Howdy Sports Fans! Christmas came early for Blood Bowl fans: we’ve got our first FAQ about one month after the release of the new edition! This is great, because many of you veteran Sports Fans can count the years between Blood Bowl FAQs! For this hot take, Dan and Kenji are going to dive in and take a look at all the important changes!
The Big Stuff
Teams can use multiple re-rolls per turn.
Kenji: I think this change is big, but also positive. I’m not sold that the idea that players can just chuck constant re-rolls per turn is a negative to the Blood Bowl experience, especially since re-rolls are innately finite. A team with 3 re-rolls is not going to suddenly change how they play, but I think teams with MANY re-rolls, like Goblins, Halflings, Ogres, and Snotlings may actually find this as a beneficial way to kind of stay in the game. Stunty teams rely on multiple-step, multiple-activation plays to get anything accomplished, and blowing your re-roll for the turn on something like a dodge means that your entire gameplan may derail. I think this loosens up the game a bit for some teams that rely on crazier plays, and maybe makes those Go For It rolls a little bit more tempting. But for teams that generally have low re-rolls available and use innate skills to build around, I doubt this matters much to them. Imagine blowing all your re-rolls for an entire half in a single pass activation sequence, then dying on the GFI. I love that!
Dan: Yeah, I don’t hate this. A team is only ever going to score one TD on a turn in which they use multiple re-rolls, so it’s not exactly broken. It also gives a team a reason to stack re-rolls, which is good for those higher-TV teams.
Kenji: Also, I don’t buy the argument that this cheapens the game or makes new players play badly or something I’ve seen floated. If your new player buddy wants to blow 6 re-rolls in 2 activations on their Snotlings, well, let them. Blood Bowl is about learning, and sometimes you gotta learn not to put your finger in the socket.
Dan: Well said!
No re-rolls during a Blitz! on the kickoff event table.
Kenji: I always disliked the free kickoff Blitz, but not as much as I disliked Throw a Rock, so I’m a little ambivalent on this. I think it makes the “free” Blitz more dangerous, but I also think it cuts down on sloppy play by assuming you can just remove a big piece from the field for free, and generally screw up the offense’s turn. I like BB to be kind of chaotic, but this usually felt fairly unfair, and I think it’s a good change by adding some higher risk to the blitzing kicking team.
Dan: Well, Kenji, Blitz did get a little less harsh than it used to be with only allowing for d3+3 players activating. With my incredible 1 game of BB20 played so far (thanks, COVID!), I managed to pull off a Blitz and it was far less punishing than it used to be. I like the idea of risking it for the biscuit, so I’m all about this change.
Kenji: Then that makes more sense to me, carry on.
Sneaky Git no longer makes the git impossible to send off.
Dan: Y’all get ready for something stupid. On page 75 of the Blood Bowl rulebook, the Sneaky Git entry states that a player with Sneaky Git is “not Sent-off for committing a Foul should they roll a natural double on the Armour roll”. Pretty straightforward, right? Well, in this FAQ it says:
What is this shit? The rule says one thing, and the FAQ directly countermands it. Did they mean that it works like it used to in that a git was only sent off if the attempt was successful and they rolled doubles? As of this ruling, Sneaky Git allows a player to finish its move after performing a Foul action and that’s it. Suddenly, Sneaky Git is just about one of the most useless skills in the game and that suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuucks.
Kenji: I am of two minds on this one. I think the implication is that you first have to pass the armor roll, and THEN the injury roll. If your Sneaky Git rolls doubles on armor, you’re safe; if you roll doubles on injury, off you go, but… You likely aren’t trading your less valuable player for their high value player. Fouls were always a somewhat easy way to do that (easy being relative), and having no drawback at all to it seems oddly unfair to Blood Bowl itself; however, on doubles with 2d6 this means you do have 3 outcomes where this loses you a player and only stuns the opposing player, 1 for a KO, and 2 for a Casualty, meaning that if you do roll doubles, you’re at a 60/40 chance of just having your player ejected from the game and your opponent’s piece getting back up next turn. That sucks.
Animal Savagery takes yet another hit.
Dan: So, the skinny here is that when a player with Animal Savagery knocks any teammates down, the opposing coach gets to choose if they use any skills like Claws, Piledriver, Mighty Blow, or whatever. Just another nail in the coffin for Rat Ogres and Vampires.
Kenji: Someone at GW really hates Vampires, I guess. This makes sense since applying Claws/Mighty Blow are choices now, and since your opponent makes the roll for you, it makes sense that they can apply it here.
The “Huh. Ok.” Stuff
A player with the Brawler skill cannot use a re-roll to re-roll the pool of block dice if they don’t like what they see after they’ve used their Brawer skill.
Kenji: This makes sense to me, because you can’t re-roll a re-roll. However, correct me if I’m wrong but you couldn’t do this anyway with skills like Dodge, so this doesn’t seem like a change, and more just bringing it in line with other re-roll skills, right?
Dan: Yup. Brawler is still really good, though (but not as good as Block!).
If a player with a 1+ PA stat throws a pass that, after modifiers, ends up as a 1, it is an accurate pass.
Kenji: I like this. I think the actual rule correction here is to relegate the pass to not just be auto-fumbled thanks to the 1+; more importantly, I think this can make passing by teams that traditionally want to or like to pass more of an option, as even a Long Bomb at -3 can still be an accurate pass now. This one might be controversial but on the surface I like it.
Dan: It took me like 5 minutes to parse this question. When I was done, and after a short nap, I realized that this is fine, and lets there be a reason for a 1+ passer. Cool.
Kenji: Especially considering “Thrower” players are 3 PA with Pass (Except for Elves who are 2 PA and Pass), this really helps make Long Bombs more realistic; before they’d just go to 0 and why bother throwing the ball at that point.
Passing tests that result in a number less than 1, but aren’t a natural 1, count as wildly inaccurate.
Kenji: Further, I like that this doesn’t make passing into auto-fumbles, which would just be no fun. I assume this, and the above rule, is to avoid having it read that players simply fumble the ball instead. Since it seems like GW wants to make passing a thing, then this at least feels like trying to make it something you’d want to try doing.
Passes that end up scattering out of bounds can still be interfered with.
Kenji: Again, good change in line with making passing this game changing action. Oops, you thought your throw went “safely” out of bounds? Well, actually, it got intercepted, but then fumbled, and bounced over three players to end up next to your goal, where a waiting player fails to pick it up. Or something equally silly. Anyway, more seriously, just a good clarification that keeps player agency in mind.
Players with a PA of ‘-’ who roll an improvement to their PA improve it to a 6+.
Kenji: Y’all are NOT ready for my passing mummies.
Dan: Hell yeah we are! Tell those Ghouls to bust out the pine tar because these passes are coming in HOT (and a little dusty)!
Kenji: I really do like the sort of “well fine” tone GW struck on this answer. “Ok fine, ruin your player then, what do we care”.
The Stuff we think is pretty obvious, so we’re not really going to comment on it that much.
Inducements add to a team’s CTV.
Kenji: Huh. Ok so hear me out on this one: I don’t know if I actually like this. Maybe it is based on the places I usually play, but usually a team that spends heavily on Inducements gets some bonus cash due to wildly different initial TV (so basically your Halflings don’t get immediately creamed by a High TV Chaos team or something). But with this, it’s theoretically possible your Halflings, spending wildly on Inducements, end up… Higher TV than the Chaos team, who then get to be “underdogs” and roll on the Prayers to Nuffle table for every 50k difference, and some of these are pretty good. Maybe this is a niche case gripe, though.
Dan: Maybe I should have named this section, “The Stuff Dan thinks is pretty obvious”.
The winner of the coin toss may choose to kick or receive.
Kenji: I mean I guess. That’s just how it was, although I think it still being somewhat random was kind of interesting. Oh well.
Dan: This is like how it is in real sports, and that is a good thing. Strategic play ought to be rewarded.
A defender Knocked Down during a Blitz! on the Kickoff Event table does not end the blitz.
Kenji: I don’t know what this means. Do they mean that if the Kicking Player, who is Defending, knocks down a player on the Receiving Team, who is on Offense, then the blitz doesn’t end? Why would it? Blitzes don’t end unless you Skull or Both Down your piece, or your player is out of legal moves/GFI opportunities. I feel like this didn’t need to be clarified?
Dan: Not everyone’s as perceptive as you, Kenji.
Coaches can choose to activate their players and move them zero squares, otherwise known as not activating all of their players.
Kenji: Really, this just feels like clarifying stuff so people don’t argue about rules for an hour over a game that already overstays its welcome sometimes.
Dan: I thought this was extremely obvious, and I wish I was there to witness two coaches melting down about not activating players.
Passes can be made to adjacent friendly players.
Kenji: I was going to make a glib comment about “yes, it’s called a hand-off,” but I guess the idea is that you technically could throw the ball to a person standing next to you? You’re still taking a risk, as Passing is far more complicated.
Dan: I think this one is so that teams who have already done their one Hand-off per turn can continue to move the ball around.
Kenji: Yeah, these notes make me more confident that GW (or their BB team) really want this game to be somewhat dynamic about ball movement, which I like.
The target of a Blitz must be nominated before the blitzing player is moved.
Kenji: This one’s a little weird; I thought it was like this anyway? My assumption is that this change is due to the Dump-Off clarification, I don’t know if I ever changed my mind mid-blitz. Also, you don’t HAVE to do anything, so even if you nominate a target, you can just…not throw the blitz at them after moving.
Dan: I thought this was already a rule. I’ve been doing it like this for 20 years.
A player can only use the Diving Tackle skill once per attempt.
Kenji: I… ok? What kind of games are GW playtesters running?
The Dump-Off skill is triggered when the dumper (ew) is chosen as the target of a Blitz action.
Kenji: More seriously, I do like this one and I feel like it’s the reason for the above change. The way it worked before, the target would have to pass after being Blitzed, meaning they’d be throwing at a disadvantage due to the Blitzer adding their Tacklezone. This feels like a more fair change, but now my question is… if you declare a Blitz, they throw the ball, and you move to the catcher, that’s still legal, right? You named the target of the Block action part of the Blitz, but you just didn’t get there.
Dan: Sounds good to me. There’s nothing in there that says you have to carry out a Blitz after you’ve declared it.
Brawler can be used when the brawler has an assist.
Kenji: Did this really need clarification?
A player with Hypnotic Gaze and Animal Savagery (a Vampire) does not get a +2 on their Animal Savagery test to perform the Hypnotic Gaze.
Kenji: Is the BB rules writer named Van Helsing?
Grab is not a compulsory skill.
Failing a Chainsaw or Projectile Vomit test doesn’t cause a turnover.
Griff Oberwald’s special rule cannot force the other coach to re-roll dice.
Armor Values don’t get better when a player suffers a head injury, dummies.
Dan: These are all fine, and in many cases, good!
That’s it, Sports Fans! If you have any questions or concerns regard this FAQ or anything else that is loosely Blood Bowl-related, feel free to drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for reading, and we’ll see you on the field!