Hobby Highlight: The Law

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Back in November of 2016 my fellow BreadDoll editor Andrew hosted a DreadBall tournament call “Judgement Day”. The idea was that the referee for every game in the tournament would be Judge Dredd.

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For those that aren’t familiar. Back in 1st Edition DreadBall there were alternate referee rules for using Judge Dread instead of the RefBot. Mantic produced a Ref Dredd mini. It was great fun.

Although Andrew was providing Ref Dredd models to use on the day I still decided to paint my own (above). I also decide to take it as far as I could and create a whole team of Judge Dredd themed judges to use as my team in the tournament. A conversion was needed.

I found some heads that were the key to my conversion at Puppetswar. They are sold as “Executioner Heads”.

I decided to use the Trontek 29ers as the basis of my conversion. Before buying the heads, which looked perfect, I did a few mock-ups in Photoshop.

I was happy with the mock-ups. I ordered the heads. Looking more at the mock-ups while I waited for the parts to arrive, it occurred to me that the conversion would need one more thing. Badges. I set about designing a tiny little badge in 3D and doing another mock-up.

Again the mock-up pleased me and the 3D badge design looked good. It was time to send the 3D file off and get it printed. I sent my design for printing using Shapeways and the result was perfect.

I cut off the Trontek 29ers heads using modelling clippers. Some crazy glue and patience later I had attached the new heads and badges. It was time to paint them. A quick color test to start.

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To paint the blue body of the judges I used Army Painter Ultramarine Blue. I washed the base color with Army Painter Dark Tone before applying another layer of Ultramarine Blue as a highlight.

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The green boots & gloves were base coated in Army Painter Army Green and washed with Army Painter Green Tone. A highlight of Army Painter Goblin Green finished it off.

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The yellow bits were base coated using Army Painter Lava Orange. Reaper MSP Candlelight Yellow was applied over the orange base.

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Some red, black and flesh details completed the look. Clearly it was far from my most complicated paint job but the results were satisfactory. The team was done and the conversion looked great. The Law was ready for Judgement Day!

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Pitch Protocols: Team Analysis—Ninth Moon Tree Sharks

Pitch Protocols: Team Analysis—Ninth Moon Tree Sharks

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Overview

The Yndij are well suited to playing a fast, high scoring brand of DreadBall. Fast and dodgy, this is a great team for coaches who love offense. 

Strengths

The Tree Sharks have three key strengths that a coach needs to take advantage of to get the most out of them on the pitch. With a Move of 6 across the board, they can keep up with any team, and even outrun most others. This is important as it makes them pretty forgiving with positioning and means there are few actions that will ever be out of reach.

Next, the Yndij possess excellent Agility. This makes them very apt at avoiding the unwanted attentions of opposing slammers. The high Agility also means it can be difficult to pin them down with threats as they Evade past opposing players. Yndij can also avoid slamming directly to retake possession of the ball, as their Strikers are quite competent at Stealing it back.

Speaking of Strikers, this is another “Strength” of the Tree Sharks. With Four Strikers on the suggested starting roster, they will not lack for Offensive specialists. They have all the Move and Agility of the Veermyn, but possess superior Skill to improve their success rate at Strike attempts.

Weaknesses

As is often expected from fast, Striker heavy teams, the team lacks a bit of punch in the Slamming department. Yes, they have access to Jacks, and even an occasional Guard, but their Strength is Average anyway. Now, against many teams, this won’t be too much of an issue. However, against Slam heavy teams, trying to play their game is a recipe for disaster.

Additionally, there are no starting abilities for the Yndij. They are well rounded, but lack a “trick” that some teams have to specialize. This makes them easier to pick up and play, but can make you one dimensional in certain match-ups.

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If you get to use the Captain and cards, try to get Yunker-hai. It’s an amazingly effective complement for a Cheer Factory squad!

Strategy and Tactics

The Yndij are a textbook example of an Alpha Strike team. Coupled with Cheer Factory, this can create a formidable offensive juggernaut. As Visitor, it’s worth considering the Deep Screen as an opening set-up. The Tree Sharks have the Move capability to overcome setting up deep and still be a threat, and if the opposition tries to counter with a Sucker Draw, they have the Strikers to pull off a Steal attempt.

In short, this is a team built for Run-n-Gun. The Jacks are competent, and it’s worth having a Guard for those times when you absolutely got to take a player out. However, do what they do best, SCORE!

Tremendous Tools: One Book to Rule Them All

Good Coaches are compulsive Coaches.  Compulsive Coaches know how to organize, and the best of the compulsive crew know how to implement their organization into winning strategies.  Herein lies a relatively easy strategy to strengthen any DreadBall Coach’s neat and tidy toolbox.

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With apologies to those Coaches of Faith among us…

Coaches with the best record are Coaches who know the rules, wherein “know” means; live, breath, eat, sleep, and defecate the rules.  Knowing the rules is easier if the rules are accessible.

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In the beginning, there was ONE rulebook. Lean, mean, and efficient. The binding was not user-friendly, but it’s brevity was the counterbalance.

Knowing a rulebook becomes a challenge when there are multiple sources.  Such was the case with the rapid expansion of 1st edition DreadBall material.

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Six (SIX!) rulebooks to rule them all.

Multiple volumes of 1st edition rules could be remedied with the assistance of a photocopier and a binder.

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Bind them. BIND THEM!
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A dense, but comprehensive rules summary tucked into the binder’s cover. Courtesy of the elusive BGG user RangerBob. Jesus Ortiz shines his ball on you good sir.
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Six seasons means six tabs. Plus, the Challenge Cup. Plus, the NADC. There should be a ninth tab to represent the FAQs, but nine tabs are known to open the gates of hell.

One of the best aspects of Kickstarting DreadBall’s second edition was the Collector’s Edition Rulebook.  Finally, there would be ONE BOOK TO RULE THEM ALL.

And yet.  There was a problem.  The binding.  A dense paperback tome that required strenuous use was not going to last the tests and tribulations of multiple seasons.  A remedy was needed…

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The solution! Michael Carter of Ohio War Kings was the inspiration. Mike’s Kings of War books were handsomely bound with a spiral. “Mike! How did you do it?”

The remedy was a SPRIAL.

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Mike replied, “Office Depot.” And so it was. A visit to Office Depot, a twenty minute wait, and a five dollar charge.

A rulebook is not a sacred and delicate text to be reviewed with white gloves on rare occasions.  No.  A rulebook is an engine.  An engine needs to be used and maintained.  A spiral binding allows ease of use, and its laminate front & back cover keeps blood and beer from deep penetration.

It is not without faults.

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The print shop technicians at Office Depot are not miracle workers. Some information will inevitably be sacrificed to the margin Gods. Layout designers take note; fancy graphics may look slick on a monitor but they don’t mean jack-squat if  legibility is compromised in print form.
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The biggest casualty in the binding was the rules summary. However, it was an odd choice to print the rules summary on the inside of the back cover anyway.

Cropping issues aside, binding a DreadBall rulebook is awesome and well worth the minimal investment.  Embrace the compulsion.  Tune your engine.  Know your engine.

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Also, the BreadDoll held a contest a few months ago as part of a membership drive.  One lucky Coach was randomly awarded an alternative Coaching Assistant.  It turns out the recipient was a robot fishing for hits.  It is not known if the robot was a Metabot, a Mechanite, or a Neobot.  No idea.  So another name was randomly selected.  Congratulations jtumbry!  You are the real flesh-and-blood winner of not one, but TWO alternative Coaching Assistants.  Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Fitz, and a Squirrel.

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Fitz and Squirrel are going to a new home (pitch). Do YOU want to win custom swag? Follow/Subscribe to this blog!

Fan Support Cards

What are Fan Support cards?

In DreadBall 1st Edition, the game came with 52 game cards in the deck as well as 2 Fan Support cards as seen below.

DreadBall Ultimate in 1st Edition also came with Fan Support cards.

How are Fan Support cards used?

Fan Support cards are used to help manage your fan checks. Your Fan Support card is placed on or beside the pitch. When you draw a fan check it is placed, face up, underneath the Fan Support card such that the pips are still visible. As soon as you acquire 3 (or more) Fan Check pips you take all the Fan Check cards that contributed and turn them over face down underneath the Fan Support card.

 

 

 

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Fan Support card placed beside the pitch.
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Fan check cards face up underneath the Fan Support card with the pips visible.
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Fan check cards flipped face down once 3 (or more) pips are collected.
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New fan checks face up under previously flipped fan checks.

The Fan Support cards are also used to determine which coach takes the first rush when it is determined randomly. Shuffle the Fan Support cards and place them face down on the pitch. One coach chooses a card determining if they are Home or Visitor.

What about 2nd Edition?

In 2nd Edition DreadBall the card deck comes with 54 game cards and no Fan Support cards. The Fan Support cards were dropped in favour of a couple more game cards. More game cards is a good thing but it was sad to see the Fan Support cards not included in the game. While Fan Support cards are not strictly needed to play they add to the overall easy and organisation of DreadBall.

Since the launch of 2nd Edition BreadDoll has created and given out Fan Support cards to all the coaches at all BreadDoll sponsored events in 2018.

I highly recommend playing with the Fan Support cards. I even made new ones for 2nd Edition DreadBall Ultimate.