Steals and Deals: New Year’s Resolutions

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Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Welcome to 2020 all Earth Coaches!  For your consideration, the BreadDoll suggests for the following playbook option:

  • Mantic Games is offering a ‘Cyber Sale’ until January 2.  If you don’t have a PDF of the 2nd edition Rulebook, now is the time.  Also for consideration: a first edition bundle and xtreme compilation.  While they both have limited function with 2nd edition rules, the images are (always) great, and the fluff is well written.  But perhaps most importantly is the FREE STUFF.  Captain cards, Martian rules, rosters…  Download and be done.
  • Also…  Just saying…  The DreadBall Core Game 2nd Edition is on sale for $49.99 USD.  It includes the Collectors Edition rulebook.  Seriously.  Buy a second copy.

With New Year purchases resolved, why not commit to goodwill in 2020?

  • Join the Facebook DreadBall Fanatics group. Write a post!  Identify where your league plays on planet Earth (Map of DreadBall Leagues).
  • Visit DreadBall.com, and register.  Create a team!  Find an event!
  • Visit Boardgamegeek.com, and log your DreadBall plays.  Write a post!  Leave a review!
  • Visit Mos Eisley cantina.  I mean, Reddit.  Join r/dreadball.  Write a post!

Then, GET OFF YOUR GOD DAMN COMPUTER!  Interact with other humans, face-to-face, in real time.

  • Play DreadBall.
  • Start a league.
  • Play in a tournament.
  • Be nice to others.

Happy New Year.  May all of your sixes explode.

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Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

Scattered Scullery: Merry Christmas

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Infamous mercenary Blaine perfectly captures the holiday spirit while encased in chocolate. It’s not carbonite. It’s CHOCONITE.

The Greatest Sport in the Galaxy is only possible because of Great Coaches.  Merry Christmas, and Merciless Carnage to everyone on the pitch and sidelines.

 

xoxo, The BreadDoll

Steals and Deals: Black Friday 2019

On Earth Capitol Washington D.C., the lizard men in control of operations agree and understand one fundamental truth.  Commerce is King.  Slave-minded humans fuel the workings of the first world with purchase power.  This power is so strong, reptilian machinations have scheduled non-secular days of worship around it.

And so, Black Friday.

This BreadDoll editor is posting to our loyal readers on Saturday November 30, 2019.  It is one day after Black Friday.  Presumably, the hive-mind of Homo sapiens buying crap for others on sale/discount/bargain has somewhat abated and the focus can turn to what really matters.

Yourself.

Mantic Games sponsors a Black Friday sale.  It is ‘Friday’ in name only; the sale begins a full week before the dark day, and important for this weekend’s readers, continues until the following Monday.  In this case, Monday December 1, 2019.  This is important because Mantic Games is the publisher of DreadBall,  THE GREATEST GAME IN THE GALAXY,

Mantic’s Black Friday spokesperson, Crazy Bobby, has a few deals that all Coaches should notice.

  1. DreadBall Core Game, 2nd Edition = $89.99. NOPE.  Now it’s $49.99
    You probably already own a copy, and that is good.  Now buy another.  Start a league.  Give a copy to a friend for the holidays.  Pass along you beater copy to that fish-head eating half-brother you keep in that attic.  DO IT.
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  2. Long Rock Lifers = $39.99.  NOPE.  Now it’s $14.99
  3. Nemion Oceanics = $39.99.  NOPE.  Now it’s $14.99
  4. Rotatek Rocksliders = $39.99.  NOPE.  Now it’s $14.99
  5. The Unicorporated = $39.99.  NOPE.  Now it’s $14.99
    These teams are fab.  If you already own them, you too are fab.  Go ahead and buy another set.  You’ll want to paint your players in an VISITOR uniform.
  6. DreadBall Xtreme with Free Player’s Manual = $29.99.  NOPE.  Now it’s $14.99
    Now this price is truly crazy.  Crazy Bobby has lost all of his crackers.  DreadBall Xtreme is already seriously discounted at $29.99, and that’s a huge value.  But $14.99?!  Seriously, WTF.
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    DreadBall Xtreme may not suit everyone.  It’s not this BreadDoll editor’s favorite cuppa, but it is a fine game nonetheless.  It’s just a… different… game.  No longer THE GREATEST GAME IN THE GALAXY, DreadBall Xtreme is an explosive death trap.  It’s unforgiving, it’s brutal, and it’s a bit random.  Your mileage may vary.

    But what won’t vary is the value of this price point.  Inside this beautiful box of boom boom, you get three.  THREE.  Three DreadBall teams.*  Convicts, Kalyshi, AND a set of Xtreme “Free Agents” that have transformed into the Ronnie Rejects for DreadBall’s second edition.**  Coupled with crate terrain, a handsome neoprene mat, and dice to choke your half-brother; DreadBall Xtreme’s Black Friday sales price is just too good to pass.

    * NOTE: These three teams will not be exactly 2nd edition complete…  The Convicts and Kalyshi will be missing their Team Captain and Team Captain cards.  No worries.  You can download the Team Captain cards from the Mantic Games website AND you can purchase both Team Captain models from the MVP pack “Strike Zone Stunners.”  The third team, the Ronnie Rejects, are mostly complete.  The team does not yet have an official Team Captain or a set of Team Captain cards.  But I’ve overheard Jesus Ortiz say that Digby is working on that issue…

    ** DreadBall’s second edition and DreadBall Xtreme are different rule sets.  This may be a concern to some, but here’s the straight dope: Coaches can play Xtreme’s rules in tandem with DreadBall’s second edition core rules & team stats just fine.  It works, and works well.  There’s no need to adjust card play, though players will want to adjust their Sponsor bets by adding a zero to their sums.  That’s it.  These quick adjustments make the Xtreme Player’s Manual obsolete, but you can still read the fluff and appreciate the illustrations.  Mantic’s publications always shine with their miniature photography.

Go BUY DreadBall stuff.  Happy Black Friday.  Happy Small Business Saturday.  Happy Cyber Monday.  BUY BUY BUY.

 

Coaches’ Corner: Shawn Grubaugh

The Coaches’ Corner is an in-depth interview with DreadBall Coaches, Commissioners, and Creators.  A game is fourteen Rushes, and the interview is fourteen questions.

This shake-down of queries is big.  As big as the state of TEXAS!  The Lone Star State is known for many things: The Alamo, Succession, Cowgirls, and…  Shawn Grubaugh.  Shawn has a long and storied history with the Greatest Game in Galaxy, and he’s “agreed” to reveal some of it’s more interesting developments.

Shawn Grubaugh.  YouTuber.  Mantic Pathfinder.  Gamer.

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This is Shawn’s chest. Covering it is a t-shirt his wife had painted for him. That is what marriage is all about.

1.  How did you first learn about DreadBall?

While watching Gen Con videos (well before I was able to actually attend) – there was an interview with Ronnie Renton of Mantic Games.  He was talking about this cool game coming to Kickstarter called Dreadball – A sci-fi sports game. I was immediately intrigued.

2.  What do you remember about your first game?

It was a learning match with the core set of Corporation against Marauders. I was getting my butt handed to me by my son Garrison. It was day one of the league, and we were being taught the basics.

 

3.  What is your favorite team?

My favorite team will always be my Neo-Tek Phantoms [Corporation]. They went undefeated for two leagues, three tournaments, and I won the inaugural Gen Con tournament with them.

 

4.  What is your favorite MVP?  Is the miniature cast in…  Metal?

The greatest MVP – Shawn “Patient Zero” Grubaugh!! Cast in metal!!

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Patient Zero, literally rendered in a beautiful sequence of ones and zeros.

Of course, of course.  Please elaborate.  You chose to back the DreadBall Xtreme Kickstarter at a level that granted you development of an MVP.  Explain to loyal BreadDoll readers how and why this character went from zero to hero.

Yea. Mantic Game sent several models to choose from, and then did a few mock ups. The original head had a spiked Mohawk! That’s not really my style, so I asked for long wavy hair and bang – Patient Zero! For the fluff and rules I had a couple ideas and friends contributed. Two really good friends significantly helped. Tom Taylor in the fluff, and Brian Taylor (no relation) on the rules. It was really a collaborative effort.  Ultimately, I wanted Patient Zero to look just like I do: young, muscular, long hair, and athletic!  Mantic Games did a great job! 😉

5.  Yes.  The similarity is…  Striking…  Let’s discuss pitches.  DreadBall was quick to find custom efforts from fanatical fans, and the first this BreadDoll editor remembers seeing was something called the Neo-Tek Tesla Dome.  Please explain its origin, development, and refinement.

Wow.  So I really love this game and wanted a cool pitch that would catch the eye. I have ZERO artistic abilities and had no idea how to start. I found free software call gimp, and began a lot of research on how to use it; what a layer was, using python to create the hex grid, editing pics, etc…  The first version was roughly 30 layers. I started looking for cool ideas and thought lightning would be cool! It was literally a couple months of work. Some time later I went back for version 2 on a bigger mat and adding places for cards, coaches, tokens, etc… It was a great experience, and I still love to see pictures of people all over the world playing on my pitch!

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So. Many. Layers.
 

6.  Tangentially related, when I play on Mantic’s Neoprene GrubaTek VII’s Coliseum Deluxe Pitch – your last name seems to be staring at me.  Or is it?  Please explain how this optical distraction came to interfere with my matches.

It is actually named for me. The year after Dreadball was released I finally attended Gen Con for the first time! Knowing Mantic Games would be there, I decided to take the version of my pitch I had printed on neoprene to show the guys. When I met Ronnie at the Mantic booth, I pulled out the mat. To my surprise he was really impressed and was very interested that it was on neoprene. He even invited me to Mantic Night at Colt’s Grill to play him a game on it. Little did either of us know: that game would probably be the greatest game either of us played. Ever. It was a back and forth battle that ended in a draw. When asked if we should go to OT, Ronnie said, “A game this great should end in a draw!” I couldn’t agree more, it was truly epic. SO. I gave the mat to Ronnie as a memento of the great game. What was really cool is a couple months later, James M Hewitt (yes, the awesome game designer who used to work at Mantic Games) contacted me over Facebook.  He said when Ronnie brought the pitch back to the office and the guys all loved it. He was asking my permission to use it in the office league! “Heck yeah!” I said. I had no idea what was to come. A few months later, Dreadball Xtreme was on Kickstarter.  The campaign had a new version of the game, new teams, and a new neoprene mat. Ronnie contacted me and explained they wanted me to name the mat. Gruba-Tek VII was born! The Dreadball pitch created by the father of the seven Grubaugh children who, would take over the galaxy’s largest company and rename it Neo-Tek. “Neo-Tek, If we don’t make it, you don’t need it!”

Yea.  I’m really into Dreadball, and I’ve created my own fiction for it!

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It’s not Gen Con if there are no cargo shorts. Ronnie Renton and Shawn Grubaugh captured in a moment of civility and good sportsmanship.
 

7.  You are one of the few Coaches from North America that has visited Mantic Games in Nottingham, UK.  That’s very cool, but really…  How cool was it?

It was awesome.  I got there and really had no agenda.  I just wanted to hang with the team for the day, see what happens behind the scenes etc… It was a great day! They showed me how the metal and resin models were made.  I got to play a game of Dreadball 2nd Edition with Stuart Gibbs before it was shipped (I lost by 1 point, but was told I was the closest to beating him of everyone). I even got to sit in on a secret meeting discussing future projects.  Yes, I knew about Hellboy before the rest of the world! It was a very hard secret to keep, but keep it I did!  It was a great day.

8.  Shifting gears for a moment, what do you do when you are not playing DreadBall?

I have a YouTube channel – The Game Room – Texas Gamer Geeks. We do a lot of unboxings, game plays, and painting tutorials. I also paint a lot when I can. That whole “I’ll never run out of minis to paint” thing, yea – I really live it. We love games like Infinity, Gaslands, Deadzone, and The Walking Dead.

9.  You attend gaming conventions with your family, and your entire clan plays games.  What are the positives and negatives of such travel plans?

I love having the kids play games with me. Going to conventions really gives us a connection I wouldn’t replace. They look forward to it every year whether its; PAX South, a local convention, or Gen Con. The only negative is the expense as Dad foots much of the bill. But the time spent together is worth it. Some of the older kids have started helping cover costs, which tells me they cherish the time and fun together as much as I do!

10.  Back to the Galaxy’s greatest sport, how do you primarily play DreadBall? [One-off, league, tournament, Xtreme, Ultimate]

Leagues are the best way to play; to watch your players gain experience, and get better, and then become targets! I remember my level 5 Striker was the league’s biggest target, everyone wanted to kill him!! During the last few games of the league season – he only came onto the pitch for the last Rush or two when I needed the winning Strike. That was a great season.

11.  Which opposing team/Coach do you… Dread… the most?

Garrison Grubaugh! I don’t think I’ve been able to get a win on camera against him in years!

12.  Describe your most memorable DreadBall Rush.

My Neo-Tek Phantoms against a Veer-myn team. At Rush 13, it was three in my favor and my opponent just missed the Strike attempt that would bring the score to zero. For the Final rush of the game, we could have just called it.  However, we were both in need of experience points. The final Rush for which I needed all 5 actions required: Sprinting to the back of the pitch, Picking up the ball, getting the extra action, Running, Throwing, Catching with the extra action, then two Dodges, another Throw, another Catch with the third extra action, a couple more Dodges and a finally – a 4 point Strike attempt…  A 7 point victory! The required successful die rolls were insane!

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The infamous Neo-Tek Phantoms!
 

13. What would you like to see from DreadBall in the future?

Thats a hard one.  It’s a great game, but support seems to have dropped. I think new life could be brought into it with new teams released maybe every 6 months. Maybe a rules update.

14.  Lastly, if you won a BreadDoll in tournament play (last place), would you; eat it immediately in front of attending coaches, or wait until you were in the privacy of your locker room?

Oh eat it there! Last place – Embrace the SUCK!

Thank you Shawn!  This BreadDoll editor is going to celebrate an excellent interview and history lesson with some Texas toast and Tito’s.

Coaches’ Corner: Antti Jäppinen

The Coaches’ Corner is an in-depth interview with DreadBall Coaches, Commissioners, and Creators.  A game is fourteen Rushes, and the interview is fourteen questions.

This interrogation is particularly special.  Both the interviewer and interviewee share a common hobby that lies beyond the spectacle of sporting science fiction.  The power of childhood, nostalgia, and fantastic plastic flows through these words.

Antti

Antti Jäppinen. Mini painter, He-Man enthusiast, and data plumber.

1.  How did you first learn about DreadBall?

I was quite new to Kickstarter, with the only projects previously backed either canceled or funding not met. One day, I spotted this sci-fi sports game that picked my interest. I had played Blood Bowl very actively around 2000, but that group had dispersed and this new game looked like it fixed many of the problems we saw in Blood Bowl. I loved the three dice / three Roles design and the general smoothness of the gameplay, and I think I backed all-in pretty early.  Subsequently, I’ve backed every DreadBall Kickstarter since, and talked a few friends into backing too.

2.  What do you remember about your first game?

I don’t remember much anything about my first game, but fortunately I keep a record of all boardgame plays on boardgamegeek.com. Checking there, it seems I’ve played the first game against our older son who was 9 years old at the time, with me playing Tronteks and him playing the Smackers. We didn’t use cards. I won by four points. It took us a year of occasional matches to teach my friends and get them interested, before we started an actual league, and haven’t really stopped since.  Only the second edition completely rebooted the perpetual league. The boy is now 16, and has been playing with us for most of this time. He plays Teratons.

3.  What is your favorite team?

The Martians, probably. I love crossovers, and every time a surprising guest appears in a game – it makes me smile. The first edition team was pretty weak, but nowadays the shooting game is quite effective and amusing with the Slaughter ability. And the clear helmets! I’ve never played them personally, though. I own most of the DreadBall stuff our league plays (although we’ve made some purchases together), and somebody else has always opted for them. I think I’ll be switching back to Forge Fathers (my original team) when we go to our next season. Or maybe Mechanites, I love their variety, and the potential for randomness.

4.  What is your favorite MVP?

I don’t really know. The way MVPs interact with the game means they mostly are not used in our league. Switching all MVPs as Captains would be the way to go in my opinion.

5.  Across the entire DreadBall line, what is your favorite model?  If you painted it, how did you do it?

Barricade, hands down. Giants in general are pretty nice, being big and imposing, but there’s something special about Barricade. Sadly, he’s not used in the game practically at all, as the players find MVPs not a good choice, and Giants weak in particular. My inspiration for Barricade’s paint job is the 1985 vehicle Bashasaurus from Masters of the Universe. The paintjob isn’t maybe quite what I’d now be able to do, but I am happy with it.

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Antti’s inspiration: part machine, part reptile. ALL BASH.

6.  Now that you mention it, many of your DreadBall color schemes mirror that popular 1980s toy franchise.  Several readers may know this BreadDoll editor is a resident of the Fright Zone, so it’s no surprise there is a lot of love for your Masters of the Universe palette.  What’s your connection to Eternia, Castle Grayskull, and Snake Mountain?

I grew up with Masters of the Universe, and never quite got over that. The muscular men of Eternia have been of my life ever since one way or another. Mostly it’s about slowly collecting MOTU Classics figures, buying too many MOTU-themed t-shirts, and buying any-and-all miniatures that are inspired by the franchise. Occasionally, I also customize MOTU action figures for others. I’m also part of a loose group of Finnish MOTU fans who meet every few months to just hang, eat, and watch a crappy film from the eighties.

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These stunning models are completely acceptable for Vanguard / Deadzone crossovers.

7.  Follow up; Who is your favorite MOTU character?

A tough question! Mosquitor is one of the coolest, and as a kid I loved Modulok and Multi-Bot. Trap Jaw is pretty menacing (not in the cartoon, though). I think I’ll have to go with Mosquitor. He would’ve made for a cool theme for a Z’zor team or maybe Koris, but I’ve painted both already. Not many people have love for New Adventures of He-Man (I think it was called Super He-Man around here), and Optikk from that line is also very cool. In fact I think the bad guys from New Adventures are all very nice designs (sans Skeletor).

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Mosquitor sucks!

8.  Do you have any future color schemes for teams that you’d like to share?  Perhaps another franchise to celebrate?

With DreadBall, I rarely deviate from MOTU, unless the mini is specifically from some other franchise, like the Martians, or Judge Dredd. My son’s Teratons were painted with TMNT in mind, though, for obvious reasons. I think the next team I’m going to paint is a Judwan team for one friend who I’m trying to lure into the league. She has never been a minis gamer but is an avid sci-fi, superhero and board game fan, and I’m unsure how much time she has for semi-regular gaming… But my plan is to paint the team inspired by Prince Adam, I doubt many people can resist that! I painted the Judwan Captain while he still was an MVP with Sy-Klone in mind, but the paintjob isn’t that good, I’ll have to repaint it. If I’ll do a Mechanite team, it has to be based on Multi-Bot!

9.  Shifting gears for a moment, what do you do when you are not playing DreadBall?

I used to be head chef for an institutional kitchen and staff restaurant, but now I’m studying for a Business Information Technology degree and recently started a new job as what could be described as a data plumber, so studying and work takes a lot of my time. Most of my free time is eaten by painting miniatures, jogging and/or running, playing board games whenever possible, and spending time with my family.

10.  Back to the Galaxy’s greatest sport, how do you primarily play DreadBall? [One-off, league, tournament, Xtreme, Ultimate]

As I mentioned we have an ongoing league. I has been going on with 6-8 players since 2013, and I’m hoping I can recruit two more players once we finish the current season next weekend. League play is where the game really shines! We do love Ultimate, and try to incorporate an Ultimate match into every one of our seasons (for us, a season lasts 3-12 months, depending on how busy people are with ‘Real Life’), but it’s hard to get three or more of the players together. During first edition we managed to play a compelete season with six players with exlusively 3-player Ultimate matches, with all teams participating in the finals game, and it was a blast! It was also the slowest of our seasons, as scheluding the games was so difficult. I own Xtreme, but have never tried and probably never will, although the modular boards from the expansion still intrigue me..

11.  Which opposing team/Coach do you… Dread… the most?

Our two best coaches are my friends Jaakko and another Antti, who currently play Z’zor and Veer-Myn respectively. I suspect I’ve never beaten either one in a game of DreadBall. Jaakko’s Z’zor, the Buzzspace Skyspies (inspired by Buzz Off from MOTU) are dreaded by all in the league, as his extremely tough Guard ”Bitsy” will mow down anyone and everyone on the pitch. In general we do play with pretty casual attitude, though, so there’s not too much actual dread involved. 😀

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Bitsy is going to seriously injure you bro.
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Buzz Off Bitsy!

12.  Describe your most memorable DreadBall Rush.

I can’t pinpoint any specific Rush that sticks out. Many DB matches have very intense last Rushes that decide the match, and that’s one of the coolest things about the game.

13. What would you like to see from DreadBall in the future? 

There’s a couple of things in no specific order:

  • A captain and captain cards for Martians.
  • Maybe alternative Captains for the teams? To go along with this switch existing MVP’s as Captains. Many of them could be an option for several teams. Captain cards would be still team-specific.
  • I do think the game has enough teams as it is, but if a licenced team would come up, I’d be all over that. A specific licence of, say, Eternians would be very high on my to-buy list!
  • Upscaled minis for first edition teams is kind of on my wish list.. but as I own almost every team already, I’m not so sure I should be hoping for this. 😀
  • More event cards. We feel the event deck is nice but kind of stale, and some of the events are pretty big game changers.. seeing them come up isn’t that bad but they could be rarer. This could tie up to alternative Captains?
  • Change the Draft rules to simply give back a fixed amount of cash, making any exceptions meaningless. I feel this would balance the high starting cost players in a perpetual league better.
  • League and Team tracker app (preferably on iPhone). I kind of started my own but decided it’s too much a hassle to make on my free time.
  • Extended league systems? Like the Azure Forest. The new Captains could be tied in with these packs.
  • Active rules review and updates.

14.  Lastly, if you won a BreadDoll in tournament play (last place), would you; eat it immediately in front of attending coaches, or wait until you were in the privacy of your locker room?

I would eat it immediately and stuff as much in my mouth at once as I can. That’s how I usually eat.

###

Many thanks to Antti for the Finnish fandom.  You sir, HAVE THE POWER.

Coaches’ Corner: Rob Burman

The Coaches’ Corner is an in-depth interview with DreadBall Coaches, Commissioners, and Creators.  A game is fourteen Rushes, and the interview is fourteen questions.

Rob Burman has been pulled from his GCPS issued desk for this interrogation.  It’s a coup for the BreadDoll editors, as Rob is the first interview from Mantic Headquarters.

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Rob Burman.  Goblin lover, Bigfoot believer, and ex-Donkey Konga UK champion.

1.  How did you first learn about DreadBall?

By accident, really. I stumbled across Mantic just after the first Kings of War Kickstarter but just before the DreadBall Kickstarter launched. Although I had been out of the hobby for about 13 years, it totally looked up my street and I immediately went all-in! Since then I haven’t looked back… I mean, obviously I’ve looked backwards when driving and stuff. I just haven’t metaphorically looked backed. Apart from memories… oh, you get the idea.

2.  What do you remember about your first game?

I didn’t actually play a game for a long time. Instead, I spent time (really badly) painting the teams I got from the Kickstarter. Eventually I found a local club in Nottingham and they had a few players who said they would teach me the ropes. I think my first game was playing with Veer-myn and I got absolutely swept off the pitch, but I loved every minute and was immediately hooked.

3.  What is your favorite team?

Woah, that is like asking me to pick a favourite child or pizza topping. It changes all the time. For the longest time I was a hardcore Veer-myn player because I loved their speed. Then I changed to Rebs (while still in First Edition). In Second Edition, I thoroughly enjoy playing Matsudan and Yndij (and played both of those for a while). However, I’ve recently returned to my greenskin roots (and the first team I painted), with the Marauders. These guys are absolutely top notch in Second Edition and I can see myself sticking with them for a while.

4.  What is your favorite MVP?

Bit cheesy but probably the Praetorian, in terms of stats. You really can’t argue with a 3+ Skill and he’s relatively tough, thanks to Can’t Feel a Thing. I had the Praetorian in my DreadBall UK Championship winning side back in 2018 and he won the tournament for me, really.

5.  Across the entire DreadBall line, what is your favorite model?  If you painted it, how did you do it?

Actually, going back to the Marauders; I really love the orcs and the plastic makes them very easy to re-pose. They’re nice, big, chunky models so you can get quite a lot of detail on the paint job.

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6.  How do you primarily play DreadBall? [One-off, league, tournament, Xtreme, Ultimate].

Nowadays it’s mostly tournaments with the odd one-off on the Mantic live stream. I wish I could play more, to be honest, because it’s still my absolute favourite game.

7.  Shifting gears for a moment, what do you do when you are not playing DreadBall?

Cry, solemnly.

8.  You work at Mantic!  Without jeopardizing your employment, please describe your position.  Any advice on how to find a gainful salary in the gaming industry is welcome (asking for a retired DreadBall Coach).

I am the Online Sales and Social Media Manager, with is a bit of a mouthful. In terms of getting a job, it’s all about pursuing your passion. Once I got back into the hobby, I hit it hard. I became a senior committee member at the club, started writing blogs, shared my (often terrible) painting progress and eventually managed to persuade my boss in a previous job to let me start a tabletop gaming magazine. I think if you can demonstrate that sort of commitment to the hobby and industry in general, then someone is bound to pick you up.

9.  Back to the Galaxy’s greatest sport, which opposing team do you… Dread… the most?

I see what you did there… I don’t think it’s necessarily the team, it’s more the Coach. Facing off against Geoff [Burbidge] at Adepticon was a humbling experience – even though he was playing Brokkrs, who I normally wouldn’t be scared of. Likewise, a humbling defeat recently came at the hands of the Trontek 29ers, who I have previously dismissed as complete rubbish. However, I must admit that I fear taking on a competitive Zee player. Having that many players to block all the strike zones is a pain in the backside.

10.  Describe your most memorable DreadBall Rush.

I love those Rushes when absolutely everything goes to plan (although it doesn’t happen that often). During the Co-Prosperity Cup 2019, I was down one Strike in my final Rush but there was an outside chance I could grab the ball and score. For that to happen, I had to; get the right card (Any Player, Any Action), pick up the ball, double it, and then Dash several times to sneak into the two point Strike Zone. It really shouldn’t have been possible but, against all the odds, I pulled off everything.

I also love the fact you can swap Fan Checks for extra cards now. That really encourages you to try crazy stuff (nine hex passes, triple Dashes, etc.) to generate the Fan Check and get a card, which could turn the tide.

And, of course, every Rush I played against Crazy-A at Gencon 2019 was sheer joy. [Editor’s note: Mantic has nicknamed this BreadDoll editor “Crazy-A.” It’s not… inaccurate.  Regardless, our Gencon match ended in a tie.]

11. What would you like to see from DreadBall in the future?

To be honest? More people playing! There’s quite a good UK community bubbling away at the moment. Franticon had 20+ players earlier this year and WOFcon recently had a similar number. There’s already an event planned for early next year, and I’d like to see another at Mantic HQ.

With more people playing, we can then release more products. I would be wary of ‘just more teams’ because we already have a shed load but perhaps a resin classics edition, with re-poses of the original teams? Something like that would be very cool.

I’d also like to see some sort of global tournament, a little like the Deadzone campaign we  [Mantic] did last year.

12.  You often play DreadBall on both sides of the pond.  Have you noticed different coaching styles between North American and British opponents?

I haven’t, really. I was expecting the Americans to be more violent (although Shane [Knerll and Geoff [Burbidge] both obliterated my NeoBots at Adepticon), but that isn’t always the case. I think good players are good players both sides of the pond.

13.  You frequently appear on Mantic video feeds competing against colleague Elvis Fisher.  More often than not, you dominate the matches.  Have you considered facing-off against other Coaches, like Crazy Bobby?

Crazy Bobby has been banned from the live stream after an ‘incident’. I have had my backside handed to me on the live stream by Martin [Thirwell, Mantic employee and all-around sexy man] though – in fact, I don’t think I’ve won a game on the live stream against Martin. He intimidates me off camera by threatening my children with a shiv. I’m always up for playing more games on the live stream (apart from Rob Taylor, before he asks).

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14.  Lastly, if you won a BreadDoll in tournament play (last place), would you; eat it immediately in front of attending coaches, or wait until you were in the privacy of your locker room?

I would eat it while sobbing in the shower.

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Many thanks to Rob for agreeing to answer such pressing queries.  After two Brits in the Coaches’ Corner, should the BreadDoll aim for a hat-trick?  Who should be interviewed next?  Let us know in the comments below.

Coaches’ Corner: Sam Graven

The Coaches’ Corner is an in-depth interview with DreadBall Coaches, Commissioners, and Creators.  A game is fourteen rushes, and the interview is fourteen questions.

Sam Graven is in the sin bin for this iteration, and he’s agreed to answer some BreadDoll questions while reflecting on the chaos of multiplaying Dread.  He’s a commissioner for a tight knit and mercurial league – his family!

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Sam Graven.  Educator.  Game Influencer.  And, a man with an inexplicable fear of big boats (although he would argue the phobia is completely rational).

1)  How did you first learn about DreadBall?

Well, I suppose when the original Kickstarter came out.  It was a topic of general chat at my local club, but at that time I hadn’t really got back heavily into any kind of mini gaming: I played a lot as a kid, then moved on to RPGs and TCGs (fairly competitively).  Those TCGs were why I’m very wary of tournament play of any variety as I’ve got older – and only started coming back to minis with, of all things, Heroclix.  By the time DreadBall 2nd edition came around, I’d been back into gaming, and blogging about gaming over on bigcomicpage.com, for a few years.  I got a review copy, and I was hooked.

2)  What do you remember about your first game?

Chaos!  But in a really good way.  It was fast and intuitive, and I liked the way the score swung back and forth constantly.  The consistent 3d6 mechanic appealed to me too, as it gave a peg to hang everything else off.

3)  What is your favorite team?

You mean favoUrite team, right? 😉 [Editor’s note: Sam is our first interviewee from the UK].  That’s such a hard question.  Teratons were the first team I played with after the Marauders and Humans, and I still love their aesthetic.  I’m enjoying playing Crystallans a lot, at the moment, and I like the sheer variety – and challenge – of playing Rebs, especially against experienced opponents.  But for total unabashed fun, it’s got to be the Zees.

4)  What is your favorite MVP?

Now that’s easy, Nightshade, hands-down.  Occasionally hopeless, but usually incredible. I often play fairly slow and/or Jack-heavy teams, to give the kids a chance to try to outmaneuver me, but at the same time I want someone with serious speed and skills to give them a fright.  He ticks the boxes, and has only once ended up doing a comedy juggling act.

5)  Across the entire DreadBall line, what is your favorite model?

Probably Barricade?  Dynamic, fun to build, paint AND play with.  Although I like the lids on the small objects in X-Treme!  The tension they generate appeals to me, and they’re just a really nice bit of design.

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6)  How do you primarily play DreadBall? [One-off, league, tournament, Xtreme, Ultimate]

Ultimate all the way.  Dreadball has social appeal to me.  I don’t often get to hang out at my local club that much nowadays (three kids) but it’s easy to rock up with a copy of the game and a bunch of teams.  It never ceases to surprise me how quickly folk get it by just watching, and in Ultimate that can mean you have full 6-player in no time.  Likewise, with two kids of gaming age, it’s good to have things which we can play together.  We play board games, of course, but a lot of mini gaming feels a bit clumsy with three players, or is horrendously time-consuming (and prone to the whims of a rampaging three year-old).  Ultimate is the ideal game for us to play together; the kids have painted up teams, so they feel more invested in the experience, and in fact my older son bought himself a Kalyshi team just because he liked the fluff.  Because we tend to play Ultimate, we’ve been experimenting with a host of other rules and spent this summer testing and playing an Ultimate League*, which has been great: a particularly jumpy Kalyshi Striker is now mounted on a flight stand, the Yndij Captain is notorious for stealing all the glory off the rest of his team, and woe betide anyone who goes near the legendary Crystallan Guard known simply as “Mr Hitty.”

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7)  Shifting gears for a moment, what do you do when you are not playing DreadBall?

Like so many gamers, I have terrible hobby ADHD.  I really like Superhero gaming, primarily DC stuff, though Kitbash Games’ new Supers Unlimited range is beautiful.  Gaslands is a heck of a game, who doesn’t love toy cars?  Wings of Glory, because for the first time in my life it’s a game my dad will play (he’s really into WW1 aviation).  Walking Dead, X-Wing, Harry Potter, and more Death Guard than’s remotely healthy – I run a very broad church.  Lots of Board Games.  A bIt of TCGing too – Transformers with my older, Warhammer Champions with the younger.  So the common thread in all of these is that I can play them with the kids.  The geek shall inherit, and so on.  Oh, and in real life?  I’m a teacher, Media and English, secondary school.  High school, in colonial parlance.

8)  Which opposing team do you… Dread… the most?

Oh, Yndij, easily.  All of my most memorable defeats are to them, and given that my younger son plays with his Ninja Sharks all the time, that’s a LOT of defeats.

9)  Describe your most memorable DreadBall Rush.

I’m going to cheat slightly with this (don’t tell the Ref).  We had a fantastic Mantic Scotland Day up at Common Ground Games in Stirling, organized by our local Pathfinder and good buddy, Gofur Hunter.  Myself, the kids, and a couple of other mates rocked up for a day of Ultimate whilst most folk around us played Kings of War.  We’d started to set up, and a couple of young lads asked if they could try the game, so we gave them the Yndij to play together vs my Zees, my older son with Z’Zor and another friend with Marauders.  They went last in the first Rush, managed to score 3, went first in the next, flipped a Faulty Scoreboard event, and scored 4 off their second ball!  They enjoyed it so much they went over immediately to hassle their dad into buying a copy of the game!  Job done.

10). What would you like to see from DreadBall in the future?

Man, what a toughie.  Little things to spice up the game.  I think card packs would be great – like Azure League.  Limited Print-On-Demand, or even pdf packs, relatively low cost but would add a lot to the game.  Or a commercially available DreadBall Ultimate pack, with the second edition Ultimate cards and Subs’ Benches, as shown in the Collector’s Rulebook.  I ended making physical subs’ benches from Battlezones bits.  Other than that, maybe a pdf of Challenge Cup and/or Xtreme stuff, bringing it into the mainstream?  Which is kind of what we’ve been doing for Ultimate League, I suppose.  I don’t think there’s much needed model wise; could do with Beauty and the Mob being back in print!  Maybe some new Giants – who do I see about that? [Editor’s note: The Rules Committee has been play testing.  There is good news afoot]

11)  You often play DreadBall with your children.  What are the family dynamics during matches?

Tense!  My kids are great, my older maybe a bit too competitive, my younger a bit too sensitive, so I have to be Ref-Dad sometimes.  It’s always fun when they realise they have to stop bickering and gang up to take me down!  But it’s definitely a great way to spend time together.  The duck and weave of Dreadball beats pretty much everything else we could play hands down.

12)  You’re an educator.  How would you assess DreadBall and what distinction would it receive?

Well, you know, it’s not about grades any more – it’s all about giving productive feedback.  So, excellent work, just keep working on promoting the game as widely as possible!  I think Dreadball’s greatest and most underrated asset is the potential of the community.  And hey, BreadDoll is nothing if not the proof of how awesome it is.

13)  DreadBall exists within Mantic’s Warpath Universe.  What other Mantic titles do you play?

I like how you said play, not own… The Walking Dead: All Out War was actually the mini game that really got my kids playing.  Terrible parenting I know!  The wee fella was seven, maybe only six, the first time we played, and he immediately threw Carl to a Walker as a distraction to help win.  Genius, if somewhat terrifying.  We’ve found ourselves playing more Here’s Negan! though, as we like the hybrid mini/board game model.  I’m blown away by Hellboy, incredible sculpts and visuals – I’m a comic nerd, after all – the difficult curve on it is immense though.  That’s not a criticism, mind you.

14)  If you won a BreadDoll in tournament play (last place), would you; eat it immediately in front of attending coaches, or wait until you were in the privacy of your locker room?

The chances of me BreadDolling are very high! I would glory in it. Because at the end of the day, bread is amazing. When I was a kid I would eat bread like cake. Not much has changed.

* Sam’s mention of an Ultimate League caught the BreadDoll’s attention!  Loyal loaf lovers can look forward to a thorough explanation in the near future when we invite Sam back to become our first guest writer!

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.

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.