Unboxing: Death Zone Season Two! [Blood Bowl]

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It’s been quiet on the release front for Blood Bowl until very recently, in which both GW and Forge World collectively dropped a whole load of new goodness for us. One of the new releases is unsurprisingly the follow up to November’s Death Zone expansion. Is it worth a buy? Here’s my thoughts!

What’s in the Book?

  • 12 “new” Star Players (mix of new ones and old hands returning from previous editions)
  • 3 updated teams (Goblins, Chaos Renegades, Underworld Denizens)
  • 6 Hall of Fame squads
  • Updated Skills Table
  • Lots of other Optional Rules (named referees, (in)famous coaching staff, buying Star Players….)

Star Player Highlights

Lots of cool new Star Players for this edition, which all get a decent two-page spread with artwork, a humorous in-fiction background piece, the Star Player profile and of course their stats for the game.

My favourite bits are naturally those in-fiction excerpts, which are all varied and interesting to read. Personal highlights include the leaked minuted debate about the obese Skaven cannibal Glart Smashrip, the highly-pretentious High Elf Bo Gallanté and of course, the no-nonsense attitude of Karla Von Kill. Definitely would buy a miniature for her if it gets made!

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Updated Teams

All three teams included in Death Zone Season Two! were from the free Teams of Legend pdf, but have also had at least one or two changes made (mostly to justify people paying for free that are free online, cynical me would say!)

Goblins gain two new Secret Weapon specialists, the Doom Diver and the ‘Ooligan. The former has Swoop, the latter has both Disturbing Presence and Fan Favourite. If I had more than a basic knowledge of the game, I’d explain more what this means – but I’m still pretty amateur! As I already have an Orc team in the works, I wouldn’t want to play this team myself – although I’d love to paint up some of the upcoming resin Secret Weapon Goblins for fun!

Chaos Renegades just replace the Hobgoblin with a Renegade Orc – mostly for ease of miniature collecting I imagine. I would rather hope Forge World do a booster pack for this team with one of each of the non-human players (Orc, Goblin, Skaven and a Dark Elf).

At least in the meantime I can use my Human Lineman to pull double-duty as Renegade Linemen. It would be a good way to use up all the spare Linemen one would get with a second box of Humans (after you’ve taken the Catchers and Blitzers to max out your main Human team!). Mutation converting potential abound!

Underworld Denizens as far as I can see haven’t changed though – but the new Star Players add new options at least (both the wacky new Skaven characters as well as the squig-ridin’ Madcap Miggz!

If I didn’t already have both standard Skaven and Orc teams on the painting table – this would be a team I would consider for the modelling opportunities. With a load of spare Blood Bowl Goblin bits, some Grot Scuttlings from Silver Tower and the odd mutation bit or two – one could easily enough make a more creepy bunch of cave-dwelling Goblins to bulk your Underworld team with. Certainly something for me to consider down the line!

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Hall of Fame

Like the Orcland Raiders and Bright Crusaders featured as named “legacy” squads with their own unique special rules in the main game – Death Zone Season Two! expands this section with another six famous team lineups. If Forge World continue their resin upgrade packs with these (in)famous teams, I can’t wait! I know I would certainly be tempted by a Forge World Chaos All-Stars or Underworld Creepers team!

Updated Skill and Team Summary Tables

Very helpful! This essentially overrides the Skills tables in both the rulebook and Death Zone Season One! with more recent updates and errata.

New Optional Rules

Blood Bowl stadiums, sponsorship deals, named referees and (in)famous coaching staff to hire, rules to more permanently hire a Star Player (at great financial cost of course) and more! These rules add a lot more complexity to the game, so use sparingly – they do seem a lot of fun though! It’s hard enough for me to just remember the basic rules so I won’t be using these anytime soon though!

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Criticisms 

All in all, pretty good – lots of interesting content and the tongue-in-cheek background pieces and excerpts are all fun to read too!

There’s a couple bits that probably should of been included for completions sake – especially a lot of the recent White Dwarf-exclusive content that would of fit well into this book. We get named referees but not the rules for the limited edition Goblin and Halfling referees miniatures?

Some of the art gets repeated a little bit across the book too (though there are plenty of new pieces for this book). Some of the Star Players have artwork that clearly doesn’t match the player – i.e. Scrappa Sorehead is just a re-use of the cover art – completely lacking his signature pogo-stick!

Not much else to add. Good book, if you enjoy this edition of Blood Bowl, buy it!

On a related note, I should probably update with my current Blood Bowl painting progress sometime…

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