Wow! DreadBall Season 2 is GO!

What can I say? The Kickstarter is now over $200k and Season 2 is in! Thanks guys, it’s all down to the amazing support you’ve been giving it.

Now all we need to do is evangelise it to enough new folks to sail past the stretches for Ultimate and Xtreme and then we have the whole set!

In case you haven’t noticed yet, the Kickstarter page now has a basic how to play video up, with a run through of some of the fundamentals. It’s a little rough round the edges, but you get the idea. Add this to the pdf sample Rush and all my articles here and elsewhere, and you should be getting a pretty good idea of how it all works. I’ve also got some more articles on the way, and as ever, if you have any questions or requests let me know.

All I have to do now is write all 3 follow-ons and play a couple of hundred games to make sure they work.


Life is hard 😉



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55 Responses to Wow! DreadBall Season 2 is GO!

  1. Kiwamu says:

    By May having 8 different teams is a great gig for tournaments… imagine all the different setups in one team and than for 8 teams all around. crazy, isn’t it?

  2. Andrew says:

    $200,000, and there’s still 19 days to go!

    We’ve already got half a dozen guys here in Auckland who are interested. We need to work on the rest, and Season 2 will help with that. Not to mention the possibility of Ultimate and Xtreme.

  3. James says:

    It must be a tough job to play games for a living, if you need extra play testers for xtreme I reckon you should be able to find some. On a slightly more serious note, do you ever find you get burned out on games you’ve designed after play testing them so much?

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Burned out? I wouldn’t call it that. I do sometimes get the feeling that I’d like to play something else for a while, but that’s largely because I have so many games I want to play…

      What’s more common than burn out is simple confusion. You guys have it easy as you only have the final version to remember. I know every version that ever got played, plus all the ideas that were abandoned en route. Remembering which was the final version can sometimes be very tricky.

      • James says:

        I had never considered that, I have to admit to getting rules confused between versions of some mini games on occasion but being involved in so many iterations must make it a nightmare.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          Not a nightmare, just a bit confusing. It’s also less helpful that a game goes public many months after you finished it, meaning that you are invariably in the middle of another one at the time…

  4. moocifer (also from Nottingham) says:

    1x local volunteering his playtesting services.

    Also I am little surprised the “Keepers” are an additional expense whereas the MVPs ship with the JACK / STRIKER pledge levels .. personally I am not interested in any of these so far but would want a “Goalie” to enhance my team. Surely a single specific “Keeper” should come with the $30 team box pledge ??

  5. Randall says:

    Honestly I was really excited about this game and even have a 7-person league ready for me to push the button, but from the PDF, the video, size of the board relative to movement, and lack of league rules so far, my excitement is really dying. Can you put up an example of something with any sort of real decisions? This really isn’t meant to come across as harsh as that sounds, I just don’t wanna get it and go “well that was a letdown”

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Hey Randall. “Any sort of real decisions”?

      OK, I’m not quite sure what you’re thinking of here, but I’ll give it a try.

      By “real decisions” I guess you mean ones you have to think about a lot. Well there are several ways they crop up. They centre around

      1) the limited availability of actions. A key to this is the number of actions you have and the number of players you could act with. You never have enough for everyone. Compared to a game where you can always move everyone, you have a massive amount more decision making to do. Even if an outcome is obvious (such as knock down player X) there are often half a dozen ways to go about it, each of which will use different numbers of actions and players and be more or less risky. In almost every case, allocating more actions and more players to a given outcome will reduce the risk of failure, but then you will have fewer actions for the rest of your plan. How you balance that is critical, and there is no right answer. I like games where there is no right answer and the skilled player has to manage a constantly evolving environment with a never-quite-enough set of resources.

      2) the sequence of actions. Losing control of the ball ends your Rush. Best do the risky moves last, but it’s not always clear how many actions you will need. Do you rely on doubling an action and getting a free action to make part of the run, or is that too much risk? You really don’t want to be wasting actions, though you definitely don’t want to run out too early either.

      3) One-use abilities, cards and dice. When do you use them?

      4) in leagues, team building. You get to pick what you spend your cash on, and can buy new players, more Coaching Dice or more cards. How do you balance the player types in your team with the dice and cards?

      Put another way, every turn you have to decide who gets to do something. You also have to decide what they will do from the list available, and then, possibly most importantly, in what order you will do them. Now there is always a variation of degrees here. Some decisions will be simple. For example, if you can get to the opposing ball carrier with one of your Guards more easily than the other then it may be an obvious move to thump them. But even with something this simple there are choices to be made. If you moved another player up adjacent to the opponent before you went in with the Slam you could take a dice off them, increasing the chances of knocking them down and breaking their armour. If you do this then you will have fewer actions to recover the ball (assuming you knock it free) and then do something with it yourself. 5 actions does not leave much (if any) leeway, so you have to be focussed. Almost every action you could do with one player (and one action) would be easier and have a greater chance of success if you used two players and two actions. Every Rush is a case of balancing your players’ positions, your available actions and the opponent’s positions to give the best chance of the result you have in mind. There are always different ways to go about this, and almost every time you will have to choose which part of the process to boost. For example, let’s say that you will want to try a move which absolutely requires 4 actions. You could do it one of two or more ways, but it’s at least 4 actions either way. However, the different routes use a different player twice (an individual’s limit for the basic actions in a turn), which means that the final action could be used on a different player (hope you’re still following). So, what you are going to do with the final action becomes as important in your decision process as what the main thrust of the Rush will be.

      The short version is that DreadBall requires a great deal of decision making, resource management and careful positioning. It moves so quickly that few plans survive more than a couple of Rushes, and the Coach who can think fast, reappraise situations accurately, and adapt quickly is likely to win.

      It might also help if you’ve played (or read reviews of) some of my other recent games. Have a look at Dwarf King’s Hold and Project Pandora reviews. DreadBall involves a related kind of seat-of-your-pants decision making, so if that appeals then this probably will too.

      • Randall says:

        I guess it just seems like each turn is just “find the person in the way, slam him with the closest guard, move your striker. I see the board is about 5 spaces between strike zones, so it seems like it would be easy to take a shot every turn. Now it may be it was just more open because there were less players in the demo video, but I seems like things like what happened in the video (block, grab ball, shoot and hope to get lucky) would not be out of place. That’s kind of why I’d like to see maybe a more complicated example. Show me why, barring bad luck, you could not expect to make a strike every other turn at least.
        (I promise I’m not trying to bash the game, I want to like it, but I’m also the person that hates being taught the basic version of the game because I can’t see what al it offers.

        • Randall says:

          Sorry about all typos, I’m at work and trying to do this on my phone.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          Well you can often make a Strike every other turn, but “a Strike” is a variable amount of points, and as the scoring is differential, and as a 7 point lead is an instant win, things aren’t quite as simple as you’re making out.

          A lot of the issues are positional and attritional. Obviously as teams play through a match players get sent off or carried off, and the composition of a team changes. Players also get out of position, and opportunities appear which were not planned. This is especially true if someone fluffs an action and ends their Rush unexpectedly.

          I’ll see what I can do to demonstrate a more complex Rush, but it’s not going to be quick. I’m simply not set up to do the diagrams and so on.

          A final thought it that you may not have considered the difference that a lack of resets makes. It’s literally a game changer 😉

  6. Otto Sandström says:

    @Quirkworthy: I understand more of the game by reading your blog then trying to find that information on the kickstarter, keep up the good work!

  7. Tzoscey says:

    will be there a season 2 box? will it have any team inside?

    • Quirkworthy says:

      I’ve not had a detailed conversation with Ronnie about the format each of the expansions will take, but I get the impression he was thinking of a book for Season 2. That is just a guess though.

      • Chris says:

        What I would want if there was a season two box is the rules (of course) maybe a variable pitch with a deck of cards specific to the pitch. I think you mentioned adding rules for variable pitches in season 2?

  8. moocifer (also from Nottingham) says:

    Just wondering after seeing this -> why you went with a small “holographic” target for Strikes rather than a hole or even a net ?? Would give the KEEPER a bit more to defend afterall and make it more of a specialised / dedicated role ..

    • Quirkworthy says:

      A net would make it look very hockey, and not very SF. Nothing says science fiction like holograms 🙂

      Also, in a practical sense, I wanted to make it harder. Nets are big targets in comparison. I don’t want to make it look easy ;P

  9. moocifer ( also in Nottingham ) says:

    Also, having just seen the Judwan concept .. is it set in stone anywhere that a team must comprise of all the same race (for the basic members) or for example could a Trontek 29ers team squad include a couple of Judwan, a single Zzor and maybe a Veermyn as well ??

    • Quirkworthy says:

      The Smackers starts with both Orx and Goblins, so there is already a precedent. Free Agents (part of the league rules) are often a different race from the main team. Apart from that, fixed basic teams is one of the features of the “normal” shiny DreadBall. Mutable and mixed teams are a feature of Xtreme, and I don’t really want to mix the two.

      When you allow people to take a bit of everything then it can quickly erode the team characters and everything ends up tactically the same (yawn). Avoiding this is one of the many challenges of Xtreme.

  10. Kiwamu says:

    With so much MVPs out there on the street right now I wonder how they would be treated. Also in terms of balance.

    My guess is, they are treated like Heroes / Warmasters / Whatnot in Miniatures Wargame, but I guess the difference is:

    a) They don’t have killer stats
    b) They are optional

    Maybe they change a bit the way a race plays…

  11. moocifer (also from Nottingham) says:

    So if teams are basically fixed what are the rules governing the addition of MVPs to the squad ?? Is there a finite limit of say 1 of each type – Guard, Jack & Striker ??

    Also if the Judwan team is made up of all Strikers how do they tackle and/or injure their opponents and following on from that how do they actually prevent the other team from scoring ??

    • David Fisher says:

      If I’ve followed the rules leaks correctly, anyone can ‘tackle’ as that’s a function of an opponent moving through your threat hexes (3 front hexes) – they have to make an evade check. So the Judwan can still mount something of a defence in the traditional sense, simply by being in the way; which is all anyone can do on defence (barring the special rules granted with experience).

      What Jacks and Guards can do is purposefully injure as an action. So I believe the balance here is that actually the Judwan are disadvantaged on *offence* (as they can’t clear out opponents in the way – an obvious opponents’ tactic would be to mark the bonus hexes where possible), but presumably will make up for it with improved speed/agility and the fact that when they get a scoring opportunity, because they’re all strikers, they stand a better chance of taking advantage.

      • Quirkworthy says:

        David’s got it!

        In addition, the case of the Judwan I’m thinking of possibly giving them an ability that is a bit like Running Interference, but instead of a Slam it allows them to Steal.

        • Monkey's Blood says:

          That’s a relief… I’m a bit slow at the best of times but it hit me this morning on the train to work out of nowhere – “Hang on! How do the Judwan defend?” I’m not suprised that more agile brains than mine have already acknowledged and are acting on that point

        • Quirkworthy says:

          It’s the flip side of people without Strikers scoring.

  12. Monkey's Blood says:

    Pardon my ignorance but is that not a slightly different kettle of fishmen? A team with jacks and no strikers can handle the ball and shoot (though maybe not very well) but a team of all strikers can’t slam at all…

    I’m really keen to give the Judwan a go when season 2 comes out though. They are sounding like a particulary fun and tactical team. That said after seeing the sketches it may be hard to turn the Z’Zor down though..

    • Quirkworthy says:

      You are right that the Judwan are entirely unable to do something. What I meant was that the team with no Strikers was as close to being unable to get a Strike as anyone would ever be. Obviously you can’t have a team that has neither Jack or Striker as it could never win.

      The Judwan are a tricky and rather different lot, but then I try to make teams as different as I can because that is a big part of what makes the whole game (in its widest sense) challenging and fun. It also gives it a great deal of tactical depth for you to explore, and this makes the while thing much better value in terms of entertainment for your dollar/pound/Euro 🙂

      • Monkey's Blood says:

        And quite right too. Variety is, after all, the spice of life. Am I right in thinking that so far it’s only the Orx and possibly the Robots that don’t have dedicated strikers and instead rely on Jacks?

  13. Monkey's Blood says:

    Fair do’s. I seem to recall one of the updates mentioning the robots might be all jacks but having all three positions is cooler I reckons. Aliens, you say? Of the fishy variety, one hopes.

    A man can dream, can’t he?

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Mostly weirder than that, though I hope you won’t be disappointed when you see them. I still haven’t seen concept pics myself – I just know what I had in mind when I wrote them.

      Robots at present start out as all Jacks and then transform, as it were, into whatever they like during the match.

      • Monkey's Blood says:

        Well I haven’t been let down by any of the concept art or ideas thus far, so I’m sure it’ll be ace. I do like the transforming robot idea (as a child of the 80s its hard for me not to like transforming robots) but I can’t think of anyway for it to be astheically appealling without having three models for each player, which would of course make robots thrice as expensive as any other team. With mantic prices this wouldn’t be too obscene a cost, but still it could well dent their popularity

        • Quirkworthy says:

          It may do, though I don’ think you’ll ever need three times as many. Perhaps twice. I think a mix of roles is usually the most effective overall, unless your team is specifically designed to work with less. If I was collecting one I wouldn’t worry about having every role for every player.

          We did discuss the various options. After initially thinking that having models split at the waist with variant tops for roles might work, I changed my mind. Now I think that the best option would be to have cool models for each role and to swap them out as required.

          What sold me on this was thinking I’d two things. The first was the simplicity. The second was that with only 14 players at most on a team, and with Mantic prices being so low, it wasn’t going to be expensive to collect a robot team anyway. Compared to an evening in a pub or even at the movies, how much is a team? And how many evening’s entertainment will they provide?

          Some people did try to persuade me that the transforming idea just wasn’t practical, but for those that “get it” I think it will work brilliantly. Again, it’s something that will require a different set of tactics to fully exploit.

  14. Monkey's Blood says:

    I think it will look great, myself. And your point about being unlikely to need 14 of each type is fair enough as you only have 6 on the pitch at once and are not likely to have them all in the same mode at the same time. I guess it’s my gamer’s OCD kicking in – if I have a chap who’s got number1 on him then I’ll want him to be number 1 still even if he is in mono-wheeled striker mode or four-legged guard mode. I guess I’ll just have to take several deep breaths and leave the team numbers off these chaps…

    Oh and these days one could probably buy several mantic teams for the cost of a night in the pub. But this could lead me to my ‘Eeeh when I started drinking it were a pound a pint and all this was just trees’ type rant

    • Quirkworthy says:

      I appreciate your gamers OCD, and that would be an option. Alternatively, for this unique team you could get some circles of plasticard and paint numbers on them and then just put one on the base of each model as it transforms, if you see what I mean.

      Some people have drinking in the pub as a hobby, and others buy thousand dollar fishing rods. I think gaming is fairly inexpensive on the whole, especially when I think of how many hours of entertainment I get for each pound I spend – and compare it to most other hobbies.

      And I can always stick my gaming stuff on Ebay if I get bored. Try doing that with a night out drinking last week, or last month’s visit to the movies 😉

  15. Monkey's Blood says:

    It’s not an expensive hobby if like me you stick to skirmish games… the thought of doing a GW horde army fills me with blind financal terror. Though it would still be peanuts compared to a collector of Faberge eggs or somesuch. Hmmm…team numbers on the bases could be an option. I reckon I’ll wait and see how the boys at Mantic package them and take it from there. I mean, 14 is the max size team but there’s no reason to go there right away. So, a team of eight… 24 models. That’s what… 8 pints and a kebab?

    • Quirkworthy says:

      You don’t even need to think of extravagant eggs. If you go out to a movie, buy a drink and some popcorn or pay for your partner then you are most of the way to the cost of a team already. I’m sure a team is more hours of entertainment than a movie lasts. And like I said, you’d get half your money back off Ebay if you ever wanted to.

      On the subject of large horde armies, yes they can be pricey, but even those can be reasonable value per hour of entertainment if you collect them over months or years as most do. Especially if you count the collecting and painting bit as entertainment too, which I would argue that you should.

  16. Monkey's Blood says:

    I would normally agree with you on the painting, but not for hordes! 🙂 These days I’m strictly a skirmish level or similar chap. Which is handy as skirmish level gaming or games with relatively small forces seems to be quite in a the moment. On my over-long list after Dreadball theres all sorts of intriguing little things to check out… Bushido, Deep Wars, Dystopian Wars…

    But getting pack to the original point, while the trifecta approach to robots may be more costly than other teams it’s not unplesantly so and it is a really, really funky gimmick to have them change mid-rush. Which I reckon is worth the extra painting.

  17. Monkey's Blood says:

    The robot thing has been bimbling around my brain all day… I’ve a couple of suggestions to mitigate the number of models required if you’re interested. You may well have already considered and discared these, but it can’t hurt to put them out there…

    A) The robots don’t have a ‘Jack’ mode – they either configure for attacking (striker) or defense (Guard). This still adds a degree of tactical flexibility and means the team can switch between attack and defense much easier than others, and given all the team can act in either of these roles there is no real need for a jack-type all rounder. With this set up we only need two models for each chap, as the mathmatically astute will have worked out
    B) The team consists of a number of normal robots who can’t transform (like DBR-07) and vari-bots who can switch between the Guard and Striker roles. Not as flexible, but still have the option of going from a team of jacks and strikers to a team of jacks and guards at the drop of a space hat. This would be we’d only need on average 1.5 models per player if my maths holds out.

    Just a couple of options… as you quite rightly point out having 3 models per player is not prohibitively expensive if in the grand scheme of things (and probably won’t stop me picking them up after Judwan and Z’Zor), but it still does mean potentially buying/painting/transporting 18-42 models when you only use 6 at a time.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      I did consider (B) briefly, and either would work, but I don’t think they would work as well.

      If (as is currently the plan) the rules are that it costs 1 action to change one step (G J S) then the pacing of the changes works very nicely and it fits with everything else costing one action.

      In terms of pure numbers, if you use a marker for the player number, then there is no need to buy a complete team of 14 of each. That would be rubbish anyway as the team is designed to work as a mix. With only 6 players on the pitch at once, why would you need more than c 20? Only if you have very bad OCD or foul a lot 😉

  18. Monkey's Blood says:

    Well, I thought A) was the better option bitI’ll trust you on this one (what with you being the professional games designer and all that) and say no more on the matter. I’ll certainly try and fight down my OCD-ness and give it a go. Oddly enough I was intending to take advantage of the 2 for 1 on season 2 teams offer on kickstarter by getting Judwan and Z’Zor. all this talk is making me consider 2 boxes of robos instead…

    • Quirkworthy says:

      One of the things that I think stifles creative design is having to fit every team/army into the same cookie cutter shape. It has caused blending out of various armies over the lifetimes of games like Warhammer and would lead to much les interesting teams if, say, every team in DreadBall had to include all 3 player types. I’m happy to have robots being very different as I think this makes for a much more interesting tapestry of options. Of corse, some will be put off by the extra couple of pints worth of figures, but they could equally well have been put off by a disagreeable colour scheme or funny name. The more variety we get across the entire corpus of the game, the more likely there will be something for everyone 🙂

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