Monday, April 18, 2016

2016 Absence :-(

I just wanted to drop a quick note in here and explain my prolonged absence.

To make a long story short, I have had a number of very serious medial issues pop up the last few months. I have not had a lot of time to game, whether it be Dreadball or not. My family and friends have been great and very supportive, but it has been a definite choke-hold on my hobby. Most of the issues seem to have improved. I am hoping that I am now on the mend, I will be gaming again soon.

Enjoy the greatest futuristic sports game out there! I hope that I will be rejoining the ranks in the near future.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

SIDELINE REPORT: Ro-Tek Brutes vs Glambek Ghosts

We got together for a little Dreadball finally! It has been over a month since I got a team on the Pitch! I was happy to try out my take on the Mechanites too, while my opponent tried out the Ada-Lorana.

Ada-Lorana Guard, Ada-Lorana Jack, Ada-Lorana Striker, Celoxon A4 and A7 Mechanite Strikers, Offensive Multibot V.8 and V.9 Jacks, Defensive Multibot V.10 Jack, Fortetron Build 12 Guard

The initial setup did not seem to favor anyone from the onset. And as a matter of fact, both teams fumbled the ball in each team's first Rush!

But the highlight of the first Rush, and the possible MVP move of the game was the Ada-Lorana Guard destroying my Defensive Multibot V.10 before he got to take advantage of his Gotcha! ability. The Ada-Lorana Guard rolled 6 successes! I rolled one, and no armor saves... sad face. Wow. And since each of us only had 6 players on the Pitch, that single loss before I got to even move him really hurt.

The game went fairly average to good for my opponent. He missed some rolls, but he got the majority of his attempts at throwing, dashing, and scoring. The Ada-Lorana are great at getting done what they need to. With average stats, and their abilities, and dice, and cards, they are a team to be reckoned with.

The Mechanites, well, they could have been good, but my dice HATED me. I fell on Dash attempts, my Strikers failed to pick up balls, my Guard could not knock anyone out. IT was not a night for the Mechanites, maybe it is was my faulty programming.

The game was a lot of fun, but ended in a landslide victory for the Ghosts. Man, that team is strong.

What did we learn:

- When designing a Mechanite team, don't go for the Launcher (Long Arms), at least not on all your Strikers. Not being able to score in the 4 point hex hurt me some, but not being able ot score in the 2 point hex hurt a lot more. My opponent basically won from 2 point scores.

- Mechanite Running Interference is a great deterrent.

- The Ada-Lorana are still really good. Speed 3+, plus the Phaser ability and the card and dice... may be too much. We discussed that perhaps their hard counter is the Hobgoblins, but then again, aren't the Hobgoblins the hard counter to a lot of teams?

- 4+ is not as good as 3+ no matter how many dice you have! I know statistically this is not true, but dang it, it feels like a axiom when playing Dreadball!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Mechanites Assemble! ... um... assembled, that is.

I received some Zip Kicker in the mail the other day. I was pretty excited because I have decided that unless you were going to in the Mechanites (which I was not), Zip Kicker was an essential part of the assembly process.

I had planned out exactly what builds each of the Mechanites were going to be prior to assembly, of course. I posted blog entry on it a few days ago. So, here is how they turned out. They are not painted yet, but I did throw on a quick wash to differentiate them as to their coding.
Group shot of my Mechanites!

First, we have my pair of Strikers, Celoxon A4 and Celoxon A7. I went with a quick green wash on them. They are Speed and Skill 4+ with a Movement of 6. They have Duck & Weave and they have Launchers (Long Arms) for that extra distance.

Next, we have the Offensive Multibots V.8 and V.9 - Jacks. These guys are there to support and augment the scoring side of the team. They have a Glove, giving them A Safe Pair of Hands and they have the Tactics Upgrade, because Running Interference is just that awesome!

Up next is Defensive Multibot V.10 (another Jack). He is there to assist the more defensive side. He is equipped with Steady, Gotcha! and, of course, the Tactics Upgrade.
Finally, we come to Fortetron Build 12. He is a fantastic Guard, sporting a 3+ Strength, Steady and Can't Feel a Thing! And lots of style, look at the guy! 

I know six guys is tough, once I lose one or two I am really gonna feel it. But I only had one box of the Mechs and wanted to try them out. We will see how this team works out!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Finally decided that I need to make my Mechanite Team!

So, I've had my Mechanite team since my Rampage level pledge arrived from the Kickstarter. They are very cool, but they have just sat in a plastic bag since I opened them up to check for all the parts. I kept worrying that since I only have one pack of them, that I wouldn't have enough parts to make a decent team - I had thought that you needed at least two packages of Mechanites to make one good team.

But I realized that if I don't go ahead and put them together, they will probably sit in a plastic bag forever... I couldn't have that. Therefore I decided that I would make a team using the parts that came in the box.

Here is what I came up with (super special thanks to Geoff Burbidge for making such a fantastic Mechanite team creator):

MechanitesPlayer 1Player 2Player 3
DesignationCeloxon A4Offensive Multibot V.8 Offensive Multibot V.9
LocomotionBird LegsArmoured LegsArmoured Legs
Arm 1LauncherGloveGlove
Arm 2HandHandClaw
Software 1Tactics UpgradeTactics Upgrade
Software 2
Software 3
Software 4
AbilitiesDuck & Weave, Long ArmsA Safe Pair Of Hands, Run InterferenceA Safe Pair Of Hands, Run Interference
Cost (mc)181414

MechanitesPlayer 4Player 5Player 6
DesignationCeloxon A7Fortetron Build 12Defensive Multibot V.10
LocomotionBird LegsQuad WheelsQuad Wheels
Arm 1LauncherWrecking BallGrab
Arm 2HandWrecking BallHand
Software 1Tactics Upgrade
Software 2
Software 3
Software 4
AbilitiesDuck & Weave, Long ArmsSteady, Can't Feel A ThingSteady, Gotcha!, Run Interference
Cost (mc)181917

This is a 100 point team with six players and a pretty good chance to be a great "all-comers" team.

Now, to build them.... :-)

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

TEAM: Sulentic Shards (Crystallan team) Review Version 2.0

Sulentic Shards (Crystallan team)
Original Assessments in Gray from MAy 26, 2015, revised assessments in white.

A Team of Bruisers - Having 5 Guards with an Orx Strength is no joke. These guys hit like a ton of bricks. Every single Rush you should be Slamming a couple of opposing players. This team is not for the timid. This is truly where the teams advantages are. Not just the Guards either, the Jacks are 3+ Strength too, and benefit from Harmonics. This team is a force to be reckoned with. The Crystallans also may be one of the top teams to benefit from the Star Realms League rules for Organized play. Being able to Slam from 2-3 hexes away, with 3+ Strength, and between 3 and 5 dice makes the Jacks no joke when it comes to crushing your opponent on the field. And in the Star Realms rules, if you can clear the Pitch so that there are no opposing player on the Pitch at the end of your opponent's turn, you automatically win in a 7 point landslide!

Pitch Perfect - Harmonics is a very strange ability, it definitely has some depth to it. Having the plus to Movement in most cases is a must. The extra dice to Speed comes in handy more often than I would have initially thought, and when you can get the extra dice on Strength for the Slam, that is amazing. With the Movement 5 bonus being the one you will see the most often, that should be the only one you rely on getting (much as I alluded to in my original Overall thoughts).

Defensive Chops - With the right setup, defending your side of the pitch is made easier by the Harmonics ability. Spacing your players to grant bonuses to other players is key. Knowing the capabilities of your opponent will help you know whether to set up for the blocking of the front 1-2 point zones or blocking the 1-2 centers and crowding the 3-4. I hold to The C3 Defense being the best setup if you are the Visiting team. It has proven itself very strong. Try it out.

No Strikers - Well, scoring is not easy with the Crystallans. A jacks only team is a challenge, but this is not an insurmountable obstacle, I mean look at the Orx. :-) This is a very difficult hurdle to get over. Jacks are less reiable scorers than Strikers, plan for this difficulty.

Clumping - If you are not careful, you will find your players clumped together. An astute opponent will try to get you to maneuver your players into areas that will handicap your ability to defend. This is also made even more difficult by one's own brain constantly saying, "Yeah, but 6 dice Slams!" It takes a few games to not fall into this trap. But if you can plan ahead, this weakness can actually become a strength as you learn where a player should end up when performing an action - it might be different than other teams.

They Are Big Rock Guys - Terrible Speed and Movement. Now these are mitigated by the Harmonics, but you cannot rely on it all the time. Getting the ball stolen is a problem. Try your best to Threaten hexes around your Jack if you have to hold on to the ball. If you can manage to be within three hexes of two Crystallans, you get an extra dice for Speed rolls too.

MVP Recommendations:

Crypt - This guy is a great choice if you are going for a team to crush and destroy your opoent, in a literal sense. With a 2+ Strength and a higher than average Crystallan Speed, this guy is a murderer. With a possible 6 Dice Slam on a 2+, you are all but guaranteed to send someone off the pitch with every Slam!

Any Striker MVP! This team would kill for a Striker. Whether it is Nightshade or the Praetorian or WHOEVER, it doesn't matter, grab 'em!

Don't fall into the trap of HAVING to have full Harmonics on everything you do. Crystallan Guards are utterly amazing BEFORE the extra dice from Harmonics. Take advantage of the single bump from Harmonics that 1 other Crystallans near you grants, this is a great advantage in and of itself. Use the plus to Speed to keep your players safe from those in the back Slams, and when you need to Steal (but you had better be Threatening the ballholder with at least one other Crystallan too!). If you are willing to put in the time on the Sulentic Shards, I have a feeling that the reward will proportional. If you are a fan of the Orx from Season One, I think you might enjoy the Crystallans. I agree with the original assessment for the most part. Like each of the teams from Season Six, the Crystallans are not a "pick up and play" team. They take time to learn and time to master, but I think they are a bit better than I originally thought having played with and against them more now.

C +

C + is probably right, but easily a "B" if in the Star Realms League

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

TEAM: Glambek Gosts (Ada-Lorana team)

Glambek Gosts (Ada-Lorana team)

Phasing - This is obviously the special advantage only the Ada-Lorana have. Being able to just ignore the other side's players and position wherever you want is cool. This does make positioning pretty simple. AND, it has the added bonus of subtracting dice to to Slams (yours and your opponent's). This makes them nigh impossible to take out, especially when you couple it with...

Gaseous beings on Speed - The entire team has 3+ Speed. With the negative to Slambacks, I even find myself using a Dodge on my Guards! Taking out a an Ada-Lorana is ridiculously hard! 

Cards and Dice! - The Glambek Ghosts begin play with a Card and a Coaching dice. Considering their stats, I am not sure this was neccessary, but if you are playing them, it really makes you happy.

Great Strikers - With average Movement, decent Skill, amazing Speed, and Phaser, the Strikers really deserve a specific mention themselves. They are fantastic!

How many players? - You only have 6 players to put on the Pitch. When you lose someone, even for only a Rush or two, you feel it. And should someone get lucky, or your dice rebel against you, and you lose more than one player, you game becomes a bit more diffcult.

Damaged - With only one Guard, you don't have much of a bashing game to speak of. If you want that in a team, I would look somewhere else.

MVP Recommendations:

M'Zei Kein - Though it might not intuitive, I think that the best bang for your buck is going to be M'Zei Kein, the Tsudochan MVP. You might be tempted to grab a Buzzcut, or Enforcer, and they would be fine choices, but I think that to completely dominate the Pitch, just add a little Push to the mix. Everyone but the ball carrier will be able to Phase, so we should fix that! With Push, you can clear the Strike Zone, or remove a Threatening player. You can move a Striker that extra hex to allow him to Throw without moving. I really think that utilizing M'Zei Kein for the Push is the way to go. Oh, and he is a Guard with 360 and Grizzled... so there's that too!

The overall themes of the Season Six teams are "practice to perfection" and "utilize your uniqueness". The Ada-Lorana are by far the most forgiving of the season (as long as you keep them alive). The are great at getting into place, Stealing, scoring, and not getting hurt. Honestly, they would be a great team for a player that is fairly new to the game. That is not to say they aren't pretty awesome for a vet to play with... then they are awesome!


Saturday, November 28, 2015

TEAM: Wu-ling Wanderers (Koris Team) Review Version 2.0

Wu-ling Wanderers (Koris Team)
Original Assessments in Gray from May 8, 2015, revised assessments in white

Portals - The portals are just so much fun! They add another layer on the game. Use them to Score. Use them to Slam. Use them to block line of sight. Use them to help guard your back. Use them to clog up your opponent's path. The possibilities are endless! I would add one huge extra to this too. Because of the way portals work, if you utilize them, it pretty much grants you an extra hex of movement (or possibly two if you jump from one to another). The more I play them/see them played, the more I think this is a great tactic to keep in mind and to develop as part of your team strategy.

Finally, Jacks that I can live with... - I love the fact that now, I can use one jack to place a portal, then use another jack to move one space, that becomes one space on the other side, then still Throw the ball. I think this is a huge boon for a jack-heavy team. I finally have some jacks that This is even more relevant if you are play with the Star Realm League rules where a Koris Jack could move 2 hexes and get a throw off.

Gotcha! - With the two Guards working together, or a Guard and a Jack working together, Gotcha! is fantastically powerful, even if you only have the Strength of a Corporation Guard. For a team with only two Guards, Gotcha! is more effectively used as a defensive tool I have learned. If you are playing the Nameless, no doubt it is offensive - Sticky Guard with Gotcha! stands beside the target, then the Hard Guard rushes him. But on the Koris, in my experience, it is a tool best used to guard Strike Zones and Threaten players who have the ball, or need to get the ball. Though, an occasional Gotcha! to hold someone for a Slam is always a good thing!

Maybe the four legs work independently? - Movement the same as a Forge Father is never good. Of course, because of the portals this is mitigated a good bit, but it is worth a mention, because... Movement 4 is bad. See above comments on Movement for a slight addendum to this.

One Striker - Want to paint a big target on someone's back? Make them the only Striker on the team. This will be the first person that gets killed on your team, and rightly so. Protect him... or use him as bait. :-) Still a big issue. You will get one, MAYBE two Rushes out of this guy against a good opposing player.

Portal Placing - Two things here: 1 - Until you get practiced with the Koris, the fact that placing a portal takes a full action from a Jack can really mess up your plans. 2 - You have to be thinking a few steps ahead to execute the Koris portals "Pitch perfectly". This is going to be a stumbling block for some newer players.

MVP Recommendations:

I am going to wait on this until I can see the Koris MVP and th other Season 5/6 MVPs are capable of. Still not used any MVPs with them, but they could definitely use Kryphos for sure! That guy is a literal and figurative monster!

I really enjoy playing these guys - I can't wait to have the actual models! They really open up a new level of game play, both you and your opponent. I think that the DB community is going to find a lot of interesting and innovative ways to use them. I might use them in our next league... we will see. I honestly believe that this team is going to be one of the teams that you are going to to get what you put into them. If you try them once or twice and decide you don't like them, that's cool. But if you are willing to put time into this team, I think the returns will be awesome! The play style needed to play them properly does not develop in a game or two, I can feel the understanding of how to use this team deepening each time they are on the Pitch in front of me. I seasoned Koris player is going to be a difficult player to stop, especially in a league environment.

B -
But definitely an "A" for fun factor!

Still an "A" for fun factor!