As all of you know, I love Card Games and each week, I talk at length either in review or in strategy of certain card games. Other than Magic the Gathering, most of the time, I would talk about Digital Card Games, be it from Gwent or of other games. Today, I will be talking about a card game that is a Table Top instead which are played between friends and family. Today, I will be talking about the violent Blood Bowl Team Manager Game.
In Blood Bowl, you will be playing games of a satire of the American Football sports, but you won’t be fielding players or playing the whole American Football game. Instead, imagine the highlights of a game that is being shown on television where most of the awe and wonder of a game is being shown. That is what this game is about, but instead of awe and wonder, it will mostly be cheating, bloody tackles and violence. Instead of playing as a player of the sport, you will instead be the Manager of a team, sending them to death in this violent sport of Football.
Blood Bowl Team Manager is a card game that can be played between 2 to 4 players, but it’s best played with 4 players as the more players there are, the bloodier it will be. There are 6 teams to choose from and each team represents a race, that is, the humans, dwarfs, elves, skavens, orcs or the chaos. A player will pick a team which will give them a deck of 12 starting players to play with at the beginning of the game. As the game goes on, the players will be able to obtain Star Players to add to their deck, staff as supports and even a stadium to help them out.
I won’t be going into details on the rules and how to play as it’s best to learn on your own. Trust me, it’s a very easy game to learn and play straight out of the box. There aren’t much complicated rules to memorize except for the abilities of the icons on the player cards. Still, everything provided in game, from the symbol and icons of the cards to the rules of the gameplay is simple enough that you won’t have a headache trying to learn.
The Players will be competing against each other for the rewards on each highlight cards placed on the table. The rewards may vary from upgrades to the players team, staff upgrades and the most important reward of all, the fans. The goal of the game is to collect as many fans as you can in the course of a 5-round game. Each highlights may reward random amount of fan points or upgrades and players have to decide whether to go for upgrades or fan points.
There are some random elements in the game to help out players. For instance, with the tackling mechanic where a player card tackles another player card violently to gain the ball or to boot the card from the game, the player will be rolling dices for the success of the tackle which sometimes can back fire and injure the tackling player card. Another one is the cheating mechanic where a player may cheat and succeed or get booted from the field as a foul instead. To me, the random elements in the game neither hinder the players nor punish them but instead provide a sense of realism on this satire of the American Football sport.
The game can go any way as the players add more Star Players into the team, upgrades and cheat their way to getting into the heart of the fans. Each team has their own flavor and identity, and each card has their own look and feel that players playing their Teams will not feel redundant or bland. The game succeeds in reproducing the feeling of playing in a highlight of an American Football with the flavor and violence of the fantasy universe that the Players will feel the glory, violence and fouls the game provides.
So if you are into American Football sport or a satire of it, and the violence, glory, fouls and name-calling that the game brings, you will enjoy Blood Bowl Team Manager. If you prefer soft cupcakes, unicorns, teamwork, and congratulating each other, stay away from the game and get Sudoku instead.