This is a guest post from our very own James K!

If you were a Games Workshop gamer back in the 1990s, there’s a  good chance you came across Blood Bowl, the Game of Fantasy Football.

While I have complained about GW in the past, I still consider  Blood Bowl to be one of the finest games they made.  First off, it was totally different from any other game around at the time (A fantasy sports game?  Win!), it had a built in league system and naturally lent itself to tournament play.  Plus there was something endearing about the idea that away from the battlefield Vampires, High Elves and Orks could get together and enjoy the same sport.

Bloodbowl is hard to get your hands on these days (especially if you live as far from the centre of things as I do), which means it has no new player base.  Some of us still have our old sets, but it’s hard to organise a league on that basis.  Especially since Bloodbowl did have some problems, it took hours to play (getting 2 games into one wargaming club day was hard), the team were not particularly well balanced and one bad game could ruin a team.  It was fun, but not without flaws.

It would seem that Mantic Games (which it would seem aspires to be a new version of Games Workshop only, you know, less evil) remembers Blood Bowl      fondly as well, because they currently have a Kickstarter project running for Dreadball a futuristic football-ish game set in their science-fiction setting.  It’s clear that they are trying to do more than clone Blood Bowl, their game is shorter, plays faster and diverges more from real-world sports (the lead designer has a blog where he talks about the rules and some of the reasoning behind them).

The Kickstarter run until the end of September, and some of the packages they are offering have a huge range of models (full disclosure: I’m in for about $300 at the moment, and I expect that to increase before the month’s end).  If this sounds like a game you might be interested in, you should take a look.


Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to AskJaybird-at-gmail.com


  1. I love Blood Bowl but, like you say, it’s so hard to get a game going start to finish (who has the time?).

    If this game can deliver fast gameplay… 1, maybe 2, hours… and it reminds me of Blood Bowl, it’ll be great. A pity it’s for only 2 players!

    • From what I’ve read the play time is 45 minutes to an hour. It has fewer players on the field and fewer turns (and no resets either, the whole game is one long drive).

      As for multiplayer, there’s some suggestion that the second expansion (the first has already funded) could have variant games including more than two teams.

    • My oldest son and I have found that you can knock out a full game fairly quickly if you disregard the advanced rules and just play the basic game. Of course, you miss out on a lot but if you’re just looking for a fun game to play on a random gaming night, this is a good option.

      I’m currently in the beginning stages of painting a Norse team, I have a Dark Elf team that hasn’t made it past the primer stage, and I have random members of four other teams awaiting primer and paint. I love Blood Bowl.

  2. Did you ever try Blood Bowl: Legendary Edition, James? If so, what did you think?

    • Is that the fourth edition, the one in the slim navy blue box?

      If so, it’s the main edition I played, so my above comments apply.

          • You should. I finally brought my PC up to the current decade (was 9 years old) and asked my gameing friends what PC-only games I missed the last decade.

            Blood Bowl and Minecraft were listed as “must haves” by practically everyone. Admittedly, my friends have a largish gaming website, a Steam group, and several Blood Bowl leagues running.

            PC head-to-head games take about an hour, all told.

          • store.steampowered.com/app/58520/

            I have a few friends that play it, but I’ve never tried.

    • The version for XBox looks great but the AI has no idea how to play the game (a common complaint for tabletop conversions) so I’d only recommend it for head to head.

  3. Another game to look into if you like Blood Bowl is Grind from Privateer Press. The only bad thing about the game is it does not have the built in league mechanic and it feels more like soccer. 🙂

    I used to love to play Blood Bowl but my gruop found quickly that the advantage is to the fast teams. The Dwarves were terrible.

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