A few months ago, I wrote about a Kickstarter campaign that had caught my eye. The campaign was run by Word Forge Games, and it was for an Ogre team for their game, Gore Ball. At the time I was unfamiliar with Word Forge Games and Gore Ball, but I really liked their Ogre minis as their aesthetic fit in with the new Games Workshop Blood Bowl Ogre almost perfectly. After my initial post about the Kickstarter campaign I reached out to Word Forge Games and they very graciously agreed to send me a copy of the Ogre team for review. Now, several months later, a box from the UK has shown up at my door, and it’s time for another unboxing!
Now, my understanding is that Gore Ball is actually a stand alone game created by Word Forge, so these minis are not technically Blood Bowl, or rather “Fantasy Football” minis. Having said that, since the Ogres look is so similar to the Games Workshop Ogre, you should have NO problem at all putting these minis on any Blood Bowl pitch for lots of fun and more than a little mayhem.
The first thing that impressed me when I opened the box was the sheer number of minis inside.
Honestly, the pic above doesn’t do a great job of conveying how much came with this set. Once I had everything laid out, I counted 27 minis, plus a set of game balls. That was definitely a little more than I expected.
As I started unbagging the minis, I became even more impressed with the minis themselves. The design of the minis is really nice and barring one or two pieces, the poses are really great.
Now, one of the first things you will notice about the minis is that they don’t come with standard plastic bases. They instead come with sculpted 32mm resin bases with a stone like pattern on top. As James pointed out in his preview, the sculpted bases have a very 2nd edition “Astrogranite” look to them, so if you like the look, you will love these bases. Do keep in mind that they are a bit thicker than the standard Games Workshop 32mm base, and the bottom is a bit uneven from casting, so they will take a little bit of prep work before they are 100% ready to go. They do look great and they even have a small whole in the top for tabs on the bottom of the game ball, much like the new Games Workshop Blood Bowl bases. The whole isn’t exactly the same size as the Games Workshop version, but if you wanted to modify them, it would only take a few seconds with a drill bit to fix. For the sake of simplicity, and personal preference to have the bases for these minis match the rest of my collection, I (like James) will be putting these Ogres on standard 32mm bases.
Let’s get to the minis!
Most of the minis are single piece cast resin. This is a welcome change of pace from other companies where you might have as many as seven or eight pieces for a single model. For the most part casting is VERY crisp and well done. There are a few minor mold lines here and there but they are easily cleaned up with a knife and file. I have seen much worse from much bigger names in the industry. Word Forge did not skimp out on their casting process and it really shows.
Once the minis are cleaned up, attaching bases is very simple for the most part. There were a couple of minis that needed to be pinned to their bases, but those were only a small percentage of the whole.
There is the occasional mini that is not a single piece, but luckily, even these only have one or two extra pieces to assemble. Again, a snap for the most part. Very well done…
I have grouped the Ogre players into two different categories. Players WITH hockey masks, and players WITHOUT. First let’s look at the players with hockey masks.
The hockey mask look is certainly different for Blood Bowl minis, but I don’t think it is an unwelcome look. Personally, I like having the variety and I think the masks were well done.
The players without masks include two players with beards (again, I like the variety), one player clean shaven, and one female Ogre. She has a nice bit of girth to her and to me is a perfect candidate for the Big Bertha Blood Bowl Star Player. The two minis with their feet in the air both got pinned to their bases. I probably could have gotten away with not pinning the male player, but the female player only had a small portion of her foot flat to the base, so it was a must for her. In any case, pinning is simple enough and not a big deal.
For those interested in scale, here is a size comparison shot with the Gore Ball Ogres next to a new Games Workshop Ogre and a 3rd edition Morg ‘n’ Thorg.
As you can see, the Gore Ball Ogres REALLY fit in with the new Games Workshop Ogre. The armor is a little different in style, but if painted up in the same color scheme, I doubt anyone would even notice the differences in style.
Next up is the sideline staff!
From left to right we have a cheerleader, a wizard, a female coach, a ref blowing his whistle, and finally a second cheerleader. Again, due to the cheerleaders both being on one foot, I chose to pin them both to their bases. The cheerleader on the right might have gotten away with not being pinned, but the cheerleader on the left is a must as her pose is just a little wonky due to her throwing what appears to be a high kick. I thought the female coach was an interesting choice as it would be the first non-all female team I have ever seen with a female coach, but I certainly have no issue with the coach being female. Again, variety is good in my opinion. Like the players, all of the sideline staff minis are very well done and look great.
And just in case the rest of the Ogre team wasn’t big enough, Word Forge also gave us this behemoth…
His name is Juggernaut the Star Player and holy crap is he big… “How big is he?” I hear you ask… This big!
As you can see, he is another head and shoulders taller than any of these other Ogres, so if you REALLY want to make an impression on the pitch, then THIS is the Ogre for you. Like several of the other players, he is sporting a hockey mask, but he should still make a fitting, and intimidating Morg ‘n’ Thorg if your current option just doesn’t quite make your opponent shake in their boots enough. As for the mini itself, like all the others, the sculpt and cast are both very nice. On my copy, the end of his punch dagger is slightly soft and bendy, so I might need to hold it under some hot water to straighten it out a little. Otherwise, everything about him is spot on.
Now we have the little guys. Of course, the Blood Bowl rules call for Snotlings with an Ogre team, but here we officially have Goblins. As I have said before, I actually will be using Goblin minis for any Ogre team I build moving forward as I have yet to find any Snotling minis made by anyone that do not disintegrate as soon as you look at them funny. Anyway, here are the minis!
Now, with this team you don’t get a “full” Blood Bowl compliment of ten Goblin/Snotling players. There are actually only nine, and one of those looks to be an Apothecary. Having said that, I don’t have a copy of the Gore Ball rules, so I’m not 100% sure that the Ogre team gets Goblins/Snotlings in that game so, bear that in mind. There are a few “Secret Weapon” players in the mix here. One player appears to be holding a pick ax in each hand, while another is holding sticks of dynamite, and yet a third player appears to bouncing on a rubber ball with a handle (Pogo Stick Star Player I assume). The Goblin players, like all the rest of the team, are very nice sculpts and casts, though here is where the style starts to drift away from the Games Workshop look… and I’m completely fine with that. Variety! The only thing that I found challenging with the Goblins was assembling a few of them. Several had arms that were separate pieces from their bodies and simply due to how small the pieces were, it was a little challenging to get a few of them attached. There just wasn’t a whole lot to hang on to. All in all though, it really wasn’t bad. The super glue adhered fairly quickly, so once I got the tiny arms in the right spot, it didn’t take long for them to dry properly.
Here is a size comparison shot of one of the Goblin mini next to a current edition Blood Bowl Goblin as well as a 3rd edition Goblin. As you can see, the Gore Ball Goblin is about the same height, but more slight in build. Maybe being thinner makes them a good proxy for Snotlings.
During the campaign, an additional coach mini was unlocked. With this mini Word Forge Games went in an entirely new direction and gave us a Wolfman mini chomping on a cigar.
I found it to be an interesting choice as it didn’t seem to match the style of any other minis on the team, but maybe there is more to come for Gore Ball that ties in the Wolfman coach. In any case, he is a nice mini that you could easily field as Wilhelm Chaney on a Necromantic Werewolf for a Blood Bowl game in a pinch.
Here he is towering about a 2nd edition Wilhelm Chaney and a 5th edition Werewolf.
As we begin to wind down, we have a small troop of Orc minis that were unlocked during the campaign.
Like the Goblins before them, these Orcs are a bit of a departure from the Games Workshop style of Orc. There are only three Orcs in the group, but like all the others, they are nicely done. I would be interested to see the Gore Ball rules to see if the Orcs play on the Ogre team at all, or if they belong to a team of their own.
Finally, we have a small set of game balls.
The team comes with a two different sized round balls, I suppose you can think basketball and maybe volleyball sizes, and one spiked football that we all know and love so much. Again, as I am not sure about the rules for Gore Ball, I am not 100% on the ball shapes, but if nothing else, you get some variety here.
Well, with that we have come to the end of this unboxing. As you can probably tell, my overall impression of the team is a very good one. I think Word Forge Games has put out a REALLY nice team here. They did a great job with both the design and production of the minis, and while everything may not be 100% perfect, no team I have ever gotten from any manufacturer, big or small, has ever been 100% perfect. The team is, however, about as nice as any other team I have ever gotten. If you are in the market for a new Ogre team for Blood Bowl, or are interested in giving Gore Ball a try, do yourself a favor and head over to Word Forge Games and pick up this team.