Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Blood Bowl and randomness

I have played 3 games of Blood Bowl in my current league and I am finding it remarkably like playing Magic:  The Gathering back in the day.  There is a tremendous amount of skill you can apply to the game both in terms of planning and execution and yet there are constant outrageous game swings based on really random things that happen.

For example in my last game as the Skaven against the Undead my opponent was convinced he had already lost the game on turn 2.  It wasn't an outrageous conclusion since I kicked off to him but I managed to get the ball instead of him and was scurrying towards his end zone for a fast first goal.  Letting a fast scoring team get up 1-0 on you that quickly is an utter disaster.  Unfortunately for me he got a lucky block, the ball went into the stands, and the crazy fans bounced the ball all over the zone until it ended up almost in *my* end zone.  My opponent got the ball and scored without much difficulty.

Things went terribly from there.  I couldn't score in return in the first half and when I received the kick in the second half I got nowhere.  My guys flubbed their pass and absolutely failed at knocking the Undead over.  By the time we were halfway through the second half my entire team was on the ground and I gave up and just passed the turn over and over until the game ended.  I finished the game have never completed a pass, scored a goal, injured an enemy, or in fact done anything but get wrecked.  I didn't play perfectly by any means but I got completely ruined on the dice.

It feels a lot like M:TG did.  In the long run over a substantial number of games skill absolutely trumps luck and the best players end up in the finals with remarkably regularity.  The trick with Blood Bowl is that you have a 2 hour game that has a fair degree of randomness in determining who wins.  If every M:TG match was only one game the finals would have a lot more random players in them and the same is the case here I think.  This isn't a bad thing, but it is a thing to keep in mind.  Games that have substantial random components that take 2 hours require a very specific sort of attitude.  You have to be willing to accept that you just get wrecked sometimes and can't do jack about it.

1 comment:

  1. And just like in Magic, people will complain about their bad luck and how they got screwed (only this time by the dice, instead of by the shuffling).