Malta can finally say it placed in the top ten of a football competition. At least, in a Lord of the Rings-style fantasy football chess competition called Blood Bowl.
Eight Maltese players took up the challenge to form Malta’s first national Blood Bowl team and take part in EuroBowl XII, held in Porto, Portugal last month. They places 6th out of 18 countries, and are now focused on bettering their ranking at next year’s EuroBowl championship in Cardiff, Wales.
For those who are not familiar with it, Blood Bowl is a table top game that parodies American Football with a fantasy flourish: human warriors, goblins, dwarves, elves, orcs, and trolls are just a few of the species that step out of their original Warhammer Fantasy setting and onto the playing field, allowing two players to face off with their teams of 32mm miniatures.
The game is played out on a board, and players can even main or injure their fantasy opponents to score easier.
The Maltese team stepped into the fray with some 300 other players and fought valiantly, earning their 6th place ranking and leaving countries such as Germany and Spain in their dust.
Switzerland and Denmark’s heroic efforts earned them fourth and fifth place respectively. England, Italy, and France took first, second, and third place respectively, making them the ones to beat in future.
The captain of the Maltese team, Jean Mark Meli, told Lovin Malta that the team “never expected the result we got, so we’re super chuffed with it.”
Jean has been going to tournaments abroad for the past few years and said “it was a dream to manage a national team!”
“Our target, since it was our first run into the Europeans, was not arriving within the last three places. We were looking at 15th place or above, with a good result being mid table – 9th. We were out of words arriving at 6th place, ahead of countries such as Spain and Germany who are ‘heavyweights’,” he said.
The Maltese side lost to Italy, who are the current reigning world champions, but Jean said that the “most exciting game was against Wales which was the last match. The table was lost for sure, until the last few minutes when three of the Maltese guys managed to turn losses into draws which won us the table!”
And they clearly impressed the Wales team – “they were extremely nice and friendly as well, so we’re very glad to be travelling to Cardiff next year to play at their Eurobowl.”
Jean encourages anyone interested in board games to try out Blood Bowl as a hobby, and to get into contact with the NGO that he is a part of, W.A.R.S (The Wargaming and Roleplaying Society).
“We meet a lot of people from all over the world through travelling to tournaments abroad and hosting them locally as well, but it is also great in developing strategic thinking and, most importantly, loads of fun!