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Blood Bowl Early Moments

July 2nd, 2009 by Troy Goodfellow · 8 Comments · Board Games, Review

Bill Abner has noticed a lot of AI blunders in Cyanide’s Blood Bowl which shows just how much more he knows about the game than I do. My solo campaign Elf team is getting hammered, mostly because I’m still getting used to how differently all of the teams play.

Though it looks like a sports game, anyone familiar with Blood Bowl will tell you that that’s only part of the story. Yes, the team management stuff is pretty similar to the sort of thing you’ll find in many sports management games, but the matches themselves are wargames. You have to control the field in enough areas to allow you to move the ball forward to the goal. This means setting up zones of control, getting die rolls in your favor and eliminating your opponent’s most powerful weapons.

Even if the AI is a little clueless, I’m having a great time so far. The color commentary is already repetitive and annoying. The transparency of the die rolls helps you understand the game pretty quickly. Tackle/block zones are clearly marked on screen. The explanations and cues for when you need to make a decision are well written. In fact, Blood Bowl is the very model of a clear board game design.

It should have a better tutorial and the manual is pretty brief. Like all board games, it’s best explained by somebody looking over your shoulder, but Cyanide has done a good job of explaining things otherwise. It’s not underdocumented, but it does err on the side of skimpy outside of the rollover and in game text.

More to say on an upcoming podcast and when our Blood Bowl league starts play.

If you want to see extended video of Blood Bowl in action, check out these videos at Frame Rated.


8 Comments so far ↓

  • Eduardo Gabrieloff

    I’ve been having a total blast with this. I first made a Lizardmen team on easy, and beat everybody I was up against. I’m now playing a human team on medium, and finding the challenge to be pretty significant. I do see the AI do stupid things, but not as many as I do.

    I’ve joined a league, but when the first game I was lined up to play loaded, the game crashed on me and I forfeited the match. No experience for me!

  • Jason McMaster

    Man, I’m playing on hard now and annihilating every PC component I play against.

  • Jason McMaster

    er opponent. Jeez. I writ gud 4 my livin

  • bill abner

    The league should be all signed in by Monday, Troy.

    I’m worried that the tome zone issues will hurt us, though. And man…I am hearing a lot of crash issues and then games get forfeited which can kill a league quick.

    I HOPE as commish I can place teams in the divisions based on time zone but something tells me it’s all gonna be random.

  • Michael A.

    Played the demo, would love to join the Qt3 league, but am really being put off by the early bugs (which I expected.. this is Cyanide after all), and their not getting the game out through Steam or some other reasonable distribution channel.

  • Natus

    Boy I want this, but it sounds like a “wait for the bugs to be squished and the price to go down” type of game.

  • Michael A.

    The problem with Cyanide, though (at least based on their approach to their franchises), is that they don’t always squash all the bugs. Still, this sounds like too fun a PvP game to not get it when (if) it comes out on Steam.