Blood Bowl Newbies FAQ v1.0

Please note that this FAQ is now a little old.  As a result, many of the links off site are possibly now null and dead.



This is a Blood Bowl FAQ for newbies, written by a newbie. This is not initially intended to be an answer forum for rules questions, although answers for basic rule questions may appear in later versions. The Blood Bowl Newbies (BBN) FAQ is intended for prospective purchasers of Games Workshop's Blood Bowl game and people who are first-time players. The maintainer of this FAQ makes the assumption that you are thinking about buying the Third Edition of Blood Bowl or you have just purchased it and are wondering where all the other stuff is (like those Apothecaries everyone seems to mention). It is rather unofficial, and probably hasn't even been looked at by anyone at Games Workshop.

Basic legal stuff: By publishing this FAQ on the internet, it automatically becomes a copyrighted document (Copyright © 1998, Thomas Deeny). Feel free to make as many copies of this document as you wish, providing it is not altered/changed/edited in any way other than format. Blah blah blah. This is an absolutely free document, no money can be made from creating or distributing this FAQ. Blood Bowl and Death Zone are Registered Trademarks of Games Workshop (GW). Original Blood Bowl material is Copyright © 1998 by Games Workshop All Rights Reserved. Used without permission. Any use of Games Workshop's copyrighted material or trademarks in this file should not be viewed as a challenge to those copyrights or trademarks. The author accepts no liability for the usage of this FAQ, whatever that means.

1.0 General
   1.1 What is Blood Bowl?
   1.2 What is Death Zone?
   1.3 What is White Dwarf?
   1.4 Who's this Jervis guy?

2.0 The Games
   2.1 What comes with the Blood Bowl boxed set?
   2.2 What comes with the Death Zone boxed set?
   2.3 What other versions of Blood Bowl exist?
   2.4 How does Blood Bowl relate to the other GW games?

3.0 Rules
   3.1 Where can I find Big Guy rules?
   3.2 Where can I find Ally rules?
   3.3 Where can I find Mixed Racial Team rules?
   3.4 What is that other damage table everyone seems to be using?

4.0 Miniatures
   4.1 Do I need to buy them to play?
      4.1.1 No.
      4.1.2 Yes.
   4.2 Where can I find painting tips?
   4.3 Where can I find miniatures for Blood Bowl?

5.0 Teams
   5.1 Where can I find Human teams?
   5.2 Where can I find Orc teams?
   5.3 Where can I find Skaven teams?
   5.4 Where can I find High Elf teams?
   5.5 Where can I find Dark Elf teams?
   5.6 Where can I find Wood Elf teams?
   5.7 Where can I find Dwarf teams?
   5.8 Where can I find Chaos Dwarf teams?
   5.9 Where can I find Chaos teams?
   5.10 Where can I find Halfling teams?
   5.11 Where can I find Goblin teams?
   5.12 Where can I find Undead teams?
   5.13 Where can I find Vampire teams?
   5.14 Where can I find Norse teams?
   5.15 Where can I find Lizardman teams?
   5.16 Where can I find Bretonnian teams?
   5.17 Is there some way of posting my teams to the web?

6.0 Races
   6.1 What the heck is a Skaven, anyway?
   6.2 What's with the big hats on the Chaos Dwarfs?
   6.3 What's the difference between the Empire, Humans, and Bretonnians?

7.0 About the FAQ
   7.1 What's new with the FAQ?
   7.2 I'm really interested in revision histories of various FAQs. Does this FAQ have one?
   7.3 Where can I send in information that the FAQ is missing?
   7.4 What information would we like to include in future versions?

===

1.0 General:

1.1 What is Blood Bowl?

Blood Bowl (BB) is a game of fantasy football, played in the Warhammer game setting, also published by Games Workshop. You need the BB box to play this game. It's a game where you can have a team of orcs and a team of elves playing something rather violent that looks somewhat like American or Canadian football. The history of the sport is included in the BB boxed set, but who cares? It's football with dwarfs and elves and other fantasy races!

1.2 What is Death Zone?

Death Zone (DZ) is a supplement to Blood Bowl that expands the game considerably. DZ will allow you to play a team in a BB league and improve your team. If all you want to play is one-off games, you don't need this. However, if you want to really open the game up, you'd want to get this box. Check out 2.2 below for more.

1.3 What is White Dwarf?

White Dwarf (WD) is a gaming magazine that Games Workshop puts out to cover their games. WD mainly covers Warhammer 40K, Warhammer, and the other GW miniatures wargames. Occasionally, a BB article is published.

1.4 Who's this Jervis guy?

Jervis Johnson? He's the Blood Bowl game designer over at GW.

===

2.0 Games:

2.1 What comes with the Blood Bowl boxed set?

This is not a list of contents, this is a list of what you get when you buy Blood Bowl (Third Edition).

First you get a complete Orc team and a complete Human team (plastic figures), complete with cheat sheets -- cardboard sheets that tell you what each of the four types of players on your team can do. You also get several nifty counters for keeping track of the score, what turn it is, and so forth. Also included are four star players, players with extra skills. With the basic rules in this box, you can create Human, Orc, Skaven, High Elf, Dark Elf, and Dwarf teams. Rules in this box include: moving, picking up the ball, blocking, blitzing, knocking players down and hurting them, throwing the ball, catching the ball, bouncing balls, throw-ins, and turnovers. Advanced rules include: the coaching staff, cheerleaders, secret weapons, star players, the weather, handing off the ball, interceptions, fumbles, kick-off table random events, assisting a block, throwing team-mates, going for it!, and fouling other players. Also included is the history of Blood Bowl and looks at the different "famous" teams.

2.2 What comes with the Death Zone boxed set?

More stuff. First off, you've got all these cards to punch out -- about two dozen more star players and dozens of special play cards. The special play cards come in three flavors: Dirty Tricks, Random Events, and Magic Items. When you play, you get to draw a special play card or two (or three or four...) to add a little bit of chaos to the game.

Also included are rules for Team Wizards (and magical spells), Apothecaries (your medical staff), more star players, more secret weapons, all of the skills, rules for running and playing in a BB League and Tournaments, and rules for improving your players through Star Player Points (SPPs). The new teams included in DZ are: Undead, Chaos Dwarf, Halfling, Goblin, Chaos, and Wood Elf. The three Big Guys (Treemen, Trolls, and Minotaurs) have rules for them in this box.

The four tournaments listed here include Spike!, Dungeon Bowl, The Chaos Cup, and the Blood Bowl. There are dungeon rules for Dungeon Bowl which was relased in White Dwarf  #225. A Dungeon Bowl conversion from 2nd Edition to 3rd Edition is available at http://www.teleport.com/~matasar/bloodbowl/dungeon-bowl.html . Dungeon Bowl was a supplement for 2nd Edition BB.

2.3 What other versions of Blood Bowl exist?

There's the First Edition, which didn't have any miniatures included, just a staggering 119 cardboard fold-up counters. The board was actually six pieces, placed together like a jigsaw puzzle.

The Second Edition had the "Astro-Granite" playing field. This was actually a gray three-piece polystyrene board, with each square on the pitch resembling stones. Like the Third Edition game, this came with plastic miniatures of Humans and Orcs. Unlike the Third Edition game, each Human miniature looked the same; each Orc mini looked the same. This version is said to be much more complex and slower than Third Edition.

Fourth Edition is just a whole pile of changes to Thrid edition, to try to fix some things people saw as problems with the rules.

And then there was a Blood Bowl game for the PC. This is a computer game where you could actually run a Halfling team through a season undefeated.

2.4 How does Blood Bowl relate to the other GW games?

Blood Bowl takes place in the same timeframe that Warhammer takes place in. Many miniatures from Warhammer can be used in Blood Bowl with minor modifications. Unlike Warhammer miniatures, BB minis have round bases and most BB minis are unarmed.

===

3.0 Rules:

3.1 Where can I find Big Guy rules?
3.2 Where can I find Ally rules?
3.3 Where can I find Mixed Racial Team rules?

Jervis' Big Guy, Ally, and Mixed Racial Team rules can be found here .

3.4 What is that other damage table everyone seems to be using?

It's Sigurd's Injury Rules. It's the basic injury table found on the blue board that came with Blood Bowl, except that if you roll a 10, 11, or 12 on the Injury Table, you roll another d6 without any modifiers. A 1-3 results in Badly Hurt, 4 or 5 is Seriously Injured, and a 6 is Dead! Dead! DEAD! This table evens out most of the logical errors that occur when bonuses for injury-rolls that creep up to +2 or more. It makes the deaths a little less common. A statistical analysis of this injury rule can be found at a page oddly titled "Statistical Analysis of Sigurd's Injury Rule" [http://mama.indstate.edu/users/python/bbowl/math.html].

===

4.0 Miniatures:

4.1 Do I need to buy them to play?

Two answers to this, depending on what and how you're going to play.

   4.1.1 No.

You paid a sizable chunk of change for the basic game and probably $25 to $35 more for Death Zone (which is nothing compared to playing any of the other GW games). If it's just you and your husband or you and your kid brother playing, sure, you can get by with the humans and the orcs from the main box or you can create your own stand ups. You'll need some sort of marker to keep track of who's on what team, what their position is, and which player number the marker represents. You'll also need some way of determining if the player is stunned or just knocked over after being on the hurt end of a block.

My wife and I use folded cardboard standups when we play. That way, we can get to use all twelve BB teams that come with BB and DZ without having to pay around $30 per basic team. Also, we feel that several of the miniatures GW puts out just aren't right. We don't envision High Elves running around with Conehead prostheses, the halflings just don't look the way GW thinks halflings look, nor do we feel that the Treemen miniatures look like Treemen should. And what's with the hats on those Chaos Dwarfs? By using the folded cardboard standups, we can draw what we think these fantasy creatures look like.

   4.1.2 Yes.

You need to buy miniatures to play. This serves several purposes. Firstly, GW sees that someone's actually buying stuff for Blood Bowl and will continue to support the product. Secondly, it becomes much harder to play games when you have to set up your pieces and say something like: "Okay, these Linemen here plus this Blitzer are Line Elves. The Blitzer with the paperclip on it is my Wardancer. The first Thrower is still a Thrower, but this one with the rubberband is a Catcher and this Black Orc is a rookie Treeman and that Black Orc with the red paper clip is the Star Player Treeman."

The most important reason why you'd want minis is: If you're playing in a League, you're going to want to have miniatures. Some games are played in game stores. The owners of the game stores is going to be happier if you purchase miniatures and support the shop. Most league commissioners are going to insist that you use miniatures to play. I've heard of a GW store that hosts BB games -- one of their house rules is you not only have to have miniatures to play, you've got to have GW miniatures.

So, if you don't want to play in a league (which adds a whole 'nother flavor to the game), you don't have to buy miniatures. But hey, it's a whole lot cooler to look at a piece and instantly recognize that what type of player that is.

4.2 Where can I find painting tips?

There's a four-page pamphlet included in the Third Edition of Blood Bowl. Although some of these pages are geared towards other games, they still have good ideas for miniature painting: the Star Wars Miniatures Painting and Design website [http://www.webzone.net/bvogle/swmb/paint.htm], Erik's RoboRally Website [http://members.xoom.com/eflod/], and the ever-popular Miniatures Painting Guide and FAQ [http://www.faqs.org/faqs/games/miniatures/painting-faq/]. The Miniatures Painting Guide and FAQ can also be found over at http://www.lib.ox.ac.uk/internet/news/faq/rec.games.miniatures.misc.html, but I'm not sure, as that URL is incorrectly blocked from my work address.
This web site has a section specifically for painting Blood Bowl miniatures.

4.3 Where can I find miniatures for Blood Bowl?

If you purchased the game in a gaming store, chances are a nearby wall was covered with GW miniatures for all sorts of games as well as miniatures for other games. If you got the game by mail-order, you can probably order miniatures from the same place.

Check the yellow pages for Games, Hobbies -- Toys and Games, even Comic Books (many comic book stores also carry gaming material). Call up and ask if they carry miniatures for wargaming. If they do, ask if they carry Blood Bowl or Warhammer miniatures. You can always create a team of Blood Bowl players out of regular Warhammer minis. Support your local game store!

If there's nothing in the area, you might want to contact Games Workshop's mail-order service [http://www.games-workshop.com/mailorder.html]. Third Edition BB comes with a black and white Blood Bowl catalog.

After that, you could check out several of the online game stores. A good list is provided over at RPG.net [http://www.rpg.net/news+reviews/stores.html].

Failing that, you might want to try an auction website like eBay [http://www.eBay.com], where you might find painted or primed miniatures for sale. Or over at Warhammer Fantasy Battle For Sale [http://falcon.cc.ukans.edu/~darkwolf/fbfs.html], a page on a website that deals with selling and trading GW games/sourcebooks/miniatures. Occasionally on the Fantasy Battle For Sale page, Blood Bowl items are listed.

And finally, if you just want to use the cardboard standups but still want to be able to instantly recognize the players, head to Blood Bowl Central's team pages [http://terracom.net/~bodyman/BBCENTRAL/teams.html]. Color images of miniatures are on the individual team pages. Just view the image there and print out the amount of each player you want. Stick them on a thin piece of cardboard and number them. Viola! You've got a Witch Elf that looks like a Witch Elf.

===

5.0 Teams:
Most strategy for an individual team can be found right here at Paradigm Central
5.1 Where can I find Human teams?

Blood Bowl. Strategies for playing Humans can be found at Blood Bowl Central's Team Strategy Pages [http://terracom.net/~bodyman/BBCENTRAL/strategies.html], as well as Coach Blackknife's Dugout [http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/Battlefield/4101/].

5.2 Where can I find Orc teams?

Blood Bowl. Strategies for playing Orcs can be found at Coach Blackknife's Dugout [http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/Battlefield/4101/].

5.3 Where can I find Skaven teams?

Blood Bowl. Strategies for playing Skaven can be found at Coach Blackknife's Dugout [http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/Battlefield/4101/].

5.4 Where can I find High Elf teams?

Blood Bowl. Strategies for playing High Elves can be found at Coach Blackknife's Dugout [http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/Battlefield/4101/].

5.5 Where can I find Dark Elf teams?

Blood Bowl. Strategies for playing Dark Elves can be found at Blood Bowl Central's Team Strategy Pages [http://terracom.net/~bodyman/BBCENTRAL/strategies.html], as well as Coach Blackknife's Dugout [http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/Battlefield/4101/].

5.6 Where can I find Wood Elf teams?

Death Zone. Strategies for playing Wood Elves can be found at The Wonderful World of Wood Elves [http://mama.indstate.edu/users/python/bbowl/welves/index.html].

5.7 Where can I find Dwarf teams?

Blood Bowl. However, the skill for Tackle isn't in BB -- it's in DZ. For the convenience of game players who are thinking of buying BB or for those who have BB but not DZ, the Tackle skill is reprinted here:

Tackle. Opposing players who are standing in this player's tackle zone are not allowed to use their Dodge skill if they attempt to dodge out of the player's tackle zone, nor may they use their Dodge skill if the player throws a block at them.
Strategies for playing Dwarf teams can be found at Coach Blackknife's Dugout [http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/Battlefield/4101/].

5.8 Where can I find Chaos Dwarf teams?

Death Zone. Strategies for playing Chaos Dwarfs can be found at Coach Blackknife's Dugout [http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/Battlefield/4101/].

5.9 Where can I find Chaos teams?

Death Zone. Strategies for playing Chaos teams can be found at Coach Blackknife's Dugout [http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/Battlefield/4101/].

5.10 Where can I find Halfling teams?

Death Zone. Strategies for playing Halflings can be found at Coach Blackknife's Dugout [http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/Battlefield/4101/].

5.11 Where can I find Goblin teams?

Death Zone. Strategies for playing Gobbos can be found at Blood Bowl Central's Team Strategy Pages [http://terracom.net/~bodyman/BBCENTRAL/strategies.html].

5.12 Where can I find Undead teams?

Death Zone. Strategies for playing Undead teams can be found at Blood Bowl Central's Team Strategy Pages [http://terracom.net/~bodyman/BBCENTRAL/strategies.html].

5.13 Where can I find Vampire teams?

This is an unofficial team. Team stats can be found on various web pages. Search for +Vampire +Thrall +"Blood Bowl" over on Infoseek.

5.14 Where can I find Norse teams?

The Citadel Journal #10, White Dwarf #223. There's an article called "It's Not Just the Crowd That Goes Berserk: Norse BB Team". Over at Blood Bowl Central's team pages [http://terracom.net/~bodyman/BBCENTRAL/teams.html] is a list of player stats.

5.15 Where can I find Lizardman teams?

Although appearing in The Citadel Journal, they are not an official team. Try http://www.teleport.com/~matasar/bloodbowl/lizardmen.html or The Citadel Journal #22 (Leaping Lizards: Lizardmen BB team).

5.16 Where can I find Bretonnian teams?

I'm not sure about this one, but I think they're an unofficial team.

5.17 Is there some way of posting my teams to the web?

Assuming you've got a website and know how to upload files to the web, you can download a Blood Bowl HTML Team Editor, a program writte You can use the team information when playing online (via IRC). Information about the team editor and playing via IRC can be found at Avi Stetto's Web Page

===

6.0 Races:

6.1 What the heck is a Skaven, anyway?

Yeah, that's what I asked when I got the box. Now, I haven't looked at any Warhammer supplement or the Warhammer game system, but from what I've gathered, they're Big Rats. Big Scary Fast Rats. Who enjoy eating this chaos-stone which might cause a mutation (see also "science fiction movies from the 1950s"). That's it in a nutshell: Big, fast, scary rat-things that might come with extra body parts. Enjoy.

6.2 What's with the big hats on the Chaos Dwarfs?

I don't know, but they look pretty goofy. Maybe that's what happened when that particular group of dwarfs started turning towards Chaos. Perhaps it's a social convention -- the more important you are, the bigger your dorky-looking hat. If that's the case, the High Elves have them beat.

6.3 What's the difference between the Empire, Humans, and Bretonnians?

In the Warhammer game, there was one major Human Kingdom, the Empire. That's the Human team Blood Bowl came with. I'm not sure what's the deal with the Empire -- you'll have to ask a Warhammer gamer. However, the newest version of Warhammer comes with a handful of Bretonnians and Lizardmen. Bretonnians seem to be humans cast in a King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table role: very colorful knights in shining armor.

===

7.0 About the FAQ:

7.1 What's new with the FAQ?

This FAQ is now offically released. I've broken up the teams

7.2 I'm really interested in revision histories of various FAQs. Does this FAQ have one?

Hey, you're in luck!

v 1.0
Split up the teams section into teams and races, redid this section (7.x), corrected even more spelling mistakes. Additions: Q 2.4, 5.16, 5.17, 6.3, and 7.4. Also added another reference to 5.14 (Norse Teams).

v 0.6 and 0.7
Corrected various spelling mistakes, added info for the redirection service, added more information to Q 4.3

v 0.5
First "live" version. An announcement to the BBOWL-L mailing list was sent out to ask for assistance on this project.

7.3 Where can I send in information that the FAQ is missing?

Mail that to americanflagg@hotmail.com. Please include in the subject line [BBN FAQ]. All comments are welcome!

7.4 What information would we like to include in future versions?

There was a request for a section on the differences between 2nd Edition and 3rd Edition Blood Bowl. However, as the maintainer of this FAQ has never played 2nd Edition (only 3rd Edition), this section will have to be written by someone else. If you have a list of changes between the two editions, please drop me a line at americanflagg@hotmail.com.

I'd also like to include a bit on the Bretonnian Blood Bowl team. If anyone can point me to rules for them, I'd appreciate it. 1