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Blood Bowl Today

Blood bowl, arguably the finest of Games Workshop's creations, has come a long way since the inaugural edition, featuring oh so slick cardboard cutout players, was released in 1986. The aspiring coach of today has a multitude of options on how to play, where to play, and which edition to play.

Perhaps the biggest decision facing a new coach is which edition of blood bowl to get your teeth into. Currently, utilizing the Living Rulebook (LRB), Blood Bowl is well into its 4th edition, although there are still many leagues that use the “classic” 3rd edition rules. The major differences between these two editions are as follows...

1. Firstly, and most importantly, the Living Rulebook incorporates appearance fees, and ageing, effectively capping team ratings at around 300. Ageing works by giving your players a chance to be crippled by a permanent injury each time he rolls a skill. Appearance fees means your players demand money to show up once they become stars, which can cripple teams at high team rating. If you want teams that develop, and players that become exceedingly good, play 3rd edition, where some teams reach 900 team rating.

2. Secondly the use of damaging skills and fouling is curtailed in 4th edition. Dirty Players aren't nearly as dirty, Mighty Blows aren't as mighty, and those Razor Sharp Claws just aren't as sharp. Theoretically, this means that players live longer on the pitch in 4th edition, although they can, of course, be crippled by ageing.

3. 3rd edition introduced a range of extravagances that slowly went the way of the buffalo with the LRB. Wizards and special play cards were removed, in the opinion of some taking away a lot of the random aspect of the game.

If you're wanting to cut your teeth in an online game of this most recent edition both the OLBBL and FUMBBL have Living Rulebook divisions, and sections that play near 3rd edition rules.

The Online Blood Bowl League has been around for donkey's years, playing and tuning the classic 3rd edition rules. Compared to FUMBBL it's a relatively small league, with around 50-60 coaches and 200-300 teams per season. This league, whilst utilizing the blood thirsty 3rd edition rules, still specialises in high TR teams, thanks to an optional system of Friendly Fouling. The Friendly Fouling premise is designed to cause casualties without crippling teams, leading to the OLBBL being regarded as the Mecca of team development. Recently the OLBBL added a LRB division (sans ageing) to try and lure some new coaches to the league.

Games in the OLBBL use Avi-Stetto's blood bowl client, and, once you know what to do, take around 2 hours. A new client is in the works, which should cut down on game time significantly. You can find a game, and help in getting started, by going to the #lockerroom , on afternet, through MIRC (directions are available here.) The OLBBL is regarded as an incredibly friendly place, and the coaches like to think they are the best on the web.

FUMMBL, riding the back of a newer Javabowl client, has grown to immense proportions. This league generally keeps up to date with all the new rules updates, and is separated into ranked, unranked, stunty (little guys), and DivX (no ageing) divisions. Whilst it lacks some of the charm and friendliness of the OLBBL, it does have pure number of players and an excellent database system on its side. Games using the newer client generally take between 1 and 1.5 hours.

Whatever your choice in league and division we hope you enjoy the resources here at Bloodbowl Online. Feel free to email us if you have any queries, and if not, then we'll see you on the pitch!

   -David Bell

Getting Started

In the world of Blood Bowl there are twenty one teams as defined in the Living Rulebook. They are as follows:

Blood Bowl Teams