The Complete RPS Cup: A Season In Hell

Pre-John Walker's violent entrance.

For the last month, The RPS Cup has been fought. Against seven brave (or at least psychotically deranged) teams, I’ve lead my plucky underempiredogs – The Skaven Blighters. It produced seven match reports which try to illustrate exactly what it is to play Blood Bowl. That being, a mixture of triumph and failure – both of the coaches, and of the developers. You’ll find them all below…

Pre-season: Introduction
Match 1: Da Jokerz Wyld.
Match 2: The Darker Red Tide.
Match 3: Kermit’s Wonder Brigade.
Match 4: Unlucky Number 13.
Match 5: The Green Mist.
Match 6: It’s A Skull.
Match 7: The Raging Naturists.

Or if you’re here, you’ll find them all above.

Seriously, up. Up!


  1. Duckmeister says:

    So I just switched over from my Mac to my PC, and in the time it took me to stand up and go sit in the other chair yet another post on this site was made.


    • Heliocentric says:

      PC’s get more updates and for free, you didn’t think that just applied to OS’s did you?

    • Duckmeister says:

      Wait, what?

      I was talking about this site, not software updates or anything. I’m either horrible misunderstanding you or you have horribly misunderstood me.

      I have two computers, one is a Mac, the other a PC. I checked this site on the Mac, got up out of the chair, sat in the PC’s chair and checked the site again and a new post had been made.

    • Adam Bloom says:

      He was making a silly joke.

      Or, to put it another way, wooosh.

  2. Finn says:

    At least the PC version was decent, I thought the PSP edition was ass.

  3. Lilliput King says:

    Is RPS using the Blitz rules or the classic rules? There are some references in the reports I don’t understand.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      Classic. What references?

    • Lilliput King says:

      The stuff about star players. “For the first part of the match Head Skaven weakboy Lhuit decides it’s time to actually show off what those star-player points have done for him”

      I’ve been playing Classic against the AI a while for practice, and got some levels up etc, just wasn’t sure what to make of star-player points, but had read something to the effect that in Blitz you can make members of your own team ‘star-players.’

      But thats great, just checking seeing as I just signed up to one of the RPS proving leagues.

    • MrPyro says:

      Star Player points are the mechanism by which players level up. When you get so many points, you get a roll for a new skill/stat upgrade.

      I can’t remember the progression of how many points you need, other than your first upgrade is at 6 points.

      You get 1 for being the thrower of a successful pass, 2 for injuring an opposing player through a block or blitz (not fouling any more, damn them!), 2 for an interception, 3 for a touchdown, and 5 for MVP, which is just randomly assigned to one player at the end of the match.

    • Lilliput King says:

      Ah thanks for that MrPyro. I admit to not really understanding why MVP was doled out to players who didn’t really appear to do anything.

    • MrPyro says:

      I had a copy of the rule book lying around on my hard-drive, so below are the points at which you get a new stat/skill upgrade:


  4. lePooch says:

    There is Classic and nothing else. If you wish to live, NEVER mention Blitz rules to an old school Blood Bowl player (like my dad), unless you wish to hear an hour long rant along the lines of:

    “RAAAAAAAAAAGEEEE” blah blah ” would you play real time chess?” blah blah “contract renegotiations” blah blah”bad implementation”blah blah”cyanide taking piss” etcetera

    Personally, I have never even tried the Blitz rules. Its annoying enough to play a 40 second turn as it is, I can’t imagine a 40 second turn while the idjit AI tries to help me move my players around.

    • Ian says:

      Has anybody ever made realtime chess? ‘Cause it actually sounds sort of interesting.

    • Tei says:

      All game programmers have think about the idea, and reject it. Chess is a design where “the one that move first, win”, Peon vs King result on Peon win, A* vs B* result on A win. so It will be a game of who is faster moving pieces around, It will demolish the strategy of chess on a “clicks per second” game.

      So, no, I don’t think theres any realtime chess.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      Tei: Oh, I don’t know. Being real time doesn’t mean that you’re able to move all your pieces whenever you want. I could work out a fairly simple system where pieces have refractory periods after movement and can’t be re-directed via a move, and if two pieces go head-to-head at the same time, they both stop (But a flank attack is still a kill).

      It wouldn’t be chess, but the second you add real-time to any turn based game, it’s no longer what it was.


    • Vinraith says:

      Blitz isn’t real time. Blitz allows you a bunch of additional options. One of those options is real time, but there’s no reason you have to turn it on (and indeed I never have). Blitz allows you to add extended inducements (reminiscent of some of the old cards under 3e), for example. It includes a lot of peculiar options, but I usually play turn based Blitz mode SP with extended inducements, doping, and the like on just to have a more 3e feel for the game.

    • Funky Badger says:

      Chess is played to the clock, so there is a time element already – not what you meant though…

      Tei: Chess is exactly “You go first, you win”. Black only wins when white makes a mistake. Black only draws when white makes a mistake…

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      Re: Funky Badger. I enjoyed the wikipedia page about First-Move-Advantage Controversy.


  5. Hentzau says:

    What this really needs is an “After” team shot to contrast with the “Before”.

  6. ack says:

    Blitz doesn’t mean real time, you have a new set of rules which the league admin switches on or off. The only way to get the extended inducements is by playing Blitz, for example.

  7. unique_identifier says:


  8. Junior says:

    I’ve been really enjoying these match reports, they’ve really helped me take my game from an understanding of the rules to forming basic tactics.

    I’m playing chaos though, so I’m still just battering people, but I think I’m battering them in a more efficient and dynamic way now.

    Skaven are temping as my next team to work on, as foolish as that will be.

  9. TooNu says:

    BLitz is just standard blood bowl with added bits, it’s not so bad and just adds another layer to an allready great game. Standard rules is also awesome but lacks the PC game like “Extra bits”.

  10. Dave says:

    Woo for the Win! That said i have no time for BB :'( and its all your fault tent! read ze goddam forums!

    • Railick says:

      What if they put Blood Bowl in EVE so that you could play it while you’re waiting for various things like mining or traveling long distances through secure space? :)

  11. Railick says:

    I actually like Blitz mode. As it has already been said it doesn’t have to be real time (and the real time version is actaully fun on its own. It isn’t blood bowl at all but it is funny to watch :P)

  12. Shalrath says:

    No playoffs? Boo to that, boo indeed.

  13. Blurr says:

    I congratulate you on a series of very good articles on the back of which actually I actually spent money on this game. (playing with lizardmen in single player so far cos im not that good any tips?)

  14. Bookiegnu says:

    Thanks again Kieron for these reports. They convinced me to buy the game despite not having played the TT since about ’93. Turns out I’m still just as bad as it as back then, and turns out I still enjoy it just as much, despite being badly beaten.

    The ‘Ork Chops FTW!

  15. Sunjammer says:

    I played a match against an evenly matched Wood Elf team. 6-1 to me, and i wound up actually killing *four* of his guys, including 2 wardancers. It was an absolute bloodbath.

    The game can really seem succeptible to favoritism at times. I’m not sure i deserved much of it. It started with him scoring while i concentrated on making his scoring as slow as possible while i just systematically gang-blocked and fouled as much as possible. I wound up with two players shown out, but he played the second half with something like 4 players on the field, which against a team with 4 gutter runners and 2 stormvermin still running around is an absolutely dreadful prospect.

    The last match really made me wonder how Janek’s elves could still be as intact as they were, when a bunch of fairly generic skaven could wreak such unholy havoc on an elf team. How many matches has that team played?

  16. Swanny says:

    Thanks for the great reads.
    Definitely sold me a copy of Blood Bowl (as soon as I settle into Aion…)

  17. Janek says:

    18, off the top of my head.

    I’m wondering as much as you. The opening half dozen matches or so were really tough – I think 3-4 deaths and a fair number of serious injuries – but having a decent fan factor, the fact that I managed to keep pulling off the results, and the free journeyman line-elves just about kept me on my feet long enough to get established.

    Admittedly things might’ve been quite different if the rolls had gone against me a bit more, or if Hentzau had developed a taste for blood in previous seasons.

  18. ids says:

    Well at least your doing better than my chaos team we so far 1win 1tie and 1 lost dam elfs

  19. Weevil says:

    These articles were some of the best games journalism I have read this year.

    Sold me a copy of the game.

  20. Malibu Stacey says:

    I really want to buy this game having read Kieron’s match reports with vicious enthusiasm (yes vicious) but I think I’ll wait for this ultra-mega patch which keeps beeing talked about in revered tones (the one thats supposed to bring some new teams & fix all the problems in the game and bring peace on earth and goodwill to all men).