Blood Oath: Mat Kumar On Blood Bowl

I do like Griff Oberwald

Just finished writing up the penultimate Blood Bowl match report, which I’ll be posting tomorrow, but I found myself reading Mat Kumar’s piece on his reservations on Blood Bowl. The Caledonian Chaos Warrior is a bit of a dice-head on the quiet, but he’s found himself frustrated…

“Now, I wish I could say I picked up Blood Bowl and it’s everything I’ve dreamed of and more, but it’s really not. Blood Bowl, on the PC, brushes so close to perfection that it’s driving me utterly bonkers.”

A lot of people have been turned on by the match reports, despite me really trying to talk about the interface problems too. I think, just a a matter of balance, it’s worth linking to Mat’s piece which really stresses them – and not just because he’s terribly nice about my journals. Go read.


  1. Schaulustiger says:

    He is oh-so right. I am somehow intrigued by the game but it doesn’t do anything to make me understand its complex rules. The tutorial is totally worthless and without any knowledge of the underlaying ruleset it is nearly impossible to even score a point.
    I’m still going to try and understand Blood Bowl but I’m a bit frustrated because the least thing I want to do is reading a several hundred pages long rulebook. Well, I guess it’s time that my dwarven Trunkenbolde get crushingly defeated again.

  2. Arsewisely says:

    The rule book is pretty simple really – I’ve been reading up before I get the game. The core rules fit into about twenty pages. I agree with the principles of Kumar’s piece however – hopefully Cyanide will support the game for the long haul.

  3. Jon says:

    After skimming through the rule book and playing about 10 games, I feel I have a good grasp of the rules. I’ll be honest and say I don’t have a legitimate copy of the game because of the intially ridiculous price but I’m seriously considering picking it up for online play. It’s everything I could have wanted from the game. The match reports are what really got me excited about the game and in that regard, it has lived up to my expectations. If the GUI was just a little better laid out and if the help with die rolls was a little more standardised (either show me or don’t), I’d be damn close to saying it’s as good a game as I’ve played this year.

  4. Mort says:

    He sums it up perfectly for me, and it was why I didn’t buy, in the end, having tried a ‘trial’ version.
    Conversely, it made me go back to the original board game, as I’m also on a big Space Hulk induced GW spending spree. But having played BB back in the day, this incarnation pales in comparison.

  5. StalinsGhost says:

    Certainly, Blood Bowl is brilliant because the beating heart is one of the most balanced and entertaining rule sets in gaming. Not because Cyanide have necessarily managed to produce a game of stunning quality. It looks great, but there’s a lot of work that needs to be done in making it a more streamlined experience.

  6. Kwanchu says:

    I think the game is awesome even though i never played the board game. I think it would be a lot more fun if I knew how the f**k to play real football. Other then that its all I really have to say and only wanted to comment because it makes me feel like a big man.

  7. Arathain says:

    Arg. This doesn’t help. I really can’t decide whether to get this. I’m really enjoying the FUMBBL games I’ve been playing, and I love the idea of a shiny graphical interface on all of that. But given the poor interface and transparency I don’t know if I can justify spending money, particularly not the sort of money they want.

  8. StalinsGhost says:

    I’d point out that despite my criticisms above, I’d still whole heartily recommend it to family and/or friend.

  9. Wisq says:

    I think the single biggest revelation I had, from my initial playing of the game to actually understanding the rules, was that dodge isn’t about how many tackle zones you’re getting out of, but how many zones you’re dodging in to.

    That sole fact — gleaned from someone saying “remember, it’s not about …” in a document on I’m pretty sure — was the key to understanding why I shouldn’t fear simple 0 TZ dodging as an agile team with re-rolls to spare and/or the “dodge” skill (so long as I do more important stuff first) … and conversely, why human catchers or Skaven gutter runners could slip through my lines, and why sending a single player to try to cover them seemed so utterly futile.

    (And of course, this ties directly back into the “why don’t they show us the dodge roll?” issue, because I could have figured this out a lot faster by mousing around and seeing the rolls.)

    At first, I assumed that the game’s complete unwillingness to explain any of the underlying rules was because they were under some kind of agreement not to actually give out enough info to allow people to play a makeshift tabletop version of BB. You know, proprietary ruleset and all that. But after a week or so, I stumbled across that free and apparently legal link to an LRB5 PDF online, which raises the question: WTF?

    Honestly, I learned more from Kieron’s write-ups than from anything in the game tutorial, and had I not gone into the game forearmed with that knowledge, I might not still be playing it. Granted, I haven’t read the game’s PDF manual from virtual cover to virtual cover as a result, but from the glancing I’ve done, it doesn’t even explain its own rule modifications or interfaces very well.

    (For example: Why does my team value have an arrow pointing to a higher number next to it? Manual, web searches: Nothing. Correct guess: Because my team is undermanned and the value will be modified to include automatic mercenary replacements.)

    So yeah, the current BB computer game incarnation is both missing some handy shortcuts for people who understand the rules, and potentially utterly baffling for people who don’t. It’s like trying to play a computer game of chess when nobody knows how to play it and the manual only explains how to move your pieces. … No, scratch that, you’d probably still learn chess faster.

    Despite all that, I’ve played and continue to play plenty of singleplayer matches, even given the dodgy AI. And I’m looking forward to trying out some multiplayer as well.

    (The BigBoyz mod helped a lot to spice up the singleplayer gameplay. Now I’m the one hiring star players and struggling to survive.)

    So — while it’s possible my mental “clean slate” with regards to BB is keeping me from being bothered by the shortcomings — I’d still give it a recommendation, albeit a somewhat hesitant one. (I would be less hesitant if they had a more reasonable price.)

    BTW, if anyone from Cyanide is reading this: Release a demo! I’m thinking one or two pre-arranged matches to play, but much more importantly, the ability to play replays and/or spectate live matches online. It would double as a demo and a free spectator client. You’d hook people on the basic gameplay, assure them that their computer can run the game, and let them see the fun they could have by buying. There’s no better way to promote the game, IMO.

  10. McChes says:

    The game manual (one of the download files) also points you in the direction of the Living Rule Book, with a comment that it’s what you should read if you want to develop your skills with the game.

    Also, Kumar’s complaints about Cyanide’s electronic imagining not telling you about tackle zones or dice roll probabilities simply aren’t true: the game does tell you what dice roll is required to perform a given action, tells you what skills are relevant in block situations, and even keeps a full log of all the actual dice rolls so you can see just how unlucky or lucky you have been.

    • Wisq says:

      I was going to take issue with this as well, but mathew beat me to it.

      I’ll add one of my own: The “leap” and “jump up” skills just say they need an “agility check”, and attempting those actions doesn’t show you the value you’ll need. You can figure it out after the first attempt by looking at the log, but as pointed out, knowing what you needed after you needed it isn’t very helpful.

      So as a newbie, dodging, leaping, and passing become scary unknowns, as compared to blocking, where the game always tells you exactly what you need. Up until you actually try to block, at which point you’re left to interpret the dice for yourself.

      If my two dice are “both down” and “defender stumbles”, I need to take into account whether either or both of us has the “block” skill, whether the opponent has the “dodge” skill, whether I have the “tackle” skill to counter their dodge, whether they have the “stand firm” skill to counter my pushback assuming they have the “dodge” skill and I don’t have “tackle”, whether I have “strip ball” to get the ball even if I push, whether they have “sure hands” to counter my “strip ball”, whether I have “frenzy” to turn “push back” into a push and a second roll, what the number of dice will be for that second roll, etc etc.

      Yes, all the skill names are presented to you, and that’s great for an experienced player, but what’s a newbie to do in the limited time available?

      A simple interpretation under each die would be sufficient. E.g. “both down” could get “block skill: defender down” if I have block and they don’t. “Defender stumbles” could get “defender down” if neither of us has relevant skills, or “dodge, tackle: defender down” if they have dodge and I have tackle. Etc.

    • Wisq says:

      Oh, and one of the worse culprits:

      “Tentacles: You rolled a 4. Do you wish to re-roll?” (Yes/No)

      With no indication whatsoever of what the number represents. With no hint that the current value might well be a successful value. No hint that even if it’s unsuccessful, you’ll just be stuck in place and not force a turnover. Etc.

      Lacking this kind of documentation is okay if it’s your skill, since you presumably read up on it to learn how it works. But when this kind of question is dumped on you for the first time because of a player on the opposing team, you’re just left baffled.

      (Oddly enough, even the LRB5 doesn’t actually say whether re-rolls are applicable in this situation, or whether you re-roll before or after you know what your opponent rolled.)

    • mark says:

      Yes, the LRB is obscure on that point. The way the skill is supposed to function is that BOTH your roll and and your opponent’s is re-rolled. Not sure on how Cyanide interpreted it though. These kind of differences which can’t be overridden (I’ve read of plenty more, much bigger e.g. the absence of the goblin bombardier) put me off moving away from the current PBeM (play by email) league I’m in to buying the Cyanide game.

  11. mathew says:

    I’ll take issue with that, McChes, because while the game marks out in red zones players will have to dodge into/out of, it doesn’t note what you need to roll or how many tackle zones control the space.

    In addition, when a block happens, unless you are already aware that the person you are blocking has “block” or “dodge” (the block window doesn’t recount this) you can easily select the wrong thing.

    Finally, the log is nice enough and all, but the statistics are next to useless after you roll. Being told something along the lines of ” dodged (3+) = 5 SUCCESS” is pointless unless you were aware you needed to roll more than a 2, and (I think) even then doesn’t note that you needed to roll 3 because despite having two heads you were dodging into a space controlled by two other players. (or something like that).

    The only thing I can see where it seems to state the rolls clearly (ish) is in passing, and even then it doesn’t show you what the catching players needs to roll to catch.

    Once you know the rules this game is very good but it’s absolutely despite itself.

    • Wisq says:

      One point here: My blocking window does indeed list all the skills of each player, similar to the PSP version I borrowed before the PC version. Your skills on the left, their skills on the right. (Unless you’re defending, at which point it’s flipped, which is only confusing the first few times.) Maybe this was added in a patch?

    • mathew says:


      That may be the case. I wrote that out specifically though because I remember being blocked against by someone and being confused when “both down” resulted in only my guy falling down when it didn’t state the other player had block. Perhaps that was just a bug, but I didn’t otherwise note being told of character’s skills in the block window, so yes, maybe it has been added in a patch.

      And what’s the deal with the PSP/DS versions, anyway? Are they out?

    • Wisq says:

      Well, they’re “out” if you know where to look. I was using “borrowed” as a euphemism. (In my defense, I was really only using it as a demo for the PC version.)

      Thankfully, the PC version actually makes fewer stupid UI errors than the PSP one. Like, you can actually save your kicking and receiving formations on the PC version, even if it tends to be a bit buggy whenever mercenaries / star players are involved.

  12. Arathain says:

    I suppose if I can handle JavaBowl, which doesn’t give much help at all, then the Cyanide version might even be an improvement.

  13. Vinraith says:

    Speaking as someone who primarily came into this looking for a single player Blood Bowl experience to scratch an itch I’ve had for about a decade, I’m quite happy with the purchase. It’s a computer game that perfectly translates a board game, I can’t remember the last time I saw one of those, and it happens to be based on one of my favorite board games of all time. You can watch the rolls easily enough by switching the chat window function, the AI is adequate if not exceptional, and due to the moddability and customizability of the game it’s easy enough to generate a challenge (at least for me). That there is a crowd of enthusiastic RPS’ers also playing the mutiplayer side of the game is an awfully nice bonus.
    To be honest, while people complain about the interface, I haven’t really had a problem with it. This business of hitting the turn button by accident has never happened to me, because I never zoom the field all the way out in such a way as to put the end turn button into my field of play. It’s at the top of the screen, along with several other buttons. This is not an unusual interface configuration. As to the supposed lack of feedback, there's a hell of a lot more information presented than there is if you're actually playing the board game. Could there be more? Sure. And Cyanide's been very actively patching and supporting the game, so I think there's reason to think that eventually you may well get what you want. But seeing as this is a board game we're talking about, I think it provides MORE feedback than it needs to if one familiarizes oneself with the (freely available) rules of the game. Maybe I'm just a strategy gamer at heart, I don't expect the overwhelming level of transparency being discussed here out of "real" games.
    So yes, you really have to read the Blood Bowl Living Rule book 5 to understand the game, but that’s a GOOD thing. They give that to you with your copy of the game, by the way, in digital form. Think of it as the real manual, if you like, because it basically is. One manual is for the stuff specific to the computer game, the other is to explain all the rules of the underlying game. Anyone wondering whether to buy need only google “Living Rule Book 5″ and read the entirely free documentation to see what they’ll think of Blood Bowl, and if you like Blood Bowl you’d be crazy not to buy Cyanide’s rendition of it IMO.
    Oh, one last thing. People keep talking about American Football in relation to this game, the two bear almost no relation to one another. 95% of the rules of American Football are absent in this game. You line up and kick a ball at the beginning, you run or pass the ball into an endzone to score, with no exaggeration everything else is completely different. No downs, no breaks every three minutes to line back up, no polite, organized blocking and tackling, no need to understand any football rules to enjoy or appreciate the game whatsoever. Personally I can’t stand American football despite knowing the game fairly well, but I outright adore BB.
    Any flaws (and they are minor, IMO) in Cyanide’s game are easily overcome by the simple fact that they made this game at all. I’d been hoping someone would for better than a decade, never really expecting it to happen. I mean, who makes board games into computer games and leaves the mechanics intact? Now I just wish someone would do the same with 40K.

    • Vinraith says:

      Oh lovely, apparently editing a reply from the forum side causes all the paragraph breaks to disappear, and I don’t seem to be able to get them back. Sorry for the giant block of text, folks.

  14. Paul S. says:

    It’s actually available in a boxed edition now, and it’s about fifteen quid cheaper than the d/l version. Which seems a little back to front to me, but hey. Just pointing it out to people put off by the price.

    • Wisq says:

      Is this boxed edition available in stores, or online? The only online offering I can find linked from their sites is the download one.

  15. Serenegoose says:

    I want to get this game, and play it, and love it.

    But I hate dice. :( hatehatehatehatehate. I'm absurdly competitive, so losing because I rolled a 1 is something that impacts my rage glands.

    • Vinraith says:

      Blood Bowl is primarily a game of risk management. If you can’t handle die rolls going against you, you won’t even make it through your first game.

  16. Serenegoose says:

    the rolls sound particularly punitive, which is my main issue. When I play a game that decides combat on stat rolls (civ, for example) I'm typically used to having to bring 20 odd units for every 3 or 4 they have just to have a fighting go at it.

    I'm less enraged by dice if botching a roll -isn't- the end of the world, but they way people have described it (oh, I botched my 'go over here' and then he tripped on a hidden nuke and my team died) makes it sound like my typical ill-luck with dice would just result in feeling that I've no control over the game at all.

    • DigitalGunfire says:

      This isn’t really true – you just have to make your safe plays first. If you don’t have ANY safe plays, then you have played yourself into a bad situation and it’s your own fault. You CAN lose through a series of bad dice rolls but, in general, good strategy will win over bad strategy.

      Any game with dice rolls can give you a loss on a bad streak.

    • Sunjammer says:

      Consider that your opponent is equally fucked as you are, and things immediatly become more fun. Yes rolls are punishing, but they can HILARIOUSLY sway in your favor more often than you’ll imagine, and those moments are just riotous. My favorite moment yet was a botched hand to hand pass. I was throwing my hands up pissed off about the turnover, only to see the ball slip from the receiver’s hands into the passer’s hands and back to the receiver, who finally caught it, saving me from the turnover. It’s absolutely random and completely hilarious, and both me and my opponent had a good laugh over it.

      This is a game where you can play a rookie against a veteran team, and somewhere in the middle score a freak roll that will MURDER his star player. Yeah you’ll probably lose the game, but my god if you didn’t cause him pain losing.

    • Wisq says:

      It’s true that a string of particularly unlucky rolls can turn even a single go-for-it into player down (17% chance) + armour broken (usually no more than a 50% chance) + casualty (25% chance) + dead (14% chance). But the odds of getting that string of rolls is 0.2%. Throw an apothecary into the mix, and the odds are reduced to 0.03%.

      So it’s rare, but notable when it happens — and remember, we only ever hear about the notable rolls.

      But consider this: Why is the player going-for-it in the first place? Either the coach’s previous actions have already placed the team in a risky situation that he’s trying to remedy, or he’s taking a risk to try to mitigate other risks, or he’s just showing off, which is risky in many ways (including karmic). ;)

      Don’t forget that a lot of new coaches simply aren’t good at managing those risks. For example, one complaint I saw on the forums was someone saying that they were the receiving team, they failed a ball pick-up once or twice, and the opponent rushed in, grabbed the ball, and scored.

      That might sound like they got screwed by the dice, but there’s a ton of things they could have done differently. They could hold the front lines so people can’t get around them. They could put more players around the ball before they try to pick it up, so (1) a ball cage is ready and waiting, and (2) if the pickup fails, it might roll to someone else who gets another free attempt to pick it up. Etc.

    • Mil says:

      When I play a game that decides combat on stat rolls (civ, for example) I’m typically used to having to bring 20 odd units for every 3 or 4 they have just to have a fighting go at it.

      That’s because Civ cheats, but pretends it doesn’t.

    • Arathain says:

      Everything the other replies have said about risk management is true. Still, it is a game where the dice can turn against you. Sometimes, an important play that should have been easy doesn’t come off. Sometimes a pathetic Goblin kills a valuable player. Some games your scrimmage line just collapses in a hail of injuries in the first half.

      This happens to everybody, and importantly, it’s what makes the game so good. Because you never know, and you get to enjoy the sheer shocking drama of it, whether it’s happening to your opponent or happening to you.

      If you are the sort of person who likes to have control, and gets frustrated when you get arbitrarily punished by bad rolls, then the game might not be for you, which is really OK. It’s an acquired taste of sorts. But such a deliciously tangy one.

  17. Aphotique says:

    I’ll definitely admit that there are a few things that it would have been nice to know from the get go, but for the most part I’ve found playing Blood Bowl to be a lot like the experience I had when I first started playing tabletop 40k. I read the core rulebook and then my races rulebook, but when I sat down for my first game it didn’t really do much to help me.

    I still really had no idea how to play, what nuances to pick up on, what strategies I should employ, how I should develop my squads, etc. In the end, the only real way I found to really understand the game was just to play the game. Sure, I lost quite a bit as I picked it up, but it was still an enjoyable experience.

    I think the same could be said about Blood Bowl. I think the tutorial gives you just enough information to keep you from shooting yourself in the foot, and leaves the rest up to you, to either go read the LRB/Manual, or pick up a game and start learning the ins and outs of your team.

    Also, as Vinraith said, this is definitely a game of risk management. You’re going to lose players, you’re going to lose matches. In fact, you’re probably going to fail at every action no matter your skills or abilities, and that’s what re-rolls and apothecaries are for. But knowing when to use those re-rolls or apothecaries, what failures to reverse and what failures to let go to save on re-rolls or what players to try and save while letting the others get mangled or die adds a huge strategic element that I personally love.

    So while there are some things the game probably could have told you up front instead of requiring you to decipher the log or go search elsewhere, I don’t think I could really fault it, and at least for me and many others it hasn’t detracted from the enjoyment of the game.

    • Wisq says:

      And regarding losing players: Even with the most cautious use of re-rolls and the apothecary, you may still lose your most important player. It happens, and sometimes there’s just nothing you can do about it.

      But part of risk management is building your team up such that the loss of any player, while damaging to your funds and to your team cohesion, doesn’t spell the outright death of your team. Part of that is the importance of spreading SPPs around, so that you don’t end up with one level 7 player in the midst of a field of level 1 cannon fodder.

      For new teams in experienced leagues, or teams that have sustained a lot of casualties (temporary or permanent), there’s the inducements system, and the automatic hiring of mercenaries to meet the minimum 11 players. And losing a player is going to reduce your team value, which means either you get more inducements to use against bigger teams, or the smaller teams get fewer inducements to use against you.

      Also, unless MVP status goes to one of your mercenaries, every match means you get some XP, so even losing will still help you develop your team. So it takes a whole lot to render a team completely unplayable.

      So all in all, it’s important to manage the risks, but important not to fear them so much that you never take them. Accidents happen, but with good coaching, the effects should be decently mitigated, and you’re almost guaranteed to recover. And hopefully, to continue to have fun while you do.

  18. Sunjammer says:

    Yep, agreed across the board.

    I think i said this already, but i’m sort of angry with Cyanide. What they did, with the classic came, was adapt the ruleset and then call it a day. Practically every single good thing about Blood Bowl is because of the rules, and not their implementation. The frontend is abysmal, animations are spartan and lack character, and there is next to no sense of VIOLENCE or DYNAMIC to proceedings. It’s as bare bones as it could be, which is absolutely counter to their professed love of the game.

    They fought so hard for this license, why the EFF are they showing it so little love?
    Paying them this premium for such a lackluster product feels like ransom. “If you want a legit PC blood bowl, guess what, you’re gonna have to pay what we ask”.

    I had a few quiet evenings in Brighton last week, where i tried to get a friend into the game. The hotseat support is abysmal. You can’t play tournaments hotseat? No persistence and levelling? Bybye reward and sense of real risk. That said, after the first few games of absolute frustration on his end, once he understood the flow of risk assessment and the fact that every single dice roll is a mean motherfuckers that WILL end your turn if you let them, he settled into the flow of priortising actions and intelligent gambling, and is now planning a purchase. All of this is because of my coaching. The game offers none. I literally had to drag him back to play another round at one point because he couldn’t fathom why simply picking up a ball could be so god damn difficult for a guy. In fact, the game seems to want to hide dice rolls in a game where showing them up front is a cornerstone of the experience. It’s fucking terrible! If the game had told, loud and clear, that picking up this ball is a 1/10 chance for your guy, none of this frustration would have occured!

    Turn based strategy, particularly with randomness, THRIVE on statistics. That Cyanide have made it their mission to hide stats is fucking shameful.

  19. CdrJameson says:

    Not even the Living Rulebook tells you how many of each symbol appear on the picture dice…

    • Sunjammer says:

      True. I still wonder how many both-down’s there are

    • CdrJameson says:

      I guess it’s possible that the first, second and third dice are actually different too

    • Vinraith says:

      Every block die has one of each symbol except “push” which is doubled.

    • Wisq says:

      Kieron listed the sides of the dice back in the first game report. But yeah, without that, I wouldn’t know either.

      There’s no reason for the LRB5 to tell you, since they assume you have the dice on hand already. (Or at least, they would prefer you do, since that implies you’ve bought the game.)

  20. Duffin says:

    Can’t you just post the match report now. Please? DO IT NOW!!

  21. Duffin says:

    I agree about the expansion packs – if they fill in the rest of the races that would be great. I really want to play as some of the undead teams but I hear chaos dwarfs and dark elves are the ones being lined up first. Sorting out the god awful ui would be a bonus. A big bonus.

    • Vinraith says:

      Dark Elves and Undead are supposed to be added for free this fall.

  22. bill says:

    they seem to have done an amazing job capturing the essence of BB in a pc game… something that must be very hard.

    But i’m confused about how it’s been for sale for ages, but isn’t released yet. Are they still working on it? Has it been rushed out and abandoned? What’s the status?
    It seems like most of the gripes are very minor things to fix.

    The singleplayer AI is what worries me… but it must be almost impossible to make a bloodbowl AI… with all the options and levels of chance involved… it’d be like a chess computer. Be even harder to make one that doesn’t always win.

    • Vinraith says:

      It’s been out on a sort of direct download unofficial beta for some time. International copies have been available for months as well, because it’s been out in Europe. In the US, your best path is to use and order a boxed international copy, which is what I did.

      It’s been patched pretty consistently thus far, with promises of many more to come, as well as some free extra content (like adding the Dark Elf and Undead teams).

  23. Duffin says:

    It's been available since August on direct download and in France, it was only released in the UK the week before last. I think it's yet to have a boxed release in the US.

  24. Saul says:

    Couldn’t agree more. Blood Bowl is my all-time favourite boardgame, but I found the computer version so clunky I couldn’t even bear to play it. All it made me want to do it crack out the boardgame version, which I couldn’t recommend more highly.

    For the record, there was another computer game version released fifteen or twenty years ago, which was probably the worst piece of game design I’ve ever seen, so they’re moving in the right direction, at least…

  25. BookieGnu says:

    Still massively torn as to whether or not to buy this. Can someone confirm for me whether you can save mid-game (single player obviously), as I don’t often have 90 minutes to commit to gaming at a time… I think this will be the deal maker/breaker.

    • Vinraith says:

      You can save during any “setup” phase, so immediately after a touchdown or at the half are both viable. You can also pause indefinitely in single player, and if you run the game windowed but at full resolution you can alt-tab to your heart’s content.

    • BookieGnu says:

      I’d say that clinches it then. Better finish reading the LRB I downloaded.

  26. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    I haven’t read the rules since I started playing (and I’ve never played the boardgame), but what helped me a lot is that I’ve been following a Let’s Play on youtube.

    But yeah, the information and interface could use work. Sure, you can save a setup.. but it doesn’t even tell you. Or whether you can save just one, two (say, one for kicking and one for receiving) or more.

    And I haven’t even tried to go online with it yet (busy working my way through an easy competition with a human team to get a feel for it all). Oh, and what I really miss are the advanced things: how to best use your starting capital, for instance, and some information on what teams you can build with each race including how you can improve it over time. Me, I missed out on purchasing fan factor at the very start, for instance.

  27. DMJ says:

    I agree with the sentiment that the best bits of the game are because it is such a faithful recreation of the board game. For that matter, the dice rolling sound is nice, but why hide the mechanics in a chat window? Why not put a pair of icons in the corner? Like “4+” and a picture of a green dice with a “5” on it, or a red dice with a “2” on it. If we’re playing Blood Bowl, the chances are we’re not afraid of dice. The dice geek in me would like to see a little animation of rolling dice too. Oh, and the “turnover” box shouldn’t just say “knocked down”, it should say who was knocked down by whom, or who failed to catch the ball, or who got sent off by the ref.

    I’ve heard of people people complaining about the random number generator. Have these people never used real dice before? Sometimes your Ogre does get killed throwing triple skulls against a single Goblin… That’s what makes it Blood Bowl.

  28. Ffitz says:

    I used to play boardgame Blood Bown a very long time ago, and the RPS League’s writeups convinced me to buy this. For all its flaws, I’m really glad I did.

    Those Skaven ratbastards are causing me no end of trouble though.

  29. mrpier says:

    I'd like to see a flaming dice shaped like a red skull rain down from the sky and crush a player every time there is an attacker down resulting in a death.