploads of weapons and psychic powers and daemons out of the GW sourcebooks to play with. Could we do that instead of more phoning-it-in Blood Bowl from Cyanide?

    • Archonsod says:

      Sod Necromunda. Gorkamorka was always where the skirmish game was at.

  24. somnolentsurfer says:

    Just scores my first victory in The Banner Saga, and have to say so far I’m much more interested in the future of that than I would be in this. There’s still some features it could do with adding, but it does away with a lot of the nonsense I found infuriating about BB. And it looks absolutely gorgeous.

  25. Atic Atac says:

    Yay! I hope they will release yearly small expansions/patches as full price products again! I love that model..

  26. Arkhonist says:

    If this doesn’t have all the races on day it’s a no-go, just like DoW 2

  27. Svant says:

    Better gui etc for the standard turnbased mode and a more interesting realtime mode that ignores all bloodbowl rules would be fun, especially with hotseat multiplayer. 2-4 players duking it out with controllers.

  28. Warduke says:

    For God sake I hope they scrap the Real Time version of the game (i.e. console) and just focus on the true core game, getting it right and fixing all the damn bugs! Please fix the bugs! Oh and bring in all the Star Players, Oh and how about Chaos Pact and Slann?!?

  29. Vinraith says:

    What do I want to see? AI that can play the game, obviously, but I doubt it’ll happen.

  30. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    What I suspect we can expect:

    -That it’s Cyanide.

    -That they want to release it so soon because BloodBowl = money.

    -That we’ll have to start with a very limited roster again. And bugs.

    -No compatibility with the preceding game. But you might get a discount.

    -Potentially somewhat improved AI/UI/introduction to the game/campaign

  31. Molotova says:

    +1 for imprved AI
    Seeing the AI going for the endzone on the last turn before half-time or end of the game, even if it does not have a theoretical chance to reach it makes me cringe every time.

    Also thank goodness i found the free BB living rulebook on pdf as i started playing. I shouldnt have had to rely on a third party resource to be able to undesrtand and play the game properly.

  32. Nick says:

    Necromunda game please.

  33. migueluli says:

    First and foremost: asynchronous multiplayer. A plus if it is cross-platform and I can play my turns on the go on the iPad.

    Second: Space Hulk! (And the above applies here too)

  34. Gothnak says:

    Better campaign so it feels like i’m a league, with a transfer system, sponsors, player morale, not wanting to work with other players, rivalries etc (God that would be awesome, better than the overly simple league they have now), better Ai in matches, Better way of explaining the odds of succeeding at an ability.

    If it had all that, i’ll be extremely happy. To be honest, i don’t really care about the game engine, just a lick of paint would be fine (Oh and more varied commentary!)

    • Dunk69666 says:

      Most important is a better AI (the opposition should really start going for a touchdown when they are behind and there is only a couple of turns to go, instead of making a cage).
      Secondly is a more advanced off field part to the game similar to Championship manager, with the option to go for coaching positions in other teams (so you don’t get bored of the race you initially picked).
      Thirdly have a hundred odd star players of which a handful are available for hiring (appropriate to race/alignment) at each game.

  35. Sunjammer says:

    I’d be excited if I had more faith in Cyanide. I just don’t trust them to create something that isn’t riddled with idiotic holes. They seem almost completely incapable of producing something genuinely solid.

    I just want a Blood Bowl 2 that is a modern game that works, and hopefully has better information systems because god knows, Blood Bowl barely communicates.

  36. Rich Tea says:

    Sack whoever it is that scripts the ”humour” for this game. It makes me want to pull my teeth out.

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