Scattered Scullery: Happy Halloween!

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Confronting the brute strength of Buzzcut is scary.  A Hobgoblin Hulk is a fright to all.  But for the holiday of haunt, what if there was an entire team of terror?

Happy Halloween Coaches!  Before you lies a morgue of marvels (pun intended).  The BreadDoll presents a Mantic-Marvel crossover; THE LEGION OF MONSTERS!

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Originally conceived as a ghastly gang of coaching assistants, this editor-in-chief collected a batch of Heroclix miniatures for easy conversion.  A few witching hours later, and their true intent was clear.  The monsters needed to play!

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Custom teams are silly.  It’s the flaccid writing of fandom and fanatics.  And yet, here’s a DreadBall team of Silver Age monsters.  Why?  WHY?!  A horror hound at heart, this BreadDoller just wanted some menacing coaches on the sidelines.  After the little terrors were beautified*, and ready for a roster – I couldn’t stop wondering.  What if Dracula was a DreadBall player?  Werewolf by Night?  The thought experiment reached an inevitable and creepy conclusion.  The character stats are wonky, buy thematic.  They’re over-powered, but not without vulnerabilities.  Fun?  Absolutely.

*

Beautiful creatures?  It can be done.  Heroclix are numerous, and with limitations set; inexpensive.  Cut ’em off their base, mount ’em to your painting support, and spray ’em with a Matt varnish.  The varnish will serve as a transparent “primer” for your custom brush work.  They need the attention, because their pre-paint jobs are truly terrifying.  Nevertheless, don’t strip ’em.  Just use the pre-paint horror show as an undercoat.

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League Logistics: Season Starter & Preferred Play

A new DreadBall season has launched!  A new CORT DreadBall season.  Long time BreadDoll readers will know this editor-in-chief throws the most Strikes in league play.  League Play is the best play.  The Citizens Of Rage Town have been fortunate to compete and curse one another over seven seasons.  Rivalries have formed.  Collusion has been plotted.  Membership has expanded and traditions have been established.  Tradition is important.  Without ritual, import can lessen, brotherhood can diminish, and hazing cannot be exacted.

Some CORT league traditions were plotted.  Like trophies.  Other traditions were impromptu.  This BreadDoll post chronicles a lesser known tradition for CORT; the announcement of team selection for an upcoming season.

Since CORT’s second season, Coaches take turns announcing their team selection over a private group in a popular social media site.  The tradition is rather simple.  From the previous season’s last place Coach (Sacko winner) to the Champ (DreadBalls Trophy Champion), announcements must be made within a seventy-two hour window.  Selection is strategic, and the meta-game must be considered.  Too “bashy?”  Movement too low?  What’s the Skill on those Strikers?!  Coaches pick wisely, and find the perfect method of deliver announcement.  Sarcasm, snark, and sniping are in order.

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A new season requires a new banner. CORT season 8 is… “THE OCHO.”
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Coach Dave bucks the trend. Dave is our newest CORT inductee. New Coaches get their pick of the litter. Dave originally posted a picture of his beautifully painted MATSUDAN team. The rest of CORT was appreciative, but we ‘asked’ him to follow-up with an announcement that was a bit more… CORT.  He delivered.  Welcome to CORT old chap.
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CORT Season 7 Sacko winner Gavrie announced his selection with a locust swarm. He’s buffing his Z’ZOR exoskeletons.
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Coach Steve is an amazing fine arts photographer. His forte? Framing shots of miniature robots/automatons destroying humanoid dioramas. This pic not only captures one of Steve’s creations, it also captures his team selection. MECHANITES.
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I had a tough season 7 with the Z’zor. Hubris got the best of me, and my two glorious Bug Guards got sent to the locker room before the playoffs. This time around? I wanted a team with a theme I could get behind. I’m a horror hound, and I love blood and bots and bits. My selection deliberately took 71.5 hours, and I chose the CYBORGS.
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Coach Jamie fielded the brutal and brutally slow Matsudan in season 7. In season 6, his weapon of choice were the Tsudochan. Fed up with slow movement and too many Jacks, season 8 is built for speed. He posted a video of the ‘Renegades of Funk.’ Catchy, because his YNDIJ team name is ‘Renegades of Drunk.’
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Coach Alex was subtle? He posted this pic, and left many of us guessing. I thought, “CONVICTS!” Another coach thought “REJECTS!” Nope. Alex schooled us all with a US of A college football reference; Ol Miss. REBELS.
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DreadBalls Trophy Champion x 4, and nemesis to all, Coach Zak posted a video. The BreadDoll can’t afford to post videos, so here’s another still. Quint makes a declaration after an evening of drinking. It ain’t good. SPHYR.
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And last year’s DreadBalls Champion, Coach Brett, drops this little gem. A bit of a deep dive unless you graduated from Hogwarts or Trump University. NAMELESS.
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Scheduling eight professional adults is tricky business. Season 8’s Kickoff was no exception, and we could only muster 6. And so dice were rolled. Coach Zak and Dave had to square off on their own (Dave won).
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A new tradition is made! At least for this season. For every game with the Renegades of Drunk, a celebratory shot MUST be consumed!
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‘Reach’ is total BS.
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These robots are buckets-of-broke against space cats/squirrels.
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This match looks like a Greek lunch platter.
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Seafood and guests and DreadBall. 3 day limit.
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And so, CORT’s DB S8 wraps a evening of play sans two Coaches. Their numbers still need to be recorded, but here begins the new record! May the best Coach win.

DreadBall is a splendid game.  Not without warts, but a deep dive does not go without reward.  One-offs are fun, and tournaments are an occasional hoot.  But if any BreadDoll reader can wrangle a few like-minded mates together?  There are few things more enjoyable than a 90 minute game of miniature Space Jam, coupled with pints and close friends.  League play!  Do it!

Hobby Highlight: The Subtle Insanity of Cyborg Noise

Of the thirty published teams for DreadBall, one of my most enjoyable hobby experiences was painting the Cyborgs.  Enjoyable, but also bat guano crazy.  I chose a time consuming, and messy painting strategy in order to make the Revenants ready for prime-time.  Herein lies the tale of technique that is not recommended for the squeamish or impatient.

Visually, DreadBall Cyborgs are a lot of meat bags with mechanical parts.  Ratios of meat to mechanics may differ depending on the sculpt.  They are cobbled together and their finish is not… refined.  With no worries toward polish, I knew I wanted these bots to look battle worn.  I wanted layered history, and I knew that required…

NOISE.

Follow along in a picture gallery of sameness, subtlety, and toothbrush subversion!

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Skipping a few initial steps, but please follow along. Miniatures get washed. Miniatures get mold lines removed. Miniatures get primed Uniform Gray (The Army Painter).
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For the next million steps, inexpensive craft paint is the solution. Water down a variety of hues and grab an old toothbrush. Alternatively, grab your wife’s toothbrush.
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Dip the old toothbrush into the watered down paint, and “flick” the solution onto the miniatures while aiming for a fine spray/mist result.
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Same as before, but instead of a muted red – it’s a muted blue!
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Third application? A muted green.
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It’s a dirty job, but somebody has got to do it.
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After three applications of “paint mist,” this Cyborg Orx is looking… Pretty stupid. Forward!
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Steps 4, 5, and 6 are drybrushing! Again, inexpensive craft paint is used as is an inexpensive craft brush. There is no need to damage pricey and professional brushes when dealing with this kind of technique.
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After three gentle and loose drybrush applications, this Cyborg Orx is looking… Less stupid.
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More mist! Steps 7, 8, 9, and 10? Yes yes yes and yes. Mist away!
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The Cyborg Orx is getting there. But why stop after 10 steps? WHY NOT MORE?!
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Steps 11, 12, and 13 = more mist spray. 13 is a lucky number, right?
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I think 13 IS a lucky number. Misting is declared FINISHED. I put my wife’s toothbrush back into the medicine cabinet.
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Nicer paint with a mid-grade brush: MORE DRYBRUSHING!
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After 15 steps of misting and drybrushing, I feel these Cyborgs have enough layering. They have enough NOISE.
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Blocking in the bits. In hindsight, I regret not “blacking out” certain appendages before all of the NOISE. No matter now, the end is in sight! March forward and disregard uniformity. Variety is the spice of Cyborg finishes.
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A few colored washes (The Army Painter), a few light valued highlights, and a few lines of powdered… caffeine. These Cyborg Orx are done!
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Magentized bases using the CORT stoplight pattern and these piles of puke are ready for the pitch. There are a lot of vibrant colors with DreadBall uniforms. I’m pleased to see these Players are a bit less saturated. It’s a nice contrast.  EDITOR’S NOTE: This particular team looks like a hot mess.  I’ll reshoot and repost.

If any BreadDoll readers have questions about the techniques deployed or my mental health, please comment below.  I also welcome any suggestions for a team name.  I’m fielding the Cyborgs onto the pitch next week for my league’s EIGHTH season of DreadBall.

Though I’ve yet to commit to a team name, I lean towards CSI (Cyborg Sex Initiative).  My Players have been identified.

Orx Guard 1 Julius

Orx Guard 2 TJ

Nameless Guard Otto

Human Jack (M) 1 Anakin

Human Jack (M) 2 Alex

Human Jack (F) 7o9

Judwan Striker Sal

Kalyshi Striker No.6

Tournament Time / Rush Report: DC*DC IV

ACK ACK ACK!

Translation: Assemble human scum, and read the data generated from another successful ‘District of Columbia DreadBall Cup.’

The Martians hosted another NADC event, the DC*DC.  An elite group of fearless Coaches accepted the Martian invite to play DreadBall in a daunting environment; WashingCon IV.  It was the fourth DC*DC.  It was the fourth WashingCon.  Coincidence?

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Competing Coaches were issued a custom score marker. Presidential busts of Earth Leaders after colorful adornment from the Cyber Optics Red Team Division. Martians are funny.

WashingCon is a convention like no other.  Small, but sweet.  Crowded, but cool.  High priced, but high valued.  WashingCon is a convention that focuses on playing board games.  In particular, an abundance of family board games.  You cannot swing a dead Yndij by the tail without hitting a child at WashingCon.

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There were 1,500 gamers at WashingCon IV. 1,494 of them were playing with either meeples, cubes, or discs.

DreadBall was an outlier.  It was the only miniature game present at the convention, disguised as a board game!  The Martians are tricky, mischievous organizers.  In a bout of counter programming, gamers far and wide came to witness the spectacle of DreadBall demonstrations and a tournament.  Flyers were distributed, and mints were consumed.  Three veteran Coaches entered the contest, and three brand new Coaches learned to play on Saturday in order to compete on Sunday.  Now that’s moxie.

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The calm before the storm at WashingCon IV.

Not surprisingly, the rookie Coaches got messed up against seasoned competitors.  But the winners were generous, the losers were eager to play in the next tournament, and the folk in middle had playbook criticism.  So it goes.  The Supreme Leader marked these rules and results:

The 2018 NADC rules pack was in effect.  In short; Team builds were 1,200 mc.  No Giants, no transfers, no Ronnie Rejects, and no “We Can Rebuild Him.”  Team Captains, support staff, and generic player advancements (one per player at 25 mc) were allowed.

Coach and Team name

Race.  Tournament Points.  Total Fan Cheers.  Total Serious Injuries.  Match specs.

6.  Juan Casanas and his Bash Bros.!

Brokkr.  0.  48.  4

Match 1. vs. Andrew.  3 point loss in Rush 10.

Match 2. vs. Wes.  7 point loss in Rush 5.

Match 3. vs. Dave.  2 point loss in Rush 6.

Match 4. vs. Brett.  3 point loss in Rush 12.

5.  Dave Erickson and his Hunky Human Hot Hogs!

Human Corporation, Male.  3.  28.  0.

Match 1. vs. Brett.   3 point loss in Rush 10.

Match 2. vs. Geoff.  7 point loss in Rush 3.

Match 3. vs. Juan.  2 point win in Rush 6.

Match 4. vs. Wes.  1 point loss in Rush 6.

4.  Wes Hayden and his Convicts of the Criminally Corrupt!

Convicts.  6.  23.  0.

Match 1. vs. Geoff.  7 point loss in Rush 5.

Match 2. vs. Juan.  7 point win in Rush 5.

Match 3. vs. Andrew.  7 point loss in Rush 5.

Match 4. vs. Dave.  1 point win in Rush 6.

3.  Andrew Wodzianski and his C.O.C.K.S.U.C.K.E.R.S.!

Z’zor.  6.  39.  2.

Match 1. vs Juan.  3 point win in Rush 10.

Match 2. vs. Brett.  7 point loss in Rush 13.

Match 3. vs Wes.  7 point win in Rush 5.

Match 4. vs Geoff.  2 point loss in Rush 12.

2.  Brett Postal and his Vampy Voluptuous Voids!

Human Corporation, Female.  9.  21.  0

Match 1. vs Dave.  3 point win in Rush 10.

Match 2. vs Andrew.  7 point win in Rush 13.

Match 3. vs. Geoff.  7 point loss in Rush 7.

Match 4. vs. Juan.  3 point win in Rush 12.

And the champion Geoff Burbidge with his Sphyria’s Fist!

Sphyr.  12.  27.  0.

Match 1. vs. Wes.  7 point win in Rush 10.

Match 2. vs. Dave.  7 point win in Rush 3.

Match 3. vs. Brett.  7 point win in Rush 7.

Match 4. vs Andrew.  2 point win in Rush 12.

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He may have lost, but Juan grabbed some loot! MOST BRUTAL, a set of BreadDoll dice, and THE INFAMOUS BREADDOLL! Good job killer!
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Hunky Dave takes home a girl. In Gold. FAN FAVORITE!
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Wes was SUPPOSE to attend a gaming lecture at 1pm. He skipped it. Why? SO HE COULD PLAY DREADBALL. And that Coaches, is BEST SPORTSMAN.
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The Tournament Organizer and BreadDoll co-editor got to play! THIRD PLACE.
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Coming off an undefeated season of league play, Brett suffers his first loss in over ten games. SECOND PLACE.
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Geoff nabs BEST PAINTED with a clever Sphyr team. The highlight? A magnetized Guard arm and head that can be swapped for Keeper upgrades. An impeccable build, coached impeccably. Good job old chap. FIRST PLACE.  Geoff’s win grants him a pass to the National Competition in March of 2019.  FYI – right after Geoff builds and paints his upcoming cyborg team, the DreadBall Rules Committee will adjust their rules.

And so, the North American DreadBall Circuit comes to a close for 2018.  Or does it?  If another golden ticket to the National Championship at Adepticon 2019 is on the calendar, let us know in the comments below.  Otherwise, keep the brushes swinging.  Keep the Slams brutal.  Keep the Strikes blistering.  May all of your sixes explode, especially when you’re playing against this Geoff character…

District of Columbia DreadBall Cup Champions

2018 Geoff Burbidge

2017 Dean Winkelspecht

2016 Xanth Squires

2015 Xanth Squires

DC DC 2018 FB Event

SAVE THE DATE: JANUARY 27, 2019.  EVENT HORIZON.

Rush Report: CORT Season 7 Sacko & Championship

The seventh season of DreadBall CORT has officially wrapped.  While a celebratory, post-season Ultimate match will see the top ranked six Coaches compete in September, the worst and the the first have been crowned.

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Among CORT’s many traditions, each season is named.  Previous years have included;

S3 The Search for Spock

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S4 IV

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S5 Slaughterhouse Five

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and S6 Christ Punchers

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Most seasons are titled after pop culture references.  Season seven’s title, “Fresh Meat,” was literal.  For the first time since it’s inception, CORT welcomed two new coaches into the fold.  Their season debuts could not have been more different and their final matches are detailed below.

THE CORT DB S7 SACKO

VETERAN Steve’s Diaspora (Yndij)  vs FRESH MEAT Gavrie’s Bruce (Sphyr)

The Sacko is played to determine the Coach with the worst season record.  In a surprisingly tight field, the bottom game squared veteran Steve against fresh meat Gavrie.

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Set up is complete, and miniature truck nuts serve as a score marker. A ball launch takes on weighted meaning.
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Striker Scaramucci takes the early lead after Rush 1 with a 3 point Strike.
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Striker Megamouth keeps the game lively with a 2 point Strike to finish Rush 2.
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Rush 3. Rinse and repeat: The Mooch sinks another 3.
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And in turn, Megamouth scores another 2 to finish Rush 4.
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The Yndij in the backfield increase their lead. Another 3 point Strike at the end of Rush 5 puts the Diaspora ahead by a commanding 5.
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Rushes 6 & 7 are keep away, and repositioning. At the top of the 8th Rush, Stubborn Megamouth finds himself in a well guarded strike zone.
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By the end of Rush 8, the stealthy shark swims by threats for an easy 2 point Strike. Steve’s Yndij lose a bit of their lead. The Diaspora are ahead by 3.
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Rush 9. And the tide turns! The Yndij lose the ball in a failed Dash.
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The Sphyr capitalize on an Yndij fail, picking up the ball and attempting to score 2 points on Rush 10.
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But the Strike attempt failed.
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Back and forth, back and forth! Even scoring sends both Coaches into the final pair of Rushes with the Yndij still ahead by 3.
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A heavily guarded Strike attempt at the end of Rush 13. One success needed, one success rolled.
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Hammerhead sinks a 2 point Strike to finish the match with some R E S P E C T.  Steve’s Yndij Diaspora win.
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One the smartest, funniest, and good natured Coaches of all time is awarded the CORT Sacko Trophy.  He may be new to the sport and league, but Gavrie is not to be taken lightly.  He took a beating in the standings, but that recored does not account for games well played. Remarkably close matches throughout the season made Gavrie a constant threat. Now with Sacko in hand, Gavrie has the duty to “modify” the award before passing it to next season’s last place.

THE CORT DB S7 Championship

FRESH MEAT Brett’s Mean Machine (Male Corporation)  vs VETERAN Zak’s Russia’s Red Twitter Bot Army (Brokkr)

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A perfect Corporation record with a new coach, competes against a slow burning juggernaut Veteran.  It’s a match of green horns vs. a four time league champion!
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Set up is complete and a miniature Golden Blaine serves as the score marker.
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An action packed 1st Rush! The Brokkr head to score and The Ball Shatters! A new ball is launched and is followed by Run Interference! However, Mean Machine’s Bobby Boucher Jr. fails the pick up.
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The Brokkr finish Rush 1 with a castle break and 3 point Strike.
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The Mean Machine’s Shane Falco runs to grab the ball in Rush 2. And fails.
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The Brokkr capitalize, and Striker @Ozy Bear sinks 2 points at the end of Rush 3.
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Brett’s embarrassed Shane Falco redeems himself with a proper ball pick up, and 2 point Strike. End of Rush 4.  3 point lead for Zak.
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Rush 5 ends without a Strike. Instead, Guard @underthemotic looks at the ball.
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Rush 6. Fancy footwork puts Brett’s meanies into scoring position. 2 points! Zak’s lead is narrowed to 1.
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Rush 7.  A launched Ball Strikes a player.  A successful Dodge, but eventually – a failed pick up.  The ball scatters.
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Brett’s Mean Machine takes the lead in Rush 8.
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And Zak turns the pendulum with a 2 point Strike response. End of Rush 9.
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2 in the 10th!
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Zak’s Team Captain rolls down to pitch for a deep castle break through. Meanwhile, a challenging 2 pointer is scored by a grizzled Jack. Zak leads by 1 again at the end of Rush 11.
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Back and forth between Rushes! At the end of Rush 13, Zak has tied the game.
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Despite a last ditch Even effort by Zak, Brett’s Jimmy Dix scores 1 for the win.

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Reigning Champion Zak passes the torch (i.e. the well worn and battle scarred DreadBalls Championship Trophy) to the new winner. Brett finishes the season with a perfect record, a trophy, and the gratitude of other CORT coaches [Gratitude that Zak has been defeated in the Championship match]. Brett now has the duty of making “modifications” to the trophy before handing it to next season’s champ.
Several CORT Coaches will have an opportunity to seek revenge and hurl final insults during the post-season Ultimate match.  BreadDoll readers can anticipate another Rush Report from that game.  Meanwhile, Gavrie begins considering his team draft for Season 8.  That season will see its first ball launch in October.  Do readers have suggestions for CORT’s season 8 name?  Let us know in the comments below.

 

Long live DreadBall.  Long live CORT.

 

 

Hobby Highlight: Alternative Coaching Assistant tutorial

The Greatest Sport in the Galaxy has a cast of colorful characters.  Thirty distinct teams have spent time on the DreadBall pitch, throwing strikes and taking slams.  It’s a randy rainbow.  It’s majestic mayhem.

But the sidelines cannot be forgotten.  Cheerleaders rally the crowd, Elmer and Dobbs call out Events, and the Eye-In-The-Sky surveils.  All in colorful chaos.  Also present?  Assistant coaches!

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DreadBall has a deep field of unique assistant coaching models.  However, adding additional staff is very easy and inexpensive.

I fancy some relatively bizarre things.  So I found their miniature equivalent and turned them into coaching assistants!

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Would BreadDoll readers like to create their own?  It can be accomplished in short order.  A step-by-step tutorial below:

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Step 1. Find your coaches! DreadBall is a science fiction game and fortunately, there are a lot of appropriately themed models available. However, even non sci-fi models can be a joy to see on a sideline. The various Clix models shown were purchased for less than 1 USD a piece.
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Step 1 continued… Star Wars miniatures. STAR WARS for life!  Again, all models were purchased for less than 1 USD a piece.
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Step 2. Basing. Plopping a miniature from another game onto the DreadBall pitch is not acceptable, and BreadDoll readers are no rubes. Grab your hexes! Official Mantic hexes may need filler for models to properly stand. Save time using Gale Force Nine masonite hexes.
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Step 3. Prime baby, PRIME! Army Painter Matt Black conveniently matches their drop bottle color. Convenience is a time saver, and saving time is saving money.
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Step 4. “Cut me Mick!” Get a fresh blade on the hobby knife to prepare for slicing. For this tutorial, a “Moon Tactics Broker” and “Dr. Harleen Quinzel” are going under the scalpel.
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Step 5. Low and slow, cut the model at the bottom with the blade flush against the base. Depending on the material, several small cuts may be necessary. When in doubt, it’s best to cut into the base with the anticipation of cleaning off excess after the figure is detached.
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Step 6. Clean off any excess material from the bottom of the model and make certain it can rest level on the hex base.
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Step 7. Prior to mounting, score the bottom of the model with a cross hatching pattern. These marks will help the adhesive.
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Step 8. Glue. Regardless of adhesive, less is more! Small amounts will suffice. Large amounts will look sloppy.
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Step 9. Touch-ups.  If any areas at the base need attention, the Army Painter Matt Black can be used to cover over areas of glue fogging and/or raw material.

Finished!  Easy, inexpensive, and most important – FUN.

Would any BreadDoll readers like to receive an alternative assistant coach?  Subscribe to our BreadDoll blog between 7/31/18 and 8/6/18.  We’ll randomly select someone, and mail a mini after we return from Gen Con.

Hobby Highlight: Miniature Superlatives

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December 26,2012 > June 11, 2018

I am DONE.  I have painted everything for DreadBall.  And then some…

My gaming club (CORT) went “all-in” for the first two DreadBall Kickstarter campaigns, and I grabbed the 2nd Edition Kickstarter bundle.  As part of our acquisition program, I made a commitment to my mates that I would paint the entire lot.

I initially anticipated twelve teams, a few giants, and a handful of MVPs.   That was an ambitious, but manageable oath.  Then, there was another set of teams, giants, and MVPs.  Not to mention a new game.  Then, there was a second edition.  Not to mention new, second edition components.  My commitment had serious “mission creep.”

Every team, MVP, Giant, Staff, Accessory…  Done.  600 plus models.  It was a hell of a project, and now I’m going to go drink a beer. Maybe more.

[returning to the keyboard after two pints]

In the five and a half years it took to paint these little galactic athletes, I learned a lot.  Miniature painting is a peculiar past time that affords moments of clarity on various topics; health, wellness, legacy, relationships, endurance, persistence, and dedication to name a few.  Practically, I did learn a bit about pushing wet pigment around on toys.

Below lies my assessment of DreadBall miniatures.  I call the proceedings my “DreadBall Superlatives.”  Fourteen Rushes, fourteen categories.  These opinions are mine and mine alone.  All of this took longer that I’ll ever admit.  Please share your opinions on my purely subjective distinctions in the comments.

Bur first, there are preambles!

I.  I chose very early to mimic the color (ahem, colour) schemes of Mantic’s production photos.  In part because I wanted to challenge myself, and also because I thought it would be a soft promotional tactic when fielding the teams in public spaces.

II.  I used Army Painter primer and paints.  I used a combination of Army Painter and Citadel tones/washes.

III.  I chose very early to strive for “table top standard.”  My gaming club plays games.  We don’t paint games.  We’re middle aged men with eye glasses to see, and pint glasses to drink beer.  None of us are scrutinizing the level of miniature detail from 30″ away.  Also, time.  With several hundred miniatures to paint,  aiming for “TTS” quality helped move the process along.

[Lengthy diatribe] Despite being a professional artist, I only began painting miniatures in 2010 with Games Workshop’s 3rd edition of Space Hulk.  This relatively new past time has been an interesting diversion from my normal studio practice of painting larger works on canvas.  In one way, painting a miniature is instant gratification.  I can finish a “TTS” miniature within a day, whereas a canvas may sometimes take three months.  In another way, painting a miniature is like a glorified coloring book.  I’m slapping paint onto a fully realized image that happens to be three-dimensional.  The process is fun, but it’s technique driven and strictly complementary/secondary to the work of the illustrator & sculptor.  As such, it’s no where near as rewarding or fulfilling for me as creating unique works from conception to final execution.

SUPERLATIVE CRITERIA

Form follows function.  In Dreadball, this refers to a) the physical game, and b) the theme.

a) [Lengthier diatribe] DreadBall is a board game.  It just happens to be a board game published by a miniatures gaming company.  Consequently, DreadBall has many miniature game trappings.  Nonetheless, there is a cardinal rule that must be observed in board gaming – FORM FOLLOWS FUNCTION.  If Coaches are not familiar with this concept, it’s a phrase coined by the exemplary American architect Louis Sullivan.  DreadBall is a tactical sport, and positioning is a vital concept for game mastery.  Positioning is based on a hex (pun not intended).  The hex is tantamount.  The hex is the alpha and the omega.  A DreadBall miniature merely rests on top of the hex.  The miniature must be subservient to the hex in order for the game to function.  If a miniature crosses the plain of it’s own hex, it disrupts adjacent hexes and the miniatures that rest upon them.  An illustrator and a sculptor must be cognizant of this fact.  Often they are not.  It does not matter how clever/unique/original a player design may appear.  If the physical sculpture breaks the hex plain – it sucks.  Creativity must materialize within the parameters of game play.  The parameter is the hex.  Break the hex, and the miniature is broke.  If that conceit reads broken to any Coaches – go play a war game with a ruler.

b) DreadBall is the greatest sport in the galaxy.  It’s science fiction.  The miniatures need to aesthetically complement the setting.  Sculptors and illustrators have a wide berth in this case with only two requirements: science fiction and sports.  Nonetheless, some DreadBall miniatures look like they belong in entirely different genres.

Also, humor.  DreadBall is dealing with an absurd premise.  Intergalactic warring factions of outrageously different species are competing in an organized and sanctioned sport.  It’s preposterous.  If illustrators and sculptors (and game designers and flavor writers) can embrace the ludicrous theme – so much the better.  In my opinion, games that are heavily miniaturized need more levity.  Coaches, check yourself and lighten up.  We’re playing Space Jam.

Without further ado, here’s are Prof Wojo’s DreadBall Miniature Superlatives!

1.  BEST TEAM SCLUPT = Marauders

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One of the first two teams onto the pitch, the Orx and Goblins perfectly embody the theme of DreadBall. Criticism can be laid on their similarity to other sports titles as well as a 1/3 of the positions missing (Strikers). Still, these sculpts are varied, unique, and charmingly reflective of the greatest sport in the galaxy.

WORST TEAM SCLUPT = Koris

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In what will become multiple appearances on this superlative list, the Koris are my biggest disappointment. Their illustrations were so rich and their gimmicky game design is so much fun. But never has a team fallen so short from conception to execution. The Koris details are soft and/or absent, the mold lines are legion, and the scale is woefully small.

2.  BEST TEAM CAPTAIN SCULPT = Reek Rolat and Raiden (TIE)

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Once a former MVP, Reek ‘Payback’ Rolat was transitioned into a Team Captain for the second edition.  He belongs with his Veer-myn.  A super sized, crunchy Guard with the armor and “Mantic Straps” all-over.  Raiden is the best embodiment of the Team Captain sculpt: distinct but recognizable.  How do you improve on a team of mean green sumo lizards?  Put some ceremonial armor on him.

WORST TEAM CAPTAIN SCULPT = Kal Terza and Supreme Leader (TIE)

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Are these truly the “worst” Team Captain sculpts?  No.  But they are the laziest.  In the transition between editions, TWO teams were left without a Team Captain sculpt; the Hobgoblins and the Teratons. The Hobgoblins got a unique sculpt for their Team Captain. The Teratons? Not so much. It’s just a Teraton Keeper.  A nice model, if only a subtle modification from a Guard.  But it’s no Team Captain.  The Martians Supreme Leader… Oh where to start… Never mind that the Supreme Leader would never disgrace himself on a DreadBall pitch.  These superlatives are about the hobby.  No, this Team Captain is the worst because it’s miniature is from an entirely different game with no modifications to allow it function on a DreadBall pitch.

3.  BEST MVP SCULPT = Buzzcut

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Dashing pose. Dynamic armor. Deadly snarl. Buzzcut can ram through Morg n’ Thorg any day. This miniature is the embodiment of a Most Valued Player.

WORST MVP SCLUPT = ORABB1

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What could have been! ORABB1 is a rogue medi-bot. That’s a fascinating premise to build upon. Unfortunately, this build is horrible. A five piece metal horror show that can barely withstand game play regardless of adhesive. But the most egregious part is the robot’s scale.
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A DreadBall model LITERALLY comes up short. To the left, an excellent model of a medi-bot. To the right, a catastrophe.

4.  BEST SUPPORT STAFF SCULPT = Fergus (Mercury)

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DreadBall has so many incredible, and incredibly funny, coaches. Fergus steals the show. Bling, blabber, and boast. 100% perfect.

WORST SUPPORT TEAM SCLUPT = Cheerleaders

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Get woke. Seriously. You’re telling me that in a game system about galactic conflict, all cheerleaders are scantily clad female humans? Listen, this writer is a cisgender heterosexual male who loves female homosapiens with hourglass figures. But this is ridiculous. The gaming industry can do better. Lets get some Judwan cheerleaders. Lets get some Matsudan cheerleaders.

5.  BEST PRONE SCLUPT = Teraton

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Prone models are awesome, and they help make DreadBall unique.  If a coach doesn’t use a prone model for a fallen player – they are committing an atrocity worse than drowning kittens. Laying your model on the pitch?  Go play another sports game.  A prone model abides by the law. The law of ‘form follows function.’  It just so happens that the prone model for the Teratons is LOL.

WORST PRONE SCULPT? = Nameless

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I’m no longer convinced this is the worst prone sculpt.  Honestly, there is no bad prone sculpt in the DreadBall line.  Perhaps the Hobgoblins, only because their pose is too dramatic.  But the Nameless get the nod here for… squishiness.

6.  BEST GIANT SCULPT = Brank ‘Boom-Fist’

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He commands attentions.  Big, bold, and battle armored.  Giant design space is awkward, filling into a three-hex base.  Brank is not totally in the clear in these regards, but he’s less egregious than others.

WORST GIANT SCLUPT = Karadon

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I love Karadon.  I hate Karadon.  It what should be the coolest and funniest model in the DreadBall line, Coaches are left with a model best suited for Team Captain.
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Karadon is truly, the “littiest giant.” For shame.  To the left, MVP (NON Giant) Grak.  To the right, MVP (NON Giant) Buzzcut.

7.  BEST IP (Intellectual Property) SCULPT = Hector Weiss

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I support various IPs entering the DreadBall pitch.  In science fiction, anything goes!  For those fantasy nuts still reading, just say, “A wizard did it!”  Hector Weiss is a clever nod to what I believe is a often over/under looked inspiration – Speedball 2.  I hope we’ll see second edition stats for him in the future.

WORST IP SCLUPT = Judge Dredd

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An active NPC model of the pitch?  DreadBall ticks off another mark for originality.  Referees are awesome, albeit completely ridiculous from a thematic point of view.  Alternative referees?  Yes please!  And so there is Judge Dredd.  Perfect fit, with witty rules to boot.  Except…
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The cast for Judge Dredd is tragic.  Underneath Dredd’s right epilate, is a gapping hole.  It’s not just my one sculpt.  It’s every one of my EIGHT Dredd sculpts (I once hosted a Judge Dredd DreadBall tournament).  This never should have happened.

8.  BEST COMPONENT SCULPT = Eye in the Sky

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What an upgrade!  Again with the absurdities; an anthropomorphic eye-in-the-sky is decidedly backward thinking when it comes to science fiction.  It’s almost charming its so naive.  But it’s funny and flavorful.  I’ll take more please.

WORST COMPONENT SCULPT = DreadBall & Base(s) (2nd edition)

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Cool idea.  Crummy execution.  The miniature bases are not compatible with first edition models, and the ball peg’s fit into either base is unreliable.  Sad Coach.

9.  BEST TROPHY = Azure Forest

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Originally, I thought the idea of DreadBall miniature trophies was daft.  No longer!  They’re great!  Not only are the fun and easy to paint, they look great on the pitch as Score counters.  The Azure forest trophy beautifully complements the lush illustrations of it’s jungle pitch.  DreadBall NEEDS more of this.  MORE planetary pitches!  MORE custom trophies!

WORST TROPHY = DreadBall “Grid”

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And then there’s this.  It’s not rubbish, but it’s not a ruby either.  I just don’t understand the cropped pitch.  It’s not a strike zone.  It’s not a sin bin.  It’s not a launch lane.  It’s just a bunch of hexes.

10.  EASIEST TEAM TO PAINT = Ada Lorana

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Great team with great sculpts!  Painting them wasn’t exactly effortless, but it wasn’t a chore. Spray Matt. Paint highlight. Wash. Drybrush and detail highlights again. Spray gloss. Hand paint base in Matt finish. DONE!

HARDEST TEAM TO PAINT = Crystallan

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Great team with great sculpts!  These rocky rollers were a total bear to beautify.  Picking out the translucent blue plastic was an essay in patience and/or insanity.

11.  EASIEST MVP TO PAINT = Slalaran Vesh

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Wet-on-wet, wash-on-wash, and a bit of highlighting. DONE!

HARDEST MVP TO PAINT = Grak

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Fun bits to paint, but wow is there a lot of ’em.

12.  EASIEST TEAM CAPTAIN TO PAINT = Graggot

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Beautiful resin casts are also beautiful to paint. It’s a pretty simple equation. Good data in = good data out. For Graggot, it was only four colors followed by a wash and a bit of drybrushing.

HARDEST TEAM CAPTAIN TO PAINT = Kryphos

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The Koris. Again! Same complaints as before, now applied to painting. Kryphos is too small and too soft. With no dynamic relief, there’s less to work with and that leaves a painter up to their own devices.  A challenge for some.  But for me?  Nope.  I prefer painting better models.

13.  WTF (Where the F***) AWARD = Koris Portal Tokens

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In order for a component rule to function, you need the component. With great mystery then do we have a team with a very clever gimmick missing the very component needed to function! Truly, WTF.  If there are any Koris Coaches out there, I would love to see how you created your portal tokens.

14.  FUNNIEST AWARD = Drake

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Wrapping up on a high note – Drake!  Drake takes the cake.  This model is positively gonzo.  A human boy riding an armored miniature dinosaur.  There’s accompanying flavor text which may or may not confirm the boy is a hologram.  It doesn’t matter.  This physical sculpt is bloody hysterical and it’s a prime example of why I love DreadBall.

Agree, or disagree below.  Long live DreadBall. Long live CORT.

Rush Report: CORT Season 7 Playoffs (2)

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Elmer and Dobbs make another appearance on the Azure Forest. Good luck Coaches!

Coaches!  This BreadDoll Editor-in-Chief has ONCE AGAIN witnessed one the greatest DreadBall matches of all time.  And ONCE AGAIN, it is only now that I begin to sober-up from an intoxicating evening of pure sports genius.

DreadBall league CORT held their second playoff game last night.  Season seven was a close affair among all eight Coaches.  But as the Championship game approaches, only four can go into the playoffs.  The second playoff contest was Brett’s Mean Machine Team (sponsored by Miller Lite) [Trontek 29ers] vs. Alex’s The Replicants [Draconian All-Stars].

I’m still no Jimmy Olsen, but I did my best to capture the dynamics.  Photos detail a few outcomes from key actions and positions at the end of every Rush.

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Set-up complete, and Alex’s Neo-bots take the first Rush.
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Rush 1: Alex ultimately scores 1 point, after a slick Extended Run Interference by Brett. Brett’s Jack took the ball from the launch and played keep away. Alex gave chase, knocking both the Jack prone AND seriously injuring Brett’s best Striker. Only then was it time to score.
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And THIS is what happens when you take the ball on another Coach’s Rush.
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Alex’s support staff is well trained…
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Rush 2: Brett retaliates with a two pointer. Score = Brett 1.
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Rush 3: Alex attempts to smash Brett’s second good Striker and comes up short via Brett’s leggy line of Cheerleaders. So Alex heads off to pick up the ball. And fails.
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Rush 4: Brett takes advantage of the loose ball. Two precious cards are spent, but Brett pulls in a one pointer. Score = Brett 2.
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Rush 5: Alex does what he does, and he finishes his actions with a two point Strike. Score = TIED
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Rush 6: Brett returns fire with a two point Strike of his own. Score = Brett 2.
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Rush 7: Surprise surprise. Alex scores 2. Score = TIED
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Rush 8: The pattern continues. Brett returns the maneuver with his own 2 point Strike. Again, the score = Brett 2.
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Rush 9: Alex pushes AND SCORES A THREE! Brett did his best to prevent it: An extended RI and two cards burns. It didn’t work. Alex takes the lead.
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Rush 10: And Brett returns fire with a two pointer. Score = Brett 1.
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Rush 11: Alex “lays wood,” and takes out another Striker with a Serious Injury. Then, a two point Strike.
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Rush 12: Brett’s Guard smashes the previously scoring Neo-bot Striker and sends him out for 2. Then, Brett’s Jack grabs the ball and shoots for 1. Score = TIED.
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Rush 13: Alex almost has the ball, until he doesn’t. F***ing Cheerleader. FLAUNT IT FLAUNT IT FLAUNT IT
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Rush 14: The ball is within reach. It is Brett’s game to lose…
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And what comes around, goes around. Alex uses his own Cheerleader’s ‘Flaunt It,’ and the Rush is over. Off to Over Time!
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OT/Rush 15: Alex is pole position for a ball pick up. UNTIL BRETT PLAYS EXTENDED RUN INTERFERENCE! An incredible string of luck allows the Jack to weasel away from threats, pick up the ball, run, and throw to a ready Striker.
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Brett scores 1. ON ALEX’S RUSH.
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Alex finally grabs the newly launched ball, and fires off a shot for two. Score = Alex 1.
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OT / Rush 16: Brett spends 3 action tokens buying cards, just in case he needs to reroll. Then, a reliable Striker just needs to double the pick up, dash, and score two. Doable, right? Doesn’t pick up the ball. CARD. Doesn’t double the pick up. CARD. Doesn’t dash. CARD. Doesn’t make the two point shot. COACH! Brett wins by 1.

What a finish!  Alex programmed magic with Romeo Blue and Linked.  Brett’s impressive Support Staff brought (bought?) opportunity and upset over and over.  Who would have thought?  Two CORT playoff matches BOTH determined in Overtime!?

Brett’s Mean Machine Team heads into the CORT Championship match undefeated.  More impressive?  Brett is a rookie Coach! is opponent is not so green.  Zak is long in the tooth when it comes to DreadBall.  His Brokkr team is grizzled, steady, and tough as nails.  Brett’s  This season will be his sixth appearance in the big game.  He’s won four times.

Do readers want to see rosters?  Congratulate Coaches?  Hire harlots for their own nefarious plans?  Let it be known in the comments below.  While you’re at it, subscribe to the blog!

Rush Report: CORT Season 7 Playoffs (1)

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Coaches!  This BreadDoll Editor-in-Chief may have witnessed one the greatest DreadBall matches of all time.  Only now do I begin to sober-up from an intoxicating evening of pure sports genius.

DreadBall league CORT held their first playoff game last night.  Season seven was a close affair among all eight Coaches.  But as the Championship game approaches, only four can go into the playoffs.  First to the pitch was Ken’s Lanier Heights Losers [Rejects] vs. Zak’s Russia’s Red Twitter Bot Army [Brokkr].

I’m no Jimmy Olsen, but I did my best to capture the dynamics.  Photos detail a few outcomes from key actions and positions at the end of every Rush.  Post-match rosters are at the end.

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Removed from the normal stadiums in the CORTroom dungeon, this playoff match was held in The Kearny Lounge at Hill House. As such, the outlying Azure Forest pitch was employed. Brokkr begin the 1st rush.
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Zak uses his Brokkr Team Captain to good use. His 3+ Skill Striker uses THREE actions (plus a card) to get into the deep strike zone. Score for 3 in Rush 1.

 

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Ken exhausts one card, and two actions to gang up on Zak’s Team Captain. The Driller Thriller goes out for 1.
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Ken finishes his Rush 2 with an unguarded 2 point Strike.
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Rush 3: Zak brushes aside the tree beast and scores a 4!
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Rush 4: Ken beats down on the last Stirker, and returns fire once again with his Renegade Yndij. 2 points!
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Rush 5: A pattern emerges. Zak now brings in a Jack to score a 2 pointer. Meanwhile…
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Rush 6: Ken lays the beatdown from behind on the recently scored Jack. Then his Cherry picking Stiker once again effortlessly grabs the ball and scores for 2. Score, Zak 3.
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Rush 7: I’ll be damned.  Zak uses his Team Captain card “Brokkr and role” – the little f***er rolls two spaces away from the Tree Beast, and then stands up!
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AND here’s the first big swing and a miss. Zak goes for the shot and comes up short. Ken’s Rush!
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Rush 8: Ken sacks Zak, but does not acquire the ball. Off to Rush 9! Score is still 3 Zak.
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Rush 9: Zak is caught in a logger jam. The ball remains untouched.
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Rush 10: Ken piles on! A barely seen Striker enters the pitch to lock up the Team Captain even MORE. MOAR!!! Meanwhile, Ken sends his Zee Jack to grab the ball and boogie to the.. Dugout?
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Rush 11: Zak finishes up his Rush with no ball, and little to show. EXCEPT. The Reject Jetari Guard has taken a power down in the sin bin.
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Rush 12: Ken brings that Zee Jack up to mid-field and passes to his primo Striker. You know what happens next…
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Ken scores! The 2 pointer moves the score differential to 1 point Zak. Meanwhile, Ken brought out a Blood Sucking Nameless Jack to cock-block Zak’s 3+ Skill Striker.
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Rush 13: Zak deftly scores 3 thanks to his Team Captain supporting three actions per player and that handsome 3+ Skill Striker.
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Rush 14: Ken pulls off the impossible. The bloodsucker comes up to attack a Keeper with his Zee Jack assisting. Cards are rerolled, as well as a Cheerleader. THE LANE IS OPEN!
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Rush 14: Ken makes his first 4 point strike of the game. OVERTIME!!!
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OT / Rush “15”: Zak scores 3. Can Ken stay alive?
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OT/ “Rush 16”: Ken clears his lane for a 4 point opportunity. Then, Zak plays a Cheerleader on the ball pick-up. Ken rolls a one. Game over. Zak 3 points. ONE HELL OF.A GAME. Perhaps the best I’ve seen. Well done Coaches.
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Ken’s finished roster. 1 of 2.
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Ken’s finished roster. 2 of 2.
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Zak’s finished roster. 1 of 1.

While Ken does not advance to the Championship match, he does leave behind the specter of past seasons: The Sacko.  CORT’s worst Coach of the season is awarded a… less than flattering trophy.  Ken has been it’s recipient too often.  Not this time.  This season, his Rejects grew into a scoring juggernaut and laid some opponents into serious injury.

Zak move into the Championship game!  He’s no stranger to the top tier test.  With his seventh season appearance, he’s been to the Championship match six times!  He’s taken home the colossal CORT DreadBalls Championship Trophy Four times!  Will he do it again?  And if so, who does he defeat?

CORT’s second playoff match is tonight, June 29 2018.  Alex’s Neo-Bots vs. Brett Male Corporation.  Will this BreadDoll editor be lucid enough to document the game?!

Comments, questions, and congratulations to the Coaches are welcome below.

Tournament Time / Rush Report: Origenes Cup III

Hear ye!  Hear ye!  Gather round common coaches, and let me share a compelling compilation of numbers.  Thy third Origenes Cup has concluded!

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The 2018 Origins Game Fair in Columbus Ohio saw a futuristic sports tournament in its 2nd edition, and The Ohio War Kings graciously allowed DreadBall coaches to launch balls in their gaming area.  An elite gathering from the stretches of North America competed for seven action-packed hours, and the results were fascinating.  Final rankings were a nail biter, even to the last Rush.

The 2018 DreadBall UK National Championship rules pack was in effect, with ONE modification; Only ONE MVP was allowed in a team build.

In short; Team builds were 1,200 mc.  No Giants, no transfers, no Ronnie Rejects, and no “We Can Rebuild Him.”  Team Captains, support staff, and generic player advancements (one per player at 25 mc) were allowed.

 

Results:

Coach and Team name

Race.  Tournament Points.  Total Fan Cheers.  Total Serious Injuries.  Match specs.

8.  Joshua Tumbry and his South Bend Sewer Rats!

Veer-myn.  0.  12.  0.

Match 1.  vs. Jon Carter.  1 point loss in Rush 10.

Match 2.  vs. Wes Anslinger.  7 point loss in Rush 5.

Match 3.  vs. David Baker.  7 point loss in Rush 6.

Match 4.  vs. Ed Daugh.  4 point loss in Rush 12.

7.  Wes Anslinger and his L.E.D.s (Life Extinction Diagnostics)!

Meta-Bots.  3.  26.  2.

Match 1.  vs. Richard Matney.  3 point loss in Rush 9.

Match 2.  vs. Joshua Tumbry.  7 point win in Rush 5.

Match 3.  vs. Jon Carter.  1 point loss in Rush 14.

Match 4.  vs. David Baker.  7 point loss in Rush 12.

6.  David Baker and his Shaken & Baken!

Trontek 29ers.  6.  20.  1.

Match 1.  vs. Geoff Burbidge.  2 point loss in Rush 10.

Match 2.  vs. Ed Daugh.  1 point loss in Rush 12.

Match 3.  vs. Joshua Tumbry.  7 point win in Rush 6.

Match 4.  vs. Wes Anslinger.  7 point win in Rush 12.

5.  Ed Daugh and his BUG BASH!

Z’zor.  6.  30.  7.

Match 1.  vs. Lee Montgomery.  7 point loss in Rush 11.

Match 2.  vs. David Baker.  1 point win in Rush 12.

Match 3.  vs. Geoff Burbidge.  1 point loss in Rush 14.

Match 4.  vs. Joshua Tumbry.  4 point win in Rush 12.

4.  Jon Carter and his Teras Kasi Omegas (TKO)!

Teratons.  7.  57.  4.

Match 1.  vs.  Joshua Tumbry.  1 point win in Rush 10.

Match 2.  vs. Richard Matney.  TIE in Rush 12.

Match 3.  vs. Wes Anslinger.  1 point win in Rush 14.

Match 4.  vs. Lee Montgomery.  7 point loss in Rush 3.

3.  Richard Matney and his Proto Doom!

Cyborgs.  7.  72.  4.

Match 1.  vs. Wes Anslinger.  3 point win in Rush 9.

Match 2.  vs. Jon Carter.  TIE in Rush 12.

Match 3.  vs. Lee Montgomery.  1 point win in Rush 10.

Match 4.  vs. Geoff Burbidge.  1 point loss in Rush 14.

2.  Geoff Burbidge and his Unnatural Selection!

Mutants.  9.  18.  0.

Match 1.  vs.  David Baker.  2 point win in Rush 10.

Match 2.  vs. Lee Montgomery.  7 point loss in Rush 3.

Match 3.  vs. Ed Daugh.  1 point win in Rush 14.

Match 4.  vs. Richard Matney.  1 point win in Rush 14.

and…

Lee Montgomery and his Sim-ian Swarm!

Zees.  9.  32.  0.

Match 1.  vs. Ed Daugh.  7 point win in Rush 11.

Match 2.  vs. Geoff Burbidge.  7 point win in Rush 3.

Match 3.  vs. Richard Matney.  1 point loss in Rush 10.

Match 4.  vs. Jon Carter.  7 point win in Rush 3.

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WHO WON WHAT?!
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Joshua may have lost, but he WON the BreadDoll!
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This may be the only picture of Ed smiling. He’s a killer, with a shed full of seven corpses. MOST BRUTAL.
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Most distanced traveled (California), Richard not only took third place – his Cyborgs were FAN FAVORITES!
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Geoff’s takes home 2nd as well as BEST PAINTED. His mutants were both ugly and beautiful (or so says judge Michael Carter).
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Tactician and Terror on the pitch. But also the Champion and nicest guy on planet Earth – Lee Montgomery.

The 2018 Origenes Cup could not have been done without the support of many DreadBall fanatics.  Thanks to Michael Carter and the Ohio War Kings, Andy Meechan, Ciaran Morris, and my BreadDoll co-editors.

[Editor’s Note: I’m gratefully passing the Tournament Organizer baton to Mike Mueller for Gen Con 2018.  I need to answer less questions, and get back on the pitch.  I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible in Indianapolis.]

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Know thy opponent, or know defeat…