In this article I will explain some of the “advance” rules in Blood Bowl. In rule book these rules are called extra rules, but I can’t imagine playing Blood Bowl without these rules. This rules and ability to modify your team throughout a season is what makes this game so special and real. When playing with these rules there is almost nothing missing to make this game as realistic as possible.
In this article only rules that affect game will be explained, more about team management and with championship in the future. First we will start with the Kick-off Table. This is a perfect way to see how things work in the Old World, when you have different races on the pitch and different races cheering for their teams. After ball was placed on the pitch by kicking team, roll for the Kick-off table. Roll 2D6 and consult the table. There are different things that can happen. On roll of 2 referee is eliminated and for half that this was rolled, referee won’t sent players out of the pitch for making fouls. There are rolls that will most likely kill your player. For example, if a cheering crowd is not pleased by playing teams, they may start throwing rocks and someone of the players is likely to get hit. After being hit by a rock, roll on injury table, without first rolling to beat armor value. There are also few results on the kick-off table that will grant your team an extra re-roll this half. This is really useful, but firstly you have to beat your opponent either with better coaching or louder cheering of your fans. As in all sports weather can ruin every perfect game, and in the Old World weather is likely to change every minute.
One of the most challenging things to do is to run in heavy blizzard or to throw a ball across the pitch if sun is shining directly into your eyes. Before the game starts roll 2D6 on weather table. In most cases weather is perfect and it doesn’t affect players. However, there are times that you have to play in extreme heat or unbearable cold. Two most extreme weather rolls are Sweltering Heat and Blizzard. When it is too hot, after every drive roll a D6 for every player and if 1 is rolled that player has dehydrated and is unable to return during the next kick-off. In blizzard, players are likely to fall due to the ice covering the field. If player is using Going For It, he fails on roll of 1 and 2, and is knocked down. And only quick and short passes can be attempted. Weather can easily change is you roll 7 on the kick-off table.
Players may pass the ball from one to another, but not every pass is certain. That is why a player may run to next and hand off the ball directly to other players hands. This action is known as Handing-off the ball. Player holding a ball must be adjacent to player he wants to pass ball to. Player passing the ball doesn’t have to roll to pass the ball, as this is considered to be a sure pass. However, player that the ball is passed to has to catch it, or otherwise the ball is lost and it is a turnover. Catching a hand-off is done with +1.
One of the most important abilities of all players is to assist and help when his teammates are in need. This is called Assisting a Block. This is probably the most confusing thing in Blood Bowl, as you need to know who can and who can’t assist, but it is easily learned if you are patient. To assist someone player must be adjacent to the enemy player that is involved in the block. Assisting player must not be in the enemies tackle zone, as in that case his ability to assist is lost. Assisting player must be standing, and must have his own tackle zone. This sound weird but in some cases player doesn’t have its own tackle zone. This ability to assist is very important as or every assisting player, blocking player receives +1 on his strength and there for if his strength is higher he rolls more blocking dice. Always try to have someone to assist. Players may end their action and still assist, or assist and then perform their action. Experienced coaches know how to place their player so that they always have someone to look their back.
We have all seen rugby players lifting each other in order to catch flying ball. In Blood Bowl it is known as Interception, and it can be made by player standing between throwing and catching player. Plastic ruler is used to determine the way ball is traveling and if middle line of the ruler touches square with the enemy player, he may try to intercept the ball. Interception is made with -2 penalty and -1 for every enemy tackle zone that player attempting to intercept is standing in. It is hard to catch flying ball, but it there is always a chance of rolling 6 and that is always considered to be a successful interception.
In basic rules passing the ball was explained but these rules bring something different. Passing player may fumble and loose a ball. This automatically causes a turnover. If passing player rolls unmodified 1 he has fumbled and the ball is lost. This makes game more interesting, as you never truly know how experienced your players are.
And last but not least, is players ability to kick someone who is on the ground. As in all sports, players in Blood Bowl especially, tend to hurt their opponents. In Blood Bowl, once per turn player may per perform a Foul action. To do this, player must be adjacent to player that is on the ground, or ending his movement adjacent to a player who is on the ground. To successfully foul the enemy player, roll to beat armor value. If successful roll on the injury table. Your players may assist a foul with similar rules to assisting a block, however, every assisting player gives -1 on armor value of fouled player. Be careful not to be seen by the referee. If doubles are rolled when rolling for armor value and for the injury table, referee has seen your player and will kick him out for the rest of the game. Use this action wisely, if there is no other option or at the end of the game to collect more exp for your players.
This was a bit long article, but as I said in the article about the Basic rules, Blood Bowl is more than just a game and every new and challenging rule makes it even more interesting to play. In the future we will start a new team together and try to run it through a season.