Yesterday I spent the day with a bunch of 14 playtesters as we kicked around the 4 new teams for Season 2. Each of the new teams was played against one of the original 4, and players rotated to play both with and against the new teams and with each of the different options.
Photos? Some were taken, but I don’t have them. Too busy talking to people and taking notes. You wouldn’t be interested though as we haven’t got any of the models back yet, so we’re having to proxy everything. Such is the norm for playtests though.
What was interesting was the teams themselves. Overall they are a more unusual and tricksy bunch, as befits a second wave of options. You’ve had the simple ones in the first box and you’ve learned how to deal with them. Now we come to teams that require a little more consideration.
In case you don’t know, the 4 new teams are:
- Human (female)
Of the 4 there was only one that cause issues, and that was the Judwan. They were always going to be the awkward one, so this was largely expected. They are unique (and will remain so) in being the only team that cannot harm their opponents. As DreadBall essentially boils down to two elements (thumping folk and throwing the ball), focussing entirely on one is more than a little bizarre. Whether this design goal is actually practical in the long run is still up for grabs. I may have to give them some ability to bash the other side or, as some suggested, at least push others about. However, as I demonstrated on the unfortunate Stewart, pushing people about doesn’t seem all that pacifist, and is really just Slamming by another name. Whilst it may be necessary to make the team work, I’d rather avoid it if I can.
Why be so stubborn? Well my aim here is to make teams that offer as wide a range of tactical choices and are as characterful and varied as I can make them whilst keeping a coherent background environment and story. Not being able to score is an option that isn’t available. Not being able to Slam is a theoretical option which offers one intriguing tactical extreme. The problem is that it isn’t fun to play at the moment (though it does work mechanically). Although every team will be dull to some, the Judwan in their present state just aren’t floating anyone’s boat much, and that can’t stay.
So there’s work yet to be done. Luckily it’s only the most bizarre of the 4 teams. I seem to have the measure of the others who seem to be working rather nicely 🙂