Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Blood Bowl - The Original Fantasy Football

I will never forget one year for Christmas as a young lad I asked for a copy of the enormous board game Blood Bowl. The first edition of this massive game was released in 1987, so I was probably about 9 or 10 when I asked for it.

I never did get a copy of the game, possibly because:
a) It was probably somewhat difficult to explain the high price tag for this board game when your parents are used to buying bargain copies of Monopoly and Life
b) The cover of the box indicated a delicious level of violence that probably would have clashed mightily with the Christmas tree
c) A game called "Blood Bowl" doesn't exactly scream "healthy pastime for a 10 year old" to most parents

To this day I still don't have a copy of the board game. It can cost over $100 if you try to get it online. You can't really get a new copy, you need to buy it secondhand off someone.

The basic gist of this game is that you put together a team of elves, dwarves, orcs, and other fantasy staples and have them play a game of bastardized American football against each other on a huge game board. There are rules for playing entire seasons where you have injuries, player aging, and even fatalities. There's a great summary on the basics on Wikipedia.

A combination of classic fantasy and American football? How can you possibly go wrong?

Well, the learning curve is a little bit on the tough side for the average Joe, and even if I were to finally get a copy of the board game now I have no idea who would actually play the game with me. It takes about 2 hours to play an individual game, and with "campaign" options and the like it would have to be a regularly weekly occurrence. There are online leagues and whatnot that have Java clients, but those players really know what they are doing and just end up destroying newbies like myself.

There is hope, however. A French developer called Focus Home Interactive is developing a PC version of the game.

Perhaps, almost 20 years later, I will have a chance to sink my teeth into this one.


DM Osbon said...

This all sounds great...I just don't find American football that great, do you think this matters?

robustyoungsoul said...

The rules are only very loosely based on American football, so I think you might still enjoy it. Looks like an actual release of the game is awhile off, but you can try out the original game with some of the free online leagues.

DM Osbon said...

I thought that maybe the that case good, I'll take a peek this weekend.