Scattered Scullery: Evolution of The Pitch

For everyone that prefers a low-profile DreadBall pitch, I’ve put together another card. Before we introduce the new card, let’s go over a bit of history.

The Original Pitch

When DreadBall was first released in 2012, it came with a board for a pitch.  This 1st Edition pitch was much simpler and much smaller with a lower profile (low-profile) on the table than the larger 2nd Edition pitches we’re familiar with today.

1e_dreadball_board
Original 1st Edition Pitch

 

Action Tracker and Pitch Evolution

As more and more Coaches took to the game, they began to see opportunities to improve upon the basic 1st edition folding board pitch. The idea of printing the pitch on a neoprene mat was attractive. Without the original artwork for the pitch, we had to recreate the entire pitch design before we could print it. The first new designs were merely recreations of the original, but on neoprene.

Hyperdyne_Arena_28x14
Hyperdyne Arena

Those neoprene pitches were nice, but the hexes were the same size as the original. Often players on the pitch, when next to each other, did not have enough room. The next pitch designs increased the hex size from the original 25mm to a spacious 30mm.

The larger hexes were great and opened the door to the concept of improving the DreadBall pitch. In late 2013 and early 2014, features that would require a larger area were added; spaces for the card deck, discard pile, and Action Token storage. One of the first larger pitches incorporating these features was the Neo-Tek Tesla Dome.

Neo-Tek_v8_24x28_v6
Neo-Tek Tesla Dome by SHAWN GRUBAUGH

The improvments continued:

  • Coaching Dice area
  • Ball launch direction indicators
  • Strike values
  • Standarized scatter direction
  • Action Token tracker
  • Assistant Coach areas

687474703a2f2f332e62702e626c6f6773706f742e636f6d2f2d66657268766367794453412f564d6642707a3865504e492f4141414141414141434e6f2f4e644443464e646e3941592f73313630302f32387832345f41315f44

Mantic, acknowledging the fan improvements, released their own large size neoprene pitch that included the new pitch additions. It was named the Gruba-Tek VII Coliseum as a nod to Shawn Grubaugh who, as mentioned, created one of the first large size pitches.

Gruba-Tek-VII-Coliseum
Gruba-Tek VII Coliseum

1st Edition Cards and Player Numbers

The Action Token tracker was added as a nice way to keep track of how many Action Tokens a Coach was spending on players. The Action Token tracker was numbered 1 to 14, with an area to indicate if a Coach had used a token to purchase a card as well.

The tracker could be numbered from 1-14 because in 1st Edition DreadBall, all players HAD to be numbered between 1 and 14. This numbering requirement was based on the way the cards worked in 1st Edition. The cards in 1st Edition DreadBall often affected a random player. To determine which random player, a Coach would draw a card and read the numbers down the right hand side of the cards. The first number (1 to 14) that matched a player on the pitch indicated that player had been randomly selected.

1e_card.png
1st Edition Action Card with player randomizer down the right hand side

2nd Edition and Player Numbers

When Mantic decided to release a 2nd edition of DreadBall, they looked at what fans had been doing with the pitch design and decided to incorporate almost all of the additional features into the official 2nd Edition pitch. This meant the new official pitch was of the large variety, on a quad-fold board.

DB-Pitch-iso
Official 2nd Edition DreadBall Pitch Design

The random selection of players was removed in 2nd Edition. There was no longer a requirement for players to be numbered only between 1 and 14. Despite no longer being limited in the numbering of players, the Action Token tracker remained on the new official pitch, still using 1-14.

This Coach’s Opinion

I have played on all of these different pitch designs across many different versions of the game. Overall, the fan additions that Mantic adopted into the official design are fantastic.

In my opinion, the Action Token track should have been removed from the 2nd Edition pitch. It’s a nice feature, but it’s not needed. Keeping track of your Action Tokens can be done in a few other ways. With no requirement to number players using only 1-14 for player randomization, leaving the Action Token tracker on the pitch in 2nd Edition has always bothered me. That mentioned, it is an easy way to track your player Actions and can certainly help coaches that are just learning DreadBall.

I’ve stated many times that I prefer the smaller, low-profile pitches, closer in size to the original 1st Edition pitch. There is no room on a low-profile pitch for a dedicated Action Token tracker area. Since I know many coaches like the Action Token tracker but may also have seen the benefits of a low-profile pitch, I’ve created an Action Token track card that can be placed beside a low-profile pitch.

New Action Tracker Card

Here is the new card(s). They are designed to fit on big cards (3.5″ x 5.75″). There is a version with and without a designateds area to tuck your Fan Checks under as well as 2 different numbering patterns, Left to Right and Top to Bottom.

The Features of a State-of-the-Art Low-Profile Pitch

Wrapping up, let’s take a look at all the feature on a modern low-profile pitch. It’s a long way from that original pitch from back in 2012.

pitch_features

EDIT: See all our pitches HERE including my newest design made for the Ontario DreadBall Leage (ODBL).

Dreadball_2018_Pitch_28x14_ODBL_v3_30
Ontario DreadBall League Pitch
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Hobby Highlight: Sideline Card

When I play DreadBall I prefer a narrow low-profile pitch instead of the larger pitches. I like the smaller table space the low-profile pitches take up and the portability.

low_profile

One of the few drawbacks is the lack of a sideline to place Support Staff. The solution: Sideline Card.

Support_Staff_Side_Card

The Sideline Card is simply placed along the side of the low-profile pitch of your choice and used to track when your Support Staff (Assistant Coaches and Cheerleaders) are available to be used.

pitch-w-side-cards

If you don’t have or use Fan Support cards (Home/Visitor) to put your Fan Checks under you can also use an alternate version of the Sideline Card.

Support_Staff_Side_Card_w_Fan_Checks

The Sideline Card is designed to be printed on a ‘Big Card’ (3.5″ x 5.75″). Here is a suitably large card back.

large_card_DB_back

Hobby Highlight: Storage and Transport

Let’s talk about how we store and transport our DreadBall miniatures. For the purposes of this discussion lets assume the miniatures in question are painted. Unpainted miniatures can be stored and transported in just about any container you can imagine and there’s not much point in displaying unpainted minis.

Once your miniatures are painted, you, like me, will probably want to be a bit more careful with them so as not to damage the beautiful paint job you have done. You might also want to put your pretty models on display to show people how amazing they are.

Display

Obviously all it takes to display miniatures is to set them on a surface where people can see them but if you want to get fancy a display case is the way to go.

black-15
Detolf from Ikea

I use a Detolf case from Ikea. It is afordable and it looks great. Because a lot of miniature gamers use the Detolf to diplay their models there are several upgrades available. You can get extra shelves and all kinds of fancy lighting systems.

Storage

If you’re not really into displaying your DreadBall miniatures you’ll at least need a way to store them.

I use miniature cases to store my models that aren’t on display. You can get all sorts of cases from many different companies using foam or even magnets to keep your miniatures safe. The cases I primarily use are from a Kickstarter. They are Mantis (not to be confused with Mantic) cases. They are basic cardboard boxes that hold foam trays with slots for miniatures. I know a few companies make cases similar to this, for example KR Multicase.

mantis_case
Mantic Miniature Case
KRM_1
KR Multicase basic cardboard case

For storage purposes you can also use Plano storage cases. BreadDoll editor Andrew uses this system to store his entire collection and it works great for organization. You can get this type of case just about anywhere.

plano_storage
Plano Storage

Michaels sells a set of storage containers that are similar to Plano boxes in multiple colours.

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Michaels Craft Keeper

Keep in mind when using these plastic storage boxes that if you also intend to use them not just for storage but to transport your minis, you might want to add some padding to them. Adding some paper towel or tissue with the minis in the boxes will help prevent your paint jobs from getting damaged by the harder plastic of the cases.

Once upon a time DreadBall teams came in clamshell cases. You may still be able to find some of these older retail teams in stores. The clamshell cases work well enough to store a single team. The clamshell cases came with a couple thin layers of foam. If you want more you can always make your own upgraded foam insert.

Mantic_Case_Insert.png
Clamshell case with custom foam insert

While hard to find now, if you have an old first edition box set of DreadBall, there were custom foam inserts created to fit inside the box.

Dreadball_Foam_Tray_Kit_Box_Set_No_Models__46568.1353087484.1280.1280

I’ve also seen coaches take foam miniature trays and cut them down to fit in the newer 2nd edition DreadBall box set. These are really good if you only have a couple teams and want to keep them stored in the offical retail box while protecting the paint jobs.

Transportation

If you don’t always play DreadBall at home you will need to transport your minis to where you will be playing. Many if not all of the storage solutions above may also be used to transport your minis, especially if you are careful.

Personally I like a smaller case to transport my minis as I tend to only take 1 or 2 teams at a time when I travel to play. My case of choice is the Feldherr MINI . The MINI is the perfect case in my opinion. It holds a couple teams and is fairly inexpensive for great quality. I also really like the Aquilla 1 or Aquilla 5 by KR Multicase. They’re also not too big, not too expensive, and have alots of room for a couple DreadBall teams.

Feldherr-MI02SBO-Feldherr-MINI-Figuren-Tasche-mix_5.jpg
Feldherr MINI Case

Summation

There are TONS of solutions for storing and transporting your painted DreadBall minis. I’ve gone over some of what I use and what I have seen. If you have a solution you think is great, please comment and let us all know what it is.

Making A New Pitch: Part 1

I’m gonna keep it short and sweet this week. I’ve created many custom pitches since I started playing DreadBall. The design has evolved over time to my current favorite.

Dreadball_2018_Pitch_28x14_BreadDoll
My favorite pitch. The BreadDoll pitch.

The BreadDoll pitch has ball launch arrows, ball launch/scatter directions on both the Home and Visitor sides of the pitch, bounce direction references for maximum distance launches, and strike value pips. It’s a narrow, “low profile” pitch which I prefer for it’s portability.

While I’m still working (however slowly) on making a 3-dimensional pitch I’m also in the mood to make a new 2-dimensional (traditional) DreadBall pitch.

There a few pitches over the years that I started working on but never finished as well as a few I wanted to make but never started on. I’ve decided to work on one of the unfinshed pitches and finsih it up using all the design elements of the BreadDoll pitch (above).

Unfinished designs:

  • Lava Pitch
  • Z’zor Hive Pitch
  • Underwater Pitch

I’m leaning towards the water or Z’zor pitch but let me know which one you’d like me to work on.

 

Hobby Highlight: Renewed Vigor (Cyborgs)

At Adepticon back in March I decided to play a Cyborg team. I wanted to go for a chrome look. I mocked up some color tests. I liked the way the chrome effect looked in the tests and decided to see how it would look painted on the minis.

COLOR TEST

PAINTING MY CYBORGS

BASE COAT

  • Primer: Airbrush Stynylrez Grey
  • Spray entire mini with Reaper MSP 09029: Earth Brown
  • Wash with Army Painter Strong Tone
  • Spray from above with white
  • Lighter spray from above with Army Painter Troglodyte Blue

ARMOR/CYBERNETICS

  • Run black outlines along the armor lines and recesses
  • In the armor breaks use Army Painter Necromancer Cloak
  • Highlight the edges of the armor with white

SKIN

  • Army Painter Necrotic Flesh
  • Wash with Secret Weapon Sewer Water
  • Highlight using Necrotic Flesh mixed with white

CLOTH

  • Army Painter Wolf Grey
  • Citadel Nuln Oil wash
  • Highlight with Wolf Grey

STRAPS

  • Army Painter Leather Brown
  • Wash with Citadel Agrax Earth Shade
  • Highlight with Leather Brown mixed with Army Painter Ash Grey

DETAILS

  • Paint the eyes white
  • Paint the glowy bits red adding a bit of a glow effect with a light drybrush
  • Add a white highlight to the red glowy bits
  • Paint the wires with Game Color Sun Yellow and then wash them with Secret Weapon Orange wash
  • Highlight the wires with a mix of Sun Yellow and white

LOGO

I always like to do a fun logo for my teams when I have time. For Renewed Vigor I looked around for a zombie silhouette and then made it look a more cyborg-ish.

renewed_vigor

RESULTS

DreadBall_Team_Card_34_Renewed_Vigor_40
Renewed Vigor Reference Card

 

Hobby Highlight: Magnetising a DreadBall

8mm-Ball
A DreadBall

Introduction

Magnetising your DreadBalls is a fun and practical hobby project. You drill a hole in the bottom of your ball and glue in a magnet. You drill a hole(s) in your miniatures’ bases and glue matching magnets in the bases, taking care to align the polarity correctly otherwise the magnets will repel each other instead of snap together as desired. (Check out this article on magnetising your bases: LINK)

STEP 1: Choosing a ball

There are a few options when is comes to the DreadBalls that are available.

  1. First Edition DreadBall used 6mm balls on a small attached base
  2. Second Edition DreadBall comes with small 4mm balls that detach from their base
  3. You can make or 3D print a custom ball. I use a custom 8mm ball on a base with the same profile as the first edition ball. You can download the 3D print file for my custom DreadBall from Thingiverse.
8mm-Ball-comparison
DreadBalls come in different sizes from 1st Edition to 2nd Edition to custom balls.

In this tutorial I’m going to use my custom, 8mm, ball as the example but the exact same process can be used with all the different balls.

NOTE: If you decide to use the smaller, 2nd Edition, ball(s) I’d recommend gluing the ball into it’s base and letting the glue dry before continuing to step 2 of this tutorial.

STEP 2: Drill a hole

So you’ve chosen your ball and need a hole to put the magnet in. Use a pin vise and a 2mm drill bit to make your hole. You can use a marker to put a little dot where you want the hole to be or you can “eyeball” it but you probably want the magnet in the center of the ball’s base.

Don’t drill too deep. The magnet I’d recommend using is 2mm x 1mm so the hole only needs to be 1mm deep. If you use a larger ball you could use a longer magnet (such as 2mm x 3mm) in which case you’d drill a bit deeper. When you are finished drilling your ball will have a nice hole in the bottom.

STEP 3: Glue in the magnet

Now that your ball has a nice hole to put a magnet in, it’s time to glue in the magnet.

MAGNET

For the official 4mm or 6mm balls I’d recommend using a 2mm x 1mm neodymium magnet. You can get these magnets on Amazon and eBay or you can Google about for other sources. Many game/hobby stores carry magnets as well for just these types of miniatures hobby projects.

eBay: 2mm x 1mm Magnets

When magnetising a larger ball you can use a longer magnet. I use a 2mm x 3mm magnet in my balls. You can buy longer magnets or just stack the 1mm thick magnets to make 2mm x 2mm or 2mm x 3mm sizes.

ORIENTATION/POLARITY/COMPATIBILITY

Magnets have polarity, a North and a South pole. For compatibility’s sake I suggest gluing the magnet into you ball with the North pole towards the sky. If we all do this then all our balls will snap to each other’s bases. To determine the polarity of your magnets see this previous article: LINK

Regardless of whether or not you choose to make sure your balls compatible with everyone else’s, make sure you glue the magnet in your ball and base in matching orientation. You don’t want your base to repel your ball.

GLUING

Use superglue. I like Gorilla Glue brand but any will work fine. Squirt some glue out on a piece of paper or card and then use a toothpick to apply the glue into the hole you drilled. Making sure the magnet is in the orientation you want and then push it into the hole. Use a non-magnetic tool or the table top to make sure the magnet is flush with the bottom of the ball.

DONE

That’s it. Once the glue is dry you have a magnetised ball that will snap on to your magnetised base when your player picks it up. Paint it up all pretty-like and play DreadBall!

 

 

Hobby Highlight: Bases (Part 3)

I’m very proud of the base system I have settled on for my DreadBall minis. I call what I use now my Mark V base system (as it’s the 5th version I’ve made). You can read about the evolution of the design in my first article on bases: Base Design

MKV_Base
Mark V Base

Most people that see my bases like them and I’d like to share the 3d (STL) files here for anyone that wants to use them.

stl

FILES

MAGNETS

disc-magnet
Disc Magnet

The bases are designed to be used with magnets. Specifically Neodymium magnets. The main, central magnet is a 10mm x 1mm disc magnet. The magnets for attaching the ball are 2mm x 1mm disc magnets (the ball will also require a matching magnet).

Neodymium magnets come in different strengths from N35 (weak) up to N52 (strong). I prefer the stronger magnets and try to use N50 or N52 for my bases.

You can find the magnets on eBay and Amazon with a bit of searching. Here are a few links to get you started.

COMPATIBILITY

So now everyone has the files and have printed the bases. Everyone has acquired magnets and are ready to put the bases together. How do we ensure that my bases are compatible with all of your bases?

Polarity

As you are probably aware, magnets have a North and a South pole. This is the polarity of the magnet.

disc-magnet-polarity
Magnet Polarity

It is unlikely that your magnets with be marked to indicate which end is North and which South so we’ll need to determine the polarity ourselves. Thankfully once you have done this once you can simple use any previously assembled bases as a guide for the future.

The easiest way to determine the polarity of your magnets is either with a bowl of water and some foam/styrofoam or with a string.

String Method:

  1. tie a string around a stack of a few of your disc magnets
  2. allow the magnets to rotate freely
  3. when they stop spinning, the end that is pointing North is the North pole of the magnet

determine-polarity

Water Method:

  1. fill a bowl with enough water to float a small piece of foam or styrofoam in
  2. take a stack of a few of your disc magnets and lay them on the foam in the water
  3. the magnets will rotate around when they stop spinning, the end that is pointing North is the North pole of the magnet

water-polarity

Once you know the polarity mark it on the magnets with a sharpie (or similar) so you don’t lose track.

Installation

Now that you know the polarity of your magnets use the following diagram to glue in your magnets.

  • Red = North Polarity
  • Blue = South Polarity
screenshot 2019-04-10 22.09.38
Magnet Assembly Diagram

If you follow these instructions then all of our bases and balls will be fully compatible when we meet up to play. We will be able to share bases and balls as needed.

If you have any questions please comment on the article or email me at geoff@breaddoll.com

 

Adepticon Highlights

ADEPTICON

2019logo

Adepticon 2019 was this past weekend. I was lucky enough to attend for my 5th year in a row. Ever since my first trip to the Chicago area back in 2015, Adepticon has been my favourite gaming convention. I’ve met so many good friends while attending these conventions and as always part of the greatness of the convention is getting to see them all in person again. There were several opportunities to play DreadBall at Adepticon this year and I took advantage of all of them

LEAGUE IN A NIGHT (LiaN)

Thursday night was League in a Night. BreadDoll takes credit for creating this event last year and it was back again in 2019. With 12 coaches participating, this year was twice the size of last year.

Not only were there twice as many coaches, in my opinion this years was twice the fun. League in a Night is a relaxed, fun event. Four rounds of DreadBall are played using the League rules for DreadBall.

I’m happy to say yours truly pulled out a win in the end having the best winning record (4-0) if not the highest ranking team in terms of megacredits.

If I could only play one DreadBall event at Adepticon it would be League in a Night!

DEADZONE

I will quickly mention Deadzone since I played in the tournament on Friday. As you may not have heard of Deadzone, it’s another game by Mantic, a skirmish game set in the DreadBall Universe. Deadzone tends to take all it’s best ideas from DreadBall ( 😛 ) and the Nameless have now made their way over I painted up a Nameless team. I lost but I won best painted. I had fun. Moving on.

ADEPTICORP CUP

Saturday was the DreadBall Adepticorp Cup. This is the North American DreadBall Championship tournament. There were 10 coaches competing this year. While it’s not the most coaches I’ve seen participating for the North American title, the competition was fierce! Over the course of four rounds I went 3-1-0 and pulled off a tournament win and the Championship by a very, VERY narrow margin. TWO fan check was the difference between winning and losing.

Results:

  1. Geoff Burbidge – Cyborgs
  2. Volker Jacobsen – Sphyr
  3. Andrew Sharp – Yndij
  4. Benjamin Kinne – Zee
  5. Andrew Wodzianski – Convicts
  6. Rob Shlemkevich – Yndij
  7. Natasha Gray – Sphyr
  8. Anthony Sarlo – Sphyr
  9. Dom Laurion – Yndij
  10. Jack B. – Sphyr

Additional awards:

  • Best Painted – Geoff Burbidge
  • Fan Favorite – Geoff Burbidge
  • Most Brutal – Anthony Sarlo
  • Best Sportsman – Benjamin Kinne

 

Thanks to Bryan Novak for running the tournament and providing the results.

MANTIC NIGHT

After the Adepticorp Cup we only had a couple hours until Mantic Night. It has become a BreadDoll tradition now to run a game of DreadBall Ultimate during Mantic Night which we did again this year. I will leave it to my BreadDoll colleague to provide the details since he was running it but Ultimate was played and everyone playing had a blast! Here are a few pics.

CONCLUSION

Adepticon was amazing! I am already looking forward to the next one in 2020. If you can come I highly recommend it. And if you do and you want a game of DreadBall just let me know, we’ll make it happen. There’s no such thing as too many friends or too much DreadBall!

 

DreadBall at Adepticon

adepticon_dreadball_logo

Adepticon 2019 in Schaumburg Illinois (outside Chicago) is just over 2 weeks away. There are several DreadBall Events going on you won’t want to miss if you are going to be there.

  1. The Adepticorp Cup – This is the big tournament that determines the North American DreadBall Champion for the year. It’s four matches of DreadBall played on Saturday March 30th from 9am to 5pm. Location: ADVENTURE HALL
  2. DreadBall: League in a Night (LiaN) – This is DreadBall league play. Four games of DreadBall carrying over the developments of each prior game into the next. Players rank up and get injured! Captains and MVPs are hired! LiaN is the Thursday evening from 5pm to Midnight. Location: UTOPIA
  3. DreadBall Ultimate: Clash of the Giants – this epic game of DreadBall Ultimate brings the “big” talent to the pitch. This game will be happening at Mantic Open Night, Saturday night starting at 8pm. Get your ticket here.

You can find the RULES & REGS for the tournament and League night on the documents page.

Don’t worry if you want to play but haven’t pre-registered. You can register at Adepticon when you get there or just show up with your entry fee at the correct place and time and there will be a seat for you.