Tuesday, June 30, 2015

TACTICS: Surge Forward Offense vs Jacked Up Defense (Orx and Goblins vs Orx and Goblins)

I thought it would be an interesting exercise to set up a mental game of Orx and Goblins vs Orx and Goblins. I don't think I have ever played this exact match-up, but I thought that as far as mirror matches go, it's probably pretty common.

I first set up the Home team as if I had the knowledge I was OG and playing OG. Then I set up the Visiting team in response. These are not necessarily the best setups in the world, but just how I would have done it if the board and teams were dropped in front of me and I were jumping into a game in real life (and I made the setups in "real time").

I have added a line from the center of the players (circles) to indicate front facing. Not sure if it works, but I think it conveys the idea--and I don't have any actual art programs on my computer, so this was done with a simple online tool. I also dropped in a few pics, Adam at The Strike Zone recommended this to me. Expect more, and better, pics in the future!

Surge Forward Offense (Home)
Red - GuardsOrange - Jacks

There were two factors that went into this setup. 
One, I wanted to be able to get the ball quickly. I positioned my three Jacks in such a way that they are able to easily grab the ball not matter where it ends up. Hopefully, the plan would be one of the outside Jacks to move into place to score, face and end their movement facing the general direction of the ball. Then have the center Jack grab the ball and toss it to that waiting Jack. This should give me an opportunity to score something. And in an OG vs OG game, I foresee every point (and attempt) counting.
Secondly, I wanted those heavy-hitting Guards as close to the opposing team as possible. Even with my Jacks taking 4 actions in the turn, the Guard should have at least one good attempt at Slamming someone. They are both in the rough center to maximize pitch coverage.
I do have a final Guard in the backfield to cover the 4 point lane. In hindsight, against a Jack-only-scoring team, I probably should have placed him somewhere closer forward to protect a 1 or 2 point zone, but I hate leaving the 4 point lane wide open.

Alternate front line setup.
I think a nice alternative to this might be to go more Guard-forward with 3 Guards on the front line and a Jack defending the rear (see pic above). The downsize to that is a little less coverage for when the ball is launched, and a bit less flexibility in scoring attempts. It really depends on your play style.

Jacked Up Defense (Visitor)
Dark Blue - GuardsLight Blue - Jacks

Looking at the other team's setup, I began placing my players on this side with what the other side of the board looked like, keeping in mind that the team was a Jack-centered team (for some reason, responding to the other side and remembering they are Jack scorers seemed more natural... not sure why).
I set up defensively on the extra point lanes, putting a Guard in each of the
1/2 lanes and a Jack in the 3/4 point lane. Then I set a Jack on the outside of both 1/2 lane Guards. I did this to Threaten the hex directly in front of the Guard (and the other hex in the Strike Zone of course), and to give him that single extra hex of movement should he have to Sprint to grab a newly launched ball--might help, might not. Finally, I set a Guard on the 4 point hex, both to give a little extra defense there and to be in a great position to respond to any scoring attempts by the other team (in other words to punish the Jack that scored, or attempted to score). He is facing forward as not to expose his back to the other team. I have heard some people face him backwards to Threaten the 3 point hexes, but this seems like just handing over a key piece without a fight. I never think it is a good idea to turn your back on your opponent (well, maybe a Sphyr... but that is a different discussion).
Backfield defended!
I think this setup would funnel my opponent into at best going for 1 point. I might alter some of the setup on a second go around--maybe shift the center Guard to one side, or re-position the Jacks on the outside. Not sure, but I set this up quickly as if responding in real life.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

DBX SPONSOR SPOTLIGHT: Lord Abraxon, "The Iron-Fisted Dreamer"

Lord Abraxon, "The Iron-Fisted Dreamer"

Not everyone's vision for the future of the galaxy meshes entirely with reality, but in the case of Lord Abraxon, it directly conflicts. It was only 22 years ago that a young Lord Gaius Abraxon had his first dream of the future. In it, his future self instructed him to find the world of Lolentra and establish his empire beginning there. Eventually he found the peaceful planet of Lotentral, believing this to be the world he was looking for, Lord Abraxon worked for years to build an underground resistance and eventually launched a terrible bloody revolt against the governing body. Unbeknownst to Lord Abraxon, the Feldemark Corporation, known for strange and exotic weaponry, had just taken over a controlling number of seats in the Senate of Lotentral and voted to suppress this revolt with extreme force. Somehow, Lord Abraxon made it out alive, but under arrest. He spent 15 years behind bars light years away from Lotentral in a Feldemark Corporate Prison Colony, but had the "good fortune" of having an exotic weapons test go wrong close enough to the prison that major damage was caused (including badly burning Lord Abraxon's face). This allowed for his escape. Since then, he has been on a quest to return to Lotentral and take his rightful place as the ruler there. His reputation has led to him becoming a minor celebrity on the DBX scene, where he plays for big stakes and only with those he deems worthy.



Cunning, Rebel, Convict, Vicious, Outcast

Initial Starting Team:
67 Points (3 MC for Exploding Collar)

10 - Rebs Ralarat Striker
10 - Rebs Ralarat Striker
5 - Convict Striker
5 - Convict Striker

Two amazing Strikers for scoring. Two backup Strikers for scoring--that double as a bomb when needed! This should be enough scoring power to keep Lord Abraxon in the game for the long run, especially if the other half of the team does its job.

6 - Convict Jack
9 - Rebs Gaelian Jack
10 - Convict Guard
12 - Brute Force

Three fantastic head-crackers here! Speed, a little Brush Aside and some brute intimidating force! And a Convict Jack to be sure we use that exploding collar!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

TACTICS: An Anti-Tsudochan Defense

Again, I know this team is still technically in beta...

Anti-Tsudochan Defense

Yellow - Any position

The Tsudochan are an opponent that doesn't play the same game as ANY other team. They will pretty much ignore your players unless they have to do something with them. Well, as an initial setup, MAKE THEM HAVE TO DEAL WITH YOU! This setup makes the Tsudochan have to sacrifice tons of Movement that they do not have to spare if they want to go for a 3 or 4 point goal--being a team made up of entirely Jacks, they NEED Movement desperately. The center line of 4 players causes them to give up 8 spaces of Movement to clear the 4 point Hex line. You can make this defense slightly better versus 3 point attempts too, if you position your Threat Hexes on the straight line of players just right. To do this, face the player closest to the home team forward, then face the player behind him completely backwards, this will give a double Threat on two Hexes at least.

This has been the best defense I have come up with to deal with the Tsudochan. I would be very thankful to anyone who might have a different or better setup they could share!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

COACH'S CORNER: DBX Quick Reference Spreadsheet

I made a quick reference chart/spreadsheet for the "groups" in DBX. I wanted something that I could look at quickly to determine if the sponsor I was designing was actually in-line with my wants/play style. It is nothing fancy or elaborate, I know some of people on the Dreadball Fantatics FB page are making some that are way more intricate and with a better and more polished system ("Tech Guys" if you will) but like I said, this is a quick reference that I made and have been using. Feel free to comment if you see any errors...

If you want to make it more user-friend, just copy the whole thing and paste it into another Spreadsheet and use a Filtered view. That will make searching even faster.

COACH'S CORNER: These are a few of my (least) favorite things... Team Edition

And now, for the teams I like the least from each season and why...

Season 1
Midgard Delvers
Do I like the look of the Forge Fathers? Yes. Do I like their flavor and history? Yes. Do I enjoy playing them? Nope. They are not my play style at all. Their Speed is awful, their Movement is ridiculously slow, and the only successful way I have ever seen them played has to do with scoring quickly and them hoarding the ball. Totally viable strategy mind you, I just find it boring. And besides, why play the original Forge Fathers, when you can play the Brokkrs! Seriously, why?
Be part of the Solution: I think that there could be a number of things that could help out the Forge Fathers. First, I think that it should be racial trait across the board that they have Steady. Then maybe something new, like... Low to the Ground - +1 on attempts to Pick Up the Ball. That could be on both Jacks and Strikers.

Season 2 

Chromium Chargers
What a cool concept for a team! What cool models! What a disappointment in action. I have seen so many people struggle with the robots. Quick Change Artist is great... in theory. In practice, you end up wasting actions trying to turn your players into something every other team already has. And don't get me started on failing to change... ugh!
Be Part of the Solution: I think that they should allow a double on Quick Change Artist to give you a free action, that would change the entire play style of the team and make them a LOT more interesting.

Season 3
Koeputki Kolossals
I own the Zees. I have played the Zees. I just don't like the Zees (except in DBX, where I LOVE them!). All Jack teams are hard enough as it is without making them so bad at scoring too. If you want to have a few fun Exhibition Games with them, they can be a hoot. But trying to play them as your "everyday team" or league team is going to be challenging.
Be Part of the Solution: I would do something like... Supported - For every Zee in the same scoring zone as the Zee trying to score, you get +1 dice (to a max of +2). Too much?

Season 4
The Unincorporated
Ok, I have the Rebs on here for a totally different reason than the others. The Rebs are too good! It is ok to have a Jack that can move 7 and still Slam? Sure it is. Is it ok to have a Guard that double Slams? Yeah. Is it ok to have a Jack that can reliably catch the ball? Yes. Is it ok to have a Movement 6 Striker with a Skill of 3+? No. I do not like a regular player having a 3+ Skill. But, I could live with it if the rest of the team were not amazing too! I think that the Unincorporated are just plain Overpowered.
Be Part of the Solution: Make the Striker Skill 4+.

Thursday, June 18, 2015



Finding that competing in Dreadball was more difficult than they expected, mostly due to the fact they were injured very easily, the Martians began the development of a synthetic being with tougher skin to be an anchor for their team. They attempted to approximate the appearance of a human for the synthetic artificial lifeform they created, but fell quite short. The artificial lifeform was given the "Ack-A-Bakka" and programmed to be a Dreadball Guard. Ack-A-Bakka was a good Dreadball player, but his special adaptive programming was more expansive than the Martians had originally intended though. After less than four weeks on an officially sanctioned Martian Dreadball called "The Earth's Devastation", Ack-A-Bakka had grown in intelligence so much that he quit the team and decided that he could do better himself on the underground circuit. Ack-A-Bakka's ultimate goal is the gather enough wealth and glory to raise a secret robot army with which to conquer the galaxy.


Alien, Dreadball, Guard, Mr. Roboto, Weird Science

Initial Starting Team:
70 Points

11 - Jetari GL14 “Brawler”
11 - Jetari GL14 “Brawler”
8 - John Doe

The Guards on Ack-A-Bakka's team are all Strength 3+, the main focus being of course injuring the opposing team's players. But in addition to that, the Jetari bring some staying power with their Armor of 3+, Can't Feel A Thing, and Grizzled. And John Doe brings the ever popular Gotcha!

9 - Jetari SL22 “Thrower”
9 - Jetari SL22 “Thrower”
8 - Sphyr Striker

The Strikers on Ack-A-Bakka's team are focused on scoring. Between the solid Sphyr Striker with his standard human style statline and with two Throwers with a 3+ Skill, A Safe Pair of Hands, and 360, scoring should be well within reach.

8 - Tsudochan Jack
6 - Martian Jack

Finally, the Tsudochan Jack is there for some sneaky extra movement shenanigans! The plan is to leave him on the bench until he is needed. Then he can move onto the field and Push a player around to further Ack-A-Bakka's plan. And the Martian Jack is there for the Ray Gun! Because it is too much fun!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

TACTICS: Robots Setup - Standard Packaging

Now, with full disclosure, I do not play the Robot (by Robots I do mean the Season 2 Chromium Chargers). I have a buddy that does and I have watched him play them a good bit. This is more theory than practice, but it seems solid enough.. :-)

Standard Packaging (Home)

Orange - Jacks

This would be my starting setup for the Robots. It is a pretty standard setup with Jacks positioned near the launch line and three Jacks protecting the 3/4 point goal--something has to be sacrificed, in this case I decided on the 1/2 point areas.

Red - Guards, Orange - Jacks, Yellow - Strikers

I would use my first two actions to convert two Jacks up front to Strikers (of course, if the ball is one the left side the set up above would be the reverse). I would run one into position to catch and shoot the ball. With another action, I would convert my other upfront Jack into a Guard for later Rushes*. With my final action I would Pick Up the Ball, hope it doubles, Throw the ball to the other Striker, hope he doubles the catch, and throw the ball in using my Coaching Dice.

Surly someone has a more reasoned setup than this one... please share! :-)

*Another very viable option as an alternative here, would be to buy another card. This might well help you get into position to score better, depending on the card.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

COACH'S CORNER: Magnetic Tape for Dreadball!

So, a buddy of mine is magnetizing all his Dreadball figures and bases. This is pretty awesome, but it seemed like a lot of work to me. Since DBX came along, I have happily been using Blu-Tack to adhere my players to their bases. But this still left me with the issue of the ball just having to sit on a player's base.

At first, I thought I would use magnets too. And though that still seems a viable answer to me--just glue a tiny magnet to the corner or like m buddy, let the one in the center hold it. But I didn't have enough to do this to every base. And there is nowhere near me, that I know of, to buy rare earth magnets.

Then I read about magnetic paint. "What a fantastic idea!" I thought. I found a little can of it at Lowes Home Improvement for $20 bucks... too pricey for me. So, I started to brainstorm.

I thought about getting one of those thing magnetic sheets that you can cut for crafts. I went to Ben Franklin Crafts and sadly they didn't have a big sheet of it, just little squares. And those little squares seemed over priced too! Then, beside the squares, I noticed Magnetic Tape! Roughly $8 later, I am heading home with the stuff to try it out.

The Quick Easy Process

First thing I did was grab a Rare Earth Magnet and glue it to a Dreadball. This is the one thing in this process I would change for sure. My friend uses larger diameter magnets--I should be doing this too.

Then I put tiny piece of magnetic tape on a base. This small of a piece of tape would allow nearly all the bases I have to have a tiny piece of tape on them.

A model on the base. Once the base is painted black, you won't notice the tape. I plan on priming a base with the magnet on it to see if that interfere with it in any way.

Much to my joy, the ball, even with the tiny Rare Earth Magnet, jumped right onto the strip of magnetic tape.

The ball goes on easy, with no issue staying on during moving the model around, even upside down. But, the ball comes off easily too. It has just the right amount of magnetic attraction. 

I am going to add a little piece of tape to some of my existing black painted bases and test it out soon on the Pitch. I don't think the adhesive needs any super glue, but I might add it on just for good measure.

Pretty happy with the results and thought I would share.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

TACTICS: Koris Setup - One Shot At Glory!

Again, I know this team too is still technically in beta... but I just love them!


One Shot At Glory! (Home)

Red - GuardOrange - JackYellow - StrikerPurple - Portal

I really enjoy the Koris. I like their look. I like their play style. I like the fact that they are unique and challenging. Having said all that, I am still trying to get down exactly what I like as a starting setup for them. This is where I am at right now. 
I always like to make someone work for the extra points, so I have 2 Jacks and a Guard keeping lookout over those lanes.* This is half of the team setup right there.
The other half is in a tightly-knit ball near the center of the pitch. First, let me start with the Jack. His job is to Sprint into the best possible position down the pitch and spit out another portal, for the Striker. The Striker is positioned to go after the ball as quickly as possible. Then he should jump into the portal, to the portal the Jack made and go for a 3, or if you are really lucky 4, point goal. Please recognize, these two might die in this effort. Such is life--that Striker has a HUGE target on his back as it is.
The last Guard in the center is setup to make it difficult for someone on the other team to use the portal. He has Gotcha!, so that assists a lot in the whole stopping people arena.

I would love to hear any other setups for the Koris, I plan on playing the heck out of them once they are released!

*As a quick aside, recently I have been wavering between this "protecting the extra point lanes" strategy and the "protect the 3/4 point zone entirely" strategy. Moving the two Jacks to protect the 3/4 point zone is really up to taste here, AND who you are playing. If you are against a Striker-heavy team, protect the 3/4, if you are against a predominantly Jack team, you might want to protect the extra lanes. It also depends on how many Coaching Dice a Jack team might have and... this is a topic for another time.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

JUST AN ASIDE: When not playing Dreadball...

I have a family, they do not play Dreadball. And I have friends who do not play Dreadball, or any miniatures game. Here are a few other games, non-miniature games, I often play when Dreadball is not an option:

This is a great sci-fi themed game that caters to just about any play style. Do you resource gathering and delivery? Xia has it. Do you like building up your own side to be the biggest and baddest around? Xia has it. Like press-your-luck exploration? Xia has it. Want to hunt and destroy your fellow players? Xia has it. Like executing missions for Victory Points? Xia has it. 
The only real drawback of the game is that for the casual gamer, it has a rather steep early learning curve. It is one of those games where you begin playing it and for a few rounds wonder if you are doing everything right. Then, eventually, it all falls into place.
It scales pretty good for time too. Want to play a shorter game? Play a lower point game. Want to have an epic space empire vs empire epoch-spanning space opera? Go for the higher points.
Great fun for the gamer crowd!

When I am playing games with the family, there is no game more popular than King of Tokyo. We have a wide range of ages in our house, and everyone enjoys it. The dice mechanics add an element of randomness, the cards add a little control, the king of the hill mechanic lets you press your luck, and the art makes the game the crazy awesome city stomping fun that it is. 
Fast to learn, anyone can play, and fun for all ages.

Want to play a fast filler game in-between games of Dreadball? Grab another person (or two or three) and toss out the 16 cards that make up this great little game. Love Letter is a ton of fun in a tiny package.  I usually teach this in less than 2 minutes, and then we're playing. 
This game has a ton of skins for it, Batman, Adventure Time, so on... grab your favorite and get going! I personally prefer the original.

This was the first auction style game I ever played, and it is still my favorite. I especially love yelling, "I invoke Ra!" It is fun each and every round, and then in the end, it could still be anybody's game. I am a sucker for  well themed game too, and this one is great.

Pina Pirata
This is a great little game my daughter and I discovered at our local gaming store. The artwork is beautitful and it is easy to learn. It sort of plays out as if the makers of Fluxx had made Uno while drinking rum in a cartoon. The kids love it and so do I.
Fast, and fun for nearly any age. 

Other games I enjoy often are Smash Up, Farkle, Gobblet Gobblers, Avalon, and the list goes on...

What about everyone else? Any recommendations?

Thursday, June 4, 2015

COACH'S CORNER: These are a few of my favorite things... Team Edition

Of the 4 Seasons that are out right now, the following are my favorite team in each Season and why...

Season 1
Trontek 29ers (Human Male Corporation Team)
I love the truly balanced nature of this team. I have never put them on the board and thought I was at a disadvantage. Everyone is pretty decent on this team--there might be no one that shines like the North Star on this team, but neither is there anyone that is just outright awful. In addition, you get a Coaching Dice, which is nice to get your momentum rolling. And, most importantly I believe, you get two starting cards. The two cards really make this team a nasty rival no matter who they are up against. The Corporation team really is the standard by which all other teams are measured, and rightfully so.

Season 2
Void Sirens (Human Female Corporation Team)
This team is a powerhouse! These ladies take the game to another level. Where the boys have the cards to give them extra actions, the girls have the cunning to really play a stronger defensive game (thanks to Run Interference). The Void Sirens can make the opposing coach quiver just trying to make a decision, due to their Jacks being able to utilize the opposing coach's turn for their own purposes. This is one of the few teams where you don't mind having Jacks going onto the pitch for you (as they are the real weapons on the team). Add to this 4 Coaching Dice and this team is just fantastic on the pitch!

Season 3
Kalimarin Ancients (Nameless Team)
Wow, these guys can just plain dominate the pitch! Their Strikers are amazing, with a Movement of a Veermyn, the Skill of a Human, and A Safe Pair of Hands! But where the money is at is definitely the Guards. Between the Hard and Sticky Guards, you have a duo of monstrous killers, literally. Plus, this team first introduced the concept of 2 distinct types of player in the same position, very cool. I HATE seeing these guys on the other side of the pitch from me! But playing them... well, that's another story altogether. And just in case I have not made it abundantly clear, these Cthulu-Outworlder-No-Jack-Having-Machines-of-Destruction are REALLY, REALLY, REALLY good (many think too good).

Season 4
The Red Planets (Martian Team)
I am going to go with who I love to play for Season 4. I will put these little green men up against anyone, and often lose, but with the Martians it isn't about winning. The Red Planets are about the most fun someone can have playing Dreadball. They are cheating invaders who will happily stab (or shoot) you in the back. So they die easily, they can't score worth a crap, and the Guard is nothing to write home about, but GUNS BABY! I love them.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

TACTICS: Crystallans Setup - The C3 Defense

Before I even begin, I know that as of this time this team is still officially in beta status, and their stats and relative play style may change. But, reading Jake's comments on his blog, probably not that much. So, having said that...

Crystallan Center Column (Visitor)
Dark Blue - Guard, Light Blue - Jack

This defense ("The C3 Defense") is the way I like to begin with when I am the visiting side of a match as the Crystallans. 
It is a powerful defense of the 3/4 point zone. If you can take out one of the Fully-Harmonically-Tuned Guards, you deserve those points! Each Guard will be hitting you back like a Forge Father Guard rolling at full Strength! Unless you are a Hobgoblin Hulk, with a little Hobgoblin sidekick or two, you are going to be hard pressed to clear the lanes enough to make a 3/4 goal.  When you opponent's Striker inevitably geets stuck in your backfield... well, destroy him! That should be easy considering the Harmonic Guards back there. 
In addition to what was just said, you have made an Evasion gauntlet in the center using the Guard and two Jacks. And what of those Jacks? Well, if the center Guard should survive the initial onslaught from you opponent, then you get the Movement bump for the Jacks to be able to get further. They might need to work in tandem to get the most out of ball-handling, but that is really just the whole Crystallan thing--working together and whatnot.

BTW, I also thought that "C3 "was clever, as in they are more powerful when they can "See Three"... SMH at myself. :-)