Blood Bowl: An Overview

Guest writer Dolch brings us a Blood Bowl Article!

Hello folks,

This is Dolch, your correspondent on all things Blood Bowl.  It’s hard to believe that it has been almost two years since Games Workshop jumped back into Specialist Games with both feet. I thought that it would be a great chance to review the teams that have been released, as well as some of what you can do with them!

Before we talk about those models, let’s talk a little bit about the various positions I’ll be talking about.

Blitzers are the hard hitters of the Blood Bowl universe.  They come with skills that increase your teams offensive skills (and I’m not talking about scoring here).  Their skills are more about hitting the enemy players and making sure that they end up on the pitch while keeping yourself upright.

Throwers are… well… the guys that handle the ball.  For some teams, the name is a bit of a misnomer… if you only have three agility or less then the passing game is a despite gamble.  Handoffs are safer, and these players usually have skills that help with moving the ball around or general leadership on the field.

Catchers also handle the ball, but their skills are usually focused on getting around defenders and getting downfield.  They tend to have lighter armor and a higher movement stat, and they typically to do more of the scoring.

Those three cover the basic ‘specialists’ that you’ll find on a lot of blood bowl teams.  Each team is unique, and so will vary based on the number of each type of specialist that you can take on your roster as well as any special types of players that they might have.

One of the great things about Blood Bowl is that you can learn a lot about a team by the name of their positional players.  Any guesses what a Dark Elf Assassin is supposed to be doing on the Pitch?

Every team will also have a more general type of player. This player is called a lineman, and they have a wide variety of roles that you can have them take. They are basically the filler through; you need enough to have your eleven players on the pitch.

Here I’ll be covering the advertised teams that you can get from GW, along with their Forgeworld support. In my next article, I’ll be covering the teams that you can make from mixing these teams, and in a future article I’ll be expanding my focus to the teams that you can assemble and convert from the whole Games Workshop line in general.

Humans/Reikland Reivers

One of the teams in the boxed game as well as on its own, you get twelve Human players, two Blitzers, two Throwers, two Catchers and six Linemen. This is a pretty good start but doesn’t give you all the options available.  First off, there is the Big Guy Ogre.  He is available as a separate plastic kit.  The other issue that starting human coaches have is the lack of the third and fourth Blitzer.  Almost every competitive human list runs four, and there isn’t an easy way to get them.

Forgeworld does have some solutions for the human player.  In addition to the Reiverettes (cheerleaders), you do have a few Star Players (who could fill positional gaps on your team) of Morg’N’Thorg, Griff Oberwald, and Mighty Zug.  Forgeworld does have a resin booster for the team.  This booster does contain two blitzers, as well as another thrower and catcher.  Each adds variety for your team with a different sculpt, but the issue is that it is currently sold out with no indication of when it will be available again.

Orks/Gouged Eye

As the other team in the base game it isn’t surprising that you get a selection that mirrors the humans, two Blitzers, two Black Ork Blockers, two Throwers, and six linemen.  However, this arrangement leaves the Orks even shorter of their options.  In addition to a Big Guy (Troll in this case), Orks also can field a few little Goblins on their team. The Troll is available as a standalone figure, but if you want a goblin or two you will need to buy a pack of four.  Similarly, many competitive ork builds will include four Blitzers and four Black Ork Blockers (like Blitzers, but bigger, stronger, and meaner).

Forgeworld does give the Orks a little love. You get the star player, Varag Ghoul-Chewer who could fill the roll of a Blitzer. You do get some rowdy fans/Cheerleaders.  Unfortunately, there isn’t a resin booster box to fill out those Blitzers and Black Orks, meaning that you are almost required to buy a second team.

Dwarfs/Dwarf Giants

Unlike the Orks and Humans, you get a strong lineup straight out of the box.  You get two Blitzers, two Runners, two Troll Slayers (once again, like Blitzers but nastier), and six linemen. There isn’t even a reason to get a second box… the positional players (Blitzers, Runners, and Troll Slayers) are limited to two per team. Design-wise, this makes the Dwarf team a bit on the… plain side. You know… like straight chocolate ice-cream. (I tried hard to make a beer reference here… sorry.)

If you want some Rocky Road instead of regular chocolate, Forgeworld has you covered.  The dwarfs have a big guy… er… machine.  It’s called the Deathroller, and it is a blast to play with.  Dwarfs also have a couple of star players, Grimm Ironjaw and Josef Bugman (both in his coach and Star Player versions). There isn’t a Dwarf Booster, since you get all the positional players in the plastic box. No word on Dwarf Cheerleaders, though I might be hard to tell them apart from the players.

Scaven/Scavenblight Scramblers

With the Scaven you get two Blitzers, two Throwers, two Gutter Runners and six Linemen (are you seeing a pattern?) Like the human box, this covers most of your positional players but you will be short two Gutter Runners for a full team.

Forgeworld does have you covered as far as your Big Guy… the Rat Ogre.  There are also two star players, Hakflem Skuttlespike and Glart Smashrip.  In addition, there is a boost set in resin.  It gives you the two needed Gutter Runners and an additional Thrower and Blitzer… though you can’t take more than two of either in a list.

Goblins/ The Scarcrage Snivellers

In the plastic goblin box, you receive twelve Goblins.

Yep… that’s it… twelve goblins. None of their positional players. None of their big guys… just twelve, lonely, infinitely pound-able goblins.  You will want to buy a few of the plastic Trolls to go with them, and you’ll need to if you want to be anything close to competitive.  You can also buy that four-pack of goblins I mentioned earlier, but do you know the only thing worse than twelve goblins?  That’s right… sixteen goblins.

Forgeworld is where the love for the goblins is, because the best part of playing goblins is their secret weapons.  Games Workshop introduced two more secret weapons for the goblins which gives them a total of six to choose from (though they get kicked from the game at the end of any drive that the ref hasn’t been carefully bribed).  Unfortunately, Forgeworld has only three of them available, while I have hope that we will eventually see the rest of the Goblin positional players as well as Star Players, who knows how long that wait might be.

Elves/ Elfheim Eagles

The Elvien Union team hit the field with the standard 2/2/2/6 arrangement of Blitzers, Throwers, Catchers and Linemen/Linewomen. The only thing is that it leaves you short of the three or four of the high agility catchers that most Elf coaches want to use to stretch the field and wrack up the big scores.  The other issue is that there is no Forgeworld support for Elves yet… and 9 out of 10 Blood Bowl fans agree that the Elf cheerleaders are the tastiest.

Dark Elves/Naggaroth Nightmares

The Dark Elf box comes with two Runners, two Blitzers, two Witch Elves and a selection of six Linemen.  The Witch Elves are some of the strongest combat threats in the game, and the starter gives you all that you can fit onto the roster.  However, the starter box leaves you short two Blitzers from the maximum.

The only Forgeworld support so far are the Dark Elf Assassins.  The look great, but I can’t wait to see what Star Players the Dark Elves will eventually get.

Chaos Chosen/Doom Lords

The Chaos Chosen break from the mold because they don’t have many choices on their roster.  You get four heavily-armored Chaos Warriors and eight beastmen.  It would be great if games workshop created a four pack for the beastmen because they can get mutations in the game.  These mutations may add things like additional arms or heads that make for interesting in game effects.

Chaos Chosen have a Big Guy available from Forgeworld… the Minotaur.  There are also the chaos cheerleaders. We will have to wait and see if Forgeworld eventually gives us beastmen with mutations as well as Chaos star players.

Nurgle/Nurgle’s Rotters

Finally, we get the Nurgle team and there has been some renaming going on here.  It comes with four Bloaters, two Pestigor, and six Rotters.  Bloaters are the new name for the old Nurgle Warrior.  Pestigor are the catcher equivalent models, and you only get two of the four that you would want. Rotters are the linemen equivalent.  This is also an army that is susceptible to mutations, so support for extra arms and heads would be great.

Nurgle also have a big guy but since this is the more recently released team, he hasn’t appeared in resin yet.

That wraps up the basic teams that are available through Games Workshop.  Next time, I’ll be digging into the teams that you can make from combining lines.

Until then, Best Blitzes!


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About Reecius

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5 Responses to “Blood Bowl: An Overview”

  1. WestRider September 24, 2018 1:23 am #

    I think it’s also worth looking at some of the places where converting the missing Positionals is pretty feasible. The best example that comes to mind is for the Skaven, where for a buck less* than the FW Skaven booster, and a bit of conversion work, you can get a couple more Gutter Runners from the Lurking and Festering Skaven easily. The others would take more work, but you could probably get pretty good Linerats from Skritch and K’rrk, and another Linerat or a Thrower from the Hungering Skaven. The Festering Skaven is a contender for a Thrower as well if you wanted to mark out one with Mutations or something.

    *That box also comes with a number of really good Shadespire cards that you could almost certainly sell on eBay or something to reduce the effective cost even further.

  2. Dolch September 24, 2018 8:13 am #

    I’ll be looking at conversions in a future articles. The Shadespire sets will feature HEAVILY once I get to that point.

    • WestRider September 24, 2018 4:10 pm #

      Excellent! That’s one of my favourite aspects, especially for the Teams with Mutation access.

  3. mamdair September 24, 2018 10:55 am #

    finally some blood bowl articles! amazing game, especially with the football season in full effect.

    • Dolch October 6, 2018 10:49 am #

      I know! I’ll be moving to a Staff Writer soon. The second article is in the can and the third is on the way.

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