Rule changes to make Blood Bowl way more fun

I used to have the tabletop game back in the day, and I've spent a couple hundred hours playing BB2 on PS4 and PC. It's a lot of fun, but I have also ragequit more than any other game (only against AI, don't worry), largely because it is too faithful to the tabletop version. Apologies if others have posted similar ideas. Here are some things that would improve BB dramatically:

  1. Halves must end with a score or a turnover. For the love of blood. Ending the half just because the 8th/16th turn is over is the opposite of fun. Play should continue -- as it does in the real sports BB riffs on -- until something decisive happens. If you're controlling the ball, you should be able to keep advancing until someone takes you down, or you score. This would also help limit the effectiveness of the "2-1 Grind" strategy, which turns most games into dull, low-scoring stalemates. BB should be more like gridiron and rugby, and less like football/soccer -- scoring makes games fun!!

  2. Balance passing to make it an effective, fun way to play (and not just for elves). The game currently favours bashing and smashing, and turns any ball transitions (picking up, throwing, catching) into a white-knuckle adventure. The D6 is just too crude an instrument for what it's being used for here. The 1 in 3 chance to fail while picking up a loose ball with no one around, for an "average" agility player, is absurd. Two dice rolls for every pass, with negative mods for nearby player, is absurd. 17% MINIMUM chance to intercept is absurd. (NFL interception rates are about 1.5-1.8% these days.) I have a veteran Amazon team with great throwers and catchers, but I never exploit them because the risk-reward balance makes it never the smart thing to do.

  3. When you strip the ball from an opposing player, it should not automatically land in the hands of a player on your team who's already moved unless it's in the team's best interests. I've lost numerous scoring chances because of that plus #1, above, the fun-sucking "game over because it's the last turn" logic.

  4. Kick is a potentially great skill, but its deployment/execution makes no sense to me. The ball should land within 3 squares of the point you want it to. I routinely get two options along a line that runs six squares from the point I picked -- I feel like it's bugged, because that makes no sense.

  5. Balance the teams. As others have pointed out, the game is not balanced because there's one specific play-style and one specific strategy (the 2-1 grind) that work better, so having 32 or 64 or 128 teams to choose from doesn't really make any difference as long as only 5 of them can actually compete because their traits align with that style.

I hope BB3 incorporates some of these things -- even just as optional rulesets. Or mod possibilities.

Probably not, as BB3 is (supposedly!) following the new rules being released later this year from GW (BB2020).

As to your specific points:

  1. That was pretty much how the game was played in 2nd edition (and possibly 1st, though it's a long time since I played that so can't be sure), and the problem was that games could last for 3+ hours, which was deemed to be to long for a 'small' game (as opposed to large games like 40K or WFB), so 3rd edition (which this game is basically based on) brought in a fixed time limit, and as this is a 'faithful' reproduction of the tabletop game, it follows the same rules.

  2. Passing is changing in BB2020 (and therefore BB3), but whether it will be a viable tactic is to be seen.

  3. If you strip the ball it has a chance to scatter to any of the 8 squares from the ball carrier - if it ends up in the hands of a player that's just moved that's just bad luck (and you'll remember it more than all the times it scattered into the open/into the hands of a player that hasn't moved).

  4. The kick will normally scatter D6 squares from the point you pick - the Kick skill halves that number, but it will still be on the same line. You then choose which of the two options you want.

  5. All the teams are currently working within the 'tier' they're assigned to, having all teams balanced would be boring, taking away the challenge of winning with vampires or halflings. BB3, being based on BB2020, may shake up the balance somewhat, but that won't be known until the game is released (as opposed to the leaked pics).

last edited by Alt_Darkson

@mckinnja said in Rule changes to make Blood Bowl way more fun:

Here are some things that would improve BB dramatically:

Oh, and I should have said "in your opinion" - I think 3 of your ideas would make BB a lot worse (#1, #3' #5), 1 seems to be a misunderstanding of the rules on your part (#4) and while I would like to see passing as a more effective play, it would need a massive overhaul of the rules, it's not a quick fix (which BB2020/BB3 may or may not fix for you).