Thursday 31 July 2014

NBBL - a Blood Bowl League Report

Back at the end of May I did something radical – I joined a Blood Bowl league! Having participated in the NAF Blood Bowl tournament in early May, I was full of enthusiasm for gaming, and sought out the Nottingham Blood Bowl League (NBBL) via the wonder of Facebook, playing at Bugman’s Bar at GW HQ.

Although the league was already several weeks in, I was allowed to join as a late starter, bringing my Dark Elf team, The Malice Troupers. The league proved to be a particularly bruising encounter for my Dark Elves; joining in part-way meant that my opponents were using more developed teams (although having cash to compensate and buy in Star Players is always nice).
The Malice Troupers ready for the season!

League Match Reports

Week 1 v Da Green Machine (Nick’s Orcs) – a brutal game where I was  beaten up, incurring 4 casualties, including a death of one of my Blitzers. Thankfully the Nick’s Orcs forgot all about the ball, leaving me with a 2-1 win.
Week 2 (Game 1) v Kill Cutter Night Raiders (Barnaby’s Vampires) – a real back and forth affair with lots of open running play, resulting in a 2-2 draw.
Week 2 (Game 2) v Woodland Rangers (James’ Wood Elves) – my luck taking the lightly armoured Wood Elves off the pitch saw me score twice in the first half. The game swung in the second half as James had better luck, but I managed a late score to snatch a 3-2 win.

Week 3 v Reikland Roughnecks (James’ Humans) – another open game played into my hands, with fragile human catchers getting turned over easily. I ended up running in a 3-0 win.

Week 4 v Norse Gods (Tom’s Norse) – a fairly quiet match that ended up with neither team really gaining dominance. 2-1 win.
Week 5 – v Borgut’s Bashas (Phil’s Orcs) – I faced the unbeaten league leader with a crazy positive TD and Cas difference. At 2-2 going into the last turns of the match, Phil had the decision of either making the ball safe and playing for a draw, or going for a high risk play and snatch the win. He chose the latter, dropped the ball in  the open, allowing me to run in an unopposed (and rather undeserved) winning score. 3-2 win.

Week 5 v TBC (Hugh’s Chaos Dwarfs) – The slow Chaos Dwarfs struggled to keep up with my fast players, and didn’t cause enough damage, resulting in a 2-0 win for the Dark Elves.
Week 6 v Silverglen Phoenix (Chris’ High Elves) – this game came down to whoever rolled the best dice. As it turns out, every time I wanted to dodge, pass, catch or pick up the ball, I was successful. Every time the High Elves tried, they failed! 3-1 win

After 6 weeks and 8 games of intensive Blood Bowl playing, I found myself at the top of the league standings. My results (7 wins and 1 draw) meant I was the only undefeated player in the league, qualifying for the play-offs. Given how rusty I was, and how late I started in the league, I was pretty happy with the results.

The Play-offs
I was drawn for the play-offs against the 4th placed league team – TBC; Hugh’s Chaos Dwarfs I had beaten a few weeks earlier. Thanks to some fortunate advancement rolls, High was now able to field an increased strength Minotaur, Bull Centaur AND Hobgoblin. In our play-off match, I was simply mauled by his team. Tackle on his Chaos Dwarfs hamstrung my movement around the pitch. High strength players meant I struggled to block. Unlike the previous game where I was able to use my speed and agility to move the ball around and keep his slow players out of the game, this time round I touched the ball only for a single turn in the entire 16 turn match!

It was a crushing blow after doing so well in the league; I failed to reach the final after suffering a brutal 0-2 defeat. Hugh tried not to gloat, but I could see he was delighted!

In the other play-off, Phil’s Orcs pummelled Barnaby’s Vampires into the ground, rocketing Phil into the final, and relegating Barnaby to a repeat match with my Dark Elves.

The Dead Rubber
After failing to reach the final, last night I played the 3rd/4th place play-off, a rematch against the Kill Cutter Night Raiders Vampire team. I scored early in the first half and then managed to bog the Vampires down for the remainder of the half and prevent an equaliser. In the second half, the Vampires steadily trudged down the right side of the pitch with the ball, as I attempted to knock down the ball carrier time and time again; failing each time. As the Vampires took Dark Elf after Dark Elf off the pitch with knockouts and injuries, eventually I was powerless to stop the equalising score at the death. I think a 1-1 draw for 3rd place was a fair result!

In the other match, Phil’s Orcs completed a pretty much unstoppable season with a 2-1 win over Hugh’s Chaos Dwarfs.
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I actually worked out that the league was the first time I had done any regular weekly gaming for around 15 years! I can’t remember the last time I played in a Blood Bowl league and it was great fun to meet new gaming friends and play some cracking games.

The Dark Elves did pretty well offensively, although I suffered with some rather inconvenient casualties and deaths. The final record was:

  • Results: Won 7 / Draw 2 / Loss 1 (win ratio 80%)
  • Touchdowns: For 21 / Against 12 (difference +9)
  • Casualties: For 15 / Against 29 (difference -14)

Over my 10 games you can see I was averaging 2 touchdowns per game, but also nearly 3 casualties per game. When you also realise that 5 out of those 29 casualties were deaths (one every other game on average), you can see that my team development was a bit stop start (note, between them Orc and Chaos Dwarf teams caused 18 of those casualties).

The next league is due to start in September – I just need to work out which team to use!


  1. Well done Sir
    Dark elves are hard to win with in any version no doubt your opponents teams were built to destroy.
    Upper chin and all that good on you.

    1. In character, it's clearly my inalienable right to win against inferior races ;)

  2. Dark Elves are perfectly suited for a short league. You had a good run into the playoffs, unlucky with the result finally. Will you play again with a different team?

    1. Yes, the next league starts in early Sept and most players are swapping round. I'm thinking of using my Slann as I've only ever played 2 games with them.