The nature of any competitive sport is that some teams will rise above their peers to claim the glory and prizes on offer; while some will fall short, underachieve, or find themselves stomped into the dirt. Blood Bowl history has turned up some teams who took failure to its most extreme depths, with a combination of consistency and ineptitude that has etched their names into legend. In this article we’re going to look at the very worst of the worst.
The Dark Mountain Spiders
Spiders are not a common sight on the Astrogranite, and this team from the Dark Mountain is an excellent case study why. Founded by Spider King Clakkaltaulak after the discovery of a huge vein of gold in their mountain lair, the King signed all able-bodied arachnids in the Kingdom to the team; some 900 players! As the NAF fact book reports, things went quickly downhill for the spiders:
“The Spiders weren’t a great success, despite their size. Even with eight limbs, they never mastered the throwing game, and their predictable ‘scuttle’ attack was quickly found wanting against the Warhammerers’ ‘steam-roller’ tactics. By the time the team was abandoned in 2342, there were only eight players left.”
Another rare race, this Gnome team found itself in the giddy heights of the NAF Central division in the 2479 season. They quickly established why their kind had not taken up the sport by losing all of their first thirty-four games, and disbanded for good after their second season.
The Dragon Princes
Most of the teams on our list are composed of those who play the game very badly, but this entrant deserves a mention for failing to play altogether. The Dragon Princes were composed of High Elven Princes and Lords, and refused to play any opponents who were not of similar noble rank. After five seasons of failing to find any suitable opponent they disbanded without having played a single game.
Halflings have produced some of the truly great, truly terrible Blood Bowl teams, and it was simply impossible to omit any of these superb failures.
The Stunted Stoutfellows
On the one hand, the Stoutfellows are overachievers in the world of Halfling Blood Bowl, being one of only two such teams ever to score against the Chaos All-Stars. Sadly this feat was accomplished in a game in which the All-Stars didn’t even arrive at the match until half time, and at this point the Stoutfellows were still 2-1 down!
The Greenfield Grasshuggers
Casualties are a fact of life for Haflling teams, but sometimes their determination in the face of adversity can be taken too far. In 2482 the Grasshuggers faced an Asgard Ravens team composed of some of the most bloodthirsty Berserkers that had ever taken the pitch. Halfling after Halfling was killed and maimed, but Grasshuggers boss Omo Snuffsniffer continued to substitute players from the Garsshuggers’ huge and willing squad. 734 casualties later and not only were the Haflings forced to admit defeat, the NAF stepped in to prevent such a horrific spectacle from ever occurring again, introducing the 16-player roster limit we all know today.
The Marienburg Fishers
The Fishers achieved the dubious honour of being a disappointment both to the wider world of Blood Bowl and their own kind. On the field, the Fishers lost 150 of their 159 games, with 94 players killed and a staggering 1396 injured during that time. But such was the Halflings’ plucky enthusiasm for Blood Bowl that they kept coming back for more.
But even Halflings have their limits, and the final straw for the team came during a match against the Chaos All-Stars when it was discovered there were no half-time oranges in the team dugout, causing the entire squad to quit on the spot.
The Lowdown Rats and The Scarcrag Snivellers
Two of the most (in)famous Goblin teams and hard to separate in their consistent failure, these teams epitomise the potent combination of miserable infrastructure and abysmal execution. Their records speak for themselves, with the Snivellers going 2-14 in the 2487-88 season, and the Rats outdoing them 1-15, while racking up a combined 90 Touchdowns conceded.
The Rats stadium is one of the more unorthodox in the world of Blood Bowl, consisting of a number of large rafts roped together directly over the Ubrovnia swamp. Incidents involving marsh-gas-filled balls and attacks from mega-gators have endlessly plagued matches there. Watching the Snivellers, meanwhile, is at least one of the cheapest ways to see Blood Bowl, with three chickens and a bag of rats buying you lifetime free entry!
The Rats have made a good case to be the worst of these two, with such notable failures as losing a game to the Asgard Ravens cheerleaders on their record. Even players trying to leave their sinking raft/ship have found disaster; when ‘Handy’ Slit-Sides, the Rats star Catcher, managed to arrange a transfer to the Darkside Cowboys, he was mistaken for their new team mascot and ritually sacrificed before their next game.
Not to be outdone, the Snivellers once kidnapped the Rats coach to try and learn their secret plays. After holding out obdurately for months, the Snivellers were eventually forced to let him go, only to discover he had stolen all of their secret plays!
The Hobgoblin Team
As we have seen above, it is not rare for Blood Bowl teams to be bad on the field, poorly managed off of it, or unlucky. But the Hobgoblin Team take the crown of worst of the worst for their exemplary combination of all three.
The team’s name was thought up by the players themselves, (apparently despite the fact that half the team were not even Hobgoblins at that point), while their logo was no more than a “hastily-scrawled X”.
Their team stadium has also had a storied history of its own. The first one fell over. The second one caught fire. The third one caught fire and then fell over. When it was rebuilt for the third time, it collapsed again after an excessive celebration by the Oldheim Ogres cheerleaders.
An early mention of the Hobgoblin Team in a Did You Know? quickly established their playing level:
Skurfrik Stone-Sucker, Running Back for the imaginatively named Hobgoblin Team, often turns up for a match several days before match day. Well, it takes him that long to tie up his boot laces!
But even Skrufrik’s incompetence was surpassed by his team-mate Div Scumstuck, who was voted the Worst Player Of All Time by readers of Spike! Magazine. Sadly Scumstuck’s achievements to earn this title have been lost to history.
In the only surviving documented season of Hobgoblin Team play, they lost all 16 games by a combined score of 3-48. Nevertheless, despite all of their miserable attempts at playing the game, the Hobgoblin Team’s extreme commitment to the art of the punch-up led to their receiving more sendings-off and causing more matches to be abandoned than any other team ever, which meant it attracted more diehard fans than any other team ever too.
So perhaps, in true Blood Bowl spirit, our worst team are really our best team. Sadly, since the Chaos Dwarves emerged as a Blood Bowl force in their own right, the Hobgoblin Team has disappeared, and we must assume its members (and fans!) were subsumed into servitude amongst their grim empire.
One of the joys of Blood Bowl is that for every team that fails, collapses, or is totally destroyed, another soon rises. And with more races playing Blood Bowl than ever before we have some new worst team contenders, such as the Snotling team the Devastating Doomspire Death-Dealers, whose attempt to step up from their stunty-only league into the minor leagues was met with a reminder of their true level to the tune of 26 dead Snotling players and fans.
The Underworld Denizens side the Green Destroyers are another fine candidate, suffering an abrupt end to the team’s existence when it was discovered that many of the players were actually actors hired to add excitement to the team’s behind-the-scenes Cabalvision reality show.
It’s great to know that the truly creative self-destructive spirit that is the hallmark of Blood Bowl remains alive and kicking (itself)!
We hope you’ve enjoyed this journey into the archives of ineptitude. If you have any comments, questions, or are an enraged fan of one of the above teams, email us at Contact@Goonhammer.com