In another first for 2013, I actually got to play my first game of Dreadball and loved it. Ok, so the results might not suggest that as my Orx, the “New Hades Buccaneers” were on the wrong side of a 7 – 0 whitewash. The game itself and the rules however have really impressed me with their dynamics, intuitiveness and pace of play. Jake Thornton has done a fine job with the design, coming up with a set of mechanics for play that for me and my opponent at least generated remarkably few questions throughout the entire first game.
We didn’t play with the full league rules and ‘Fouls’ during the initial game. Opting instead to just go with the basics of play and the event cards and get used to the mechanics of moving, taking actions and scoring (or in my case Slamming the stuffing out of the opposition). The next game, which we have scheduled for next week, will be a full head to head with the player experience gains, fouls and league progression. Based on the game we played this week, I have little doubt we will be gaming with all rules in play almost immediately.
I never played Blood Bowl, so have no yardstick for ‘fun’ comparison However I am conscious of the high regard with which Blood Bowl is held in; its design having really stood the test of time. All I can say with regards to Dreadball is that it is fun, a LOT of fun. The game is fast to play, easy to remember, yet provides plenty of tactical depth and grit. The dice modifiers work really well and I especially like the fact you never have to add or deduct anything from your rolls. You only ever increase or decrease the number of dice you are rolling for a test based on a set of simple and well defined criteria. Pretty much all modifiers can be quickly answered only by a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ which keeps the game refreshingly clean and ticking along smartly.
When I backed Mantic’s Kickstarter last year, I opted to include the acrylic pitch and team/customised inserts. I am really glad I did this because the polished black surface of the acrylic pitch is a real joy to play on. It also looks the part as the player miniatures and colours really stand out against that complete black backdrop. The acrylic pitch also comes with score and turn trackers, as well as sin-bin and team bench end pieces. To be honest I haven’t used these at all as I found them unecessary, opting instead to use the board included in the boxed game as the base. As the acrylic version matches the hex dimensions precisely, it sits perfectly on top leaving the score and rush tracker and end areas available. Personally, if you have opted for the acrylic pitch I think this is the best way to play as you get the best of both worlds.
The photos were Taken on Kev’s phone. He obviously being keen to record the event for prosperity, what with him totally blitzing the Orx with a superior show of agility, running and ball handling. On the upside, his game-winning Striker was actually the only Corporation player left standing after twelve rushes, as the Buccaneers Guard tag-team of Azag Goretusk and Abraham Grim had slammed their way to an impressive season opening tally of injuries. By the end both Trontek’s Guards were sidelined for 3 turns along with one Striker and a Jack. The other Jack was dead, killed outright by a freight-train slam from Grim. Sadly the Goblin’s weren’t quite up to the same level of competence, Shiv Skarsnik and Blackout Fink both missing easy open strikes and Otto Quantum literally having the game ball shatter on him two seconds after picking it up. That was not meant to happen!
Next game I’ll be taking the Veer-myn out for a run, hence why they are all over the painting station currently.
Still a bit of work to do on them yet before they are match fit, but confident they will be ready for a protective varnish by the end of the weekend. If the first game is anything to go by, they will need it.
In other news, it sounds like Sedition Wars: Battle for Alabaster should be shipping throughout the UK next week. Something I am looking forward to, so expect more on that when it eventually arrives. Dreadball doesn’t have sole occupancy on the painting station as there are also several Epic scale units passing steadily across it. Expect more on those next week along with more on Rick Priestley’s new game Beyond the Gates of Antares, and a check on the Painted in 2013 Totaliser to prove I am not just moving the number upwards for the fun of it. Well, obviously I am doing it for fun, but I meant there are actual painted minis. I shall break out the camera to prove it.
Until then, have a great week.