Wednesday, April 15, 2009

My Blood Bowl History

Well here it first real blogging. I'm going to use this Blog primarily to talk about my #1 Hobby - Blood Bowl. For those who don't know Blood Bowl is a game of fantasy football - fantasy as in Orcs & Dwarves, Football as in American Football / Grid Iron. It was created in the late 80s by Jervis Johnson, whilst working for Games Workshop, and has gone through several rules editions. The most recent rules have been developed by the BBRC, or Blood Bowl rules committee, of which I've been a member since 2005 (is it really only 4 years?).

I've loved BB since I first played it when 3rd ed came out in the early 90s and was introduced to it by a friend of mine, Colin Lewis, who was working at the GW Preston store. We played it loads with other friends in Lancaster & Morecombe but then I went off to work down south and never really played again. It was also one of the those small isoloated leagues where we didn't even use the Citadel Journal expansions (just BB & Death Zone). Perhaps the only unusual thing was that I managed to independently invent Sigurd's injury rule to help curb the excessive death rates.

After moving to London in 2001 I was surfing the net and came across a small league playing in a pub close to my work. I thought it looked something interesting to do on a work night so I joined the Edinboro Castle Blood Bowl League (its not in Edinburgh!). JJB joined the same time I did and that makes him the longest continuously playing member - Marcus wandering in & out of the league.

The ECBBL is now one of the most famous BB leagues in the world - maybe thanks to the "Blackshirts" uniforms we wore to tournaments. The current NAF president, Lycos, is a member who played me in his first ever game of Blood Bowl. Geggster is on the BBRC and they as well as several other coaches are prolific tournament attendees.

When in Europe I managed to attend several Blood Bowls, helped Haggislad organise PK&Q, went to over the UK and to Koln, Paris, Barcelona and Amsterdam to play in tournaments.

In 2004 my Aussie wife & I emigrated to Sydney, Australia, so it was bye bye to the ECBBL and the European tournament scene. I hooked up with the Bell Tower Blood Bowl League and started going to tournaments. The scene was very different. In Europe tournanments are generally weekends away from home, only Blood Bowl is played and the scene is much more social as a consequence. In Australia many touraments are local - so people go home at the end of the day - and usually associated with bigger cons. Also tournaments were universally played using normal league rules (aka progression) rather than the European convention of resurrection formats.

Anyway I played at a couple - MOAB, CanCon, Leviathan, and with Chunky organised the first Eucalyptus Bowl in 2005. That was based on a European format - BB only, resurrection and played in an RSL (which for those outside Australia is a bit like a bar/casino/restaurant). Euc Bowl was a raging success and was consistently competing with CanCon for the largest tournament in Australia. I managed to win it in 2006 (with Chunky doing the admin work).

2005-6 was also very busy with the PBBL. Jervis decided on having a relatively open process to develop the new version of the rules and I provided a lot of input into the process. However with the birth of my daughter in 2006 I needed to take a break - leaving Galak to handle the last year single handed.

2007 I managed to get 8 months back in the UK with work, which was great from a Blood Bowling perspective - with me attending Pearlies, BB GT, Rendez-vous, Tulips and the NAF World Cup. That said I had really poor run of results for me - partially I think because the tournament scene in Europe had moved on a lot whilst I'd been away. I think I learnt a lot from the experience and turned it to my advantage winning CanCon in Jan 2008. Since then I've attended many of the NSW tournaments - Leviathan, Euc Bowl (thanks to Virral for running it!), MOAB, Mountain Bowl and CanCon again in 2009.

One of the best things about the past year has been the development of the Sydney League of Blood Bowl. Surprisingly there wasn't really a good league operating in central Sydney and SLOBB filled the gap. Starting off in Good Games near Central this fizzled out after a couple of months. However Rabid Bogscum got it up and going again. 12 coaches in the first season, playing one game a month. 20 in the second season. Who knows where it will end?

Anyway I've got Leviathan this weekend, where I'll be taking Underworld in an attempt to get another #1 Aussie NAF ranking. My next post may well be about how that goes.

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