Monday, 24 June 2013

DreadBall: Forge Fathers Defeated Again...

Forge Fathers vs Veer-Myn

Rush 06: 0-3
Rush 09: 1-0
Rush 12: 0-3
Rush 14: 0-7

I just can't win with the stunties. They came very close to scoring the equalizer in Rush 13, but missed, and the Veer-Myn quickly grabbed the ball and effortlessly scored the Landslide 4-pointer.

It's a bit annoying, really. I may have to rely on FF players to get Advancements, before they get good enough... sadly they can't get a better Movement, which is their biggest disadvantage (apart from their 5+ Speed for Dodge, Evade, and Dash).

I'm not very fond of the Veer-Myn; normally, they won't score as easily as they did in this Match, as their 5+ Skill must normally cost them a lot of missed Pick-Ups and Throws (my Dice-rolling was above average for them), and although they Dodge well, having only 2 Guards and no Jacks, the team seems a bit flimsy, should somebody decide to focus on really hurting them, one at a time.

Well, I'll clean up a Human Sriker, then play a re-match... at some point the FF must get just the tiny bit of luck they need to bag a win... I hope...

Saturday, 22 June 2013

DreadBall: Another Jack is ready...

I managed to get the 3rd, and for now, last, Jack cleaned up today.

Just after that, I glued the right arms on 6 Veer-myn Strikers (they are the worst case of bad design, and cannot be assembled without proper glue, having some weird half-ball joints for their right arms).

I may play a game against the Veer-myn later today, but we are supposed to attend a barbeque at 5 pm, so I don't know if I'll find the time today.

DreadBall: Forge Fathers vs Marauders Test 2 (Visitors).

Rush 02: Goblin and Orx Killed
Rush 04: Goblin Killed
Rush 07: Forge Father Jack Killed
Rush 07: 3-0
Rush 09: 6-0
Rush 14: Goblin Killed
Rush 14: 2-0

I made a terible mistake by letting an FF Jack be positioned on the first of the FF Launch hexes - facing the entry point of the ball. This mistake probably cost the FF the Victory, as it allowed a Goblin Jack to score 2 consecutive 3-pointers - and nearly a 3rd one!

Never, NEVER place a Jack in a way that he is forced to try to catch a launched ball - if you have no Coaching Dice, he will have no chance of catching, as it is cinsidered an Inaccurate Pass, automatically forfeiting the Rush.

Four Marauders killed, Man of the Match Award, and 1 Revenue Dice, as opposed to one killed Jack. Not an outstanding result, but bearable.

I started with 3 Guards and 3 Jacks on the Pitch, and concentrated on injuring the Marauders, and had I not missed Rushes 08 and 10 due to the unfortunate Jack, I think the FF would have carried the day. Well - one of those mistakes it's better to make in test games than with a Team you're trying to develop....

DreadBall: Forge Fathers vs Marauders Test 1.

Rush 13: 4-0
Rush 14: 0-0
SD Rush 01: 4-0

1 FF Jack killed
1 Orx Guard killed

Tactics worked quite well. This time the FF more or less ignored most possibilities to pick up the ball, instead focussing on denying the Marauders any free access to it. As the Marauders do best trying to hammer the opposition into submission, it was a fairly safe way of conduct.

The FF actually have a slight edge over the Marauders when it comes to sluggeing it out; with a Strength of 3+, they outmatch the 3 Orx by 5 or 6 to 3, and the Guards are all Steady and cannot be brought down for a Stomp Foul.

Both teams' Guards can most easily be injured by Slamming them in the back (Speed 5+), but this often requires the Sucker Punch Foul, and a couple of Orx Guards were sent off during the Match.

I think the 'Slam first, Strike later' tactic may work against Humans, too, but the Slamming must be concentrated on the Human Strikers to remove them from the Pitch for as soon and as long as possible.

I have decided to clean up the mold-lines on at least one model between each game from now on, as I'm getting more and more eager to see how a team will develop when counting experience and advances.

Friday, 21 June 2013

DreadBall: Forge Fathers vs Humans Test 2.

With a 7-0, Landslide one action short of the end of the Match, the humans just washed my tactics theory Down the drains. Or perhaps I have to play more games to find some valid statistics...

The opponents can set up for the initial Rush the same way, thus making it difficult for the FF to secure the ball. I think I made a technical mistake, trying to let the FF Striker Evade with the ball; 3 dice with a target of 5+ is simply too risky - I should have Slammed my way around the ball, making the gauntlet before the Striker moved in.

Yet, the FF might have scored an equalizing 4-pointer, had it not been for 'Blood on the Pitch', which caused the heroic Striker to miss a Dash, that would have put him in position for a Strike attempt on his next action.

Both teams suffered a killed Jack, but the FFwould not earn any Revenue from this Match, which makes it a total loss.

It is of the utmost importance to avoid Landslides against you, if you are not an Underdog by at least 10 mc!

So many things to consider, that influences the decisions on the Pitch! Managing a DreadBall Team will prove itself quite rewarding, though, if the Dice Gods don't conspire to foil your attempts to aquire greatness!

DreadBall: Forge Fathers vs Humans Test 1

Finished the first run using my new tactical doctrine for the FF today. To a certain extent, the FF succeeded, forcing a human Striker to fail an Evade on Rush 01, and actually being able to score a 2 point Strike before the humans succeded in scoring.

It was quickly followed by a 4-pointer by the humans, but the FF got in the lead Again by also scoring a 4-pointer.

The humans then again scored a 4-pointer, but the FF managed to equalize in Rush 14, bringing the game into Sudden Death. As the humans had 1 Striker dead, and 2 others injured at this point, ithe odds seemed in the favour of the FF. Unfortunately, in Rush 01 of the overtime, a single human Jack showed the value of having relatively anonymous players able to handle the ball, and by help of an action Card and a single Coaching Dice, he scored 1 point, leading to a win by +1.

I kind of consider a game where the FF comes out with a positive net revenue as a win; The would have earned the Man of the Match, + several XP for scoring and injuring players, didn't lose a single player, and earned 1d6 mc. Not too scrappy for the equivalent of a starting team.

I'll play another game against the hmans, this time letting the FF start as the Home Team, to see if I can refine their game, and maybe get them a Victory for a change.

They key to beating human teams lies in injuring their Strikers as early on, and as hard as possible; they are capable of a combined throwing and running game that is very hard to stop, so if you can't bring them Down, at least put as many Treat Zones on them as possible, to, hopefully, make one or more botch an Evade attempt, which can mess up their game a whole lot.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

DreadBall: Some Thoughts on the Forge Fathers.

I've played 3 solo games with the Forge Fathers, 2 against Marauders, and 1 against Humans.

The bearded Guys have 2 obvious weaknesses: Short Movement, and very vulnerable Strikers; with a Speed of 5+, they are prone to miss their Dodge, which is their only answer to Slams, and a couple of Jacks can easily bring Down, and even injure a Forge Father Striker (and a Jack is expendable for a Foul, should he be sent off).

To compensate for that, they have a good Strength of 3+, and their Guards are Steady, which means they will not spend any time on the floor.

To succeed, the FF will have to exploit their strengths to the utmost, and as they are not likely to score a lot of Strikes, a main objective should be to keep the opponent from scoring.

I am going to try an inital line-up of as many Guards as possible (normally 3 for a basic team) and only one Striker to handle the ball. My main tactic will be to grab the ball with the Striker at first given opportunity, and hold on to it by defending the Striker at all cost.

When the FF is the Home team, the Striker will be positioned close to the center of the Pitch, maybe a bit to the right, as the ball is most likely to end the Launch on the right side of the Pitch.

When they start as Visitors, I'll place the 3 Guards, and 2 Jacks to pose threats to every possible hex (save one) the ball may end up in on launch, to hopefully make opponent miss picking up the ball, then let the Striker come from behind the line and grab the ball. If, say, a Human Striker should get the ball and break through the line, he may score, but the line-up should make it possible for our Striker to grab the ball upon re-launch

When ball is secured, the Guards and Jacks should form a protective gauntlet or 'cage' around the Striker, and hopefully they'll hold out until the Striker sees an opportunity to break out and make a Strike attempt, for which some of the (hopefully) accumulated Coaching Dice should be used.

After making the Strike attempt, the Striker will most likely be thumped by the opponent, and should he be injured, the replacement is ready on the Subs Bench. I'll NEVER have 2 FF Strikers on the Pitch, as it will be impossible to protect both.

I'll try these tactics at least 2 times against each of the teams from Season 1, to see if I'm on the right track, here...

DreadBall: Another Landslide!

Played Humans vs Forge Fathers last night, and the FF never really played much of a role. They tried taking out the 3 starting Human Strikers, but failed, and the humans scored 3 pts. in Rush 01, 1 pt. in Rush 03, and 4 pts. in Rush 05, bringing the match to an end.

No fatalities, and only a single FF Guard (!)  suffered a single 2 pts. injury.

I did roll unusually well on armour checks, but the Humans did not roll much better than average on their ball-handling, and even then, the Strikers did extremely well. A Human (29ers) team seems to be able to perform well against several types of opponent, but I still have to see them in action against fast, high-skilled teams.

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

DreadBall: Pre-Season Continued.

It just took me 1½ hr to clean up the next Jack in line... I used a totally new blade this time, and though it cuts the hard plastic just a tny bit more smoothly, it's still a drag to get a figure done.

No further Progress today, but I may try to sneak in another full-rules solo game this evening, if the kids do not act up too much at bed-time.

Monday, 17 June 2013

DreadBall: Blood on the Pitch!

Played a quite spectacular solo game today, my first using the full rules for Season 1.

Again, the Forge Fathers faced off against the Marauders - and they will be bearing grudges for quite some time!

Two FF (Jack and Striker) were killed in Rush 04, and a Guard joined his Ancestors in Rush 06, leaving the bearded ones only 5 players for the rest of the game.

From that point the game developed into a slug-fest, with both teams only making a few unsuccesful chance Strike-attempts, and most of the time more players in the Sin Bin than on the Pitch.

Last couple of Rushes, both teams completely ignored the Ball, and with the very last Action of Rush 14, an Orx Guard injured the last FF Jack, leaving only a single FF Guard on the Pitch for the overtime - immediately ending the game in favour of the greenskins.

The use of Cards, the Ref, and Fouls, adds, if not a new dimension, some more facets to the game, without slowing the pace in a noteworthy way - which is remarkable, as most games I've played usually slow down a lot, as layers are added.

DreadBall is probably going to be my number 1 favourite game for quick, light-hearted fun with a fellow gamer, be he/she of the board-gaming or war-gaming kind.

The downside to this new experience: I did not get any players cleaned up for undercoating today - but as the game plays brilliantly with basic teams without advancements and income, it's not that bad, only a delay before I can start developing my 'own' 'custom' team.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

DreadBall: Back on the Pitch!

Played two games of DreadBall today, both down to basics without cards, ref, and fouls.

1st game was Basic Humans vs Marauders - my friend Ulrik played the greenskins (being a Blood Bowl vet, and this being his very first game of DB, he had a bit of difficulty adjusting to the differences between BB and DB), and as my 7 years old daughter rolled all my dice and never managed not to roll a lot of roll-ups, especially on Armour Checks, the humans won by a landslide in Rush 11.

2nd game I played solo, Forge Fathers vs Marauders. As expected, this was a very close, and very hard fought, match. Most of the game the FF held on to the ball and defended it stubbornly, and they managed to score a 2-pointer about mid-game. In the very last Rush, a single Gobbo tried sprinting 13 hexes to come in position for a 2-pt scoring attempt, but he missed his 3rd Dash, and ended the game flat on the floor.

This was the first time I tried another team than the Humans and Marauders, and I really liked the feel of the Forge Fathers - they'll probably be the 2nd team I paint up.... I consider a name like 'Fyrkat Berserkers', and painting them in Danish national colours (red and white).

I'll have to try a couple of solo games with the full rules, soon, as I think I have most of the basics memorized by now.

Tomorrow I'll see if I can get another Jack cleaned up; that'll mean I'm half way through the BioCorp Buccaneers, as I intend to name them.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

DreadBall: Boot Camp Continued

I managed to sneak in cleaning up a Jack yesterday, so 'only' 5 more to go before I have enough for a starting team. I think I'll settle for 8 players, a ref, and a ball for now, as I'm aready really fed up with trying to get nice, clean results. I can then do a player when needed through recruitment; and as we won't get the last 4 players for the 4 starting teams until later this year, I cannot make a full roster, anyway.

If all Mantic plastics are made of this sh*t, I'm not going to by many minis from them, that's for sure - I'll rather pay a bit more per figure than go through all this frustration when cleaning them up...

Friday, 14 June 2013

DreadBall: Boot Camp Prolongued.

I have both the Guards ready for glueing onto washers, but didn't do anything yesterday, because I simply couldn't bring myself to do that tedious task. Opted to watch 'The Reef' with the kids instead.

We are having the girls from my eldest daughter's school class for a delayed celebration of her 10 years birthday tomorrow, and as the forecast does not leave much hope for outdoor activities, I'll have to put the hobby stuff aside today to tidy up the living room.

Sunday afternoon, my (formerly) regular gaming pal is coming to visit, partly because of the recent birthday, and I hope that we can squeeze in a basic rules game of DreadBall. Sunday morning is reserved for searching for a new (used) car, as the Family dropship is due for inspection and will most likely fail miserably without expensive repairs/maintenance.

Monday, I hope to get back on track and get one or two Jacks cleaned and assembled. Until then, no further Progress is to be expected.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

DreadBall: Boot Camp

Started prepping today. Got out the 10 male Human players, the refbot, and a ball.

I had expected a friend of mine to come over this last Sunday, and I wanted us to be able to do a quick tussle. When I started to put the gaming pieces (players) together, I realized that there was no way the individuals would keep their composure without the use of some kind of adhesive.

This is a BIG minus in my book; DreadBall is essentially a board game, and as such, I expect to be able to play the game right out of the box. It will be hard to convince board gamers to pick up the game when they have to be modellers before they can start playing, but, well...

The task at hand.
More daunting that you would ever imagine...
Blurred pic courtesy of bad lighting.
As a result I used a lot of little balls of sticky-tac to secure the various arms, legs, and hands (Forge Fathers), but I had to give up on the Veer-myn, as some of the models have only a very shallow half-ball joint to position one arm by. Another weird choice, and in my book, a design flaw. Also some of the Judwan are way too flimsy to be held together without glue.

But, in other words, I have to remove a lot of gooey white stuff from the sockets for various limbs. Nice going.

I started out with one of the 2 Guards, as they are the bulkiest, and I have not removed mold-lines for almost 2 years. So, with no current practice, and ever-dwindling eye-sight, I wanted to do the easy tasks first.

Easy? By no means! That Guard might be the worst mini I ever had to prep for painting. Not because it's a bad sculpt, but bvecause of a combination of not-so-accented details on the armour with possibly the worst material I've ever encountered in a gaming piece. This 'hard plastic' is impossible to scrape with a sharp blade without making the surface all roughed up, and it is difficult to cut without the blade going astray. I ended up using my diamond needle file set, but the result is not quite satisfactory.

I don't think I'll manage more than one of these per day, lest I use too many sanity points.

To finish the models for priming, I need to get some small washers (20 mm-ish or so) to glue them onto. I could use the provided clear acrylic hex bases, but I want my minis to stick to magnetic sheets.

About the acrylic bases, btw: I had expected that the integral bases wouls snap-fit into the central cavity on the hex bases... but NOT so. The holes are substantially larger than the figure bases, so again, adhesives are required.

All in all, Mantic could have done better with this product. The plastic may be a cheap solution to keep costs down, but I think I would prefer a slightly higher price for a material more like the plastic used by GW.

You can't beat the DreadBall rules for playability, though. I haven't played a single game with the official minis, yet, but I played several test games with Blood Bowl minis on a mock-up pitch during the frantic Kickstarter days, and fell in love completely with the game.

So, if DreadBall doesn't get me back into hobby gaming, nothing probably will...

Monday, 10 June 2013

DreadBall - almost there!

Yesterday I finally got a grip, and started assembling (with blu-tac) the miniatures contained in the first 2 shipments of my DreadBall Kickstarter pledge.

I even figured out a paint sceme for my purestrain male human team, and the refbot and I shall start prepping the first few minis, and a ball, this week, real life permitting.

All in all, I seem to be on the track to rekindling the spark, so expect updates, if not on a regular, then at least a more frequent basis.