Lets catch up on Mantic’s table top sport of the future – Its Dreadball Season 2!
By now Dreadball season 2 has reached the grubby hands of those who Kickstarted it, and packs for us normal folks have started sifting out into the world. I’m lucky enough to play at a club where we have several KS AND have one person playing each of the new teams in our league.
Our new teams are;
– The Female Corporation Team
– The Judwan
– The Z’Zor
– The Robots
Dreadball Season 1 teams can be seen as the more basic teams. These ones bring new options and tactics to the table. From my experiences a quick overview of each team
– “The Girls”. The female Corp team is a lot like the male Corp team. 4+ across the board for nearly all stats making them very well balenced. However what stands them out is their starting dice allowance (they start with 4 coaching dice) allowing them to get some great early successes. They also have the benefit of having “Running Interference” on every Jack. This allows each Jack, once a game to make a one hex move and slam….at any point in the opponents rush. This means thin gaps oppended up by your offence can be closed off by the girls when your striker tries to squeeze through.
Girls vs Robots
– The Robots. Go go Gadget Dreadball player. The Robots are very similar in stats to a human team. But they have an ace up their sleeve. All players start as Jacks. But with a single action can transform into any other role. Stuck in your opponents half with no ball? Transform into a Guard and mess with your opponents defence, then transform back into a Striker next rush to catch the ball and score.
– The Judwan (or those slippery pacafist buggers). Ah the Judwan. At Manticbowl last week the Judwan came 1st, 2nd and 3rd overall. They’re a very powerful team. The only benefit you get of playing against them is that you know your guys aren’t going to get injured, as the Judwan cannot cause any injury. They cannot slam, trip or throw the ball at you to hurt you, thanks to their pacafist rule. However to make up for this, this team of Strikers can move incredibly fast, can misdirect and move your players and are very accurate at passes. However to keep it fair Judwan cannot score bonus points for long scoring shots, so will require a minimum of 3 scores to Landslide to victory. Something I’ve seen done on Rush 2 before (before their opponent even had the chance to move)
Judwan Striker with the ball being chased by Z’Zor Guard and Jack
– The Z’Zor – The gribbly bugs. The Z’Zor are an interesting team. From season one they most remind me of the Veermyn. Fast, not great with the ball and in some places, hit like a ton of bricks. They’re also more survivable as every player has the “Can’t Feel a Thing” rule, which means they always pass one armour save automatically. Means to kill them you need to cause 5 wounds minimum on a guy. Not an easy proposition….
It also adds some new MVP’s to buy in your league, with some new just for the new teams, and some for all teams.
The second new feature for Season 2 is support coaches. Obviously you are the teams main coach, but you can buy lesser coaches that help your team run “plays”. These aren’t too complex. You can run either a defensive, offensive or support play.
– A defensive play grants you a free dice in your opponents following rush that you can use to boost your dodges or Slambacks. However these dice expire at the end of the rush so don’t horde them up if you need them!
– A offensive play allows a single player to make 3 actions per rush instead of two. his could be used to make a guard make more slams a rush, bouncing around like a wrecking pinball. Or it could be used to extend your strikers movement potential and get up and down the pitch in a single rush
– A support play allows you to move your cheerleaders. These are the third new feature in DBS2, which I’ll come to in a minute.
To use a play at the beginning of a rush, you roll dice. If you’ve bought a coach who’s a specialist in the same play you want to run (like a Defensive Coach for a defensive play) you get 4 dice. Otherwise its 3. This is a flat 5+ roll. If you get a single result, the play is successful If you double a Defensive or Support play, you double its effect (2 dice, 2 cheerleaders). No benefits for a double on a Offensive play though!
You can buy a coach in each slot, but can only do a single play a rush, so choose wisely
The new Judwan MVP faces off against the Corporation Team, while the cheerleaders….cheer?
The final new aspect is that of the Cheerleaders. To me, the mechanic for these buxom models is the weakest of the new rules (although I really like the models). You can spend an action point (remember – still limited to 5 a turn) or make a support play to place a cheerleader, which you have to first buy with your clubs funds, on the scoring track. If a goal you score moves the score to the result she is stood on, you get a free fan check.
These just feel a bit thin. Firstly you have to spend club funds on them, which could be spent on new coaching dice or cards or new player. You then have to spend one of your precious limited actions to place them on the scoring track. You then need to score the right number of points to land on her. If you land on her from an opponents goal you get nothing. And the big pay off after all this is a free fan check, which might gain you back 1 third or 2 thirds of a coaching dice and a better chance of getting the games MVP bonus. The mechanic is alright, but the pay off seems a bit weak.
So thats Dreadball Season 2. Once the Kickstarter for Deadzone is done with we’ll start seeing sneaky looks at S3, which is set to introduce the big multi-hex models like the Corporation Walker and new teams like the Teratons (Teleporting Dinosaur/Turtles).