On display by Games Workshop at New York Toy Fair were two new board games representing an effort by the company to provide a fresh point of entry for “the hobby”. The games, which feature less violent language and imagery and somewhat simplified rules, are being promoted to specialty toy retailers and mid-tier mass-market sellers as a way to expose new players to Games Workshop’s most popular IPs.

Both are planned for release later this year at a price point of around $40-50.

Blitz Bowl is the no-death version of Blood Bowl. It’s still a fantasy, full-contact version of American football, just with less blood and players being “taken out” instead of killed. The concept behind this version is monsters playing a scrimmage game while trying out for the main team.

Blitz Bowl’s rules are streamlined from the original (it’s supposed to play in about 40 minutes). Also, in addition to scoring touchdown’s for the win, completing certain objectives randomly selected each game (for example, three monsters making run actions) unlocks various benefits for the team.

Space Marine Adventures: Labyrinth of the Necrons is a Warhammer 40,000 dungeon crawl with a squad of marines drawn from those troops’ various chapters. The game is cooperative and scenario-based, the first of which is a tutorial and the last of which is a “massive labyrinth adventure” that can be adjusted for difficulty level. Each player gets a plastic space marine figure but the enemy necrons are represented by cardboard tokens.

Inside both game boxes, as alternatives to the standard rule books, are series of cards with instructions that work like game tutorials.

  • Comments Off on GW’s New Family-Friendly Introductory War Games

The big news from Games Workshop was the Warhammer Quest re-issue, but that wasn’t on display at Toy Fair this year. Instead, the main booth was all about the recently-released version of Blood Bowl. I loved the old version of Blood Bowl, and getting to see the newer line — with the professionally-painted miniatures — was really neat. The new boxed set, retailing at $99, contains 12 miniatures for the Ork and Human teams, in green and blue respectively, ready for assembly and paint. Additional teams come in colored plastic to easily identify teams without the need for painting miniatures before play. Skaven and Dwarven teams are priced at $35.

New to this edition are different fields to play on. The board that comes with the base game has a human field on one side and a distinctively orkish field on the reverse. Additional themed pitches include the $38 Skaven/Dwarven double-sided board with rules for underground “weather” effects and a $32 Blood on the Snow pitch with a winter-themed pair of fields “covered in reindeer skulls, squashed presents, loads of blood and some slightly dubious patches of yellow snow.”

However, you’ll really need Death Zone, a 48-page book containing seven team types (Skaven, Nurgle, Dwarf, Elven Union, High Elf, Dark Elf and Wood Elf) with background, rosters and famous examples of each, to complete your game. The book also contains additional rules for the coaching staff, season play, star players, additional skills… Throwing rules like this into a separate product is what Games Workshop did for the previous version of Blood Bowl to keep the entry point to the game low. Arguably, the same case can be made for this edition, as the base game is just under $100. But if you really want to get into the new version of Blood Bowl, you’re going to need this $25 softcover book.

Cards replace the punchboard tiles from the earlier version, and — for those of you who remember the last incarnation of Blood Bowl — the box is actually sturdy enough to hold the game.

Downstairs in Games Workshop’s second booth, the two newest lines showcased are the Warhammer 40k Starter Sets and the Warhammer 40k Build+Paint series.

Both Starter Sets retail for $50 and will be shipping soon. Battle for Vedros contains 28 miniatures that require no glue for assembly: nine Space Marines (including a Dreadnought) and nineteen Orks. A basic rulebook and dice for the game are included in the package. Tyranid Encounter! is at the same price point but comes with 40 miniatures: twenty-four Tyranids and sixteen Space Marines.

The Build+Paint sets will be available in waves. Series 1 is being released now with miniature kits that contain glue, paint pots, and a brush starting at $14.99. Items on display included three Ork and three Space Marine kits. The Ork Blastabike and Space Marine Attack Bike retail for $14.99, the Ork Trukkboyz and the Space Marine Speeder Strike retail for $24.99, and the larger forces for Orks (Raiders) and Space Marines (Heavy Assault) are priced at $39.99. Like the Blood Bowl miniatures, the Build+Paint sets come in colored plastic to allow for quick play at the table before painting.

  • Comments Off on Toy Fair 2017—Games Workshop

Blood Bowl

Games Workshop is releasing a new edition of their extremely popular Blood Bowl on November 24th for $99.99. This new edition comes in an all-you-need-to-play box containing:

  • 12 colored plastic, push-fit human players (2 x Blitzers, 2 x Throwers, 2 x Catchers, 6 x Linemen) plus balls and counters.
  • 12 colored plastic, push-fit orc players (2 x Black Orc Blockers, 2 x Blitzers, 2 x Throwers, 6 x Linemen) plus balls and counters.
  • 56 page rule book.
  • Double-sided fold-out card pitch (human on one side, orc on the other).
  • Two double-sided card dugouts (human on one side, orc on the other).
  • Two sets of special Blood Bowl dice (one blue for the humans, one green for the orcs).
  • Plastic template set (range ruler, scatter template and throwing template).
  • Card deck, containing Special Play cards, four Star Player and player reference cards.
  • Decal sheet, containing numbers as well as human and orc symbols.
  • Two double-sided rules reference sheets.

Their hopes are to gain a new audience with the easy-to-assemble minis and complete package set.

Of course, being Blood Bowl, you know they’ll be tons of teams, extra minis, and available supporting purchases that will follow soon enough.

While I’m super excited about this, I wonder if I really need this in my collection, having both Dreadball and Guildball already.