The Coaches’ Corner is an in-depth interview with DreadBall Coaches, Commissioners, and Creators. A game is fourteen rushes, and the interview is fourteen questions.
Don Squires is on the subs bench for this iteration, and he’s agreed to answer some BreadDoll questions while polishing his latest trophy – first place at the Clash of the Giants III tournament.
Don Squires. A Baltimore Ravens fan with Scottish blood and temperment. Also, a consistent DreadBall tournament winner.
1. How did you first learn about DreadBall?
A local game store had it set up as a display. I inquired about the game and was basically told it was a sports minis game, sort of like Blood Bowl. For the record it’s not like Blood Bowl, but for a brief two minute sales pitch I guess it works. My son is really into sports so I thought I’d investigate further to see if it would be something interesting for the two of us to play. After finding the Dreadball Academy videos online and watching them, I picked up the game itself.
2. What do you remember about your first game?
I had a pretty good handle on the rules after watching the videos so it was mostly a teaching game with my son. I know we played Trontek vs. Smackers, but I don’t remember who was who or who won. However, I enjoyed it enough to keep playing.
3. What is your favorite team?
Oh, tough one. I can find reasons to like pretty much any of them. Right now though, I’m really digging the Rejects. So versatile, and I love the non uniformity of the team. Like a school yard pick, here; you guys are a team now.
4. Who is your favorite MVP?
Another tough one. Buzzcut and No. 88 are favorites for obvious reasons. The Pretorian was one of the first ones I ever purchased, so it has a special place in my heart. Hector Weiss (Speedball II), I just love that guy, I’m really saddened by him not being included in the second edition. House rules here we come!
5. How do you primarily play DreadBall? [One-off, league, tournament, Xtreme, Ultimate]
League. My son and I run a league. It’s just the two of us, but we switch off all the teams, make a schedule for them, and mutually agree on upgrades or purchases
for each. We just started our seventh season, our biggest yet. Twenty four teams. When it’s all said and done we’ll have played two hundred and forty games of Dreadball for the season, not including playoffs. It’ll probably take six months.
6. What do you do when you are not playing DreadBall?
I work, try to maintain a household, all the usual stuff. I’m an avid gamer though. I’m currently participating in both a Blood Bowl and a GuildBall league. I also have a D&D group that meets weekly. I also enjoy the X-wing minis game, and sometimes other games hit my table. I’m sad to say that I haven’t even opened my Star Saga yet.
7. Which opposing team do you… Dread… the most?
In the old rules it was the convicts, hands down. Shock collar was just crazy powerful. Now though, I’m not sure I dread any of them. Mantic has done a great job balancing the teams.
8. Describe your most memorable DreadBall Rush.
So many. Needing a three point Strike to tie the game in the last Rush, I was blocked off by my opponents castle. With no Guards or Jacks available I had a Striker dodgeball an opposing Jack in frustration. Not only did the Jack get knocked down, the ball scattered to another of my Strikers, who doubled the catch and scored the the game tying Strike.
9. The second edition has just reached Kickstarter Backers’ hands. Still, what would you like to see from DreadBall in the future?
I honestly don’t know. It already has a glut of teams and mvps. Maybe some more exotic pitches and locations like the Azure forest.
10. How far have you traveled to play DreadBall?
About an hour and half. I’d be willing to travel farther though.
11. You are an accomplished tournament coach. HOW DO YOU KEEP WINNING?
Familiarity. Playing as much DreadBall as I have, with as many different teams as I have, gives me good insight. Not just with the game, but with my team, and my opponents team in most cases. Playing a lot has prepared me for any situation I might encounter on the pitch, because chances are, I’ve encountered it before. Also understanding exactly how my chosen team plays and what it can and can’t accomplish helps a great deal too. Finally, understanding my opponents team. When I sit down and look across the pitch, chances are I’ve played with that team multiple times before. So, just like understanding my own team, knowing what my opponent is likely to try and do, gives me an advantage. That’s all very Sun-Tzu like there, but its true.
12. You play a lot of sports games. How does DreadBall differ from Blood Bowl and Guild Ball, and do you prefer one more than another?
All three are very different. Fundamentally, each tries to emulate a different sport, so the differences are right there without even getting in to the rule sets. For tactical depth, I honestly have to say Guild Ball is the best. It’s rule set is deep, and the way the characters interact with each other and their opponents adds layers upon layers. DreadBall, is a little lighter tactically, but offers speed of play. I can knock out a game in a hour, where the others take two or even three! Blood Bowl is the weakest of the three. It offers very little tactically, and seems like no matter what team you play, there is only one way to play. It’s also more of a dice fest, and a very unforgiving game. Not that it isn’t fun.
13. Jesus Ortiz! Why are your teams unpainted?
Painting is an aspect of the hobby that I like least. I love minis, I hate painting them. Also, I’d rather play than paint, so if there is a chance to play, I’m in. Painting takes time away from my play time. Also, I’m lazy when it comes to painting.
14. If you won a BreadDoll in tournament play (last place), would you; eat it immediately in front of attending coaches, or wait until you were in the privacy of your locker room?
Me, earn a BreadDoll? Inconceivable! LOL. No, if I did, I’d eat it right there. It’s all in fun, and a great way to poke fun at yourself.
Many thanks to Don for the interview, and may all of his future sixes explode. Unless he’s playing me!
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