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.
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.
First Edition DreadBall used 6mm balls on a small attached base
Second Edition DreadBall comes with small 4mm balls that detach from their base
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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
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.
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.
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?
As you are probably aware, magnets have a North and a South pole. This is the polarity of the magnet.
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.
tie a string around a stack of a few of your disc magnets
allow the magnets to rotate freely
when they stop spinning, the end that is pointing North is the North pole of the magnet
fill a bowl with enough water to float a small piece of foam or styrofoam in
take a stack of a few of your disc magnets and lay them on the foam in the water
the magnets will rotate around when they stop spinning, the end that is pointing North is the North pole of the magnet
Once you know the polarity mark it on the magnets with a sharpie (or similar) so you don’t lose track.
Now that you know the polarity of your magnets use the following diagram to glue in your magnets.
Red = North Polarity
Blue = South Polarity
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 email@example.com
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!
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.
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.
Geoff Burbidge – Cyborgs
Volker Jacobsen – Sphyr
Andrew Sharp – Yndij
Benjamin Kinne – Zee
Andrew Wodzianski – Convicts
Rob Shlemkevich – Yndij
Natasha Gray – Sphyr
Anthony Sarlo – Sphyr
Dom Laurion – Yndij
Jack B. – Sphyr
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.
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.
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!