Learning Curve: Blood Bowl & Lesson’s We Learn The Hard Way!

Some of us (me included) seem to only be capable of learning how to avoid a situation by being in one.  This exhibited in many ways when I was a callow youth (but those are tales for after the watershed -Ed.) and now mainly are displayed when I either buy something I don’t need or get whupped when playing games…

So it’s not exactly a secret that there’s been a sudden explosion in the popularity of the now ancient Blood Bowl since it’s re-release in November(ish).  This re-ignited my interest in the game and I now own three teams already, more on those at a later date.  As part of that renewed vigor I entered my Undead team into the local club’s league.  The New Orleans Stiffs were dug-up, painted and match ready because everyone knows nuffle hates to see an unpainted player.

blood-bowl-vampireAnyway after a reasonable friendly in which I drew 1-1 with Alex’s Skaven I had to take to the field against Ryan’s Vampires.  I had a plan, smash the weaker Thralls and trundle down field after allowing a quick score on defence.  It’s a good plan I think and should have seen me run-out 2-1 winner right?

Well it started well, the Vamps notching up a quick score and giving me time for the funeral march.  Except I suck.  I know exactly why I suck and it’s this reason.  I ‘feel’ the game too much, I get involved, make sound effects and try to do sensible things whilst simultaneously having too much fun.  I do not ever curse my dice or my opponents though as that really irks Nuffle.

blood-bowl-undeadSo basically Ryan’s undead Super Elves  bounced around being disruptive despite the dwindling numbers of blood bags (I mean Thralls) on the pitch and the fact that I killed one of them only to see it get back up again.  Stupid Regen, who’d use that right?  Well not me that’s for sure as the only casualties I suffered were on two Ghouls, both of which got stat decreases and will shortly find themselves on the dole…

The first half finished one nil with my Ghoul in sight of the end-zone but hampered by the fact that I had stood other players in his way.  D’oh.  Second half started well, Great Bitten’s depleted numbers helped my grind down the field but they did just enough to disrupt my scoring attempt.  I wanted to win so was trying to get in quickly and then win the ball back to score again but it took too long really.

I should have stalled out and scored in my last turn whilst beating all of his players to death but I got carried away with the spirit of the game and scored with only two of my turns and three Vampire turns left.  A high kick and a feint led to a Vampire catching the ball and then a scamper down field plus pass left a S4 player in scoring range.  I had one more re-roll and no support that could get to the ball carrier was my Wight.  A two dice blitz re-rolled led to a push to the sideline.

It was all on the ball carrier.  A dodge, another dodge a scamper and a go-for-it to score and Great Bitten would run out 2-1 winners (probably Ryan’s plan to be honest).  He dodges and dives away from my Wight sprints to the end zone and then falls on his face as he gets there!  Saved by the grace of Nuffle, he obviously enjoys the fact that I love the game and thought I should get a point.

All told I think I was outplayed partially by myself and mostly by Ryan who to be honest deserved to win.  Lesson’s learnt though are that Ghouls really are very squashy and should be protected properly (sigh).  I really, really should map out the route I need to go to score and make sure not to stand dudes on that path.  When the game gets to the point where my scoring is unlikely I should just stall it out if possible and be happy with the draw.  These of course are my competitive and ‘must try to win’ tips to myself.  I suspect that next time I play (Friday with an undead team that only has 1 active Ghoul) I’ll abandon all of them in favour of sound effects, crowd noises and other nonsense!

4 thoughts on “Learning Curve: Blood Bowl & Lesson’s We Learn The Hard Way!”

  1. You must have stood quite a lot of dudes in your Ghoul’s way if you couldn’t just hop diagonally around! Maybe you play Undead like I play Goblins…

    The thing is… churning turns isn’t fun. It’ll eke you out the boring 2-1 wins all right, but for some reason I find it hard to look another human being in the face and aggravatingly do as little as possible for up to sixteen minutes. I have tried to embrace a philosophy of scoring and then getting on with something else, whether it’s punching dudes in the face or practicing my cage-breaking or going for the odd vanity pass because every Star Player Point helps. It won’t win me any leagues but since my current go teams are a Necromantic passing squad (I got two sets of doubles on a Wight, of course I took Accurate/Pass and am saving up for Strong Arm), an all-Zombie side and a bunch of Goblins I made solely to try and get a mortar-style Bombadier, I don’t think I’m going to be winning any leagues anyway…

    1. Yeah, I fudged it up pretty badly 😛
      I’m an odd mix of too competitive and super attached to the background and feel of the games!
      I’m learning though!

      1. Always learning. Same here. You should see the state of my Goblins: I’ve won two games purely by accident, normally end up fighting for draws, and just sacked my second Bombardier because he didn’t get Hail Mary Pass…

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