Bloodbowl: Quick Q&A And New Trailer

A couple of weeks ago we got to speak to Cyanide’s Antoine Villepreux, who is the Blood Bowl Project Lead, about some of the features that the ultra-violent fantasy sports game will include. That conversation contains a little elucidation of the real-time mode will play. The game is, of course, based on the turn-based boardgame, and features a core turn-based system that is reportedly faithful to the original. But will the shiny RTS-like mode attract new folks to the sport? Cyanide seem to hope so.

The Q&A also happens to coincide with the release of a fancy new trailer, which shows off the familiar, and spectacularly rendered, Games Workshop fantasy foot-to-ballists.

RPS : Can you explain to us the story of how you came to be developing Blood Bowl, and how that process begun with Chaos League?

Villepreux: We already knew Blood Bowl when we started Chaos League, and sure Blood Bowl inspired us. We were convinced there was something to do with mixing sport and strategy in a video game. When the time came at Games Workshop to allow someone to adapt Blood Bowl we had already proven it was a good idea. 

RPS : How much have the rules of the boardgame defined the game mechanics you have created?

Villepreux: One-hundred percent. We decided to make a very faithful adaptation of the boardgame. So all our game mechanics are based on the original rulebook. We were also able to add a lot of additional content and ideas, as long as it was clearly stated that the player was not playing with the original rules. Among other features we added a real-time mode, management features (contracts, sponsors), buyable equipments, training, and more inducements.

RPS: Real-time mode?

Villepreux: The real-time mode is an adaptation of the turn-based mode, with no notion of turns and no interruption. So it’s clearly not an arcade sport game and is played more like an RTS. That means tactical aspects of the original game are kept, but you play it realtime, in a more stressing way, and a match takes much less time. Of course we expect Blood Bowl fans to only play the turn-based mode first, and maybe newcomers to be more attracted by real-time. But we would really like fans to give a try to the Real Time mode –there’s one simple reason: it’s the only way for them to play a Blood Bowl match in 10 minutes; and newcomers to try the Turn-Based mode because the game is so deep and tactical that it might interest anyone that likes thinking and strategy games.

RPS: What was behind the decision to include a real-time mode for the game?

Villepreux: It’s fun to play, keeps the tactical aspect of the original board-game, and is much more than just an orc-skinned-Madden.

RPS: To what extent can players customize their own teams?

Villepreux: Customization includes: team colors, team logos (even creating your own), characters naming, body and skin variations, equipment pieces reflecting the level of the players. 

RPS: How will competitive play be facilitated online? Do you expect to organize leagues, cups, and so on?

Villepreux: Internet modes include a classic public league that can be compared to a traditionnal worlwide ladder, and a private leagues system that will allow players to create, customize, and administrate their own private leagues. That same private leagues system is perfectly suitable to organize tournaments (by us or by players).

RPS: Thanks, Antoine!


  1. Vinraith says:

    If the turn-based mode is faithful to the original I’ll HAVE to buy this. Chances are I’ll never touch the real time mode, though.

  2. Heliocentricity says:

    I want this to be very good, i hope they drop a demo, because this would only be a bargin bin purchase after chaos league. I won’t talk about the other GW properties i’d rather have as a game, but in honesty, they are all good templates.

  3. Bossman says:

    “If the turn-based mode is faithful to the original I’ll HAVE to buy this.”

    The turn-based mode is exactly like the tabletop game. All the rules are the same and all the same tactics work.

  4. Omroth says:

    Is there weGo is there weGo is there weGo THERE BETTER BE WEGO.

    Loved loved loved Chaos League’s wego in multiplayer – really an underrated experience.

  5. MrBejeebus says:

    I liked Warhammer, but never touched Bloodbowl, this may be worth a try though

  6. Radiant says:

    SAY IT!

  7. Radiant says:

    I really want to get my hands on this.
    It’s the only gamesworkshop game I ever bought.

    I know, I know but back then painting models didn’t really appeal to me.
    Now; it’s what I wish I could do.
    Fuck a job!

  8. M.P. says:

    Slightly disappointing interview I have to say, there was so much more I wanted to know! For instance, how does the turn-based mode work in multiplayer? Do you just sit there waiting for your opponent to finish his turn? Is there a time-limit for each turn, or can the opponent wander off and go afk, leaving you stranded in gaming limbo for all eternity? Can you do turn-based multiplayer via email? Is there an offline-multiplayer hot-seat mode? Can the buyable items be used in multiplayer, or are they strictly a campaign-mode thing?

    Another thing I’d like to know (though it’s probably not something that RPS can tell us) is when the hell will GW start promoting the games it lisences a bit? I have not seen a SINGLE ad for them in any GW store! If I were Mythic or Relic, I’d pay GW to put demo pods in every single store of theirs! They’re such an established high street presence that they’d be fools not to! I hope they treat this game better, but I suspect they won’t because they’re lisencing model so far seems to have been “fire and forget”: developers pay them a lump sum for the lisence and then GW cease caring about how the game does, because they won’t get any additional royalties for them. (I bet you this explains all the terrible games that have used their IP over the years.)

  9. Vinraith says:


    That’s very encouraging. Any word on the AI? Team building and league modes? If I can simulate the experience of playing a 12 team league like I used to back in high school and college (but without having to actually FIND 11 people to play with, which is impossible anymore) that would be a day 1 purchase.

  10. Oddtwang says:

    Heliocentricity: Necromunda? Me too *drools*. I’m much more attracted to the games with a few miniatures and a lot more time spent on them (and in the latter case, the terrain for the battles), the organisation of tournaments etc. Hard not to see why they’ve moved away from them though, they must have made about £3.50 off those games :)

    This will have to tide me over though – looking like a pretty tasty implementation to me.

  11. Dominic White says:

    The Blood Bowl beta was pretty impressive. It’s a pretty much 100% accurate adaptation of the current Living Rulebook edition, with shiny 3d graphics and running commentary.

    Still, the 50 dollar/euro asking price is a bit much for what is, effectively, a boardgame adaptation.

  12. jsutcliffe says:

    Goodness — I see it’s out this week. Are there any early reviews to see? I want it, but don’t want to be disappointed if it’s buggy as hell.

    I am so looking forward to recreating my Goffic Spiders orc team though. I wonder if it’s still a legal team according to the current rules.

  13. Henrik J says:

    I am looking forward to it, but i think he price is a bit too high so i will look at some reviews first…

  14. ack says:

    Dominic: retail price seems to be 40€l. It’s already in shops.

  15. Alex Jacobson says:

    I’ve been waiting for a Necromunda computer game for years now. No idea why it hasn’t been thought of already.

  16. Markoff Chaney says:

    I don’t think I’m breaking the NDA at this point, and with 3 days remaining until it goes on sale for digital distribution that would be rather silly, but having played a match or two in the beta I can say it is, in my opinion, as faithful a recreation as possible of the tabletop game in digital format. Turns took place in turn (imagine that) where you would have each player play out their side within a set time period. I want to say six to ten minutes per turn. IIRC, time was determined based on the number of members still on the field. All we got to test was the turn based mode which was against other humans. No AI nor Real-Time was seen by me.
    That being said, based solely on its ability to be a turn based engine that lets me play Blood Bowl with my friends while looking at our screen instead of moving figurines, I’m there pretty close to day one. I’m just holding off because I don’t know if there’s a collector’s edition with requisite figurine or not that will be available.

  17. Sinnerman says:

    The release information seems to be a bit confused. I can buy a download version in 3 days for 40 of my worthless fiat pounds or wait until September for a boxed copy to released? The game does look good and I like the sound of a faithful interpretation of tried and tested turn based rules.

  18. Pijama says:

    The only thing that would make it better:

    If were proper football!

    The idea of an Orcish centre-back makes my heart giddy. :D

    (Heck, or what about Bloodrugby?)

  19. Dave says:

    A little bit of wee comes out everytime i think of this, massive Blood Bowl and early GW games fan (read WHFRP, how did they massacre WAR so badly?!?!). Girly woodelvesall the way, 1 turn touch downs 4tw

  20. Archonsod says:

    Love Bloodbowl.
    Love Chaos League.
    Can’t wait for this.

  21. Saul says:

    I love BB, but I found the beta curiously uninspiring. Sure, it’s the same game as you play on the board, but there are issues. Will wait for reviews on the full game.

  22. veerus says:

    I have not tried the beta, but having played Chaos League to death, I am excited to play BB. From what I’ve seen, BB looks like a better, updated CL with crazier and more clearly defined rules and mechanics. I’m talking about the real-time mode here. I guess what I’m saying is, if there’s no demo or if you’re a RTS fan and have doubts about BB, go find CL on the intrawebz for a taste of what Cyanide can do with the license.

  23. Ian says:

    @ Pijama: On an unrelated note, if you know of any rugby games worth playing do tell. :-P

    Anyway, I’d want a demo but I’m liking the look of this.

  24. Paul_M says:

    Ditto for Necromunda. Everyone stopped playing that so quickly but I really liked the Hive settings and the backstories, there’s loads of mileage there. There is something quite attractive about a persistent offline-upgradable gang that will then fight in online skirmishes. Maybe Bloobowl will scratch that itch.

    I echo someone else’s comment also about having fewer minatures to look after. That always appealed to my obsessive compulsion to keep things neat and efficient :)
    Anyway, off topic…

  25. The Fanciest of Pants says:

    Necromunda/Mordheim electronic video games would be sweet…

    Anyway, on topic; Can’t wait to try this.

  26. Suxbad says:

    From a guy who has wanted to get into the hobby but hadn’t gotten around to buy/paint a whole army or team…This looks like the best way for me to try out the hobby for (relatively) cheap.

  27. Erlam says:

    My experience with the Beta didn’t sell me on it. Not that it’s a bad game, but there’s so much randomness that leads to you going from winning to losing in a single turn.

    I had one turn start with an event where people in the crowds threw stuff at the players, and the players had a chance to either be fine, or be knocked out.

    My opponent lost 2 guys to it.

    I lost 9.

    Then I caught the ball (he was kicking) and dropped it — into my own endzone. Two kicks in a row.

    So I would say play a demo unless you’re quite familiar with the boardgame.

  28. Bluto says:

    obviously a big part of bloodbowl is not going mad when your star player is murdered on the pitch (sometimes by an overly enthuastic troll-cheerleader)… that’s what makes the game so addicting, you *need* revenge! :-D

  29. shinygerbil says:

    Heh. Just like last time, the comments thread clamours for Necromunda.

    I hope somebody is listening… ;)

  30. Optimaximal says:

    What the hell? They want £39.99 for the official digital download – link to