There Will Be Blood… Bowl

Following the success of our first foray into Bloodbowl, Jade and I lined up a second feature. This time, the Kemperbad Kestrels and the WAAAGHbergines would go head to head at Old Trollford. Once again, we limited ourselves to one half, although we started working in some extra rules.

Kick-off on the Ork pitch.

Kestrels won the toss and elected to receive the kick, which bounced around for a bit before ending up in the hands of #3 thrower Pflege, who took the opportunity to throw to nobody in particular, rather than the waiting hands of #5 catcher Zwölfbäume. Thankfully, star blitzer #1 Willhelm von Ipol and #7 lineman Gerhardt had also given chase to try and hold off the Ork players who now closed in.

Loose ball!

Thankfully for the Kestrels, the Ork thrower flubbed the pickup, and a successful block from Gerhardt knocking down the Ork #4 allowed von Ipol to dodge an encroaching Greenskin lineman, snatch the ball and pass it downfield to Zwölfbäume, who continued the run of terrible luck in the rolls so far by promptly dropping the ball right next to him.

On the Ork second turn, their #11 lineman came charging in to recover the spilled ball, but Zwölfbäume promptly redeemed his previous performance as the Greenskin failed his dodge roll and was knocked down, spilling the ball in his own endzone. This allowed von Ipol to show his star quality again, charging forward to take the ball and touch it down, putting the Kestrels ahead 1-0 at the end of their third turn.

Touchdown! 1-0 Kestrels

The WAAAGHbergines restarted strongly with their #2 blitzer bursting through the Kestrels line blindside to catch a well-aimed pass from their #5 and head towards the endzone. He was thwarted just a few squares short by Kestrels #3, Pflege, and #11, lineman von Kreuz, who blocked his path before von Ipol blitzed in to make the tackle, driving the Ork against the touchline, but failing to knock him down.

Solid defence from the Kestrels

The Ork 4th turn was cut short as their #2 failed to dodge the converging tacklers and the ball went to the crowd for the throw-in. The ball went to Kestrels #4, thrower Jungs, who failed dramatically to deliver it into the waiting arms of catcher #6, Mai, with the ball bouncing to a waiting Ork lineman.

Kestrels turn 6 saw Mai, clearly furious at Jungs’ terrible pass, lay out the unfortunate Ork and send the ball flying, while the Kestrels’ linemen continued trying to find the breakthrough that had so far eluded them.

Flying tackle.

The centrefield had already descended into a chaotic melee of blocking with neither side able to land a telling blow, until the WAAAGHbergines #9 collided with his opposite number Schieffer, knocking both down but sending the unfortunate Ork off KO’d.

Muddle in the middle.

Turn 7 saw the Kestrels pack finally seize the initiative, as Mai recovered the ball and raced for the endzone. Blitzer #2 Michl Braun was able to slip past the Black Ork Blocker in his path to lay out his Greenskin opposite number, while the Kestrels linemen sought to clear a path for Mai.

This breakthrough was totally planned. Honest.

The plan was nearly successful, but an Ork lineman, #11, remained, who chased down Mai, but met with terribly bad luck. His tackle was rebuffed, and he found himself stunned in the mud, allowing Mai to run over the line in turn 8 and put the Kestrels 2-0 ahead.

It is not this guy’s day.

Final Score:

Kestrels 2 – 0 WAAAGHbergines

This game was a lot of fun, and I’m not just saying that because I won. The Kestrels played well in the end but we both had our fair share of awful rolls. We’re starting to get familiar with the rules which is makinh the whole thing more fluid and enjoyable, and overall things seem quite intuitive, apart from one stand out point: Black Ork Blockers don’t have the “Block” skill. Explain that one GW.

Bloodbowl: Match Time!

Like many people, I eagerly anticipated GW’s re-release of the classic Bloodbowl boxed game at the end of 2016. Jade and I split the teams between us; my human team became The Kemperbad Kestrels, pride of north-eastern Reikland, and Jade took on the WAAAGHbergines, a team of temporally confused Kommandos. Having familiarised ourselves with the helpfully provided trainingg drills, this week, we finally got round to our first proper match.

My only previous experience with Bloodbowl was watching my old housemate steer his Nord team to the top of the UK online second league, and Jade’s a total novice to wargaming, so we decided to limit ourselves to the base rules and to only one half.

Kick-off at the Kemperdrome!

The WAAAGHbergines received the kick-off, which promptly missed every player and bounced about all over the place, before eventually being salvaged by a thrower, #3.  The Orks surged upfield while The Kemperbad Kestrels gave chase, with blitzer Willhelm von Ipol and catcher Johannes Mai closing in. Unfortunately, lineman Daniel Kohle bounced off his Greenskin counterpart in the centre and knocked himself out, ending the turn early.

Turn 2 saw the Kestrels struggling to land tackles, with von Ipol and Mai both driving back the Ork #3 but failing to knock him down, and lineman Steffan Gerhardt closing in. Unfortunately, in centrefield, things bogged down with #10 lineman Jan Hußkel driving back his Greenskin opposite, but #9 Heinrich Schieffer struggling vainly against a Black Ork blocker, although thankfully avoiding injury. Unfortunately this left the outside field open for the WAAAGHbergines to surge through the gap.

The inability of the Kestrels to land a proper tackle on the Ork thrower came home to roost in turn 3, as he hurled the ball upfield to the blitzer and two linemen who had rushed up the outfield. At least the pressure meant he flubbed the pass, which scattered between the three of them, turning the play over. The turnover didn’t last long, however, with Kestrels #3, thrower Daniel Pflege diving in to try and salvage the ball but instead getting piled on by two Greenskins and knocked unconscious.

In turn 4, the WAAAGHbergines’ #1 blitzer salvaged the ball and raced towards the Kestrels’ endzone, although a failed drive in the centre ended up with a lineman on both sides knocked down. Kestrels’ #4 thrower Beren Jungs sprinted back to blitz a tackle that could have been heroic and game-saving, had the ball not scattered immediately into the hands of an Ork lineman who trotted over the line to put the WAAAGHbergines ahead 1-0.

After the restart, the Kestrels were determined to come back fighting in turn 5. Pflege, back from the KO Bin, salvaged the ball and headed upfield while von Ipol and Hußkel cleared a path for catcher Mai. A missed pass left the ball in Greenskin hands at the end of the turn, but the unfortunate Ork lineman was dumped unceremoniously on his back by Hußkel in turn 6, with the ball passing to von Ipol, who aced a long-bomb upfield into the waiting arms of Mai.

Hußkel lays out an Ork Lineman, while Mai races for the endzone.

Unfortunately for the unlucky Mai, he was still one square short of the endzone when the Ork #1 blitzed back and knocked him fully into unconsciousness. The ball bounced to him but he flubbed the pick-up, giving von Ipol the perfect opportunity to showcase his star power, sweeping in to nab the ball and run it into the endzone for the Kestrels in the last play of the game, and drawing the scoreline level at 1-1.

Von Ipol scores the match-saving point.

Final Score: 

Kestrels 1 – 1 WAAAGHbergines

Overall, we had a lot of fun with our first proper game of Bloodbowl, and the scoreline was respectable. It was a bit of a learning curve to get started, but the rulebook is nice and helpful and by the end we’d really got into it. We’ll build ourselves up to longer matches and incorporating more of the rules, but I can see this becoming a regular fixture.