DreadBall 3-on-3: Amended Action Tokens

Amended Action “Tokens”

Currently, the DreadBall 3-on-3 rules utilizes a boatload of Tokens:

Each coach starts with 25 Action Tokens (18 standard tokens and 7 sin bin tokens)

Rebs cannot spend 2 action tokens on the same player on consecutive turns.

You can play any number of Action cards (still max 1 per player per turn) when it is your turn to play an Action token, but you still have to play a token either before or after or between playing Action cards.

So. Many. TOKENS.

While you could still use tokens if you wish, BreadDoll is making some nifty cards to use in their place. They are a little easier to manage, easier to distinguish different types, and future proofs for a few other little twists we are developing. While they are in fact cards, they will still be referred to as “Tokens” so as not to create confusion with the DreadBall Action cards. It’s important to be able to distinguish between the two.

The total number of tokens will still be 25, but the breakdown is slightly different.

The 25 tokens now consist of:

5 Sin Bin

2 Activate and play another token

3 Activate and draw a card

15 Standard Activation

As you may notice, there are few new types of tokens. The sin bin and standard activation tokens have dropped in number to accommodate the new types.

The Activate and play another Token is somewhat self explanatory, and really powerful. Being able to play two activations together is always strong in 3-on-3, but is usually limited to when you double a pick up or catch, or play an Action card—which can be difficult to come by. This gives you two opportunities per match to make a decisive and potentially game changing play! It should be noted that you can’t use both of them together, ie, you can’t play Activate and play another token to activate a player, then play your other Activate and play another token. Trust me, it’s not the most efficient use of it anyway.

The Activate and draw a card token gives a little more utility and flexibility in playing the game. It can be difficult to spend actions on drawing cards and give your opponent essentially two uninterrupted activations. Sometimes it pays off to stock pile action cards to do a lot in a single activation later in the match, but you have to be careful not let your opponent steamroll you in the meantime. When you play an Activate and draw a card token, not only do you get to Activate a player, at the end of the players action, you may also draw a DreadBall card. Oh the options! But be careful, you only get three for the match, after that you have to earn the cards the hard way!

Anyway, our resident awesome thingie maker, Geoff, will be putting together a file for the tokens. Print them out when they are available and give it a go!

When things get in the way…

When things get in the way….

Inspiring photo from the first DB rulebook….play wherever you can!

You and the gang head out for a nice “friendly” pick up game of the greatest sport in the galaxy. The players are gathered, but what’s this? The usual playing space that you use for a pitch is a cluttered mess! After carefully cutting the locks on the warehouse, you’d think the least they could do was leave some open play space for DreadBall…..geesh!

It is an inevitable fact, when you don’t have access to professional venues, things are going to try and get in the way of your game. However, rather than stopping the action, it can be a way to add to the fun!

Obstacles in DreadBall 3-on-3

Below you will find rules for incorporating the first three types of obstacles players typically run across in their pickup matches of DB. Obstacles help add variety to pitch layouts, and can come in handy when using non-“standard” pitches as well. But more on that at a later time.

Veterans of the game will recognize the first two types as having been originally introduced in Xtreme. The third type is something of a necessity for defining when using some non traditional layouts.

All obstacles, short and tall!

Tall Obstacles

The first type of obstacle, is the Tall obstacle. Tall obstacles are typically things like support columns, large shipping containers, pillars, etc. Even the strike post, is considered a Tall obstacle. Tall obstacles block the ball path when trying to make a throw or scatter, in much the same way as an opposing player or wall. Additionally, a Tall obstacle can not be moved through nor can it be Jumped over.

Short Obstacles

The second type of obstacle, is the Short Obstacle. This category can include other types of obstacles as well, such as traps, but typically includes things like crates, debris piles, dead bodies….that sort of thing. Short obstacles can not be moved through, but they CAN be Jumped over. Additionally, Short obstacles do NOT block the path of a ball being thrown or scattered.. However, a ball that ends its movement on a Short obstacle must be scattered immediately.

Impassable Wall

A third obstacle type is an impassable wall. Impassable walls, obviously, can not be moved through, and also block the path of the ball in the same manner as walls in regular DreadBall. This needs additional defining only in the sense that there may be more walls than usually found on a standard DB pitch. Pick up games will sometimes be played on pitches that have unusual angles in the walls that might make it difficult to ascertain if another player is eligible to make a Throw to a specific target. Simply draw an imaginary line from the hex of the throwing player to the target hex. If it crosses a hex with an impassable wall, or even simply a boundary wall, then the throw can not be attempted.

In this example, the Forge Father players are able to make a potential throw past the building.
Alpha could not attempt a Throw here, the boundary wall is in the way.

Anyway, there is much more to explore in the way of obstacles. Don’t let them get in the way, but make it part of how you play!

3 on 3 Team Building: Tier 2

3 on 3 Team Building: Tier 2

Little known fact: Blaine is a classically trained Shakespearean actor….probably

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.

Sponsors have a major impact on the types of players you will be able to hire….choose wisely!

To Summarize:

Stranger: +100mc

Ally: +60mc

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:

Matsudan

Guard: Guard, Proud

Jack: DreadBall, Proud

Yndij

Guard: Hunter, Rebel

Jack: Hunter, Jack

Striker: DreadBall, Hunter

Neo-bot

Guard, Jack, Striker: DreadBall, Mr. Roboto

Cyborg

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!

DreadBall 3-on-3!

Here it is! The completely unofficial, amateur, backstreet pickup game of DreadBall! DreadBall 3-on-3!

One of the variants of DreadBall that is currently (legally) growing in popularity is 3-on-3 DreadBall. 3-on-3, sometimes called StreetBall due to its origins, is a smaller fast paced DreadBall involving small teams on even smaller pitch.

Ah, the field of dreams….or maiming…..mostly maiming…

Alternating Activation

The biggest change for 3-on-3 is the Rush and Action structure. Coaches alternate taking actions. Each coach gets to spend only 1 action token on their turn.

Rushes

There are no Rushes in 3-on-3. Each coach has 25 Action Tokens (18 standard tokens and 7 sin bin tokens)

Action Tokens

Each coach starts with 25 Action Tokens (18 standard tokens and 7 sin bin tokens)

You can play any number of Action cards (still max 1 per player per turn) when it is your turn to play an Action token, but you still have to play a token either before or after or between playing Action cards.

So. Many. TOKENS.

Setup

Whichever coach is the underdog in a 3-on-3 match gets to choose Home or Visitor. Max of 3 players on the pitch….to start…..

Setup behind the center line of your side color (White for Home, red for Visitor)

Ball Launch

The ball launches from the center hex and scatters. If a player is occupying the center hex when the ball launches they might be hit. Roll a 3 dice 4+ test for the ball.

The ball cannot be caught in the center hex but can be caught when it scatters as if it was an inaccurate pass.

Strikes

There are no set Strikezones. Players can Throw Strikes from anywhere in range.

Strikes are still -1 for Throwing at a small target. All Strikes are worth 1 point.

Strike hexes are impassible, as there is a physical Strikepost in this space in a 3-on-3 game. No fancy holographic Strikehexs here.

Sturdy construction, timeless design. And ALWAYS in the way!

Dunking

If you attempt to throw a Strike from adjacent to the Strikehex you gain a +1 on your Throw.

Score

The team with the most points at the end of a match wins, as is usual. If at any point during the game one team is up by 5 Strikes it is a landslide win and the game ends. A tie will result in Sudden Death overtime. Coaches “reset” their allotment of Action Tokens and continue play.

Sudden Death

There are no “gates” to keep players from coming on the pitch, so there are no restrictions to bringing players on in overtime. However, in the true sense of the sporting term “sudden death”, whichever team scores next wins the match and ends the game.

Injuries

Injured players are not removed from the pitch. When a player is injured lay them prone and place a marker representing how badly they were injured in the Sin Bin (or use a prone model and place the regular mini in the Sin Bin) in their stead.

If the injured player is injured further while on the pitch move their injury token deeper into the Sin Bin, if this results in death, remove the player from the pitch and the injury token from the Sin Bin. Whenever a coach plays a Sin Bin Action Token, in addition to their regular action, they may move all fouling players through the Sin Bin and make a Recovery Roll for injured ones.

Recovery Rolls

At the end of each Sin Bin Action Token, every injured player from the active team must make a recovery roll. This is not optional. A player cannot attempt to Stand Up until they have recovered from all of their injuries.

Recovery Roll: a 3 dice Strength test (1).

-1 per opposing player threatening the hex you are in (maximum of -2).

Recovery Succeeds: the player removes one injury per success.

Recovery Fails: the player sustains one more injury as they continue to bleed out. If this takes the total to 4, then they die and are removed.

Fouls

There is no Refbot in 3-on-3, players are calling their own Fouls.

When you call a foul roll the Spot Test as usual.

The Argue (test that opposes the Spot Check in 3- on-3) roll is:

+1 for the player committing the foul

+1 if the player committing the foul is a guard

+1 to Argue if there is at least 1 teammate within 5 hexes of the fouling player.

Tie: Fouling player is sent to the Sub Bench

Spot Wins: Fouling player is sent to the “1” space of the Sin Bin

Argue Wins: Fouling player stays on the Pitch

Sneak Amendment: If a Coach ends an Action with more than 3 uninjured Players on the pitch, they are committing a Sneak Foul.

Momentum

Resources are crucial in 3 on 3…cards and free actions let you do more with your one token!

In 3-on-3 DreadBall there isn’t a big stadium full of fans. There are no fans checks, but teams can build up Momentum. There are two main methods of generating Momentum:

-Double a Strike

-Seriously Injure an opponent

When an action meets one of these conditions, draw a card and look at the pips.

If the card has 1 pip save it as usual.

If the card has 2 pips immediately discard it and take a Coaching Dice

If the card has 3 pips immediately discard it and take a Card into your hand

Once you have collected 3 pips of single pip cards you can immediately choose to take a Coaching Dice or Card in exchange.

Roster

Starting Roster funding: 600mc

Players can be purchased from all teams.

The minimum number of players on a roster is 3

The maximum number of players on a roster is 5

To represent the rag tag, pick up nature of the setting, you can not have more than one of the same kind of player (race and position).

Additionally, specialists (Strikers and Guards) are rare, most amateur and pick up players don’t have that level of training. To represent this, you may have no more than two specialists on your roster total. So, either 1 Striker and 1 Guard…or 2 Guards, etc.

No Assistant Coaches or Cheerleaders are allowed in 3-on-3

No cards or coaching dice can be purchased on a starting 3-on-3 roster

Lastly, players don’t normally earn experience. It’s not the players who level up and advance, but rather YOU, the Coach, the Manager, the Sponsor…….but more on that next time!

A new spin on an old favorite

So, last time I left of rambling about different versions of DreadBall in the DB universe. Really, it makes a lot of sense to me, and you see it in real sports all the time. I’m a big fan of rugby, but I really enjoy rugby sevens too. I used to watch football (erm, gridiron, or North American rules football to those in other parts of the world), but I was a season ticket holder to Arena Football.

Even in…other sports games, I really enjoyed variants. From multi race teams deep in a dungeon, to a smaller pitch with fewer players, each variation of the rules emphasized new ways to play and challenge yourself.

A lot of 3-on-3 is similar to Xtreme, including a focus on the Manager/Sponsor

Well, I’d like to do the same thing with DreadBall. The first variant of the game is a little thing we have internally referred to as DreadBall 3-on-3. It started as a thought experiment on how to capture a different feel and flow to the game and slowly morphed into its own at home version. Later, the variant developed a little further for capturing some of the rules cast to wayside from DBX when we moved to second edition. And finally, it was put together intended to be used as a mini game for conventions as a smaller, quicker, introductory game to DreadBall. Well, it never quite made it to that. So, rather than be lost to the ravages of time and my “to do” folder, it is being resurrected here on BreadDoll.

“Looks like a fun place to play…safe? NO. But fun…”

Over a series of articles, the back alley amateur version of DreadBall will be developed. The version of the game that is played by enthusiasts and wannabes as opposed to highly sought after professionals. The holographic strike targets and neodurium pitch of the pro ranks? Nah, here it’s concrete and cobbled together physical strike posts. It’s gritty and messy. It’s also chaotically fast. You won’t find any Cheerleaders or Assistant coaches either. Heck, your team will hardly be cohesive at all, and that is a good deal of the challenge. But, who knows? Maybe you’ve got what it takes to weld these dregs into a formidable force. Maybe charge up the semi-pro ranks. Maybe a talent or two gets discovered. Let’s find out! Next time we will peel back the curtain and take a peak at the fundamental workings of the stripped down amateur game.

The Greatest Sport in the Galaxy!……?

The Greatest Sport in the Galaxy!……?

Most popular sport in the galaxy?

DreadBall is by far the most popular sport in the GCPS Core Worlds. It even has a sizable following in some of the outer spheres. But the further you get from the Core and all it’s niceties, far from all the glitz and glamor, you find “entertainment” can take wildly different forms. And heck, while as previously mentioned DreadBall may be the most POPULAR sport in Core space, it is certainly not the ONLY sport.

So, what other sports grace the tri-vids and holodecks of the far future?

Well, we know OF Razordisc. But not too much about it.

I imagine there is some kind of racing too.

If you ain’t first, you’re last!

I also firmly believe there has to be some kind of combat sport too….a futuristic MMA with cyborgs, aliens…and…and alien cyborgs! I’ve toyed with some rules for such a thing. Maybe I’ll actually finish it one day…..maybe.

Watch out for its left hook…..er, stabby thing

Another project I’ve looked at is a sort of mash up of American Gladiator meets Ninja Warrior. Basically, the Warpath equivalent of that cinematic masterpiece, The Running Man. I think that would make for a fantastically crazy fun game night! Star Saga tiles, some crazy big baddies (like my Barricade with two Strider Chainsaw arms!), and a couple of expendable runners….might have to dig into that one a little deeper!

“This ain’t the Price is Right!”

However, what I really think might be interesting, and given the focus of this blog, is what other variants of DB are there? We have the stadium game. We have the spectacle that is Ultimate. But what about that rumored underground version of DreadBall? That illegal variant that may just be a little too eXtreme for the masses? Well, let’s see where we can take that, but we might have to start in a back alley first, before venturing into the criminal underground…

Till next time, keep it legal!

Match Types: The Aggregate Match

The Aggregate Match

The greatest sport in the galaxy has many different ways it can be played. From the simple one off pick up games, to the chaos of a fully realized Ultimate match, each type has different aspects that can alter the types of challenges a coach may face. However, one that I find particularly interesting, yet underutilized, is the Aggregate Match.

For those unfamiliar, a DreadBall Aggregate Match is essentially two games as one. The same two teams play two consecutive matches, reversing Home/Visitor roles in the second game, and the winner is the team with the greater net score.

For example, Team A is Home in match one and wins the match by 2 points. In the second match, Team B is Home and they win by 3 points. Though each team won one match apiece, Team B would be declared the overall winner of the Aggregate Match by virtue of the score differential (3 points being more than 2, ya know).

Every point (and casualty!) matters in Aggregate play!

If you really want to get in the spirit of the aggregate match, there is a great one page piece of fluff in the Season 2 rulebook from first edition DreadBall on page 22. Perfectly encapsulates the difference of playing two matches rather than one.

Now, there are two things to consider.

One, I find Aggregate more interesting if teams don’t “reset”. By that, I mean it is more like league play in that casualties matter. Teams can’t ignore the effects of attrition and simply try to outgun their opposition if it means going into a second match seriously depleted.

Two, tiebreakers. What happens if both teams have the same score? Well, the simplest route to take is to simply set back up for a third “winner take all” Match. Another similar, yet subtly different approach, is to take the match into overtime. However, the key point is that you and your opponent have an agreed upon plan in place should a tie happen.

Anyhow, I think the Aggregate Match has a lot to offer in changing the way even casual games are played…even offering a taste of league style play to those who might otherwise not get much opportunity. Give it a go next time you hit the neodurium and let us know how you got on!

Fluffy Fluffy Fluff

Fluffy Fluffy Fluff

DreadBall is the Greatest Sport in the Galaxy! But even as fierce as the action is on the pitch, there are even more stories and events to be told off of it. What we mostly have is some “fluff” in the rulebooks, snippets of happenings and factoids that allude to the greater context the sport occupies. There is the fan fiction collection from the Xtreme KS, and perhaps a few pieces in the old Iron Watch. There also appears to be a DreadBall novel coming in the not so distant future.

There is so much that can be explored in DreadBall. Unfortunately, “sports fiction” can be particularly tricky to “get right”. In that sense, some times the smaller type of pieces in the rulebook can be better, to convey just a simple scene of action and leave it at that. However, getting behind the scenes entails doing a lot more, and I’m hopeful we will get something the excites that imagination as to what a DreadBall league or season can be like.

The fluff in the rulebook only scratches the surface of the DB universe!

My favorite type of pieces right now are the throw away one off remarks, like the Teraton Cheerleader disaster. I am also really fond of the one page piece of the Aggregate match interview between a Marauder and Corporation squad. Probably just because I like the Aggregate format as something a little more unique, but still, it offers a glimpse into the DreadBall world as more than a single match—which is prone to happen when you mostly play one offs, or even tournaments with the normal “reset” between rounds. At least in League play, you have to manage more than wins and losses…..for better, or for worse.

Oh dear, not another one….

Anyway, what’s your favorite bit of background from the DB universe? Or what would you like to see or find out more about?

To Dice, or not to Dice?

To Dice, or not to Dice?

Chessex is my usual choice for dice….typically Gemini

A particular DreadBall quirk of mine is that every team I use has to have their own set of dice. Not just any dice, mind you, these dice have to match the team colors and/or theme. I’m not really sure why I do it, there are some sets of dice I like better than others, but a habit is a habit. Last week for Origins found me buying a new dice cube just hours before the first launch of the tournament.

Color match….acquired!

I also happen to use a completely different set of dice for coaching dice during the match as well. I only have a few sets of these, the most important part is that they are easily distinguishable from the “normal” dice I use during a match. My favorite set for coaching dice at the moment are the exceedingly beautiful BreadDoll dice, with the BD properly placed on that good ol’ exploding six.

Mmmm…..Beautifully Baked!

Not that it matters too much, but I also have a habit of only using 16mm dice too.

It’s got me to wondering, what match quirks or habits do other DB coaches have?

Drop us a comment and share!

Top 5 Tournament Moments

0934A3F9-353B-4A21-9DF5-9B30897E2A50Top Five Tournament Moments

Here are a smattering of some DreadBall tournament moments that for one reason or another are forever ingrained in my memory. I have many favorite moments from individual games, but these five stand out for completely….different reasons.

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I’d try timed games again….with the right amount of time!

5. The Clock! Adepticon. The first DreadBall tournament in the US of A, debuting at Adepticon. This was memorable not only because it was the first tournament, but because it experimentally decided to borrow the chess clock rules that were being used in Kings of War at the time. However, a misunderstanding of the rules packet led to the entire game being limited to 3O minutes, rather than 30 minutes per player for the one hour rounds. This resulted in the fastest four rounds of tournament DreadBall ever!

4. The Comeback! Adepticon. The start of the North American DreadBall Circuit was off with a bang, and the early favorites appeared to be a Hobgoblin team running a double Hulk build. 4-0 going into the Fifth and final round, the Hobgoblins found themselves in a rematch with an earlier victim from the day. An interesting quirk, in the NADC, five round tournaments sometimes result in rematches in the fifth round due to the nature of the size of the field, and the fact that the final round has the top two teams play each other, regardless if they have already played each other or not. Well, as luck would have it….or not, depending on your perspective, victory was not to be for the Hobgoblins. The characteristic aggressive play style marking their earlier victories was notably absent in the thrilling final to crown the North American Champion. The opposing coach had found themselves in a hole early in the day, but managed to climb back to the top with win after win to claim the NADC title!

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League in a Day is a fun format!

 

3. League in a Day! EVO Games. League in a Day is just a memorable experience no matter what. While this wasn’t the first one I had participated in, it was one of the most fun! There were several teams and a variety of play styles represented that resulted in some wonderful matches on the day.

2. Stomped into Submission! Adepticon. A woeful tale of so close, yet so far. Final match of the tournament for me and my Beltway Bruisers (Marauders), I was only having a so-so tournament. One final match could bring me a bit of redemption. However, Jon Carter and his Teratons were not having it! In a brutal back and forth affair, it looked like I might eeck out a victory, but in the end settled for a tie….or so I thought. In the final rush with the score tied, and very few scoring opportunities available, Coach Carter went with a foolproof plan…STOMP! The physical nature of the match up had taken a toll on my poor goblins, and only one was remaining on the pitch. Recognizing an opportunity, Jon managed to knock the goblin prone….and proceeded to mercilessly stomp on them despite the protestations of the referee. Time was called, and while the score was knotted at “0”, I had no remaining players capable of scoring left on the pitch—resulting in an unexpected loss! I constantly point to this match as an excellent example of situational awareness.

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And still in second edition, a well timed RI can change EVERYTHING

1. Slam from the bench! Gen Con. This was the first ever DreadBall tournament at Gen Con. For being thrown together last minute from a hospital bed, it had a pretty decent turn out too. At this time there were only Season one teams available, the game being less than a year old. Early on, there was a Veer-myn team that seemed primed to run the table. However, one play would turn their fortunes upside down. The rats looked poised to take down a Corporation squad early…they had a lead, and the ball, and were preparing to go for another big strike. The Veer-myn striker was carefully trying to skirt the defense outside the strike zone when it happened.

RUN.

INTERFERENCE.

A Corporation Jack came off the bench with one step and completely blindsided the rat, ball careening down the pitch. The abrupt end of the rush caused a huge momentum change. The corporation recovered the loose ball and immediately scored to take the lead and eventually the match. The rats, once poised to take the day, fell from the top table for good. Another classic example of how a single play can change the momentum of a match!