A couple of people have asked about this, so I’ll take it from the top. Firstly, how it looks in the “real” game that I have in my head, then in the board game.
Scoring Strikes in the Real Game
In DreadBall, a scoring Throw is called a Strike. This term lends its name to several other game terms, notably the type of player who scores the most: a Striker.
A real DreadBall pitch is divided into hexagons, several of which are grouped together in coloured areas to form a total of 6 Strike Zones, 3 on each side of the pitch. Within each Strike Zone is a Strike Hex (at one end) and a Bonus Hex (at the other). In the Strike Hex is the Strike Target.
Only Jacks and Strikers can score Strikes. Guards (and Keepers) may not.
In order to score, a player must be standing inside a Strike Zone and Throw the ball to hit a Strike Target in the Strike Hex that belongs to that same Strike Zone. You might want to re-read that last sentence slowly. Note that the ball must be Thrown, and that carrying the ball onto the Strike Hex does nothing.
Visually, the Strike Target is a small circle at about head height for an average human. The target is less than twice the width of the ball, and so is very hard to hit. When playing Street DreadBall with your mates, this target might be as simple as a bucket on a stick. In most professional arenas the Strike Target will be a holographic image, projected above the Strike Hex only when a player enters the Strike Zone carrying the ball (and so becomes legally able to score). The trajectory of the ball is constantly tracked and a Throw’s success or failure is calculated by computer.
The moment a Strike is made the ball is removed from play and a new ball is launched across the centreline. This removal is either by the mediporter (normally used to remove injured or dead players) or by using the inbuilt anti-grav system to make the ball go straight up.
The actual number of points awarded depends on which Strike Target the ball hits, and where it is Thrown from. Each side may score in any of the 3 Strike Zones in the opposing team’s half of the pitch. The closer two are worth 1 point per Strike; the farther one is worth 3. If you score a Strike when you are standing in the Bonus Hex (which is further away and therefore a harder Throw) you get an extra point, so the Strikes are worth either 2 or 4 points.
Scoring Strikes in the Board Game
This works exactly the same way as in the real game, with the board being a faithful representation of the moderately high-tech professional arena.
The action required to score is called a Throw. I’ll cover this in more detail in the actions article. Basically though, it does what you’d expect – longer throws are harder as is making accurate Throws when an opposing player is in your face. You can pass the ball to friends, and you can also use it as a weapon to throw at opposition players if you really want to.
Losing control of the ball ends your Rush unless you are flukey enough to catch the scattering ball. Scoring a Strike always ends your Rush.
The rules give you a nice clear distinction between different player roles, which all helps to form a clear plan in your head. Guards cannot score, so they (and you) can focus on their job of damaging people. Strikers are the best at it, so when you can you’ll be wanting to get the ball to them. Of course, your opponent knows this too, so they’ll be breaking the legs of the Strikers first, just as you will be to them. For those teams that do not have Strikers, they need to use their Jacks to score, and their inherently lower skill means that they need to adapt their team’s tactics to suit.
Having a number of Strike Zones, and making them worth different points depending on which one you use and where you throw from, all gives the pitch far more tactical “texture” than a field where you can only score at either end. You constantly have to balance risk against reward, working out how many actions a plan will cost and how likely its success.