Pitch Protocols: Team Analysis—Matsudo Tectonics
At first glance, the Matsudan seem like the perfect blend of strength and skill….everything you would want in DreadBall team! However, they are not with out their drawbacks, DreadBall is a fast paced game after all, and these tubby lizards can have a hard time keeping pace with the opposition.
Obviously, the great Strength of the Matsudan is a key advantage. Loaded with Guards and Jacks to take full advantage of this attribute, the Tectonics can live up to their name and rock their opposition for sure with a devastating Slam game.
Additionally, the Matsudan all start with Grapple. This is an excellent ability, that can really give an advantage to shifting opposition players around the board.
Lastly, the Tectonics all start with Steady. This can make them very difficult to deal with, as since they all have pretty decent armour, there is a pretty good chance they stay standing and rearing to come after you for revenge!
Move….4. Speed…5+. The big weakness for the Matsudan, is that they are not getting anywhere fast. This can sometimes make it difficult for them to take full advantage of their great Skill. Matsudan Jacks will often have to resort to a Throw on the run, or have trouble reaching the deep strike zone all together. It’s not uncommon for Matsudan players to have to make either a second action where their opponents only need one, or have to risk some Dash rolls in order to try and preserve action tokens. This can put a real drain on their resources and how much they can hope to accomplish in a Rush.
No Strikers. While this need not be a huge disadvantage, and can be off set by the tremendous skill of the Matsudan, lacking a scoring specialist can still be a hindrance. One less dice on handling the ball can certainly add up, especially if your having to move on top of it. A Jack throwing on the run from short range is already down to one dice, and forget bonus strikes without coaching dice! And while it’s not the most likely set of occurrences, Matsudan Jacks can turn into prime targets for Bashy teams…if they take them out, you can’t score!
Also, I’d be remiss not to mention that they are Honourable, meaning you can’t intentionally foul with them. This means no sucker punches, so you will have to plan your slams accordingly. If you like to play dirty….this may not be the team for you!
Strategy and Tactics
There are many approaches to victory for the Matsudan…they can play to score, or they can play to kill. They can do equally well at both. As such, nearly every strategy is open to a Tectonics Coach.
However, to mitigate getting stretched on the pitch, consider adding or developing a Keeper on your roster. They can pay HUGE dividends for the Matsudan and keep them from wasting actions chasing the ball around the pitch. Baring that, perhaps keeping at least one Jack on each end of the pitch will give you some options too.
Be sure to make use of Sprint where applicable, it’s an action that sometimes gets forgotten is the hustle and bustle of dishing out pain. But for slow teams, you sometimes need to spend an action solely for the purpose of repositioning a player for future use. And while far from an “all the time” type of play, you may look at “risking” a Sprint for a pick up on your Matsudan Jacks. Yes, it’s only a two dice pickup, but on Skill 3+ it’s not the worst odds, especially if you have a card in reserve to burn for a reroll if necessary. It’s a great way to try and add some extra range to your plays where appropriate.
Lastly, don’t fall for your own strength. Many times bashy teams get caught up in slamfests, and in their eagerness to reach out and hurt as many players as possible, they stop spending actions on marking players. Now, certainly there is some wisdom in causing as much havoc as possible, and there are definitely many scenarios where support may be overkill. BUT, if there is a KEY slam that you absolutely HAVE to have for a play to work, don’t succumb to hubris and stack the odds in your favor. What matters more? Making more slams, or making them count?