Welcome to the global Blood Bowl event of the year, the worldwide craze known as Blitzmania! Teams are gathering in local leagues, hiring and firing new players, and making sure to feed their trolls to keep them from eating their team mates in preparation for the biggest Blood Bowl league in years! Be sure to tune in to your local Cabalvision HD station and witness your local league as Orc, Human, Elf, and more battle for Blood Bowl supremecy! There's sure to be lots of blood and violence, and maybe even a touchdown or two!
Blood Bowl is back and Games Workshop has wasted little time in going all out with a global league. While Blood Bowl has been out of print for nearly a decade, Games Workshop released a new starting box for the famous game of fantasy football back in November 2016 to much fanfare. The new box is complete with a 12 player team for both Orcs and Humans, a double-sided football pitch, two double sided dugouts to set your injured and reserve players, and two sets of colored dice, blue for Humans and green for Orcs. In the time since, GW has released the Skavenblight Scramblers, a box of 12 Skaven players that can be painted as the Scramblers or your own unique team, Death Zone Season One, a book with league rules and team building rules for four flavors of Elves, Skaven, Nurgle, and Dwarf teams. The first weekend of February saw the release of the Dwarf Giants box, a 12 Dwarf player box, a double sided Dwarf and Skaven pitch with special rules, and limited edition dice for the new Dwarf and Skaven sets.
Personally, I believe Games Workshop has hit the ball out of the park on this release, pardon the inaccurate sports reference. All four new teams are great looking, the models crisp and attractive, and all easy-assemble push fit models. In the starting box itself, all the accessories are well made: the pitch is gorgeous, the dugouts have plenty of information, the dice are a good size and read quite easily. Not only that, but Warhammer TV (which is a victory in and of itself, but that's another topic) has seen Duncan demonstrate converting Dark Elf and Nurgle teams from current kits like the Age of Sigmar Putrid Blightkings. If there's any complaint I could level, it's the teams are hard to tell between players, with the Humans the worse culprit. The only thing separating Human Blitzers from regular Linemen is an empty left hand and a slightly larger fin on their helmet. Plus, important players like Trolls, Goblins, Ogres, and Rat Ogres are not available in new format models yet, and in order to fill out your team with extra Blitzers, Throwers, etc, the coach must buy another set of starter box sprues.
Regardless, Blood Bowl is back. The Blood Bowl subreddit went from being nothing but game replays and strategy based on the PC games to slowly but surely people showing off their painted and converted tabletop players. Facebook fan pages are full of excited people asking about color combinations (I'm still not sure on my Orc colors. Orange I know). Fans are sharing team names, and humorous (and painful) stories about players mishaps.
Finally I come to Blitzmania! Games Workshop has orchestrated a global league, very much like last year's Season of War campaign with Age of Sigmar. Teams sign up on the Blood Bowl website, registering their team to their specific store's league. Then they play for local supremacy with scores updated as games are completed so each coach can see their standings. Coaches get special event cards (the only new part of the game from the previous edition of Blood Bowl) that are only available during this event, and the winner of the local and global event gets a Blitzmania trophy! Strangely there are no scheduled games, each coach can play as many games as they want, so I'm not entirely sure how that will end up. Either way, Blitzmania has drawn in a few players in our local store, each having caught the eye of a team they want. Even more so, if GW had released more new team models for, say, Elves, I believe even more local people would be interested.
I am very excited to be participating in Blitzmania, and just to be able to play Blood Bowl for the first time since I started in the wargaming hobby. I've always been interested in the game, as building and leveling up a team over a league sounds like loads of fun. Even if my #1 Star Player trips on the field and breaks his neck, the game is silly enough that I can take the pain with a little bit of laughter with my cringe. Check out https://www.bloodbowl.com/league/ to look up leagues all across the world, or even sign up yourself. Be sure to look out for Tuffhide Toofpickaz, my Orc team that is going to smash all the competition on our way to Blitzmania gold!