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Blood Bowl tournament mixes board game and football as 'beer-n-pretzel' competition

Posted at 6:02 PM, Jun 15, 2024

BILLINGS — Saturday's day two of Dragon Egg Games' first Fun Con was host to a Blood Bowl cash prize tournament, a spin off from the board game series Warhammer.

“(In) this particular universe, they opted, instead of having mass casualties on some random field, over resources, they would decide (resolutions) over a football game," said Chad Nelson, a 22-year-experienced tournament competitor.

The game mixes both the violence and strategies of football and fantasy war.

“It’s a great game where silly things can happen, awesome things can happen, and (it is) just a great time, every time," said Bradon Waldorf, who rivaled Nelson.

Counter to it's parent game, players said Blood Bowl is a relatively casual and affordable hobby to take up with $50 to $160 startup costs.

“My Warhammer army has something like 150 models, and each model took me probably four hours to paint," said Nelson.

The game is known, according to tournament participants, for being relatively casual and more of a "beer and pretzels" game.

“When people would walk by, they might not want to admit they played games, but they’d see a football game, and they’d (say) ‘oh,’ and be interested," said Nelson, "but then you would have a kid that would come by that, maybe, never touched a football in his life, but liked games.”

Players likened the mix of play elements to a violent version of chess with dice dependent variables.

“It’s the way the rules interact with, kind of, the picture you have in your head — and they do a good job painting it," said Waldorf.

Nelson and Waldorf ended their match in a statement.

"I think there’s a lot more opportunity for laughing. I don’t find a lot of people laughing in Monopoly," said Nelson.