I suppose this is as good a place as any for me to chronicle my foray into running an NAF sanctioned Blood Bowl tournament. This being the week of the tournament, it isn’t going to be a play by play as much as a recollection and then maybe a place for me to post pictures of stuff I had done… then probably a place for pictures of the event itself.
To start: I knew that I didn’t want to run a tournament that was being held around the same time as other tournaments that I want to attend. Competition for coaches wasn’t something I was interested in. So it was going to be catered to more local folks, but I wanted to make it interesting enough to appeal to others as well. So placing it in January offered me a few benefits. First – it was far enough away from Chaos Cup, which is also held in the same general vicinity (not going to try and compete with the US Major that is the one tournament I will always attend ;). Second – it is just after the holidays and during a time when folks are looking to start something new, and or use new toys they may have gotten the previous month. Third – it offered a fantastic avenue for a theme. And a solid theme is something that, I believe, all tournaments should have.
I love winter. I lived in Minneapolis for close to 18 years and I currently live in Chicago. I loathe sweating when I’m not doing anything and I love thick warm socks and cozy sweatshirts. I also love the Norse race. My team, the Nordeast Nor’Easters, is a team I bought from a person who lived in Northeast Minneapolis, and I’ve named each player after a bar, restaurant or liquor store in –what is affectionately known as– “Nordeast”. I will possibly blog about my teams some other time. Suffice to say – a tournament in the Midwestern United States in the middle of January will be for folks that don’t mind the cold. So with the advent of Games Workshop actually releasing three new winter pitches this past December, and the fact that it’s easy to theme up a tournament (without getting wildly out of the norm) by changing the weather table… boom. Theme. I don’t like options that add to armour rolls if players fall down, though, so I customized options from various wintery weather tables throughout the history of Blood Bowl.
Winter Wizards Bowl Weather Table
- 2 Wicked Wind Chill:
- “Cold out here, ain’t it? Well… when you’re out there, and you’re thinking it’s so cold you might die, you just think of me… I’ll be sitting over here by the heater in the dugout.” Roll a D6 for each player on the pitch at the end of a drive. On a roll of 1, the player’s brain has not yet frozen to the point where they don’t think sitting by the heater would be in their best interest for the next drive. They may not be set up for the next kick-off.
- 3 Heavy Snow:
- Visibility is low, it’s slippery underfoot and it’s impossible to spot tripping hazards, making it very difficult to block effectively.Whenever a player makes a Blitz Action, their ST is reduced by 1 for the duration of that Action.
- 4 – 10 Brisk:
- It’s rather chilly, but it is as close to perfect Blood Bowl weather as you can hope for at this time of year! This counts as a ‘Nice’ result for purposes of the Changing Weather result on the Kick-Off table. But don’t forget you are still playing on ice!!
- 11 Blizzard:
- Between the snow, the wind and the icy ground, it is a miracle the game’s still in progress! Any player attempting to move an extra square (GFI) will slip and be Knocked Down on a roll of 1-2, and only Quick or Short Passes can be attempted.
- 12 Ice Storm:
- If the fans weren’t raging drunk, they would have had enough sense to leave. It’s nose-hair cracking cold and raining ice!! Any player attempting to move an extra square (GFI) will slip and be knocked down on a roll of 1-3, they will then slide an additional 2 squares (use the sideline throw-in template to determine direction). in addition, only Quick Passes may be attempted.
So weather is a random thing – and isn’t always certain to affect the game. I hate the idea of folks always playing in the same weather the entire tournament. I also am not a fan of the “top table” determining the weather for everyone. Blood Bowl is random and I like random. But I also wanted an affect of some sort throughout the tournament. And while the rules for the new Frozen Elven Pitch were neat… I preferred the randomness of the Ice Field in Deathzone 2’s stadiums. Players falling down will slide and scatter like the ball – not displacing anyone in a chain push, but potentially sliding off the pitch! Fun times 😀
I also like Wizards. I loved the old 2nd edition wizards you could hire to give you spells, potions or magical items. I am still a huge fan of the old wizard from LRB4/CRP. The new wizard in Death Zone 2 is kind of a random thing, though… not very reliable in my opinion. I don’t think I’d waste the 80K on him unless I had nothing else to spend the inducement money on. However…. if EVERYONE had him 🙂 that might prove to be some wacky fun. So in keeping with the theme, I altered the “Horatio X. Schottenheim, Master Mage” so that it was a Snow Ball spell that just didn’t have Mighty Blow. The randomness of players being knocked down – and then sliding on the Ice Field – I think will be a fun and wacky aspect.
So those three things: Winter Weather Table, Ice Fields, a Winter Wizard for everyone… AND!… theme.
So the other things I wanted to clarify for the tournament were a couple “unwritten rules” I wanted written down. I named them after friends that I thought of when I think of these particular rules. We’ll see if my naming scheme follows… and I made the last one after myself because it is pretty much my motto for playing this wacky and fickle game.
Kilowoggy’s Guide to Banding
Folks that mark their skills with bands are awesome. If you have other ways to mark your skills, that’s great. If you use bands – please adhere to the following simple guidelines. Blue bands mean BLOCK. White bands mean WRESTLE. Green bands mean GUARD. Yellow bands mean DODGE. Red can mean anything “dangerous” (e.g. Mighty Blow, Tackle, Claw, Pass Block…). Anything else is up to you, but those first four should be across the board.<br /><br />
**The Tournament Organizer will have a Rainbow Loom on hand to assist**<br />
Jonas Lindgren’s Dice Sharing Rule
You should use the D6’s and D8’s provided to you. Use your own Block Dice (or share with your opponent). You are not required to share dice with your opponent unless they request it. Then you should be honored to share dice with them. Dice towers and/or dice cups are highly encouraged.
Anthony Sarlo’s Illegal Procedure
You are allowed and encouraged to yell or cackle “ILLEGAL PROCEDURE!!” and shake one or both fists in the air simultaneously if your opponent fails to move their turn marker. In the spirit of good sportsmanship, though, Illegal Procedures will not be enforced… but move your turn markers, please.
Jeffro’s Sportsmanship Outline
We are here for the fun of the game. Sportsmanship is encouraged and required. Doing things within the context of the game is not poor sportsmanship (e.g. fouling 16 times, surfing players, stalling out, running up the score, etc.). How you react to your choices, your opponent’s choices, and Nuffle’s whim determines your sportsmanship. Whether you are winning or losing – gloating, ridiculing, pouting, and complaining IS poor sportsmanship. Don’t do it. Be empathetic to your opponent’s failures and chuckle at your own and everyone is gonna have fun.
Well the actual tournament went really well. I had a blast – I think everyone that played had fun. Prizes were won and were done in a reasonable amount of time. Things to take away:
- Allow more time for the first round as folks get used to new rules.
- Bring a sign up sheet for folks the day of, if I don’t get them to preregister.
- Probably just get folks to preregister 😉
There were some rules that I forgot to familiarize myself with beforehand. Should do better with that earlier on so clarifications can be quick and painless day of. Had someone point out to me the way a rule worked as I had written / copied it from Death Zone 2… and I thought in mah brain that it worked a different way. Ah well…
All in all – glad I didn’t play, as that would’ve hampered my style running. I definitely want to get more ice pitches, though. I’d love to just have at least 5 or as many as 10 snowy / icy / tundra-like pitches for folks to just move their teams to. Something to aspire towards for next time. There definitely will be a next time.
*EDIT* One of the things that folks had mentioned might be interesting to do in order to make the Winter Wizard *slightly* more usable… rather than pick a spot and roll a random direction and D3 in that direction, scatter it like a pass with three rolls of the D8. I will probably test this a couple times with my son to see how ridiculous it might be. Suffice to say there were not many significant Snow Ball spells thrown (though I did witness one kill a Snow Troll 😉
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