Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Blood Bowl Team Manager- Sports Fun!
Blood Bowl Team Manager is a game I've been looking at wistfully for a while now. Blood Bowl is a game in which fantasy creatures play a version of football against each other. I always thought it sounded like a lot of fun and also appealingly silly, as it features all manner of fierce monsters dressed up in pads and throwing a ball around in a medieval stadium. I never got the chance to play Blood Bowl but when the boardgame came on the market it sounded like a chance to get a taste of the experience without painting the miniatures and finding other players.
I got my first chance to play Team Manager tonight and this is one fun, simple game. Each player has a team of elves, dwarves, orcs, or what-not and has to help the team win a series of football games. The player's team's race may give it certain advantages- for example, orcs are great at tackling while elves are very speedy. In each game round there are a number of Blood Bowl games being played. Players can choose which games their teams will compete in and then take turns adding their players into the games. The winning team in a given game may get additional fans, special additional players, or some special bonus ability which can be used in future games. After five rounds of play the team with the most fans wins the game.
The strategy of Team Manager stems from deciding which game has the best rewards associated with it and then allocating your players well. Orc players may look for chances to tackle weaker opponents, elf players may wait till some crucial moment and then unleash their towering tree-man. You may decide to add star players to your team or try and pump it up with bonus powers an special abilities. The decision making is deep enough to be interesting but not intimidating.
The essence of Team Manager is that it's simple and, at heart, silly. The cover suggests some brutal and aggressive sports game but in reality it's quite goofy. This game features giant rats playing football. It features giant walking tree men playing football. This is not a serious game. The rules are brief and easy to learn. There is a decent amount of luck and while careful players will do well there is plenty of room for a casual player to walk away feeling satisfied. Probably my only complaint about the game is that the cover art could have been a little sillier.
That aside, this is a good fun game with lots of replay value. I'll be introducing it to my non-gaming friends and I think it'll be a hit. Certainly it's appropriate for teens and up and would be a fun family game as well.