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Blood Bowl 3 games half as long as in Blood Bowl 2

To make the fantasy football strategy game snappier for new and old players, Cyanide Studios has given Blood Bowl 3's turns a nip and tuck

Blood Bowl 3 games are quicker than Blood Bowl 2 - screenshot by Cyanide Studios, a large green troll on a football pitch

Blood Bowl III games will be up to an hour quicker than they were in Blood Bowl II, according to project manager Gautier Brésard. Speaking about the upcoming fantasy football tactics game in an interview to Wargamer, Brésard explains the changes that Cyanide Studios has made to eliminate downtime and keep matches short and brutal.

A typical game of Blood Bowl II takes around 90 minutes to two hours to complete. It’s quicker than driving to your friendly local game store and playing a full game of Age of Sigmar or Warhammer 40k, but much, much longer than most other online multiplayer games, and a big commitment that may deter new players from trying the game.

Brésard says that Cyanide Studios’ “goal was to reduce the time per match to around one hour” in Blood Bowl III. The main change is in the turn timer. “The new system has less time per turn, but also a global time bank”, Brésard says. Blood Bowl II gave players four minutes per turn, which Blood Bowl III trims back to two minutes, with seven and a half minutes of spare time per half.

Blood Bowl 3 games are quicker than Blood Bowl 2 - screenshot by Cyanide Studios, a large Orc armored in black on a football pitch

Brésard says that the shorter time limit prevents complacent players from dawdling on relatively inconsequential turns: “you don’t stay there and look at the clouds, you stay focused on the game”. He adds that the time bank ensures “you still have more time to play the critical turns”.

“It’s still a long game to play,” Brésard says, adding: “I think we managed to have games that last around one hour, one hour and 15 minutes”. When Wargamer tried the game out for our preview we found that the claim holds up, at least when playing against the AI – the challenge of playing human opponents might force us to linger longer over our decisions.

Blood Bowl 3 games are quicker than Blood Bowl 2 - screenshot by Cyanide Studios, two humans in blue armour pass a ball on a football pitch

If you’re not familiar with Blood Bowl, here’s the cheat sheet: it’s a strategy board game themed around American football, set in a comedy version of Warhammer: The Old World. It’s maintained a devoted fandom for over thirty years, a hobby game that some players consider it one of the best board games flat out. Blood Bowl III is the first digital implementation of the most recent tabletop rules, from 2020’s Blood Bowl Second Season Edition.

Wargamer will be publishing a preview of Blood Bowl III asap, as well as the full transcript of our Q&A with Brésard.