Following on from BB2020: Part 1.
A few more days have past, more leaks have come, and the big development over the past few days (for me) is that the core OBBLM (online blood bowl team manager) team have said that it does not make sense to try to adapt OBBLM to the new set of rules.
I wonder if the phrase “OBBLM” ever passed anyone’s lips at Warhammer World. If not, this shows a distinct lack of knowledge about the people who play in BB leagues around the world. If so, it would be interesting to know if there was a plan. If there was no plan, it shows a distinct lack of regard for those people. I doubt we’ll ever find out.
While OBBLM existed for many years before the NAF got involved, it was on my watch that the NAF took on the idea of providing a central league hosting service for those who did not want to host it and do the admin themselves. Since then numerous leagues have used the service, and the OBBLM development has become more of a NAF service with the various patches needed for the new Spikes, and it’s been great to see the community effort behind this, which is one of the brilliant things about the NAF – individuals come and go in how involved they are, but the organisation continues to thrive.
There is now a NAF effort being put into developing an OBBLM replacement, but that will take lots of volunteer time and effort, unless there are some bonus funds found or a crowdfunding approach, both of which seem unlikely.
So this got me thinking about the other things that will need to change or become obsolete. Along the same lines as OBBLM, the other league management systems (principally Aros and Halfling Scribe, but also the NAF STARS I suppose) will need significant individual effort if they are still to be used. I’m hoping to look into a Google Sheets alternative to facilitate league management, but we’ll have to see what happens.
Away from leagues, there are many tournament roster sheets that will have to be rewritten, from the individual tournament ones (such as mine for Eurobowl 2021, if it changes rules) to Battlescribe and the like. Depending on their complexity, this will be a variety of effort needed, and there is no guarantee that all of them will get the effort, so some may become obsolete.
Obsolescence is also a problem for various bits of statistical analysis that I’ve done over the years. I touched on the NAF data issue in the previous blog, but it’s pretty certain that there will be a significant rebalancing in the tiers, so the existing analysis will be less applicable (and therefore potentially less interesting – insert gag about this not being possible).
As well as that, loads of my youtube stuff will become out of date. Some will stand the test, with chain pushing etc still being a thing, but the basic “how to play BB” with 100,000+ views will need a new version, if no-one else gets there first.
And the final couple are that various teams may not be usable in the new rules (but I’m not above proxying) and the 24/26 will become an anachronism as the number of teams changes frequently, but these are minor considerations.
So what do we take from this? Basically a significant change is coming (obviously) and it would be nice to know how many if any of these changes GW took into account when they decided to change their rules (which of course they are entitled to do). Additionally, lots of people seem to be a bit cross, and while I would never tell people how to feel about a given topic, I can look on the bright side of a new set of rules coming – new blood to the game, and a new set of tactics to learn.
So if I can, with my 100s of hours of investment being chucked out of the window to a greater or lesser extent, perhaps others can too?