Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Blood Bowl and Specialist Games

So, I've started Blood Bowl. 

As a game, it's always kind of sat in the back rows for me, vaguely waving in interest. Waaaaaaay back in 2003, I played a couple of games of it using a friends Orc team, and quite enjoyed it. I remember then, at the tender age of 14, picking up the Blood Bowl Annual '03 and flicking through the different teams. Even though hormonal teenage me quite liked the buxom Amazons, it was always clear which team I would eventually end up coaching.

Yes, of course, Skaven.

What else could it be? I already have my main Skaven army - my Clan Skryre breakaway faction; my Daemons of Nurgle army is based on a renegade Plague Priest summoning daemons; I have a Clan Skurvy 'Regiment of Renown' (that I've just realised has never made it onto this blog...); in Dreadfleet I always play as the Skabrus (and have John Blanche's 'Skretch Half-dead' as an art print on my wall); I'm even planning a new Skaven army of zombie pirates based on the Skabrus and its crew; and now that Mike Nerush and I are going to Battle Brothers in September, I'm planning a Skaven army for that too.

Blood Bowl is just about the only Skaven thing I don't have models for.

Converted Skaven Blitzer

Of course, I think what @NationOfLee was getting at is the rumours flying around that 'Blood Bowl' is going to get the Boxed Game treatment the way 'Space Hulk' did back in September 2009; and 'Man'o'War' did with 'Dreadfleet' in 2011. Now, yes, I work for Games Workshop - but I know nothing. I honestly find out about stuff when White Dwarf arrives in my store, two days before public release.

I do have thoughts on this, though. Please understand that my thoughts are just that, thoughts. I promise you, I honestly know nothing, no insider information, and my thoughts are my own and in no way represent Games Workshop Epsom, or Games Workshop Plc as a whole... Phew... I hate having to explain that so thoroughly, but people don't seem to get it otherwise.

Genuinely, I'd be chuffed to bits if Blood Bowl was re-released later this year. I would. I just don't totally trust it'll happen. "But it's been two years since Dreadfleet!"; yes, correct, but you can't make a pattern out of two occurrences. That's insufficient data. 

I woke up this morning and discovered I had some of my Lucozade left, so drank it. This also happened on Monday. By the previous logic, I should wake up on Friday with Lucozade next to me?

Converted Skaven Thrower

Alright, I concede that I may be being a little obtuse there, but I am concerned people are holding their breath too much. When Blood Bowl miniatures started disappearing from the Games Workshop website, the universe lost its mind; and I'll deal with each of these in turn.

In Camp A we had people decrying the apocalypse that hated GW had ceased all support for their most beloved of games. In Camp B, exaltations were being lifted to heaven that the entire Blood Bowl range was going to be made into FineCast resin. And then Camp C began wearing sandwich boards reading 'New Blood Bowl Is Coming!'.

To Camp A; I understand the frustration of something you love no longer being supported by the company that produced it - I still wish Nintendo were making games for my beloved SNES, something they stopped doing in 1996. I dearly wish that companies still made games for the Playstation (no, not PS2/3/4) where they could focus on gameplay rather than graphics - but it's not going to happen.

That said, does that stifle my enjoyment of my SNES every time I pull it out, dust it off and play it? HELL NO. I stand by my belief that 'A Link to the Past' is the greatest Zelda game of all time. I don't hate Nintendo for this change, they've moved on to more popular and more profitable things, as a business must. If they'd stayed making SNES games, they'd have gone the way of SEGA, and be left making dodgy rehashes of old games. If GW focussed that much on Blood Bowl and the other 'Specialist' games, we'd not have the quality minatures we have today, simple as.

And those quality miniatures can, of course, be used in Blood Bowl! HUZZAH!

To Camps B and C, I'm really sorry to disappoint you, but FineCast likely won't happen, and I wouldn't suggest holding out for a boxed game. Hell, it might happen, but your theory is flawed. GW hasn't made any metal miniatures in two years now; they're simply selling through stock, and when it's gone, it's gone; again, just like those old SNES games.

As a consumer, one must realise that everything has a shelf life. Even Dark Vengeance or the humble Space Marine Tactical Squad won't be around forever, there will come a day when it is no longer made, and it becomes the providence of EBay sellers and rare Car Boot Sale finds. The moral, if you want something that badly, you need to buy it whilst you can. I'm not trying to push GW sales, I'm just pointing out the truth.

When I realised that many of these metal kits were to disappear, I put my plastic purchases on hold for a month and grabbed all those models I've wanted but never got around to buying; the Clan Skryre Rat Ogre, for example.

Now, of course, Blood Bowl might be released in the autumn of this year. I have no idea. If it does, I'll be tickled pink, I'll buy a copy and love and cherish it for years to come. If it doesn't, no biggie either. You can make perfectly serviceable teams out of standard multi-part plastic (MPP) kits, and the rulebook is free to download. Winning.

My Skaven Blood Bowl team, unpainted, made entirely from MPP kits.
Front to back: 2 Blitzers, 2 Gutter Runners, a Thrower, a Rat Ogre, 5 Linesmen.

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