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Blood Bowl Review
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Posted: 9 weeks ago, last updated 6 days ago.

Author: @GeekDadGamer.


Blood Bowl is a sporting and fighting game American football game played with two teams of Tolkein-esque 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 the 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 chose the order of actions, as one failed move results in a turn over 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 the miniature plastic player figures as with tabletop war games Warhammer and 40k, also from Games Workshop.

DetailsGame Details

Skill Rating: 11-15 year-olds

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

Genres: Battle, Fighting, Sequencing and Traversal

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

Developer: Games Workshop 1 (@Games_Workshop1)

Players: 2



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 affects 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 80 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

11-15 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 of does depict this violence and is rated 16+ for Strong Violence.


No cost data.


We haven't documented accessibility features for this game yet. Our Blood Bowl Accessibility Report details system-wide settings that may help, and suggests similar games with accessibility features. Tweet the developer (@Games_Workshop1) to let them know about our Accessibility Questionnaire.

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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