Blood Bowl is back, and it looks better than ever. After a long wait, Fantasy Flight Games has revealed much more information about their new Blood Bowl: Team Manager card game, including a late 2011 release. The game will also be present in playable form at Gen Con later this summer.
For those not familiar with the original Blood Bowl, know that it is a gamer's parody of American football where teams stocked with fantasy races (Chaos, Dwarf, Wood Elf, Human, Orc, and Skaven) and the rules are based loosely around Games Workshop's Warhammer Fantasy system. A niche title to be sure, but one with a fervently loyal fan base. Since Blood Bowl's original release in 1987, fans have been clamoring for more, yet often feel that they wind up getting table scraps at the end of the day.
Such was the scene in early 2010 when Fantasy Flight Games announced they would be developing a deckbuilding card game off of the franchise, called Blood Bowl: Team Manager. FFG was hot on the heels of several other high-caliber Games Workshop remakes such as Space Hulk and Talisman, so the expectations were high. Instead, gamers were met with over a year of silence, causing many to doubt that the title would ever see the light of day. Those fears have been swept away now, but don't blame Blood Bowl fans for staring at the clock.
Originally thought to be a deckbuilding card game, Blood Bowl: Team Manager has matured a lot during the past year of development. While the drafting of new players still has a deckbuilding feel, the meat of the game now lies in a worker placement/direct combat mechanic where managers will assign their players to perform certain in-game highlights. Players from each side will duke it out for the right to perform each highlight, with the winner reaping its reward. Although it caused quite a bit of suspense to have no new information on the title, this seems to be a huge step in the right direction as this game will avoid the increasingly common moniker of being "just another deckbuilding card game."
In the scene above, an Orc takes on two Dwarves for the ability to perform unsportsmanlike conduct. Nobody said this was a gentleman's game, did they?
The team manager tagline in this game's title is true to its work, as players really will be playing manager to their football team. Aside from drafting new players and committing them to in-game highlights, managers will be responsible for upgrading their teams facilities, equipment, and staff. All of these factors can give their players an edge in winning head-to-head matchups over the course of a 5-week football season. Ultimately, the game is about collecting fans by performing well. The team with the most fans at season's end will emerge the victor.
For more information, check out the official Blood Bowl: Team Manager website.