Scattered Scullery: Happy Halloween!

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Confronting the brute strength of Buzzcut is scary.  A Hobgoblin Hulk is a fright to all.  But for the holiday of haunt, what if there was an entire team of terror?

Happy Halloween Coaches!  Before you lies a morgue of marvels (pun intended).  The BreadDoll presents a Mantic-Marvel crossover; THE LEGION OF MONSTERS!

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Originally conceived as a ghastly gang of coaching assistants, this editor-in-chief collected a batch of Heroclix miniatures for easy conversion.  A few witching hours later, and their true intent was clear.  The monsters needed to play!

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Custom teams are silly.  It’s the flaccid writing of fandom and fanatics.  And yet, here’s a DreadBall team of Silver Age monsters.  Why?  WHY?!  A horror hound at heart, this BreadDoller just wanted some menacing coaches on the sidelines.  After the little terrors were beautified*, and ready for a roster – I couldn’t stop wondering.  What if Dracula was a DreadBall player?  Werewolf by Night?  The thought experiment reached an inevitable and creepy conclusion.  The character stats are wonky, buy thematic.  They’re over-powered, but not without vulnerabilities.  Fun?  Absolutely.

*

Beautiful creatures?  It can be done.  Heroclix are numerous, and with limitations set; inexpensive.  Cut ’em off their base, mount ’em to your painting support, and spray ’em with a Matt varnish.  The varnish will serve as a transparent “primer” for your custom brush work.  They need the attention, because their pre-paint jobs are truly terrifying.  Nevertheless, don’t strip ’em.  Just use the pre-paint horror show as an undercoat.

Pitch Protocols: Tactics Talk—ALPHA STRIKE!

Pitch Protocols: Tactics Talk—ALPHA STRIKE!

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Going for goal! The Teratons are not in a good position to respond if this goes in….

There is no denying that there is a lot of power in having the first Rush in a DreadBall match. For many teams, the most effective way to utilize this advantage is to immediately put the opposition under pressure. This can take many forms depending on the teams involved, but it is decidedly the opposite of Sucker Draw. Rather than “wrong-footing” your opponent, you want them on their back feet (or….claws?) and scrambling from behind, constantly forced to react the entire match. 

The Alpha Strike is simply an exercise in maximizing your first Rush opportunities and putting points on the board. What these opportunities are, depends on the match up. For a Bashy team, the opportunities are marking high priority targets for slams. Most likely these targets will be the oppositions biggest scoring threat, but sometimes a role player may be the better option (Undulan Guards, for example). Against other Bashy teams, you may look to take out their most punishing slammer, reducing the effectiveness of their retaliation efforts.

For more finesse squads, the Alpha Strike will be all about maximizing their own scoring efforts. This typically means going for the 3/4 zone, but situations may dictate a 2-point strike as more appropriate. For example, a Castle that your team just can’t seem to shift. Tactically, that could call for a change of plans and switching to a Slow Ball approach. However, if you’re confident in your team’s ability to make the strikes and outpace the opposition in scoring over the course of the match, sling away!

Of course, Alpha Striking a defensive set-up is exactly the sort of thing you want to try and pull off. Your opponent has positioned their team to try to defend that very scenario, and will be ill-equipped to immediately respond. There are a couple of tools you will want to remember to enable this.

  1. Don’t forget to SPRINT! To get the most out of your actions, you will need to cover a lot of the pitch quickly. To get a player in position to Slam open a scoring lane, consider Sprinting them into position….just be sure to stop at least one hex away so you can be sure to get the momentum bonus when you Slam.
  2. Abilities! Things like Phaser, Feint, Take a Dive, Push, Ram, Shove, Strong Tail, Shock Collar and Brush Aside can greatly assist your efforts on opening lanes, some time with relative ease!

To maximize your scoring opportunities, try and have a DreadBall card in hand when you make the Strike attempt. Either because you have one from your starting hand, have earned one through fan checks (Cheer Factory perhaps?), or just flat out buy one with an action. Having a reroll on hand helps increase your odds!

Lastly, don’t forget to think about the next Rush. It’s all well and good to grab the lead, but you want to be sure to either impede your opponents progress to respond in kind, or simply deny them opportunities to chip away at your roster in a battle of attrition. Odds are, you won’t be able to prevent everything, but you can certainly make their rush less efficient by having to spend more actions to get the job done!

Don’t forget, missing a Strike won’t necessarily be a detriment either. Having the ball deep in their end of the pitch still puts them under a certain amount of pressure, especially if they are a slower moving team that will struggle to advance it down to your end. Sometimes it’s simply the speed and the threat of your scoring potential that will force your opponent into less than ideal plays. Simple panic that shakes them off their game. It happens. 

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Put them under pressure, score early, score often.

Good luck!

League Logistics: Season Starter & Preferred Play

A new DreadBall season has launched!  A new CORT DreadBall season.  Long time BreadDoll readers will know this editor-in-chief throws the most Strikes in league play.  League Play is the best play.  The Citizens Of Rage Town have been fortunate to compete and curse one another over seven seasons.  Rivalries have formed.  Collusion has been plotted.  Membership has expanded and traditions have been established.  Tradition is important.  Without ritual, import can lessen, brotherhood can diminish, and hazing cannot be exacted.

Some CORT league traditions were plotted.  Like trophies.  Other traditions were impromptu.  This BreadDoll post chronicles a lesser known tradition for CORT; the announcement of team selection for an upcoming season.

Since CORT’s second season, Coaches take turns announcing their team selection over a private group in a popular social media site.  The tradition is rather simple.  From the previous season’s last place Coach (Sacko winner) to the Champ (DreadBalls Trophy Champion), announcements must be made within a seventy-two hour window.  Selection is strategic, and the meta-game must be considered.  Too “bashy?”  Movement too low?  What’s the Skill on those Strikers?!  Coaches pick wisely, and find the perfect method of deliver announcement.  Sarcasm, snark, and sniping are in order.

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A new season requires a new banner. CORT season 8 is… “THE OCHO.”
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Coach Dave bucks the trend. Dave is our newest CORT inductee. New Coaches get their pick of the litter. Dave originally posted a picture of his beautifully painted MATSUDAN team. The rest of CORT was appreciative, but we ‘asked’ him to follow-up with an announcement that was a bit more… CORT.  He delivered.  Welcome to CORT old chap.
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CORT Season 7 Sacko winner Gavrie announced his selection with a locust swarm. He’s buffing his Z’ZOR exoskeletons.
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Coach Steve is an amazing fine arts photographer. His forte? Framing shots of miniature robots/automatons destroying humanoid dioramas. This pic not only captures one of Steve’s creations, it also captures his team selection. MECHANITES.
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I had a tough season 7 with the Z’zor. Hubris got the best of me, and my two glorious Bug Guards got sent to the locker room before the playoffs. This time around? I wanted a team with a theme I could get behind. I’m a horror hound, and I love blood and bots and bits. My selection deliberately took 71.5 hours, and I chose the CYBORGS.
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Coach Jamie fielded the brutal and brutally slow Matsudan in season 7. In season 6, his weapon of choice were the Tsudochan. Fed up with slow movement and too many Jacks, season 8 is built for speed. He posted a video of the ‘Renegades of Funk.’ Catchy, because his YNDIJ team name is ‘Renegades of Drunk.’
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Coach Alex was subtle? He posted this pic, and left many of us guessing. I thought, “CONVICTS!” Another coach thought “REJECTS!” Nope. Alex schooled us all with a US of A college football reference; Ol Miss. REBELS.
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DreadBalls Trophy Champion x 4, and nemesis to all, Coach Zak posted a video. The BreadDoll can’t afford to post videos, so here’s another still. Quint makes a declaration after an evening of drinking. It ain’t good. SPHYR.
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And last year’s DreadBalls Champion, Coach Brett, drops this little gem. A bit of a deep dive unless you graduated from Hogwarts or Trump University. NAMELESS.
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Scheduling eight professional adults is tricky business. Season 8’s Kickoff was no exception, and we could only muster 6. And so dice were rolled. Coach Zak and Dave had to square off on their own (Dave won).
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A new tradition is made! At least for this season. For every game with the Renegades of Drunk, a celebratory shot MUST be consumed!
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‘Reach’ is total BS.
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These robots are buckets-of-broke against space cats/squirrels.
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This match looks like a Greek lunch platter.
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Seafood and guests and DreadBall. 3 day limit.
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And so, CORT’s DB S8 wraps a evening of play sans two Coaches. Their numbers still need to be recorded, but here begins the new record! May the best Coach win.

DreadBall is a splendid game.  Not without warts, but a deep dive does not go without reward.  One-offs are fun, and tournaments are an occasional hoot.  But if any BreadDoll reader can wrangle a few like-minded mates together?  There are few things more enjoyable than a 90 minute game of miniature Space Jam, coupled with pints and close friends.  League play!  Do it!

Adepticon Preparation

Adepticon is fast approaching. It’s not actually until the end of March but it sure feels like not much time. I have a lot of DreadBall projects I need or just want to get done for Adepticon.

  1. Paint my Adepticorp Cup tournament team (Cyborgs)
  2. Make a 3D pitch
  3. Assemble and paint a DreadBall diorama
  4. Prep for League in a Night II
  5. Mystery project

I’m planning to play the Cyborgs in the Adepticorp Cup tournament at Adepticon. I need to figure out my roster and then paint the team. Since I don’t already have them painted I’ll need to paint the default roster plus any extra players I want for my tournament roster. Here are some color test I did for how I think I’d like to paint my Cyborg team.

I’ve already done a bit of a write up about my 3D pitch. I haven’t made enough progress to give much more information yet.

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Early 3D pitch layout planning…

 

I’ve wanted to make a DreadBall miniature diorama for some time. I figure Adepticon is good motivation to do so. I have the parts assembled for a scene of Kalyshi vs Yndij. Now I need to get to work (so much work).

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This past March at Adepticon we did a League in a Night event. It was great fun so we’re doing it again. The idea is you play 4-5 games of DreadBall like in a tournament but you advance your team like you would in a League. I’m looking forward to League in a Night 2 (LiaN2) as much or more than the Adepticorp Cup tournament. I haven’t decided on a team yet. I need to figure out my team and get them painted up (if need be). I also need to prepare all the schedule and documents to actually run the event.

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I have one more project I’m working on (as if I didn’t have WAY too much to get done already in the next 5 months). The Sole Survivors.

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The Sole Survivors

Pitch Protocol: Tactics Talk—Put me in Coach!

Pitch Protocol: Tactics Talk—Put me in Coach!

One of the important aspects of managing your team, isn’t just the players, but also your sideline staff. As you can see from some of the articles on BreadDoll, we are rather fond of these assorted hangers on that help boost your teams performance in various ways. This week, let’s take a closer look at Coaching Assistants and how they can help your team perform their best on the pitch.

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A lot of variety…and useful too!

What do they do? 

Well, there are four main abilities that Coaching Assistants have access to, as well as a special fifth one we will get to in a bit. These are Hustle, Playbook, Challenge, and Prepare. Each has its purpose, but will be more or less useful depending on which team you are using and your style of play.

Hustle: This is the ace in the hole. It’s a flat re-roll and that can always be handy to have. Now, it may only be a single dice, but it only takes ONE success to make a Strike. And you never know when just one more success can mean the difference between Doubling your opponent or just winning a roll, or staying on the pitch, or…….or….you get the picture.

Playbook: Folks don’t use this one very often, but it’s designed for a particular style of play. Teams with Linked and Run Interference can get some mileage out of this, as well as coaches who just like to hoard action cards to do a lot of work later in the game….like Rebs perhaps? But by getting to draw an extra card and choosing which to use, you can help improve your chances of getting a card you want or need for your nefarious game plans…don’t want all those Specials getting in the way of those beautiful Blue Action cards now, do we?

Challenge: Okay, so this probably won’t be high up on the list for Matsudan, Ada-Lorena, or Judwan Coaches…..but I’d be shocked if it wasn’t used by Zee or Convict teams. Getting an extra dice to get away with playing dirty is nothing to sneeze at!

Prepare: This is a great way to set-up some otherwise impossible plays, or thwart those of your opponents. Watch them spend all those actions trying to “legally” run around your Hulk to hit him from behind…..only for you to be ready and turn to face them! Wanting to hit that deep pass, but you had to Sprint down there and are facing the wrong way? Not anymore! This in many ways is like granting yourself an extra Action in the right situation!

Now, those are the four main abilities that any Coaching Assistant can use. However, I can’t leave out Physio!

Physio: This is a special ability that can ONLY be used by Medi-bots. In fact, it’s the only ability they can use. But hey, there is something really comforting about having a team medic on the sideline. Should a player you are counting on get put out of the game, you can quickly return them to action! There is nothing worse than having your prized team captain or MVP put out early and incapable of contributing on the pitch….this lets you get the most out of your well spent credits! Not to mention, teams with questionable armour can get a lot of use out this too, keeping them in games that would otherwise be a losing battle of attrition.

Anyway, there you have it, a quick summary of Coaching Assistants and a few hints at how they may benefit your squad. Now don’t just sit there! Put ‘me in Coach, they’re ready to play!

Hobby Highlight: The Subtle Insanity of Cyborg Noise

Of the thirty published teams for DreadBall, one of my most enjoyable hobby experiences was painting the Cyborgs.  Enjoyable, but also bat guano crazy.  I chose a time consuming, and messy painting strategy in order to make the Revenants ready for prime-time.  Herein lies the tale of technique that is not recommended for the squeamish or impatient.

Visually, DreadBall Cyborgs are a lot of meat bags with mechanical parts.  Ratios of meat to mechanics may differ depending on the sculpt.  They are cobbled together and their finish is not… refined.  With no worries toward polish, I knew I wanted these bots to look battle worn.  I wanted layered history, and I knew that required…

NOISE.

Follow along in a picture gallery of sameness, subtlety, and toothbrush subversion!

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Skipping a few initial steps, but please follow along. Miniatures get washed. Miniatures get mold lines removed. Miniatures get primed Uniform Gray (The Army Painter).
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For the next million steps, inexpensive craft paint is the solution. Water down a variety of hues and grab an old toothbrush. Alternatively, grab your wife’s toothbrush.
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Dip the old toothbrush into the watered down paint, and “flick” the solution onto the miniatures while aiming for a fine spray/mist result.
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Same as before, but instead of a muted red – it’s a muted blue!
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Third application? A muted green.
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It’s a dirty job, but somebody has got to do it.
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After three applications of “paint mist,” this Cyborg Orx is looking… Pretty stupid. Forward!
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Steps 4, 5, and 6 are drybrushing! Again, inexpensive craft paint is used as is an inexpensive craft brush. There is no need to damage pricey and professional brushes when dealing with this kind of technique.
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After three gentle and loose drybrush applications, this Cyborg Orx is looking… Less stupid.
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More mist! Steps 7, 8, 9, and 10? Yes yes yes and yes. Mist away!
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The Cyborg Orx is getting there. But why stop after 10 steps? WHY NOT MORE?!
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Steps 11, 12, and 13 = more mist spray. 13 is a lucky number, right?
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I think 13 IS a lucky number. Misting is declared FINISHED. I put my wife’s toothbrush back into the medicine cabinet.
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Nicer paint with a mid-grade brush: MORE DRYBRUSHING!
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After 15 steps of misting and drybrushing, I feel these Cyborgs have enough layering. They have enough NOISE.
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Blocking in the bits. In hindsight, I regret not “blacking out” certain appendages before all of the NOISE. No matter now, the end is in sight! March forward and disregard uniformity. Variety is the spice of Cyborg finishes.
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A few colored washes (The Army Painter), a few light valued highlights, and a few lines of powdered… caffeine. These Cyborg Orx are done!
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Magentized bases using the CORT stoplight pattern and these piles of puke are ready for the pitch. There are a lot of vibrant colors with DreadBall uniforms. I’m pleased to see these Players are a bit less saturated. It’s a nice contrast.  EDITOR’S NOTE: This particular team looks like a hot mess.  I’ll reshoot and repost.

If any BreadDoll readers have questions about the techniques deployed or my mental health, please comment below.  I also welcome any suggestions for a team name.  I’m fielding the Cyborgs onto the pitch next week for my league’s EIGHTH season of DreadBall.

Though I’ve yet to commit to a team name, I lean towards CSI (Cyborg Sex Initiative).  My Players have been identified.

Orx Guard 1 Julius

Orx Guard 2 TJ

Nameless Guard Otto

Human Jack (M) 1 Anakin

Human Jack (M) 2 Alex

Human Jack (F) 7o9

Judwan Striker Sal

Kalyshi Striker No.6