Hobby Highlight: Painting my Neo-bots

In my second article on painting a DreadBall team, let’s look at the Neo-bots.




I started, as always, with a gray primer. These days I use Stynylrez Gray Primer sprayed on using an airbrush.

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Orange Base

The armor’s orange hue was started by spraying a base coat of colors using the airbrush, moving from Dragon Red -> Lava Orange -> Light Orange -> Light Orange:White (1:1)



Base Colors

After the orange base was sprayed on I painted the other base colors. For the blue, a 1:1 mix of Deep Blue and Necromancer Cloak. For the grey, Uniform Grey.



On top of the sprayed base coat, I lined the orange areas using a thinned down Blood Red (Game Color)



Next, I applied Highlights along the edges using a 1:1 mix of Pale Yellow and Light Orange, followed by a spot highlight with just Pale Yellow.



The blue was highlighted using a 1:1 mix of Deep Blue and Crystal Blue followed by a further highlight using straight Crystal Blue.


The Uniform Grey base had a Dark Tone wash applied, then was highlighted back up using Uniform Grey again, followed by Ash Grey.


For the eyes I dry brushed Pure Red heavily around the visor and then put dots of pur white on the eyes over the red.


The base is painted in plain black.






Pitch Protocols: The Playbook pt. 4–The Set-up!

The calm before the storm! Your set-up makes a major impact on the rest of the match…choose wisely!

Okay, so, you understand your team. You’ve considered the match-up at hand and have determined your Overall Strategy for the match. Now, it’s time to set-up! The set-up is the crowning piece of the pre-game phase, it’s what all the other facets built upon. The set-up also dramatically impacts the in-game phase as well. Therefore, it is vital to do your team justice and set-up with purpose!

However, there are a few other considerations to take into account. Primarily, are you the Home team? Or are you the Visitors? This distinction is important. You may have it in your mind to play some Run-N-Gun, and unleash an offensive blitz on your opponent. To that end, you set-up your Strikers aggressively across the Launch line. Problem number 1: You are the Visitor. Problem number 2: Your opponent has also set-up aggressively, with a very bashy squad….

The Home team has to set-up first. As the Home team, it’s best to consider your set-up in terms of what you want to accomplish. After all, while the Visiting team may get a chance to react to your set-up, YOU get the first rush. Do not put yourself in positions that prevent you from implementing your game plan from the start. Many times I have seen, for example, a coach set up a Guard deep in their own half, then waste two actions just getting that Guard into the opponent’s end of the pitch. If you want your Guard to be be able to mix it up early and often, set them up appropriately! Likewise, if you have a particular player you want to field the ball for you, make sure they are positioned within reach of it!

The Visiting team has a little trickier time of it. While there is the advantage of seeing how the Home team will set-up, you have to be a little more reactive in anticipating what the Home team will do. They will be going first, so it’s important to account for how their strategy may interact with yours. Their set-up may tip you off as to what they intend to do, but also be mindful of what they are capable of doing (their strengths, abilities, etc.) as well.

Again, in our example above, setting Strikers across the launch line may be less than ideal against the bashy team. It gives them plenty of easily accessible targets to tee-off on, meaning they will be able to optimize their action token expenditures on implementing their game plan. There may be times you would want to do this, but most likely, you will want to set up in such a way that they have to “waste” some actions merely getting into position to Slam, minimizing the damage they are able to inflict on your roster. Against high-scoring, but weak slamming teams, you might see Visiting teams clog Strike Zones with players to try and minimize scoring opportunities for their opponents. This is the concept of “action denial”. While the Home team my go first, there is no sense in letting them optimize their rush. Force them to spend actions on moving and repositioning as opposed to scoring or slamming, as this reduces just how much they are able to effectively accomplish in a rush.

This is why you see set-ups like deep screens or castles, as the Visiting team looks to survive the first rush onslaught. However, be warned. Too extreme of a deep set-up will leave you either susceptible to a sucker-draw, or in danger of being unable to effectively utilize your own rush when control of play comes back to you.

This concludes the Pre-game Phase. Next, we will move the Playbook into the In-game Phase. However, we will still be talking about the Pre-game in analyzing specific set-ups for both their Strengths and Weaknesses. This will be a new article section devoted to specific tactics. First up: The Castle!

Hobby Highlight: DreadBall Bases (Part 2)


Once you’ve decided on how you’re going to base your DreadBall minis, you have to decide how you’re going to paint the base. Some coaches like the unpainted, clear look, but for this post; we’ll assume you’re going to paint your bases.

You could just pick your favourite colour and slap it on the base.  However, a DreadBall base ideally needs to convey which edges are the threat hexes.  Painting your DreadBall base also provides an opportunity to show additional information.  Using different colours on your bases can indicate the Role (Guard/Jack/Striker) of the particular model.

There are a few different colour patterns which the DreadBall community uses to indicate a player’s Role.

Stoplight Pattern

  • Red: Guard
  • Yellow: Jack
  • Green: Striker

Patriotic Pattern

  • Red: Guard
  • White: Jack
  • Blue: Striker

Greyscale Pattern

  • Black: Guard
  • Grey: Jack
  • White: Striker

Below are several different pattern examples for DreadBall bases indicating the threat hexes and player Roles.  In these diagrams I used my Mark V base as the template being coloured (for more info on the Mark V base see Part 1 of these DreadBall base articles).

Coaches’ Corner: Don Squires

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!

Also in the Coaches’ Corner:

Rush Report / Tournament Time: Clash of the Giants 3 results

Clash of the Giants 3 was held on Sunday January 28, 2018.  Ten coaches threw down Slams and Strikes in a battle of big boasts.  Literally.  Coaches were encouraged to hire an MVP Giant as part of their inducements.

Coach / Team / Tournament Points / Record / Fan Check / Total Injuries*

1) Don S. / Renton Rejects / 8 / 4-0 / 52 / 2 [Nameless Spawn]
2) Xanth S. / Male Corp. / 6 / 3-1 / 59 / 3 [Nameless Spawn]
3) Nathan / Mastudan / 4 / 2-2 / 50 / 2 [no Giant 😦 ]
4) Dean W. / Veer-myn / 4 / 2-2 / 48 / 1 [Karadon]
5) Lee M. / Sphyr / 4 / 2-2 / 23 / 3 [Karadon]
6) Andrew W. / Male Corp. / 4 / 2-2 / 20 / 0 [Big Mech]
7) Geoff B. / Neobots / 4 / 2-2 / 16 / 1 [Barricade]
8) Steve S. / Metabots / 4 / 2-2 / 13 / 0 [Barricade]
9) Daria W. / Martians / 2 / 1-3 / 39 / 2 [Big Mech]
10) Cael M. / Teratons / 0 / 0-4 / 22 / 5 [Dozer]

For ranking purposes, I prioritized; tournament points > record > fan checks.  Fan checks are far more egalitarian in the second edition.

* Serious Injuries were only tracked to award The “Most Brutal” Trophy.

I also asked all coaches to track experience for their players.  I was curious to see how far a player could advance in a tournament setting.  No ability upgrades were granted between matches; the tracking was merely an experiment.  Without the league consideration of serious injuries, Nathan had a Mastudan Jack earn 28 experience. He won the “Most Experienced” trophy as well as 3rd place.


Cael does not care about winning. He only cares about killing. Credit to him, he wanted the “Most Violent” trophy – he got the “Most Violent” trophy.  He also came in last place and won the delicious BreadDoll.


Xanth is an intense coach and familiar with tournament loot.  His trophy collection saw the addition of both “Most Popular” (previously called Fan favorite) and 2nd place.


The only Coach to conquer Xanth was his own father.  Like Cronos devouring his children, Don took home the GIANT first place trophy.


And for bragging rights, the employees of Victory Comics selected Dean’s Karadon as the “Best Painted” Giant.


It’s important to note; Clash of the Giants 3 was the first BreadDoll sanctioned event.  All coaches received Home and Visitor cards with the event title.


Additionally, Champion Don Squires will be receiving a set of BreadDoll dice.  Congrats Dad!


Lastly, all coaches and their teams have been recorded.  They are BreadDollers, and they have an epic charge:


This goal will take years to complete, and it will not go unrewarded.  Any BreadDoll coach that accomplishes this lofty objective will get a painted team from the BreadDoll staff.

One down.  Twenty nine to go.

At the end of the day, coaches with a parched throat traveled to the Space Bar for a pint.  Or three.  Cheers.


Hobby Hangout: Photoshop Magic – Testing Colors

Usually the first step, before I start painting a miniature, is to figure out what color(s) I want to use. For some time now I’ve been using Photoshop to do this, coloring underneath the Mantic DreadBall concept art.

In this article I will go over the way that I do this. I’m not trying to teach you how to use Photoshop, although I will try and keep it straight forward. The focus is more about how I use Photoshop to color in the concept art, to get a better idea how the final colors used to paint the miniatures will look.

For this article I’m going to use the Koris concept art.


Open the file in Photoshop.

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Duplicate the layer that was created and delete the original layer (it was locked when you opened it and we want an unlocked layer to work with.

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Create a new layer and fill it with white to be a plain white background for the final image.

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The most important step is to set the type of the concept art layer to MULTIPLY. This allows the colors applied beneath this layer to show through but the dark lines of the art are still visible.

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Next I select the shape of the art using the Magic Wand tool. This should get you almost all the way to the selection you want to fill with your base color.

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You can use Quick Mask mode to see if the Magic Wand selected everything the way you wanted. If not you can use the Brush and Eraser to manually fix the selection in Quick Mask mode.

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Once the selection looks good turn off Quick Mask, invert the selection, create a new layer and fill it with a base color. The color(s) you pick initially don’t matter because you’ll be able to easily change them. What is important is the order of the layers and the shapes they fill in.

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As you can see the artwork is visible overtop the colored layer becasue it is set to MULTIPLY.

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At this point I often adjust the Levels of the art to make the blacks sharper but it’s not necessary.

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The concept art often looks like its on the little round base, if it’s not I like to add it in. I draw a black oval and move the layer to the bottom, just above the white background.

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I like to label my layers so it’s clear what they are.

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I then start creating new layers above the base layer, and filling in colors where I think I will like them.

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I CTRL-Click on the base layer to select it while I paint on the new layers. This ensures I don’t ever paint outside the original shape.

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With the Koris I started by using the Brush tool to paint the various hoses. Again use whatever color you like, here I chose a grey.

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You can use the Zoom tool to zoom in to make it easier to paint the areas you’re working on. Also adjusting the size of the Brush helps a lot. Use the keyboard short cuts for the Brush (b), Eraser (e), and to resize the brush and eraser ({) (}) so you don’t have to keep going back to the various menus and toolbars.

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If you paint over the lines, use the Eraser (e) to clean it up.

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There, hoses colored.

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Repeat this process to create as many different layers of color as you want.

I colored the lights…

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the mouth…

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the teeth…

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and some armor panels.

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Once you have all the color layers you want, you can start changing the colors. Double click on a layer to open the Layer Style panel and use the Color Overlay section to change the layer color. I started by choosing a dark grey for the base color.

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You can also use the Layer Style’s various shadow and glow options to give your color layers a semblance of shading but you don’t need to if that seems too confusing at first.

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Repeat this process to adjust the colors how you like. Look through this gallery to see screenshots of the steps I took.

This is what I came up with for my first pass.

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You can play around with it and try all the different color combinations you can imagine.

I look forward to seeing the cool color combinations you can come up with. It’s a lot of information to take in, if you have any questions Follow the blog and post questions in the comments section or email us.

Good luck.