Saturday, 11 February 2017

Playing blood bowl


Well I'm back posting after a 6 week holiday to the UK and Japan. No mini pics as I haven't had time to take pics of the few figures I've painted. But I do have some thoughts on the latest version of BB which I played at the war games club yesterday. I have to admit I hadn't played the game since the original 3rd edition rules came out - so the changes to those rules in the living rule books were largely unknown to me. And did that cause me a problem - basically in regard to fan factor. In putting together my Nurgle team (I wanted to use a Nurgle team as I hadn't used such an unusual team back in the day) I spent 60K on fan factor. Well I had a feeling that wasn't a great move when my excess fan factor of 6 over my opponent (he rightly took none) translated to a bonus of plus one FAME on a roll we got on the kickoff table. Then halfway through the game I was told (rightly) fan factor had very little impact on winnings at the end of the game. Compare that to the original rules where fan factor determined how many turned up and that went toward determining how much gold one could win at the end of the game. At this point I noted that my error in purchasing fan factor instead of an extra re-roll meant my team was frankly uncompetitive. Thankfully my opponent let me rejig my team on the spot to fix things. And in the end I had a very lucky 1 nil win on the last turn (and I was very lucky whilst my opponent played well and was unlucky).

So what is the point if my rambling? Well it is this. Why have fan factor in the rules if is so useless? I understand one option is free fan factor which probably does work. It also raised another problem I've had with GW for years - they simply cannot stop themselves from frigging around with rules. Now the usual reason for that is that doing so provides a reason for a new rule book that they can flog. But in this case they provided that free via the living rule book updates. Can't they just leave the game alone? The original 3rd edition was pretty good from what I can remember - and the big flaw it does have (I'll get to that next) is still there anyway.

So what is that big flaw you say. Well I would argue it is this - the game massively favours bashy teams like dwarves, orcs and chaos (especially the first two). I had this feeling back when I played 3rd edition when it came out and it cropped up again yesterday when I heard that a player playing an elf team in another game at the club forfeited when he had two players left after conceding a touchdown at one point. The more lightly armoured finese teams get belted to buggery and as a result struggle to compete - especially elves. Now I understand the counter to that would be that those teams can get away from slower opponents easily. But that requires dodge which not all players have and which can be negated at times - especially by dwarf blockers who get tackle as a starting skill along with block and thick skull. All for a bargain basement price if 70k. Who cares if they are slow and have low agility when you have other players who can handle the ball well anyway? After all there is only one football on the field at any point in time...ultimately my point is this - with the continual frigging around with the rules how can GW leave one of the major teams on such a situation? And one doesn't have the luxury of cheap players if you play elves unlike skaven. It is a shame as I suspect the result will be that people simply won't use the three elven teams much as those teams simply won't be able to compete against the excellent bashy teams out there. And that is a shame because in the end most games will look the same - a slog vest where the winner aims for a 1 nil result.

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