Let’s get one thing straight: I don’t like sports. I don’t like to do sports, I don’t like to watch sports and I don’t like to listen to people talk about sports. I don’t even like sportswear.
So it was with mixed feelings that I went to Virago’s to play Blood Bowl. This is one of Virago’s all-time favorite games, so naturally, he wanted to share his enthusiasm.
Now back in the day, my brother owned the second edition of this game and I guess we must have played it. I vaguely remember painting some Orcs, but I have no memories of how the game works.
Sigur had brought his own team, Orcland Raiders, while Virago let me chose between the different teams he had. I took Wood Elves, mainly because I liked their look, but I realised soon that they are a very strong team.
So it was Sigur’s Orcs against my Wood Elves in a game that saw the elves in their best form. Before you get wrong ideas, I had the great advantage of having Virago as my coach, who couldn’t hold back and gave me a lot of tactical advice. The elves played fast and nimble, while the Orcs relied on brutal strength, and at first it looked like they might massacre my whole team – I made the first two touchdowns, but each cost me about three figures injured or dead. However, I could hold my advantage and win the game!
Now, as I said, sports games are not my cup of tea. I can see, however, how this is a good game if you like the theme. It is very thematic and it seems perfect for tournament play – after all, tournaments and organised competition are what sports are all about, so it really makes sense in that context.
One thing we realised was that this is not a fast play game. Although it looks like it would be quick, it took us more than three hours to play it. This, of course, is something that was pretty standard at the time, when games usually took 3-4 hours to finish. By today’s standard, this is already considered long – many modern games claim a playing time of 1-1,5 hours (which is not always true, of course).
Why did this change? I often hear that people have less time today, but is this correct? Did people really have more time back in the 80s and 90s? Or was it just us that had more time, as we still went to school or university? I think that at least one reason why contemporary games are less time consuming may be that the target demographic is different: Back in the 80s and 90s, the target audience was kids and students, while today, it is (or significantly includes) 30- or 40-somethings, and those are the people who have little time (and probably didn’t have much more time back then). Or maybe I’m wrong – what do you think?