Booting up Blood Bowl 2 for the first time and jumping into the tutorial/career, left me with a few questions about gameplay while throwing a “go win the game” challenge at me. While the first game you play seems impossible to lose – your opponent quits as soon as you score a point – it teaches you some of the basics behind player movement.
The next few games add more dice rolls and rules into the mix, making the game both progressively harder, and far more likely to fail on. Behind the scenes dice rolls for completing passes and even picking up the ball while it is just sitting in the middle of the field can end in failure, effectively ending any meaningful actions for your turn. You’ll have to wait through your opponents turn to end – and hope it encounters the same poor luck – before you can try to pick up the ball again.
Your field characters are really representatives of the cards you have acquired, with multiple specialties being available for the different races. Buying and selling character cards can be fun, but – with everything action on the field depending on a dice roll – I never felt that changing out players was worth the time I would need to invest, except for instances of character death, which can have the new character card you just picked up rendered useless.
In terms of Blood Bowl gameplay, you are looking at something that is seemingly identical to the board game. If that is what you are looking for, then this is perfect for you. As a digital version of the board game, played with friends, this game works well. The graphics are passable and the sound is adequate. There are leagues and a full-fledged campaign mode where you try to bring your teams up through the ranks and win it all.
The game presentation is through announcers talking about the league news and trying to inject some comedy. These announcers, while having some identity, are completely underwhelming. I could not wait for their conversations, and those conversations can drag on, to be over so I could play the next match.
If you are looking for a D&D or Warhammer-styled football game, then you may still find yourself having fun, but there are some things to keep in mind. Everything is at the whim of the dice. Too often I found my highest rated players being knocked unconscious during fights that I instigated, due to the roll of the dice. In a game where strategy is so important, having that strategy thrown out of the window because the dice seem to be against you is annoying at best, and rage-inducing at its worst.
The controls are intuitive, and you’ll find yourself able to work out some parts of a strategy, but you will be reliant on dice rolls, sometimes hidden, in completing even the most basic of tasks.