Andy Hall’s second Blood Bowl short story, Foul Play follows retired lineman Gulden von Sulkenhof, otherwise known as Sulk, who’s reduced to working as hired muscle for a pair of ogre gangsters. When his bosses place a risky bet on a match between the Gouged Eye and the Dwarf Giants, Sulk is roped in to be the referee in order to ensure the result goes their way. That’s easier said than done, and Sulk quickly finds himself between the Blood Bowl equivalent of a rock and a hard place.
Blood Bowl seen through the eyes of a referee is a great idea, and a fresh new perspective on the great game. The story starts off a little slow as as Hall takes his time introducing the characters and doing his best to back Sulk into a corner – it’s ambitiously twisty, but hampered a little by slightly cliched characters and clunky prose. Once the game kicks off, however, it all falls into place. The chaotic, outrageous nature of Blood Bowl comes through strongly, as Sulk desperately tries to work out how to survive the carnage, and the plot comes together nicely by the end. It’s perhaps a little underdeveloped, but fun nonetheless.