Blood Bowl is Life.
This has been the running "joke" phrase of the AGBBL (Adventurer's Guild Blood Bowl League) since I've been involved with them back in 2003. The crew up in Harrisburg, PA know their stuff when it comes to Blood Bowl.....perhaps the greatest little specialist game that Games Workshop had ever come up with.
What is Blood Bowl you ask? It is a variant loosely based upon American Football played in the Warhammer Fantasy Battles Setting. The fluff behind it started out more as a joke than anything serious. But what happened is that Blood Bowl took on a Pop-Culture style following amongst gamers. So essentiall if you combined the following aspects, you would get an idea of what Blood Bowl is: The NFL, Rugby, WWE Wrestling, Lord of the Rings, Warhammer Fantasy, and a 3-Ring Circus. Blood Bowl is a fun, silly and chaotic game that tests your skill, stragegies, patience and sanity.
Initially, Games Workshop stopped supporting the game, my best guess is because it is not a huge money maker. An entire full roster is only 16 models. Sure, GW makes their own line of models and as expected, they are very good quality. The fun aspect of Blood Bowl is that it is a game that screams out "Conversions!". In my experience in the hobby now, some 8 years, I notice that folks get started by borrowing a team from experienced players, who tend to own several, or they start out with a standard boxed set team.
Once settled into the hobby, a player will collect a second team, something more suited to their style.
As the hobby grew, so too did independent support. Perhaps the most important and well known is the NAF. So nammed after what "the founders", the story goes....of the Dwarf "Roze El" and the orcs on the battlefield that fateful day that uncovered a lost stadium and the holy book to "Nuffle" (NFL), the lost god of football. You may have up to 16 players on your roster, but the sacred number of "11" is what you are allowed to put onto the field each time.
So was born Nuffle Amorical Football. (NAF). In the gaming community, the NAF is an organization that actually supports Blood Bowl, tournaments, and allows for international rankings amongst players. Also, for a $10 annual membership, they send you a set of colored Blocking Dice....which are well worth that fee alone. Those are the main thing one needs to play, in addition to a field.
Also, as the hobby has grown, many independent companies have created varaint football teams. Some are funny such as some done up as "Playboy bunnies", and another as "Nuns". (Shadowforge Miniatures). Another company that has been supporting a lot of the AGBBL tournaments is Impact Minaitures, and they make great models as well as travel cases perfect for transport of your Blood Bowl team and also for travel to tournaments.
AGBBL....I came across these folks when i was researching some information for our local gamers in the Reading PA area on Blood Bowl. We attempted (unsuccessfully) to run some leagues in the area, but just had lack of support and no real knowledge on the subject. But my interest in the game was secured.
I picked up playing with the folks in the AGBBL in season 3. Now, we are in Season 9, and I am having a blast. I have 5 teams I own, most of them based upon "actual" fictional locations within the Warhammer Fantasy universe. I have my favorites, as I prefer a more direct pounding style of offense, much like the old school Pittsburgh Steelers of the 1970's, and I go with a dwarf team as my favorite. Hopefully one day soon, I will be able to run a league and host a tournament in the Reading PA area for my friends.
My current teams that I own are:
* Dwarf: Black Fire Pass Blitzers (Hail from Karak Varn in the Black Fire Mountains by Black Fire Pass)
* Humans: Couronne Panthers (modled after the Carolina Panthers, Couronne is the capitol of Bretonnia)
* Orcs: Blood Peak Punishers (I've never played them in a league yet!)
* Chaos Dwarfs: Public Enemy (my tournament team, but Chaos Dwarfs are in my opinion, one of the most diverse teams and one of my favorites)
* Chaos Pact: Nemesis Enforcers: (Converted from Chaos Marauders, but have the ability to have 3 "Big Guys": an Ogre, Troll, and Minotaur as well as a goblin, Dark Elf, and Skaven runner. VERY tough team in a league, I did terrible last season).
The folks in Harrisburg at the Adventurer's Guild are very serious about their Blood Bowl hobby. In fact, they host several tournaments throughout the year that are sanctioned by the NAF for national rankings. One of my farorites happens to be coming up in April 10th. It's the 4-Diamonds Cup! This is special to me because the tournament is a fund raiser for the Four Diamonds Fund, the largest student-run philanthopy around, and it's at Penn State and Hershey Medical Center, raising money to help children battling Cancer and other medical challenges. (My daughter was treated there for Leukemia for 2 years. Thanks to their help and support, she is finished her chemo and recovering now to a normal life).
Some Fun Facts that my friend (And Arch Nemesis!) Evan Doyle recently posted on the AGBBL website list me in a few categories. Mind you, i've been playing since season 3, some of these guys have been there since season 1. :
On 4/2/2010 Evan_Doyle said: Recent/Upcoming Milestones: Mike B won his 30th game last week (5th all time). JKarr and Josh need 1 win for 30 wins. Jamie needs 2 wins for 30 wins.
Evan scored his 150th TD. Ed needs 1 more for 150 TDs, Jamie needs 3 for 100 TDs and Mongo needs 11 for 200 TDs (all time leader).
Ed got his 175th Cas. Rich got his 100th Cas. Stoner needs 3 to reach 125 Cas, Mongo needs 3 to reach 175 Cas and Mike B needs 12 to reach 200 Cas (2nd All Time).
Evan and Mongo played their 100th Regular Season Game (against each other). Roy's next game is his 50th regular season game.
(I didn't realize 30 wins was a milestone, but nice to know I am there now! Also, the Casualty count is impressive. Mongo is the commissioner of the AGBBL and has been since its inception.)