Tuesday, September 29, 2015

TACTICS: Dealing with difficult teams... the Convicts

In my opinion, the Convicts may well be THE BEST TEAM IN DREADBALL. Having said that, they are not an auto-win for the coach playing them. Let's go over some schemes for defeating them.

The Convicts

With human stats for Strikers, a massive and Threatening Guard, and finally a use for Jacks (shocking, I know), the Convicts are a super strong team. In the right hands, they can be played as a scoring team, or a crush-your-opponent team. Let's discuss some ways around these strengths.

  • If you have Strikers with decent Skill on your team, Throw the Ball at the back of the Grogan Guard's head. If you are the Home team, do this immediately. If you are visiting, and not starting on your back foot (like 4 points down), do it the first chance you get. If you can take out the Guards, your chances go up quickly. If you can, do this to both Guards... yeah, I know... wishful thinking. :-)
  • DO NOT CLUMP! If you can in any way avoid it, do not set up your players in such a way that someone can threaten two players at once. If you do this, and the other coach is acquainted with his team, he will send in someone to shock them. This minimizes the potential threat of the Shock Collar.
  • Remember that the Convicts have an Offensive coach. This is important for planning your set up for your opponent's Rush. Assume that they roll the extra move, just assume it and plan accordingly.
  • Consider unique strategies that might not be otherwise obvious, like positioning two defenders in the following positions to defend the 4 point strike lane without allowing for the Shock Collar to take both defenders out:

  • This will pretty much go for playing any difficult team (any team really), play to your Strengths. If you are a scoring team, use that to your advantage. If your team specializes in Slams, then Slam! Do not get too distracted by the Convicts shenanigans, do your thing. Keep the pressure on with the skew that is for you, or if your team is more balanced, then concentrate on playing smart. The Convicts are not invincible.

I would love to hear your strategies for taking on difficult teams. 

Thanks for reading!


  1. Thanks, I've been thinking about this a bit too. I wondered if it might be better to accept that the Guards can hurt you, and try to put their Strikers out - though their Jacks are great at removing defenders, they won't get the same value out of the bonus point hexes as the Strikers.

    And the Guards are well worth Sucker-Punching if you're not up to throwing the ball away ;)

    All theory so far as I'm yet to play against the Cons.

    1. I like the Sucker Punch idea!

      I have played against them a couple of times... they are REALLY good.

  2. Hello,
    I have never loosed a game with Convicts.
    My friends have already tryed all these tricks without any success.
    Last ball thrown my Guard what painfull... for my opponent: stand up, kill 3, Hurt one and score :)
    So...We have banned this team from our league.

    That actual problem in dreadball is that Teams with Strength 3+ guard and Strikers 4+ skill are not penalized enough.

    Ou changes for convicts:
    - Guard 5+ Speed, and loose Threatening * **
    - Striker 5+ Skill
    - Collar send player to the ground only with at least one Success. No player can Die from a Shock collar (max injury = 3 turns)

    => it could seems harsh, but it works in our tests*

    In fact the skill "threatening" must be ban of Dreadball in its actual form.

    * We are still not agree about Guard speed 5+
    ** A friend of mine has suggested to apply threatening only against 3+ speed players. (and in this case Grogan could keep it in my last example)

    1. Interesting ideas!

      The Changes:

      - I would leave the Threatening on the Guard alone, I think that mitigating this is part of playing against the Convicts. Threatening is a very difficult ability to get around, but not impossible. I can see changing his Speed to a 5+ - I mean he isn't human, so I can see changing it.

      - I don't know about changing the Striker's Skill. They are humans and that is the human stat. I guess you could play it off as they are not trained athletes, but instead Convicts (or actors)... I just think this goes a bit away from the norm.

      - I definitely like the idea that no one dies from the Shock Collar. That would be a great change. I am not sure it fixes the issue, but it is a step in the right direction.

      The extra change I would propose is removing the Offensive Coach. That extra play can make it too easy for the Cons to score.

      We might have to consider banning them from our League too. In their current form, they are Overpowered.

      I wish that they would have been play-tested by the community like the other season 5 and 6 teams were. I feel certain that "we" would have caught the extreme power disparity in a few hours :-)

  3. you are totally right on the community play-tests. :)

    Just a comment to explain my point of view. In our gaming circle we think that season 1 and 2 teams are balanced and must be used as reference for balancing the game. Other seasons teams are in an escalation process which is bad.
    We don't want munchkin powa!!, because the game will be less tactical.

    Tactic is very important for us. For example, We think that Offensive coach sucks. He kills passing game, and using offensive coach to see a "coast to coast 3 actions strikers throw" is not "tactically" interesting. (We have our own version of OC which helps only jacks)

    In short, that's why we want to "punish" convicts team. :-)

    On another account, your articles are clever, and you are doing a very good job :)
    I think your grades on teams are smart.

    Thanks for all. :)

    1. I think you guys are on the right track. I totally agree that the game balance is an issue that will have to be dealt with in the near future (or version 2.0). The Convicts, the Nameless, and to a lesser extent, the Rebs, are all issues when it comes to creating balance in the system. And then there's the issue of the other end of the spectrum with the Zees, the Martians, and Forge Fathers.

      Don't get me wrong, I LOVE THE GAME (obviously)! But there are some valid concerns that I know will be addressed in the future. Until then, I think house ruling at your arena is the way to go. Making the game fun is what it is all about.

      And thank you so much for your kind words. That kind of encouragement is very appreciated and keeps me going.

      And thank you for engaging in the dialog. It is discussions like these that will make this game thrive and improve.