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Welcome to the BreadDoll Blog!

Welcome to our DreadBall blog.  We are fans of the futuristic sports game DreadBall and always look forward to our next match!  Please look around.  Read posts about the hobby, tactics, or events.  Come back often, or better yet – follow us!

May all of your sixes explode,

Geoff, Andrew, and Lee

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To Dice, or not to Dice?

To Dice, or not to Dice?

Chessex is my usual choice for dice….typically Gemini

A particular DreadBall quirk of mine is that every team I use has to have their own set of dice. Not just any dice, mind you, these dice have to match the team colors and/or theme. I’m not really sure why I do it, there are some sets of dice I like better than others, but a habit is a habit. Last week for Origins found me buying a new dice cube just hours before the first launch of the tournament.

Color match….acquired!

I also happen to use a completely different set of dice for coaching dice during the match as well. I only have a few sets of these, the most important part is that they are easily distinguishable from the “normal” dice I use during a match. My favorite set for coaching dice at the moment are the exceedingly beautiful BreadDoll dice, with the BD properly placed on that good ol’ exploding six.

Mmmm…..Beautifully Baked!

Not that it matters too much, but I also have a habit of only using 16mm dice too.

It’s got me to wondering, what match quirks or habits do other DB coaches have?

Drop us a comment and share!

The 2019 NADC Season and YOU

It’s time to scratch your competitive itch.  A new season of the North American DreadBall Circuit (NADC) is upon us!  This post includes event notifications, rules for gaming, and rules for… life.

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Big Trophy. Do you want it? YOU MUST WIN IT!

We BreadDoll editors wear multiple hats.  We are spouses, sons, and fathers (I adopted a cat, damnit).  We’re also Coaches, Rules Committee Members and Ambassadors to a game we adore.  DreadBall!  On occasion, we’re Tournament Organizers (TO).

This humble editor is organizing three (maybe four) DreadBall tournaments under the NADC banner.  And so the bell must be rung.  While it’s not the best method of communication, announcements should be made where Coaches will read them.  For DreadBallers, that often means the social media site Facebook.  Last week, I posted the following on Facebook’s DreadBall Fanatics;

ATTENTION COACHES! It’s the summer of Slams! It’s the season of Strikes! It’s another cycle of the North America DreadBall Circuit!!! The NADC concludes its run every March at Adepticon. Coaches attending compete for the continental championship. The contest is open to all, but if a Coach wants to WIN their ticket – they need to conquer a regional tournament first. And so it begins. Already posted on DreadBall.com, the first three events cross the U.S. of A. ;

Friday June 14 = Origenes Cup at the Origins Game Fair

Friday August 2 = General Control Cup at Gencon

Sunday August 4 = DC*DC at Washington DC’s Franklin Hall

NADC events have swag! Come get some! Certificates, BIG TROPHIES, little trophies, dice, and the occasional baked good. Perfect your rosters. Suit your team players. Attend your regional tournament. The NADC 2019 rules packet has been uploaded to the files section.

And here’s a challenge; if you attend a NADC event? BRING A FRIEND. Let them borrow a team (or borrow one from the tournament organizer). Share this gem of a game with others.

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Little trophies. Metal totems of excellence, and they make great score tokens. Place in the top three, and one goes back to your locker room.

 

Are any BreadDoll readers not members of Facebook?  If not, I suppose you could consider joining.  It’s a fascinating cess pool of ignorant trolls.  Thankfully, one respite is the secret group DreadBall Fanatics.  Ask to join, answer some non-robot questions, and Geoff will most likely punch your ticket (he’s on Facebook twenty two hours every day).

Less visited, but still important?  Boardgamegeek.com.  Presumably, it’s a popular site.  A few people visit on a semi-regular basis.  Also, a favorite from this editor; therewillbegames.com. Posting tournament announcements to multiple sites is wise.  No site will capture all eyeballs.  Diversification is needed.  Even if no one reading an announcement on BGG will attend a DreadBall throw-down; they’re still reading the announcement.  They know the game is active and a community supports it.

Once Coaches have a play date, they’ll want rules to govern the competition.  The 2019 NADC rules have been uploaded, here! NADC-Tournament-Rules-Pack-2019  Give them a gander.  Veteran Coaches may notice that all transfers are now legal, Giants too!  However, MVP transfers are still limited to one (and Giants are MVPs).

While Coaches roster-bate, the tournament organizer is doing their own prep work.  Punch lists are good, and here’s a modification of what this editor brings in a BRIEFCASE OF DREAD:

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The infamous BRIEFCASE OF DREAD
  • Three (3) complete sets of DreadBall [board, tokens, cards, miniatures]
  • Collector’s rulebook
  • Printed FAQ/Errata
  • Sixteen (16) Copies of tournament score sheet
  • Sixteen (16) sets of Home / Visitor cards for participating Coaches
  • Name tags
  • Sixteen (16) Pencils with erasers
  • Permanent marker
  • (6) Certificates
  • (4) Trophies
  • Six (6) DreadBall dice
  • Six (6) BreadDoll dice
  • One (1) Granola bar for the “hangry” Coach whose blood sugar is low
  • Emergency miniature repair kit: super glue, blue tac, tweezer
  • Reading / tech glasses
  • Cell phone charger
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The BRIEFCASE OF DREAD, opened. Repo Man / Pulp Fiction quotes are welcome.

Once the big day arrives, the Coaches and Organizer need to perform their duties.  Coaches need to play legal and efficient games, and the organizer needs to keep the trains on time.

DreadBall Tournament DOs and DON’Ts

DO

  • Be on time
  • Listen to opening remarks
  • Validate rosters with the Organizer
  • Discuss rosters and miniatures with opponent
  • Shake hands with your opponent
  • Have familiarity with the rules
  • Articulate your Actions, including dice pools
  • Wear deodorant
  • Take photos of your match
  • Pay attention
  • Confirm tournament sheet results with opponent
  • Congratulate winners at tournament’s end
  • HAVE FUN

DON’T

  • Delay a game
  • Field unprepared miniatures
    • Every mini is painted, numbered, and threat hexes identified.  DreadBall is a hobby-centric board game, and What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG).
  • Have bad breath
  • Incessantly look at your phone
  • BE A %*#$ing @#$+~^&

A rather all-encompassing DON’T, it’s important.  Here are some specifics:

  • Complain about game “balance” during a game, or between games.  Save it for constructive criticism after the tournament.
  • Contrast DreadBall with other games’ mechanics during a game, or between games.
  • Use vulgarity
  • Celebrate an opponent’s failure
  • Project any sort of aggression to your opponent or the Organizer.  Micro, macro, cosmic.  None of it.

Prep work is almost finished for this Friday’s tournament at the Origins Game Fair.  The Origenes Cup is a raucous good time.  Raucous, because it’s after hours.  The dealer hall is closed.  It’s Friday night.  Origins is a dry Fair, but many Coaches (AND THIS ORGANIZER) look forward to a nightcap after the winner is crowned.  The BreadDoll will have a Rush Report in three weeks, if not sooner.  One History of Fantasy Sports Board Gaming III will appear in July.

Good luck to all competing NADC Coaches.

Hobby Highlight: Renewed Vigor (Cyborgs)

At Adepticon back in March I decided to play a Cyborg team. I wanted to go for a chrome look. I mocked up some color tests. I liked the way the chrome effect looked in the tests and decided to see how it would look painted on the minis.

COLOR TEST

PAINTING MY CYBORGS

BASE COAT

  • Primer: Airbrush Stynylrez Grey
  • Spray entire mini with Reaper MSP 09029: Earth Brown
  • Wash with Army Painter Strong Tone
  • Spray from above with white
  • Lighter spray from above with Army Painter Troglodyte Blue

ARMOR/CYBERNETICS

  • Run black outlines along the armor lines and recesses
  • In the armor breaks use Army Painter Necromancer Cloak
  • Highlight the edges of the armor with white

SKIN

  • Army Painter Necrotic Flesh
  • Wash with Secret Weapon Sewer Water
  • Highlight using Necrotic Flesh mixed with white

CLOTH

  • Army Painter Wolf Grey
  • Citadel Nuln Oil wash
  • Highlight with Wolf Grey

STRAPS

  • Army Painter Leather Brown
  • Wash with Citadel Agrax Earth Shade
  • Highlight with Leather Brown mixed with Army Painter Ash Grey

DETAILS

  • Paint the eyes white
  • Paint the glowy bits red adding a bit of a glow effect with a light drybrush
  • Add a white highlight to the red glowy bits
  • Paint the wires with Game Color Sun Yellow and then wash them with Secret Weapon Orange wash
  • Highlight the wires with a mix of Sun Yellow and white

LOGO

I always like to do a fun logo for my teams when I have time. For Renewed Vigor I looked around for a zombie silhouette and then made it look a more cyborg-ish.

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RESULTS

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Renewed Vigor Reference Card

 

Top 5 Tournament Moments

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Here are a smattering of some DreadBall tournament moments that for one reason or another are forever ingrained in my memory. I have many favorite moments from individual games, but these five stand out for completely….different reasons.

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I’d try timed games again….with the right amount of time!

5. The Clock! Adepticon. The first DreadBall tournament in the US of A, debuting at Adepticon. This was memorable not only because it was the first tournament, but because it experimentally decided to borrow the chess clock rules that were being used in Kings of War at the time. However, a misunderstanding of the rules packet led to the entire game being limited to 3O minutes, rather than 30 minutes per player for the one hour rounds. This resulted in the fastest four rounds of tournament DreadBall ever!

4. The Comeback! Adepticon. The start of the North American DreadBall Circuit was off with a bang, and the early favorites appeared to be a Hobgoblin team running a double Hulk build. 4-0 going into the Fifth and final round, the Hobgoblins found themselves in a rematch with an earlier victim from the day. An interesting quirk, in the NADC, five round tournaments sometimes result in rematches in the fifth round due to the nature of the size of the field, and the fact that the final round has the top two teams play each other, regardless if they have already played each other or not. Well, as luck would have it….or not, depending on your perspective, victory was not to be for the Hobgoblins. The characteristic aggressive play style marking their earlier victories was notably absent in the thrilling final to crown the North American Champion. The opposing coach had found themselves in a hole early in the day, but managed to climb back to the top with win after win to claim the NADC title!

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League in a Day is a fun format!

 

3. League in a Day! EVO Games. League in a Day is just a memorable experience no matter what. While this wasn’t the first one I had participated in, it was one of the most fun! There were several teams and a variety of play styles represented that resulted in some wonderful matches on the day.

2. Stomped into Submission! Adepticon. A woeful tale of so close, yet so far. Final match of the tournament for me and my Beltway Bruisers (Marauders), I was only having a so-so tournament. One final match could bring me a bit of redemption. However, Jon Carter and his Teratons were not having it! In a brutal back and forth affair, it looked like I might eeck out a victory, but in the end settled for a tie….or so I thought. In the final rush with the score tied, and very few scoring opportunities available, Coach Carter went with a foolproof plan…STOMP! The physical nature of the match up had taken a toll on my poor goblins, and only one was remaining on the pitch. Recognizing an opportunity, Jon managed to knock the goblin prone….and proceeded to mercilessly stomp on them despite the protestations of the referee. Time was called, and while the score was knotted at “0”, I had no remaining players capable of scoring left on the pitch—resulting in an unexpected loss! I constantly point to this match as an excellent example of situational awareness.

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And still in second edition, a well timed RI can change EVERYTHING

1. Slam from the bench! Gen Con. This was the first ever DreadBall tournament at Gen Con. For being thrown together last minute from a hospital bed, it had a pretty decent turn out too. At this time there were only Season one teams available, the game being less than a year old. Early on, there was a Veer-myn team that seemed primed to run the table. However, one play would turn their fortunes upside down. The rats looked poised to take down a Corporation squad early…they had a lead, and the ball, and were preparing to go for another big strike. The Veer-myn striker was carefully trying to skirt the defense outside the strike zone when it happened.

RUN.

INTERFERENCE.

A Corporation Jack came off the bench with one step and completely blindsided the rat, ball careening down the pitch. The abrupt end of the rush caused a huge momentum change. The corporation recovered the loose ball and immediately scored to take the lead and eventually the match. The rats, once poised to take the day, fell from the top table for good. Another classic example of how a single play can change the momentum of a match!

One History of Fantasy Sports Board Gaming part II

Coaches were left with a charge at the end of our last history lesson.  If a sporting footnote between 1982 and 2004 needed mention, comments were welcome.

Among all responders, loyal BreadDoll reader Mike Mueller was quick to reply with perhaps the most obscure title that preceded 1982’s Grav-Ball by three years!

From the annals of Wyrd, behold this relic from 1979;

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Troll Ball, 1979.

Greg Stafford and friends manipulated the Runequest combat system into a sports game. Competing troll teams face-off on a field of violent mayhem, with an objective of most points scored.  A “point” is earned by carrying a living trolkin across a goal line.

Troll Ball may very well be the first fantasy football sports board game, thus knocking Monsters of the Midway off my previous mantle.  Troll ball is very much a product of its time.  It’s a compact ruleset at five lean pages, but still includes team and character creation, as well as leveling.  And it’s funny to boot!  It’s also very DIY.  Coaches need to craft their own pitch!  Those with a spare 1/2″ grid map will be able to save time before the starting whistle.  Glorantha needs dedicated sports fiends to field Troll Ball.

Other responders were kind.  And… kind of off-mark.

The “One History of Fantasy Sports Board Gaming” is so titled for a reason.  There are parameters.  An editorial decision has been made, and consequently, a lot of games have struck the killing room floor.  Part of education is understanding boundaries, and part II now shifts focus to what is out-of-bounds.

If it’s a card game, it’s not part of this history lesson.

Slapshot (1982), Dream Team (1997), and Blood Bowl: Team Manager (2011) are fine games.  In fact, I’ll revisit Blood Bowl: Team Manager in a future lesson detailing the Blood Bowl franchise.  However, each of these titles and their poker deck sized brethren are not included.  A board is necessary, and by inference; tokens representing players.  Baseball Highlights: 2045 (2015) will most likely make a future appearance.  While a card game at its core, it does include a baseball diamond board and player pawns are fielded.

If there is no Board, it’s not part of this history lesson.

Guild Ball (2015), Darkball (1996), and Sports Fuzz (1995) are…  games.  Guild Ball has no board and frankly, no sport.  Dark Ball also has no board.  However, thanks to the nineteen nineties, it does have POGS!  Coaches mileage may vary depending on their experience with pogs, but Darkball is fine hybrid of sports gaming and tiddlywinks.  Sports Fuzz is another miniatures combat game disguised as a sports title, but it gets a mention on the BreadDoll for creativity.  Fuzz Ball is dependent on existing toy collections, their size and color.  It’s a “miniatures agnostic” game.  Any ruleset that champions cross pollination over publisher shackles gets a nod from this editor.

If it’s a race, it’s not part of this history lesson.

This distinction is arguably polarizing.  Racing is a tried, true, and tested form of competition.  Cockroaches.  Dogs.  NASCAR.  These qualifiers may describe North Carolina, but they also describe a small sample of countless speed-based sporting events. So does Arena Maximus (2003), Blood Race (1999), and Monster Derby (1994).  And yet, the BreadDoll’s history on fantasy sports board gaming ultimately exists to compare and contrast games with the greatest sport in the galaxy.  DreadBall.  DreadBall is a sport that pits two adversarial teams in direct conflict over a limited resource.  Racing and Ballin’ is like apples and oranges.

Missing Links, circa 1993 – 2003:

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Thunder Ball, 1993.

Mark Hanny’s take on basketball, now with Harry Potter-like antics!  If any title could use a refresh via Kickstarter,  Thunder Ball would be it.  A hex based court with multiple baskets and spells?  Think of a simplified DreadBall Xtreme meets Wiz-War.

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Jugger, 2002.

Lloyd Krassner’s turned medieval war machines into ball-smacking’ sportsmen!  Mentioned here only to lay groundwork for a similar themed game in a sci-fi setting.  Privateer Press will have an entry in part III!

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Peace Bowl, 2003.

Angelo Porazzi’s Warangel/WarBeast universe expands!  2-4 players push themselves around while trying to get a ball into one of three end zones.  Mentioned here only to lay groundwork for a similar game with a pop culture smash up.  CMON will have an entry in part III!

Is the history lesson still missing a gem?  Let us know!  In three weeks, we’ll dive into the 21st Century with full abandon.  2007, here we come!

Pitch Protocols: Tactics Talk—The Endgame!

Pitch Protocols: Tactics Talk—The Endgame!

“Begin With the End in Mind”—Stephen Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (and probably DreadBall coaches too!)

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It all comes down to this, with just a snap of the fingers, the game will end…

Every coach, every team, has some sort of strategy for victory. Now, not every strategy is necessarily a good one, and sometimes they may be mismatched, but it’s there all the same. The best strategies have a clear goal in mind, a very specific end of game scenario, or solution if you will, to the puzzle the other team will pose to them. So ask yourself, once the teams are lined up, and the ball is set to launch…how do you see the match ending?

If you have a predilection for violence, you may envision the pitch nearly void of opposition and their sin bin strewn with corpses. Fair enough. But you also need to pay attention to the scoreboard too, which mean that while scoring may not be your focus, you can’t let the points difference get out of reach.

The opposite, however, may be true if you have a preference for flinging the ball over flinging bodies. That’s great too. You need to prioritize scoring early and often, and your “perfect ending” may mean grabbing a landslide. Or even a simple insurmountable lead with a rush remaining. But you have to keep enough players around for that to happen!

So while having a clear picture of your ideal end game is helpful, it’s actually managed rush by rush. To efficiently and effectively achieve your goals means wise allocation of your precious actions. Therefore, each Rush must also have a clear “end” in mind as well.

Let’s use the example of the bashy team above. Eager to lay waste to their opposition, they spend almost all of their actions on slamming or getting in position to mark or slam. However, if this coach wants to get to their endgame, they need to not neglect the fact that they are down by four points at the moment. They need to spend at least one action to pull the score back and keep the match alive for their long game!

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Action Tokens: The currency of victory!

Basically, you must:

  1. Define your goal.
  2. Each Rush, prioritize actions based on achieving said goal.
  3. Profit.

Of course, it’s never quite that simple as your opponent is trying to do the same, and thus the conditions of the match are in a constant state of flux. However, the coach that best adapts to the situation and stays focused on their priorities will often come out on top. The “art” of DreadBall comes in making each Rush build of the previous toward your inevitable end game scenario. Good Luck!

One History of Fantasy Sports Board Gaming part I

Young Coaches, gather round.  This here Old Timer has a tale to tell.  Now, it’s not a complete story.  And it ain’t a yarn that’s meant to rib ya.  But it’s something y’all need to know, because understanding the past helps manage the present.  And sometimes, the past can help predict the future.  I have here a recollection of the bones rolled from an Ancient Grognard.

This BreadDoll editor is the Grognard.

I’ve played a lot of fantasy sports board games.  To be clear, I stress the distinctions.  1) Fantasy.  2) Sports.  3) Board.  4) Games.

There are a lot of board games about sports.  Strat-o-Matic, anyone?  No.  We’re talking fantasy.  Strat-o-Matics don’t count, nor do any of the sports titles prior to 1961.  In fact, this history lesson begins in the late 20th century.  1982 to be exact.

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Grav-Ball, 1982.

Grav-Ball was ground breaking.  Literally.  It was played in zero-G!  A science fiction setting, a robotic referee, and a ball made of metal!  WOW!  FASA published L. Ross Babcock and Fred Bently’s design with a lot of zest for the early eighties.  There was so much zest, FASA had to outsource the thirteen metal miniatures to Martian Metals.  Of all the games recollected in this history lesson, the fifteen dollar Grav-Ball is the only title that eludes me.  So I’ll punt.  The best description of this long forgotten title is certainly from the game box itself.

Grav-Ball is a sporting event of the future reequiring skill and courage. Played in a zero-G court, the two six-man teams try to score with a five kilogram steel playing ball. Anything can happen in the meantime! Leagal actions include body, ahnd, and foot checks, passes, and actual goal shots. Illegal actions, or actions requiring a penalty check, include striking with the ball or elbow, shooting the player with the ball, and all out assults. The usual result of such body contact is a high player tunover rate. The player’s body armor does not guarantee physical safety from opposing players or from the ball itself. If the game gets too rough or a fight occurs, Heartless Huey is released. This invulnerable robot will incapacitate the nearest player. He then moves on to the next, nearest player until all are terminated or the fighting stops. All of these factors make Grav-Ball an exciting and action-packed game of the future.

What’s old is new again, yeah?  Keep Grav-Ball in mind you whipper snappers.  We’ll come back to it.

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Monsters of the Midway, 1983.

Released in issue 65 of Dragon magazine, I declare this gem of an insert the first fantasy football sports board game.  Draft monsters, create teams, and beat the hell out of one another on a board that looks a lot like a football field.  Occasionally, efforts would be made to handle the ball and carry it into an end zone.  Designer Gali Sanchez was on to something.  Monsters of the Midway was unique and cheeky.  Under an hour to play, it was fast.  Considering is was included in a magazine, it was free.  Win win.

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Blood Bowl, 1986.

I don’t know if designer Jervis Johnson was influenced or inspired by TSR’s first effort.  I suspect he at least read that issue of Dragon.  Blood Bowl took everything Monsters of the Midway had, and elevated it.  Everything except the game play, which was a peculiar translation of Warhmamer onto a football/rugby field.  Clunky play aside, 1986’s Blood Bowl did raise the bar for creativity: evocative illustrations, funny writing, and strong world-building kept imaginations on fire.

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Blood Bowl, 1988.

Games Workshop found itself in a transformative state in late 1980s.  GW began shifting from Games into…  Miniatures.  Blood Bowl had found enough traction in their modest cardboard standee version to merit a second edition.  This time, with toy soldiers!  A plastic human team and a plastic orc team would now block and blitz on a three-part styrofoam pitch.  Colored team inserts for end zones were a great touch.  A full colored rulebook with new and revisited illustrations made for an excellent read.  The mechanics were still a little cumbersome, but it was visually superior to the 2-D players that preceded it.

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Blood Bowl, 1994.

Three times is a charm!  Jervis Johnson retooled his parody of American football into something… more.  Rerolls, sand timers, and Coaches screaming “ILLEGAL PROCEDURE!” in the face of cheating (or forgetful) opposition.  Games Workshop retooled their efforts as well.  In the eight years since the first edition, GW was now in full blown mini-mode.  Blood Bowl still had a staple human and orc team, but now there were individual sculpts for positions.  The third edition was a culmination of what preceded it.  Refined miniatures.  Refined rules.  Robust league play.  Robust tournament scene.  But just as Blood Bowl found loyal Coaches far and wide, Games Workshop began using a different compass.  GW moved in a curious business direction, leaving their ‘specialist’ games (Blood Bowl’s categorization) on a back burner.  Eventually, that burner’s light would all be but snuffed.  [hee hee, “butt snuffed.”]. Fortunately for the previous metaphor, the legion of Blood Bowl Coaches around the world would keep the game’s flame of relevance for two decades during publisher neglect.  It’s what I  like to call, “GW’s dark years.”

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Battleball, 2003.

Milton Bradley.  They’re a huge game publisher that works for the lowest common denominator.  The bean counters insist on easily accessible toy-games that look attractive on the shelves of big box stores.  Every once in a while, their disposable and instantly forgettable catalog has something that shines.  Stephen Baker and Craig Van Ness were MB game designers with fondness for the gaming of the British Isles. Baker himself was a Brit, and was responsible for such epic MB / GW crossovers as HeroQuest, Battlemastes, and Space Crusade.  What if?  Just WHAT IF?  Milton Bradley could distill the majestic mayhem of Blood Bowl into an affordable and attractive toy?  It had been done before; Warhammer = Battlemasters.  Space Hulk = Space Crusade.  MB went for it.  Battleball was great!  If you were eight.  Twisting the fantasy of Tolkein tropes to Heinlein tropes was a clever shift in theme.  The dice were pretty and plentiful.  The miniatures were diverse and dynamic.  But the game itself was just too simple.  It didn’t capture the height of it’s giant grandfather, despite starting on it’s shoulders.  MB tried, and the rulebook hinted of future expansion* teams.  It was not to be.  Battleball did not move enough units, and is now a mere fantasy sports board game curiosity.  The best development from this experiment was the strengthening of Baker and Van Ness’ design aesthetic.  They would team up again for perhaps the greatest war game of all time – Heroscape.  It didn’t hurt that Heroscape had the same sculptor from Battleball.

*Expansions?  Oh, yes.  Yes yes yes.  No fantasy sports board game can survive this cut-throat hobby business unless there is always something to sell.  If a publisher doesn’t have something to specifically sell for a popular fantasy sport game?  There will be a vacuum.  And a vacuum will be filled.

Come back in three weeks for ‘One History of Fantasy Sports Board Gaming part two.’  In the meantime, leave a comment below.  Tell the BreadDoll about some sporting footnote between 1982 and 2004 that should not have been ignored.

Hobby Highlight: Magnetising a DreadBall

8mm-Ball
A DreadBall

Introduction

Magnetising your DreadBalls is a fun and practical hobby project. You drill a hole in the bottom of your ball and glue in a magnet. You drill a hole(s) in your miniatures’ bases and glue matching magnets in the bases, taking care to align the polarity correctly otherwise the magnets will repel each other instead of snap together as desired. (Check out this article on magnetising your bases: LINK)

STEP 1: Choosing a ball

There are a few options when is comes to the DreadBalls that are available.

  1. First Edition DreadBall used 6mm balls on a small attached base
  2. Second Edition DreadBall comes with small 4mm balls that detach from their base
  3. You can make or 3D print a custom ball. I use a custom 8mm ball on a base with the same profile as the first edition ball. You can download the 3D print file for my custom DreadBall from Thingiverse.
8mm-Ball-comparison
DreadBalls come in different sizes from 1st Edition to 2nd Edition to custom balls.

In this tutorial I’m going to use my custom, 8mm, ball as the example but the exact same process can be used with all the different balls.

NOTE: If you decide to use the smaller, 2nd Edition, ball(s) I’d recommend gluing the ball into it’s base and letting the glue dry before continuing to step 2 of this tutorial.

STEP 2: Drill a hole

So you’ve chosen your ball and need a hole to put the magnet in. Use a pin vise and a 2mm drill bit to make your hole. You can use a marker to put a little dot where you want the hole to be or you can “eyeball” it but you probably want the magnet in the center of the ball’s base.

Don’t drill too deep. The magnet I’d recommend using is 2mm x 1mm so the hole only needs to be 1mm deep. If you use a larger ball you could use a longer magnet (such as 2mm x 3mm) in which case you’d drill a bit deeper. When you are finished drilling your ball will have a nice hole in the bottom.

STEP 3: Glue in the magnet

Now that your ball has a nice hole to put a magnet in, it’s time to glue in the magnet.

MAGNET

For the official 4mm or 6mm balls I’d recommend using a 2mm x 1mm neodymium magnet. You can get these magnets on Amazon and eBay or you can Google about for other sources. Many game/hobby stores carry magnets as well for just these types of miniatures hobby projects.

eBay: 2mm x 1mm Magnets

When magnetising a larger ball you can use a longer magnet. I use a 2mm x 3mm magnet in my balls. You can buy longer magnets or just stack the 1mm thick magnets to make 2mm x 2mm or 2mm x 3mm sizes.

ORIENTATION/POLARITY/COMPATIBILITY

Magnets have polarity, a North and a South pole. For compatibility’s sake I suggest gluing the magnet into you ball with the North pole towards the sky. If we all do this then all our balls will snap to each other’s bases. To determine the polarity of your magnets see this previous article: LINK

Regardless of whether or not you choose to make sure your balls compatible with everyone else’s, make sure you glue the magnet in your ball and base in matching orientation. You don’t want your base to repel your ball.

GLUING

Use superglue. I like Gorilla Glue brand but any will work fine. Squirt some glue out on a piece of paper or card and then use a toothpick to apply the glue into the hole you drilled. Making sure the magnet is in the orientation you want and then push it into the hole. Use a non-magnetic tool or the table top to make sure the magnet is flush with the bottom of the ball.

DONE

That’s it. Once the glue is dry you have a magnetised ball that will snap on to your magnetised base when your player picks it up. Paint it up all pretty-like and play DreadBall!