There are some Abilities that can be confusing. Abilities that modify or change the way Threat works are often misunderstood. In Part 1 we looked at Gotchaand Threatening as well as the the basics of Threat. In Part 2 we will look at the Keeperand StenchAbilities.
The Keeper Ability allows a Guard to project 1 Threat onto any hexes in the Strike Zone that are in their front arc as long as the Player with the Keeper ability is also within the Strike Zone. This is a goal tender Ability meant to allow a single Player to better protect a Strike Zone.
Keeper and Gotcha
The Gotcha Ability does not improve the Keeper Ability. If a Player has both Keeper and Gotcha Abilities they still only project 1 Threat on the hexes of the Strike Zone in their front arc, not 2 Threat. The Player with Gotcha would still project 2 Threat into their regular Threat Hexes.
Stench projects a negative modifier of 1 into all adjacent hexes of the Player with the Ability. Any Opposing Player in one of these adjacent hexes is affected and suffers a -1 modifier on all tests.
Stench does not apply Threat. Stench applies a separate negative modifier that stacks with Threat. Stench does not stack with other Stench. As you can see in the image the negative modifier is still only -1 where the Player’s Stench Abilities overlap.
Keeper and Stench
A Keeper with the Stench ability would project 1 Threat to any Strike Zone hexes in their front arc (as long as they were in the Strike Zone) and the Stench modifier would stack with this in any of the Keepers adjacent hexes increasing the overall negative modifier to 2.
Keeper, Stench, and Gotcha
A Keeper with the Stench and Gotcha Abilities would project 1 Threat to any Strike Zone hexes in their front arc (as long as they were in the Strike Zone) and the Stench modifier would stack with this in any of the Keepers adjacent hexes increasing the overall negative modifier by 1. The adjacent hexes in the Keepers front arc would be under 2 Threat from Gotcha so the total negative modifier in these hexes would be 3.
Taking advantage of the Mark 5 DreadBall bases that all of my DreadBall models are mounted on I set out to make the idea of a team in a can a reality.
A bit if history. If you are not familiar with my GeoffTec Mark V bases (I find that hard to believe) you can check out the journey I went on to create them here: Hobby Highlight: DreadBall Bases
To begin the process of creating the GeoffTec Team in a Can™ (TIAC™) I went to Thingiverse.com. After some searching, I found a 3D model of a screw lid can that I liked.
The can wasn’t the right size so I imported the .stl file into TinkerCAD and resized it as well as making some modifications.
In addition to some small stylistic changes, spaces for 10mm x 1mm neodymium magnets were added. The magnets hold the inner components of TIAC™ in place. The inner components were designed next. Inside TIAC™ are tiers with magnetized slots for DreadBall Players (mounted on MKV base inserts), Mark V bases, DreadBalls, etc. The modular design on TIAC™ allows for multiple, reconfigurable loadouts.
Once all the components were 3D printed on an Ender 3 printer, many 10mm x 1mm magnets were glued into place. (Don’t tell but I actually ran out of 10mm x 1mm magnets and had to double up on 10mm x 0.5mm magnets in a few places.)
There are a few Abilities that tend to cause some confusion. Two such Abilities that seem to frequently come up are Gotchaand Threatening. Both of these Abilities affect the way Threat is applied in certain situations. Let’s start with a quick look at the basics of Threat.
Threat is a negative modifier on a test. All Players project Threat into their front 3 hexes known as that Player’s Threat Hexes.
When a Player needs to make a test, if they are in an Opposing Player’s Threat Hexes they will have a -1 on their test. (Note: There are a few tests that are not affected by Threat as indicted in the rules. For example Armor Tests are not affected by Threat.)
Threat modifiers stack but only to a maximum of -2. Threat does not apply if the Opposing Player is participating in the test because it is an (X) test (an (X) test is a test where your success’ are compared to your opponent’s success’, also known as an Opposed Test).
“This Player’s Threat Hexes always modify a test (up to the maximum) if the modifier is listed. For example, if a Threatening Player Slams an opponent then that target Player will receive a-1 modifier for being in the Slamming Player’s Threat Hex.”
Some Players start with or can aquire the Threatening ability. All Threatening does is change the rules for this Player so that their Threat DOES apply during an opposed (X) test.
What tends to confuse some coaches is the part of the rule that states “(up to the maximum)”. This just means that even with Threatening the maximum Threat allowed is still -2.
“Some Players are very tricky to get away from. Even a single Player with this ability causes the maximum -2 modifier for threatening an opponent during a test. A Player with Gotcha may Restrain an opponent as normal, taking the modifier to -3.”
The Gotcha ability allows a single player to apply the maximum Threat of -2 all by themselves.
The maximum Threat allowed is still -2. If a Player with the Gotcha ability and another player are both Threatening one of their opponents, that opponent is only at a -2.
What can confuse some coaches is the mention in the Gotcha rules of a -3 modifier in the last sentence. The -3 only happens if the Player with Gotcha chooses to do a Restrain Foul when one of their opponents attempts to Evade out of one of their Threat Hexes.
Threatening AND Gotcha
Both the Threatening and Gotcha abilities are powerful on their own but when a Player has both of these abilities they are very powerful indeed.
This combination of abilities allows a single Player to apply a -2 Threat to an opponent even during a opposed test.
Hopefully this article has helped to clear up any confusion any coaches might have had regarding Threat.
If a future article I will look closer at the Stench and Keeper abilites and how they apply additional Threat and negative modifiers as well.
So you have your Action Tokens and it’s your Rush. How to keep track of how many Actions you’ve used and which players you’ve used them on? There are a few options.
The Action Token Tracker
Some pitches, including the new pitch that comes with 2nd Edition DreadBall, have a dedicated area to track your Action Token usage. Simply place the token on the player number in the Action Token tracking area. There’s even a space to track Action Tokens spent to buy cards.
Cons: Players must be numbered between 1-14. Takes more space on the Pitch.
The Rush Tracker
If the Pitch you’re using doesn’t have a dedicated Action Token tracking area you can use the Rush Tracker. There are 14 Rushes so as long as your players are numbered 1-14 just place your Action Tokens beside the Rush number matching the player number. If your Rush Tracker has a “0” space use that to track buying cards.
Pros: Uses an already existing feature of the Pitch.
Cons: Players must be numbered between 1-14.
On The Pitch
If you don’t have a dedicated Action Token tracking area and don’t like using the Rush Tracker as an alternative you can always just place your Action Tokens on the Pitch beside the player the Token is being used on. For buying cards just place the Action Token near the game deck.
Pros: Players don’t need to be numbered at all.
Cons: Clutters the Pitch
In Your Head
This one is pretty obvious. If you find you can just remember and your opponent trusts you then just keep track in your head.
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.
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.
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.
The improvments continued:
Coaching Dice area
Ball launch direction indicators
Standarized scatter direction
Action Token tracker
Assistant Coach areas
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.
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.
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.
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.
EDIT: See all our pitches HERE including my newest design made for the Ontario DreadBall Leage (ODBL).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
Z’zor Hive Pitch
I’m leaning towards the water or Z’zor pitch but let me know which one you’d like me to work on.
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.
PAINTING MY CYBORGS
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
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
Army Painter Necrotic Flesh
Wash with Secret Weapon Sewer Water
Highlight using Necrotic Flesh mixed with white
Army Painter Wolf Grey
Citadel Nuln Oil wash
Highlight with Wolf Grey
Army Painter Leather Brown
Wash with Citadel Agrax Earth Shade
Highlight with Leather Brown mixed with Army Painter Ash Grey
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
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.