In 1986, designer Jervis Johnson had the brilliant idea to create a fantasy sports board game based on American football. That game became Brad’s bowl, and its mix of strategy, comedy, and brutality has persisted through multiple editions to this day. But despite its wild premise, it’s actually a very heavy-duty game that takes time to learn and play. It’s a much smaller and faster game based on the same idea, but mechanically very different from its big brother. Blitz Bowl: Ultimate Edition is his third edition, but will it live up to the ultimate bill?
what’s in the box
This is a Games Workshop game and one of the main attractions is the included plastic miniatures. They make up his two teams of six players each. A heroic human and a devious rat-like Skaven. As we’ve come to expect from a publisher, the figures are top-notch and the detail and dynamism dizzying.However, the Skaven is so fragile that even experienced modelers can easily knock its tail off during assembly. He could fold one or two. Requires caution and a very sharp craft knife.
In addition to the figures, there are plastic footballs, coins and score markers for each team. Play takes place on a double-sided game board, allowing you to select and play pitches with various obstacles. On one side he has one starting space for the ball and on the other side he has two spaces. Roll the dice to determine which way the ball will pop out.
Rounding out the content is a deck of cards, some custom dice, a range ruler, and a stat card for each team you can field in the game. That’s far more than two in the entire Games Workshop universe, from Orcs to Ogres. Some factions allow him to buy 6 extra teams, while others require him to buy all 12 of his Blood Bowl. Select a team and select 6 to use. All cards are of decent quality and are adorned with either plain art or painted miniature pictures.
rules and how to play
On your turn, you can perform 3 actions split between players, as long as one model does not perform the same action twice. The available actions depend on whether the figure is “marked” (that is, whether there is an enemy model in an adjacent square). An unmarked person can run freely, throw a ball, or make a short two-square move to mark an opponent. The marked person can only attack members of the opposing team he must roll the dice or move 1 square away.
If you read this carefully, you’ll notice that the running player cannot move into a square next to an enemy team member. This also means that in one turn he can perform all three actions (run to cover the group, mark to move adjacent, and finally block action to attack) to attack the enemy. is also required. These two aspects are important to the game’s strategy and action economy. You have to spread your players out in the landscape of the pitch and try to stop runs into the end zones to score points. Also, you have to be careful with the tackle. Because if you fail, you get a tackle for 1 action.
A player who scores a goal by carrying the ball into the opponent’s end zone scores 4 points for his team and is removed from the pitch in celebration. Just like a player injured in a tackle, special precautions are needed to get them back together. But there is no pitch reset. A new ball pops up in the middle and play continues even if the player is down a player or higher. Initially, this can lead to many edge-to-edge dashes, especially when many players are injured or celebrating. You can learn how to play more strategically.
Goals are not the only source of scoring However, the Blitzbowl. At all times he has three cards next to the board, which give him 0-3 bonus points for completing certain actions. For example, injuring an opponent or completing a dangerous pass. What’s the point of a card having zero value? Because in addition to points, the card also has a playable effect on the reverse. It could be a reroll of the dice or an additional action. So getting one improves both your score and your options. These cards are also the game his timer. The game ends when these cards are gone.
Between them, positional play, card management, and dice rolling hit a beautiful sweet spot, among the excitement of strategy, tactics, and random dice rolls. This is a game that rewards good play, whether you plan to maintain the line of scrimmage or figure out how to snuffle the cards while moving the ball forward. It’s also a game that rewards adventurous decisions that lead to thrilling moments, such as putting in or chaining cards during a last-minute dash to the finish line. .
In this regard, Blitz Bowl actually does a better job of recreating the feel of a sports game than its big brother Blood Bowl. Perfectly complemented by 12 players and a more complex “turnover” mechanic, the latter takes longer to play each turn and overall takes longer to play. It feels more like a game of chess with dice than any kind of ball game. , full of last-minute gambles and games leading up to the final field goal.
What’s New in Ultimate Edition
Owners of one or both previous editions of the game may wonder what’s new. The good news is thanks to the unusual step of involving the fanbase in the design via The Crush podcast. , that almost all changes are positive. The rules are mostly the same, but some rough edges have been smoothed out. There are new stats for every team to help balance matters out. And finally, the card deck has been completely perfected to encourage more dynamic and aggressive play.