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Blood Bowl: Team Manager For Sale at GenCon (Plus review and talk)


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#1 SirFozzie

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Posted 04 August 2011 - 05:49 AM

 
Game is for sale: $35

 

Game says it's for 2-4 players, but can support six players:

Game comes with six teams (Humans, Dwarves, Wood Elves, Orcs, Skaven, Chaos)

Each team race has 12 "generic" players (by Generic, I mean not-named players, but named by position: For example, in my demo game, where I was the Wood Elves, it was Lineman, Thrower, Catcher, Wardancer). This forms the base of your player deck.

There are also two "Star Player" decks: One for Dwarves, Humans, Elves, the other for Orcs, Chaos and Skaven. These are stars of the game, Names Blood Bowl Fans would recognize (Griff Oberwald, Varag Ghoul Chewer, etcetera). One fun fact: Morg'th N'hth'rog appears in both decks (although only one Morgth can be out at a time)

The primary stat for each player is their star power (rated 1-3 for generics, up to 4 or more for stars). Each player has two star player ratings, one for when they're standing, one when they're knocked down.

Each player also has one or more special abilities: Some are explained on the card, others that are common are represented by symbols: The symbols are:

"POW": Allows you to attempt to tackle the opposition, hopefully knocking down their players and reducing their star power

"ARROW": Allows you to draw extra cards from your team pile.. this allows you to cycle through your team pile quicker (allowing you to use your stars and top players more often

"BALL" Allows you to get the ball (which adds to your star power when it comes time to resolve the highlight)

"SKULL" Cheating: For each Skull on a card, you draw one cheating token: Cheating tokens are placed face down on the card and only revealed when the highlight is about to be resolved: Tokens can provide bonuses to stats, additional fans... or the referee can see the cheating and eject your player!

Now, the winner of the game isn't necessarily the player who wins the most games (although winning highlights and/or tournaments does help!), but accumulates the most fans by the end of the Blood Bowl tournament:

Each week starts by issuing a week card and one highlight for each player playing (for example, if there's four players, you draw four highlights).


The Week Card is either a global modifier to that week's highlights (for example, rain has flooded the pitch) or a tournament (one of the four majors)

Each manager has six player cards in their hand for each week, and in turn plays a player on a highlight or a tournament. For highlights, you have to decide which side of the highlight to play on (Each side of the highlight has three rewards, one on each side, and the "winner's prize" in the middle). This means Highlights can only have players from two teams (one on each side), Tournaments are open to all teams.

Basically, to win a highlight you need the most star power. As each player is played, you resolve their skills (for example, if a player has the POW symbol, he can attempt to knock down an opposing player). Once all players have been played, you resolve highlights. The manager with the most star power at each highlight wins the central reward (Fans, star player picks, or coach abilities). Ties go to nobody (so you can play spoiler and deny people victories at highlights).

Tournaments are decided the same as highlights, but there are three rewards: Winner, Runner-Up, Loser: You get the Loser award if you just show up but don't finish in the top two. Runner-Up is a decent award, and of course, the Winner gets the big prize: Again, if there's a tie for the winner, no one gets it (they both are treated as runner ups

Anyway, I'll end my quick review here, although I can explain/expand on things if people want



#2 Marz

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Posted 04 August 2011 - 03:25 PM

what are the highlights of each of the races



#3 SirFozzie

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Posted 04 August 2011 - 05:17 PM

Humans - All Arounders (Do a bit of everything)

Wood Elves: Plenty of ball skills, and a few players that cycle the deck faster

Dwarves: Plenty of Tackle

Skaven: Plenty of cheating, plenty of cycling

Orcs: Lots of hitting, some ceating

Chaos: Hitting HItting Hitting and Cheating

However, there are some things that are standard amongst all races, the "Lineman" of the race are Star Power 1 which means everyone except their fellow linemen) would be rolling two dice against them (tackling is kinda like Blood Bowl, if you have more star power, you roll 2 dice and choose, equal, roll 1 die, lower star power, roll 2 die, opponent chooses). But they have the Guard skill: Basically, the Guard Skill means that if one of your players gets successfully tackled, you can have the Lineman take the hit instead

I can grab some examples of the stars if folks want.



#4 socratim

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 08:46 AM

Might I ask if you are a BloodBowl player?

 

If not, did you get any hints on how BloodBowl players like the game?



#5 SirFozzie

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 10:15 AM

Yup, long term BB player, (including a TR 800 team in the good old days of Vanilla 3rd in the OLBBL, the first Online Blood Bowl League, the precursor to FUMBBL



#6 Marz

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 02:32 PM

so what other mechanics are involved? What fkavored cards are in the set?



#7 SirFozzie

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 06:58 PM

I've described most of the game mechanics... but let's see.. what else:

 

There are two types of team upgrades, besides star players and fans. Coach picks and team upgrades.

 

Team Upgrades are generic things like Apocatheries (Possibly stand up a downed player), Wizards, etcetera. Coach Picks are specific to each race and add additional flavor and bonuses (for example, for the Wood Elves, there's a Touchdown Dance assistant, which gives you a bonus fan everytime you have the ball when a highlight is resolved.



#8 socratim

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 01:07 AM

SirFozzie said:

Yup, long term BB player, (including a TR 800 team in the good old days of Vanilla 3rd in the OLBBL, the first Online Blood Bowl League, the precursor to FUMBBL

 

And as such: Do you like the game? Would you recommend it for regular BB-players? Or what would you say is the right niche for this game? People, for who the regular game is too complicated/ long/ painting-heavy? Or for everyone since it is something completely different?



#9 Dafmetal

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 02:11 AM

 Thx for the review. Sounds like fun!



#10 SirFozzie

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 12:31 PM

I had fun playing, definitely.. It's a good compliment/starter to the Blood Bowl world (especially for places where people like to play leagues, but suffer from dropout during the season. Considering up to six players  can play a "season" of BBTM in the time  it takes for two players to play a single game of BB, it's a great way to hook people into the game without having them have to paint a team, learn the rules, etcetera.

So it's a good way to hook new players and to give existing BB a way to play a season in a night.,  etcetera

 

 



#11 Boardgamer 007

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 04:03 AM

 

Did anyone think to ask FFG if there was a chance of them releasing Blood Bowl 6.0?  I think it would be fantastic if they had the lisense for BB did a new line of figures!!



#12 SirFozzie

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 07:13 AM

BTW, if I get the box from FedEX wedensday as planned, this weekend, I'll do a full week to show everyone how the game's played, and to whet everyone's appetite ;)



#13 socratim

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 05:54 AM

 sounds like fun!



#14 Kryyst

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 08:18 AM

So played the demo at Gencon and bought the game - actually the truth is I bought the game at Gencon then played the Demo.  Then played the full game about 6 more times with about an equal mix of 2 and 4 player games. 

I'll note now - I'm a huge Blood Bowl Fan.

The basics are already covered.  I personally haven't played all the teams yet myself, but I've seen them all been played.

SirFozzie covered the gist well enough already.  But just to sum up quickly.  For simplicity if I say TM it's the Blood Bowl Team Manger game BB is traditional Blood Bowl.

You pick a race and their starting cards contain 12 players, which cover the typical BB starting team build.  So the starting players for Orc's for example come with several line men, some black orcs, some blizters, some throwers and a troll (I don't have the game at hand for an exact count).

The races in TM are built around similar concepts to how they are built in BB.  (just 3 examples)

So Orcs play slower, speed in this case relates to how fast you can cycle through your deck, But they are tough, block a lot, cheat a bit and can handle the ball. 

Wood Elves by contrast are quick (lots of deck cycling) really good at getting the ball but aren't as good at blocking and don't have as many strong players.

Skaven are kind of like Wood Elves, in that they are really fast at deck cycling, good at getting the ball, not so tough and they cheat a lot.

The other teams all have similar balances to their BB heritage.

Personally I've played Orcs x3 , Skaven x2 and Chaos.  I found that each team felt very different and each required their own strategy.  I also had to adapt different strategies depending on who I was playing.  Much like you would in BB.

You play cards from your hand to try and have the most star power on a given highlight.  Whoever has the most wins the highlight reward and whoever still has players get the side line bonuses.   If you manage to win a highlight and no other team is involved because no one chose to or you injured all their players you get all the rewards.

It's kind of a hybrid bidding/area control kind of balance.  You are committing your players, which really are your only resource to capture the highlights - which are the area's of play.  But unlike most bidding games you can actually attack other players.  I really like the strategy here and there is a very interesting shift between being able to play first in a given round or last.  Playing first gives you the first pick of choice, but last card can be as powerful if not more in the right circumstances.

There are more rules to it then Dominion for example, but it's by no mean a steep learning curve and the rule book reads well.  But I also played the game before reading the rules so I had an idea already of what was going on.  But after the fact when we ran into some situations not covered in the demo it was easy enough to find the answers in the book.  Though it is a game with a good amount of strategy and because it's extremely interactive you also have to be able to try and read the other players because their actions directly influence yours.  It's not enough to just play your cards.  A good player needs to try and think of what cards other people have played as well and still may have left to play.  Not only during the current round, but also what they may have played in the past round.  There is a good deal of choices to be made and I never found my turns to feel empty and I was definitely paying attention to what all the other players were doing, again much like BB.  The game never feels dry or like a shared game of Solitaire.

Play time once you know the rules will probably average about 20 minutes per player.  I can't say for sure as all the games I played were at Gencon and always were drawing interest from passer by's.

If you haven't gathered by now I really, really like this game.   I think there is a lot of longevity to the game and I'm hoping they expand the rest of the teams.  If you have played other deck building games before you'll notice some similarities.  But it definitely has it's own spin on the genre.  I think FFG did an amazing job of capturing the essence of Blood Bowl and creating a card game on it.  While there are similarities to a deck building game, I wouldn't call it one.  I think the difference is that in a true DBG you know what cards you are can buy and the act of building your deck is the goal.  You generally never really use that purchased deck though to do anything other then make a better deck or hinder an opponents deck.  TM differs in that while you do build up your deck you draw random cards and the meat of the game isn't in building the best deck it's in playing your deck to win the highlights.

Additionally the art is great, the component are of typical FFG quality - which is to say good to great.  Setup time is minimal the game looks good on the table and I found that both 2 and 4 player games were enjoyable.   Everyone I played with had a good time, all that had time also stayed to play at least 1 more game.  Everyone that I played with at the demo event bought it and the person demo'ing it said that pretty much was the case all day long.  Also I played with other BB fans and they all really enjoyed it as well.

This game rocks

 



#15 Sorthlador

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 08:56 AM

 I think Kryyst has a lot of great things to say that I agree with about Blood bowl. I was so happy with the game at Gen Con a friend let me buy it off him. Its not very expensive, and it really captures a lot of the feel of the original game. I've taught it to about 6 people now, (3 of them BB fans) and all of them liked it. Once your get to know all the rules, and more importantly the strategy, you find your self making sure you do you moves in the right order (JUST LIKE BB).

Thing I like the most: The way the teams play different and costumizing your team upgrades to benefit that. 

Thing I like the least: For a LONG TIME gamer I love deep games. Although this game has a lot going for it, after another 5 games (especially with people who all know how to play) I'm going to know everything about the game. (Sense the game doesn't take long.) 

Thing I'm most excited for!: Expansion, A full expansion could add SOOO many things to this game. (Besides adding more cool cards to each type of cards) Off the top of my head - Crazy new teams (UNDEAD!) more events, or ways to change whats going on, and possibly new game modes, (2 vs 2, death match, or maybe even playing one giant game instead of a bunch of match ups) 

Totally worth the money, great game, and only a little more complex then your average board game. (So your adventures but maybe not super gamer friends can play too! 


- "So Say We All" 


#16 Kryyst

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 09:06 AM

To say you'll know everything there is to know about the game is kinda like saying you grow bored of Go, Poker or Chess once you know the moves.  Granted some people do feel like that.  But this game ultimately is more about learning to play your opponents then to just simply being able to understand the cards.  There will never be one real strategy to win like you can have in a standard board game because each game will have different choices to make. - Just saying.

Also yeah looking forward to the full Race sets coming out that will add just lots more replay value.  Also it's already easy to mod I think.  Just extend the number of seasons out to say 7 or 10.  By that time your deck will be loaded with star players and team options.  A game at that level will be very different then a game played at season 5.



#17 Nero79

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Posted 11 August 2011 - 09:06 PM

Game looks great and I am willing to buy it as soon as it becomes worldwide available.

About FFG doing a new release for the BB boardgame...not going to happen. GW has strict rules for licensing and this game was the best FFG could do with the licence (no miniatures had to be involved in the game).

I really hope they will plan expansions in the future and contests also could be nice, like players proposing new variants and/or cards to add in a game after proper vote...

 



#18 Mestrahd

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Posted 12 August 2011 - 11:11 AM

Yeah, I'm going to pick up this game when it comes out. I got introduced to Blood Bowl about 15 years ago when a friend of mine brought me to a game. He had all kinds of the fully painted minis. I think he was playing Skaven at the time. I could never afford to get into the minis game, so I got the first DOS game, and the new PC game. I'm hoping the rulebook for Team Manager helps me out with the PC game a little.






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