I spend a lot of time on the Blood Bowl Community group on Facebook, and one of the common questions is how to get started.
This would be my (obviously own opinion) advice on how to get started and get good. This is all second best to having someone teach you the game – if you can find someone, go that route instead! You could join the NAF and use the coach locator if you wanted, or if you’re really lucky there will be a league nearby.
Second best is to learn with a mate/sibling. Third best is to have a go yourself, and then start heading to tournaments!
- Get the boxset. There are other cheaper ways of picking up a usable pitch, dice etc but it would be a bit of a faff. There may be cheap 2nd hand boxsets on ebay etc, mind. Put the orcs and humans together (you’ll need clippers and a wee bit of superglue, though most will stay together without)
- Watch my intro video, which walks you through initial setups and getting going. Set the board up, do the moves and play along.
- Google “blood bowl crp” and download the competition rules pack. This is the most compact version of the full rules available, but don’t necessarily read it yet. The advantage of having the online version is that you can search for keywords.
- Play a few drives yourself and check you understand what’s going on.
- At this point, I would advice getting hold of Cyanide’s Blood Bowl 2 and playing against the AI for a few games to really get the hang of the rules. Obviously this isn’t possible, but I’m going for the ideal here. I wouldn’t particularly bother with the tutorial bits, but just play a few games to get the hang. Do not copy any of the strategy that the AI uses, it’s rubbish.
- Now you’re ready to play against a random human! To do this you could play on the Cyanide league, but at this stage I would head to FUMBBL, which is free to play and you just need Java on your computer. They have a league called the 145 which is designed for new players, and also a Discord channel if you are into your technology (though even if you’re not it’s easy to set up). The advantage over Cyanide is that in general people are less likely to disconnect, more likely to chat, and particularly in the 145 people are set up to be friendly to new guys. For advice on getting started on Fumbbl, check out my YouTube playlist on the subject.
- Time to return to tabletop again, and time to put the figures together properly! I’ve written about how best to use the GW boxsets including the figures in the box, and will write more generically about which teams to choose after the initial orcs and humans, which are actually the best teams to start with as they have access to the most common skills without having to use the more complicated ones.
- By this stage you should have a decent grasp of the rules, and will want to know how to be good at the game, so head to the NAF’s playbooks section, and read to your heart’s content. Then ask lots of questions! The BB community group will answer (not always very sensibly, mind), or #bloodbowl on Twitter will also help out.
So that’s it, really. Do jump in and head to tournaments, which can seem like a scary prospect but are quite friendly places, do engage online, and welcome to the hobby!
PS I’ve also written previously about how to teach kids BB, which might be helpful for some readers.