Dreadball Chromium Chargers – A Review

Dreadball_logo

When Phil asked me to join The Shell Case team he did so saying that I could look after the Dreadball content seeing as I’m a bit mental for it. Oh how he’ll rue the day… If for no other reason I find myself reviewing the Chromium Charges and I know how much he, and most of the other team members, wanted to get their hands on them.

The Chromium Chargers are a team of robots built by some very bored scientists who wanted to see how good a Dreadball player can be, and backed by some large Corporations, keen to show off their newest robotics which can transform at will into whatever type of player the situation calls for. Now, transforming robots aren’t the most original idea for anyone that has owned a TV or been to a cinema over the last 30 years but, but let’s be honest it’s fun and therefore it’s a good one. And as they say “if an idea ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. From a manager’s point of view the way the team works is certainly interesting; having an entire team of Jacks and changing their role throughout the game can lead to a very different and reactive style of play compared to other teams.

Chromium-Chargers-Robot-TeamThe Chromium Chargers box contains 10 models – 6 Jacks, 2 Strikers and 2 Guards, and whilst this is more figures than other teams get, [Unless you count the mispacks. -Ed] it actually only gives you 6 playable figures as all have to start as Jacks, but with the Chargers 6 is all you should need. Like all of the main teams it would be well worth picking up the team expansion as unfortunately all 6 Jacks come in the same pose. That said it is one of the better poses Mantic have done and I am pleased to say the same can be said for the Strikers as they are really dynamic and the Guards do look like they could dish out some damage. Plus with a whole team costing less than £15 it is hard to be anything but positive about them.

The Chargers have been designed really well and with a high level of detail on each one, they do genuinely look cool. They are a much better design than I would have imagined; sleek, thin and they look like they would be mobile and capable of moving at pace. Mantic have done well managing to make the robots look as though they were built for sport without looking so solid that other races would just bounce off of them. This is important in making the models appear believably competitive but not invincible. I am also pleased that Mantic were also able to make the transformations look like they actually work and the great looking diagrams in the Season 2 rulebook helps to support this further.

The models were also surprisingly easy to build, and this is coming from someone who is very much about the gaming first and the hobby second. Just like all the Season 2 teams, there was far less flash on the models to contend with than the Season 1 range. This made the building process a lot quicker and a whole lot more enjoyable, plus with each model being made up of only 3 parts, it further speeds things up but obviously limits your ability to make the figures in any way individual without conversions.

Once the Chargers were built, I couldn’t wait to get them on to the neodurium [Neeeeeerd! – Ed.] and see how they played, and the fact is the team plays really well. The team has the all-round qualities you would expect to find in the human teams but their ability to transform them gives them a real feeling of flexibility. At the start of a game your team is obviously slightly hampered by having only Jacks and you will feel like you are missing out on the big tackles and tough shots, but with the Quick Change Artist special rule that will swiftly change. There is something extremely satisfying about watching an opponent’s face as without warning two of your players transform into guards and smash a hole through their line then a second pair change into strikers steal the ball unchallenged and score to take the lead.

Despite this once you have played that one obvious tactic, throughout a whole game they are not always the easiest easy to play with and the Chromium Chargers do pose a truly enjoyable challenge to use. They would suit a gamer who is tactically aware as it is vitally important that you always have the right mix of players on the pitch for each situation that comes up and that you conserve some actions for changes at vital times. They are a great addition to the Dreadball Universe and are fun to play both with and against.

The Chromium Chargers are available from Firestorm Games priced £13.49. This team requires the Season 2 expansion book available from Firestorm Games priced £8.99.

Mr Tremblay Does Dreadball

471e27f330bd96c059203afdab82dfef_large

I have been looking at Dreadball for quite a while and I can’t help but feel intrigued by the entire game. I love Blood Bowl and continue to have hours of fun with the computer game. There are several reasons why I never got into the proper miniature version of Blood Bowl. It’s quite simple really: 1) Lack of a supported model line. 2) The models never really appealed to me [Because they’re shit. -Ed.]. 3) Hard to convince people to invest in another game that isn’t relatively available.

mantic-title

 

Long story short: I find Dreadball appealing for these reasons: 1) Easy to jump into a game. 2) It’s an original sports game, not just a recreation of Blood Bowl. 3) Multiple ways to play the game, with the new Ultimate Edition. So it looks like I’m getting into Dreadball. The question remains, what teams appeal to me and what will be my first purchases, or who will forever sit on the bench.

Season 1: Corporation/Orx Starter Bundle I personally don’t find these teams terribly exciting. Sure Orcs are always cool, but they feel a bit par for the course. The corp or Human teams are always kind of meh… in my honest opinion. Thankfully, the models look different enough that I can convince myself to forget how boring normal human teams can be thematically. It’s a science fiction based game and I wished they would have made their fiction more exciting, like humanoid robots or matrix infused karate humans that don’t use armour. I will be picking up both teams, because I want the starter box and to learn the basics. So I will have to take them. Status: Have no choice, but to buy them. Forgefathers: Awesome! Power armoured dwarfs. Think Iron man and thor had a step child…ok too much info. I would pick these up, but @JaronTheBaron has called dibs…Blast! Status: Probably in the future, but not for a while. Veerymn: Ok we all know space rats = Skaven, but who cares. They are an awesome team to play. [No they’re not, they’re rubbish. -Ed.] Unfortunately I own 210 Skaven and would like to avoid owning more Status: Last team I will buy.

2791.1.600.600.FFFFFF.0

Season 2: Void Sirens: My favourite team! Interesting female miniatures that make sense! They wear armour and its practical! In all seriousness, its cool that they can count as an alternative for the corp team or as their own unique team. Two teams for the price of one! What’s not to like! Status: Bought! Judwan: I dislike the aesthetic of the tall skinny aliens from 1950’s Sci-fi. Even Mars Attacks has a more interesting take on this style of alien. I can appreciate them being in the game, but they just don’t appeal to me. Also their play style of only passing, seems to contradict my hockey upbringings. Status: Probably going to stay on the bench. Not saying their bad, in fact many consider this the best team. Just not my cup of tea. Robots: I like the concept of the team being able to switch player roles on the fly. The models seem, almost too skinny for what they do, but I can forgive that for a potentially engaging team to play on the pitch. Just didn’t have enough cash to pick these in the first go round. Status: will pick up in the second batch. Zorr: They are bugs, a bit goofy looking, but a very interesting team. Not a bad-looking team, but the models didn’t pull me in enough. But perhaps in the next batch of purchases. Status: Not the first purchase, but perhaps later on.

2786.1.600.600.FFFFFF.0

Season 3) TURTLES!!! I like the concept of this team and I was torn on buying these guys. Teleporting turtles with a rat coach, come on guys how can I avoid that! Needless to say, it was a close call but these will be a second waver for me. It came down to a lack of colour scheme ideas. Status: Next Wave. The Nameless: Not only is this team Cthulu based, but the potential for detailed colour schemes is what I find the most appealing. The variety of models on the team also helps to diversify this team and make them unique. Status: Bought! Space Elves: To be honest, the models look fine and have a unique play style. I just wanted to pick a nice diverse spread of teams for my initial batch of miniatures. Unfortunately, I just find the other teams more intriguing overall. Status: Not a first purchase, but perhaps later on. The Zee! A team of genetically engineered hyper monkey clones. This team is truly original and just plain goofy to play. I like how they are simple to paint, easy to explain, yet hard to master. A really fun team to use in Dreadball Ultimate, which I am also picking up. Status: Bought!

So there we go, now it’s time to wait till my models get here in the frozen norths of Canada. Until next time!

Dreadball Season 2 – A Review

471e27f330bd96c059203afdab82dfef_large

Okay sports fans, I’m slowly working my way through the backlog of reviews. I fully blame my daughter for being a baby and monopolizing my time with cuteness, vomiting and nappy changes in roughly even measure.

An impressive 2 and a bit months late, let’s take a look at Dreadball Season 2

2784.1.600.600.FFFFFF.0

So what’s in the book? Well, at the risk of banging on: spelling mistakes.

You also get rules for cheerleaders, assistant coaches, new rules, new abilities, new teams and league rules.

Regular readers will know that I’m a bit of a Dreadball fan so I was quite looking forward to this supplement as it promised to expand the game beyond the one-off games the core rules rather leans towards.

First up: cheerleaders. My goodness the rules are fussy but Mantic went to great lengths to reflect the unpredictable and, essentially, unquantifiable effect cheerleaders have on any sporting game beyond the bloke at the back of the bleachers in the dirty mac. The funny thing is that despite their obvious benefit to the game the rules put me off bothering, plus the aforementioned benefit is far from certain. A positive move over Dreadball’s sperm doner, Blood Bowl, is that there is a limit to how many cheerleaders you can use at one time, which stops the big teams from gaining too much of an edge. That all said, the models have boobs so…yay.

Assistant Coaches on the other hand are so useful that if you use the Season 2 rules and don’t use Assistant Coaches you’re simply the silliest bugger in all of Dreadball land. You have to hire a coach for each type of play, which stops them from being over powered and forces you to commit to a style of play early in a league be it to augment a strength or ease the pain of a weakness. Obviously as the league progresses you can acquire others. The nice thing is that the coaches come in blisters of 3 so a single purchase sorts you out for the league. The best thing is that the bonuses you can gain from your coaches can be decisive if timed well but won’t break the game, which is nicely done considering how over powered some of the MVPs are.

League rules are a nice surprise as they’re written from the point of view of gamers, so it gives you rules for a league to suit you and your mates, rather than pushing you towards something overly complicated that results in you spending more time administrating the league than playing in it. The usual features are there such as player progression and MVPs but by far my favourite is the Cheating Death on the Cheap table which allows you to bring fatally wounded players back to life but on a budget. Although after a couple of trips to the quack you may just want to let you guy slip off the mortal coil and buy someone new.

If I’m honest, although the league rules are straight forward they’re a tad thin on the ground and I rather suspect that Mantic saw the rules for Cheerleaders and Assistant Coaches as part of it, which is fine but it should be presented as such.

The rest of the book is new skills and new teams (for the skills to go with) as well as a FAQ helping to decipher the woefully unclear rules from the core game. And I say that with love.

The new teams are actually quite fresh and original although it’s very much a case of special rules differentiating them from the Season 1 teams. Which isn’t a complaint perse because who doesn’t want a team of transforming robots, it’s just one of things that will inevitably slow play down because players will be referring to their rosters or the Season 2 book all the time.

For the money Dreadball Season 2 is very much worth it. It’s worth it for the simple league rules and the coaching staff. It’s worth it for the teams. The only thing that grates a bit is that Season 3 is imminent which means that Dreadball will stop being a really cool, quick, boardgame and become akin to Rogue Trader that required many tomes of rules and a large cart and donkey with which to transport them.

But until that day comes I shall continue to field my Lark Industries Iron Men in all their red and gold glory.

Dreadball Season 2 is available from Firestorm Games priced £8.99.
Dreadball Coaches are available from Firestorm Games priced £7.99.

 

New Dreadball Teams Revealed

Two of the teams for Dreadball Season 2 have finally been put up on the Mantic website.

First up we have the Corporation Void Sirens…

2827.1.600.600.FFFFFF.0

The Void Sirens are one of the better-known all-female teams with a long and illustrious history. They have, at one time or another, beaten most of the top teams, and they are always worth watching on the tri-vid. The roster relies on their Jacks and their training focus on Running Interference. This, together with an extensive additional coaching schedule, enables them to react swiftly to opposing plays, and makes the Sirens very tricky to predict. Any offensive drive needs to punch a much bigger hole than usual to guarantee a way past the Siren’s nimble Jacks.

Next the Judwan Pelgar Mystics…

2826.1.600.600.FFFFFF.0

The Judwan are a placid, calm and peaceful race and the tiny number of Judwanese teams play an odd game of DreadBall. They have neither Guards nor Jacks and never try to damage their opponents; they simply outplay them. A Judwan Striker needs no glove to catch or throw the ball, instead using his long, lithe arms and slender fingers to launch the ball with as much or more speed as other races. Their games are fast and often surprising, with a tendency to end suddenly in a 7-point landslide.

Dreadball Season 2

471e27f330bd96c059203afdab82dfef_large

That’s right sports fans, the next wave of Dreadball stuff is here and includes a supplement with a rather sexy, rendered, cover…

2784.1.600.600.FFFFFF.0

Although it’s great to see new shizzle coming out for a game that I’m really quite taken with – and £9.99 RRP for a supplementary book isn’t bad I really hope they don’t start churning out books every few months as it’ll get old real quick. But for now, it all looks rather groovy. The book includes:

With a host of new models, new mechanics and exciting abilities, the Season 2 Rulebook takes DreadBall to new heights and expands your gameplay experience. Featuring brand new photography as well as a dedicated FAQ section, the Season 2 Rulebook is a must-have for any DreadBall fan.

SEASON 2 EXPANDS YOUR DREADBALL EXPERIENCE WITH:

  • 64 Page A4 Full Colour Rulebook
  • 4 New Teams
  • 9 famous
  • MVPs
  • Cheerleaders
  • Coaches
  • Talk Tactics FAQ
  • League Play
  • New Abilities

There’s also a host of lovely new teams including the Corporatoin Void Sirens as well as Robots (which look fricking sweet), Judwans and Z’zors. There’s also a bunch of new MVPs although there’s no model photographs of anything yet, which is a shame, but as and when they get put up I’ll post them.

2791.1.600.600.FFFFFF.02786.1.600.600.FFFFFF.02789.1.600.600.FFFFFF.02788.1.600.600.FFFFFF.0