Blood Bowl on yer PC

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Blood Bowl on yer PC

Postby Morph » Monday 6th July, 2009 11:31 pm

The PC version of Blood Bowl is out. It's a disgusting £40 considering it's download only (a box set is out sometime later this year I think) but after reading about it I caved in and downloaded it. Played for a few hours, here's what I think so far...

The menu screens are a bit confusing. Seems designed to look Blood Bowl-y more than being helpful. Took me a bit of time to work out how to get a team and start a mini league, apparently the online play is even more confusing. Not good, but eventually I got going... and ran into a problem or two creating Orc team 'The Grottlers', it seems the designers don't believe in letting you undo things, which lead me to a rather unwisely built team with no re-rolls (to make it worse, buying players users a different screen to buying re-rolls, apothecaries etc. so it's harder to work out gold costs). But hey, at least I had 4 Black Orcs, 4 Blitzers, 2 Thowers and lots of linemen.

On to choosing a league, I went for classic turn-based BB, rather than the 'Blitz' variant which is a real time game (scary). There's a strange map which is no identifiable part of the Warhammer world which has 20 stadium tournaments on, 4 of which have big flashing arrows. Except only one of those stadiums pointed at can you access at the moment, which I discovered after clicking on them all. It's like the game is set out to frustrate (thereby capturing the Blood Bowl experience perfectly).

First game, against some Humans, and learning the interface. Didn't bother with the tutorial of course, hey I'm a veteran! Such is my cockiness that I also set it to hard difficulty. Things actually felt quite intuitive here, once I got used to knowing when to left click and when to right click. Once again there's no undo on moves, so unlike playing a human you can't take something back. Forces you to think a bit more, but on the plus side everything is laid out nicely. No having to count squares or work out how many dice you'll get in a block, when you click on a player it shows you all that. Good stuff. It looks ok, though I didn't have detail set high as my PC is old and tired. Slight complaint that there wasn't enough difference between the player types to identify them at a glance, and the lack of any Deathwing Terminators on the pitch threw me.

As for the match, a 1-1 draw. I was a little rusty, alright? My cage got all impacted and at one point I rolled a triple skull. :(

Second match vs Dwarfs, and a helpful blitz gave me a 2-0 victory. 8-16! Yeah! Both games lasted less than an hour each.

The difficulty was hard to fathom. I had it on the hard setting, but without playing it on easy or medium it's impossible to tell if the computer actually plays the game better. It had a few clever ideas (such as not standing a player up if he's on the edge of the pitch next to one of mine) and seemed generally good, though it tried far more one-dice blocks than I ever would (and even some two-dice against).

On the other hand I seemed to roll a lot of 'skull + both down' when blocking with Black Orcs. But since the computer was rolling the dice I have no way of knowing if it is completely random, or whether the difficulty skews the dice some way. Certainly the computer was having some much better blocking than me, and the Dwarfs were succeeding in some dodging action that would have veteran players in cold sweats.

There are 8 races, though no High or Dark Elves which seemed odd (Chaos Dwarfs, Halflings, Amazons and Norse also absent, though slightly more understandably). Anyway, it's still fun because it's Blood Bowl. I'll play a few more games tomorrow and plan on finding an online league to join. Difficult to know whether to recommend it or not and the hefty price tag.
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Re: Blood Bowl on yer PC

Postby woodnoggin » Tuesday 7th July, 2009 11:13 am

Be aware that some people have reported this game destroying their video card! Others have said the game is too much for the card, but didn't actually burn it up. It's coming out later in the year in a non-download, buy it from an actual shop version; hopefully they'll have fixed the bug by then.

Does the game impose a time limit on your turns? You know, like the game is supposed to be played, even though nobody ever used those rules at the society in all the many years of leagues.
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Re: Blood Bowl on yer PC

Postby Tom O'Bedlam » Tuesday 7th July, 2009 5:12 pm

Nice review, I'll see if I can download an free copy tonight and see if its worth playing with. I've been looking forward to it for a while now so here's hoping.
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Re: Blood Bowl on yer PC

Postby Morph » Tuesday 7th July, 2009 6:50 pm

woodnoggin wrote:Does the game impose a time limit on your turns? You know, like the game is supposed to be played, even though nobody ever used those rules at the society in all the many years of leagues.


Is a time limit in the latest rulebook? Well regardless the answer to your question is yes - you get 4 mins per turn (with some occasional pauses to choose if to follow up a block etc.), I've not found it a problem in the 4 games I've had so far.

Restarted the Orcs to actually have some re-rolls. This time a 2-0 victory against humans and 1-1 against Dwarfs. Stupid Dwarfs, dodging all the time. Stupid double skulls. Stupid computer.
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Re: Blood Bowl on yer PC

Postby seriesofbadjokes » Wednesday 8th July, 2009 6:22 pm

I bought it when it came out (download only took about 20 mins) and decided to try a Chaos campaign on Medium. Needless to say after 3 leagues and 16 or so games I haven't lost yet but the computer teams are getting better as they get more skilled so it's difficult to say if the difficulty level matters mcuh. I've tried a few hard games and mostly spend time TRYING to pick the ball up after getting the ball off the opponent. Apparently Easy setting is a challenge because the AI tries absurd plays and sometimes they work. I'd say that programming an AI for a board game with so many variables would be very difficult, they are quite good at getting a player into my cage and next to the ball carrier, but I then just lay the smackdown and they're not next to me anymore. I'll keep playing the campaign and see how far it goes.

There is a time limit of 4 minutes per turn, only come close to using all the time up once. Then again, my opponent is usually down to a handful of players (Mighty Blow, Claw etc for everyone) so there's not much thought needed each turn.

Still a few bugs apparently (not noticed any personally), and hopefully they'll add some of the other teams in as well.
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Re: Blood Bowl on yer PC

Postby noodle » Wednesday 8th July, 2009 8:35 pm

It killed my PC and I need an upgrade to play it... I'm going to because Joe Byers and Mark Lawrence are trying to get people to play online with them in a league and I said yes... :oops:

Check out their site:

http://nacfl.wordpress.com/

http://nacfl.forumotion.net/forum.htm
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Re: Blood Bowl on yer PC

Postby Tom O'Bedlam » Wednesday 8th July, 2009 8:52 pm

Sweet nuffle! If there's a whole league starting up i'll have to get involved
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Re: Blood Bowl on yer PC

Postby Morph » Wednesday 8th July, 2009 9:00 pm

You might as well try it on hard difficulty Simon, I've played 6 games with Orcs and not lost yet. End of one game there were no opponents on the pitch! Apparently the AI is no better on hard, but starting teams get more gold.

Played my first game vs a real person. Gasp! Went for a Lizardmen team which I've never used before but still managed 4-0 vs some Orcs. Man, skinks are awesome fast!

Well if we get enough of us I'll start up a private league.

Edit: Then I beat a Wood Elf player 6-0, I'm picking on noobs as usual. :D
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Re: Blood Bowl on yer PC

Postby woodnoggin » Thursday 9th July, 2009 12:22 pm

I wonder if Joe's luck with dice extends to when computers are rolling them for him. ;)
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Re: Blood Bowl on yer PC

Postby Hammerite » Thursday 9th July, 2009 12:51 pm

I don't like playing games on a computer that involve dice. I always feel paranoid that the computer is cheating by choosing favourable rolls for itself and bad ones for me.

This doesn't seem to apply to games played on a computer that involve decks of cards. I guess the cycling of the deck is still visible and is reassuring.
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Re: Blood Bowl on yer PC

Postby seriesofbadjokes » Thursday 9th July, 2009 5:35 pm

I'll complete the campaign I'm doing before upping the difficulty, tbh it probably won't make any difference unless I decide to play Goblins. The handicap system atm means that the PC opponent is hiring at least one star player for their teams which does make it interesting. I probably won't play online as I do enough of that already with other games and don't want to have to put up with other people whinging about the RND not working properly.
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Re: Blood Bowl on yer PC

Postby Mike's Hidden » Tuesday 21st July, 2009 1:26 pm

Just played this for the first time yesterday doing a campaign as Lizardmen, it seems just like the real thing to me.
I remember playing against Skaven was just as frustating as the real game, especially when score level 2-2 turn 16 my skink was 1 space from scoring then failed going for it roll!

PS. anyone sets up an online league I'll definitely be interested (preferably turn based for now).
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Re: Blood Bowl on yer PC

Postby noodle » Wednesday 22nd July, 2009 10:11 am

Go look at what Joe/Mark are arranging on the links above. I think it will be low commitment "play when you can" kinda thing with the league done offline and just the games done online (which makes sense)

Played on medium for the first time, as orks vs. humans. Took me a while to understand how the buttons worked and I couldn't get hold of the controls for the first half... So I only won 3-0
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Re: Blood Bowl on yer PC

Postby Mike's Hidden » Wednesday 22nd July, 2009 5:58 pm

I was thinking I might wait a short while to see which people I know, are going to play both in sheffield and back home before joining a league (not sure I've got time for 2), do you know is there a deadline for new teams to join the league?
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Re: Blood Bowl on yer PC

Postby Kuffy » Friday 28th August, 2009 12:48 am

I just wish my laptop or PC could handle this game. I'll just have to wait for the x-box version. Until then, its back to FUMBBL or wondering how to play the physical version.
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Re: Blood Bowl on yer PC

Postby mystic speculator » Saturday 5th September, 2009 11:48 am

i'll be gettin this on xbox when it comes out for the console. From the descriptions it sounds pretty sick although I'd like to try out the real timeversion :D
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Re: Blood Bowl on yer PC

Postby Tom O'Bedlam » Tuesday 6th October, 2009 7:30 pm

Are people still playing this or is it not worth me getting?
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Re: Blood Bowl on yer PC

Postby Morph » Wednesday 7th October, 2009 12:37 pm

Tom O'Bedlam wrote:Are people still playing this or is it not worth me getting?


Well I'm not playing this myself but it's still worth getting if you like Blood Bowl.
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Re: Blood Bowl on yer PC

Postby Mattman » Wednesday 7th October, 2009 1:10 pm

I picked it up for my PSP and I am enjoying being able to pick up and play a bit of BB whenever I want. Not sure if I will get it on my PC just yet, might wait until it drops in price.
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Re: Blood Bowl on yer PC

Postby Mike's Hidden » Thursday 14th October, 2010 1:50 pm

I'm still playing it on PC and loving it, still loads of people online playing it and if you're after a league system to join the one I'm in http://www.ukbbl.co.uk has been pretty good so far and has been going since bloodbowl was released and plenty of members (last season we had 68 players split over 6 leagues, plus all sorts of other community leagues/tourneys), next season has been delayed because we are waiting for legendary edition.

If you're thinking of buying it though don't, Legendary edition with 20 races (instead of 9 in orginal) is released 25th Oct it's available on pre-order with play.com for £18. The digital download version direct from cyanide will be 40 dollars (£25ish) (with 30% of if you own original bloodbowl), no word yet as to release date or price on steam.
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