Blood Bowl Reviews – Spike Almanac 2022, Matched Play Guide, and Dungeon Bowl Death Match

Hey there sports fans! Today we have a big ol’ pile of Blood Bowl releases to talk about. Many thanks to Games Workshop for sending us advanced copies for review.

Spike! Almanac 2022

Credit: Games Workshop

This edition of Spike! Covers the Norse and Amazon issues, as well as some new & updated star players. We got King_Ghidra and Dan “Dittka” Boyd to chat about the crew!

 

Puggy Baconbreath

King_Ghidra: Puggy has always been a decent option for flings as a Blodge ST3 piece.  At 120K, and with his Special Skill giving him a free Reroll, he continues to look very solid.

Dan: Puggy is one of the best players in the game to score a throw teammate TD. He’s also a blodge piece who is priced to move. He’s never going to be the best player on the field, unless both teams are halfling teams, but he can certainly let your team achieve those all-important stretch plays.

 

Cindy Piewhistle

King_Ghidra: Oh boy.  Well, apparently GW looked at the legions of people complaining about the ubiquity of Bomber Dribblesnot in all forms of Blood Bowl and said “We get it, you want more”.  So now things are going to get really insane because, depending on the rules of your particular format, there’s a strong chance both teams could be turning up to any given game of Blood Bowl with a highly accurate and totally disposable Bomber who is quite capable of disrupting the most carefully formed cages or blasting Blodgers into their constituent parts.

This is the apex of the problems with star ubiquity that have been part of the issue with BB20 since it introduced the keyword approach.  And I’m sure some ludological soul somewhere thinks that if something is really cheap and really good then it’s best for the game if everyone has access to it.  But we are not here to play Bomb Bowl (well, not all of the time) so though I personally like the idea of Cindy, I have a terrible feeling that between her and Dribblesnot, things are about to get explosively annoying.

Dan: I guess we’ll all have to deal with cheap bombs now. At least you can intercept this player’s bombs without immediately regretting it. Bomber needs a price increase, but another 50k gp bombardier makes me think it isn’t likely. Not gonna lie, I’m not thrilled about Cindy Piewhistle!

 

Dribl & Drull

King_Ghidra: Lizardmen don’t really need more Skinks.  The best Lizard stars are those that help shore up the team when they’re missing a key Saurus or Krox.  But, just looking at Dribl & Drill in the abstract, 190k for two Skinks who would cost well over 200k to build with the same skillset is very good value by the standards of Star Players.  And their singular focus on fouling and stabbing is both fun and potentially useful.  I do struggle to see the scenario where a Lizard coach has c.200k to spend and where this is the best option though.

Dan: Lizards are in a weird place where almost all of their team’s needs are met at all times. The use case for Drible and Drull would be, I imagine, when a Lizardmen coach is playing a low-AV team. But the issue with that is that with 6 Saurus Blockers and a Kroxigor, do you really need a foul/stab combo for almost 200k? I would posit that no, you do not! Additionally, I don’t see these two ever getting taken before Boa or Estelle who are much more versatile Stars.

 

Bilerot Vomitflesh

King_Ghidra: As a once-owner of the original Bilerot back in the late 80’s I have a soft spot for this disgusting putrid sickbag.   As a 180K ST5 Bloater I think he represents a well-priced option for Nurgle teams that can easily step in and enhance their gameplan.  HIs Special Ability and Dirty Player skill are both pretty meh, but his base kit and stats are all really solid.

Dan: I guess Bilerot is a cheap big guy with no negatrait, but if you’re going to spend as a Nurgle player, why not just get Lord Borak? Someone’s going to have to sell me on this guy, as I don’t really get why you’d want to take him.

 

Ripper Bolgrot

King_Ghidra: Few of the Stars who were sent to the Phantom Zone on BB20 release have had their return as eagerly awaited as Ripper.  250K for ST6/MB/Grab, and no Really Stupid or  Always Hungry is great value, whether you want him as a roadblock/hitter or as a much more reliable Throw Team-Mate option.  Ripper is absolutely going to find his way into numerous Tournament builds with immediate effect.

Dan: Hell yeah, Ripper’s back! One of my favorite combos of classic Blood Bowl is the Ripper/Morg goblin team. It’s extremely pricey, but hoo boy can it lay down the hurt! Ripper is one of the best Stars in the game, and I’m extremely pleased to see him back on the pitch. I wouldn’t be surprised to see that he’s given the “megastar” label like Morg, Griff, and Hakflem, since everyone and their brother will be using him.

 

Nobbla Blackwart

King_Ghidra:  It’s a Chainsaw with Blodge, and Blodge is always good, right?  But that comes with a price, and while 120k isn’t huge in the grand scheme of things, when Fungus the Loon and Bomber Dribblesnot cost 130k together, it starts to look less good.  Certainly it’ll be harder to remove him from the field, but he’s still only ST2, and finding a Pow on two or three dice is not hard.  Sawing and fouling in the same turn sounds great, but how often you will get to do it I don’t know.  Like any chainsaw, he will have his day where he unstoppably shreds opponents.  I think he will find many more where he expensively flames out or gets sent off with little impact.

Dan: Counterpoint – combining Chainsaw and Dodge is the best way to use that type of player. Yes, he’s almost expensive as both Bomber and Fungus, but Fungus sucks, so I don’t really think that’s a good comparison. He’s able to strike wherever he’s needed, which is something you can’t say about other chainsaw players. I think that if you’re going to use a Chainsaw player, Nobbla is your best bet.

 

Scrappa Sorehead

King_Ghidra:  Scrappa exists as a useful option for Goblin teams who have their own Pogo missing for a given game.  I can’t imagine any other scenario in which anyone would take him given their other options.

Dan: Yet another counterpoint! Scrappa has MA7, Sprint, and Sure Feet, which functionally means he has MA10. Combined with his other skills, he’s one of the best stretch play candidates in the entire game! On top of that he can shut down the opponent’s passing game, if they have one, all by himself. I would argue that for a team like Orcs or Black Orcs, Scrappa gives them a completely new dimension to their offensive capabilities. A Goblin team might no longer be the best landing point for Scrappa, but that doesn’t mean he’s useless.

 

Withergrasp Doubledrool

King_Ghidra: Withergasp is another cool and disgusting Star from the original 80’s Star Player book.  When he came back in BB16 it was as a good value all-rounder, and he has mostly returned the same again, with one exception, which is that he has had an AG nerf.  This is a real shame, because he was a really effective ball-carrier and mobile deepfield tackler, and now he has taken a hit to both of those roles.  Now his mutations only get him to adequacy in those elements instead of excellency, and though his Wrestle/Tackle combo and cheapish 170k price tag still make him interesting, I think Chaos players will prefer to reach a little higher to get something really good..

Dan: I think Withergrasp gives great value for what he is. Sucks that he is only at AG4+, but he can still be an excellent safety and is great at marking the opponent’s dodgers. He’s certainly not a game-breaker, but I can see him doing yeoman’s work in League play.

 

Blood Bowl Matched Play Guide

Fowler: This is a lean, 32 page book that covers the basics of running (and playing) Blood Bowl Tournaments – from the code of conduct to tournament styles, to tiebreakers. As a complete noob to the realspace Blood Bowl world, this is a nice resource to have! We don’t have a ton to say here but it’s good that it exists.

Dan: I like that GW is going to the effort to codify organized play for Blood Bowl. I get that the NAF and independent TOs have been doing this work for decades, but perhaps it means that GW will be more supportive and proactive about organized Blood Bowl in the future! It’s nice to feel hopeful, I guess.

Also, one of the awards they made up is called “Dirty Dan’s Filthiest Git” and that’s just pure fun.

 

Dungeon Bowl: Death Match

Credit: Games Workshop

Corrode: Death Match is an expansion for last year’s Dungeon Bowl release; if you don’t recall that, it’s the version of Blood Bowl that’s played in tight underground corridors, themed around the Colleges of Magic putting together teams that cross-cut the “standard” ones – in the case of the two included in this box, bringing together Wood Elves and Halflings or Undead and Necromantic to represent the Colleges of Life and Death respectively. It is, somehow, more anarchic than Blood Bowl already is, with magic spells galore and a three-ball version which can upset the best-laid plans as passes and tackles fly around from all angles.

Part of the feel of the game is the themed tiles that make up your dungeon; each has some kind of special rule that adds to the chaos. Death Match exists to add more of those, with 14 new sets of tile rules split between Life and Death. That is basically it; the “rules” part of the rulebook included here sets out what the tiles do, and includes some fluff about Dungeon Bowl, and that’s pretty much that.

I’m going to be honest here. I don’t know who this is for. I am wholly unaware of any great constituency of Dungeon Bowl fanatics out there who were desperate for more of it, and specifically wanted more tiles with wacky abilities to remember. Perhaps that’s ignorance speaking, and I can’t say I’m especially plugged in to the Blood Bowl community; maybe Dungeon Bowl is what they’re all playing and the only thing holding them back from playing even more was a new set of tiles to add to the game. If that’s the case and you’re all going to rush out and pre-order this the moment it goes live on the webstore, then great for you, I’m happy to be wrong, but I don’t see it. The best I can think of is that if you are very keen on Dungeon Bowl but didn’t want to buy two full teams to be able to run one of these two College teams, well, now you can buy this set and get them more efficiently (though given the likely cost of the box you probably need to really want both of them and unaccountably have no interest in ever playing the full-fat versions in regular Blood Bowl). Sometimes, Games Workshop moves in mysterious ways; this one is more mysterious than most.

Fowler: Since we are already talking niche – if you happen to play Blitz Bowl, this box is a Treeman away from being four teams. The Crush! Podcast has mentioned a Dungeon Blitz homebrew, so maybe this is the perfect box to snag for it?

Whew! That’s a lot of fantasy football to cover in one go! We’re psyched to see Blood Bowl continue to get lots of support, even if some of it feels a bit obscure. As always, if you have any questions or suggestions, drop us a line at Contact@Goonhammer.com.