Rules

INTRODUCTION

This year’s SPIKE! Magazine Blood Bowl Championship will be a 6-game Swiss Point System Tournament. We will be using the “Ironmanji” rule set created by NAF member Joemanji. See the “Spike! Teams” tab for the rules on team design. If you have any questions or concerns about anything to do with the event please feel free to contact us.

Michael McAree, League Commissioner, Thunderbowl.

THE BASICS

Things you NEED to bring:
- Your Team of Miniatures (should be painted and flocked). You should have numbers on the bases of your miniatures, so that your opponent can differentiate your players at a glance. Shoulder pads are generally not readable from across the table, and coloured rings, while popular, are not as universally accepted.
- 3 copies of your team roster (one to hand in).
- D8, 2D6 and a set of Block dice.

Recommended:
- A copy of the most recent Living Rule Book 6.0 (AKA the Blood Bowl Competition Rules, which may be downloaded for free (here).
- Your NAF number (not required to play in challenge, but necessary if you want your games to be recorded).

You will NOT need to bring a board or dugouts. These will be provided. Get ready for the big leagues; we play exclusively on 40mm-scale boards. Now not only can you make sense of Ogre-on-Ogre scrums, you can comfortably lay your miniatures face-down without chipping the paint!

Special Give-Away: TBD
Early Bird: Each coach who submits a team before August 22 will receive a set of Spike 2016 Dice.

REGISTRATION

Thunderbowl handles all the registration for the 2016 SPIKE! Magazine Blood Bowl Championship. We will be accepting pre-registration until August 23. Since most of the money we collect is going to the venue and to the cost of handouts, trophies, and door prizes, we encourage coaches to register and pay as early as possible. To enter your team for the event, please fill out the registration form on the “Register” tab of this website.
The registration price is $50 (CAD). Please register with us by email or by using our online registration form. You can use the PayPal button below to send payment. If you would rather not pay in this manner, pay with cash on the first day of the event.


Pre-registration is recommended but it’s not required. Every coach will be welcome regardless of pre-registration and no one will be turned away if they choose to pay at the door.

SCHEDULE

As we are allowing more than enough time to complete your games (2 hours 30 Minutes), the days will run late if we don’t start on time. Please be punctual and ready to play at the scheduled times.

Saturday August 27

8:00 - 9:00 Registration/ Introductions/ Orientation
9:00 - 11:30Round One
11:30 - 12:30 Lunch
12:30 - 3:00 Round Two
3:15 - 5:45 Round Three
5:45 - 7:00Dinner
7:00 - 9:30Round Four

Sunday August 29

10:00 - 12:30Round Five
12:30 - 1:30Lunch
1:30 - 4:00Round Six
5:00Awards Presentations

SPIKE! TEAMS

Eligible Teams: All of the teams available in the Blood Bowl Living Rulebook 6.0 (AKA the Blood Bowl Competition Rules, which may be downloaded for free (here) may be used at the 2016 SPIKE! Magazine Tournament. As well as the standard rulebook teams, we will be allowing the three “Experimental” teams detailed in the 2008 Rules Review. You can find these teams, the Chaos Pact, the Slann and the Underworld, within the text of the rulebook linked above.

Team Build: Coaches have 1,200,000 gold crowns with which to build their teams. All teams will be required to field at least 11 players.

Coaches may not include Star Players as part of their team unless they have the Secret Weapon or Stab skills (except Zara – she is not allowed). An exception to this rule are Halfling, Goblin, Ogre and Underworld teams, who may hire up to two Star Players as normal.

You may purchase any other Inducements except Mercenaries, Wizards or Special Play Cards as a permanent part of your team for their normal cost.

If you spend less than the 1.2M, you will not be entitled to Inducements on a game by game basis.

Note: During the Spike!, Undead Coaches can raise opposing players from the dead, following the usual rules, but since this is a “resurrection” Tournament, teams revert to their starting rosters each round. Undead raised cannot therefore be carried from game to game. Apothecaries may be used, according to the rules in the Competition Rule Pack.

Skill Pack: After purchasing your team of 11 or more players (including Stars) and any Inducement options, you may add skills to your team, based on that team’s Player Improvements. Skills are divided into tiers (No attribute picks are allowed):

Tier 1 skill = Block, Frenzy, Kick, Strip Ball, Sure Hands, Dodge, Leader, Guard, Mighty Blow and Claw.
Tier 2 skill = anything else.

1 point for the first instance of a tier 2 skill.
2 points for the second or further instance of a tier 2 skill.
2 points for the first instance of a tier 1 skill.
3 points for the second or further instance of a tier 1 skill.
+2 points for any skill that is a double.

Teams have the following points to spend:

9 points – Undead, Wood Elf, Amazon, Chaos Dwarf, Lizardmen
11 points – Dwarf, Orc, Norse, Dark Elf, Skaven
13 points – High Elves, Humans, Pro Elves, Necromantic, Khemri
15 points – Slann, Underworld, Chaos Pact, Nurgle, Chaos, Vampires
17 points – Goblin, Halfling, Ogre

Example : My Chaos team has 15 points to spend. I take three Chaos Warriors with Block, the first costing 2 points and the next two costing 3 points each (total 8 points). I then take three Beastmen with Wrestle, the first costing me 1 point and the next two costing 2 points each (total 5 points). This leaves me with 2 points, with which I take a Tackle Beastman and an Extra Arms Beastman. 2+3+3+1+2+2+1+1 = 15.

Note: Star players may not be given additional skills and no player can add more than one skill. There are no other limits to skill selection.

Team Spreadsheet

Feel free to use the Halfling Scribe Tournament Roster to build your teams. To add skills to players, you’ll first need to give them 6 SPP. Just adding a couple of TDs ought to do it.
You can download the spreadsheet (here)

TOURNAMENT FORMAT

The SPIKE! is played over both Saturday and Sunday. Each coach will participate in six games, “Swiss” style. Therefore, in the first round, coaches will be randomly matched against other coaches. After that, the coaches will be allocated by win record to encourage same skill level of play. The only other rule regarding pairings is that you can never play the same opponent twice. For this reason, you may find that your opponents don’t always have a record identical to yours. You can read more about Swiss-style tournaments here.

To stay on schedule, Thunderbowl asks that you play at a brisk pace with no time wasting please. To help with this we will provide programmed game timers. While it is of course up to you and your opponent to decide how strictly you wish to enforce the rule on turn time, we ask that you use the clocks at least a a guide so that games don’t fall behind. Each player will be given a special results form at the start of each game. Once you have finished your game, you must fill in the form and then hand it in to the Referee. It is important you fill all the information in, as this will decide your ranking for the next round and ultimately the winner of the 2016 SPIKE! Trophy.

SCORING

After each game you will record the game results on the results form. Points are awarded as follows:

Coaching

Win = 65
Loss = 0
Tie = 25
Scoring Tie Breakers
“Blowout:” Won by 2+TDs = +5
“So close:” Lost by only 1TD = +5
“Crushed:” Caused 2+ Cas from non-weapon “Block” actions = +5
These bonus points will NOT be added to your overall total, and will be used only to break ties.

Any remaining ties in the final standings will be broken by Win record, then by head-to-head record if any, then by TD Difference, and finally by Casualty Difference.

Forfeits: Should your opponent for any reason be unable to play during the allotted time (ie must leave early or arrives more than 30 minutes late), you will be awarded a win. If your game has begun, record the score and casualties as of the time the game ended, and the winner will receive bonus TDs to bring the game to a 2-point lead for the winner. The Casualty record will not be changed. Ideally we’d rather not enforce this, so please be generous if your opponent shows up 35 minutes late on day 2 with a bit of a hangover ….

Timeout: If your game cannot be completed within the 2.5 hour time limit, then the game will be decided based on its current score. We do have clocks to enforce the 4-minute time limit, but if you feel that at any time your opponent is “stalling,” then please let us know. This has not been a problem with previous Spike! events, but it’s worth noting here just in case.

Sportsmanship

Although we all may dream of winning the SPIKE! Trophy we want everyone to have as much fun as they possibly can. Each coach will have the opportunity to vote on which opponent deserves the Outstanding Sportsmanship award. After your last game you will select your three favourite opponentes from your games. Rank matters here; most favorite will earn more bonus points than third most favorite (3 for 1st, 2 for 2nd, 1 for 3rd). These bonus points will NOT be added to the players’ overall scores, but they will be used to determine tiebreakers for the Sportsmanship prize.


Painting

You may use models from any game company to represent the players on your team, and you will be eligible to win the prize for Best Painted Team. Coaches will wote on their three favourite teams from the event. We recommend using the following criteria:

Base-coated: All the bases in the team, including sideline staff are painted and textured in some manner. A green undercoat is not enough.

Painted:The team is painted. All models have at least three (3) colours on them. Undercoats should not be visible.

Representative: All models on the team are representative of the race and position that they are to portray. Extra weapons that are not part of a finished and painted figure should be removed. Interestingly converted teams will be considered along with stock teams. After all, the hobby aspect is part of the game as well! Therefore conversions are certainly encouraged; out of fairness to your opponent, however, we ask that the positions of players at least follow some sort of reasoning. For instance, if you want to play an all-Halfling Ogre team, it should be obvious which Halflings represent Ogres and which represent Snotlings.

Detailed: All models have had details painted in a variety of colours or with noticeable effects. This can be shading, highlighting, numbered shoulder pads, etc. This discriminates between the merely painted team and the team that has had some attention paid to it.

WOW Factor: This includes but is not limited to conversions, base and flock, putty work, display cases or trays and coaching staff. A team with no conversions but with a paint job that is above average will probably b noticed as well. Basically, this covers anything that makes the painting judges go WOW!!

Opponent Scoring: At lunchtime on the second day, players will be asked to look over the top teams as selected by the judges. A secret ballot will be used to determine the Best Painted trophy. Naturally we ask that coaches vote honestly, and not just select their friends’ teams. We really want the most impressive team to win the trophy, and to encourage coaches to bring their best.

THE GLITTERING PRIZES

We have 10 Trophies this year for the Spike! Tournament. Since no coach may receive more than one prize, there may be cases where we ask a coach in advance which prize he would prefer. In those cases, the next eligible coach would win the prize he did not select, and the leader for that prize will be listed as runner-up. In cases of ties, we will follow the guidelines described below. If we still have a tie, we will use our discretion.
SPIKE! CHAMPION
Going forward, the Spike! Magazine trophy will be awarded based on Coaching Record alone. While we have in the past awarded this trophy based on total points for Coaching, Painting, and Sportsmanship, this is not the trend of most events around the world. That said, please play fair and paint your models! In the case of a tie for this award, we will compare “Coaching Record:” In the case of a tie, we will compare Game Points alone. If there is still a tie, we will compare Total Wins, followed by the TD differential. Finally, we will compare the teams’ head-to-head records, using Coaching Records, followed by scores for Painting, and finally Sportsmanship.

SECOND and THIRD PLACE
These trophies are awarded to the Coaches with the second- and third-highest scores for game play (including all bonuses). The tiebreaker here, as for most of the other trophies, will be “Coaching Record”

OUTSTANDING PAINTING
This is the award for the team with the best presentation. We will have three painting judges, each giving a score of 1-10 for painting and presentation for all of the teams. These judges will determine the best teams, and these will be presented at lunchtime on Sunday for participant voting. The Outstanding Painting trophy will be awarded based on the votes collected. Any ties here will be settled at the discretion of the Tournament Organizer.

OUTSTANDING SPORTSMANSHIP
This trophy will be awarded to the coach with the highest total points for Sportsmanship. Ties will be broken by totaling up points awarded for “favourite opponent.” These “favourite” points will not be added to the Overall score, and will only be used to break ties here. If there is still a tie, we will award the trophy to the coach with the better Coaching Record.

ENDZONE HOG
This trophy is awarded to the coach who scored the most TDs over six games. The Tiebreaker will be Coaching Record.

RAMBO
This trophy is awarded to the coach with the highest Casualties score. Only casualties cause by Blocks and Blitzes count, so disregard fouls, crowd pushes, Stab, Chainsaw attacks, Throw a Rock, etc. The Tiebreaker will be Coaching Record.

THE WALL
This trophy is awarded to the coach who allowed the fewest TDs against his team over his six games.  The Tiebreaker will be Coaching Record.

GLASS JOE
This year we will award this trophy to the coach with the lowest Overall points score.  In the case of a tie, we will award this to the coach with the lesser Coaching Record.

THE GOBLIN TRIBAL LEEG!

“The Goblin Tribal Leeg tournament is normally held about the same time as the Spike! Magazine Tournament, as most Goblin teams can’t afford to travel to far-off Estalia from their tribal lairs in the Darklands, and in any case Goblin players hate playing in the bright, sunny conditions under which the Spike! tournament is normally held. The Tribal Leeg doesn’t have a trophy or any gold prizes since it is all but impossible for a bunch of Goblins to arrange for a trophy and two different teams to be in the same place at the same time, and any gold prize is invariably stolen before the final takes place! This means that all the winner of the Goblin Tribal Leeg really gets is the undying support of  huge horde of Goblin fans, who follow the team around the Old World watching it play. Whether being followed around the Old World by an army of Goblin fans is actually a good thing is open to debate, but it certainly increases the gate winnings that the team receives every time it plays a match!”  -LRB 6.0, p33

“Okay, enough fluff,” says you. “What does all that mean?” Well, this year, after popular support, we’re giving out a prize to the best “Stunty” team to play in the tournament. The definition of a “Stunty” team has been the subject of some debate; a common understanding is that it is a team made only of players with the “Stunty” Extraordinary Skill and with “Big Guys.” Big guys are generally defined as ST 5+ players that select only from Strength and who have the Trait “Loner.” Since many make the exception that Ogres also fit the definition, despite lacking Loner, we have decided that Ogre teams are eligible for this prize.

So: Stunty teams include Halflings, Goblins and Ogres, as well as Lizardman teams that are made up of All Skinks (or Skinks plus a Kroxigor), and Underworld teams, so long as there are no Skaven players. Since Star Players are not a part of the regular makeup of a team, they may be hired by any Stunty team as allowed; therefore a Skink team could include Slibili, for example.

As for what this all means in terms of game play, it’s simple. All Stunty teams will play in the same tournament as everyone else, and their opponents will be determined using the traditional Swiss seeding. However, at the end of the day, the highest-ranked team that meets the “Stunty” definition will be awarded the Goblin Tribal Leeg trophy.

Note: of course we are including this to encourage team diversity at the event, and not so that coaches who felt that they might not win Best Overall might instead opt to try for this.  We assume that no-one is going to play only for the Goblin Tribal Leeg trophy, and that all Stunty teams will be vying to win it all.  ’nuff said about that.