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"Good evening, sports fans, and welcome to the Blood Bowl for tonight's contest. You join a capacity crowd, packed with members from every race across the Known World, all howling like banshees in anticipation of tonight's game. Oh, and yes, there are some banshees...Well, kick-off is in about twenty minutes, so we've got just enough time to recap the rules of the game before the battle begins. Your match commentator for tonight is Jim Johnson. Evening, Jim!"

"Thank you, Bob! Well, good evening, and boy, are you folks in for a great night of top-class sporting entertainment! First of all, though, for those of you at home who are unfamiliar with the rules, here's how the game is played.

"As you know, Blood Bowl is an epic conflict between two teams of heavily armed and quite insane warriors. Players pass, throw, or run with the ball, attempting to get it to the other end of the field, the End Zone. Of course, the other team must try to stop them and recover the ball. If a team gets the ball over the line into an opponent's End Zone it's called a touchdown. The team that scores the most touchdowns by the end of the match wins the game, and is declared Blood Bowl Champions! How do they do it? It's like this.."


This section explains the basic elements that make up the game board environment itself. I don't have any pictures to include yet, but they'll make it here (someday).

The Coaches: Don't look in the box for these, because there aren't any coaches included with the game - you and your opponent are the coaches! To avoid confusion with the teams' players (the plastic playing pieces), we will refer to you and the other real-life players as the team's coaches. All references to players are to the Blood Bowl pieces.

Playing Field: This is the field on which the game of Blood Bowl takes place. It's currently big and green (a bit like an Orc), but don't worry - it'll soon be flowing red! It is divided into squares to regulate movement and combat. Each square can hold only one Blood Bowl player at a time.

The areas at either end of the field are called the End Zones. If a team gets the ball into their opponent's End Zone, they score a touchdown. These are good things to score, as the team with the most touchdowns wins the match and can then dance around a lot!

In the center of the field is the Midfield Stripe, and running along the sides of the field are the lines which show the boundaries of the Wide Zones. The rows of squares on either side of the Midfield Stripe and between the two Wide Zones (14 squares in all) are known as the Line of Scrimmage. (The different squares would be shown in a diagram, if I had one.)

Kick-off Coin: You can use this 'coin' to determine which side kicks off first in the match. The coin has an Orc face on one side and an Imperial Eagle on the other. One coach tosses the coin in the air, and while it is there, the other coach calls 'Orcs' or 'Eagles'. The winner may decide whether to kick-off or receive to start the game.

Throw-in Template: In Blood Bowl, a ball that goes out of bounds is thrown back on to the field by the enthusiastic crowd. The Throw-in Template is used to determine where the ball ends up when it is thrown back into play. To use the Throw-in Template, position the square marked with the football over the last square the ball crossed before going off, with the center arrow (the one marked 3-4) pointing towards the opposite sideline. Roll one six-sided die. The result will show the direction in which the ball travels. Then simply roll two dice to see how many squares the ball will travel in that direction, counting from the square marked with the ball.

Scatter Template: The Scatter Template is used when the ball is dropped or a pass misses the target square. The rules for playing the game will tell you when you have to use the Scatter Template. To use it, position the central square over the football. Roll the eight-sided die, and move the ball to the square indicated by the score. (This eight-sided die is only ever used with the Scatter Template. Use it like a normal die, reading the number on the upward-facing side.)

Team Roster Sheets: The team rosters are used to create your team. This is explained in the section on how to play the game.

Quick Reference Sheets: These handy cards include all of the most regularly used charts and tables from the game, and will save you from flicking through the rules when you are playing a match.

Playing Pieces: The plastic playing pieces represent the players from each team's squad, of whom eleven may be on the field at any one time.

There are many different player types in Blood Bowl: Blitzers, Catchers, Throwers, Blockers, and Linemen constitute the general types. Teams from different races contain different combinations of players. An Orc team, for example, has no Catchers, while a Human team has no Blockers.

  • Blitzers are just about the best all-around players on the field. They are quite fast and agile, but strong enough to smash their way through the opposing line when they have to. Ace Reavers player Griff Oberwald is a typical Blitzer: fast, strong, and just a bit too flashy!
  • Blockers are very strong. They also wear extra armour to protect themselves in the powerful head-to-head blocks that are their speciality. However, they are not all that fast, and against an agile opponent with room to dodge, they almost always come off second best.
  • Catchers are the opposite of Blockers. Lightly armoured and very agile, they can't afford to get into fights. In the open field, however, they are unmatched - and nobody is better at catching the football. Catchers specialize in waiting in the End Zone for that all-important touchdown pass to come sailing in out of the blue. The only problem in being a Catcher is if someone should catch you!
  • Throwers are the most glamorous players on the field, able to throw a perfect Long Bomb on a frozen rope to the waiting hands of a player far down the field. Or at least that's the theory; throwing the ball well takes real skill.
  • Linemen are the standard players of the team, not brilliant at any one thing, but capable enough to fill in for an injured player when necessary. Some teams seem to be made up of nothing but Lineman - which is why they are always at the bottom of the league!

Player Stats and Skills: Each player has 4 stats (Move, Strength, Agility, and Armour Value) and a list of Skills and Traits the player has (if any).

  • Movement Allowance (MA): This shows the number of squares a player may move in one turn.
  • Strength (ST): A player's Strength represents how physically powerful he is, and is used to block opponents.
  • Agility (AG): The higher a player's Agility, the more likely he is to avoid tackles attempted by other players. Agile players are also better at handling the football than their unagile counterparts!
  • Armour Value (AV): This shows the amount of armour the player is wearing. The higher the number, the more armour the player has on, and the less likely he will be hurt. Catchers, for example, wear little or no armour.
  • Skills: In addition to their characteristics, a player may have one or more skills, which represent special talents or abilities. For example, all Throwers start with the Pass skill to show their extraordinary ability at throwing the ball.
  • Traits: Traits are much like skills, only they represent characteristics of a more physical or 'natural' nature. Some Throwers, for example, have the Strong Arm trait, which naturally makes them better at throwing longer passes. The differences between Traits and Skills are explained in the League Rules section.

Plastic Range Ruler: This ruler is used to measure the range when a player throws the ball. When the rules instruct you to measure the range, place the '0' at one end over the head of the player throwing the ball, with the red line that runs up the middle of the ruler going over the head of the intended receiver (the player to whom you are throwing the ball). If the receiving player overlaps a boundary line between two different ranges on the ruler, you must take the longer of the two choices. (This means that a player who crosses the line at the end of the Long Bomb range may not be the target of the pass!)

The Football: This is possibly the most important component in the game! There are four plastic footballs included with the game, but only one is used at any one time. To represent a player carrying the ball, simply put the ball on the player's base.

Blocking Dice and Six-Sided Dice: In addition to the the eight-sided die used with the Scatter Template, Blood Bowl uses special Blocking Dice and normal six-sided dice numbered 1 through 6. The special Blocking Dice are used when one player attempts to knock another player over (this is called 'blocking' another player). The workings of the Blocking Dice are explained in the Game Play section of the rules. Extra sets of Blocking Dice are available from Games Workshop stores or Games Workshop Mail Order.

Dugouts: Each coach is given one Dugout at the start of the match. It is used to hold players that are not currently in the game (either because they are held in reserve, or because they have been knocked out or injured). It is also used to keep track of the number of turns that have elapsed and the number of Team Re-rolls the team has left. Also included with the game are sets of counters which are used on the tracks in the Dugout. For example, the Turn Counter goes on the Turn Track (marked 'First Half' and 'Second Half') on the Dugout. (Team Re-rolls and the Turn Track are explained in the Game Play section of the rules.)

Cheers! If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to e-mail me at And above all - ENJOY!