Thursday, July 30, 2015

SPONSOR SPECIALTIES: Thinking about overall strategy... BASHY TEAM (Part Three)

Last time I had set up a Bashy Team Sponsor with the following Groups:

Alien (Column A), Psycho (Column B), Guard (Column C), Vicious (Column D), Weird Science (Column E)

Now, let's see what direction we might could go in for a team that can crush some skulls... but, before we go down the path of destruction, let's get a couple guys who can score to keep us in the game just in case we get some bad dice rolls and can't injure everyone on the pitch.

As far as Groups go, I am going to have to either go with one of the following Strikers:

Martian Striker at 7 MC (Skill 5+... why bother?)
Nameless Striker at 13, seems a little steep for my design.
Sphyr Striker at 12. Still a little pricey.
Yndij Reaver at 16 - ouch!
or a few others...

Or, I could go with Jacks (pairing a little ball-handling with a little fists-to-face action):

Sorak Jack at 10. Not bad. Plus, he has A Safe Pair of Hands and Speed 3+.
Teraton Jack at 10. Strong and with teleport.
Tsudochan Jack at 7. Tempting. Very tempting.
Martian Jack at 6... pretty cheap, but terrible skill... but a gun... and my heart :-)
Koris Jack at 11. Brings a lot, but slow.
Zee Buccaneer for 7 MC!

Ok, let's be honest. I can stop. Call me crazy, but I am going to go with a host of Tsudochan Jacks, three to be precise. They have the ability to Pick Up the Ball, Slam, and best of all, telekinetic shenanigans.

Tsudochan Jack (x3) = 21 MC

That leaves us 42 MC to play with for Guards! And we should start with...

Hulk Guard at 13 MC. 13 for arguably the most devastating Guard Dreadball has to offer? Yes please! It may be a cliche, but he IS that good.

Total = 34 MC (Model Count = 4)

How about some Marauder Guards? Solid, and reliable. I think they would be a nice addition. Marauder Guards x 2.

Total = 50 MC (Model Count = 6)

The Enforcer is amazing and his Movement often catches people off-guard. Let's toss him in too!

Total = 60 MC (Model Count = 7)

Finally, how about...  Teraton Guard! I think these guys are a great addition to the team!

Total = 70 MC (Model Count = 8)

Tsudochan Jack
Tsudochan Jack
Tsudochan Jack
Hulk Guard
Marauder Guard
Marauder Guard
The Enforcer
Teraton Guard

The Plan:
I think that this team has some potential. The overall strategy began to formulate in my head when I chose the Tsudochan as my ball-handlers.
I will use the Tsudochan to position the Super Star Guards exactly where they need to be. Or conversely, move the opposing team into position to get destroyed!
This will allow my Guards to do what they do best and the Tsudochan to sit back and do what they do best. With some luck, I can take the ball early and hold it out of my opponent's reach while I dismantle his team with the monster I have as Guards.
Is the team perfect? Maybe not. Fun? YES!

Well, that was a fun exercise in how I think about building a Bashy Team.

I would welcome any thoughts on how you construct a DBX team and where you might deviate in your thinking process on it.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

TACTICS: Make a hole! (Brokkr)

Make a Hole! (Home)
Red - Guard, Orange - Jack, Yellow - Striker

I will be the first to admit that I am not a Forge Father/Brokkr player. I am not a master strategist with such a slow moving team, but having said that, here is an interesting slant on a space dwarf setup. :-)

First, I decided that since I am the starting player, I was going to lean hard to one side, but play so that I can move toward either. My overall strategy is to move the Guards in to Slam any player that is in my way and go for the 2 points. Hopefully, I will be able to protect my strikers at least some once they are down the Pitch with a Guard at the Striker's back. With Grizzled, those Strikers are a much more difficult proposition than say a regular Forge Father Striker. If the ball ends up on the side I am leaning toward, I think that my plan will work pretty well. And maybe I can clear some of the opposing players from that side of the board (where my undefended Strike Zone is too).Now, if the ball ends up on the lighter side of the Pitch, I will grab it with one Striker and probably pass it to the one on the more defended side after clearing some space.

The back of the pitch is defended in the centers with a Guard and Jack. On Rush 3, I plan on using that Guard, with the Jack in toe, to wreck the face of whosoever is on my side of the board. I did leave one side undefended, but I am hoping this is mitigated by clearing that side of the board some, and used as a little bit of bait.

I would love to hear some Brokkr tactics from an actual Brokkr player. They seem like a team that could be good, but will take time to perfect.   

Thursday, July 23, 2015

SPONSOR SPECIALTIES: Thinking about overall strategy... BASHY TEAM (Part Two)

Let's talk about some Groups for a Sponsor wanting to building a team for crackin' some heads!

A tool I use every time I begin to construct a Sponsor for a team is a little spreadsheet I made for just this type of application:

Feel free to copy it and paste it into your own spreadsheet where you can easily manipulate it using filters.

Below is a typical systematic process that approximates the way I would build a bashy team.*

With a Sponsor for a Bashy team looking for first and foremost great Guards, I thought that the Group "Guard" would be a perfect place to start. In Guard, you have the following players:

Ada-Lorana Guard
Crystallan Guard
Brokkr Guard
Trontek Guard
Marauder Guard
Jetari GL14 “Brawler”
The Enforcer
John Doe
Yurik Yurikson

That is a pretty decent start. I mean, you've got some of the classic choices in there for Guards: Marauder Guard, Trontek Guard, The Enforcer, John Doe, Grak! That is a nice place to have some options from. Now, keep in mind that this is just filtered for "Guard", meaning that if you took the Group "Guard", these would be guaranteed to be Allies, but not Friends yet. So, like I said, this is a good place to start.

What would be another trait that Guards that like to beat people up might have? How about "Vicious"? Well, the "Vicious" Group is a much longer list...

Asterian Guard
Kalyshi Jack
Convict Guard
Forge Father Guard
Hulk Guard
Void Siren Guard
Koris Guard
Kovossian Guard
Martian Guard
Martian Jack
Martian Striker
Nameless Guard (Hard)
Rebs Rin Guard
Teraton Guard
Veer-myn Guard
Z'zor Guard
Nameless Bloodsucker
Barricade (GIANT)
Iron Ancestor (GIANT)
Dozer (GIANT)
The Enforcer
M’zei Kein
There we go! Now we are pulling in some of the meanest and most brutal players in all of Dreadball. In "Vicious" we have Buzzcut, Nameless Guard (Hard), a few GIANTs, and hey, there The Enforcer again! But, other than the Enforcer, there seems to be no overlap with "Guard". 

Let's go a little more hardcore than "Vicious" though, let's try "Psycho":

Hulk Guard
Marauder Guard
Pusk Rampager
Reek Rolat
Tycho Brahe
Now we're talking! We have a nice bit of "Vicious" and "Guard" overlap with "Psycho". And what's better is that they are all three in different columns on the Groups chart! So, let's put those three down as our starting three Groups for our Sponsor.

What could we do next?

Koris Guard
Sphyr Guard
Avaran Treebeast
Pusk Rampager
Alpha Simian (GIANT)
Nameless Spawn (GIANT)
Sann-gar (GIANT)
A’Teo Adysi
Reek Rolat
Eh... not really feeling "Hunter". What about "Convict"? Surly there are some bad characters in the prison system!

Convict Guard
Convict Jack
Convict Striker
‘Brickbat’ Vognar
Lyra the Fixer
Well, I suppose those are decent choices. Maybe we can put that in our back pocket for later. How about a more broad category that might allow for some overlap and cool flavor, how about "Alien"?

Crystallan Jack
Koris Jack
Martian Guard
Martian Jack
Martian Striker
Nameless Guard (Sticky)
Nameless Guard (Hard)
Nameless Striker
Rebs Sorak Jack
Sphyr Striker
Teraton Guard
Teraton Jack
Tsudochan Jack
Nameless Bloodsucker
Vlorox Spinpede
Yndij Reaver S
Alpha Simian (GIANT)
Chovar (GIANT)
Nameless Spawn (GIANT)
John Doe
There we go! So, let's see what we have so far:

Alien (Column A), Psycho (Column B), Guard (Column C), Vicious (Column D)... what about Column E? Well, there's Greedy, Hunter, Pirate, Outcast, Weird Science and Machine-Mind. So, really at this point it is mostly about flavor and taste. Me? Well, I would go with "Weird Science". Why you might ask? Well, with our other Group choices, it give me these guys as Friends:

Martian Guard
Martian Jack
Martian Striker
Tsudochan Jack
And I am a huge Martian fan, especially in DBX where they all have guns! And oh course, paying 7 MC for a pseudo-telekinetic (Tsudochan) is a steal!

Now, let's make the team... in Part Three...

* I wanted to mention that one thing I will not be taking into account, in this entry at least, is the League Option for a Sponsor to "Buy Group" at the beginning of a match. This is an incredibly powerful option an tool at a League Sponsor's disposal. I really do think this option should only be used in League play too (as in the Rulebook). In one-off games, it could be a very unbalanced power-gamer option that could make the experience just not fun for the opposing Sponsor. In a League, it is a great tool for underdog Sponsors who might not have chosen their groups wisely.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

TACTICS: Protection Sphyr (Sphyr tactic)

Protection Sphyr
Green - Sphyr Striker (with ball), Red - Sphyr Guard

This is how I think you could most efficiently use your resources to protect a Sphyr ball carrier. Because sometimes you cannot always make it to where you need to be to score.

Striker: The Striker with the ball is positioned the way he is to best utilize the Sphyr's Tail ability. By facing the wall in the way he is, it is going to give a -1D to anyone trying to Steal or Slam him from behind (which is any hex available). It also has him positioned that to pivot one and fly down the side of the Pitch eleven hexes if necessary. And don't forget, on a double to dodge, on your move, you should turn your back on your attacker.

Guard: The Guard is there to provide an additional Threat to the hex beside the Striker. If he is Slammed, he can Slamback. If he loses the Slam, he has nowhere to go, so he falls into the same hex-still defending the Striker somewhat. If he wins the Slamback, he can choose not to Follow Up.
Two Sphyr = simple but effective ball protection.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

SPONSOR SPECIALTIES: Thinking about overall strategy... BASHY TEAM (Part One)

With a new blog series I am calling "Sponsor Specialties", I will be exploring some things to consider when creating and growing your Sponsor in Dreadball Xtreme. I hope this is an interesting and engaging exploration of this topic and welcome thoughts, feedback, or any constructive critism on the series.

Let's begin now...


Even more than in Dreadball Original, Dreadball Xtreme caters to an individal's style of play. Whether you like a fast team with a high potential for scoring, or you like to play a team that crushes your opponent into food for space worms, or perhaps a balanced approach is more your style, DBX can be a lot of fun to play.

So, first ask yourself, what type of team do I like/am I best with/would like to experiment with? 

Then I would actually delve a little deeper into your desire than the cursory thought of the overall team strategic makeup.

Today, I would like to explore the thought process behind playing the...

Bashy Team

  • Would you rather have one or two super strong players and back them up? This focus has pluses and minuses. You are putting your eggs in one basket, but it is a monster of a basket! A Hulk backed up by a couple of players with Gotcha! can be hard to stop. A Giant smashing through the enemy lines with a few Hobgoblins can be devastating. There is little to no subtly in this setup, but who cares! This is about taking one or two powerful Guards (maybe a powerful Jack?) and wrecking face! The drawback is glaringly obvious, if that player gets taken out, well, I guess don't let that happen. :-)

  • Do you want to play a team where basically everyone is capable of hurting the other side? It is possible to play a team where every player has the potential to take down the other team. If you focus strictly on Jacks and Guards, then you can do this. In DBX, this is a perfectly viable concept. With the emphasis on the Nasty Surprise cards and hurting the other team, coupled with the ability to Dunk, there is no reason you can't go this route.

  • Is the idea of racially-focused team of muscled Guards appealing to you? Perhaps you are thinking, "I want an Orx-centric team!" or "Nameless Hard Guards are too awesome, I need a few of them!", then go for it! When thinking about your bashy team, if one type of race is speaking to you, then use that as your focus. It can be a very good starting point. Through in some guys that can score with your team and go for it!

  • Like the way your team crushes you opponents in DBO, and want to play that team that you already know and love? Fantastic idea! And of course, the back of the DBX Players Manual has rules for exactly that! This is an interesting choice for a starting DBX player, transitioning from DBO, or a veteran that would like to try out something different. I also really like the idea of constructing a narrative around a League where you start with a DBO team, and as a Sponsor, you learn to stretch out and grow from there.

  • Surprisingly your opponent with loses he did not see coming your style? Bashy does not have to mean hitting someone over the head... ok, technically, I think it does, but playing to murder-death-kill the opposing teams players does not have to be obvious to them. Maybe you would like to utilize abilities like Ram, Push, and Feint to direct your opponent to places they did not want to go-beside a crate, with their back to one of your players, into a Threat hex of two of your team? Or perhaps, you work on setting the Backstab? Maybe you like to use Runaround to double up on someone before you Slam them? These tactics are surprisingly "bashy" and focusing on them can make for a fun, if quirky, Bashy Team.

  • I only want to CRUSH MY OPPONENT!!! Well, actually, your could play the hard-nosed, full-on, just-Guard Kill Squad, but it is risky! Without at least one person to score for you, you might be at the mercy of the "clock". You can of course do this, and it might be loads of fun, but don't expect it to work every time, or even usually. A few bad dice rolls and you might be looking at a sad Pitch with less blood on it than you wanted. Having warned you though, if you injure everyone on the Pitch, you win, so... what the heck, if it's your thing, go for it!

Next installment, Choosing Groups for the Bashy Team...

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

TACTICS: That Stinks! (Hobgoblin Team)

That Stinks! (Visitor)
Red - Hulk GuardOrange - Hobgoblin JackYellow - Hobgoblin Striker

If there is one thing that the Hobgoblin team is know for... well, it would be the Hulk. But, the second biggest thing the Hobgoblin team is known for is their horrific (and fantastic) Stench! This starting formation as the visiting team is a highly aggressive utilization of the Stench ability.
I have set up 4 Jacks and one Striker along the front line of the visiting side. This setup covers anywhere the ball might come out, except the odd bounce on a roll of a 6. This is going to force your opponent to deal with, or attempt to deal with, the short, stinky front line before trying to score. Sure, they can try to Evade past your players, but the odds are NOT in their favor as the Hobgoblins threaten 360 degrees. The best tactic for the other team is probably to just straight-up attack you, but that will deplete precious resources, and of course, there is the Hulk lingering in the background. If someone comes on your side of the Pitch, you can almost guarantee when it is your turn, they will exit the Pitch immediately!
This is a "high risk-high reward" initial setup. It is probably not as good against a Bashy team as it is against a Striker-heavy, Jack-heavy, or Balanced team, as the Bashy team will probably be super happy to see all those targets right there. And as always, do keep in mind your opponent's setup and counter it as best you can. 
But when in doubt, at least make the other coach yell, "That Stinks!", when they see your setup. :-) 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

PAINTING: Challenging Myself to Paint!

I made a promise to myself when I received my Kickstarter shipment earlier this year. I promised that before the next Wave arrived, I would have my Season 4 teams painted. Now, this promise was made easier by the fact that one of my friends had paid for the Brokkr team and one of my friends had paid for the Sphyr team. But that still left me with three teams to get painted before the next shipment, and for me, that is a big deal. I felt determined it should happen.

Team One Martians

The first team I completed was the Martians! They were a lot of fun to paint, even though it took me a long time to do it. I went with a pretty traditional scheme for their colors. When I play them, I say, "Ack ack!" every time I shoot someone. 

Team Two Rebs

The second team I finished up was the Rebs! I went with a blue on blue scheme for them. It went well with most of the other color choices that I was thrilled! My wife particularly liked the Sorak Jack painted in turquoise. I actually was pushed to finish these guys because I "oathed" to do it on the MANTIC MADNESS Facebook group - I was an Oath Keeper! 

Team Three Hobgoblins

The third and final team I completed, and thereby fulfilled my promise to myself, was the Hobgoblins. I started them a long time ago, and finally completed them right after I finished up the Rebs. My idea was to do a Dark Brown on top of a Light Brown for a team, then do the inverse for another team of Hobgoblins (which would give them close enough colors to use in a league). The original team turned out pretty good, but the secondary team did not. The Light Brown on top of Dark Brown just doesn't work. Oh well, at least one team is painted! I did vary some from the original scheme thanks to a comment from RavensaursRex, and I like the result.

ALSO, I finished another team in the time period!

Team Four Orx and Goblins

AND, I repainted a team too!

Team Five Asterians


So, when I receive my Season 5 and Season 6 Kickstarter teams soon, I challenge myself to paint at least three of the teams before the end of the year!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

TACTICS: Rebel Yell! (Unincorporated / Rebs)

Rebel Yell! (Home)*
Red - Rin GuardGaelian Jack, Sorak JackRalarat Striker

I was playing the Rebs the other night and thinking pretty hard on what the best setup was for them being the Home team. I came up with this one after playing a slight variation on it on the table. I think this is better than the one I was using though.
First off, you want to score, of course, so you are going to need your Ralarat Striker out there. While he is on the Pitch, I feel pretty certain that scoring is going to happen. Now, I am not a proponent of having both Strikers on the Pitch, as they should be you opponent's first target. Only even have one on the Pitch, unless it is near the end of the game and you can grab a victory with both on the board.
Next, I want both my Rin Guards out there. I want one up front, to hopefully bash some heads. Then, I want one a little further back, for that 3rd Rush retaliation! 
Now, for the Gaellian Jacks, They are too good not to have on the Pitch. I set one up protecting the 4 point line. And then, I set one up on the 2 point line on one side. They are there to get in some good Slams from downtown. These guys can show up where you least expect them.
Finally, I always want one Sorak Jack up front. I will send him into on of the open Strike Zones, just in case the frogman doesn't double something. He is GREAT for catching and he does a decent job of scoring. Plus, should he end up with the ball at the end of the Rush, he is the most difficult player on your team to Steal from. 

The setup that inspired my thought process.

*A special 'thank you' to English poet William Idol for the inspiration for the name, because with the Rebs, you want 'more, more, more...'.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

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

My Greenskins on the Pitch!
Season 1
Orx Guard
This my favorite model in the original line of models. They might be my favorite models in the whole range. I actually like painting them too! And their stats are excellent! Even in the games I have used them in against Season 4 teams, they still wreck face! 

Ever player wants to punch you in the face.
Season 2
Void Siren Jack
A number of Jacks have abilities, varied and plentiful abilities. But no one has Run Interference as an ability on the model in starting play. The Void Siren Jacks allow you to defend your territory like no one else. They also force the opposing coach to make hard decisions when coming down the pitch. These Jacks alter the game in ways that most other models don't even approach.

That's her in the top right corner... and all the other girly girls with their legs up in the air.

Season 3
Asterian Striker
Ah, the Asterian Striker... Just a force of nature on the pitch. Fantastic Speed and Movement allow you just go wherever you please. They are one of the most reliable models for the purposes of scoring. I don't really care for the actual models though, I think that is their only real shortcoming, aside from, well, you know, being a space elf. 

I am the proud papa of this cute guy.

Season 4
Martian Jack

If you have read this blog for any amount of time, you probably know I love me some Martians! And it is the Martian Jacks that make the team so fun. Sure, you are going to have a few tossed out of the game for shooting someone in the back, but hey, who cares! Also, I love the models (the whole Martian team actually), and I took a lot of time and effort painting them. ACK ACK!