Monday, December 30, 2013

5 Take-Aways from Blood Bowl Season 6: My Errant Clicking Finger

My time with Season 6 of my Virtual Blood Bowl League has finally come to an end. It actually came to an end some time ago, but my communications satellite was on the far side of the planet and until I now I was operating in a signal blackout.

But back to Blood Bowl.

I played humans, for the second time. I did not do well, but I did better than expected.

Here are my take-aways.

1) The humans are a pretty fun team.

After some investigation, I think the human team are the Skaven I've been looking for all my life. While the blitzers are super expensive, the rest of the team provides oodles of affordable enjoyment. The catchers are packed full of skills, and they are almost as speedy as their furry Gutter Runner rivals. While the basic Human lineman has to potential to do anything. Love the extra armor point.

2) Boneheaded is a terrible skill to have.

After this season, I hereby vow to never again hire an Ogre to my team. Rolling boneheaded is a disheartening experience. But the way the video game is set up, if you the player are slightly confused it is very easy to also lose a reroll. During one half of one game, I lost every reroll I had trying to reroll boneheaded rolls. I thought I was just really unlucky. But in reality, the computer was taking my rerolls and throwing them in the garbage.

The bitter taste in my mouth really gained an intolerable strength the turn my ogre rolled boneheaded, was knocked down, and then rolled boneheaded trying to stand back up again. And with his companion Loner skill, you can have this happy circumstance 1/6th of the time you roll boneheaded, so it was only a matter of time before it happened again.

3) Similarly, the apothocary is completely useless. Resuscitation in the Old World has always been a great matter of luck and hope rather than skill. I imagine a Blood Bowl apothecary as similar to the "igor" race from Terry Pratchett's Discworld. But without any of the supernatural stitching-together abilities. And the computer version of Blood Bowl makes the apothecary worse. There are several opportunities for errant clicking. In this case, the errant click means selecting death. You always get to pick death, even if your character didn't die the first time and only dies on the re-roll. And during the season, I always picked death. After a while, I enjoyed picking the dead result. The real crime is life, a famous judge once observed.

4) Style should always go ahead of substance. You aren't going to be an awesome Blood Bowl player. Very people are. So try to reach the goals you WANT to reach. Don't listen to people talk about rankings or victories. Reach your OWN goals. Build character (and by extension, characters!) in your team and try to tell a story.

5) A few really bad things can happen during the typical Blood Bowl game. One of the big things, and its going to happen and you just have to accept it, are unexpected injuries. When your team is suddenly taken mostly out of the game due to unlucky dice rolls, well it happens. Usually in the first half. When that happens, try to see the game from the point of view of your opponent. Because when the slaughter happens to the other team, it is seriously fun times. Try to see their fun times, and realize your dead and bleeding team is contributing to another person's memorable experience. Perhaps you were even slightly incompetent. It happens to everybody!

No one is good at Blood Bowl. Except for the people who come in first, of course.