Fun with GW Specialist Games

Specialist Games - Blood BowlLast month, think it was last month, I discovered the PC game Blood Bowl. I shouldn’t say discovered, I knew about it when they were developing it, but I did finally pick it up. What can I say other than the game is incredibly fun. After learning some basics from the game’s tutorial I set out to learn the rules as written by GW, seeing as the PC game is a direct translation. The game is so simple to learn and is much like chess in that you can learn it in a matter of minutes but take a lifetime to master.

I have just been running through the campaign and not playing online against anyone. At some point I’ll jump in for some person vs person action but not until I’m more comfortable with what I’m doing and my understanding of the rules.

Anyway, playing the PC version of Blood Bowl has peaked my interest in the table top version. It’s a cheap game to get into, compared to 40K or Fantasy. Instead of buying the actual Blood Bowl models though, which are all metal and rather dated looking, when I get around to it I’ll most likely convert my own. With so few models needed it’ll be a great chance to spend some time on each model doing sculpting, general converting and painting. Of course, I do need to find people to play against but I don’t think that will be too hard.

For the past year or so I’ve also looked at Necromunda. It’s one of those games I’ve always heard talked about by veteran gamers and they all love the game. Kamui and some others started playing it back in high school but I wasn’t doing any table top gaming at that point. However, Kamui still has all of the gangs he started back then, which is most of the gangs in the game, so getting my feet wet will be easy. I’ve been looking to try out the House Van Saar gang. I’m also interested in the Spyrers but I figure I’ll get the basics of the game figured out before I work on the expansion gangs.

I’ve been reading the rules and sourcebook for Necromunda and it really looks like a lot of fun. The mechanics are familiar to me being a 40K player, so more a matter of picking up on the nuances of it, and there are a lot of those.

The thing that really interests me with both of these games is that role-playing progressive aspect of them. There’s a true sense of danger when you play these games. That model you adore and have invested so much time and effort to build up can become a casualty in a game and is gone for good. Of course, that model can live on and become powerful, anchoring your team or gang. The simple evolution of your team or gang, the various factors involved in a game beyond just putting them on the field or in the underhive, is really appealing to me. It’s like the games themselves are living, breathing entities. That’s why I enjoy 40K campaigns so much, as rarely as I get to play them. It’s nice to have something to look forward to in a game beyond just winning and losing.

So, what specialist games do you all play, if any? Do you have any advice for a new Blood Bowl player and a budding Necromunda player?

  • Anonymous

    Necromunda is the game that got me into wargaming. The complex rule set, but small amount of minis to control makes it the ideal game to learn the the concepts of the Games Workshop system.

    And for veteran players, the ability to power game with insane combos as well as crazy deep tactical play makes it really fun.

  • I think we have all versions of Blood Bowl here… my son has taught my daughter how to play and she’s a brutalizer with her Dwarves.

    I came across what looked to be a Necromunda box set at a garage sale pretty recently- turned out to be the box but with Werewolf ;Rage CCg cards inside it- massive disappointment.

  • Counterfett

    That’s deifinitely what keeps me coming back to Necromunda and Mordhiem, despite the fact I don’t have much measured affection for the system. UNlike nikephoros, though, I got into this mess with GorkaMorka! :D

    • Ah, Gorkamorka. I attempted to get into that just after high school. I bought the starter box, built and painted everything but had nobody to play. I tried getting my girlfriend at the time into it and that failed. Kamui and I were talking about Gorkamorka the other night, once I brought up Necromunda. Probably have to give it a go soon.

      Not a fan of the system, eh? Granted, I haven’t played Necromunda yet but the system “seems” fine. Close combat is definitely not what I’m used to in a system but shooting and such seems standard.

      • Ben

        Gorkamorka is a favourite of mine. I too suffered from the “nobody to play” problem back in the day. The second time around worked out better. Much enjoyment has been had. is partly my fault, for example.

  • Slipwing

    I have played in a couple of Bloodbowl leagues within the last couple years, great game. League play is lots of fun.

    I have also played practically all the others at some point (BFG, Necromunda, Mordheim, Gorkamorka, Space Hulk). All good games.

    • You been playing in the online leagues or you talking about table top? Either way, it does seem like the bread and butter of the game.

  • Gorkamorka was a good time, but I didn’t dig the Blood Bowl video game. Found it buggy and soooo slow between actions, ruined the pacing for me. Also, the spelling errors were bad.

    • Cyanide is a French company, right? I know it’s not a native English speaking country that the dev team is from anyway. Not a good excuse for poor translation though.

      The bugginess is one of the biggest gripes of any player I find. I agree about the slowness. I wish they had options where you could eliminate the movement animations and just move from point A to point B. I think 90% of the time I spend in a game is watching guys run across the pitch.

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