A blog about tabletop hobby and or strategy games, with a side order of electronic turn based goodness here and there. Now with tons of retro gaming content both electronic and tabletop. Also with 20% more self loathing douchebaggery!

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Tao of Blood Bowl (And Wisdom for Other Such Games)

Over at Something Awful there is a fine discussion thread for the Blood Bowl computer game, currently in a sadly download only Legendary Edition.  (As an owner of the previous retail version I got 33% off the new one which almost mitigates it being virtual.  Going from 9 teams to 20 helps a LOT.)

One fellow was lamenting the random chaotic luck inherent to Blood Bowl.  Which like many of the Games Workshop campaign system games (BBowl, Necromunda, Mordheim, and Gorkamorka) isn't exactly perfect, and sometimes leads to losing your entire force due to simple bad luck instead of keeping more experienced forces from completely dominating.

This was some of my thoughts on Blood Bowl's random dice madness and dealing with losing or even just simple gaming frustration:

cKnoor posted:

Overall it's pretty clear that this is not a game for you. If you can't enjoy it for all it's "faults" (I put that in quotes as I don't think having different tiered teams = bad gamedesign) then it's just not for you. If you can't remember all the awesome times when you get bad dice, or take that as a challenge to come back and win, then you just shouldn't play.

Well said!

Its pretty much how to play Blood Bowl. Take losses as a learning experience. Heck, you can still gain SPPs even when its a doomed game. For some teams this is when you start just trying to kill the other team for the hell of it.

(Ok Elves. Its 3-0? You keep scoring. Im gonna just foul every goddamned pointy little bitch I can get my Lizardmen's claws on. I no longer need victory. I see little arrogant piles of SPPs. You just stop doing anything and I will stop fouling with my Kroxigor.)

First time I played Elves online (since in Fumbbl most soft teams wouldn't go near any of my team types) I got owned but I LEARNED from it. One online game and it changed my whole basic strategy.

I've even made dumb mistakes and laughed at it. Losses HAPPEN. If you have a fun game playing who cares if you won or lost? You still probably got some SPPs or money and had a match.

Losing dudes? ITS GONNA HAPPEN. Its part of the game's structure. Sure as I have mentioned its supposed to keep every team in check to some degree but mostly hurts newer teams, but learn to deal with it. Don't just spend every GP you earn. You have to learn how to manage your team long term, especially in Blitz mode where everyone will leave in time no matter how good they get.

The early BB team management is getting them where you want them. The long term is KEEPING THEM THERE.

Sure you might have the Orcish Tom Brady one season only for him to be too old or get injured for dozens of games or be made virtually useless. You shrug, fire him or send him to be an Assistant Coach then hire a new Orc to replace him.


Sometimes you are just gonna lose because the RNG loathes you that day. Other times you will embrace the chaos and prove your mettle and win ANYHOW.

I've seen this done in Battletech which is a game that makes BB's dice chaos look like its a Chess game and not a heavily luck driven game. (In that game nearly every hit can take out a unit. But every hit has maybe a 1% chance of doing so. Sometimes you lose 1 of your 4-12 units with their own stat page to a single hit. Other times that same unit takes DOZENS of shots and laughs, making Bruce Willis in Die Hard look like a wet paper bag in comparison.)

Sometimes the dice won't go your way. Boo hoo. Man up and fight through it.

Or it just might not be to your taste and that's cool.

GW can't balance its games. Gamers like all people are in general horrible self absorbed douchebags. Cyanide has about as much programming talent as Troika/Obsidian.

If the game is making you rage its best to either take a break or find a different game.

Like the old joke goes. If it hurts when you do that? DON'T DO THAT.

Some things to think about.  Hobby games are supposed to be fun.  Most of them aren't perfect, in many cases NOT EVEN CLOSE.  But you gotta WANT to have fun or you won't have any.  But if the player base is terrible, or the game isn't to your taste, step back.  Maybe you need a break from the game or its community.

Or maybe you just need an entirely different game or group ENTIRELY.

It took me many years to learn that, in many cases playing with certain people and groups was making me miserable.  I wasn't happy at all.  Heck in some cases, people have ruined certain games entirely for me.

(Hero Quest, Jyhad, Lord of the Rings Miniatures, New World of Darkness, and Warmachine for examples in my own sad history.)

It might not even be the games' fault but my memories are completely tainted.

Instead of staying with those games or the people that ruined them, I got the hell out of dodge, in some cases selling it all off on ebay to buy things I can enjoy and have a good memory for.

Sure I might not be gaming anywhere NEAR as much.   But in its "Stopped Clocks are Right at Least Twice a Day" way, some folks on RPGnet had a good bit of wisdom:  "No gaming beats BAD gaming".

Something to think about.  In some cases it just might be the audience, or maybe even the game itself for you and your preferred style of play.

But why make yourself miserable just to play something that is supposed to be fun?

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