When Blood Bowl was finally revived in 2016, it was reborn in a slightly larger scale from the models I had been coaching on the field for over 25 years. With that release, I decided to sell off my old teams and adapt to the new scale. Having not been too involved in the larger Blood Bowl community in recent years, the reboot of my teams in the newer 32mm was put on the bench. Now, with tournaments starting to resume again, I decided it was time to finally lace up and charge the pitch.
Above is the original Badlands Blitz kit. A rowdy bunch of bois who have ended up with more than one piece of celebratory hardware in their trophy case. They’ve accumulated the most casualties as well as taking home a best dressed award. I liked these models a lot, but as the new game came at a new scale it gave me the opportunity to put paint to plastic again. Two models have survived the transition to the new version of the franchise, the chainsaw loony player on the left and the beer swilling coach on the right. They were both slightly larger than the older 28mm models anyway and fit in well with the new squad. I simply re-based them on larger 32mm round bases to better match the new team.
I originally started the new team about a year and a half ago, beginning with the Black Orc Blockers (now called Big ‘Uns in the even newer Blood Bowl 2020 Ruleset). The plan was for the new team to stand on earth-brown ringed bases as was popular in the 00s and have paint chipped armour. There was something about this palette that wasn’t sitting well with me though. It wasn’t bad, but I didn’t feel like the models ‘popped’ as well as my older team did.
Cleaning up the chipped armour and going back to the old-school green rings felt a lot better. The models are certainly cleaner, and maybe that’s not the first trait one associates with orcs, but for my aging eyes and looking at models at arms length at the table, I prefer the cleaner aesthetic. Perhaps the Badlands Blitz are a premier orc team and are treated to the finest kits available?
Our troll Miggy is a converted BB16 plastic troll with a hand replacement so he’s got a nice balled fist ready to knock an opponent really stupid. Originally molded with a goblin in hand to throw, this mini is pretty divisive in the community. With the hand replacement and lead foot reposition, I like this model quite a bit. Probably my favorite of the Big Guy models from recent years. A pair of gobbos hover nearby to keep Miggy inline with the playbook.
In the later moments of BB2016, I’ve come to have a lot of fun with the orc passing game. Unfortunately, orc passing has been nurfed a bit under the new BB2020 ruleset as the players generally have animosity toward one another. I’m a bit less than excited about this change, but to reflect this on the field, I’ve opted for the less accurate looking thrower model from Forge World over the awesome plastic thrower mini that comes in the team box. The thrower above has a pretty daft arm throwing position, a damaged skullcap, and an angsty scowl. He seems less likely to deliver solid passes from the backfield. Fitting for the new rules, I suppose. Here he’s flanked by a brace of orc linemen, never expecting to receive the bladder from their thrower.
Here come the stars of the team, the Blitzer core. Three models are standard plastic orc blitzers, but two have head swaps for variety. The red-plumed player is a Forge World model, and likely team captain for the new look Badlands Blitz. Orc blitzers are great. I love the models and concept. I do wish they had more sculpt variety on the plastic sprues though. Any position that has four or more of, I wish came in at least two different poses.
Finally, we have the retired player as head coach and a few Star Players. I don’t recall using Star Players in league play, but I understand that they might be more viable in tournaments so I’ve decided to have two kitted up and ready to sub in just in case. On the right we have all around orc badass blitzer, Varag Ghoul-Chewer. And on the left…Helmet Wulf? Ugroth Bolgrot used to be the Orc chainsaw wielding Star Player, but I guess he retired because he isn’t in the new BB20 ruleset, only one chainsaw Star Player is…the human,Herr Wulf, who can apparently play for every team. I guess I’ll just use this model as ‘counts as’ for Helmet Wulf.
So, after 4-5 years, I’ve finally sorted out a new team in the larger 32mm scale. I’ve painted plenty of these models for Blitz Bowl, but now I can finally get back to the king of sports games with a proper, complete team. Getting this team outfitted and in game-day condition impacted work on my ongoing Roswell ’98 project. A project I planned to dive back into directly. However, I’m thinking I might just hit another full Blood Bowl team or two first so I can have options at the ready and can play games on my dining room table again. Humans and probably Skaven will be up next, but I’m not sure.
There’s a piece in one of the Spike! Journals about Ugroth ‘Ripper’ Bolgrot getting into a dispute with the troll Ripper Bolgrot over the use of the name. The dispute ended with Ugroth ambushing Ripper in a back alley and decapitating him. Ripper regenerated the injury with no lasting ill effects, but the incident landed Ugroth with a lifetime ban from the sport. So there’s actually an in-universe explanation for why Ugroth Bolgrot isn’t in the game any longer.
That doesn’t explain why all the other Star Players who didn’t have official, currently-in-production models got dropped in the new edition, though. Nor why Helmut Wulf is now available to any team, although I suspect that the latter is partly so that he can stand in for Ugroth Bolgrot, Nobbla Blackwart, Hack Enslash, Flint Churnblade, Max Spleenripper et al.
Oh, and I completely forgot to mention: great-looking team!
I totally forgot about the two different Bolgrots and their feud. Ha! Thanks for the reminder. I’m not expecting similar in-universe explanations for all the other MIA chainsaw stars though.