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Blood Bowl: Norse Team, Star Players and Spike! Journal Review and Unboxing

Hey Sports fans! The Norse team, accessories and latest Spike! journal are all up for preorder right now! Score a touchdown, save some pennies AND help us do what we do by preordering through one of our Element Games links! Result!

Thank you to Games Workshop for sending us the team, the resin Forge World players, the cards and the latest issue of Spike!

Issue 14 of the Spike! Journal is upon us, and as is the case with new issues, their is a new (returning?) plastic team to accompany it.

This time out it’s those snow loving, ale drinking, gladiators…the Norse!

You can check out the unboxing video below, which also includes a run through of the Spike! book.

The Norse

Hailing from the frozen landscapes of Norsca in the Old World, the Norse can be best described as a Viking inspired race, with a love of getting into punch ups, drinking ale and occasionally, playing Blood Bowl.

They are very hardy souls, who forgo armour in favour of materials such as lighter armour, Wolf pelts and leather. This makes them quick on the pitch, with moderate to great strength, but with low armour. A classic ‘glass cannon’ team!

The Plastic Team

The team itself is one of the best value ones on the market for the amount of players and positions it covers.

The box contains two lots of the tokens, including two special types of ball (one basically being Thor’s hammer, rules for both appear in the journal).

You also get the all important players within the box, totalling:

  • 6 x Lineman
  • 2 x Berserkers
  • 2 x Valkyres
  • 2 x Ulfwerener
  • 2 x Beer Pigs

In fact, almost all of the positionable players are available within this box. The position missing is the Yhetee, who is also available to preorder separate today. He’s coming from Forge World alongside the Star Players, so will be in resin.

Back to the plastic models, and these are highly detailed models, with tankards of ale flying around and hunting horns strapped to belts. Visually one of the best teams available for Blood Bowl and one of the best value.

Breaking down the players a little, Lineman are your standard positionals, your general allrounders. Watch out for the Drunkard special rule though!

Valkyries are by far your best chance of securing catches and touchdowns so ensure you use your harder hitting Berserkers and Ulfwereners to protect them and to take down your opponents players (before they take you down due to a lack of decent defence/armour), whilst Beer Pigs (clearly unable to actually handle the ball) have an ability to allow a player within 3 squares to stand back up on a 5+.

The Resin Star Players

To further expand your roster, as mentioned earlier, a few resin models will be purchasable.

  • Yhetee
  • Ivar Eriksson (Star Player)
  • Skorg Snowpelt (Star Player)
  • Thorsson Stoutmead (Star Player)

These are all superb models, which Matt has done a fantastic job painting them up for me.

It’s brilliant to have all these out alongside the full plastic team, instead of scattering the releases.

The Cards

One of the accessories up for preorder is the team cards. Within this pack you’ll find stat cards for all of your positionals and star players. You’ll also find 16 blank cards for naming your players and jotting down their evolving stats as well as optional special ability cards (inducements) you can use within games.

These are handy, in particular for the stat cards. They are bright and very easy to read.

Spike! Journal: Issue Fourteen

Alongside every team tends to be a Spike! journal, featuring all the rules and background for said team.

Whilst the plastic team boxes have the stats too, they are much easier to read within the journals. Spike! also tells you which Star Players can be drafted for your team (including Akhorne, who I absolutely need to pick up at some point!).

Also included within these pages are tips and tactics for using the Norse on the pitch. This includes example teams using a standard beginners value, and an example team should you and your friends want to just drop in with an expensive full team. The Offensive and Defensive tactics help you line up at scrummage, giving you sound advice on how to go on the offensive and hopefully score, to defending your own half from your opponent.

At this point it’s clear, due in a large part to the low armour value, that the Norse will be a team recommended for more experienced players, with an already established knowledge of playing Blood Bowl.

But then, I’m not super experienced in Blood Bowl and have picked these as my team because they look awesome, and if I get battered in the first few games whilst I get used to the team, so be it!

Optional rules can be found in here for playing in Norsca and on a Frozen Pitch (which is also up for preorder this morning). These are really fun and add even more random elements to your games. I’ll be playing some games in the Ice Bowl!

Also, to round out the rules offerings, this issue includes rules for fielding your Norse team in Dungeon Bowl, which is a very nice touch!

Whilst all the above is of course handy, in my opinion a strong reason to pick up Spike! books is for the humour, back stories and gorgeous artwork.

Seriously, if they made a Blood Bowl comic (or even better, a Warhammer+ animated series) using the art style used throughout the Blood Bowl marketing, I’d be all over it.

You’ve got interviews with star players and a history of the most famous Norse team, the Norsca Rampagers, for starters. These also inspire you to name your own players, staff and stadium.

I highly recommend you watch the video Matt filmed at the top of this article for a full run through of the book.

Summary

When I first saw the team revealed at Adepticon, I wasn’t blown away, but then I was in awe with the other reveals, such as the return of the Horus Heresy range and those amazing Chaos Knights.

On further inspection I fell for the look and feel of these minis. The ale, the fun rules, the star players and, of course, beer pigs!

Obtaining Spike! was the icing on the cake, and assurance that the Norse were my new team as we prep for a future new league.

They look like a team that will take plenty of practice to play, but that’s fine, because I think they’ll be super fun to play with (and party with once the game is over!). The important thing to remember is these lads and lasses (and pigs and Yhetees..) don’t believe in armour, so whilst they can be good diving into tackles they are unfortunately going to be easy to knock down and potentially end up injured!

I highly recommend new players to Norse get a box of players, the journal and a Yhetee. Once established you can then look to grab the star players. The cards are handy too, in particular for the stat cards and the blank ones for you to fill in.

I’ve got a unit to finish painting for a tournament next weekend, then I’ll be cracking on painting these ready for a game! Keep an eye on our social media and our weekly podcast for painting updates!

Touchdown!

Thanks again to GW for sending these to us, and a reminder you can preorder the Norse through Element Games!

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