Rush Report: CORT Season 9’s Kick-Off

Dream do come true.  When this BreadDoll editor was a wee lad, in the form of a college freshmen, he explored writing about himself in the third person as well as board gaming in the ‘sports’ genre.  Prior to that era, everything was “me, I, Heroquest, and Dungeon!”  In 1993, I bought the second edition of Blood Bowl.  Months later, I bought the third edition.  Those boxes, along with Dungeon Bowl, Death Zone, and a Companion led my five friends and I into a glorious season of progressive sports gaming.  It was magic in a bottle that escaped each of us during our sophomore year.  The lot of us still reminisce over our grid iron antics, but we rarely play that game anymore.  However, a fire was lit inside of this gaming belly, and the embers of a sports league never cooled.  It just took nineteen years to fan the flames again.

I’ll share more when I continue the ‘History of Fantasy Sports Board Gaming’ posts.

When DreadBall was released in 2012, a new group of gaming buddies and I agreed to make an investment.  It was a long pitch, and any BreadDoll reader may give it a gander if they search my bio post on this blog.  Against all obstacles of life, my private group started their NINTH season of DreadBall league play last month.  We strive to compete at the same time, but in this case – my home hosted the first match alone.  I was an impartial observer, so I had the distinct honor of documenting the competition and drinking scotch.  As such, much of my recollection towards the end of the match is spotty at best.  Colourful comments are below each picture, and a sweeping criticism is at the bottom.  Enjoy.

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Crude but credited; CORT’s first match was a bout of Champions. Season 4’s Champ Jamie had his Neobot team DOMINMATRIX square off against Season 7’s Champ Brett and his Yndij team FULL MOONS.
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If it’s a CORT match, there’s drinking. Prior to the first ball’s launch, three glasses are poured and consumed. PLAY BALL!
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May the best Coach win!
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At the end of Rush 1, the Neobots fail to clear a 2 point Strike lane and settle for 1.

 

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The Yndij respond at the end of Rush 2 with a 2 point Strike.

 

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Full Moons ahead by 1 at the end of Rush 2.
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Rush 3 begins a wave of unfortunate dice rolling as a Neobot Striker misses.
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Scattered, the ball is ready for a Rush 4 pick-up.

 

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The bad rolling continues. You can’t move the ball if you can’t hold the ball. Rush 4 comes to a premature and anti-climatic end.

 

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Rush 5 alive! The Neobots prime themselves for redemption and hope to swing the pendulum back. NOPE.

 

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Rush 6 presents an opportunity for Yndij to break away and take a commanding lead. NOPE.
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At the end of Rush 6, the DreadBall is lonely and depressed. It hasn’t seen such little action since that middle school dance.
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Rush 7 is another tale of disappointment as the Neobots can’t put points on the board.
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IT’S A FREAKING MIRACLE! Brett tosses in a coaching die and manages to score at the end of Rush 8.
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There have been few Strikes during the first half of the match. At the top of Rush 9, the visiting Yndij are ahead by 3.
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Rush 9 is a folly of FAIL when a Neobot Striker fails to pick up the ball.
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The Full Moons take advantage, and put two more points on their side at the end of Rush 10.
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Picking up the ball in Rush 11 is tough to do.
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Meanwhile, a Neobot Guard begins to pick clean the CORT “douche castle” in preparation for a come back. Unfortunately, those points didn’t materialize in Rush 11.
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The Yndij continue to apply pressure with a 1 point Strike in Rush 12.
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With a commanding lead, Jamie’s Neobots are now fighting for the meta game. Losing to a landslide would result in less post match payout, and that’s a horrifying scenario.
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Jamie may be destined to lose, but he’s going to make Brett work for the seven point win.
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Jamie’s lays a little ‘Number 1 Fan’ on his Striker for good measure. At the end of Rush 13, Jamie brought down Brett’s lead from 6 to 4.
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Without a viable 4 point Strike opportunity, Brett settles on 2. With it, more experience and more fan checks.
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Without rosters to admire, we are left with a handsomely scratched league breakdown. Jamie lost this match, but that doesn’t mean he’ll lose the season. Hope spring eternal! Meanwhile, Brett begins to budget for new hires.

The rest of CORT finished their respective matches later in the month.  New opponents were selected, and round two will commence in a week.

League play is the penultimate experience for DreadBall.  Since 2011’s Risk Legacy, progressive play in board gaming has been trending.  For the most part, it’s all sizzle and no steak.  League sport board gaming is the finest example of campaigning.  It’s the tactics of a match, and the strategy of a season that yields challenge after challenge.  It’s moneyball and it’s murderball.  It’s DreadBall!

If any BreadDollers have league questions, fire away in the comments below.

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Hobby Highlight: The Uprising of 0Rabb1

Piling onto our July 9th post about DreadBall fluff, this BreadDoll editor wanted to remark on a favorite bit of background with a separate post.

The lore for Lucky Logan / Kreed is ace.  The best however, is the tale of 0Rabb1.

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The ingredients for a great MVP: low cost, fun stats, and a great backstory.

Unfortunately, the model for 0Rabb1 is difficult.  As part of the ‘People’s Choice Champions’ MVP set, it is not difficult to find.  Instead, it’s difficult to assemble.  Once erect, it’s also just a little difficult to admire.

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0Rabb1 is five-piece build, and not one of the strongest miniatures in the DreadBall line.  The scale is particularly unfortunate, especially when compared to its predecessor, the Medbot (or, Medi-bot, depending on how long you’ve been coaching).

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The Medbot model is fab.  It’s full of character; silly and sleek like all z-grade science fiction.  Cast in plastic, the Medbot also lends itself to easier customization.  And so a project was born.

“I WILL CREATE MY OWN 0RABB1!” – Andrew Wodzianski

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Editorial rant: I paint miniatures as a means to an end.  I wear many hats, but when it comes to hobby time; I’m a gamer first and a painter second.  My first world priority?  Paint towards a table top standard to assist in play immersion.  I’ve painted every single piece of DreadBall, because my league and I play with every single piece of DreadBall.  I play games with friends to escape banal reality.  But every once in a while, something deserves a little more effort.  I thought 0Rabb1 needed that kind of attention.

Why stop with a customized MVP?  Why not make a diorama?  Why not make a story?  WHY NOT?!

Materials for an uprising:

  • 1 Medbot model from DreadBall / Deadzone
  • 2 prone Martians (1 from DreadBall, 1 from Mars Attacks!)
  • 4 Mechanite bits from DreadBall
  • 9-10 straight metal push pins
  • 1 table from Starship Scenery
  • 1 monitor from Starship Scenery
  • 1 coloured advert from Mars Attacks!
  • 1 tile from Hexagon Construction Set
  • 1 wooden plaque
  • 1 black plastic capped push pin
  • 1 placard from Crown Awards
  • Paints, varnishes, and pixie dust

Cut, glue, stomp, paint, spin a blender, and add more hours than needed; FINISHED!

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Form follows function, so this diorama’s 0Rabb1 can be removed for gameplay.

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The goal was to create a little narrative, depicting 0Rabb1 at the launch of it’s revenge on organic life forms.  Perhaps during its tenure on the DreadBall pitch, it grafts the spikes seen on the official model.  For this early interpretation, those angled pieces of metal are envisioned as repurposed tools from an operating room.

Now it’s time to SLICE AND DICE.  Enjoy.

League Logistics: Season 9 CORT Draft

Drafts are uncommon outside of planet Earth’s North American continent.  Within those borders, the process of allocating certain players to certain teams is both numerous and varied.  The NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB, MLS, WNBA, and the CFL conduct drafting events/spectacles.  Lesser known to the public, but perhaps just as important?  The CORT league DB Draft.

This BreadDoll editor has many pots on the burner, with two on-going posts;
1) History of Fantasy Sports Board Gaming
2) Coaches’ Corner
as well as some upcoming
3) Rush Reports from this summer’s NADC
and
4) A tasty Hobby Highlight featuring one of the best DreadBall MVPs!

Never mind those assignments.  Today’s post is about DRAFTING, and the process of one League’s efforts to make clever visual announcements.

Longtime BreadDoll Coaches know CORT as a private league.  The public only knows CORT as an acronym; Citizens Of Rage Town.  Yep.  That’s it.  Nothing more.

At the beginning of every season, CORT Coaches must draft their new team following a few rules.

Rule 1 – Team drafting will be sequenced according to the previous season rankings; last place selects first whereas first place selects last.

Rule 2 – No Coach may draft a team already selected by another Coach.

Rule 3 – No Coach may draft a team they have previously coached.

Rule 4 – Drafts must be announced within a designated time frame on a private social media site.  Wit, sarcasm, and smack talking encouraged.

CORT’s ninth season begins on Monday July 8, 2019.  Matches are set.  Balls will be launched.  Before the first die is rolled, it’s fun to see how the new season materialized.  BreadDoll readers are encouraged to guess who is fielding which team in the comments below.

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Coach Wes may have earned last place in Season 8, but he got to draft his new team FIRST!
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The most successful Coach in CORT history, Zak, experienced a humiliating season 8. The four-time Championship winner kept a sliver of pride, refusing to come in last place. Consequently, he was second to draft.
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Coach Alex fell into CORT’s “limbo,” not bad enough to compete in the “sacko” (i.e. last place match) but not good enough to compete in the playoffs. He drafted third.
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Coach Dave also fell into CORT’s “limbo,” not bad enough to compete in the “sacko” (i.e. last place match) but not good enough to compete in the playoffs. He drafted fourth.
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Part I
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Part II Coach Jamie made it to the playoffs with a nicely developed Yndij team.  The road to a championship match was cut short by a group of Nameless.  He drafted fifth.
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Coach Steve also made it to the playoffs, but with a nicely developed Mechanite team.  The road to a championship match was cut short by a group of Cyborgs.  He drafted sixth.
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Coach Brett made back-to-back appearances in the Championship match. Unlike winning Season 7 with his Male Corporation, his Season 8 Nameless team suffered a one point loss to some filthy Cyborgs. He drafted seventh.
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Part I
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Part II And that left the Champ. Me! My C.S.I. (Cyborg Sex Initiative) won the season and drafted last. A pleasure not experienced since my Season 3 win Coaching the Veer-myn.

Please post any guesswork below.

Long live CORT, and long live DreadBall.  BreadDoll is pretty tasty too.

The 2019 NADC Season and YOU

It’s time to scratch your competitive itch.  A new season of the North American DreadBall Circuit (NADC) is upon us!  This post includes event notifications, rules for gaming, and rules for… life.

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Big Trophy. Do you want it? YOU MUST WIN IT!

We BreadDoll editors wear multiple hats.  We are spouses, sons, and fathers (I adopted a cat, damnit).  We’re also Coaches, Rules Committee Members and Ambassadors to a game we adore.  DreadBall!  On occasion, we’re Tournament Organizers (TO).

This humble editor is organizing three (maybe four) DreadBall tournaments under the NADC banner.  And so the bell must be rung.  While it’s not the best method of communication, announcements should be made where Coaches will read them.  For DreadBallers, that often means the social media site Facebook.  Last week, I posted the following on Facebook’s DreadBall Fanatics;

ATTENTION COACHES! It’s the summer of Slams! It’s the season of Strikes! It’s another cycle of the North America DreadBall Circuit!!! The NADC concludes its run every March at Adepticon. Coaches attending compete for the continental championship. The contest is open to all, but if a Coach wants to WIN their ticket – they need to conquer a regional tournament first. And so it begins. Already posted on DreadBall.com, the first three events cross the U.S. of A. ;

Friday June 14 = Origenes Cup at the Origins Game Fair

Friday August 2 = General Control Cup at Gencon

Sunday August 4 = DC*DC at Washington DC’s Franklin Hall

NADC events have swag! Come get some! Certificates, BIG TROPHIES, little trophies, dice, and the occasional baked good. Perfect your rosters. Suit your team players. Attend your regional tournament. The NADC 2019 rules packet has been uploaded to the files section.

And here’s a challenge; if you attend a NADC event? BRING A FRIEND. Let them borrow a team (or borrow one from the tournament organizer). Share this gem of a game with others.

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Little trophies. Metal totems of excellence, and they make great score tokens. Place in the top three, and one goes back to your locker room.

 

Are any BreadDoll readers not members of Facebook?  If not, I suppose you could consider joining.  It’s a fascinating cess pool of ignorant trolls.  Thankfully, one respite is the secret group DreadBall Fanatics.  Ask to join, answer some non-robot questions, and Geoff will most likely punch your ticket (he’s on Facebook twenty two hours every day).

Less visited, but still important?  Boardgamegeek.com.  Presumably, it’s a popular site.  A few people visit on a semi-regular basis.  Also, a favorite from this editor; therewillbegames.com. Posting tournament announcements to multiple sites is wise.  No site will capture all eyeballs.  Diversification is needed.  Even if no one reading an announcement on BGG will attend a DreadBall throw-down; they’re still reading the announcement.  They know the game is active and a community supports it.

Once Coaches have a play date, they’ll want rules to govern the competition.  The 2019 NADC rules have been uploaded, here! NADC-Tournament-Rules-Pack-2019  Give them a gander.  Veteran Coaches may notice that all transfers are now legal, Giants too!  However, MVP transfers are still limited to one (and Giants are MVPs).

While Coaches roster-bate, the tournament organizer is doing their own prep work.  Punch lists are good, and here’s a modification of what this editor brings in a BRIEFCASE OF DREAD:

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The infamous BRIEFCASE OF DREAD
  • Three (3) complete sets of DreadBall [board, tokens, cards, miniatures]
  • Collector’s rulebook
  • Printed FAQ/Errata
  • Sixteen (16) Copies of tournament score sheet
  • Sixteen (16) sets of Home / Visitor cards for participating Coaches
  • Name tags
  • Sixteen (16) Pencils with erasers
  • Permanent marker
  • (6) Certificates
  • (4) Trophies
  • Six (6) DreadBall dice
  • Six (6) BreadDoll dice
  • One (1) Granola bar for the “hangry” Coach whose blood sugar is low
  • Emergency miniature repair kit: super glue, blue tac, tweezer
  • Reading / tech glasses
  • Cell phone charger
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The BRIEFCASE OF DREAD, opened. Repo Man / Pulp Fiction quotes are welcome.

Once the big day arrives, the Coaches and Organizer need to perform their duties.  Coaches need to play legal and efficient games, and the organizer needs to keep the trains on time.

DreadBall Tournament DOs and DON’Ts

DO

  • Be on time
  • Listen to opening remarks
  • Validate rosters with the Organizer
  • Discuss rosters and miniatures with opponent
  • Shake hands with your opponent
  • Have familiarity with the rules
  • Articulate your Actions, including dice pools
  • Wear deodorant
  • Take photos of your match
  • Pay attention
  • Confirm tournament sheet results with opponent
  • Congratulate winners at tournament’s end
  • HAVE FUN

DON’T

  • Delay a game
  • Field unprepared miniatures
    • Every mini is painted, numbered, and threat hexes identified.  DreadBall is a hobby-centric board game, and What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG).
  • Have bad breath
  • Incessantly look at your phone
  • BE A %*#$ing @#$+~^&

A rather all-encompassing DON’T, it’s important.  Here are some specifics:

  • Complain about game “balance” during a game, or between games.  Save it for constructive criticism after the tournament.
  • Contrast DreadBall with other games’ mechanics during a game, or between games.
  • Use vulgarity
  • Celebrate an opponent’s failure
  • Project any sort of aggression to your opponent or the Organizer.  Micro, macro, cosmic.  None of it.

Prep work is almost finished for this Friday’s tournament at the Origins Game Fair.  The Origenes Cup is a raucous good time.  Raucous, because it’s after hours.  The dealer hall is closed.  It’s Friday night.  Origins is a dry Fair, but many Coaches (AND THIS ORGANIZER) look forward to a nightcap after the winner is crowned.  The BreadDoll will have a Rush Report in three weeks, if not sooner.  One History of Fantasy Sports Board Gaming III will appear in July.

Good luck to all competing NADC Coaches.

One History of Fantasy Sports Board Gaming part II

Coaches were left with a charge at the end of our last history lesson.  If a sporting footnote between 1982 and 2004 needed mention, comments were welcome.

Among all responders, loyal BreadDoll reader Mike Mueller was quick to reply with perhaps the most obscure title that preceded 1982’s Grav-Ball by three years!

From the annals of Wyrd, behold this relic from 1979;

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Troll Ball, 1979.

Greg Stafford and friends manipulated the Runequest combat system into a sports game. Competing troll teams face-off on a field of violent mayhem, with an objective of most points scored.  A “point” is earned by carrying a living trolkin across a goal line.

Troll Ball may very well be the first fantasy football sports board game, thus knocking Monsters of the Midway off my previous mantle.  Troll ball is very much a product of its time.  It’s a compact ruleset at five lean pages, but still includes team and character creation, as well as leveling.  And it’s funny to boot!  It’s also very DIY.  Coaches need to craft their own pitch!  Those with a spare 1/2″ grid map will be able to save time before the starting whistle.  Glorantha needs dedicated sports fiends to field Troll Ball.

Other responders were kind.  And… kind of off-mark.

The “One History of Fantasy Sports Board Gaming” is so titled for a reason.  There are parameters.  An editorial decision has been made, and consequently, a lot of games have struck the killing room floor.  Part of education is understanding boundaries, and part II now shifts focus to what is out-of-bounds.

If it’s a card game, it’s not part of this history lesson.

Slapshot (1982), Dream Team (1997), and Blood Bowl: Team Manager (2011) are fine games.  In fact, I’ll revisit Blood Bowl: Team Manager in a future lesson detailing the Blood Bowl franchise.  However, each of these titles and their poker deck sized brethren are not included.  A board is necessary, and by inference; tokens representing players.  Baseball Highlights: 2045 (2015) will most likely make a future appearance.  While a card game at its core, it does include a baseball diamond board and player pawns are fielded.

If there is no Board, it’s not part of this history lesson.

Guild Ball (2015), Darkball (1996), and Sports Fuzz (1995) are…  games.  Guild Ball has no board and frankly, no sport.  Dark Ball also has no board.  However, thanks to the nineteen nineties, it does have POGS!  Coaches mileage may vary depending on their experience with pogs, but Darkball is fine hybrid of sports gaming and tiddlywinks.  Sports Fuzz is another miniatures combat game disguised as a sports title, but it gets a mention on the BreadDoll for creativity.  Fuzz Ball is dependent on existing toy collections, their size and color.  It’s a “miniatures agnostic” game.  Any ruleset that champions cross pollination over publisher shackles gets a nod from this editor.

If it’s a race, it’s not part of this history lesson.

This distinction is arguably polarizing.  Racing is a tried, true, and tested form of competition.  Cockroaches.  Dogs.  NASCAR.  These qualifiers may describe North Carolina, but they also describe a small sample of countless speed-based sporting events. So does Arena Maximus (2003), Blood Race (1999), and Monster Derby (1994).  And yet, the BreadDoll’s history on fantasy sports board gaming ultimately exists to compare and contrast games with the greatest sport in the galaxy.  DreadBall.  DreadBall is a sport that pits two adversarial teams in direct conflict over a limited resource.  Racing and Ballin’ is like apples and oranges.

Missing Links, circa 1993 – 2003:

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Thunder Ball, 1993.

Mark Hanny’s take on basketball, now with Harry Potter-like antics!  If any title could use a refresh via Kickstarter,  Thunder Ball would be it.  A hex based court with multiple baskets and spells?  Think of a simplified DreadBall Xtreme meets Wiz-War.

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Jugger, 2002.

Lloyd Krassner’s turned medieval war machines into ball-smacking’ sportsmen!  Mentioned here only to lay groundwork for a similar themed game in a sci-fi setting.  Privateer Press will have an entry in part III!

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Peace Bowl, 2003.

Angelo Porazzi’s Warangel/WarBeast universe expands!  2-4 players push themselves around while trying to get a ball into one of three end zones.  Mentioned here only to lay groundwork for a similar game with a pop culture smash up.  CMON will have an entry in part III!

Is the history lesson still missing a gem?  Let us know!  In three weeks, we’ll dive into the 21st Century with full abandon.  2007, here we come!

One History of Fantasy Sports Board Gaming part I

Young Coaches, gather round.  This here Old Timer has a tale to tell.  Now, it’s not a complete story.  And it ain’t a yarn that’s meant to rib ya.  But it’s something y’all need to know, because understanding the past helps manage the present.  And sometimes, the past can help predict the future.  I have here a recollection of the bones rolled from an Ancient Grognard.

This BreadDoll editor is the Grognard.

I’ve played a lot of fantasy sports board games.  To be clear, I stress the distinctions.  1) Fantasy.  2) Sports.  3) Board.  4) Games.

There are a lot of board games about sports.  Strat-o-Matic, anyone?  No.  We’re talking fantasy.  Strat-o-Matics don’t count, nor do any of the sports titles prior to 1961.  In fact, this history lesson begins in the late 20th century.  1982 to be exact.

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Grav-Ball, 1982.

Grav-Ball was ground breaking.  Literally.  It was played in zero-G!  A science fiction setting, a robotic referee, and a ball made of metal!  WOW!  FASA published L. Ross Babcock and Fred Bently’s design with a lot of zest for the early eighties.  There was so much zest, FASA had to outsource the thirteen metal miniatures to Martian Metals.  Of all the games recollected in this history lesson, the fifteen dollar Grav-Ball is the only title that eludes me.  So I’ll punt.  The best description of this long forgotten title is certainly from the game box itself.

Grav-Ball is a sporting event of the future reequiring skill and courage. Played in a zero-G court, the two six-man teams try to score with a five kilogram steel playing ball. Anything can happen in the meantime! Leagal actions include body, ahnd, and foot checks, passes, and actual goal shots. Illegal actions, or actions requiring a penalty check, include striking with the ball or elbow, shooting the player with the ball, and all out assults. The usual result of such body contact is a high player tunover rate. The player’s body armor does not guarantee physical safety from opposing players or from the ball itself. If the game gets too rough or a fight occurs, Heartless Huey is released. This invulnerable robot will incapacitate the nearest player. He then moves on to the next, nearest player until all are terminated or the fighting stops. All of these factors make Grav-Ball an exciting and action-packed game of the future.

What’s old is new again, yeah?  Keep Grav-Ball in mind you whipper snappers.  We’ll come back to it.

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Monsters of the Midway, 1983.

Released in issue 65 of Dragon magazine, I declare this gem of an insert the first fantasy football sports board game.  Draft monsters, create teams, and beat the hell out of one another on a board that looks a lot like a football field.  Occasionally, efforts would be made to handle the ball and carry it into an end zone.  Designer Gali Sanchez was on to something.  Monsters of the Midway was unique and cheeky.  Under an hour to play, it was fast.  Considering is was included in a magazine, it was free.  Win win.

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Blood Bowl, 1986.

I don’t know if designer Jervis Johnson was influenced or inspired by TSR’s first effort.  I suspect he at least read that issue of Dragon.  Blood Bowl took everything Monsters of the Midway had, and elevated it.  Everything except the game play, which was a peculiar translation of Warhmamer onto a football/rugby field.  Clunky play aside, 1986’s Blood Bowl did raise the bar for creativity: evocative illustrations, funny writing, and strong world-building kept imaginations on fire.

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Blood Bowl, 1988.

Games Workshop found itself in a transformative state in late 1980s.  GW began shifting from Games into…  Miniatures.  Blood Bowl had found enough traction in their modest cardboard standee version to merit a second edition.  This time, with toy soldiers!  A plastic human team and a plastic orc team would now block and blitz on a three-part styrofoam pitch.  Colored team inserts for end zones were a great touch.  A full colored rulebook with new and revisited illustrations made for an excellent read.  The mechanics were still a little cumbersome, but it was visually superior to the 2-D players that preceded it.

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Blood Bowl, 1994.

Three times is a charm!  Jervis Johnson retooled his parody of American football into something… more.  Rerolls, sand timers, and Coaches screaming “ILLEGAL PROCEDURE!” in the face of cheating (or forgetful) opposition.  Games Workshop retooled their efforts as well.  In the eight years since the first edition, GW was now in full blown mini-mode.  Blood Bowl still had a staple human and orc team, but now there were individual sculpts for positions.  The third edition was a culmination of what preceded it.  Refined miniatures.  Refined rules.  Robust league play.  Robust tournament scene.  But just as Blood Bowl found loyal Coaches far and wide, Games Workshop began using a different compass.  GW moved in a curious business direction, leaving their ‘specialist’ games (Blood Bowl’s categorization) on a back burner.  Eventually, that burner’s light would all be but snuffed.  [hee hee, “butt snuffed.”]. Fortunately for the previous metaphor, the legion of Blood Bowl Coaches around the world would keep the game’s flame of relevance for two decades during publisher neglect.  It’s what I  like to call, “GW’s dark years.”

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Battleball, 2003.

Milton Bradley.  They’re a huge game publisher that works for the lowest common denominator.  The bean counters insist on easily accessible toy-games that look attractive on the shelves of big box stores.  Every once in a while, their disposable and instantly forgettable catalog has something that shines.  Stephen Baker and Craig Van Ness were MB game designers with fondness for the gaming of the British Isles. Baker himself was a Brit, and was responsible for such epic MB / GW crossovers as HeroQuest, Battlemastes, and Space Crusade.  What if?  Just WHAT IF?  Milton Bradley could distill the majestic mayhem of Blood Bowl into an affordable and attractive toy?  It had been done before; Warhammer = Battlemasters.  Space Hulk = Space Crusade.  MB went for it.  Battleball was great!  If you were eight.  Twisting the fantasy of Tolkein tropes to Heinlein tropes was a clever shift in theme.  The dice were pretty and plentiful.  The miniatures were diverse and dynamic.  But the game itself was just too simple.  It didn’t capture the height of it’s giant grandfather, despite starting on it’s shoulders.  MB tried, and the rulebook hinted of future expansion* teams.  It was not to be.  Battleball did not move enough units, and is now a mere fantasy sports board game curiosity.  The best development from this experiment was the strengthening of Baker and Van Ness’ design aesthetic.  They would team up again for perhaps the greatest war game of all time – Heroscape.  It didn’t hurt that Heroscape had the same sculptor from Battleball.

*Expansions?  Oh, yes.  Yes yes yes.  No fantasy sports board game can survive this cut-throat hobby business unless there is always something to sell.  If a publisher doesn’t have something to specifically sell for a popular fantasy sport game?  There will be a vacuum.  And a vacuum will be filled.

Come back in three weeks for ‘One History of Fantasy Sports Board Gaming part two.’  In the meantime, leave a comment below.  Tell the BreadDoll about some sporting footnote between 1982 and 2004 that should not have been ignored.

Rush Report: Clash of the Giants 2019

Adepticon 2019 is a wrap.  Many DreadBalls were launched.  The most balls out in a singular match was undoubtedly – CLASH OF THE GIANTS.

This humble BreadDoll editor has sung the praises many times.  It was a title first, and a tournament format second.  In its fourth year, Clash of the Giants saw a major 2019 facelift as it transformed from a non-sanctioned tournament that encouraged Giants into a singular six-Coach session of Ultimate.  Ultimate, with GIANTS!!!

In what will hopefully become a late night convention classic, Clash of the Giants is intended to get Coaches to sit down, unwind, and embrace the chaos that only Ultimate can serve.  If swingy dice are thwarting the best laid plans during a tournament or league play – ha!  Wait until time is spent on the Ultimate pitch.  It’s a “beer and pretzel” affair, and it encourages king-of-the-hill smack downs both literally and metaphorically.

A mild effort was made to limit the madness, and no Event Cards were used.

Facilitating speed of set up, all Coaches had pre-constructed rosters to select.  Adepticon 2019 had six options: Kalyshi, Martians, Forge Fathers, Mutants, Veer-Myn, and the Male Corporation.  Each roster was built to 1000 mc, and each roster included a GIANT!

As mentioned in previous posts, Clash of the Giants would not limit itself to the nine officially released Mantic Models.  No no.  A Mantic convention event needs to be a spectacle.  Giants help, but NEW GIANTS are even better.  Culled from the Deadzone miniatures line, four figures were selected for conversion.  A fifth miniature was pulled from Mantic’s good ol’ Mars Attacks line.  Easily accessible, visually complementary, and quick to convert – these Giants made their public debut at Mantic Night and quickly got to work!

Stats for these beasts will slowly trickle through the BreadDoll blog.  For now, we’ll leave Coaches with two.

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Night Terror

Role Guard

Movement 6

Strength 3

Agility 4

Speed 3

Skill 5

Armour 4

Abilities: Threatening, Ram, Uncontrolled

Value 225 mc

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Stage 1A

Role Guard

Movement 4

Strength 4

Agility 4

Speed 4

Skill 5

Armour 4

Abilities: Stubborn, Grizzled, Mutation*

Value 260 mc

*Mutation – Roll a coaching die at the start of the player’s activation.  The player manifests a random mutation from the Mutant’s Advancement table for the rest of the round.

As anticipated, chaos ensued.  Three Giants rushed into the middle of the pitch for some break dancing.  It was a slaughter house.

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Jeez. This game needs some PEST CONTROL.

After only three rounds, one Coach had risen to the top!  Adam Kinne and his Kalyshi held a defensive posture and scored when the opportunity… STRUCK!  Adam won a set of Clash of the Giants cards.

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Well played Adam. Well played.

Adepticon’s Mantic Night finished with winners and losers and and one BreadDoll editor with lots of notes.  Clash of the Giants will return this summer at Gen Con.  Keep reading the BreadDoll as we tease the other three new Giants making a clash-dance appearance.

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BreadDoll’s Andrew beside Mantic’s Ronnie Renton and Rob Burman.

 

Tournament Time: BreadDoll swag at Adepticon 2019 Events

Next week, the 2019 convention season launches for us at the BreadDoll.

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Adepticon is here!  It’s a pretty special convention; tightly curated to highlight miniature games.  It’s not as sprawling as Gen Con, but it’s not as small as regional events.  Adepticion is the Goldilocks of gaming.

DreadBall is well represented.  As such, the BreadDoll is there too.  We’re sponsoring three events and like always – Coaches participating in BreadDoll sponsored events get swag.

First up; League in a Night 2!  Thursday March 28, 2019.  5pm.  Coaches are going to settle down an evening of team development.  It’s a four round slug fest of strikes and slams.  And, experience is marked along the way.  I adore League in Night tournament formats.  In this humble BreadDoll editor’s opinion, league play is the superior way to enjoy DreadBall.  No tournament format can replicate a league setting, but League in a Night comes pretty darn close.  League play is an entirely different beast from “normal” tournament formats.  “Resurrection?”  No no no…  If a player is injured in league play, they’ll feel the consequences in future games.  Unless of course, a Coach rolls a 6, 7, or 8.  Or, if a Coach wants to spend 40mc on an injury re-roll.  What’s hurts more Coach?  The back injury of your level 3 Striker, or your thinned out pocket book?  League in a Night tests different skills sets and requires different strategies.  A battle (ahem, match) can be lost, but a Coach can still win the war (ahem, league).  Launch the first ball with a vanilla starting team, and promote roster growth for a high team value.  Competing Coaches get a set of Home / Visitor cards from the BreadDoll.

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Second is the MAIN EVENT: Adepticorp Cup!  Saturday March 29, 2019.  Sometime in the morning…  Adepticorp Cup is the North American DreadBall Circuit (NADC) Championship tournament.  Any 2018 regional winners are awarded a seat at the tournament, but even scrubs like me can buy a ticket and reach for glory.  As League in a Night demands specific straggles, so too does Adepticorp Cup.  Whereas “Leaguers” are tasked with developing a team through a meta growth tournament, Adepticorp Coaches need to do their homework long before their first match opponent is determined.  Power gamers rejoice, because the Adepticorp Cup rewards those who “roster-bate.”  Coaches are issued 1200 mc and an empty bench.  Have at it!  With the exception of a few omissions (Martians, Rejects, Giants), Coaches can build their team to theoretical perfection.  Coaches that actually respect the game and its hobby aspect also literally build their team.  What You See Is What You Get, otherwise known as WYSIWYG.  Anything less in my opinion, and the Coach is just a Chump. Competing Coaches get a set of Home / Visitor cards from the BreadDoll.

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Lastly, it’s BIG TIME.  Saturday March 29, 2019.  Sometime during the bacchanalia known as Mantic Night, six Coaches will compete in Clash of the Giants!  For its fourth iteration, Clash of the Giants moves from its Mid-Atlantic roots, AND it gets a serious facelift.  Clash of the Giants was a popular non-sanctioned tournament in Washington D.C. that celebrated the beautiful (and beautifully neglected) Giants.  Coaches were rewarded if they added a Giant to their rosters.  Fun was had by all, but after the 2018 tournament – the winds of change had blown.  Clash of the Giants 2019 is now an Ultimate Match.  Coaches will choose from a selection of pre-built teams.  They are lean, mean rosters that happen to include – Giants.  And because Clash of the Giants is a spectacle, there’s even more.  MORE GIANTS! DreadBall’s deep line of miniatures include nine Giant models.  Clash of the Giants will introduce FOUR NEW GIANTS.  Rosters are top secret.  However, the BreadDoll will offer one image to whet any Giant appetites.

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Only six Coaches will get to experience the big brawl at Mantic Night.  But do not fear!  The new Clash of the Giants only debuts at Adepticon!  If any Coach wants to participate in a colossal convention contest, Clash of the Giants will be offered several times at Gen Con 2019.

The Coach who Conquers will receive a set of Ultimate turn cards, and the Champions of League in a Night and the Adepticorp Cup will get a fresh set of BreadDoll dice.

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Good luck Coaches.  BreadDoll editors look forward to meeting as many of you as possible.  For those that won’t cross our launch lines, come back to the site for a Adepticon Rush Report.

Scattered Scullery: Don’t worry. Be Irish!

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May your team’s Medi-bot never earn an MC out of you, and may your heart never give out. May the ten toes of your feet steer you clear of all misfortune, and before you’re much older, may you hear much better toasts than this.

Happy St. Patty’s Day to all Coaches across the Co-Prosperity Sphere.

Cheers!