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on July 9, 2012
I have never played Blood Bowl, the classic board game from Games Workshop, but I've always wanted to. I've read and heard countless times that Blood Bowl is the best game GW ever produced, and playing in a tournament league always sounded like the most fun that could be had in the miniature hobby by the way people talked about it. Anxious to try to game, I picked up Blood Bowl Legendary Edition PC game when it was recently on sale.

The PC game plays exactly as the board game, and is simply a digital adaptation. Blood Bowl is a turn-based strategy game inspired by American Football and the Warhammer Fantasy universe (I've still yet to figure out if Blood Bowl takes place within the Warhammer setting or is an in-house parody of it). The objective of the game is to score as many touchdowns as possible, playing through 8-turn halves. Teams usually consist of a handful of different positions, a combination of muscle and speed. The Legendary Edition includes nearly all of the playable races featured in the board game, notably excluding Chaos Dwarfs. Because the computer does the calculations and dice rolls, the digital Blood Bowl allows players to focus more on strategy, anticipating opponent movements and preparing your own offensive and defensive tactics, as opposed to additionally cycling through charts or chucking dice. Blood Bowl also includes a real-time mode (which I believe is called "Blitz")--but its not what you might expect. Rather than being like Madden with fantasy characters, real-time is essentially a real-time tactics mode in which everyone is constantly in motion. It's barely playable, very difficult, and feels like it was tacked on simply as an advertising scheme.

The game is extremely difficult. Part of this is due to its randomness, and part of it is due to Cyanide's poor ability to scale difficulty. Playing on the easiest setting, those new to Blood Bowl are likely to be clobbered many, many times. There's no real guidance, very little in the way of helping anyone new to getting started in the game. There's a brief tutorial which teaches you the basic rules, but nothing guiding you in a real game. No hints or suggestions. No guide helping you choose your first team. That would be perfectly fine and dandy, if I was coming to Blood Bowl PC as a Blood Bowl board game veteran. Blood Bowl is a very random game, and your ability to win or lose the game may be disrupted and ruined by a dice roll. This can get tedious, frustrating, and annoying. It's especially upsetting to see your player trip over nothing or fail to pick up the ball in the open to due a poor dice roll. Much of the game quickly grows very repetitive, in a bad way--the commentators, Jim and Bob, quickly run out of new things to say. The controls are very simple, point and click. The graphics are decent, nothing great, but I personally was impressed with the soundtrack. The teams are in no way balanced--and I don't think they were ever intended to be. In the board game, I believe several teams were made intentionally worse to challenge veterans, or just to provide a "fun" team. But again, nothing in the game tells you that (in most games, balance is one of the major goals for playability). I made the mistake of starting with Ogres; I then went through Orcs, Dwarfs, Elfs, High Elfs, and finally settled on Humans to get consistent wins. I'm not very good at Blood Bowl--at all, really--but it feels like the game never gave me a chance to be.

As long as the drive to win remains high, the game remains pretty dang fun. As I started winning with my Human team, the desire to keep playing diminished quickly. The "fun" aspect I'd heard about so much in the board game does not translate well into the digital adaptation. Countless forums go on about how fun it is to play as Halflings or Goblins, even when you lose, in the board game--but in this digital game, if you're not winning, it really is hard to have much fun, in my personal opinion. This digital game showcases the gameplay, and I might have to disagree with the assertion that Blood Bowl is the best game GW has ever produced, based on the gameplay alone. But I can see that with the right players, one could possibly have more fun with Blood Bowl, the board game, than any other GW game. I'm not sure if I can recommend the PC game as anything other than a way to learn the rules or practice the game in preparation for playing the board game.
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on November 11, 2010
This game allows you to play a deadly version of rugby with a variety of mythical creatures common to "Tolkein" novels as well as more gothic horror creatures like vampires, mummies, skeletons, and wights. Every race has different strengths and weaknesses which creates variety to each match and insures replayability. Half the challenge of the game is scoring touchdowns on the pitch, while the other is managing your player roster and using your treasury to purchase gear, star players, and dirty tricks to give yourself a game winning advantage. This is the sequel to the first Blood Bowl video game and has nearly twice as many fantasy races available for teams. Blood Bowl works best as a turn based tactical board game, is not a NFL football simulator. It's tons of fun with a current-gen PC, but takes about 40 to 60 minutes to complete a match. It can be played against a decent AI opponent or online with a decent internet connection against a fellow human (for free, yea!).
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on November 4, 2011
I had known about the board game long before this game came out for the PC. I even had the old DOS based version of this game that came out some 15 year ago.

That did not prepare me for the sheer fun of this game. The original story had some dwarves and orcs stumbling on a stadium and finding some old footballers equipment. Thanks to a wise dwarf who managed to decipher an old "Nuffle" NFL) rule book and who declared that this stadium was used for some kind of religious ceremony for the high priest Roz-el. The orcs and dwarves decided to try a football game, only with some very modified rules.

The game itself plays more like rugby than football with a fast paced feel as both teams bash each other attempting to carry the ball into the end zone. The original rules are turn based, and the programmers have one version that holds true to those rules. For those wanting even more of a challenge, there is real-time play as well.

The graphics are solid, and although the voiceovers do become very repetitive, they are quite amusing at first. A lot of well considered effort went into making this game fun and challenging. It definitely delivers on that promise.
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on April 12, 2013
I'm biased. There's a nostalgia factor involved here that simply cannot be impressed upon those who never played the board game. This edition includes some of the more oddball races but it's still great fun. Irreverent sports commentators, semi-adult jokes, just plain bad humor with some good mixed in? Again, just great fun and tremendous replay value.
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on May 6, 2013
Love Bloodbowl, your American style football played by fantasy races violent/supernatural game. Very replay-able and fun game.

But you'd think after somewhere around half a dozen iteration/expansions of the game they'd fix some of the bugs/software glitches. The two most annoying are: When trying to save a 'formation' the game can leave a player off the field (without you doing so) that then gets randomly placed back on the field (annoying) because you can't place them from the sideline as you should be able to (annoying) even though it forgets to. The worst part about that is you really can't fix it once it's happened to a team until an undetermined amount of time (it fixed itself after either a full season had elapsed or I had to replace enough players that it corrected itself somehow). The other issue is the game simply crashes once in a while, maybe once every 3-4 games. So, save often if you want to avoid that becoming OVERLY annoying.
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on July 10, 2011
Great upgrade over the 'standard edition' or the 'dark elves edition'. The upgraded rule set and additional rules really make the game much more fun. I highly recommend this game if your on the fence. There is a learning curve and its not as intuitive as just sitting and playing. But once you get the hang of things, its really alot of fun.
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on October 6, 2012
Although the game still does not compete with the board game (this may partially relate to nostalgia and camaraderie from playing the board game growing up), the legendary version makes great improvements. I particularly enjoyed the story mode which sets up scenarios you must complete. This forces novice players to work all facets of the game, even those they may not be used to.

Of course the different races allowed brings the game closer to the board game. I enjoy playing teams I hadn't had a chance to play before.

The game may not be for everyone, but those that liked the original, or those that enjoy turn based strategy games, or those that enjoy a bit of gore in their games, will enjoy this one.
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on May 11, 2013
Blood Bowl is a very difficult game to get into. I failed the first dozen games while trying to figure out how it worked. The tutorial does a very poor job of instructing you how the different aspects of the game work, like tackle zones. I learned the game by trial and error essentially. If you are able to purchase it at a good price and do not mind a steep learning curve, it might be a game to try. The multiplayer is much stronger if you have friends to play against; as a single player game, it may not be worth your time.
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VINE VOICEon June 20, 2013
If you know about the tabletop game, then Blood Bowl is as familiar as Monopoly. Football where you're supposed to crush, mutilate, and kill the other team, and if you have some players left on the pitch that're standing, score a touchdown.

The previous incarnation was rather bland and full of bugs. Legendary Edition has been seriously revamped. While I wish they'd recorded more dialogue (after 20 minutes per team, you will have heard it all), the bugs are basically gone, the graphics have improved, and a lot of the minutae has improved, including a whole new version, Blitz, which adds more options such as potions, poisons, and sports marketing for Bloodweiser or Undidas. The game play is still vicious, and you can easily be punished by a misstep, but thats what the game teaches: rely on your players, but you are by far not invincible. Saving has dramatically improved, and you can pause without the turn clock continuing to run down.

The number of additional teams is impressive. I've been trying to get some mutations to verify, but I've been told that mutations now show up on players, so you can see they've grown a third arm or have an evil aura. The number of teams is also a tremendous improvement, so that it doesn't feel like you're playing either Orcs or Humans over and over.

Overall, you'll either love this or hate this from the start. Those who love it will like the challenge, the brutality, and that vicious, Joker-like grin you'll get when you surround a downed enemy player with seven guys and foul him so that he's probably killed outright. Those who hate it will whine that you can't save before every turn, and that it's hard, and you can lose your best, most valuable player by him tripping over his feet. So its basically Dark Souls: Football.
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on February 13, 2014
The title sums up most of the game. It is what it is.

This is the 2010 PC video game version of the table top game. Blood Bowl-Chaos Edition was released in 2012 and has a few more teams.

I bought and downloaded the game 2/3/2014. The download and install went okay. However, I recommend writing down the access codes that are displayed after downloading, because you will need them at least 2 times to install and play the game.

The first hour of play was frustrating because the game kept freezing. This was remedied after downloading several patches and updates for the game. The final version is blood bowl patch 2.0.2.2 (put that in your favorite search engine and update accordinely to avoid the freeze game frustration). After the update, the game has not frozen once.

The game play is okay. During AI controlled matches, the PC opponents seem to always have the advantage with having a higher team value, getting better "dice" rolls, not having fouls called on them, etc. Not a deal beaker, but it's something to be aware of.
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