Mantic’s Dreadball

Last year, on Kickstarter I pledged in on Mantic’s Dreadball. Now, I love Bloodbowl and the chance for another miniatures based game even remotely like it thrilled me to my core. What I got, was a surprise – depsite the vids I’d watched, the research I had done and the conversations with mates; Dreadball was a much more different beast to what I was expecting. It was way more awesome than I thought it would be!

Ignore Bloodbowl for a moment, maybe you remember an old, old game that some of you might have had on an Amiga, this game was called Speedball. Take that, put it on a  board, make that hex-based, add in some alternate races (Orks, Humans, Rat-men, Dwarves, etc.) and that’s Dreadball!

This is a game where you can use the ball to attack other players. This is a game where Star players on really get used in tournaments. This is a game where you can paint up the human team like this!

Ok so the basics:

  •  Each team gets 6 players on the pitch (you can stick more on but be prepared for your opponent to call foul!. There are three main types of player (Stryker, Jack and Guard) – there is a fourth (Keeper but they are special!)
  • Each turn each team gets a set of counters for actions  – you can spend an action token to stand a guy up, bring a guy on from the sidelines, run/dash a player, throw a pass/score, slam a player, draw a card. Now where this token thing gets interesting is that some of these actions can trigger other actions depending on how successful you are or what type of player you are. Eg. A stryker can declare and spend points on a pass and also get a run out of it as well. A Guard can declare a slam and also get a run.
  • I mentioned cards before, well they can be used to gain additional actions instead of spending a token), showboat (chance for fan cheers) or encounter a new event – which can do odd or even fun things like break balls!)
  • Tests in Dreadball are fairly simple – roll a number of d6 (usually 3), modified dependent on action and sort of player (Guard, Stryker, Jack) and any cards you play. Roll those dice and for each one that scores higher than the stat being tested (skill for pickups, dodges and passes; Strength for slams, move for extra squares, etc. etc.) you count as a success. 6s explode upwards – so count it as a success and roll again – get another 6 and it’s lather, rinse, repeat.
  • There’s plenty more but I’ll stop there.

Mantic’s Kickstarter went so well, that they managed to fund two additional seasons for Dreadball (each season adds more teams and star players). The teams are fun; each plays in a unique way so switching between them will give you an entirely new experience.

Personally, I can see that this game will continue to grow and build momentum – I hope you’ll give it a chance and try it out.

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