Monday, September 12, 2011

Getting started with Blood Bowl... on a budget

A comment from Sean in my previous post made me think I should write something about how to get started in Blood Bowl without spending too much.

Now I am no expert in this, but I think being a bit of an amateur here may actually mean my recommendations are not that unachievable - sure you set-up won't win any awards, but at least you are playing Blood Bowl!

1. The rules

Now I started with the 5th edition of the Living Rule Book, which I understand has been superceded by the 6th edition; I plan to continue playing 5th Ed, but both are still available for free online.

2. The teams

Now the good thing about Blood Bowl is that you don't need more than 16 figures for a complete team, so it's something that won't burn a hole in your pocket or take forever to finish painting.

You can still buy the official GW teams from GW, or second-hand off ebay. There are also several companies that make figures suitable for Blood Bowl and other fantasy football games. A good place to see them all 'under one roof' is at Comixininos. These 'dedicated' figures can still be expensive depending on which figures you buy though.

However, the GW background of BB means that you can find proxies for the figures easily from their Warhammer Fantasy range, or other generic fantasy miniatures. My Egyptian-themed Undead team for example has skeleton linemen converted from the GW Tomb Kings skeleton box set, which can be found on ebay at bargain prices sometimes. All you need to do is to snip off the weapons and sculpt knuckle-dusters on their fists with a little epoxy putty, and you're done!

Fancy a Human team? Perry Miniatures' Wars of the Roses Infantry box set gives you 40 multi-part plastic figures in a variety of clothing/armour and head-dress, which will allow you to create the different position players for your team and still have enough left over for a skirmish game! You may or may not want to cut off the daggers on their belts - I wouldn't bother.

Another possibility is pre-painted figures. Once again, the various races are represented in the many pre-painted lines, including AD&D and Heroscape - just browse ebay and see what choices are available for the team of your choice.

3. The dice and templates

Once again, you can get the official GW BB dice from ebay, or the 'not BB' block dice from Comixininos.

You don't really need the transparent plastic scatter and throw-in templates - many people just have them displayed on the sideline in a fixed orientation, which prevents arguments over how to orientate the templates anyway.

I do recommend you get the range ruler though since it is not only the length of the ruler but also its width that are important to determine which figure/s can attempt an interception.

4. The pitch

Again, you can buy 'not BB' game mats from the store, or you can make your own.

The BB pitch is 15 squares across (with 4 squares on each Wide Zone) and 26 deep (including 1 square of End Zone on each end), and the squares themselves are variously described as 29mm or 30mm.

Two materials that are cheap and easily available from your local craft shop would be felt and cork sheets. You may or may not want to glue these to a firm backing of cardboard, hardboard, or corrugated plastic board - just bear in mind the kind of storage you have.

Once you have decided, it is simply a matter of drawing the grids over your pitch surface with a pencil or chalk before inking the lines with a marker.

5. The dugout

This can be as simple as a print-out - just google for an image!

Of course, if you are really just doing this for the game and don't mind a black & white look, you can do it even more cheaply...

Whatever you choose to do, I think it's best to get the minimal required and get a few games in first and get the enthusiasm up, and then add on the frills as you go; after all, the real flavour in BB comes when your teams have grown, and it's going to be a long process!


Sean said...

Thanks, great stuff.

Joel said...

Hi, I came across your site and wasn’t able to get an email address to contact you. Would you please consider adding a link to my website on your page. Please email me back and we'll talk about it.


Joel Houston

captain arjun said...

Thanks for the offer, Joel, but I think we play with different types of toys. :)