On Earth Capitol Washington D.C., the lizard men in control of operations agree and understand one fundamental truth. Commerce is King. Slave-minded humans fuel the workings of the first world with purchase power. This power is so strong, reptilian machinations have scheduled non-secular days of worship around it.
And so, Black Friday.
ThisBreadDoll editor is posting to our loyal readers on Saturday November 30, 2019. It is one day after Black Friday. Presumably, the hive-mind of Homo sapiens buying crap for others on sale/discount/bargain has somewhat abated and the focus can turn to what really matters.
Mantic Games sponsors a Black Friday sale. It is ‘Friday’ in name only; the sale begins a full week before the dark day, and important for this weekend’s readers, continues until the following Monday. In this case, Monday December 1, 2019. This is important because Mantic Games is the publisher of DreadBall, THE GREATEST GAME IN THE GALAXY,
Mantic’s Black Friday spokesperson, Crazy Bobby, has a few deals that all Coaches should notice.
DreadBall Core Game, 2nd Edition = $89.99. NOPE. Now it’s $49.99
You probably already own a copy, and that is good. Now buy another. Start a league. Give a copy to a friend for the holidays. Pass along you beater copy to that fish-head eating half-brother you keep in that attic. DO IT.
Long Rock Lifers = $39.99. NOPE. Now it’s $14.99
Nemion Oceanics = $39.99. NOPE. Now it’s $14.99
Rotatek Rocksliders = $39.99. NOPE. Now it’s $14.99
The Unicorporated = $39.99. NOPE. Now it’s $14.99
These teams are fab. If you already own them, you too are fab. Go ahead and buy another set. You’ll want to paint your players in an VISITOR uniform.
DreadBall Xtreme with Free Player’s Manual = $29.99. NOPE. Now it’s $14.99
Now this price is truly crazy. Crazy Bobby has lost all of his crackers. DreadBall Xtreme is already seriously discounted at $29.99, and that’s a huge value. But $14.99?! Seriously, WTF.
DreadBall Xtreme may not suit everyone. It’s not thisBreadDoll editor’s favorite cuppa, but it is a fine game nonetheless. It’s just a… different… game. No longer THE GREATEST GAME IN THE GALAXY, DreadBall Xtreme is an explosive death trap. It’s unforgiving, it’s brutal, and it’s a bit random. Your mileage may vary.
But what won’t vary is the value of this price point. Inside this beautiful box of boom boom, you get three. THREE. Three DreadBall teams.* Convicts, Kalyshi, AND a set of Xtreme “Free Agents” that have transformed into the Ronnie Rejects for DreadBall’s second edition.** Coupled with crate terrain, a handsome neoprene mat, and dice to choke your half-brother; DreadBall Xtreme’s Black Friday sales price is just too good to pass.
* NOTE: These three teams will not be exactly 2nd edition complete… The Convicts and Kalyshi will be missing their Team Captain and Team Captain cards. No worries. You can download the Team Captain cards from the Mantic Games website AND you can purchase both Team Captain models from the MVP pack “Strike Zone Stunners.” The third team, the Ronnie Rejects, are mostly complete. The team does not yet have an official Team Captain or a set of Team Captain cards. But I’ve overheard Jesus Ortiz say that Digby is working on that issue…
** DreadBall’s second edition and DreadBall Xtreme are different rule sets. This may be a concern to some, but here’s the straight dope: Coaches can play Xtreme’s rules in tandem with DreadBall’s second edition core rules & team stats just fine. It works, and works well. There’s no need to adjust card play, though players will want to adjust their Sponsor bets by adding a zero to their sums. That’s it. These quick adjustments make the Xtreme Player’s Manual obsolete, but you can still read the fluff and appreciate the illustrations. Mantic’s publications always shine with their miniature photography.
Go BUY DreadBall stuff. Happy Black Friday. Happy Small Business Saturday. Happy Cyber Monday. BUY BUY BUY.
Building a team for 3 on 3 is a considerable part of the small game format charm. Getting to throw together a mishmash of alien scum to drub your fellows with is both fun and characterful. The final version of how I’d like to see this go is pretty in depth and is still in development. In the mean time, there is the quick “play with what you got” approach that we already have listed in the rules. I refer to those as “Tier 1” team building rules. The rules I’d like to get to are referred to as “Tier 3” team building rules, and will have a considerable amount of focus on campaigns and leagues as well.
No, I haven’t forgotten how to count. Today, I am sharing a “get you by” set of team building rules lovingly referred to as….you guessed it, “Tier 2”.
Tier 2 team building requires you to have access to the DreadBall Xtreme Players Manual. In this format, you design your sponsor as outlined in the DBX rules, picking your associated groups. The difference is, all the player types will use the costs from the DB2 manual. Additionally, if your sponsor is counted as a Stranger (0 matching groups) to the player they wish to hire, you must increase their cost by 100mc. If the player you wish to hire is an Ally (1 group match), the players cost is only increased by 60mc. Finally, if you are able to count the desired player as a Friend (2+ matches), there is no additional fee to hire them beyond their base cost.
Friend: No additional cost.
Now, of course, there are a few more player types that weren’t around when the Players Manual was created. Here are a few more entries:
Guard: Guard, Proud
Jack: DreadBall, Proud
Guard: Hunter, Rebel
Jack: Hunter, Jack
Striker: DreadBall, Hunter
Guard, Jack, Striker: DreadBall, Mr. Roboto
All players built as Cyborgs are considered: Outcast, Weird Science
Let us know how you get on with the Tier 2 team building rules, and 3 on 3 in general!
The Coaches’ Corner is an in-depth interview with DreadBall Coaches, Commissioners, and Creators. A game is fourteen Rushes, and the interview is fourteen questions.
This shake-down of queries is big. As big as the state of TEXAS! The Lone Star State is known for many things: The Alamo, Succession, Cowgirls, and… Shawn Grubaugh. Shawn has a long and storied history with the Greatest Game in Galaxy, and he’s “agreed” to reveal some of it’s more interesting developments.
While watching Gen Con videos (well before I was able to actually attend) – there was an interview with Ronnie Renton of Mantic Games. He was talking about this cool game coming to Kickstarter called Dreadball – A sci-fi sports game. I was immediately intrigued.
2. What do you remember about your first game?
It was a learning match with the core set of Corporation against Marauders. I was getting my butt handed to me by my son Garrison. It was day one of the league, and we were being taught the basics.
3. What is your favorite team?
My favorite team will always be my Neo-Tek Phantoms [Corporation]. They went undefeated for two leagues, three tournaments, and I won the inaugural Gen Con tournament with them.
4. What is your favorite MVP? Is the miniature cast in… Metal?
The greatest MVP – Shawn “Patient Zero” Grubaugh!! Cast in metal!!
Of course, of course. Please elaborate. You chose to back the DreadBall Xtreme Kickstarter at a level that granted you development of an MVP. Explain to loyal BreadDoll readers how and why this character went from zero to hero.
Yea. Mantic Game sent several models to choose from, and then did a few mock ups. The original head had a spiked Mohawk! That’s not really my style, so I asked for long wavy hair and bang – Patient Zero! For the fluff and rules I had a couple ideas and friends contributed. Two really good friends significantly helped. Tom Taylor in the fluff, and Brian Taylor (no relation) on the rules. It was really a collaborative effort. Ultimately, I wanted Patient Zero to look just like I do: young, muscular, long hair, and athletic! Mantic Games did a great job! 😉
5. Yes. The similarity is… Striking… Let’s discuss pitches. DreadBall was quick to find custom efforts from fanatical fans, and the first this BreadDoll editor remembers seeing was something called the Neo-Tek Tesla Dome. Please explain its origin, development, and refinement.
Wow. So I really love this game and wanted a cool pitch that would catch the eye. I have ZERO artistic abilities and had no idea how to start. I found free software call gimp, and began a lot of research on how to use it; what a layer was, using python to create the hex grid, editing pics, etc… The first version was roughly 30 layers. I started looking for cool ideas and thought lightning would be cool! It was literally a couple months of work. Some time later I went back for version 2 on a bigger mat and adding places for cards, coaches, tokens, etc… It was a great experience, and I still love to see pictures of people all over the world playing on my pitch!
6. Tangentially related, when I play on Mantic’s Neoprene GrubaTek VII’s Coliseum Deluxe Pitch – your last name seems to be staring at me. Or is it? Please explain how this optical distraction came to interfere with my matches.
It is actually named for me. The year after Dreadball was released I finally attended Gen Con for the first time! Knowing Mantic Games would be there, I decided to take the version of my pitch I had printed on neoprene to show the guys. When I met Ronnie at the Mantic booth, I pulled out the mat. To my surprise he was really impressed and was very interested that it was on neoprene. He even invited me to Mantic Night at Colt’s Grill to play him a game on it. Little did either of us know: that game would probably be the greatest game either of us played. Ever. It was a back and forth battle that ended in a draw. When asked if we should go to OT, Ronnie said, “A game this great should end in a draw!” I couldn’t agree more, it was truly epic. SO. I gave the mat to Ronnie as a memento of the great game. What was really cool is a couple months later, James M Hewitt (yes, the awesome game designer who used to work at Mantic Games) contacted me over Facebook. He said when Ronnie brought the pitch back to the office and the guys all loved it. He was asking my permission to use it in the office league! “Heck yeah!” I said. I had no idea what was to come. A few months later, Dreadball Xtreme was on Kickstarter. The campaign had a new version of the game, new teams, and a new neoprene mat. Ronnie contacted me and explained they wanted me to name the mat. Gruba-Tek VII was born! The Dreadball pitch created by the father of the seven Grubaugh children who, would take over the galaxy’s largest company and rename it Neo-Tek. “Neo-Tek, If we don’t make it, you don’t need it!”
Yea. I’m really into Dreadball, and I’ve created my own fiction for it!
7. You are one of the few Coaches from North America that has visited Mantic Games in Nottingham, UK. That’s very cool, but really… How cool was it?
It was awesome. I got there and really had no agenda. I just wanted to hang with the team for the day, see what happens behind the scenes etc… It was a great day! They showed me how the metal and resin models were made. I got to play a game of Dreadball 2nd Edition with Stuart Gibbs before it was shipped (I lost by 1 point, but was told I was the closest to beating him of everyone). I even got to sit in on a secret meeting discussing future projects. Yes, I knew about Hellboy before the rest of the world! It was a very hard secret to keep, but keep it I did! It was a great day.
8. Shifting gears for a moment, what do you do when you are not playing DreadBall?
I have a YouTube channel – The Game Room – Texas Gamer Geeks. We do a lot of unboxings, game plays, and painting tutorials. I also paint a lot when I can. That whole “I’ll never run out of minis to paint” thing, yea – I really live it. We love games like Infinity, Gaslands, Deadzone, and The Walking Dead.
9. You attend gaming conventions with your family, and your entire clan plays games. What are the positives and negatives of such travel plans?
I love having the kids play games with me. Going to conventions really gives us a connection I wouldn’t replace. They look forward to it every year whether its; PAX South, a local convention, or Gen Con. The only negative is the expense as Dad foots much of the bill. But the time spent together is worth it. Some of the older kids have started helping cover costs, which tells me they cherish the time and fun together as much as I do!
10. Back to the Galaxy’s greatest sport, how do you primarily play DreadBall? [One-off, league, tournament, Xtreme, Ultimate]
Leagues are the best way to play; to watch your players gain experience, and get better, and then become targets! I remember my level 5 Striker was the league’s biggest target, everyone wanted to kill him!! During the last few games of the league season – he only came onto the pitch for the last Rush or two when I needed the winning Strike. That was a great season.
11. Which opposing team/Coach do you… Dread… the most?
Garrison Grubaugh! I don’t think I’ve been able to get a win on camera against him in years!
12. Describe your most memorable DreadBall Rush.
My Neo-Tek Phantoms against a Veer-myn team. At Rush 13, it was three in my favor and my opponent just missed the Strike attempt that would bring the score to zero. For the Final rush of the game, we could have just called it. However, we were both in need of experience points. The final Rush for which I needed all 5 actions required: Sprinting to the back of the pitch, Picking up the ball, getting the extra action, Running, Throwing, Catching with the extra action, then two Dodges, another Throw, another Catch with the third extra action, a couple more Dodges and a finally – a 4 point Strike attempt… A 7 point victory! The required successful die rolls were insane!
13. What would you like to see from DreadBall in the future?
Thats a hard one. It’s a great game, but support seems to have dropped. I think new life could be brought into it with new teams released maybe every 6 months. Maybe a rules update.
14. Lastly, if you won a BreadDoll in tournament play (last place), would you; eat it immediately in front of attending coaches, or wait until you were in the privacy of your locker room?
Oh eat it there! Last place – Embrace the SUCK!
Thank you Shawn! This BreadDoll editor is going to celebrate an excellent interview and history lesson with some Texas toast and Tito’s.