DreadBall Design Notes – A Glossary of Terms

What I’d like to do here is talk a bit about the game mechanics, how they work and why they work as they do. Rather than go on about everything all at once I’ll break this down into more manageable chunks and aim to post one chunk a day. That way you won’t get indigestion 🙂

I could start with a description of the board or why movement works as it does, but I think it might be simplest if we start with a few game terms. That way I don’t have to keep stopping in mid ramble to explain what I’m talking about. At least, no more than usual.

Like everything else, DreadBall has its own terminology. The terms are listed alphabetically as that will make it more useful as an ongoing resource, and as I expect that to be part of their use I will come back and add to this as I think of more that needs to be explained.

Words in Italics are defined in the list.

Action: A Rush comprises a number of Actions. Each Action allows a single Player to perform a discrete task such as Slam an opponent or Throw the ball.

Coach: the real world human playing the board game.

Doubling: when the total number of successes in a roll is equal to twice the Target Number or more. Often triggers an additional effect.

Free Action: an Action that does not cost a Team Action Token or a Special Move Card. usually earned by Doubling a Target Number.

Guard: a type of Player. Guards are heavily armoured are are the most survivable. Their job is to make a hole in the opponent’s line and to protect their own Strikers. They cannot pick up the ball.

Jack: a type of PlayerJacks can try their hands at anything.

Player: one of the imaginary individuals that make up a DreadBall team, represented by a model in the game. Players come in 3 types: StrikersJacks and Guards.

Rush: a turn. Within a Rush a Coach is able to make a number of Actions. The game lasts for 14 Rushes, 7 for each Coach.

Skill: a Stat. How good at throwing, catching and general ball handling skills a Player is.

Slam: A type of Action in which a Player tries to knock an opponent down.

Special Move Card: a type of DreadBall card. Each one defines a specific type of Action(s) that a specific type of Player(s) can perform by spending the card instead of a Team Action Token.

Speed: a Stat. How agile and dodgy a Player is.

Stat: short for statistic. This is one of the game values that defines a Player. There are 3 main stats: Strength, Speed and Skill.

Strength: a Stat. How strong and fighty a Player is.

Strike: the name for scoring in DreadBall. Used similarly to the term in bowling.

Strike Hex: one of the target hexes that you must hit in order to score.

Strike Zone: the area of the pitch in which you must be standing in order to make a legal Strike. In higher tech arenas the Strike Hex is often a holographic target and will only appear when a Player is in a position to legally score.

Striker: a type of Player. Strikers are lightly armoured and are the best at handling the ball. Their job is to make Strikes. They cannot Slam opponents.

Success: a result on a single dice that equals or exceeds the Stat against which the roll is being made.

Target Number: the number of Successes required in a dice roll to perform the Action.

Team Action Token: one of the 5 tokens that a Coach gets each Rush to activate his Players with.

Threat Hex: the three hexes immediately in front and adjacent to a Player. Opposing Players standing in a Threat Hex are penalised for some dice rolls.

Throw: a type of Action in which a Player attempts to launch the ball either to a teammate, at a Strike Hex in order to score a Strike, or at an opponent in order to injure them.

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9 Responses to DreadBall Design Notes – A Glossary of Terms

  1. This sounds exciting, can’t wait to get my hands on a copy. Might it be possible to play Dreadball in real life, I wonder…?

  2. Hofferber says:

    Very useful for the translation… Thanks 🙂

  3. Lee says:

    At the risk of sounding greedy, give me more already! I’ll risk the indigestion!

  4. Casidhe says:

    “Success: a result on a single dice that equals or exceeds the Stat against which the roll is being made.”

    Does this mean low stats are better?

  5. Pingback: DreadBall Design Notes – How Do You Score? |

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