Playing at Eurobowl/Europen

Not a huge amount of news in the BB world this week that I have noticed (though fingers crossed for some GW news in the next fortnight!), but thought it would be worth writing some stuff about Eurobowl and Europen participation, particularly for British BB coaches who haven’t taken part before.

Eurobowl 2018 is taking place in Cardiff on October 27th and 28th and costs £75 for the weekend.

Lycos posted on the Team England Reddit  that he is now asking for coaches to put their names forward for the team, but there wasn’t a lot of context for what that means.  England are by a wide margin the most successful Eurobowl team, with 6 wins to their name.  The core of the team has been the same for those wins, and it is likely that those players are going to make themselves available again.  Of the team of 8, Lycos, Geggster, Joemanji, Purplegoo and Jimjimany form the core, with Pipey, Podfrey and a few others making up the 8 over the years.  This list includes some of the best players in the world, basically, so often the question is “why bother putting my name forward”.  Well, if you are interested in competitive BB, you definitely should and then try to make your results as good as possible in NAF tournaments, because while you might not make the list this year, you will be knocking on the door for future tournaments, and equally if your results are good enough then there is no reason you can’t make up one of the remaining slots.  So far, PeteW has put his name in, and as a double NAF Championship/Blood Bowl winner and Fumbbl stalwart, it will be very interesting to see if he makes the team.

As regards other UK teams, the Scottish and Welsh teams have already been chosen for this year.  The Scots choose 3 based on the Scottish NAF tournament circuit results, 1 elected Captain, his choice as Vice Captain, and then 3 wild card choices.  Wales was an interesting one this year as a few regulars are on the organising committee so some spaces became available.  They’ve filled the spaces with decent coaches, luckily!

There is also talk of an Irish team for the first time, so follow the link if you were born there, live there, or have Irish parents or grandparents (basically). The qualifying criteria are pretty loose, so just get in touch if you think you could have a shout.  Also, only 5 of the 8 need to be nationals, and the rest can be made up of Freebooters.  It would be great to see an Irish team there, and for the team to develop in future years!

So, what if you don’t make the national team of whatever flavour?  Well, if you are feeling particularly patriotic, all of the British nations are running a squad system, with the Eurobowl and Europen teams being seen as part of a national squad (I believe), and the Europen being used very much as a proving ground for future Eurobowl participation.  Alternatively, you can use it a chance to represent your local league, and bring glory to your area!  Team Blood Bowl is often recognised as the most exciting kind of tabletop Blood Bowl, and this is going to be the biggest ever UK team event (with a vigorous nod to the annual UKTC), so if you are in the UK and like tabletop BB, have a think about attending.  If you haven’t got team mates, there is even a thread on TFF to get a team together.

I think that’s enough Euro-wittering for the moment – you may have picked up that I’m pretty enthusiastic about the whole concept!

Large Block Dice

I’ve been thinking about getting large block dice made for a while, mostly for streaming purposes so that they are easier to see on the video, but also for my own entertainment, as I got some large casino dice which are quite fun to use.  Schawn from the US has commissioned these, which would be 22mm, and are available for $18 for a set of 3.  They would be sent to me and so would be postage free if you are going to be seeing me at a tournament, including Cakebowl, Thrud and the Eurobowl in Cardiff (also NAFC, but unlikely to be ready by then).

Here are the pics, including a normal size dice for reference.

To order, please email Schawn the following to

Address (or going to Mike)
How many sets you want.

Taking orders and payments up front.

I think they’re pretty awesome, hope you’re interested!

BB Roundup 4th March

What’s caught my eye in the BB world this week?  This lot!

  • Two countries had their first NAF tournaments, if not ever then certainly for a while – Greece and Northern Ireland.  I haven’t seen any reports as such, but will keep my eyes peeled.  Great that the game continues to spread across the world.
  • As Fumbbl Dungeonbowl draws to a close, with semifinals planned for this week, the Road to the NAF Championship returns for its 4th year, and you can win a ticket to the NAF’s flagship annual event.  Entries close tomorrow evening.
  • I went to Bubba, and had a lovely time.  Hawca won, and donated his winning team of Platopodes to my son!  10 of the 32 had to cancel due to snow, but the rest of us thorough enjoyed it.
  • Not one, not two, but THREE different companies have Kickstarters going for Kislev teams.  I’ve been trying to figure out the chronology for why they all ended up at the same time, but it’s beyond me – they have been in BB2 for quite a while (two years?), so maybe that is the timeline for getting a team sorted.  In no particular order, here are some links:
  • Someone was asking about BB logos, so worth mentioning again Throweck’s great guide on Fumbbl about how to use GIMP (free Photoshop) to make nice looking ones.  You might need to log in to see it, but that’s always a good idea anyway!
  • NAF Tournament Director Purplegoo continues to blog, long may it continue!  More information = good!  I started when I was Pres, but ran out of steam somewhat.  Hope he won’t, I have faith!
  • A GW BB event was spotted in the calendar for Warhammer World in the middle of May!  Always nice to play in the shadow of the large Space Marine.  Fingers crossed that it will be prefaced by lots of shiny new releases.

That’s it for just now, I’m off to stick together some Platypodes…

Bubba 2018

The Sann Clan went in force to Bubba’s new home yesterday – the Pavilion in Keynsham.  Really nice venue, with a bar on site, lunch included and plenty of room for gaming fun. I took my new female human team, Alex continued his quest for Pro Elf excellence (almost back at 150 ranking now!), Linus played his 25th race with Bretonnian, and Callum stuck to Wood Elves.  Jip hitched a lift in the Vengabus, using Norse.  For those who didn’t know, the snow had been a major factor this week, and 10 of the 32 attendees didn’t make it – gutted for them, and very glad it was just a hop down the M4 for us.

My first was against DaPiranha’s Lizards, and I started in a jovial mood, though I must figure out how to play with joviality but also playing properly, as I made a load of rubbish mistakes that Dave took full advantage of.  When Hemlock died from a GFI, leaving a cage corner open, the match should have been mine really, but I left chain push options and made bad decisions, and Dave’s dice and skills were good enough for a 2-1 win, despite me lucking in a turn 8 to go in 1-1 at the half and receiving. Shocking, and had I not been driving, I would have been availing myself of the bar at this stage.  Alex, Linus and Jip all won!

4 games in a day however meant there was no time for moping, and my loss was rewarded with a halfling matchup, though I wasn’t pleased to see the bundle of evil that is Puggy on the other side of the table (on the pitch, not the coach – that was Nightwing).  I had a fair amount of control, but he managed a one-turner in the first half, and then in the second I scored in 2 in order to push for a big score to make myself feel better (as there were no TD bonus points).  Unfortunately, this bit me on the bottom in his Turn 15/16, with a dodge, dodge, pickup in 2 TZ, dodge, GFI dodge, GFI dodge, throw in two TZ, land, survive a two dice block, GFI score. Entirely legit.  2-2 draw.  Another win for Jip!  Becoming a force to be reckoned with…

Lunch included some awesome cake!  Then game 3 against Goblins, coached by Cornish, in our first game, despite having been on the same circuit for ages. He had Ripper and two B&C, plus Fink the Fixer – the goblin roster is evolving!  Fun game, including a TTM score, and it was pretty close until about turn 13.  Will look forward to a rematch!  3-1 win. Meanwhile, Jip’s dice abandoned him at a critical point so he ended on a 2-2 draw.  Top 3 tables all drew though, so game 4 was critical.  Linus and Alex were both on 2 wins as well, so family honour was up for grabs!

Game 4 was a Scot-off, as I played against our gracious host, though he wasn’t taking it entirely seriously with Underworld, including the Verminator!  I did my best to lose it, leaving Skitter unmarked at a critical moment, and then playing foolishly towards the end, but recorded a 2-1 win to put me at a reasonable 2-1-1, and just ahead of Linus and Alex both on 2-0-2.  Jip finished on 2-1-1 as well, but he had almost twice the opponent score that I had, so entirely reasonably was three places ahead in the table (and king of the car!).

Callum picked up his second spoon, but had a good day, so many thanks to all his opponents for their patience!  Linus and Alex were really quite shouty, so apologies for that, but at least there was no Waterbowl-style meltdown… 

Congratulations to Hawca for another tourney win, and massive thanks to him for donating his team prize to Alex in recognition of his entertaining play against him!  We’ve been happily sticking platypuses together this morning, and he’s hoping to bring them to Sawbbbowl next month, when Linus will also be completing the 26.

Jip was kind enough to cede his right as King of the Car to choose the takeaway, so I got my Grand Mac on the way home.  Funny old BB day, as I basically played much worse than my best all day, but the company was as good as ever, and that’s what it’s all about.  Or so I’ve been told.

Will bring my A game to SAWBBBBBBowl in April – Pro Elf (currently on 149.99 ranking) or Chaos Dwarf (only 5 NAF games) I think!  Can’t wait!

Waterbowl Sunday

For completeness, here’s how Sunday went (did you miss Saturday?).  My cunning ruse to lose game 3 on the Saturday in order to get an easier game on the Sunday (not really…) worked a treat, as the woodland folk managed to run in 5 touchdowns against a norse team hell bent on passing the ball!  Lovely chap, but the sun didn’t help, and he ran out of rerolls pretty quickly.  With 15 touchdowns in 4 games, I was pretty sure that I had most TDs in the bag, but was keen to consolidate!

Then came my first NAF game against Bretonnians, who I had heard impressive things about in tournament settings, and I am running them in our tabletop league.  This was Firebreather completing his 26-team quota after using Khorne at UKTC.Steve was using Dolfar (the one with long legs at the back, but he left the pitch pretty quickly (a lack of any blocking skills will do that to a person).  I received and went for the slow score, but left myself just a smidgeon to do in the last couple of turns, so went in at 0-0 (boo to most touchdowns!). The Brets started the second half strongly, but they lost all the knights by turn 12 after the ball carrier got surfed due to a 5+ dodge into a sideline cage, and it was then highlighted that without the knights this team is pretty bad!  The elves did their elfy thing, going the length of the pitch, and snuck a 1-0 win.

Respectability was looming at 3-0-2, but I had to face Don_Vito’s Undead in the last game, who I had witnessed demolishing the skaven next to me in the previous round (a turn 10 pitch clear, no less).  Luckily for me, he used up all his good cas dice in that game, and despite multiple knockdowns due to my aggressive attack on his ball carrier it was turn 10 before any of my players actually left the pitch – bonkers stuff.

We finished 1-1 after a horrible double skulls for me in turn 15, which didn’t come close to outweighing his ridiculously bad armour dice in the first half.

Most touchdowns was mine, happily – a very large trophy for the mantelpiece, and as a family we took home these three Sizzlers (in commemoration my first opponent), which I will be using as my 3 free cheerleaders for Bubba on Saturday – more Blood Bowl!

BB Roundup 25th Feb

Welcome to the first in what will hopefully be a regular series of updates of what’s going on in the world of Blood Bowl – I keep tabs on discussions on the Facebook group, plus Reddit and Twitter, and TFF, so hopefully should pick up most stuff.

So, what’s new this week (or possibly more than a week, as this is the first…)

Just a quickie this week, to see if there’s an appetite, but I’ll try to put these out reasonably often.

Waterbowl Saturday

The first Waterbowl for the boys started at 5:30am on the Saturday for a three hour journey to Manchester, picking up Jip on the way.  This begged the age-old question – “if the house is in complete darkness and the person you’re picking up is not responding to their phone, how long do you leave it before abandoning them?”.  Luckily for him, the answer was more than 10 minutes, so he was able to make the journey!

80 coaches (biggest WB ever?) were there at the marvellous North West Gaming Centre, unrecognisable from a few years ago, and home of Element Games.  I was using Wood Elves, in my quest for a tournament win with as many races as possible, Linus had Khorne, his 24th of the 26 races and Alex turned to Pro Elves.  I took two throwers, a variety of roster that I hadn’t seen before (probably for a good reason) and a Jump Up tree, as well as a M9 catcher for one-turn score shenanigans, but much more besides.

My first game was against previous NAF Champion and recent UKTC team winner Sizzler with Dark Elves.  I was pretty happy with how I played, keeping him in his half while the wardancer leaps did their stuff, but the casualties took their toll, and when I started the second half with 6 against his 11, a 2-1 loss was actually reasonably respectable.  Time to start drinking!  Alex drew against one of Valen’s kids, throwing away a 2-0 advantage (tish!) and Linus lost narrowly to Chaos Dwarfs.

I was rewarded for my loss with some goblins, who had lost 5-0 in their first round, again against wood elves, so there were high standards to meet.  Boom! 7-1!  My biggest win, which I think wasn’t too horribly painful for him (but maybe it was).  Alex managed another draw against orcs this time, out-injuring him with his elves (nice!), and Linus went down to Undead.

Skaven for me game three, and it should have been comfortable once his M10 gutter headed to the dead box, but a couple of critical nasty dice rolls and a dead Leader made life difficult.  I should have been able to stall out for a 2-2 draw, but I took the score in hope of a turnover win, and paid the price going down 3-2.  Linus went down again for an entertaining but fruitless Saturday, but the result of the round went to Alex who pulled some crazy dice out of nowhere for a draw against Mr Joemanji and his Undead.

Leading on most touchdowns, I’ll hope to consolidate that position today against Lokjaw’s Norse.  Alex is leading the Sann Clan on 030 and has Bim, from Sweden, with Necro, and Linus is looking for his first points against Muttley’s High Elf team.

Honourable mention at this point to Jip, currently king of the car after wins in games 1 and 2 and a tie in game 3, all against top coaches.  Hoping for some silverware to take back to Swindon!

Follow the Sunday via my Facebook page:


After pitiful amounts of sleep over the weekend, I should be in bed, but I’m filling time as I wait for the kids to sort themselves out.  3am start on the Saturday for nice clear roads, and in time to get to York and have breakfast with my awesome German hosts – thanks very much for the sofa for Saturday night, team NRW!

A nice walk through York, and it’s time to set up the streaming stuff  and say hello to people before heading to the pre-drawn tables.  Team ARBBL (for whom I am a cold-blooded mercenary) are in a small room off of the main one, which made for quite a cool intense game, 4 v 4, winner takes… some points.  Fun opponent, who hadn’t played against vamps much, so my 4 with 8 thralls and 4 rerolls (no Chaney) were able to have much Gaze fun and start the weekend with a win, despite some inevitable Pro Elf nonsense.  Good to play against a well painted new GW team too!

The team win was enough to take us into the main room, and come up against team CSGB, with me facing Yogi’s Ghostbuster-themed Undead team.  A decent coach with a decent team, if someone had offered me a draw I’d have been happy.  I managed to put some pressure on his drive, but not enough to make it count, and the only real ray of light came in my turn 8 when I killed a block ghoul and a mummy, making the second half a much rosier prospect.  He was so dominant in the first half that he removed his endzone to make the pitch fit on the table more easily!

We did indeed get the draw, but a narrow team loss put us back in the smaller room, this time against the Geordie Stars, with me against Indibro’s Chaos.  Chaos is a pretty good matchup for vamps, and I didn’t do a lot wrong, but every time the ball went loose on his drive it went to one of his players!  Not ideal, and ended up losing 2-0 (I think…).  Definitely a loss, anyway, but a team win put us back in the big room at the start of day 2.

But not for long, as France’s Team Baguette gave us an absolute spanking…

Before that however Saturday night happened – the ref team doing an excellent job of hosting two large curries for all the foreign visitors and anyone else who fancied it – this is an excellently social tournament. We then decamped to the White Swan with a decent number of the players, and I made it a 22 hour day by the time I made it back to my sofa!

Another excellent breakfast set me up nicely for Doc Grotsnik to destroy me with his Deathroller and Dwarfs – I made my first obvious mistake of the tournament in dedicating too much firepower to knocking down his front line, meaning that I sacrificed the possibility of getting in a good position turn one.  It was pretty much a struggle from then on, and ended as a 2-0 loss, as did all our games in that round, and that was the last we saw of the big room!

Next was Aberdeen’s Granite City Cutters, and GoldenEye’s Chaos Dwarfs – we had both played for Scotland at last year’s Eurobowl, so had our own little guys cheering us on.

Media preview

I managed to pounce immediately and knock the ball free after some funky gaze action, and after he decided to remove any sign of pows from his block dice, I was able to keep the pressure up and score in turn 7 of his drive.  The second half should have been straightforward, but Nuffle punished a tactically unnecessary GFI with a gift of snake eyes, which made for a tight finish.

Last up was Ringbeard’s Chaos Pact, after a significant amount of laughing at Darkson on the next table for being drawn against the only Khorne team at the tournament.  I was pretty pleased with the way I played, coming within a 2+ of a strip ball blitz on his ball carrier on his drive, and then snaking a score on mine, but it ended 1-0.  12 fun turns, just a shame to finish with 4 turns of disappointment!  Alex was gentlemanly as ever, and I will hope to get my revenge at Waterbowl in a month’s time!

I was in charge of the raffle, raising funds for the World Cup in Dornbirn, and thanks to Hungry Troll’s generous sponsorship the good people of UKTC raised around £450 for the world cup and £50 for UKTC funds, which will help to pay for goodies for next year’s tournament – moving to a bigger and better venue, and including food.  Hurrah!

Thanks to Pipey and Circusbear for sterling organisation work, and again to RSHD, Arioso (and Mrs A), DocMaxx and PeterD for their hospitality.  Until next time…

Get a race list from Score

Today’s early morning nerdery!

If you right click on this file and use “Save As” to save it into the Templates folder of your Score folder, then when you click “Print Draw” it will give you a list of all the races: do draw

(don’t forget to save the original “do draw” somewhere else first, and put it back afterwards)

The next step is to copy and paste the list of races into the input tab of this spreadsheet: RaceCounter

Et voila, a race count and lovely bar chart!

The NAF Presidency

After a couple of years as NAF President, and with less than 2 weeks to go, I thought it would be a good time to offer a few points about what the job involves, and what you can and can’t do, partly to inform the choice that people are making in the election, and to give some background to some of the questions that people are asking. I will use he throughout, as all past Presidents have been male as are the candidates. But I hope we will have a future female President!

The single most important point is that the President is part of a committee of 6 – 4 elected and 2 appointed members.  Therefore the decisions he can make by himself are quite few.  That said, he can appoint the Vice-President and Membership Director, thus giving half the votes on the committee, so the potential is there for a certain amount of control, but it is traditional that there is a certain amount of consensus, if not always 100% agreement.


The Committee communicate formally by email, through a dedicated forum, and by monthly meetings over Skype, along with personal communication between Committee members by whatever means.  Because they are individuals (y’know, with lives) the extent to which each member participates in each conversation changes, but substantial decisions are always taken in meetings.

The next level of communication is with wider NAF staff (NTCs/RTCs), and this is something I tried to do more often with emails, but never to the extent that I would have liked.  The NAF forum is little-used, but could perhaps be made busier if NAF staff wanted it that way.  With hindsight it would have been good to get more buy-in on decisions like Piling On, and hopefully this will happen with future Death Zone releases.

Then there is communication with NAF members and the wider BB community, through the newsletter and social media.  The newsletter is done through dotmailer, as it allows people to unsubscribe and so on, as well as being a useful way of putting the newsletter together.  While expensive, at around £100 per newsletter, newsletters from large organisations do need to be done professionally, and it is the most effective way of reaching the whole membership.  There would be options such as only sending to current members, but I always believed that reaching out to expired members would also be useful.

Social media is a tricky one, and I have probably conflated too much my roles as NAF President and an Admin of BB Community on Facebook, which future Presidents would be wise to avoid.  This was a hangover from my time as NAF Media Officer, so it would be wise for the incoming President to delegate if possible to a trusted Media Officer or get the Vice President to take on the role of replying to questions, or passing on information from the NAF Facebook page, for example.  I was always happy to do it, as it was a good way of communicating individually with members, but probably was not the most sensible role for the elected position.

In summary, communication has not been as good as I would have wanted, but basically, it’s very difficult!  People in the hobby are enthusiastic for news as soon as possible, but will also think of things that the committee has not considered, so on an ongoing basis the Committee will have to be prepared for any decision having its dissenters, even when you think a decision is fairly uncontroversial (e.g. the 3 game requirement for the 24 patches).

Games Workshop

I was going to include “communication with external bodies” in the section above, but the interaction with GW is important enough to warrant its own section.  I have always done my best to maintain open lines of communication with GW, but this has never been able to be public, due to GW’s policies of keeping development in-house, so it has not been possible for the NAF to have formal engagement, for example, in developing the rules.  As a result the NAF have to deal with whatever we are given, and the “power” will always inevitably lie with GW.  The NAF has an active membership of around 3,000 and an all-time membership of around 15,000, which is miniscule compared to the sales of the board game and even more so compared to Cyanide, so while our members may be extremely enthusiastic and knowledgeable, they don’t necessarily have the buying power to influence a corporation’s decisions.

Finally, on GW, there is a balance between accepting rules changes from GW and keeping the existing player base happy, from which the result is almost always that no-one is completely happy.  This is a recurring theme, in general, in any kind of politics, including NAF politics, and something that the NAF committee do have to accept.

The Website and Rankings

It was part of my election pledge to revamp the website, and I believe I have done so, but not in the way I expected.  Before I was elected I expected a whole new website on a voluntary basis, but this did not work out, so the committee took the decision to invest in the existing one, having investigated the cost of getting a new one developed commercially.  The new coach page and coach finder now provide functionality that I thought should always have existed, and when combined with the wordpress section on it does actually provide a lot of what a centralised hobby network should offer.  Not everything, by a long way, but a lot.

This ties into rankings, with a frequent refrain of decay being built in, so that rankings do not last forever if someone stops playing with a particular race.  As well as being a major change, about which the committee would have to be very certain, this would be an ongoing talking point.  I don’t feel strongly either way, but I think there is plenty for the NAF to be getting on with without it.

The Candidates

A quick word on the candidates, both of whom I have a great deal of respect for.  I encouraged Gaixo to stand as he has been an impressive TD, getting on with the day-to-day job as well as having an eye on the wider development of the NAF on a global basis, and being appropriately accessible to members and responsive to other committee members as well as wider NAF staff.  Driesfield was involved in a very successful Eurobowl in Belgium and is very well-known and popular among the European community, and has always seemed sensible.  Neither is likely to reverse the result of the referendum, and neither is likely to tell GW where to stick their new rules, so hopefully the NAF will be in safe hands.


One of the items I believe should be in the new President’s inbox is the structure of the NAF in general – I started this early in my term, but for various reasons had to put it to one side.  There are ways that the NAF works that should be transparent, so that any member can see what is going on, but it is difficult sometimes to document these.  It would be a very useful exercise, however.

That leads to an important point.  The Treasurer, Tournament Director, League Director and Membership Director all have specific jobs that take up a fair amount of time, whereas the President and VP have more flexibility with their time and what projects they choose to pursue, and this is in my opinion the big opportunity that the incoming President has – he will not actually have a daily “to-do list” that is his responsibility alone.  I got involved in resetting passwords and things like that, but this should all be delegated.  The President should have a vision as to what they can do to make the NAF better, and then be prepared to push for it and devote time to it.

So my question to the candidates – what one thing will be different about the NAF in 2 years as a result of your Presidency?

Finally however, the important point is that the NAF lives and dies on its members.  If a NAF member would like the NAF to do something, the NAF has a certain amount of financial resources and support available to make it happen.  But if you care enough to complain about something not happening, ideally you would care enough to make it happen.  The Tournament Series badges were a great example of this – they didn’t exist, someone thought it would be a good idea, put it to the NAF, and now they exist.  If you care enough to complain that something should change, get involved so that you can influence change. 

I am very glad that these two excellent people have put their names forward to be NAF President.  Read the Q&A, ask questions, spread the word, make a decision, then vote.