Tournament Time: Summer, NADC, and You.

Coaches!  Huddle up, and let a schedule unfold before your marred clip boards.

The North American DreadBall Circuit (NADC) has three, THREE!, summer tournaments on schedule.  You should attend one of these galactic contests.  You should attend two!  YOU SHOULD ATTEND THREE!!!

Not only will each NADC tournament be sanctioned by the DreadBall Governing Body (DGB), they’ll also be sponsored by your favorite little DreadBall blog – the BreadDoll!  How does this impact attending coaches?

BreadDoll = All BreadDoll sponsored tournaments are chock full of awesomeness.  Every participant receives a custom set of Home / Visitor cards.  The tournament winner receives a set of BreadDoll D6.  The tournament loser receives an actual BreadDoll!  And returning Coaches that compete with a different team chip away at the coveted BD30.  Coaches that participate in thirty BreadDoll sponsored tournaments with thirty different teams will receive a painted team from the BreadDoll editors!

cropped-icon.jpg
Hot. Tasty. It’s the BreadDoll.

NADC = All NADC sanctioned tournaments grant tournament winners an entry into the National Championship.

US-NADC-1
North American DreadBall Circuit

DGB = All DGB sanctioned games issue ranking points.  Coaches can build their status over multiple tournaments and claim domination!  Geoff Burbidge is the current raking Leader, and this travesty cannot stand.

Official_DGB_Teams_logo-1-300x268
DreadBall Governing Body

All event information is available on DreadBall.com

[ Editor’s Digression: Have you created a coach profile?  Have you created a team?  Please spend a few moments on DreadBall.com, and make your presence known.  Other coaches need fresh meat.]

COCKSUCKERS DB
Editor’s Z’zor team logo on DreadBall.com –  C.O.C.K.S.U.C.K.E.R.S.

I. Arriving soon – Origenes Cup.  Returning to the Origins Game Fair in Columbus Ohio, DreadBall casts off its peculiar ‘Zero to Hero’ 2017 format for a full fledged 2nd edition throw down.  Friday, June 15th.

 

II. Next on the tournament block, the General Control Cup!  The largest convention in North America, hosts the most Orwellian tournament, for the galaxy’s best coaches.  Get inside the Indianapolis Convention Center on Friday August 3rd.

 

III. Lastly (?), Lansing Michigan attempts a four point Strike with the Nova CTS Cup!  Evolution Games hosts on Sunday August 19th.

33186852_10160665226560554_6991669277090643968_n

The Nova CTS Cup is particularly interesting this year.  In addition to the previously mentioned goodies, BreadDoll co-editor Geoff Burbidge has designed a BreadDoll pitch for prize support.  Hot stuff!

33846063_10160682955375554_6079634419189022720_n

DreadBall league play is brilliant.  One-off matches are super fun.  Ultimate is a chaotic hoot, and even Xtreme needs a ray of light to penetrate it’s dark hangar bay.  But tournaments…  Tournaments offer an opportunity to travel, enhance rankings, eat different food, meet new coaches, and spill blood on the neodurium.  Hopefully, opponents’ blood…

Mutant Team Builder (Excel Sheet)

mutant_guard_grogan_tentacles

I’ve recently been looking at updating my Mutant and Mechanite teams from DreadBall 1st Edition to DreadBall 2nd Edition. In order to help me with this I decided to create an Excel Spreadsheet. I’ve started with the Mutants (for no other reason than they come first in the collected rulebook).

Here is version 1 of the spreadsheet. I will go over how to use it but I tried to make it as user friendly as possible. If you find any problems or have any suggestions for changes please let me know and we’ll get an updated version.

mutant_team_builder_v1.0

mutant_team_builder_v1.1 (Updated: Minimum roles are included initially. Included players are highlighted to be more obvious.)

mutant_team_builder_v1.2 (Updated: option dropdowns now include the mc cost in brackets as an easy reference; included highlights are now color coded by role using the stoplight pattern)

mutant_team_builder_v1.3 (Updated: rows with duplicate mutations are indicated with bold red text)

Here is what the excel file should look like when you open it:

Screenshot 2018-05-22 12.15.11

Most of the options are dropdowns. You don’t need to manually enter any values (unless you want a team value different than 1000mc). Simply select the options you want for each mutant player from the dropdowns and the cost, attributes, and abilities will automatically be updated. Make sure to check the include checkbox for a player to include them in the team value calculation.

To build a team with a value other than 1000mc simply edit cell D1 to the value you’re aiming for. This mc value should always be greater than or equal to 0, otherwise you have over spent (it will turn red if you go over budget).

Team extras can be added at the bottom of the sheet using the spinner controls.

build_mutant_extras

Make sure to pay attention to the rules in yellow. The sheet does not currently notify you of or enforce these rules. Also note that if you give a player 2 internal mutations they must be different from each other.

The Mutant are a fun team to play. Building the various player configurations is also fun hobby time.

Here are some pics of the mutants I built for 1st Edition DreadBall. Now that this sheet is done I’ll need to update the team for 2nd Edition.

Coming soon, Mechanite Builder…

striker_launcher

Pitch Protocols: Famous Formations—The Deep Screen

Famous Formations: The Deep Screen

2018-03-23 19.18.23
Deep Screen Variant. Here, the Yndij have opted to leave the wings of the pitch open in order to try and benefit from the presence of their Captain. They have also added a Pillar to the 3/4 zone should any one break through the screen. Two of the Yndij are serving dual roles, they are both part of the screen, while simultaneously serving as Pillars in the short strike zones to minimize dinking.

The Deep Screen is another defensive oriented formation. The general set-up is to create a Screen of players that maximize threat-hex coverage the width of the pitch. Additionally, these players are set-up deep in their own half of the pitch. This serves two purposes. One, it serves as another way of deterring 3/4 Strike attempts by placing players or threat hexes in the path of the opposition. Two, it minimizes attack opportunities by the opposition as attacking players will need to spend some actions to move into position first. As such, this formation will be typically used by a Visiting Team, though it could be utilized by a Home squad that is planning on slow balling or using a Sucker Draw as well.

Advantages

One of the main advantages of the Deep Screen is the width the formation provides. This leaves very few options for teams that prefer to run around opponents rather than through them. It also creates lots of passive defense opportunities in the form of Evade rolls. Another advantage is that, while still defensive in nature, the players are still free to be more active than if they are in a Castle, so long as they maintain their relative position to their teammates.

Teams with great Movement, defensive abilities (like Duck and Weave, Gotcha!, etc.), and solid Strikers can play an attrition game of giving up short zone Strikes, while countering back to equalize or take the lead. This plays to the strength of being the Visitors, setting up a game winning rush for the end game phase. 

Disadvantages

Having your team set-up so deeply can limit your attacking or counter-attacking opportunities. This can be mitigated, however, in careful assessment of the match-up at hand. If the team you are playing against, or even their coach, prefers a more aggressive style of play, you may find that they will do the bulk of the movement work for you, giving you more actions to counter attack with anyway. Another drawback is that it leaves the front of the pitch open for the opposition to dink and dunk 1’s and 2’s, or to counter with a Sucker Draw. However, if you are the Visitors, it will be easy to assess how much of a threat those options are based on the Home team formation and can be countered accordingly.

Hobby Highlight: The DreadBall Trophies

IMG_7331
The trophies of DreadBall.

The Stanley Cup.  The Claret Jug.  The Yellow Jersey.  The All Valley Karate Championship Trophy…

All sports celebrate their best with a trophy.  DreadBall is no different.  Under Digby’s first edition regime, the penultimate award for winning was a GOLDEN BLAINE.

IMG_7339
Editor’s Note: I won TWO Golden Blaines

Showcasing a trophy in your display cabinet is not optional.  It’s mandatory.  Perhaps a display cabinet is not within reach of every coach.  Alternatives can be made; on top of your icebox, fireplace mantel, or even car hood are perfectly fine locations.  Regardless, it must be visible.

Any yet, trophies have little practical use during DreadBall game play.  Beyond the psychological effect of their presence near an opponent –  they’re too large, too precious, and too heavy.  But there is a solution.  It’s a micro-solution.  It’s the DreadBall Trophy miniatures!

There are six.

[1-3] Previously available only from the first DreadBall Kickstarter, three metal trophies are now included in organized play kits.

[4] Previously available only in the Azure Forest expansion, the planet’s metal trophy is now included in the exceptional Galactic Tour expansion.  Go ahead and buy it.  You’ll want the Medi-Bot and cheerleaders…

[5] Previously available from the first DreadBall Kickstarter and organized play kits, the restic DreadBall Pitch trophy is still available via the Mantic Points system.

[6] Never before available until this BreadDoll post, the restic Golden Blaine!  Pulled from the DreadBall Xtreme game, sponsor Blaine is the same sculpt as the coveted LARGE Golden Blaine.  It’s time to convert him from his role as MVP and sponsor to a miniature trophy.

These six trophies can be used for any sideline role.  A score maker and rush tracker make most sense, but they can even proxy for a cheerleader or coach.  Regardless, they’ll need to rest on a DreadBall base.

IMG_7254
Coaches, prep your bases! Fill 1st edition bases with filler and sand smooth. Wood putty was used in this image.
IMG_7255
Bases were prematurely primed with Army Painter Matt Black. Metal trophies were initially primed with Rustoleum Universal Bonding Primer. Afterwards, minimal flashing was removed with an x-acto blade.
IMG_7260
All trophies were glued to bases with Loctite Go2 Glue, and primed black with Army Painter Matt Black.

With models prepped and raring to go, it’s time to slap paint on them.  With the exception of the Azure Forest trophy, these models are very easy to paint.  For those coaches unfamiliar with the technique of dry brushing, this is a friendly project to begin learning.  In the event of an “accident,” it’s very simple to course correct.

 

Using Army Painter’s Greedy Gold, and a very inexpensive hobby flat hobby brush, load a brush with paint only to remove the majority of it over a dry paper towel.  Even though  all of the paint may appear to be wasted on a piece of disposable towel, pigment still exists on the bristles.  Lightly swipe the brush over the model, and the paint remnants will adhere to the high relief.  It’s a subtle effect over black primer, and that’s fine.  Cover the entire model.  Then, do it again.  The next step is not necessary, but it does offer some additional depth; after the second pass at dry brushing apply a dark wash over the entire model.  Once dry, apply a third pass of gold dry brushing.  Clean up the base with Matt black and varnish with a Matt spray.  Done!

IMG_7274
Do the same with the other models, experimenting with other metallic colors as desired.
IMG_7281
An unnecessary step, but it does add a bit more ‘bling,’ dry brush a layer of Metal Medium over the metallic trophies. Keep in mind; a spray varnish will potentially conceal a portion of this layer.

The Azure model is a bit more challenging.  Using the same dry brushing technique, pass the entire model with a layer of dark gray, followed by light gray, and finish with a white.  A nice achromatic model is ready for some detailing!  Cover the front of the shield with a watered down white.  Once dry, maybe apply another coat of watery paint – but this time use a combination of white, green, and yellow ochre.  Follow up with an application of two or three very watery passes of white over the center of the shield.  While the shield dries, block in the spears with gray, brown, and yellow ochre.  Once that brown is on the palette, water it down and streak it from the edges of the shield towards its center.  Apply some thin green paint to the leaves, and dab some warm colors into the torch.  Almost done!  A tint of green can be dry brushed over the leaves, and the entire shield and spears can receive a wash of brown.  Once dry, apply some war paint streaks of red to the shield’s front.  Clean up the base with Matt black, and spray varnish to complete.

Almost every coach has the same score marker, rush tracker.  And while coaches and cheerleaders offer more variety – these trophies are stand outs.  During league play, they may serve as constant reminders to your regular opponents, “I’m better than you.”  During tournament play, they can be excellent conversation starters.

“How did you win that All Valley trophy?  It’s awesome!”
“My Coach told me to kick my opponent in the face.”

Hobby Highlight: Better Tokens

DreadBall Team Tokens
DreadBall Team Tokens from the original Kickstarter

Here’s a quick tip on how to improve your engraved acrylic tokens. Often these tokens are simply laser engraved and delivered as is. They usually look pretty good but colouring in the engraving really improves their look.

2018-05-01 22.06.29
Uncoloured Token

Using a regular crayon of the colour you want the engraving to be, fill in the engraved area. Don’t worry about getting crayon on the non-engraved part.

2018-05-01 22.07.03
Colour in the engraved areas with a crayon.

After the engraving is coloured in use a paper towel or a dryer sheet to wipe off the excess crayon. Lay the paper towel flat on a table. Place the token, engraved side down, on the paper towel and rub it around to clean it off. You want to keep the token flat against the paper towel so only the non-engraved surface is wiped clean, leaving the crayon filling the engraving.

2018-05-01 22.07.33
Engraving coloured and excess crayon cleaned away.

 

It’s pretty easy to do and the results are great in my experience. I tend to use white crayon on darker coloured acrylic and black crayon on lighter coloured acrylic.

2018-05-01 22.03.35
Forge Father tokens all coloured and cleaned. The white really stands out now.

Important: make sure the acrylic token has a smooth surface before doing this. If the surface is textured it will trap the excess crayon and you won’t be able to wipe it off.

Hobby Highlight: Painting my Marauders

Let’s take a look at how I painted one of the first few teams I painted, the Marauders.

marauders_1

Priming

Since these minis were painted back before I owned an airbrush, I primed them using Army Painter Uniform Grey spray primer.

 

Blue Armor

I started by painting the whole of the armor with Army Painter Wolf Grey. I then washed the Wolf Grey with Blue Tone. I dry brushed over that with the Wolf Grey again before doing a more directed highlight with the wolf grey. Finally I did a second highlight using a 1:1 mix of Wolf Grey and White.

 

White Armor

For the white armor I carefully painted white over the blue leaving the lines dividing the armor unpainted. I then did a light wash of Crystal Blue thinned down with water.

 

 

Skin

I started with Greenskin for the skin (obvious right?) and then gave it a wash of Green Tone. I did a first highlight using Goblin Green and then a second highlight using a 1:1 mix of Goblin Green and Necrotic Flesh.

Grey Armor Parts

I used the same armor grey formula I use frequently. The Uniform Grey base had a Dark Tone wash applied, then was highlighted back up using Uniform Grey again, followed by Ash Grey.

 

Red

For the red I started with a base of 2:1 Pure Red and Ash Grey washed with Red Tone. I then did a second wash with Red Tone to really darken the shading. I did a highlight of Pure Red followed by a second highlight of 1:1 Pure Red and Skeleton Bone.

I also painted the eyes red with a tiny white highlight.

Brown

The leather straps where done with Leather Brown washed with a Strong Tone and highlighted using Dessert Yellow.

Claws and Teeth

I used Skeleton Bone for the base and then applied a wash of Soft Tone to the edge of the area. A white highlight was used to finish them.

 

And there you have it. The last thing I did was to paint a “J” or a “G” on the minis’ back to indicate the player’s Role.

goblin_position_back

That’s how I painted my Marauder team.

Marauder_Team