Monday, 16 July 2012

On hitting the big 4 - 0

This year was a landmark birthday for me as I hit the big 4-0... Ouch.

Blood Bowl Team Manager The Card Game
Blood Bowl Team Manager The Card Game
However, my work colleagues bought me some Forbidden Planet vouchers which I promptly blew on Fantasy Flight's Blood Bowl Team Manager the card game.  The game attempts to recreate the fun of Games Workshop's classic Bloodbowl but rather than being a focusing on just one match between two teams, it follows an entire 5 week season of matches with up to 4 teams battling it out in the Blood Bowl Tournament. 

Tonight, I bribed my step-daughter into playing the first game with me (so I could learn the rules) by promising to do the washing up for her.  She wasn't too keen with either the theme or the complexity until she started to get to grips with using the powers on her team upgrade cards and then proceeded to beat my human team with her orcs.

I loved the fact that the matches are boiled down to just the weeks highlights, which sportsfans will recognise as homages to the weekly round-ups on ESPN.  This mechanic forces players to make choices about which cards to play in which highlight in order to maximise their chances of getting rewards such as team or staff upgrades, fans or being able to draft star players.

Although I've only played this game once it does manage to capture some of the flavour of the original game and features some of the famous star players like Morg 'N' Thorg and the Dwarven Death Roller.  It plays quite quickly (our game took slightly less than 90 minutes including reading the rules) and has a nice level of randomness.  Needless to say I loved it and am itching to don my spiked helmet and give it another go very, very soon.  8/10 - Spiketastic

P.S.  There are some great tutorials out there on how to play the game from the team at Fantasy Flight and Crits Happen and a review from the always excellent Tom Vassel's The Dice Tower


  1. My lovely girlfriend picked this up for me for my 34th earlier in the year, and I ruddy love it! One bit of advice though, it works a hell of a lot better with more than two players.

    Not every time, but often enough to be a bit of a drag, we realised that one team doing much better than the other in the first week can set the score for the whole season, as the addition of some kick ass star players can upset the balance in only a two player match up. Chuck in a third, or even a fourth though, and the score goes up to a 9/10 for me.

  2. Great game, but big props to the designer Jay, considering this is his first board game it works really well, blending what could have been a complex game into a smooth learning curve.