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Board GameBlood Bowl Review
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Posted: 12 months ago, last updated 9 weeks ago.

Author: @GeekDadGamer and Jo Robertson.


Blood Bowl is a sporting and fighting game American football game played with two teams of Tolkienesque fantasy races. They compete to either get the ball to the end zone or kill all the opponent players. Despite the violent overtones, it's a finely balanced board game that has developed over many years along with a tradition of hand-painting plastic figures.

Play involves placing your players on the field in offensive or defensive rounds. You then take turns to move, attack, dodge, block, throw and catch. Whether you're successful at each action is determined by your player's stats and a dice roll.

As play progresses you need to carefully choose the order of actions, as one failed move results in a turnover and play going to the other side. As you get to grips with the action you can add in new aspects such as the crowd and other elements affecting play on the pitch.

How you play is determined in part by your team. In the box, you get Humans and Orcs but can also purchase a range of other races to play with. Stronger teams opt for more fighting while faster, lighter teams run and throw the ball.

What results is a finely honed game. It's been around for many years, and the latest edition of the rules has come from years of development. The history brings with it the tradition of painting miniature plastic player figures as with tabletop war games Warhammer and 40k, also from Games Workshop.

DetailsGame Details

Release Date: 01/01/1986, updated in 2020

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Players: 2

Genres: Battle, Sports (Sequencing and Traversal)

Accessibility: 29 features

Components: Board, Cards, Dice, Figures, Score Board and Tokens

Developer: Games Workshop 1 (@Games_Workshop1)



View our choice of games like Blood Bowl. This game is good if you want to:


Learn to Play: This takes 1 hour to learn. Part of the novelty is the intricate and finely honed ruleset. This does mean you need to learn and practice each of the different aspects of the game.

The first time you play, the following helps you learn things:
  • Run through the rules for blocking, dodging, throwing and catching before you start a game.
  • See how the different players' stats affect these rules and required rolls.
  • Play one round with one person assisting the players with the rules.
  • Don't introduce special player or crowd rules until you have the basics down.

Play Time: This game will take between 45 minutes and 1 hour and 20 minutes to complete. It's not a fast game, although it is possible for some rounds to be won quickly. Because of this, you should allow over an hour to play.

Play StylePlay Style

You can play with 2 players in the same room.

You can play this game in the following styles:

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Skill Rating

11+ year-olds usually have the required skill to enjoy this game. Still, it's important for parents and guardians to consider the maturity required to process the game content. Because of the complexity of the rules, older children with patience, attention to detail and forward planning will enjoy the game. You need to be willing for plans to be foiled by bad dice rolls. Also, a desire to paint the figures adds considerable enjoyment.

Content Rating

We rate this suitable for 12+ years-olds. The game includes the concepts of injuring, knocking out and killing players. This is not graphically depicted or dwelt upon but is part of the premise of the game. The Blood Bowl 2 video game version does depict this violence and is rated 16+ for Strong Violence.


Blood Bowl usually costs £15.99 to £24.99.

Blood Bowl 2

XBox Store Xbox One £15.99

Blood Bowl 2: Legendary Edition

XBox Store Xbox One £24.99
PlayStation Store PS4 £24.99
There are no additional in-game purchases, loot boxes, adverts or subscription costs.


Our Blood Bowl Accessibility Report documents 29 accessibility features:
It's a complex game and does offer a simpler tutorial, full match version and full-on leagues. All of these are complex. There's not a full electronic version of the manual, and specifically, you have purchase the League Play rules separately. There are good introductory videos but these have Subtitles disabled on YouTube.

The player figures come in green and blue plastic which aren't colour-blind friendly. Many players paint their figures which can help this, although that depends on how they are painted. Assembling the figures is fiddly (and needs to be glued to stay together) and the ball is small and fiddly.

The board lacks contrast so is a barrier for colour-blind and visually impaired players. You can closely inspect it to aid this, although this slows things down and is harder work.

The skill text on the cards is quite small and very occasionally the contrast is lost because of the background effect on the cards. The dice provide icons to represent different outcomes, although these dice aren't distinguishable by touch.

To do well at the game you need to make mathematical-related decisions to determine the order of your moves and which are most risky (resulting in a turnover).

Report informed by Meeple Like Us assessment which offers an extended review.

Diversity and InclusionDiversity and Inclusion

We haven't documented diversity and inclusion information for this game yet.

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Taming Gaming Book Written by parents for parents, the database complements the in-depth discussion about video game addiction, violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. We are an editorially independent, free resource without adverts that is supported by partnerships.

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