This evening my regular gaming group played our first game of Blood Bowl Team Manager. I've never really been taken by the idea of card based gaming, but this nifty little offering really hit the spot.
Each player takes control of a Blood Bowl team for a season, which is represented by a series of gaming rounds. During these rounds players allocate bloodthirsty athletes from their team roster (drawn from a deck of cards) and uses their varying abilities and downright dirty tactics to win events - either match-ups between two teams or an all-in tournament. Teams progress through the rounds aiming to accumulate fan points while also taking the opportunity to boost their rosters with star players and hence improve their chances of claiming the Spike! magazine 'Manager of the Year' award. Coaching and various other upgrades help to spice things up and keep unpredictability at a premium.
Overall this seems to be a top class game. It really captures the spirit and 'feel' of Blood Bowl, both in terms of the game mechanics and the characteristics of the different races and star players. If this is a good indication of the quality of Fantasy Flight Games products, then I'll certainly be taking a long look at their other games the next time I'm looking for something new, entertaining and with the possibility for broader appeal.