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The World of Board Games

Noé Lifona, 29 years old malagueño, works as an actor and part of his free time spends playing BloodBowl. What is it that draw his attention to this board game so much that he ended up being sixth best player in the world?

Entrevista con Noé - BloodBowl - Preview from AJ Intercambia on Vimeo.

Who is Noé?

My name is Noé, I am from Málaga, currently I am working as an actor in the theater troupe called El espejo negro and I am on a tour through Spain.

How would you describe Blood Bowl in one sentence?

It’s a very fun game for making friends.

How did you discover this board game?

I was sixteen or seventeen years old when I went to a shop called GamesWorkshop, very famous worldwide, where I was meeting with other people to see which types of games we liked. There I saw a specialist game which was played by a few, it caught my attention and I bought it for my birthday.

What did you like best?

What I liked best was the fact that it is based on a fantasy world, with orcs, elves… I loved that kind of literature, The Lord of the Rings etc. Science fiction, in general. I found it very tempting because it represents a football game between the Middle-earth races.

Who would you recommend the game to?

To anyone who would like to make friends, to begin with. Besides that, you should like that type of games, competition, if you want to compete on national or international level, and the fantasy world: orcs, elves, humans, the undead etc. You have to be interested in that world. If you are, you want to make friends and like playing board games… it’s great.

Where do you guys usually meet up to play?

Right now I am playing in one game association El Averno. The shop E-minis also organizes leagues of BloodBowl occasionally. But hey, you can play in many places! You can play in your own home if you want to. Nevertheless, it’s good to have a place to meet up, whether it is a shop or an association.

When did you start playing in tournaments?

At national level I am participating in tournaments since five years ago. This doesn’t mean that I know how to play since five years ago… you learn a lot going to tournaments. In November 2015 I participated for the first time in Blood Bowl World Cup.

Why did you start participating in tournaments?

When I started playing BloodBowl I only played with my closest friends, it was a very small group and we played only with each other. When they went studying abroad and I ended up with only few people to play with, on the internet I found leagues which were organized at the provincial level. Then I met other people who were playing in Malaga and started meeting up with them. I knew them only from playing BloodBowl... From then on I met a few guys who were travelling to play at national level because they had friends in other cities and I decided to have a try. The first tournament I did was in Madrid. There was four of us, I had a really, really nice time, and from then on I started going every time I can.

Who can participate in tournaments?

There are two types of tournaments. The vast majority, i. e., ninety percent of tournaments is open, anybody can go. However, there is a world raking that puts you in a position and you know which player is better than the other by the number of tournaments they have won. But you can challenge the whole world, attend and try to win every tournament.
On the other hand, there is a small part, like European tournaments, which are invitational. The captain who is chosen makes a team which will participate in the tournament.

How was your first experience in participating in the world cup?

Awesome! It was my first participation. It´s difficult to catch a World Cup which is every four years, to be free those days, to be able to attend and to have the intention to go. Last year I could and I didn´t hesitate to go. It was held on the sixth, seventh and eighth of November in a city named Luca in Italy. I was there the day before, saw Luca a bit and liked it a lot. The World Cup was in a huge sports center, there were a thousand players. Quite an achievement! There I got to know a bunch of players from different countries. It was very well organized by Italians and… it was so much fun. It lasted three days: Friday, Saturday and Sunday, there were three matches each day. I had a wonderful time!

One memory from the World Cup that you took with you?

I think that the most exciting thing and what I will remember best from the World Cup was the award ceremony. I wasn’t expecting it at all; I was talking to my friends when they called me to go on stage. They give me the prize for the best team of humans, asked what was my name, where I was coming from, in front of thousand players… It was wonderful.

How did you prepare for the World Cup?

We were ten participants from Malaga, more or less we practiced among ourselves. I hadn’t prepared as much as I wanted to because it requires a lot of time, but yes, I practiced a bit.

How was playing with people from other countries?

It was fabulous! From here in Spain, Australia, for example, or the USA, seem far. I was surprised to see people from Canada that had the same passion, the same hobby as me. They were only looking for some fun, and, I don´t know, I met new people and made new friends. It´s spectacular. Moreover, the World Cup is played in teams and that makes you stick together with your people. We had a team from Malaga facing a team from Canada, which seemed very nice and very curious to me.

You play the World Cup in teams?

There are two categories. The World Cup you win in team, afterwards you have an individual classification where the best player also receives a prize. But in the beginning you win as a team. The average is made, because there are six participants in one team, each participant that wins a match adds a point, a draw adds half a point and if you lose, you get no points. In addition, the World Cup is a Swiss tournament, which means that the best one plays against the second best, the third against the fourth, therefore you are always playing against the best. At the end of everything, the team who has most points - wins.

Do you participate in tournaments of other games?

I play a lot of games. At the level of competition, now I am starting to play Warmachine a bit, but I still haven´t attended any tournament. I’m simply preparing, because I would like to learn to play and participate in tournaments. For now, I only participate in BloodBowl.

There is a video game of Bloodbowl, right?

Yes, there is, recently BloodBowl2 was released. It’s cool, has good graphics and it can entertain you for a while… but personally, I don´t like video games. I prefer playing board games. If I have the same game as a video game and as a board game, without doubt I´d prefer to play a board game together with a friend.

What makes a board game better than a video game?

Seeing the face of your opponent!
It´s the eternal question between board games and video consoles. I love Bloodbowl, in fact, I compete at all levels and I don´t like the console at all. You can´t learn a lot playing against the machine. It´s true that you can play with other players from other countries, but for that it´s better to come to a place and play with friends while drinking a beer.

Do you think that board games are in danger of the expansion of video games?

No, I don´t think that board games will disappear, not soon at least. It´s true that they don´t have the range of video games. But they do have their limited community and there are very strong ones. Namely, there are a lot of people who play a lot of board games and have their own association, their own group of games… each time I see more of them. And each one can come to have their own play center of sixty to eighty games and they meet to try them out. It´s a very strong community, I don´t think it will disappear.

Was Blood Bowl the first game that you played?

No, not at all, I started a lot earlier to play board games. However, it was my favorite. The first that I remember was HeroQuest I would say, also a very classic and famous one.

What other types of games do you like?

There are different types: Some that are more social, shorter, some where you have to think more or think less. I like a lot of types, for example Caylus, a type of game where you are supposed to plan the best strategy for winning or for having more points than the opponent, and you have to think a lot about which way is the best.

Bloodbowl is a game with miniatures. Do you have a favorite one?

I consider myself a collector, I have lots of miniatures. To play Bloodbowl, you need at least eleven, and a team can have sixteen miniatures at most. That means if you have sixteen miniatures, you can play your whole life. I own twenty two out of twenty four possible teams. I don´t have a concrete favorite miniature, but I do have a favorite team. I usually play with humans that were the first team with which I played and with which I participated in tournaments. And I have a special affection for that team.

At last… What should your opponents know about you?

They will have fun, whether they win or lose.

 

Interview: Jovana Divac
Video: Johanna Riter
Ttranslation: J&J

 

 

Written by Eurodesk Qualified Multiplier, Asociación Intercambia Málaga