The commander of a Ukrainian anti-drone defence volunteer unit is also an avid Blood Bowl fan, who plays the game remotely with his son, according to TV reporter Arman Soldin. The AFP and Canal+ reporter tweeted about a night shift spent with the volunteer unit, who are tasked with shooting down Russian drones, where he witnessed the game.
Soldin shared several videos and photos on Twitter, showing the volunteer commander playing a game of tabletop Blood Bowl while others in his unit clean weapons. The commander moves the players from both teams, using a smartphone to talk with his 13 year old son, who is currently in the Netherlands.
It’s hard to tell from the footage, but it looks like a match between the Elven Union and Skavenblight Scramblers, on the pitch from the 2016 edition of the game, using a print-out of the Blood Bowl Second Season Edition rulebook. Soldin reports in his tweets that “all the figurines have been hand painted by the commander” – painting miniatures is certainly a good way to spend downtime on a night shift.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has adversely affected thousands of people even if they are not directly involved in fighting: this winter Wargamer spoke to an electrical engineer who has been building papercraft Warhammer 40k tanks to keep himself occupied during blackouts caused by Russian assaults on Ukrainian power infrastructure.
There’s a long history of wargaming in the military – not long ago we spoke to British Navy personnel who took their Warhammer 40k factions to the South pole to battle. With the international popularity of Blood Bowl, we assume that there are many Blood Bowl players among them.
We’ve reached out to Soldin to request further information – we’ll share anything that we learn.