Starting A Blood Bowl Pitch

Being a completist, when I decided to get into Blood Bowl there was no way I’d just leave it at a team or two and nothing else! Besides, although there’s a lot of other players around with BB pitches of various sorts, from the basic card field from the box set to very elaborate homemade ones, I wanted a setup of my own so I’m not dependent on other players to provide everything needed.

For this BB pitch, I had a couple of goals. I wanted a jungle ruins theme overall, to fit with the Lizardman & Amazon teams I’m starting with, and the whole thing had to be transportable, probably in a boot-sized shoebox. I do almost all of my gaming away from home, so portability is key. That meant the actual pitch was going to be fabric, not hard panels of some sort, and the various accessories and decorative elements had to be modular and not really oversized. Light weight would also be nice. I also wanted to incorporate a bunch of BB’s play aids and things like turn & re-roll tracking right into the scenery, to minimize the amount of clutter around and on the table.

Various Blood Bowl accessories in progress. See text for details, and click for larger.

The photo shows where I’m at after a couple of hours over a couple of evenings. The main construction material is half-inch pink insulation board for all the stonework. Turns out this is 14mm thick, so if you slice 14mm wide strips off then cut those roughly 1 inch long, you get a nicely sized “stone” block. It’s like Hirst Arts plaster blocks, without the weight, fragility or the mess of dozens of casting sessions! The square tiles are 20mm by 20mm cubes cut from the same styrofoam, then sliced into thirds, so each tile is somewhere between 3mm-5mm thick. A hot glue gun was used to glue everything together; the bases are just mattboard, the good quality card used in picture framing.

The two foreground pieces are a pair of Re-Roll & Turn Track markers, one for each team, made to look like some sort of temple plaza/stone-paved roadway setup. You can etch/carve insulation foam with a pencil, so the wide stones on the left have the name of each track (“R-R” for Reroll, “First” and “2nd” for first half/second half turn tracking) and then the numbers 1-8. I used Roman numerals for the 2nd half numbers, just because, although looking at it again, using those for Rerolls to make it different might have been cleverer. Not too late to slice off the name label tiles and put new ones on, I guess.

Top left and top right is a dugout for each team, with the 3 areas in each needed for Reserve/KO/Injured.

Top centre is the base for the scoreboard. I haven’t quite finalized the design for the actual scoreboard, but magnets to hold some sort of placard with the score number on it will be used. The 3×3 square of paving at the front of the scoreboard will be pencil-etched with the BB scatter template for reference, and I might actually extend the front of the paving by another row to put the 3×1 throw-in template there.

Everything will be painted in stone, then various vegetation, vines and such added to make it look jungle-like without hampering the functionality of the various Blood Bowl game elements being built into the scenery. I’m also wondering what other game elements could be carved into the stonework to add to the utility and bump the decorative level up a bit, too. Given I currently lack proper bash dice, I might put the d6 conversion table for them along the top of the back row of each dugout, one on each of six stones… any other ideas?

I’ve got a piece of brown cotton flannel big enough for a 40mm pitch, which I’ll turn into a muddy jungle field with the aid of fabric dye, ink and a black permanent marker. I might actually put a standard-size 29/30mm pitch on the back, just because, and the offcut should include a piece of fabric big enough to put a BB7 pitch on, possibly in 40mm even. The actual fabric pitch will probably be my Christmas holiday gaming project.

Up next, some last carving and details, then paint! Not sure if I’ll go with basic grey paint, or try for the tan sandstone look so many of the Mayan buildings down in Mexico are made from.

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