Down Write Daily – June 29, 2009

by Mitchell Dyer

The Repugnant Pacifists

It’s been a good long time since I’ve done a Down Write Daily. Blame E3. Blame freelance work. Blame laziness and general neglect. I still love you, I promise.

I picked up Blood Bowl over the weekend having never played the board game. The concept itself was enough to sell me: Warhammer dudes like orcs and elves hop on to the gridiron and play some brutally violent football. I’ll tell you now that it’s not very welcoming to newcomers, but is still a fantastic game. It’s a straight-up turn-based strategy game with player stats that play into dice rolls. As someone who loathes turn-based-anything, Blood Bowl is still incredibly enjoyable.

You can play it in real time, but it doesn’t play like anything you’ve played before. There’s no Madden-like player hotswapping, or huddles to pick a play. The kickoff happens and it becomes exactly what most strategy snobs condemn the genre for: a chaotic clickfest. It’s clunky in real time since all of the same rules apply — adjacent players attack, results are dependent on rolls and re-rolls etc. But I still had fun playing it.

The image above is of my first career team, who I quickly put to sleep in place of a stronger dwarf team. I really struggled playing as the orcs, and it made for some brutally frustrating matches. But I keep coming back to Blood Bowl. It’s a wicked game that hates me, but I am doing my darndest to make it give in and have fun with me, too.