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League and Exhibition Play

Playing a Dungeon Bowl league is great fun. Teams grow and develop, and rookie players begin to catch the eyes of the scouts of Blood Bowl teams. Coaches are able to build upon their college's background and rivalries with others, all the while hoping to cement their College of Magic as the dominant college within the Old World.

In truth, although we call them leagues, what our teams are most likely doing is participating in the type of tournaments that happen between the Colleges of Magic. The Magisterium are constantly making bets with the other colleges as to which of the eight lores of magic is superior; and each , year the colleges will compete in various games, leagues and tournaments to secure glory for the college - and for their Magisterium to win a fat chunk of gold!

The development seen is a team improving through the course of such a competition and becoming a more skilled and complete unit. Over several such league seasons a college team will have played in several different competitions in very different locations, gained new players, lost old favourites, and changed and evolved over time.

Running a League

In order to set up a league, the first thing needed is a league commissioner. The league commissioner is the member of any group of regularly meeting coaches who takes up the responsibility for making sure that a league runs smoothly. Some league commissioners like to keep a central database of teams to keep track of how well everyone is doing, and some even write regular newsletters featuring game reports, league tables and anything else they can think of! Most league commissioners will take part in the league with a team of their own.


To run a league, you will need at least four teams. At the start of the league, each participating coach needs to draft a team as described on page 16 and submit a copy of their Team Draft list to the league commissioner.


A Dungeon Bowl league plays out over a number of 'seasons', each split into the 'regular season' and the 'play-off season'. At the end of each play-off season, comes the 'off-season break', a rest from the action before the next season begins. After the off-season break, returning and new coaches alike can draft a new team for the season ahead. Should the league commissioner wish, returning coaches can re-draft an existing team as described on page 83.


If the league contains enough teams, the league commissioner may wish to divide them into two, three or four divisions. Each division should contain as equal a num ber of teams as possible, but a division should have no fewer than four teams. The larger the divisions are, the longer a season will last. The teams can be split however the league commissioner decides, but drawing team names out of an upturned Dungeon Bowl helmet (or similar receptacle) is most traditional. Once the divisions have been split, the season can begin!


(see The Regular Season, page 97 of the Blood Bowl Rulebook)


(see League Fixtures, page 97 of the Blood Bowl Rulebook)


(see Cross Division Friendlies, page 97 of the Blood Bowl Rulebook)


Teams earn League points as follows:

  • Win: 3 League points
  • Draw: 1 League point
  • Loss: 0 League points

Additionally, league commissioners may wish to award bonus League points for the following:

  • Cause 3 or more Casualties (counting only those that generate SPP, as described in Step 3 of the post-game sequence): +1 League point

Each coach should record their League points on their Game Record sheet during step 1 of the post-game sequence, before reporting both the outcome of the game and the league points scored to the league commissioner.


(see The Play-Off Season, page 98 of the Blood Bowl Rulebook)


Prizes are awarded to the teams who finish in 1st 2nd and 3rd place, in addition to any winnings generated during the post-game sequence:

  • The team in 3rd place receives 30,000 gold pieces.
  • The team in 2nd place receives 60,000 gold pieces.
  • The team who finished in 1st place, the season's champion, is awarded 100,000 gold pieces and the Dungeon Bowl Trophy.

The Dungeon Bowl Trophy is held by the winners until the end of the next season, when it will be awarded to the new champions. For as long as a team holds the Dungeon Bowl Trophy, it adds an additional team re-roll to its Team Draft list, increasing its Team Value accordingly but without having to spend any gold pieces from its Treasury.


(see The Off-Season Break And Re-Drafting Teams, page 99 of the Blood Bowl Rulebook)


Between seasons, there is a period of downtime called the 'off-season break'. Coaches and their players rest and recuperate, spend their hard-earned gold, or go on elaborate tours to promote the latest edition of their increasingly unbelievable autobiographies.

After the finals have been played, any coaches who wish to re-draft their team for the next season should get together with the league com m issioner and run through the following steps:

  1. SCOUTING: Players may be scouted by Blood Bowl teams, and leave the college for greener pastures - at least in theory...
  2. R&R: Players that would miss the team's next game recover.
  3. RAISE FUNDS: Coaches calculate the funds available to them to re-draft their team.
  4. RE-DRAFT: Coaches complete their new Team Draft list for the season ahead.


During the off-season break, players that performed we across the season may be scouted by major Blood Bow teams, sign a lucrative contract, and leave their college to seek their fortune in the big leagues. During this step, roll a D6 for any players on your roster that have received any MVP awards. On the roll of a 6, at player has been scouted and joins a Blood Bowl team. As compensation, your Dungeon Bowl team gains an additional 20,000 gold pieces when they Raise Funds.

2. R&R

(see R&R, page 99 of the Blood Bowl Rulebook)


When re-drafting, each team gets a Re-Draft Budget of 1,000,000 gold pieces. This represents money doled out by the league, the team's sponsors, fan clubs and generous patrons. A team that is re-drafting then adds to this anything they have left in their Treasury from the previous season, after which their Treasury is emptied (presumably having been used to cover the cost of the many 'unexpected' expenses that arise during the off-season break!). Finally, a team that is re-drafting adds the bonuses listed below:

  • 20,000 gold pieces for each game the team played last season (both friendlies and league fixtures).  - +20,000 gold pieces for each league fixture the team won last season.

League commissioners may, at their own discretion, place a cap of 1,300,000 gold pieces on the Re-Draft Budget available to teams so that no team starts the season with too obvious an advantage.


One the Re-draft Budget available has been worked out, the team can be re-drafted. A few key players will be able to return to the dungeon for the new season, whilst others will find themselves unceremoniously dropped and replaced with eager rookies to keep costs down. Those players that are dropped usually have the good grace to disappear quietly, either graduating, joining another team for their college, or realising that their dreams of glory simply won't happen, before joining a Blood Bowl team as sideline staff.

To re-draft your team, use a new Team Draft list and create a brand new version of your team using the Re-draft Budget available, as described on page 83. The following rules apply:

  • Team re-rolls may be carried over from your previous Team Draft list at the cost shown on your team roster, or they may be let go.
  • As well as hiring new players from your team roster, you can re-hire players from last season's Team Draft list. Players can be re-hired by paying their Current Value as shown on last season's Team Draft list, plus an administrative fee of 20,000 gold pieces for each previous season the player has taken part in.

Simply copy the player's entire profile across from your old Team Draft list, including any Niggling Injuries, any characteristic reductions and any unspent Star Player points:

  • If the player has any Niggling Injuries, roll a D6 for each:

 - On a roll of 4+, some rest and relaxation has worked wonders. The Niggling Injury you are rolling for is removed.

 - On a roll of 1-3, the player's injury has not yet fully healed. The Niggling Injury being rolled for remains.


(see Re-Drafting Temporarily Retired Players, page 100 of the Blood Bowl Rulebook)


(see Starting A New Season, page 100 of the Blood Bowl Rulebook)

Exhibition Play

Unfortunately, not everyone is able to commit the time required to take part in a league. Coaches may not live close to their gaming friends, work and family commitments might contrive to keep us away from our hobby, meaning that often we are only able to enjoy the occasional stand-alone game when time permits. Such stand-alone games are referred to as 'exhibition games'. What's more, there is no reason to miss out on the fun of many aspects of the game that appear to be designed for league play; it is possible to create teams for exhibition games complete with extra Skills, characteristic improvements and access to weird and wonderful Inducements, including Star Players. There is a lot of fun to be had in creating a team for an exhibition game, deciding what will be included and what will be left out, choosing Skills, creating names and backstories for the players, and so on.


(see Blood Bowl Exhibition Play Rules, page 101 of the Blood Bowl Rulebook)


(see Drafting An Exhibition Team, page 101 of the Blood Bowl Rulebook)


(see Team Draft Budget, page 101 of the Blood Bowl Rulebook)


(see Hiring Players, page 101 of the Blood Bowl Rulebook)


Any team drafted for exhibition play can purchase team re-rolls, just like a team drafted for league play. Every team may buy 0-8 team re-rolls when it is drafted, for the cost of 50,000GP per re-roll, paid for from the Team Draft Budget.


(see Inducements In Exhibition Play, page 102 of the Blood Bowl Rulebook)


(see Player Advancement In Exhibition Play, page 102 of the Blood Bowl Rulebook)


(see Free SPP, page 102 of the Blood Bowl Rulebook)


(see Spending Spp, page 102 of the Blood Bowl Rulebook)


(see Value Increase, page 102 of the Blood Bowl Rulebook)


In league play, as well as earning SPP and gaining advancements, players can pick up lasting injuries from the Casualty table that will dog their careers. In exhibition play this does not happen. Every time a team drafted for exhibition play takes to the pitch, it does so with a full complement of healthy, uninjured players. Any Casualty rolls made against a player in one game are forgotten about should the same team be used again later. This is of particular importance for Dungeon Bowl tournaments, where coaches will use the same team in several games over one or more days.

This, of course, is not to say that Casualty rolls do not matter in exhibition play. Casualty rolls should be made as normal. This is because some teams may have the chance to gain an extra Lineman for the remainder of the game.