Tuesday, October 27, 2015

SIDELINE REPORT: Glambek Ghosts vs Sulentic Shards

I had the good fortune of being able to slip in a game tonight with my buddy, Dan. We both came in wanting to play the Glambek Ghosts, but not wanting to play a mirror-match, Dan grabbed the Sulentic Shards. It was my first time trying out the Ada-Lorana and Dan's first time playing the Crystallans. Two blue plastic teams! Woo hoo!

The Game:

Dan ended up being the home team and set up his Crystallans in a very aggressive formation. He had Jacks and Guards lining the front of his side of the Pitch.
Dan's initial setup.
I counter by setting up my Ada-Lorana way back, and trying to keep as many Strikers out of reach without hampering my ability to go after the ball.
My initial setup.
The Pitch looked like this at the start of the game:
Red - Crystallan Guard, Orange - Crystallan Jack, Dark Blue - Ada-Loana Guard, Light Blue - Ada-Lorana Jack, Green - Ada-Lorana Striker

The first Rush saw Dan's Crystallans work in cooperation to Slam my Jack in the 1-2 point Strike Zone. But the elusive form of the Ada-Lorana Jack proved to be too difficult for the Crystallan Guard, even with a Crystallan Jack Threatening the Ada-Lorana. 
"Why won't this guy die?!?!" - Crystallan Guard

Then one of Dan's Crystallan Jacks grabbed the ball and the first Rush ended. He moved the Ref down toward the action.

On my Rush, I concentrated entirely on scoring. I stole the ball. And tried to throw it in for a 3 point Strike ... and I did... and thus ended the second Rush.

The next Rush, Dan managed the knock out the Jack he was focusing on by getting one of his Crystallans "fully harmonic" (getting all the bonuses from Harmonics). But even then he was only knocked out for 1 Rush. Then Dan grabbed the ball again and it went back to me.

I stole the ball. Then, I believe this was the Rush that I used a Showboat Card doing an Evade in the 3 point Strike Zone and caused the Ball Shatters event - hooray! So, no scoring for me this Rush...

Next Rush, Dan's guys attacked mine. That was the pattern usually. And my guys took it fine. 

Then this was the Rush I missed the goal and the ball scattered... :-( But it scattered right in front of the Striker that had jetted out of the cluster above. 

Ok, so... here's the very short version of the rest of the game. Crystallans try to Slam Ada-Lorana and just can't do it. Ada-Lorana score and win.
Final state of the Pitch.
What Did We Learn:
  • The Crystallans NEED to play the defensive game. Even better if you can start second, maybe the best team to be the Visiting team as.
  • You have to think not one, not two, but three or four steps ahead when playing as the Crystallans.
  • The Ada-Lorana are really fun to play.
  • The -1 to the opposing player's Slam, coupled with their 3+ Speed make taking a Ghost out nigh impossible.
  • The Movement of 5 and only having 6 players keeps the Ada-Lorana from being too overpowered.
  • The Gruba-tek VII Coliseum Pitch is awesome!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

COACH'S CORNER: In Leagues with the Enemies

Ok... let's talk about comps. I know, kind of a dirty word, but it needs to be talked about. I want to try to get a league for Dreadball going locally, which might mean doing some rounds of the local stores, but before I do, I want to be sure what the League will look like.

All the opinions stated beyond this point (and in this blog in its entirety) are mine and mine alone. But I do welcome any thoughts, input or disagreements on them.

  • If you purchase Schn├Ârkel as an MVP, you are awesome (ok, so not a rule, but true none the less). :-)
  • The Convicts have to be banned, or in the very least, heavily modified. In a previous blog entry, Lamanzer and I have a nice discussion about how the Convicts might be re-balanced, but I don't know if this is viable when trying to bring in the larger community. I might try something rather simple though, maybe allow the Convicts to play as a their stats are but minus the Offensive Coach and the Shock Collar ability. Less flavor, more balance?
  • The Nameless are still a little OP in a league, I think in our last league my friend Dan lost one game with them. Not sure how to deal with that. Maybe every upgrade cost 50% more for them. Maybe for the Rebs too? What about Asterians? Maybe I am going overboard? Perhaps their team ranking in points should be 25 MC higher for purposes of determining underdog bonuses?
  • Use the Achievements system from the Season 4 Rulebook.
  • No Fans on the Pitch in regular games. Maybe in one game at some point in the League though, that could be fun.
  • Allow one "We Can Rebuild Him" upgrade, and only on a Jack, must be clearly marked or represented as different somehow.
  • No Hacking - from Season 6 Rulebook.
  • Any Mechanite or Mutant team has to be WYSIWYG or very close, sorry.
  • Forge Fathers can use Brokkr rules.
  • Season 1 - Season 6 teams will be allowed. Other than what I have already mentioned.

I know there is more I want to have in there, but.... I will have to come back to it.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

TACTICS: Back to basics... for starting players

Basic Tactics for New Dreadball Players:

  • Keep it Simple for a Time. Use the Trontek team of human to get the basics, or maybe the Marauders if you like a challenge. But play with a rather straight-forward team for your first few games. This foundation will help you later on.
  • Go for the Goal. No matter how much you just want to continually bash someone's head in, the game is won and lost in the Strike Zone. Try to score every Rush.*
  • Tally Up Your Actions Backwards. Before doing anything, decide how many Actions you need to score a goal. Use the leftover Actions for buying cards, bashing skulls, and anything else, but be sure that you have what you need for scoring.
  • Protect Your Strike Zones. This is essential, if nothing else, protect that critical 4 point lane, and the entire 3 point zone if you can.
  • Team Up. Use your Jacks and even Strikers to add a Threat hex on a player before you go to Slam them. If you use a Striker, try to get in the rear arc of the opposing player, so he isn't Threatening you.
  • Don't Turn Your Back On Me. Try not to present your rear arc to opposing players. Unless you are a Teraton or a Sphyr, presenting your backside to an opponent is a taunt that may well get you ground into paste. Sometimes, this might be unavoidable, but try not to if at all possible.
  • Count It Out. I still use my finger and count out loud when determining if the move I am about to make is viable. Don't be ashamed! Sometimes that single pivot during a Sprint can mean the difference in being able to Catch a Ball or just looking silly.
  • No Guts, No Glory. When learning to play the game, if there is a long shot play that seems nearly impossible and might win you the game, GO FOR IT! You never hear someone say, "Remember that time that I played it safe and won the game slowly." **
*Later on there might be a reason you don't, but starting out, I think going for the goal is the way to do it.
** Later on, say in a tournament, this might not be the optimum strategy, but it is still the one I go with. :-)

Thursday, October 8, 2015

COACH'S CORNER: First Buys for Dreadball...

If you are thinking about getting into the Futuristic Sports Games Dreadball, where do you start?

Well, the first purchase is easy. You should start out with the the Starter Set. It used to be called the Deluxe Edition, but now I think it is just called Dreadball. With it you will get the cards, dice, ref and rules, that you need to get started. Plus, you get two teams to begin playing with right away. Full contents are:

1 - 84 Page A4 Full Colour Rulebook
1 Mounted Game Board
10 Plastic Corporation Players (4 × Strikers, 4 × Jacks, 2 × Guards)
10 Plastic Marauder Players (6 Jacks, 4 Guards)
1 Plastic Referee
2 Plastic Balls
54 Game Cards
18 Dice
13 Game Counters
24 Clear Plastic Hex Bases
1 Roster Pad
2 Mantic Points

Unless, of course, you can get your hands on a copy of Dreadball: Azure Forest Limited Edition. Then you get a nice boost to your start, for just a few bucks more. Contents include:

Full-color A4 Rulebook
10 Human Miniatures
10 Marauder Miniatures
1 Referee Miniature
Transparent Plastic Bases
13 Counters
2 Balls
18 Colored Dice
League Roster Pad
54-card DreadBall Deck
Limited Edition Azure Forest Pitch
Azure Forest Supplementary Rulebook
15 Azure Forest DreadBall Cards
Metal A'teo Adysi MVP Miniature

After that, go for buying the team that appeals to you the most for aethetics or gameplay... I recommend not beginning with the following teams:
  • Red Planets Martian Team - Could be frustrating to new players. Have a few odd rules and Fragile, lackluster Strikers. 
  • Koeputki Kolossals Zee Team - Could be frustrating to new players. Have a few odd rules. All Jacks (only one mediocre position).  
  • Midgard Delvers Forge Fathers Team - Could be frustrating to new players. Slow. Require a lot of patience to make work (if you like the look of them, just ue the Brokkr rules from Season 4).
  • Ro-tek Brutes Mechanite Team - Could be frustrating to new players. Requires a decent understanding of the game to make decent players. Might require multiple purchases of teams to create what you want.
  • Kovoss Kryptics Mutant Team - Could be frustrating to new players. Requires a decent understanding of the game to make decent players. Might require multiple purchases of teams to create what you want.
Then, get a league going or play in a tournament. Join the FB Fanatics page. Listen to The Strike Zone Podcast. 
The community is great and always looking to grab new people! 
Have fun!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

MANTIC UPDATE: Warpath - The Sci-Fi Battle Game (Kickstarter)

If you are looking for a new war game to add to your game night, how about Mantic's Warpath?

There is a Warpath Kickstarter going right now, and it is a fantastic way to get into the game! This is the universe that birthed Dreadball. Check it out, and pledge if you have the inclination! Only a few days left on the Kickstarter!


I mean, come on, it's a game where the Forge Fathers are worth playing!

Tactics and/or Sideline Reports on Tuesday will return next week!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

INSIDE THE BOX: Mechanites

Much like for the Mutants, I wanted to catalog what I received for my Kickstarter Rampage pledge for the Mechanite team - mostly for my reference. This may, or may not, be the same as the retail, AND when I opened the bag, it exploded. So, though unlikely, I might be missing a piece or two.
This is a picture of everything that was in my Kickstarter bag of Machanites.

This is a picture of the arms that were included (except what was in the small plastic bag - see below). It is pretty much two of each of the arms on the arm chart on page 13 of the Season 5 book.

Here we have the final few arms: four hands and two claws. And there is a ball in the bag too.

Here we have the Body pieces. There are two each of the Body Types A, C and D. There are 4 of Body Type B.

Here we have the Guard should pads.

The heads included are three of each of the following: Crane, Quadeye, Radar, and Slim. Then two Tank heads. Also on this sprue is a metal plate (x3)

Legs, two of each set.