DreadBall 2 Playtesting Begins!

dreadball 2 logo

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Mantic’s DreadBall has been slowly building up teams and steam for a while and now prep for DreadBall 2 is underway. After lots of fan-feedback and tons of games played Mantic has rolled out some changes to the core rules and they want your help testing them out.

 via Mantic:

Welcome, sports fans!

In this first release we are going to ask you to please focus on the changes to the core rules. As there are a large number of different teams in the game, we’re going to stagger their release into the wild, so that we can ensure we get focused feedback on their performance. Please feel free to use proxy miniatures to try out a team if you don’t have the models for the teams in the playtest packet; the more games we can get in the better! The rule packet and a printable survey file can be found here. Use the printable surveys so you don’t forget any details before you have a chance to fill out the survey form online!


New Player Stat: Agility

Agility has been introduced to enable us to draw a distinction between manual dexterity and nimbleness (Speed) versus swiftness and balance (Agility). Some teams, such as the Forge Fathers, have historically had issues with being unable to reliably get to their feet after being knocked down; while this makes for hilarious compilation info-sphere vids, it makes for frustrating play experiences.

Speed now covers Dodge, Evade and Steal tests; Agility covers, Stand Up, and Dash tests. Like Speed and Skill tests, Strikers gain an additional dice on Agility tests.

What we need to know:

– Is the extra stat easy to use?
– Does this still ‘feel’ like DreadBall?

 Rule Change: Keepers

Under the new rules for Keepers, a model Throwing a strike counts as being threatened if 1) the Keeper is between them and the Strike Hex, and 2) if the Throwing model is in the Keeper’s front arc. This means Coaches can use Keepers to protect the 3-point Strike Zone without resorting to the ‘castle’ strategy, freeing up more models to put pressure of the opposing team. Additionally, changes to the Punt action mean that a Punt no longer results in the end of a Rush, unless the ball subsequently scatters onto a friendly model that misses their Catch.

What we need to know:

– Is the rule, as written, easy to understand and use in play?
– Does this encourage Coaches to abandon the ‘Castle’ gambit?

dreadball season 4 brokkrs vs midgard

The Teams

For this first release, we wanted the focus to be on the rules changes and new options. As such, we’re only asking players to use the following teams when testing the first beta test packet:

– Corporation v1: Trontek 29ers
– Marauders: Greenmoon Smackers
– Veer-Myn: Skittersneak Stealers
– Forge Fathers: Midgard Delvers
– Robots: Chromium ChargersBrokkrs: Rotatek Rockslides

Note: Some of the model abilities (such as Quick Change Artist) and play stats have undergone changes, see the playtest packet for more information.

What we need to know:

– How do the teams ‘feel’?
– How do the revisions to Quick Change Artist effect how the Robots play?
– How does the introduction of Agility affect the Forge Fathers and Brokkrs?


Advanced Rule: Captains

From the ubiquitous and ever-popular Lucky Logan to the frankly incomprehensible John Doe, DreadBall’s history has been graced by athletes of exceptional talent, grace and ego. In DreadBall 2.0, many of these stars have been re-cast as Team Captains.

For example: While Lucky Logan will always be remembered as the first and most accomplished of the Trontek 29er’s Captains, the 29ers have a habit of having the jammiest Jacks in the game lead their teams. Coaches should feel free to use the same game statistics to represent a Captain of their own creation, and build their own legend on the Neodurium.

Each team can recruit a single Team Captain at a time. Depending on the team, a Captain might be a player type that the team might not ordinarily be able to take, or have improved stats or an ability not ordinarily available to that team’s players.

Additionally, while a Team Captain is on the pitch, you will have a +1 modifier to tests for Coaching Plays.

None of the teams start with a captain, but the rules for Captains so that you can try them out on the Pitch. Feel free to use the Captain in place of a player of the same type (Guard, Jack, Striker), or use the League/Exhibition rules from the first edition of DreadBall (updated rules for those will be included in a future playtest packet).

What we need to know:

– Do you feel the costs for the Captains represent their value on the pitch?

dreadball 2 alt art

Advanced Rules: Coaching Plays and Cheerleaders

Each type of Support Staff now has two types of play they can call, broadening their utility. Likewise, the Cheerleader system has more options available for Coaches: A single cheerleader can now be placed next to a space in the opposing team’s Sin Bin, and activates when a model is sent there by a vicious slam or as a penalty for a dastardly foul. Coaches can also activate any number of Cheerleaders to try and generate extra Fan Checks.

What we need to know:

– Do the rules for Playbook, Blitz and Physio work well?
– Do these extra options increase the viability of Support Staff?
– Do the extra options for Cheerleaders increase their effect on the game?

Want to take part? Mantic is collecting feedback via this dedicated survey, as well as on the Mantic Forums.

  • the_wheel_turns

    I know it has a lot of fans but I thought Dreadball was awful. I didn’t like the no re-setup after scoring and thought it looked cheap with terrible miniatures.

    Give me Blood Bowl anytime over this. Even something that’s not great like Guild Ball is better,

    • ZeeLobby

      Yeah. Never played it but it’s huge at my local store. Like 40 player events big.

    • SundaySilence

      I REALLY didn’t like the game. I played in a short league and it devolved into who could buy the most VIPs. The core rules are okay.. I guess? But the League rules are poop.

  • Zingbaby

    Another original idea by Mantic.

    • euansmith

      At the time they released their game, I don’t think that the market for sports games wasn’t as crowded as it is now.

  • Mike X (Official)

    My gaming group and I have zero interest in Blood Bowl, DreadBall, Guild Ball, Grind, etc. The only sports-based game we were willing to try was Kaosball. The brand didn’t go anywhere but it’s fun from time to time.