It’s Black Friday, and I went to local games store AFK Games in Holt, MI, to pick up a copy of the new Blood Bowl box set, and Death Zone: Season 1, the supplemental book! I’ve never opened a new box set on fourstrands, so it’s time for my first unboxing!
In a future post, I plan to read the new rulebook, line by line, and compare it to the old Blood Bowl Living Rulebook. I’ll outline the biggest changes I see. But first, let’s take a look at that box!
I really like the art. You get that it’s a football game, but also much more violent than ordinary football. The goblin looks a bit goofy though.
Let’s flip the box!
A basic explanation of the game. One thing that I looked for in the store and found conspicuously missing was a listing of the models contained in the box set. I’ll list those when I look at the models themselves.
Now, to open this precious oyster to find the pearls of… something related to football… ok bad metaphor…
Jam packed full! Already I can see Human miniatures in blue, Ork in green, and templates in gray. There’s also some dice. First, let’s get those miniatures out and get up close and personal!
Here are the humans. Poses for these guys are a bit odd. The linemen on the left side sort of have their arms out. It’s half “COME AT ME, BRO!” and half “I believe I can flyyyyyyy…” I’m also not a fan of the dancing catcher, who is doing a saucy pirouette with the ball. The Blitzers are also oddly posed. I’m digging the thrower though. Good pose for making a long pass. What I’m a bit disappointed in is the lack of variety in the minis. The above sprues are identical so you get 2 of each pose.
Speaking of which, here’s the list of Human minis:
- 2 Throwers (identical)
- 2 Catchers (identical)
- 2 Blitzers (identical)
- 6 Linemen (3 different poses)
Now, for the Orcs!
The Orcs are in more pieces, so it’s harder to see their poses, but they are much more violently posed. Many are winding up for a good punch, while others are actively charging. The Thrower is a bit awkward and has a weird look on his face. One of the linemen has that silly pose that the Human linemen have, but he’s squatting a bit more so he looks WAY sturdier, as if preparing for a charge. All in all, these are the superior minis, with the same identical sprue problem. Another problem that arises from this: how do you differentiate your players BEFORE you paint them? If you go back and look at the back of the box, you’ll see that the game can be played unpainted. If both your throwers look identical, things could get confusing…
Here’s the model count:
- 2 Black Orc Blockers (identical)
- 2 Blitzers (identical)
- 6 Linemen (3 poses)
- 2 Throwers (identical)
Next: we replace the old clear acetate templates for some plastic ones that kick ass!
Better in every way than the old acetate ones. The pass template even breaks down into two parts for storage! Fantastic!
Woo. Bases. Glamorous. Moving on.
Here’s the box with the above items taken out. To protect the board and cards, a dividing paper was placed between them.
On the other side was an ad. I suppose we’d better get used to this. Instead of the last page of the rulebook or assembly instructions, full sheet ads like this are being placed in all new GW boxes. Oh well, at least you can toss it.
…wait, what’s that?
There’s an app? I have not gotten it (look for a future post) but hopefully it can level up your roster, even sharing it with a tournament coordinator so there’s no cheating!
Next, the item I have been waiting for: THE MAIN RULEBOOK!
Cover art isn’t the most awe-inspiring. Someone must have rolled a 12 on the weather table, and this shot was taken just before the Blizzard rolled in, as it’s very foggy. Also, the Orc looks surprised to see the Human running at him. “Hey, man, take it easy!”
Inside, we start with some classic art.
Bob and Jim! It wouldn’t be a Blood Bowl rulebook without these knuckleheads. To further the wackiness of the Blood Bowl setting, the book is festooned with comical asides, such as this one:
As for the rules themselves, once again, that’s a later post. As for now, I have a powerful need for some dice!
Both players get a full set of dice including three new block dice that look fantastic! You also get two D6s with the 6 replaced with the Blood Bowl logo, a D8 for scattering, and… could it be? YES!
*one change of pants later*
Ah, much better. Good, now I don’t have to roll a D20 and re-roll all 17+ when rolling for MVP.
Enough of the small objects, let’s get onto the pitch!
The pitch is big! Bigger than the old Blood Bowl pitches! Now large based minis won’t have so much trouble fitting on those tiny squares. You’ll need a bit more table space though…
The pitch has a few details that make it more than just a field. Here’s a hatch to the dungeons below!
…and a poor Goblin who didn’t make his landing roll when thrown…
Even better, unlike the old pitch, the flip side is a completely different pitch!
Orcs tend to play on a rougher field, with bare bedrock in some places.
Next: some cards! They’re bigger than I’d expect. The bonus of such big cards is the text is easily readable.
Among these cards are reference cards for the Human and Orc teams, and the Star Players both teams can employ.
In addition there are two Special Play decks, much simplified from the optional Special Plays in the LRB.
Next there’s… another ad? Oh, well at least this one is super worth it if you want to play the Blood Bowl videogame on Steam. It includes a code for 50% off Blood Bowl II, and another code for unique DLC for that game. My codes are edited out (sorry!).
BAGGIES! They perfectly fit the dice and oversized cards. Excellent addition! They are thicker and stronger than your bog-standard sandwich bags. Great idea!
There’s a double sided easy-reference guide. It’s great but… WHERE ARE HANDOFF AND FOUL? (check rules) OH, they’re there! This guide is only for beginners…
Up next, a sheet of the oft-unused waterslide transfers, but these are very high quality! Both Orcs and Humans get Black and White versions of the transfers, so it works with any color scheme you choose, except perhaps camouflage.
Next, another must-have, the dugouts! Each dugout has a Human side and an Orc side. I really like that the K.O.d box has an 8-9 and the Injury box has a 10-12, to remind you of where you go when injured! The art is also very fun. There’s a scoreboard up top, rooms, and then the familiar turn counters and re-roll markers.
…and that’s it for the box set! It looks like they had a lot of spectacular ideas, such as the baggies, reversible boards, dice for BOTH players, and fantastic templates. It’s a bit lacking in the variety of minis, and the quality of poses, as well as some of the art being bland.
…but wait, we’re not done! I also purchased Death Zone: Season 1! The main rulebook only has rules for making an Orc or Human team. DZ:S1 has Dwarfs, Skaven, Nurgle, Elf Unions, High Elves, Wood Elves, and Dark Elves, bringing the total of teams to 9! They’re missing my precious Lizardmen though…
There are also rules for leagues, conspicuously absent from the main rulebook!
Minor nitpick, if this book was released at the same time as the box set, are they “new” rules? Wouldn’t they be concurrent? I guess all of them are NEW, but most of them are like old rules… *grumble grumble*
Next: a definitive breakdown of the rules, as compared to the old LRB! We’ll see what’s new, what’s old, what’s great, and what’s questionable! After that, I’ll try to see how the App is!