The GAMA trade show has finally brought us some much anticipated Blood Bowl news, and boy was it a surprise to some! Speculation had run the gambit on the next team to see the light of day and personally I will admit that I was surprised. The crew of WSTZ discusses the design of the new diminutive team and Jeff works his wizardry to translate this team onto the Blitz Bowl circuit!
I totally called it! Back in late January/early February in an idle bit of speculation, Jeff asked what team we thought we’d see next. I don’t know why, but I had a feeling it would be halflings. Maybe it’s just the general craving for snacks I always have that has me psychically in tune with the diminutive Blood Bowl players, but somehow I was right!
First a note about the reveal trailer. It’s pitch perfect (pun intended). The classic Italian opera music is so perfect for the halfling reveal. Well done Warhammer Community team.
On the minis, I rather like them. The pots and colanders for helmets harken to the classic GW metal teams of yore. I also like the addition of furry little critters. I think my favorite is the ‘fling with the squirrel on his head. I’ll say, this is a rather new approach to sculpting faces than GW has taken in the past. They remind me of political caricatures you’d see in the op-ed section of a newspaper. I think the humor of Blood Bowl has been ramped up in these models, even more so than in the goblin secret weapons and killer kontraptions.
When will we see a treeman? Hopefully soon and hopefully in plastic. If it’s Forge World, it could be a while. The Nurgle rotspawn just went up for pre-order last week and it’s been almost 7 months or so since the Nurgle team came out.
So I was shooting for Norse as the next team. With the
Zara Karla star player making an appearance I thought it would have been a good time to transition to a Norse team. Either way I am pleased with the team presented. First, let me just say whoever painted this team did an outstanding job. Lately I’ve been on a kick with adding stripes to my uniforms and the work done on this team is flawless. I’d never dream of having such close-up pictures taken that this team does superbly.
The improvised armor is a nod to the classic 3rd edition team with a variety of cooking ware being utilized for defense. I also like to see that there is a good amount of head variety on the models. Even though any Halfling team in a League will be cycling through players to the point that you won’t get too attached to them, its always preferable to have as many unique looking players as you can. The addition of the animal friends was an unexpected item, but who can’t appreciate the design of having a ferret in the pants?
I’ve been snapping up the GW Blood Bowl fields lately so I immediately began to think of a possible Halfling stadium rules. My shot in the dark is something where after halftime the field is littered with pies and sticky buns from the out of control food binging at the vendor stalls. I’m thinking maybe having the ball sticky allowing a +1 to pick up but the abundance of icing in the grass causes a minus one for all GFI rolls. Remember, you heard it here first if I nailed it! Instead of ‘Blood on the Snow’ we could call it ‘Icing in the Grass’!
Jeff’s Take and Custom Blitz Bowl Rules:
I was wrong on my guess for the next team, thinking it would be either Norse or Amazons, but despite their low tier, I’m glad to see a new halfling team. I could be wrong, but Blood Bowl is one of the last games/systems that celebrate the traditional, Tolkien barefoot stunties. Halflings are MIA in Age of Sigmar, and I think Dungeons and Dragons have moved to a more Kender looking aesthetic for the race…complete with shoes. Maybe Wizards of the Coast wants to separate ‘Halflings’ from ‘Hobbits’ or maybe Games workshop really should call this a ‘Hobbit’ team instead of ‘Halflings’? I dunno, but here we are near the end of Q1 for 2019 and a new team has finally been announced…whatever the name.
About these sculpts, I like them quite a bit. Well…most of them. I think by and large (ha!) the bodies and poses are really good. Some of the heads are outstanding, but some of them…eh. With Games Workshop’s ‘two sprues’ in a box, I like the teams with fewer positionals as we get more unique poses. This Halfling team (or Hobbits!) certainly benefits from only having the one.
Speaking of two sprues in a box and only liking half the heads…Blitz Bowl!
Whatever the announced team was to be, I knew I would want to tinker with a custom squad for the Blood Bowl Universe sibling game. There are a few guidelines when developing a Blitz Bowl team to keep with the spirit of the teams in the box. 1) No big guys or star players 2) max one skill per card 3) try to work with the contents of one team box sprue.
With that it would seem that halflings could sorta mimic the official goblin team. However, there are quite a few reasons to go in a different direction. 1) The goblin team has a four model booster. One booster and one box yields 16 goblins. As with All Blitz Bowl teams, split this in two (you and a friend!) and you can see how GW gave the goblin team 8 players. 2) 8 players also sorta make sense as goblins are known for cheating. Since there aren’t secret weapons in the game, having extra gobbos flood the pitch is a good compromise. 3) Finally, and most importantly the goblin team in Blitz Bowl performs _really_ well. Having the Halfings just be a new look goblin team wouldn’t be much in the spirit of the ‘flings being ‘Hard Mode’.
So, here’s what were going with: 6 players on a squad. This splits the contents of a 12 model box (no booster at this time). Halflings actually have worse stats than goblins in Blood Bowl so giving them a movement of 5 indeed makes them worse. Throw of 4+ is necessary and sorta mimics the standard AG 3 of Blood Bowl. Armour of 6+ is as bad as armour gets. The tricky thing about Blitz Bowl is there are so few stats, it can be hard to differentiate between teams. Still, 5, 4+, 6+ makes them worse than goblins and the worst overall.
Now, about that potential skill. The Blood Bowl ‘Dodge’ skill isn’t really represented in Blitz Bowl and the goblins have this game’s version of ‘Stunty’ called ‘Small and Shifty’. Giving this skill to the halflings would make them simply a worse version of the goblin team…a team that again seems to do well, so this does nothing for the halfling team. It doesn’t make them more attractive to take than the goblins, nor would it reflect the idea that they’re the worse team in the game. So, to give them a bit of uniqueness, and still be quite underpowered, I’m thinking we make use of the ‘Halfling Master Chef’ as the team’s ability. Granted there are no re-rolls proper to gain (or take from the other team), but the idea here is that a few times a match the aroma of the chef’s hot pot drifts through the pitch inspiring the occasional act of brilliance.
So what we hope to have is a plucky squad of the worse players in the game that from time to time can potentially do something remarkable.
I want to thank Casey for putting the card together and I hope the rationale behind the Blitz Bowl team makes sense. Have fun with it and let us know how the team gets on!
That concludes this article. Join us again later this month as we will be sharing some more Halfling news. Below you can find a sneak peek…