Monday, February 18, 2013

Battle Ball

Andrew recently picked up a board game, Battle Ball, which is essentially a Milton Bradley version of Blood Bowl. It's immensely streamlined and wasn't designed to sell more miniatures but it seemed pretty fun. Instead of taking a turn to move all of your guys you only get to move one guy every turn which cuts down on a lot of the planning involved in each turn. The goal is pretty much the same, though. Move some miniatures around, roll some dice, try to kill the other team and/or score touchdowns.

The game had a really elegant mechanic to determine where a player fell on the 'agile/strong' spectrum. Each player has a size of die associated with them. Roll it to work out how many spaces they move when you move them. If you fight another player you both roll the appropriate die and the highest roll gets knocked out for the half (or the whole game if the low roll was a 1). So the tackle unit would only move 3.5 spaces on average and the running back would move 10.5 spaces on average. But if they ever touched each other the running back would get removed from play 87.5% of the time. The tackle would only leave play 17.5% of the time.

The game had zones of control, so you couldn't just give the ball to a running back and keep trying to roll a 20 and score. Instead you had to fight a bunch to open up a hole for him to eventually run through. Or maybe just give the ball to the guy who rolls a d6 and hope he'll kill everyone in his path!

It seemed fun, and short, and relatively thematic. It didn't have nearly the depth of strategy that Blood Bowl has, so I think I'd definitely rather play Blood Bowl than Battle Ball, but Battle Ball seems like a good game to have existing. (And I smoked Andrew! My 2d6 choose guy killed his 2d6 choose guy as the first action of the game and it was all downhill from there.)

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