Over the years the Sherriff and his motley crew have made a lot o’ games besides the main titles of Warhammer, Warhammer 40,000 and more recently Lord of the
Cash Cow Rings. If you walk into a store today you will only find the main titles, gone are the days when a GW store held a plethora of games set in the universes that they had created. We’ve seen some truly excellent tiles come and go, even Epic which was given a lot of support during my time starting in the hobby has drifted into a game with nearly no releases and supported by a hardcore fanatical few.
While I am sure that GW have their reasons for this I think that the company I grew up with has lost something with this lack of diversity they currently have. These days I spend relatively little on my GW purchases whereas when I was younger there were always new releases coming out for the various games and I’d be at my local GW at least once a week to see what was there and pick up the new shinies. With current prices I’d probably have to sell off my wife to fund such exuberance but hopefully you get the picture.
I’ve made mention before of the fact that some of these “specialist games” as they are now termed were amazing. Necromunda is still up there as one of my favourite games of all time, however, there is another game that I enjoyed and actually managed to get my younger brother to play as we grew up. Yes, the picture at the start of the page gave it all away a couple hundred words ago… sue me.
It was during our gathering for our little Superbowl party that I began thinking about a game called Blood Bowl. We were four gamers sat around watching the most viewed sporting event of the year and there is a game based (loosely) on Football, surely this should be something we could investigate. I remembered that my Dad had bought a copy when it came out and had the Death Zone expansion as well. He dropped it off this weekend when he and my Mom came to visit my wife and I.
Looking over it the whole thing is complete and I was even astounded to find that one of the many teams I had bought back in the early nineties was still in there, my all metal Chaos team. Coupled with the plastic Humans and Orcs there is a good diversity of teams sitting around right now. I spent many an afternoon playing my brother at BB, it was one of the few GW games he’d actually agree to play. Now, none of the other denizens of the floating citadel may want to play it at all, but we’ll have to give them the chance. Older GW games were a lot more tongue in cheek than the current offerings, things weren’t taken anywhere near as seriously, hence why gems like this are now unsupported. Even though for some reason the Sherriff still has copies for sale on its website although at twice the price it was when it first hit store shelves.
I’ve started to re-read the rules and the fact there’s only ten pages of them really gives you a feel for how things used to be with these games. They were pretty easy to pick up and play, wouldn’t take half as long as the major games systems and were generally just a bit of fun. I know that Blood Bowl still has an active community out there in Internet land and there are PC versions of the game to appease fans all over the place. However, from a personal point of view, nothing beats getting your buddies over, grabbing some snacks and pounding their figures into the dirt as they try to catch a long bomb!
I may be older and seeing things through rose-tinted spectacles but I loved these side games and I think the market is poorer for their loss.