Any experienced Blitz Bowl coach will tell you that while one-off games may be fun, running a team over the course of a series of games is far more exciting. Not only do you have to worry about the tactics that your team will use in a single game, but you can also watch your team develop and grow into a real powerhouse.
Running a Blitz Bowl team in a league does create extra work and calls for quite a lot of commitment, but if you want to have the glory of leading your team through a long season to the Blitz Bowl final itself, then the League rules are for you!
Games are played in stadiums, owned either by the Colleges of Magic or by large towns or cities. They are not normally owned by Blitz Bowl teams themselves, though some teams do own their own stadiums. Instead, teams travel round the world, moving from stadium to stadium and playing matches against any teams they meet.
The League rules are designed to recreate the way Blitz Bowl teams travel round the world, moving from venue to venue to play games. In a way, the teams are much more like a travelling company of actors, or a mercenary regiment, than the Blitz Bowl teams of Nikk Three-horn’s days. Because of this anarchic set-up it is up to each team manager to organize matches, set dates for games, and so on.
In order to set up the league the first thing you need to do is pick the ‘League Commissioner’ (usually the GM), who should ideally be the most experienced coach in the group. The Commissioner has the responsibility of making sure that the league runs smoothly, and, most importantly, organizing any tournaments that are played. The Commissioner can also keep track of how well all the teams are doing, and can even write a newsletter featuring match reports, league tables, facts and stats, and anything else he can think of! The Commissioner can be a coach of a team in the league, too, just so long as he doesn’t take advantage of the situation to help his team win any tournaments.
In a league, the Commissioner’s word is LAW. He is allowed to change or modify any of the Blitz Bowl rules as he sees fit, including any of the League Rules that follow. If the League Commissioner says that Dwarfs can now fly, your reply must be ‘Yes Sir! How high?’
If you don’t like the way a commissioner runs his league, you have two choices; put up with it, or leave the league. Arguing with the commissioner is NOT an option. ‘Nuff said, I hope.
STARTING THE LEAGUE
A league consists of a group of teams (preferably at least four) who will play each other (and maybe other teams) over the course of a series of games. Existing Leagues set up under earlier versions of the Blitz bowl rules can easily change over to the new league rules; coaches simply need to work out the value of the team as described later, and start using the new team list presented later. Any team rosters that are not ‘legal’ under the new rules can carry on using the players that are in the team, but any replacements should be purchased from the new rosters.
You can start playing league matches as soon as all the coaches taking part in the league have created their teams. It is up to the teams’ coaches to organize any matches that they play. A team can play as often as a coach likes, assuming that he can find enough opponents, of course! The only restriction is that a team may not play against the same opponent for more than two matches in a row. This means that a coach can play two games against the same opponent, (roughly a full evening’s play), but the next match must be against a different team.
If the Commissioner decides to allow it then coaches may run one or more teams at the same time. Obviously, this will mean that each individual team will play fewer games, as the coach’s time will have to be split between the different teams he has in his stable. A coach may not swap gil, players or anything else between the teams that he runs. For example, he may not make a ‘special loan’ from one of his teams to another, or swap players between the teams, and so on. Note that a coach can carry out such actions between one of his teams and a team run by another coach (assuming the other coach AND the league commissioner agrees, of course!), he just can’t do it between two of his own teams.
Before you can start playing league matches, each coach must create a team as explained earlier. This is where the columns that were previously unused come in. They include a number of columns and rows for recording important information that you will need to know when you are running a league team. How these extra rows and columns are used is explained in the rules that follow.
Each coach begins the league with a treasury of 100,000 gil with which to buy his team. Any gil that is not spent should be recorded in the team’s treasury and may be spent after any future match. A coach must keep track of how much gil his team has in its treasury by recording the amount on his team roster.
In League matches, the ‘value’ of a team affects whether it receives Inducements for playing a match. The value of a team (often abbreviated to ‘TV’) is worked out by adding up the value of the players that will play for the team in its next match, including extra value from skill purchases, to the cost of coaching staff, team re-rolls, and Fan Factor. Record the value of your team in the appropriate space on the team roster. Note that gil in the treasury and any players that are missing the game due to injury do not count towards the Team Value.
On the back of the team roster sheet there is a Match Record Chart for recording information about the games that the team has played. Keep a record of the matches played by the team here. The coach should record the name of the opposition, the score and number of casualties inflicted by each team, as well as the gate and match winnings, and any brief notes about the game.
Teams can attempt to find a Sponsor during the Post-match sequence at the end of Phase 3: Record Fortune and Fame. If the coach wishes to seek a Sponsor, they roll a D20, then add their Fan Factor and any of the following cumulative modifiers that apply:
If the result is:
- +2 if the team owns a stadium
- +2 if the team won
- +1 if the team scored at least 2 more touchdowns than their opponent
- +2 if the other team suffered at least 3 casualties (however they were inflicted)
- +1 if the other team suffered at least 5 casualties (however they were inflicted)
- +3 if the game was part of the play-offs
- +2 if the play-off was the final
If the result is:
- 20 or more: One-time Sponsorship
- 25 or more: Ongoing Sponsorship
After rolling, a coach can choose to end any of their Ongoing Sponsorships, deleting them from the roster.
Receive D6 x 6,000 gil. Roll a second D6. If the result is a 1, a random player on the team (not rostered Star Player) must miss the next match.
Receive D3 x 1,000 gil. Roll a D6. If the result is a 1, a random player on the team must miss the next match (if they are already missing the next match, there is no further effect). Teams can have any number of Ongoing Sponsorships – however the roll to see if a random player misses the next game must be made for each one. After rolling, a coach can choose to end any of their Ongoing Sponsorships, deleting them from the roster.
PLAYING LEAGUE MATCHES
League matches have their own sequences of play, which involves some pre-match and post-match action, as well as the actual game. Follow this sequence for each league match you play, including any tournament matches.
- Pre-Match Sequence
- Roll on Weather table
- Choose Inducements
- Flip For The Kick
- The Match
- Work out the number of Fans and FAME
- Play the game!
- Post-Match Sequence
- Improvement Rolls
- Update Team Stats
- Fortune and FAME
- Hire and Fire
- Prepare for Next Match
PRE-MATCH SEQUENCE OF PLAY
The pre-match sequence must be used before every league match that is played.
The Weather: One coach rolls on the Weather table to see what the weather will be like for the match.
Inducements: Teams that are at a disadvantage are often given ‘inducements’ to play that will help even the odds. Usually this takes the form of extra gil, offered by the stadium owner to help convince a team to take part in a match against a superior opponent (and thus allowing the stadium owner to recoup his losses and more through tickets sales and merchandise!).
To represent this, an underdog in a match may be given a certain amount of gil that can be used to buy things for the team to help them in the upcoming match. The amount of gil the team receives is equal to the difference between the team value of the underdog team and the team value of the opposing team. For example, if one coach had a team value 100,000 gil and the opposing coach had a team value 125,000 gil, the difference between 100,000 and 125,000 is 25,000. So the underdog coach would be given 25,000 gil to spend on Inducements. Any of the gil that is not spent on Inducements is lost and may not be added to the team treasury. In addition, either coach may use gil from their treasury to purchase Inducements. If the superior opponent wishes to purchase inducements with gil from his treasury, he must do so before the underdog purchases any of his inducements.
If the match is played at a team’s home stadium, the other team receives +5,000 for inducements.
- 0-2 Blitzweiser Kegs – 5,000 gil
- 0-3 Bribes – 10,000 gil
- 0-4 Extra Team Training – 10,000 gil
- 0-1 Qu Master Chef – 30,000 gil
- Mercenaries (Unlimited) – Various prices
- 0-2 Star Players – Various prices
- 0-2 Wandering White Mages – 10,000 gil
- 0-1 Black Mage – 15,000 gil
Detailed descriptions of these inducements can be found later. Note that limitations and special rules from the team lists apply. As some coaches can take a very long time deciding which Inducements to take, there is a four-minute time limit on selecting them.
All inducements purchased are lost at the end of the match. No inducement can ever become permanent part of your team.
You must go through the following two steps after each and every league match that you play:
- Skill Purchases: In league matches, it is possible for players to earn Star Player points which may give them the ability to buy skills at the end of the match. This phase is used by each coach to allocate MVPs, up-date the Star Player points the players in their team have earned, and make any skill purchases for the players in their team.
- Update Team Stats: If this was a Competition Match, record any League points you have scored. If you won the game, you score 3 League points. If you draw, you score 1 League point. You score no League points for a loss.
- Fortune and FAME: Each coach can attempt to strike a residency deal with the stadium they just played in, as long as it has a special Attribute and it isn’t already another team’s home stadium. Roll a D6 and apply modifiers:
- +1 if the team won
- -1 if the team lost
- +2 if the team has an Ongoing Sponsorship
- +2 if the team’s Fan Factor is 8 or more
- +4 if the team’s Fan Factor is 13 or more
5 or less
|Rejected! No deal.|
|It’ll Cost you… Pay all winnings from this Match or reject the offer.|
9 or more
|Unconditional Offer. Deal is made. The home stadium can be canceled at any time by spending 5,000 gil.|
Each coach generates winnings for the match: + D6 x 1,000
Winner can re-roll D6 but must accept 2nd result
- + FAME x 1,000
- + 1,000 for winning
- + 1,000 for tie
Remember that teams who concede a match do not receive any winnings. If the team played at a stadium they own, apply additional modifiers to winnings:
- A team increases winnings by (D3 + FAME) x 1,000 when winning at a stadium they own.
- A team decreases winnings by (D3 – FAME) x 1,000 when losing at a stadium they own (this deduction cannot take their winnings to less than 0).
Each coach rolls to see whether Fan Factor is modified. If you won, roll 3D6:
- If score is higher than current FF, increase by 1
If you draw, roll 2D6:
- If score is higher than current FF, increase by 1
- If score is lower than current FF, reduce by 1
If you lost, roll 2D6:
- If score is lower than current FF, reduce by 1
4. Hire and Fire: If a team loses when playing at a home stadium they do not own, roll a D8. If the result is higher than the team’s Fan Factor or 8, the team loses the stadium. Spend gil from the treasury to modify the result. Each 3,000 gil spent deducts 1 from the roll. A roll of 8 cannot be modified in this way. A team that owns a stadium can choose to sell it (the match does not need to have taken place at that stadium). The team still stays on as the stadium’s resident team, they just no longer own it. To make the sale, roll a D6 on the table below:
|Swindled. Receive 2D6 x 1,000 gil.|
|Sold at a Loss. Receive 10,000 + 2D6 x 1,000 gil.|
|Break Even! Receive 25,000 gil.|
- Remove any dead players from your roster
- Spend gil from treasury to buy new players and coaching staff
- Fire unwanted players or coaching staff
- Buy re-rolls (costs double the amount shown on team lists, but only adds the basic (un-doubled) cost to the Team Value.
- Remove any team re-rolls
If a team has any Journeymen on the roster, the coach must either fire them from the team or you may permanently hire them by paying their Rookie cost. Note that a team must have fewer than 16 players on its roster to hire Journeymen. If hired, a Journeyman loses the Loner skill but may retain any Star Player points they earned or skills received from Improvement table rolls.
A team with a residency can buy their home stadium for 25,000 gil. Instead of paying full amount for a stadium, a team can spend 7,000 gil for a Stadium Fund. This puts 5,000 gil into the Fund which should be noted on the team’s roster. A team can make any number of payments into the Fund. This can later be used to buy a stadium. Teams cannot access this money in any other way than buying a stadium.
5. Prepare for Next Match: If either team as at least 10.000 gil in their Treasury, they must roll for expensive mistakes. If a team can only field 10 or fewer players for the next match, the team may add Journeymen onto the roster for free until the team can field 11 players for the next match. A Journeyman is always a player from 0-16 or 0-12 allowed position on the team’s roster. They count their normal Rookie cost towards the total team Value, but have the Loner skill as they are not used to playing with the team. Journeymen may take the total players on the team (including injured players) to more than 16 at this point. Work out the total value of each team and record it on their roster. The value of a team is worked out by adding up the value of the team’s players (including extra values for improvements), coaching staff, team re-rolls and Fan Factor. Do not include the value of gil in your Treasury or any players that will be forced to miss their next match due to injury.
A player that concedes before setting up for a kick-off where he could only field 2 or less players suffers no additional penalties. If one coach concedes the match for any other reason then the winner gains all of the loser’s winnings and MVP from this match. In addition, the loser automatically loses one Fan Factor and may not roll for a new one, and any players in the loser’s team that have 51 SPPs or more will leave the team on a D6 roll of 1- 3. Roll separately for each player with 51 or more SPPs to see if they leave.
INDUCEMENTS IN DETAIL
- 0-2 Blitzweiser Kegs: You purchase a keg of extra-special Blitzweiser magic ale for 5,000 gil, and get a lovely lady to serve players before going out for each drive. The combination of the ale and the young lady serving it means that for each purchase of this inducement, players on the team gain a +1 modifier to recover from KO’d for this match.
- 0-3 Bribes: Goblin teams may buy a bribe for 5,000 gil; any other team can buy a bribe for 10,000 gil. Each bribe allows you to attempt to ignore one call by the referee for a player who has committed a foul to be sent off, or a player armed with a secret weapon to be banned from the match. Roll a D6: on a roll of 2-6 the bribe is effective (preventing a turnover if the player was ejected for fouling), but on a roll of 1 the bribe is wasted and the call still stands! Each bribe may be used once per match.
- 0-4 Extra Team Training: Each extra team training session costs 10,000 gil and allows the team to take one extra Team re-roll that may be used for this match only.
- 0-1 Qu Master Chef: Allstar 9 team can hire a Master Chef for 10,000 gil, while other Teams can hire the Chef for 30,000 gil. Roll 3D6 at the start of each half to see what effect the chef’s cooking has on the team. For each dice that rolls 4 or more, the team is so inspired that they gain a Team Re-roll, and in addition the opposing team is so distracted by the fantastic cooking smells emanating from their opponent’s dug-out that they lose a Team Re-roll (but only if they have any left to lose).
- 0-2 Star Players: Star Players are the heroes of the Blitz Bowl arena, the most resourceful and talented players in the sport. Each Star Player has his own set of special skills and each is an individual, standing out from the rest of the players in the league by virtue of the unique set of skills and talents that they possess. Star players act as free agents playing single matches for any team that can afford their high fees (and that they are willing to assist in the first place), and then moving on to play for another team. You may hire up to two Star Players that are allowed to play for your team. Unless your league commissioner decides otherwise, deaths and serious injuries inflicted on Star Players are waived after the match. Star Players may not take the number of players in the team to more than 16. However, players that are missing the game due to injury do not count towards the number of players on the team, so you can use Star Players to replace players that are missing a game if you wish. It is possible (though unlikely) for both teams to induce the same Star Player. If this happens then neither may use him and he keeps both sets of hiring fees! Star Players can never earn Star Player points other than the MVP for the game. Star Player can never gain new skills. Finally purchased/induced White Mages may not be used on Star Players ever. Star Players employ their own personal trainers and white mages who travel with them to heal them from almost any injury (including death) and to get in shape for their next match and will not use your team’s amateur physicians.
- 0-2 Wandering White Mages: Any team may hire a Wandering White Mage or two to help your team during the match for 10,000 gil each if your team can normally purchase a permanent White Mage. Often these White Mages are powerful mages. While they would never allow themselves to be a permanent part of a BlitzBowl team, they have been known to assist for a single match for a generous donation to their funds. The rules for Wandering White Mages are identical to the rules for standard purchased White Mages. Only one White Mage may be used to re-roll each Casualty roll.
- Unlimited Mercenaries: For every player safely employed by a team there are dozens of freelance players who play just one game with a team and then move on. These are the stars who didn’t quite make it and the cast offs from teams that went bankrupt. A Mercenary costs 3,000 more than an ordinary player of his position. For example, a Mercenary Hume lineman would cost 8,000 gil to hire for a match. The normal limits on the total number of players allowed in a team and in each position do apply to Mercenaries (so they aren’t truly unlimited). However, players that are missing the game due to injury do not count towards the number of players on the team, so you can use Mercenaries to replace players that are missing a game if you wish. All Mercenaries have the Loner skill as they are unused to playing with the rest of the team. In addition, you may choose to give a Mercenary one additional skill selected from those available to a player of that position on a Normal roll, at an additional cost of 5,000 gil. For example, a Mercenary Hume lineman could be given Tackle if desired for a total cost of 13,000 gil to hire for a match. Mercenaries cannot earn Star Player points other than the MVP for the game. Mercenaries can never gain new skills.
- 0-1 Black Mage: You may hire a Black Mage to help your team during the match for 15,000 gil. Once per game, the Black Mage is allowed to cast either a fira spell or a lightning bolt spell. Black Mages may only cast spells at the start of their own turn before any player performs an Action OR immediately after their own team’s turn has ended even if it ended with a turnover.
- Fireball: Choose a target square anywhere on the pitch. Roll a D6 to hit each standing player (from either team) that is either in the target square or a square adjacent to it. If the ‘to hit’ roll is a 4 or more then the target is Knocked Down. If it is a 3 or less, he manages to dodge the fireball’s blast. Make an Armor roll (and possible Injury as well) for any player that is Knocked Down as if they had been Knocked Down by a player with the Mighty Blow skill. If a player on the moving team is Knocked Down by a fira, then the moving team does not suffer a turnover unless the player was carrying the ball at the time.
- Lightning Bolt: Pick a standing player anywhere on the pitch, and roll a D6. If the score is a 2 or higher, then he has been hit by the lightning bolt. If the roll is a 1 then he manages to dodge out of the way. A player hit by a lightning bolt is Knocked Down and must make an Armor roll (and possible Injury as well) as if hit by a player with the Mighty Blow skill.