Pitch Protocols: Team Analysis—Draconis All-Stars
The Neobots are a well rounded team that are deceptively average…..on paper. However, clever use of their Linked ability can allow them to be VERY active in their Rushes and get a lot of work done on the pitch.
One advantage of the All-Stars roster, is their access to specialists. They have Jacks, but their default roster contains three each of Guards and Strikers. This allows the team to be tailored to any style of play, and can make it easier to get a Specialist role in position to do what they do best.
While being “Average” can sometimes be a tongue in cheek derogatory statement, in DreadBall, it can actually be an advantage. Their is no obvious weakness in terms of stats to take advantage of from an opponents perspective. They can’t abuse your Agility, Strength, or Armour. Sure, sometimes might have an advantage, depending on the match up, but that doesn’t mean it’s a weakness for the Neobots. This can make the All-Stars a difficult matchup to prepare for, as they can do just about anything, making them unpredictable in the hands of crafty coach.
The true strength of this team, though, is their Linked ability. Linked can be very strong, but for most teams it has limited value as the ability requires another player to have the same ability to be utilized. Since the Neobots all start with it, that’s no problem for them!
Linked really could have its own article on effective use, but it primarily serves two main functions: 1) Do a thing better or 2)Do two things for the price of one. For example, I could “do a thing better” when I play a Slam card on a Guard, and use the Free Run to first move another player to threaten the target. Or, I can “do two things” by playing the same Slam card, but use the Free Run to pick up a loose ball with a Striker. Done well, Linked allows the All-Stars to really outwork the opposition in terms of total number of actions completed.
For some coaches, being “well rounded” is a bit of a weakness, as the squad lacks that single minded focus of having a specialty that they really excel at.
The major weakness for Neobots, however, is their “trick” has a limit. You spend DreadBall cards to activate it, specifically Action cards. There are ways to work around this, but it’s still a cost. It doesn’t help that the suggested starting roster only has one card, making it difficult to take advantage of.
Strategy and Tactics
While the matchup is always a factor in determining how to best defeat the opposition, it is especially so with teams that are “average”. Look for the opposing teams weakness and try to exploit it. High strength teams, for example, tend to lack in other areas, and you want to build your strategy around your advantage in those facets of the game.
However, another approach is to try and take advantage of Linked as much as possible, flatly outworking your opponent in terms of number of actions completed. Doing more each Rush can add up to a big advantage that steamrolls later in the game. Try and draw a DreadBall card each Rush that you can afford it, and in most cases choose a DreadBall card on Fan Checks to try and stockpile options. Not only do the cards themselves represent extra actions, but with Linked, it actually gives you two!