It’s November, and you know what that means, Sports Fans! It’s time for yet another Blood Bowl FAQ! Our crack team of reporters will take a look at what changes and clarifications we’re looking at this time around.
- Dan “dittka” Boyd
Dan: You love to see it, Sports Fans! Regardless of what the changes are, it’s good to see GW addressing balance and acting as good stewards of the game. With new teams springing up all over the place, I’m happy to see that they’re paying attention to what needs to change with the game.
Let’s take a look at what’s in the FAQ!
The November 2022 FAQ
- Journeymen Linemen on a team with the Low-Cost Linemen rule are clarified to NOT add to the team’s CTV.
Dan: Good! It didn’t make sense for low-cost linemen teams to have to “pay” for Journeymen when they wouldn’t have to with the regular linemen.
HardyRoach: Seems like a no-brainer, to me, but yeah good to have it in writing.
Rushing and Jumping
- A player with no MA remaining who wishes to jump over another player must Rush twice to do so. If they fail, then they Fall Over in the square they’re in rather than the target square.
Dan: An important, if rarely seen, clarification.
HardyRoach: It’s the case with Leap, so it makes sense.
Arguing the Call and Bribes
- When a player is sent off, Arguing the Call happens before Bribes, if any. Additionally, rolling a 1 for Arguing the Call will only stop the coach from using a Bribe on that send-off, not future send-offs.
Dan: I’ve been playing it like this already, so not a big change for me, personally. However, it’s good to have it codified.
HardyRoach: Yeah agreed, I feel like the rules are fairly clear that this is in the intent, even if the wording is a little vague. But it is always good to prevent rules lawyer sneakery.
- A player with Dauntless must continue with the block even if they did not roll the desired outcome on the Dauntless check.
Dan: This is why assists and positioning are important when using Dauntless. It’s also always a good idea to have the Block skill on any Dauntless players.
- A player with Animosity performs the check immediately before the Pass or Hand-Off, not at the start of their activation.
Dan: This means Animosity does NOT work like Foul Appearance when a Blitz is declared (if a player fails the Foul Appearance check on a Blitz, they cannot move and their activation ends). Chaos Renegade and Orc coaches ought to be happy to see this, as it means you can position yourself for success even if the Animosity roll fails.
HardyRoach: It feels kind of arbitrary whether rules work this way, or in the Foul Appearance way. But I like it more this way, so I’m not complaining.
Ball & Chain
- The coach of the Ball & Chain player performing the Block action gets to decide which dice to use when Blocking a member of their own team.
Dan: This is another one where I did not know we needed clarification, but hey! We got it, so that’s something. It seems intuitive to me because the only time the defending player gets to choose Block dice is in the event of an “uphill” Block, and even if the Ball & Chain player were blocking their own teammate “uphill” (which I do not think is even possible), the coach of the Ball & Chain player would get to choose the dice anyways. I guess some scummy rules-lawyer somewhere made enough of a stink with this one. If you’re reading this, scummy rules-lawyer, shame on you.
HardyRoach: Yeah dunno why this would be necessary, I guess because in the case of a Wild Animal teammate punch your opponent chooses whether to use Mighty Blow, and some may extend that logic to the entire block? Dunno. Regardless, this is good to have on paper, as I like to sometimes use Ball & Chains to reposition stunties in a relatively safe fashion.
- A player making a Throw Bomb Special action does NOT cause a Turnover if they Fumble the Bomb.
Dan: Ok! So, this is a big change! A fumbled bomb explodes in the Bombardier’s square, which would automatically knock them down. If you look on page 23 of the Blood Bowl rulebook, a player getting Knocked Down on their own turn would cause a Turnover. This seems to be a specific exemption to that rule, since the fumbled bomb explicitly causes a knockdown. This drastically increases the value of any Bombardier players on the pitch, as you won’t immediately cop a Turnover on a nat 1 to the Pass check. This makes Bombardiers a lot more useful and versatile.
Honestly, I’m not sure this is a good ruling, what with the ubiquitous nature of Star Player Bombardiers these days. Goblin and Snotling coaches should be thrilled, though, as this makes Bombers and Fungus Flingers a much more viable choice in roster-building.
HardyRoach: I might be going crazy, but I swear I saw this in an earlier FAQ, as people I’ve played against have referred to it (and I went and checked). Is this just an accidental “pink” entry, or am I misremembering?
Anyway, yeah I personally think this is a little silly, as it takes away some of the riskiness of bombardiers and makes them even more worth grabbing as stars, on top of their really low cost. It also seems to interact counter-intuitively with the rule on passes, that a natural 1 is a turnover. Having said that, it certainly makes bombardiers more fun for gobbos and snots!
Dan: Sports Fans, it has been brought to my attention that the wording to the Bombardier trait’s entry was changed in the May 2021 Errata document. The impact of an exploding bomb was changed at that point from causing a player to be Knocked Down to causing a player to be Placed Prone. Being Placed Prone only causes a turnover if the player being Placed Prone is in possession of the ball. So, this means if any friendlies, including the bomb-thrower, are Placed prone because of an exploding bomb, you will not trigger a Turnover unless on of them had possession of the ball. Whew!
Loner and Team Re-rolls
- A Team Re-roll cannot be used to re-roll a failed Loner (X+) check.
Dan: Again, I would have thought this would be obvious, since the Loner (X+) skill is explicitly designed to limit the effectiveness of re-rolls on Star Players and the like, but hey! At least it’s in writing now.
HardyRoach: I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen anyone try to do this, but yeah. It is in writing, but then again we don’t have “don’t flick your opponent’s Wardancer off the table” in writing either, and things seem to go ok.
No Hands and Interfering with a Pass
- A player with No Hands cannot interfere with a Pass and automatically force the ball to bounce from their square
Dan: Another important and somewhat surprising ruling. No more Necromantic Wraiths (the most prevalent No Hands players) attempting to deflect a Pass. This is probably something that will only have a marginal effect on most games, but it’s good to know that No Hands players cannot interact with passing when they’re defending.
HardyRoach: Yeah not a big impact overall, given there’s only a handful of No Hands players. But worth clarifying I think, as you could easily make an argument that a No Hands player should be able to deflect but not catch.
- A player with Pogo Stick does not suffer the -1 AG when attempting to Leap away from a player with Prehensile Tail.
- Furthermore, a Pogo Stick player ignores the -2 AG to Leap away from a player using the Diving Tackle skill.
Dan: Someone over at Warhammer World must be a Goblin or Snotling coach. These are good clarifications, even though the wording of Pogo Stick is pretty clear. The Goblin Pogoer has been one of the most pernicious ball-carriers and blockers (for a goblin) and these clarifications will help to cement that reputation.
HardyRoach: Let’s not forget my favourite, the Fun Hoppa. A piece that is mostly superfluous given Snots’ considerable dodging ability, but it brings me joy. Anyway, another mundane but useful clarification.
- If a player successfully uses their Regeneration skill to nullify a Casualty, the player who inflicted that Casualty still gets SPP for causing a casualty.
Dan: Again, I’ve been playing this way the whole time, but it’s good to have it written down.
HardyRoach: Yep! This is how people tend to play it, pretty universally.
Grak, Crumbleberry, and the Swift Twins
- If any of these Star Players’ Loner (4+) skills are modified to Loner (2+) because of a KO or Casualty result to their partner, if their partner returns to the game for any reason, their Loner (2+) skill remains as a 2+ instead of reverting back to a 4+.
Dan: Cool! The paired Star Players stay mad when their friends get hurt. I don’t think the Swift Twins have ever been used by anyone (I have them, and they look great in my display case), but this is a pretty nice boon to Grak in particular since Crumbleberry isn’t known for his staying power.
- Prone Norse players do not get to roll multiple times to see if they get back up if they are within range of more than 1 Beer Boar.
- If a Beer Boar stands up because of another Beer Boar, Norse players within range of the newly rejuvenated Beer Boar but not within range of the first, already standing Beer Boar, cannot test to see if they can get back up.
Dan: So, no multiple alcohol interdictions, and no chaining Pick-me-up. Makes sense.
HardyRoach: I’m in favour of adjusting any rules that encourage irritating, cherry-picking “well actually” rules lawyering, so yeah, thumbs up.
Hit and Run
- Hit and Run can be used as part of a Blitz action.
- A player with both Hit and Run and Frenzy must fully complete their Frenzy blocks before making any Hit and Run moves.
Dan: The Blood Bowl rules team got a little sassy on the first bullet point there and I’m here for it. The Blitz thing makes a ton of sense, and it’s good to have clarification on the Frenzy thing. This means that Amazon players can’t Hit and Run themselves out of a Frenzy trap, which is an important clarification, what with all these new skills.
HardyRoach: Well, at least not all Frenzy traps. They can still use Hit and Run after the second block, so if they have a safe space to move to, they can avoid it that way. But it certainly completely cuts out people trying to avoid getting within two spaces of the sideline by peacing out after the first block. Which is good, because that would have been a little silly. This way it mitigates some of the flaws of Frenzy, but not to the point of breaking it.
Estelle la Veneaux’s Baleful Hex
- A player affected by Estelle’s Baleful Hex cannot be activated at all in their next team turn.
Dan: I thought this was obvious with the way the rule was written, but I can see why some players would be confused by it, since it is a never-before-seen skill interaction that can be used to great effect.
HardyRoach: I honestly struggle to understand how you can read the rule any other way than how it’s written, but I suppose some people must have, for it to make the FAQ. Makes sense.
Petty Cash and Inducements
- The underdog team may now add gp equal to the amount that the team with the higher CTV used from their Treasury before the match to their Petty Cash.
Dan: This is easily the biggest change to the rules in this FAQ. Before, the “overdog” could spend Treasury money with impunity to buy inducements pre-game, but now all that money is added to the underdog’s Petty Cash. This goes a long, long way towards making matches more equitable and may even stop some overdogs from abusing the inducement process at all. I love this change as it makes League games more fair and competitive. This is something that Blood Bowl players have been clamoring for for years now, and I’m thrilled to see it!
HardyRoach: This was sorely needed, if only because the whole section in the rulebook is incredibly unclear and weird. Most leagues and tournaments just house-rule this themselves, but it’s good that it’s in the official rulebook.
King_Ghidra: I was really happy to see this as it hopefully means GW are aware that most people did not like the new system and had tried to address their issues with it. I also like the new proposal, but something about it and the bits of the related sections in the rulebook that were not changed mean it doesn’t quite add up. The preceding unchanged section still says that each team can spend money from treasury, which now contradicts the FAQ’ed section; so either that should be changed too, or a line got lost in the FAQ permitting the underdog to spend. If we take purely the FAQ as the new process, then underdogs are in a rough spot here with the overdog able to buy what they want and also dictate exactly how much they will give away in inducements.
The Throw Teammate Backtrack
- Now, a turnover is only caused if a thrown teammate knocks down a friendly player via landing in an occupied square.
Dan: Last Spring, Throw Teammate was surprisingly nerfed into the dirt by making it that if a thrown teammate knocks anyone down, it’s a Turnover. Blood Bowl players everywhere were nonplussed, to say the least. Now, the GW crew has backtracked and hucking Snotlings at cages is back on the menu, boys! This is a good “undo” for Blood Bowl as it will allow Stunty teams to bust cages from afar, presumably right before sending the Chainsaws in! Gobbo’s Flying Circus is back, baby!
HardyRoach: “This was widely regarded as a bad move…” Yeah the original change was completely ridiculous, taking an already risky and not that effective strategy and making it entirely useless. It was just a fun-removal rule change with no upside. Good that it’s gone.
Norse Linemen in Dungeon Bowl
- Add Thick Skull to the Skills & Traits for Norse Raider Linemen on page 33 of Spike 14.
Dan: A simple omission, corrected. Nice.
Dan: Again, someone over there in Nottingham is definitely a Goblin or Snotlings coach, because a lot of these changes and clarifications are targeted at making those two teams just a tad bit stronger. Which I think is a good thing, especially for Goblins as they rank pretty far down the list when it comes to winrates. Overall, I’m happy with this document. The change to inducements is honestly huge, and it really does a lot to make the game more fair and balanced. Great work, Blood Bowl rules team! Keep it up!
HardyRoach: This was really hard to comment on without just repeating the phrase “Good clarification, makes sense”, because 90% of the updates are just that. A lot of stuff that doesn’t necessarily need to be explicitly stated, but it’s good to do so anyway for those edge cases. As you said I think Gobbos and Snots get a little boost out of this, and the changes to inducements are generally positive (though it’s still a little confusing to work out which bits have been rewritten and which haven’t).
King_Ghidra: The FAQ is now searchable! If that was the only change they had made it would be the greatest update ever. I am generally really happy they continue to spend time doing these, though I think the ratio of genuinely valid questions to “weird interpretations that defy logic, or seem to be callbacks to deprecated rules” remains not great. It has become bloated and could do with some organisation, but making it searchable has helped on that front somewhat.
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