Before you play the Blood Bowl 2 game, you will definitely want to know these simple but useful tips and tricks. If you have any tips feel free to share with us!
Things to Know Before Playing
- Having money counts against your team value, and your team value determines what you face.
- Don’t be afraid to release some guys if they get crippled up to the point that they’re no longer useful. Since they are also increasing your team value, sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and get rid of a guy and hire a replacement.
- Rerolls are a godsend, and if I recall they’re discounted during team creation. Get at least a couple!
- I’d honestly suggest looking up some guides or videos on it if you’ve never played Blood Bowl before in general. A lot of the basic stuff is fairly common sense, but there’s a bunch of traps.
- Each unit can only act once, so if you move somebody and then move somebody else and then you decide you want to blitz and have the first guy tackle, too late, can’t be done. Its like chess, once you take your hand off a figure, its stuck.
- Learn the rules as far as what gets rolled when, do your turn in order from safest to least safe activity (which is kinda awkward to get used to) since if there’s a turnover, that ends your turn there. But potentially prioritize key plays as well in case something else that’s fairly likely ends up being a turnover anyways.
Get some re-rolls and only do risky rolls when you have them. You generally want situations where you roll the two happy dice and pick one. Even then you’ll get fucked sometimes. If you can only roll a single die, that’s dangerous, and make sure you at least have a re-roll ready, or otherwise don’t do it. Rolling the unhappy dice is pretty much guaranteed to screw you over.
Learn the strengths and weaknesses and play-styles of the factions and pick yours carefully based on what you think is fun to do. Orks form a big donut and walk the ball in, and then beat up the other team. Elves pass the ball and dodge like crazy so they ignore tackle zones. A dotted line will stop the orks guaranteed, although some of your players may get pushed or knocked out. Elves on the other hand can go right through that dotted line as though it wasn’t even there.
Mostly just play a whole lot. You’re going to lose but hopefully you’ll figure out why as you go. Play a bunch of comp stomps until you feel confident, then you can consider fighting other players.
Orcs and maybe Humans are widely considered the easiest teams to start out with. Nothing’s stopping you from trying the other teams first, but Blood Bowl has quite a bit to take in at first and many of the other teams rely more on techniques that require better knowledge of the game mechanics to shine.
Blood Bowl is essentially a game of risk management – you can potentially perform an action with each of your players each turn, but if you have one of your guys fail an attempt to pick up the ball, lose possession of the ball, get called on a foul, leave the field, or get knocked over, you lose the rest of your turn (there is an exception for the “get knocked over” rule if the skill Wrestle is being used). So you generally want to perform actions that are absolutely safe first (like standing guys up from the ground or moving guys that won’t have to dodge away from opponents), then move on to the least risky or most important actions and prioritize from there.
Each player can typically either move or punch on a turn, but not both. Shared amongst your whole team, you also get three “special” actions a turn – Blitz, Pass, and Hand-off. Pass and Hand-off are fairly self-explanatory, but the Blitz lets one player both move and hit in the same turn. The player can move before and/or after hitting. Your Blitz will usually be the most important move you make each turn.
Each player earns SPP (Star Player Points) when they cause an injury, complete a pass, intercept a pass, or score a touchdown. Plus, one random player on each team is given an MVP SPP bonus at the end of each game. If a team forfeits, the winning team gets two MVPs and the one that gave up gets none. Players level up and earn new skills when they earn enough. Each player type usually only gets access to certain types of skills (like General, Strength or Agility skills), but two dice are rolled on each level up. Doubles means access to restricted skills, and a 10, 11, or 12 means you can choose a stat-up instead (Movement or armor on a 10, agility on 11, strength on 12). You generally want to give players skills that help them specialize in a role rather than generalize. Also, when failing an attempt won’t cost you a game, it can be a good idea to hand-off to important slow-leveling players near the endzone to feed them touchdowns to get them skilled up.
Speaking of stats, Strength mostly helps the odds when throwing punches or getting hit. When a player throws a punch at someone with equal strength, one die is rolled and that’s the result of the hit, good or bad. If your player throws a punch at someone a little weaker, two dice are rolled and you pick which result you like more. If you punch someone stronger, two dice are rolled and your opponent chooses the one they like more. If one player is twice the strength or more of the other, three dice are rolled and the player with the strength advantage chooses the one they like. You can modify your punching character’s strength by having teammates “assist.” Each extra player you have next to the guy you want to punch adds one to your punching guy’s strength, so long as they’re not next to any other opposing players (having the skill “Guard” lets a player lend an assist even if next to multiple opposing players). On the other hand, having your puncher be next to multiple opposing players lets them assist the opponent, provided they don’t have any of your players next to them. Positioning your players to lend assists for your important punches or to deny your opponent’s assists is one of the most important skills you’ll learn in the game. For your first few games, pay attention to how your opponent sets up for punches and try to figure out why they’re doing it.
As for the other stats, Agility helps with anything involving the ball and dodging away from enemies, Armor helps reduce the chances of getting stunned/KO’ed/injured/killed when getting knocked over, and Movement is fairly self-explanatory. A couple things to note for movement is that standing up from being knocked down costs 3 movement, and each player can attempt to move up to two spaces beyond what their movement score allows each turn, but at risk. Each extra space they attempt to move has a 1-in-6 chance of causing them to fall over, so it’s not something you want to do unless it’s really important.
Many teams have a “Big Guy” that they only get one to a few of, like the Troll on an Orc team or Minotaur on Chaos. These players typically have 5 or 6 strength. They have drawbacks that can make them risky to use if not outright liabilities in some cases. First, they have negative traits – Ogres are dumb and have a 1-in-6 chance of ignoring an order to instead stare into space for a turn each time you try and use them. Trolls are similar, but the odds are 50% unless you have a friendly unit next to them (and then, it’s still 1-in-6). Minotaurs have a 50% chance of ignoring you unless you’re telling them to hurt someone (and then, it’s still 1-in-6). And so on. And on top of all that, Big Guys have the “Loner” trait, so if you try to use a team reroll on something they’re attempting, there’s a 50% chance it’ll waste the reroll without doing anything. Some teams can really use their Big Guys in spite of the drawbacks, some teams are better off doing without, but either way, they’re kind of advanced units that you can wait until you start getting the hang of things before using.
The squares on the edges of the pitch are dangerous. This includes the end-zones. Players can be shoved off the pitch, which at the minimum means they’re gone until the next kick-off, but also carries a higher risk of them being injured. This technique is called “crowdsurfing.” You don’t get SPP for crowdsurfing opponents, but it’s still well worth doing when you can if you don’t have any better moves to make.
Finally, if you’re going to try Orcs to start out with, a solid starting lineup is 4 Blitzers, 4 Black Orcs, 2 Linemen, 1 Thrower, and 3 Rerolls. The first thing to buy as soon as you can afford it is an Apothecary, but since Rerolls double in price after your first game and the Apothecary doesn’t, you can live a game or two without healing. You don’t actually want to try long passes with the thrower at first outside of last-ditch desperation plays, but the Thrower has a skill that gives free rerolls when attempting to pick up the ball, so it’ll be your ball-carrier. The Black Orcs are your dumb, slow muscle, the Blitzers are your smart(er) muscle. Try to throw important punches with your Blitzers when possible, while your Black Orcs are best as being roadblocks for your opponent at first. By all means, have your Black Orcs punch when the opportunity presents itself, just be aware that until you can level them and grab the “Block” skill, punching with them isn’t as safe as it could be.
It’s worth mentioning that the story campaign is a half decent tutorial, especially if you’ve never played blood bowl at all. It introduces the game mechanics one at a time, so for example in the first game your turn doesnt end if a player fails at something. Its a little hand holdy at first if you already know the basics of the game, but in fairly short order you are playing with a full set of rules, and its pretty fun. Its a human team, and they are a decent one to start with as they are good all rounders.
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