Welcome sports fans, both in the stadium and those of you at home tuning in on Cabalvision™, to another exciting season of Blood Bowl! It's the only game out there that offers the real visceral physical contact that'll keep you glued to your seats!
And with real viscera, I might add, Bob. I didn't know a person could play that long without their intestines!
Indeed, Jim! But that's because Blood Bowl offers only the most brutal, quick, and morally compromised players to grace the field. I have high hopes that this season won't disappoint!
I share a similar feeling, Bob. But before we dive into the real meat of today's matches, I want to pay a tribute to the real unsung heroes of Blood Bowl.
You mean the cleaning crew that have to mop up the aforementioned intestines?
No Bob, I'm actually referring to the team managers! They're a sort of glue that barely holds together this whirlwind sport and, like every season, they'll be working hard to earn the coveted Manager of the Year award from Spike! Magazine!
Frankly, they're a bunch of overpaid paper-pushers if you ask me, Jim.
Did I mention that the Team Managers' Union contributes a significant amount to our paychecks?
Like I said, Jim, they're true work horses of Blood Bowl, but they'll have their work cut out for them. It's not enough to just win the games, but to develop a team that really gets the crowd worked up.
Yes, whether it's through winning big plays, outrageous cheating, or just bribing everyone with cheap merchandise, winning the hearts (and wallets) of countless fans is the true mark of a savvy manager.
This is Fantasy Flight's Blood Bowl: Team Manager, and it's a card game of high risks and big plays. In a nutshell, you take the role of team manager and compete against other managers to earn the most fans for your team by the end of the season. You do this by setting up your team to make major plays that get on the highlight reel of every week. This isn't a game about scoring, but rather unleashing the star power of your players in the hopes of dazzling your fans. Earning fans can be accomplished through crushing tackles to make the other side look bad, skilled running plays to show off your team, or just brutal cheating to get the crowd going. As the season progresses, you'll have the chance to hire star players, add staff members to your team such as apothecaries, get crucial team upgrades, and score potentially big contracts. It all culminates in the final week with the Blood Bowl, a huge tournament with an equally huge payout for the winner. Once the dust settles, the manager with the highest number of fans take the Spike! Magazine Manager of the Year award!
How PbP Works
Since BBTM is a pseudo-deckbuilding game (you'll had a small handful of cards to your deck), I'll be handling the game by PMing the week's hand to every manager. Since dicerolls function via an easy 1-2d6, Geth will suffice for rolling. The dice outcomes will be as follows:
Upgrades will work in a similar fashion. In the event a manager has an upgrade or player ability that can respond to another manager's action, the active manager should notify that player using the @ system so they are aware that they have an opportunity to pass or take an action.
How to Play
IMPORTANT NOTICE: To prevent confusion, "player" refers to the cards you'll be playing in the game, whereas "manager" refers to the real-life participants of the game.
The game takes place over a series of five rounds called "weeks" that have four highlights and a headline or tournament. A Spike! Magazine Headline is a special event that slightly twists the rules of play for that specific week. A tournament is a special highlight that we'll get into later.
The meat of the game, the Matchup Phase, is committing players to highlights. Each round, managers take turn committing a player to a highlight that has room (only two teams may occupy a highlight; one per side) until each manager has committed their entire hand or passed. When a manager passes, they can no longer commit any more players for the rest of the week, but they can carry their current hand into the next one (they can also discard any cards from their hand).
Tournaments are special highlights where all four players can join. They have much higher payouts for the winner, and also have a generous payout for the runner-up (and very trivial compensation for any losers present). The final week of every game will feature the Blood Bowl, a tournament that offers a high number of fans for the winner.
Once the Matchup Phase is over, scoring begins. Winning a highlight is simple: have the most star power, with ball possession breaking ties (if no team possesses the ball during a tie, then the highlight ends without a winner). During scoring, cheat tokens are revealed, which have one of the following effects.
Fan Frenzy: The refs didn't see your low-handed play, but the fans did and go wild. Gain 1-2 Fans
Star Power: You get away with your cheating and gain 0-3 Star Power
Ejection: A ref noticed your rule-breaking, and even decided to do something about it! That player is removed from the highlight and sent to the discard pile. All other cheating tokens, revealed or still hidden, on that player are discarded with no effect.
I highly recommend you read the rules
before playing. The game is rather straight-forward and takes maybe ten minutes to really learn. We'll also be using the Sudden Death
expansion, only we'll be using normal footballs.
Skills are the main draw of most players, and allow you to get an edge in points through various means. Regular skills are used when a player is first committed to a highlight, and are played in order from left to right. Downed skills are used whenever a player goes from standing to downed, and are likewise played in order from left to right. If skills are separated by a slash, then you pick either side of the slash and only use the skills on that side. With the exception of Cheating, all skills are optional.
You say that Jim, but did you know that one in every seven Blood Bowl games forget to even bring a ball?
Excellent plays with the ball are one of the key paths to victory in Blood Bowl.
That's true, Bob, but fortunately some resourceful players have found that a snotling makes a fine substitute in a pinch!
I would have never thought the little buggers could be so aerodynamic!
Whenever you use a passing skill, you may move the ball as follows:
-From an enemy player to the midfield
-From the midfield to the player that is using Passing.
-From a friendly player to the player that is using Passing.
The team with possession of the ball gains two star power, making passing an important skill.
Tell that to the Gouged Eye player who was trampled last week by a minotaur lineman!
It may not set the crowd on fire, but a good pair of running legs never hurt a player.
Well, you know what they say: "Grow by the inch; die by the foot."
Each time Sprinting is used, you may draw a card and then discard a card (the card you just drew may be discarded).
Any worthwhile coach will tell you that the only bad kind of cheating is the kind where you get caught.
I hear that, Jim. That's why you go for the cheaper chainsaws so you have a little left over to grease their grubby little palms!
Assuming the ref doesn't take your bribe, anyways. And considering their salaries, the chances tend to be in your favor!
Whenever Cheating is used, one cheating token is placed face-down on that player. Cheating is mandatory
and thus careful consideration must be made when committing cheaters to the field. Ejection will remove the player from the highlight and nullify ALL other cheat tokens on that player, so commit wisely.
Tackling is the lifeblood of the sport! After all, what is Blood Bowl without the blood?
Agreed, Bob. It'd be like an orc without his choppa!
Whenver Tackling is used, the manager picks an opposing player at that highlight and rolls a die based on the Star Power of the tackler and the target.
Tackler > Target: Roll two dice; Tackler's Manager picks result.
Tackler = Target: Roll one die.
Tackler < Target: Roll two dice; Target's Manager picks result.
The outcome based on the result of the die is as follows.
X: Tackler Down
Blank: Miss (No Effect)
Hit: Target Down
A standing player that gets tackled becomes downed and will typically have a lower Star Power as a result. A downed player that gets tackled becomes injured, which means they are removed from the highlight entirely and sent to their manager's discard pile. A highlight can open up to another player if that was the last player in that spot!
And a rotten player seems to stick around forever!
They say you can't keep a good player down, Bob.
You can't argue with the strategic value of that stench. The Champions of Death have had a dynamite season!
Whenever Regeneration is used, roll two dice and pick one result. If that result is X, then the player is now standing.
Here are the teams available for play. Teams share a subdivision from which they draw their star players. The Gouged Eye will have access to different players than a Grudgebearer.
Old Word Association
A well-rounded group of humans, they possess the ability to adapt to situations more easily than other teams.
If you're looking for a solid defensive line, then look no further than these dwarfs. Just don't expect them to pick up the ball much...if at all.
These elves are fast, and tend to go for the ball before the enemy team can crush their relatively weak defenses.
Chaos Wastes Confederation
Skaven are known for being quick and slippery bastards. They can't take a beating, but they try to compensate with a bit of cheating here and there.
Orcs know how to do one thing, and that's beat the tar out of the other team. You can't go wrong with brute force such as the Gouged Eye, but take care you don't get players ejected for sneaking weapons on the field.
The players of Chaos know how to do one thing: cheat, and cheat a lot. Sure, they may frequently lose half their team to the penalty box, but it won't matter if they've slaughtered all of the opposition.
Dark Sorcery Syndicate
The dark elves don't mess around, going straight for their opponent's jugular. They don't have the strongest tacklers, but they're a bit more flexible than you'd expect from such a violent team.
Champions of Undeath:
Looking for a team with resilience? The Champions offer undead players that can get right back up after taking a hit. They may not be the strongest around, but your opponents may be reluctant to even hit them in the first place!
Sure, their thralls are weak, but the vampires more than compensate for it. Even better, vampies can tackle their own teammates for a quick drink of empowering blood.
Ability Cheat Sheet
To keep myself sane, I may not always include reminder text for keyworded abilities. Check this list before asking me.
Just put !Sign Up
in bold along with whichever teams you prefer. We'll do this first come first serve, and people that didn't get it will be put on a list so they can get in next time.
With that said: let the best manager win!