Blood Bowl: a no-brainer

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As you have all heard (and now seen) Blood Bowl is back; it’s been over ten years since 4th edition but Games Workshop has revived its monster-football-parody game and shops across the US are officially allowed to sell it TODAY!

Presumably, GW dropped Blood Bowl because they weren’t satisfied with the sales of their specialist game: this makes the revival very noteworthy because it suggests that they now believe they can sell a lot of product. Under normal circumstances, it would be a questionable business decision for a company to revive a game from a decade ago that wasn’t a huge cash-cow and hope that sales will suddenly be different. I believe that’s actually the definition of insanity. However, this isn’t a normal circumstance, and reviving Blood Bowl isn’t insane, it’s probably the safest business decision Games Workshop has made all year.

One big reason why Blood Bowl is going to be successful for Games Workshop is simply the diehard fans. Have you ever seen another gaming community with so much passion and excitement for a product that has had zero support from their parent company? Players from over the world continue to run leagues, host tournaments (in person and online thanks to Fumbbl) and create content for what is was essentially a dead-game. Every year the Midwest alone has at least four or five major tournaments (ThreeDieBrawl, ChaosCup, Adepticup, Zlurpee Bowl, Orklahoma, etc.). Seriously, there are currently more active podcasts for Blood Bowl on iTunes then there are for Infinity, Malifaux or Guild Ball.

The second reason this is the safest move Games Workshop can make is because they’ve been able to recently gauge customer interest in their property by more than just intangible values of fan-passion, but by tangible dollars and cents through their successful licensing with CyanideBlood Bowl the video game had mixed reviews from long time Blood Bowl fans but it was a great vehicle for advertising their product to new customers and sold well enough that Cyanide made a sequel, Blood Bowl 2. GW was also able to expand brand awareness of their monster-football intellectual property through the board game Blood Bowl Team Manager which they licensed to Fantasy Flight Games.

For the above reasons I am confident this revival of Blood Bowl will be successful, but to be fair, I haven’t played the game in over two years and my opinion may be out of touch with the community. Therefore, I polled players who still play the game regularly to see their reactions.

 

1.) How do you feel about GW picking up the game again?

2.) Will you be buying the new box set? If not, why?


Peter

1.) It’s brilliant, it’s going to introduce a whole new audience to the tabletop game. Anyone who complains about this needs to get over themselves.
2.) Yes, of course


Jorgr

1.) I discovered BB at a time where it had already been discontinued by GW, I am very excited on the new release, because I will finally be able to play it on tabletop. Sure, there were third party teams around, but at 99€ each those are pretty expensive, considering that you still need a pitch and dice.

Now with GW releasing BB again, 12 player teams at US$27…..yes please. Still not a complete 16p team, but way cheaper than 99€.

Some say the rules are not complete and you need the supplement….. Well, I already have the LRB6, and since I will be league commissioner those are the rules we will be running. Interesting to see what GW includes on the book. Hopefully with better prices more interest will follow.

2.) I already preordered my set


Geoff

1.) Overall super happy about the re release think it is a great thing for the game we love. Best part of blood bowl making those jammy plays that require alot of high rolls and standing on war dancers faces when u knock them over.

2.) I have pre ordered the new set.


Michael

1.) brilliant,gives more people easy access to it
2.) nope,I have 15 + boards already


Steven

1. Wonderful that they’re reentering the market. Cautious in that from what I’ve seen they aren’t going to be very good at making sensible decisions.

2. Maybe. There’s nothing in the box I particularly need. 


Neil

1. As with most I am very happy they are picking it up again. It’s the only table top game I indulge in and I love the team aspect.

2. I haven’t decided yet. I already have all the bits and pieces except the longer passing ruler if I used he larger pitch. Probably buy it anyway though as I like nice shiny new things!


Esben

1) love it. And this time around I can afford to buy everything!
2) pre-ordered!


Nick

1) Brilliant
2) Yes x2


Barnard

1) I’m glad they’re back, they make good minitures and more importantly they own the fluff. Owning the fluff is important because it’s difficult to create new stuff without it. I for one hope to see some new teams. Sylvaneth team anyone?

2) I pre ordered it, but before doing so I waited till I felt I had enough info to feel that GW was going to respect the current rules set (CRP) and not make radical unnecessary changes. I did so in part because I want to support the reissue of the game.


Sean

1) making it 32mm based, 34mm squares…..grab for $. Not saying Skaven dice are limited, hmmmmmm. I was pi$$ed by what GW did to fantasy. Lets hope they dont destroy BB in the same manner.


2) Yes


Jon

1.) Moderately pumped. It’ll give the thing some visibility and make it a lot easier to get people into. If you can hand people one big box and say “well done, you play Blood Bowl now” rather than having to steer them here-there-and-everywhere to get different bits and bobs, that brings the buy-in down.

2.) Yeah. It’s out right next to my birthday so I can’t really say no. I might not have if it had been a complete travesty that totally redid the rules and background and, basically, wasn’t the same game.


LrdLothar6

1.) I’m excited about it. I think it helps breathe life into the community, creates a buzz, and will bring more players to the leagues. As far as it being a money grab, if people don’t like the change they can always keep to the rule sets they’re playing now.

2.) I haven’t decided. $100 is a steep price, but I’ve paid that much for a game before, without even knowing if I’d like it. I already know I love blood bowl. I think the only thing holding me back is the fact that I already have most of what I’d be getting. Granted everything is slightly different and arguably better, but I haven’t quite decided at this point if I’ll get the new set. I have a feeling eventually I’ll cave and just dish out the money.


ATMgamer

1.) I have mixed emotions about this. GW has done nothing to help Blood Bowl or its’ players for years. Even when the CRP was released, they just stole the credit for work that players around the world had done. On the other side of this, I am hopeful that this might lead to a better game.

2.) Yes, Curiosity and miniatures are my two biggest weaknesses.


SunDevil

1.) I was originally concerned GW would see this as an opportunity to ‘take over’ and try to force coaches to buy all new stuff and stop playing with the minis they’ve used for the last decade, including vintage GW stuff. But to my pleasant surprise GW has mostly admitted the game was fine without them and they only wish to ADD to the game, not bulldoze it.

2.) I bought 40 but will hopefully sell 39.  Yes, I’ll keep one for myself, as well as teams and dice and whatever expansions come out. The collector in me must be sated!


 Bluedaybreak
1.) In general I’m positive about it. I still am somewhat concerned about how they are releasing it and some of the changes that appear to have been made, but anything that gets Blood Bowl more exposure I believe is a good thing.

2.) Yes, to support the game itself and also my local game shop, which has been a big proponent of the game since I picked it back up.


Will buy: 10

Maybe buy: 3

Will not buy: 1

It seems the market agrees with me. Fourteen people responded to my poll and 71% stated they’ve already preordered a set or will be buying one. One guy even stated he bought 40 sets for his store (which I’ve verified because he happens to be my LGS owner).

The fact that people are going to buy the product doesn’t mean they are all 100% onboard with the changes GW has made to the game. So far there have been slight tweaks to player skills and big changes to inducement cards and I’m sure as information about leagues comes out there will be more changes discovered that will annoy some players. However, if history has shown us anything its that Blood Bowl fans are truly diehard and they do not quit. If ten years of zero support didn’t kill this game than its safe to say that nothing will and I look forward to seeing more Blood Bowl in 2017.

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