A Collection of DreadBall House Rules

DB logoChris suggested this idea on another thread and I thought it was an excellent notion.

As you might imagine, I don’t have lots of house rules myself. However, some of you guys (and gals) will and it would be fun to hear what they are. Hopefully this post can act as a collecting point for all the DreadBall variants.

So, if you’ve got a cool house rule that you use in your own DreadBall games why not post it up here for all to see?


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84 Responses to A Collection of DreadBall House Rules

  1. chrisbburn says:

    A couple of us have bee throwing around ideas for a set of injury “skills” so that your players don’t die so very suddenly in a league.
    Players injuried for more than 3 turns rolls on this table. One dice for taken out for 4, 2 for 5, 3 for 6 etc. Instead of just being dead! A gain the follow skills/injuries (probably not the greatest name but makes it easier to follow) if you roll a skill that that player already has then they are far to injured to continue their dreadball career and will have too/be force to retire. (you can pay for top docs to remove a injury from a player which is base cost of the player + a dice roll in mc can be done at any point during the league but you can only remove one injury per team each league round) If player has to retire then the team receives 5mc in insurance payments. Dead players can be revived as per the rules.

    Injuries Table
    1, Cant Feel a Thing
    2, Damaged Ligaments
    3, Pulled Vertabrae
    4, Broken Metatarsus
    5, Crippled
    6, Killed

    Can pay top doctors to fix the player for the same fee as if they are killed and can obviously use the same set of rules for reviving a player.

    Cant Feel a Thing – As the rulebook but with the following addition. If this player rolls “Cant feel a thing” on the injuries table again he ignores the roll as if he hadnt been injured he recieves no expereince for that match and loses any unspent experience, as if he had been fixed by the docs/revived.
    Damaged Ligaments – The player has suffered damage to some of his/her Limbs and suffers a -1 on his/her skill charateristic. ie 4+ become 5+
    Pulled Vertabrae – The player has suffered damage to some of his/her Vetabrea and suffers a -1 on his/her strength charateristic. ie 4+ become 5+
    Broken Metatarsus – The player has suffered damage to some of his/her Metatarsus and suffers a -1 on his/her speed charateristic. ie 4+ become 5+
    Crippled – The player has suffered damage to his/her mobility and suffers a -1 on his/her move charateristic. ie 4 become 3
    Killed – They’re dead!

  2. mlhphotology says:

    one idea we played with was when the ball enters play 1-5 is normal, but if a 6 is rolled the ball hasnโ€™t launched and launches next turn, this means you have the odd turn with no ball in play and a fight on your hands, at first you think this gives the opposition who just scored a bonus but in effect it allows you to get some strikers on the the line ready to catch the ball when it enters play. its really added some flare to games.

  3. Doug says:

    These are some fun alternatre rules I created to make a Quidditch version of Dreadball.

    Click to access QICball2.pdf

  4. James Maz Marsden says:

    i played a version using only 4 players on the pitch and 3 actions per rush

    kind of the same idea s 5-a-side football or rugby 7’s

    alos i tend to just nominate the oposite end of the board as ‘1’ on a scatter

    • sho3box says:

      “alos i tend to just nominate the oposite end of the board as โ€™1โ€ฒ on a scatter”

      We do that too: it speeds things up. We also make the active player responsible for all scatters during his turn, regardless of what player the ball came off.

      • Chris says:

        Very minor mods so far and as above, designed for speed.

        Using a white crayon I’ve drawn an arrow on the pitch pointing to ‘1’ (pointing to one of the ends of the pitch). Whenever the ball scatters (with all dice rolling being handled by the active player unless the oppo tries to catch it of course) the d6 dice roll always counts 1 for the same direction. Likewise when the ball re-enters play regardless from the side it enters from, if you roll a ‘6’ a scatter of 1-3 means it bounces off the wall in the direction of the side the arrow points at, 4-6 it scatters the other way.

        This is easier to show with a picture and a doddle to explain using the big white arrow ‘in the flesh’.
        There isn’t really the space on a dreadball pitch to draw a fixed scatter template on the field, otherwise I would have done that.

        • mlhphotology says:

          how about having an arrow on the ref bots base, this would always be the direction of a 1 then !!!!

    • Quirkworthy says:

      I think the idea of a min-version is intriguing. The different density of players on the pitch would make play quite different to the normal game.

  5. sho3box says:

    “Technical Foul โ€“ Failing to move the turn counter at the beginning of your turn is a Technical Foul. If a player notices that his opponent has failed to move the turn counter he may call his opponent on it during the opponents turn by saying โ€œTechnical Foulโ€. Technical Foul can only be called in your opponents turn and only after the coach has moved a model, rolled dice, played a card or has in any way taken an action that can only be completed in his turn. A player who is called on a Technical Foul loses an action from his current turn and must move the turn counter on.”

    Obviously that rule is inspired by something similar in another sports boardgame. As in that game, we have found that players regularly forget to move the rush counter unless incentivised. In games with two players who forget it causes problems. Its tough love – its stick not carrot thats for sure – but its fair.

    • Rolex says:

      That is from another board game and it can be considered the most universally loathed rule in any game. So much in fact that Naf tourneys don’t use the rule and about a league in ten uses it. If they are giving away prizes for the worst house rule you’ve got my vote! ๐Ÿ˜›

      • sho3box says:

        I seem to have touched a nerve ๐Ÿ˜‰ Its a house rule Rolex, you dont have to use it.

        As for universally loathed, you dont speak for my universe. My gaming group of the last twenty odd years has always enjoyed that rule in “the other game” in all leagues and friendlies. We enjoy implementing a different version in DreadBall. The rule serves a mechanical purpose too, it isnt only there to punish sloppy play, although it does do that.

        What rules NAF tournaments do or do not implement doesnt interest me very much, for many reasons.

        Moving a counter at the start of a turn isnt much to ask. “Technical Foul” rarely actually comes up in our games because we dont forget it very often but it is genuinely hilarious when it does happen. Unlike luck based punishing game mechanics like turnovers (which can be seen as more or at least equally “unsympathetic” as Technical Foul: they cost a player his actions) when failing to move the counter there is nothing that can be blamed other than the player: luck doesnt come into it. And thats why its fun ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Quirkworthy says:

        As Sho3box says, it’s only a suggestion!

        It is indeed ported straight from Blood Bowl, and when I was looking after that for GW I remember it being a particularly “Marmite” rule that evoked strong responses form many people. However, there were always passionate supporters as well as detractors.

        Personally, although I think it works in certain circumstances for Blood Bowl, I have never had an issue with people moving the Rush marker in DreadBall. I forget sometimes, as do others, but it never seems to be as much of an issue as it is in BB. I’m not sure why that is. My take on this isn’t that I don’t like it as much as I don’t personally find it needed.

        Of course, you’re free to do what you like as a House Rule. My guess (and it’s just a hunch mind you) is that Rolex won’t be using it ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • we have one player in charge of moving the turn counter and the other player in charge of moving the score counter.

  6. Jack Trowell says:

    Inspired by an early system for Blood Bowl : the bank

    Each coach can chose at the start of each league round to put up to 10mc in the bank as a reserve fund (or to remove the fund to get back the money).

    Any credits in the bank can not be used at all for the whole league round, you cannot for exemple use it to bid for star players, but it is not counted in your team value.

    The objective of this house rule is to allow coaches to keep some money to buy back a rookie player after a death in the team, while not allowing winning coaches to hoard money over several matches without having their team value inflate.

    Variants :
    – using larger or smaller banks accounts
    – allowing bank account to be used at the end of a round only to pay the medical fee of reviving a player

    This can also be used with the persistant wound houserule by chrisbburn, as the money in the bank could be used later to pay the medical intervention removing an injury from a player (as it does not need to be done immediatly at the end of the match)

    • Chris says:

      Not a tested house rule but pure speculation, I wonder if any financially astute leagues would have life insurance for players?… I know of people playing very violent leagues where they have concerns about player replacement after several brutal games, could be a way to mitigate if that playstyle is very prevalent in your local league.

      • Quirkworthy says:

        I’ve toyed with player insurance and in the end I didn’t put it in because it seems to help the richer teams more than the poorer ones. Rich teams already have the advantage of being able to afford to resurrect a favourite player when they’re killed – this just expands on that. S2 introduces a cheaper option for dead players which I think helps to balance things better.

        • E r i c k B o u c h a r d says:

          My take on this would simply to delay the decision in the future… The rulebook, if I remember correctly (I may not), doesn’t specify that the decision has to be made immediately, so the dying player could be placed in a fridge until the decision is made…

          This is perhaps not so much a house rule than reading the rules with some leniency. ๐Ÿ™‚

        • James maz marsden says:

          Erik, i asked about doing that on the FAQ,

          You must make the decision at the end of the game where the player dies

        • Quirkworthy says:

          Yup. Two main reasons: simplicity and new rule in S2. More on that in today’s post when I finish it ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. RangerRob says:

    Oh I have a few…all minor, some use to help keep track of things.

    1) 1MC Bonus in League games where the minis are fully painted and numbered.

    2) Numbering Prone Markers, and where to place the prone minis when they are off the board.

    3) Tracking which players have used actions.

    4) Finally, What to do with an Odd number of Players / Teams on League night.

  8. RangerRob says:

    Some of Ours…
    1) Number your Prone Markers.
    When using prone marker #1, place the Mini you just took off the board next to the #1 of your scoring track on the edge of the board. When using prone marker #2, place the player next to #2, Etc…

    2) When you play an action on a player, place the action counter along side the turn track that matches that players number.
    For example: My rush starts and I want to do a Run action with Goblin Jack #7. I place my action token next to Turn 7 on the turn tracker along side the board. My 2nd action, I want to Slam with my Orx Guard #3…I place the action token next to Turn 3. My 3rd action I want to move Goblin Jack #7 again, so I place that token next to Turn 7. The two tokens next to that turn show I can not play any more actions on player #7. At the end my my turn I would pick up my action tokens. You could also put the used cards in a turn over by the turn tracker I as well.

    3) 1 MC bonus for league games (Win or loss) where the team is fully painted, based and numbered. Little reward for getting your team done.

  9. azoxystrobin says:

    I have a whole list of house rules. Play-tested of course.
    There is a reason (Both fluffy and games mechanics) behind every one of these rules, it would require a paragraph to explain each one though.
    Actually most of these have been done to death, the difference is with these rules the game plays well, it feels right and we enjoy it, rather than the “lol that’s Dreadball, deal with it” which is answered by a “I’d rather play Bloodbowl”….

    1) A player doesn’t have to catch a ball that lands on them by accident, if a player decides not to attempt the catch, the ball plays as if it hit them in the back ;
    2) Cards are played as they are printed. If the card says Slam, then the action must be a Slam ;
    3) The winner of a match gets 2d6mc + 1mc per “cheer spot” obtained during the match. The losing coach gets 1D6mc + 1mc per number of cheer spots obtained during the match (in addition to the underdog bonus) ;
    4) Underdog teams may purchase cards and coaching dice at the normal cost, of course these aren’t permanent and are lost in the same way as MVP’s are when the current match (league round) is over ;
    5) Jacks get a bonus die for standing up and for rushing, Strikers lose the bonus die for standing up and rushing ;
    6) Events that require the selection of a random player can only pick a player who is actually on the pitch, not in the sin bin, not in reserves, not dead, not in the pub, et al ;
    7) A player cannot walk into the same space as the ball unless they can pick it up, otherwise it’s a foul – ref check. Of course a player that can pick up the ball must attempt to do so as usual ;
    8) Rolling a 6 doesn’t give an extra die to roll, it only allows to re-roll fails in the current dice pool. (if you make a 5 dice slam, you roll 1, 1, 6, 6, 6, the first 6 allows to re-roll one of the 1’s, let’s say it now gives a success, the second 6 allows to re-roll the other 1, let’s say it gives a success again, the last 6 doesn’t have any further effect because you already have 5 successes) ;
    9) Keepers don’t suffer from “keeper penalty” for picking up the ball ;
    10) The ball cannot be carried off the pitch ;
    11) The 10 previous entries already do a good job of levelling the playing field but the “Sprint” action is bad and needs something, maybe simply removing it altogether.

  10. azoxystrobin says:

    They’re house rules, the only people that have to agree are the ones that want to.
    But it still boils down to what a player wants from a board game.
    Nevertheless all of these house rules have been tested and have reasoning behind them.

    1) Is obvious; it’s so that coaches don’t get penalised for making good decisions and for successfully completing actions.
    If your player slams an opponent carrying the ball, the ball scatters back onto you player, the player fails to catch the scatter, you lose your turn? If it’s a guard, they can’t catch the ball so that’s OK, but a jack, who also can’t catch the ball without coaching dice or special skills, they cause turnovers ? (hey wait guards can catch too with a special skill; best not turn them into keepers !!)
    Even strikers with only a single die have very little chance of catching a scatter.
    So coaches will place their players facing away from the ball so it doesn’t scatter onto them?
    Where did I put my Bloodbowl pitch again ?

    2) The faq says you can use just the movement part of an action card…I don’t think it should, it makes interesting cards (like the sucker punch one) into bland “run” cards. This forces players to play the game rather than try to play the rules.

    3) This just makes cheers a bit more useful.

    4) This makes the 50mc you got for being underdog useful rather than being able to buy 4 MVP’s that will hog all the experience your players could be getting and playing a boring game (how can a game be fun if your team isn’t actually playing?)

    5) Strikers have currently 9 bonus dice, guards have 3, jacks have 0.
    This makes strikers slightly less awesome, and jacks slightly less useless.
    Strikers are too good, they are good at all the things that matter, not only do they play the ball the best (which is fair enough, it’s their specialisation) but also they dodge better, run faster and get up with ease – why does playing the ball make them better at things that don’t require the ball?
    Jacks on the other hand are on the pitch to get in the way, to block, to create and take advantage of opportunities as they arise; and what better way to show their own specific skill than allowing them to get to where they need to be? They do this by getting back up when they are knocked down, and pushing that one extra hex like a boss.

    6) This should be obvious, events come and go very quickly, so if they are to have even a slight effect it has to be immediately on the pitch. This house rule is just forcing players to play the game.

    7) This is to counter another case of rules bending.
    Defending in Dreadball is very hard, because you can’t put more than 2 threat zones on the ball anyway, but what is the point in defending if an opposing guard can just accidentally step on the ball to make it scatter? It appears that the best ball players are in fact guards, because they can play the ball without causing turnovers. At first this rule simply forbade moving a guard onto the ball, but it was considered more fun to make it into a foul and for those rare cases where it would be almost impossible to get the ball otherwise.

    8) This is a beauty. Exploding 6’s change a game from tactics to lolsorandom.
    That’s fine in ludo and snakes and ladders, but not something to expect from a boardgame like this. This is even made even worse with the probabilities of multiple success tests.
    It would appear that it allows a lowly gobbo a chance to knock out a forgefather guard now and again, but in fact it usually means players end up either unscathed or dead with hardly any middle ground.

    9) Who would bother paying an action to attempt picking up the ball on 2 dice at best, risking a turnover, and possible scattering the ball into the opponents hands?
    Keepers will only be used for their armour. What a waste of potential, this rule just attempts to make keepers plausible as jacks for playing the ball.

    10) It wasn’t my idea, but the idea did crop up. This just gets rid of it.

    11) Something is wrong. Why is the human team better than the other teams?
    Because they can consistently run 3 actions on a single player (a striker of course) ?
    Because a human striker can and will run all the way from one end of the pitch to the other and score a 3 (or 4) pointer in every turn?
    Having less actions per player doesn’t work, it really slows down the game. Disallowing cards takes away part of the game. So the only other thing that allows players to score every turn is sprinting.

    • James maz marsden says:

      Cant say i agree or would use the majority of these rules but i can appreciate the ideas behind them.

      I do like the one that takes certain bonuses from strikers and gives them to jacks. That one i would love to see officially adopted and it makes sense. Good work!

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Some interesting suggestions among that large list – thanks azoxystrobin. I don’t agree with a lot of them, but some seem worth exploring. A couple are based on very different fluff from what is present in the books (and my head) and so feel wrong to me, but that may be just me.

      I won’t bother with 1, 2 & 9 again as we’ve been over these many times already and it usually just ends up with people unproductively arguing round in circles. The actual rule for 1 is based on in-background DGB rulings.

      3 is interesting but would require some changes in other rules to balance as well. Not a fan (hem, hem) in isolation.

      4 was considered and rejected during testing. I disagree with your reasoning as well. I don’t find the games with FA and MVP boring at all. It would, however, be very simple to implement in your own games if you liked, or even as part of a system of balancing during a tournament or similar event.

      5 is interesting and would need major playtesting. It also seeks to rebalance the relative potency of the player roles, which is something S2 does already in other ways.

      6 IIRC some events do this and others done, which adds to the difference between and character of events. You all know how fond I am of story and character, so this is a balance between losing some of that and making things simpler (which I also like).

      7 I just can’t see this making any sense in the “real” game. I can see the application on the board, which would change the way things played, true. I’m just a long way from convinced that would be better rather than just different. Still, that’s just me.

      8 Our mileage clearly varies on this one. Lolsorandom? Have you played anything from Spartan Games? Again, another story-driving mechanic that I’d not change myself.

      10 has already been addressed – you can’t take the ball off the pitch. I think it’s in the FAQ.

      11 I’ve not heard any complaints about Sprint anywhere else. Given that the rule applies equally to everyone and Veer-myn move faster, why single out humans as a problem here? I don’t follow your argument. Could you expand?

      • Keith Mullumby says:

        If I might ask, what is an in background DGB ruling? Also on rule 1, can you provide the reasoning of why I can’t coach my team to only attempt to catch passes from teammates with helmet com call, and to spoil to use an AFL term all other loose balls? Not so much looking for a play mechanics answer as a logic or fluff answer.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          An “in background DGB ruling” means that this is how it is played in “real life”. In other words, within the background of the game, the DreadBall Governing Body (DGB) who define the rules for the sport, say that these are the rules.

          Just as with real sports the players could physically do different things, but they would not be playing the game as defined by the official body. There are plenty of controversial rules in real sports too.

  11. azoxystrobin says:

    1 is the eternal to have to or not to have to catch a scattering ball. Of all the people I know, none of them agree with the current status, it just feels so wrong.

    2 is the more recent “just use the move component on the cards” (this devolved into mud flinging? I missed that I think)

    3 Is just something that flew about on the forums, players seem to like it because even the loser can get a bit of money, and the winner feels like they actually get something for winning.
    Bloodbowl revenue is even more random than dreadball though, I house ruled that too.

    4. We’ve had the opportunity to play a few unbalanced games; where the underdog has 4+ MVPs against a decent standard team; the MVP team still gets stomped, and it just doesn’t feel engaging because no one cares if they score, or if they get sent off. Coaches actually demanded something else to spend underdog bonus money on. When a team has one MVP, they can combine with the team,and make for interesting plays. When a coach has too many of them, they just become bland players.

    5. I thought this had been done to death too ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s logical and it works. We know it works because it’s been play-tested. Out of all the mods tested (jacks -2 threat hexes, jacks getting the bonus for picking up the ball instead of strikers etc.) this one works best, but then again it’s actually a minor modification. We saw that it was a minor mod during actual play-testing.

    6. The problem is that event cards don’t specifically state which players are to be included, even though the rules say that they do. So apply “KISS”

    7. This makes as much sense as a sucker punch. If it can be a foul for going behind someone to slam them in a single action (but not when using 2 actions) Then not being allowed to walk on the ball if you can’t pick it up is just as logical and just as easy to enforce. Actually this house rule doesn’t prevent it from being a tactic, in fact it validates it as a tactic, just that there’s a modicum of risk to do it. I mean coaches will do it if they need to.

    8. I’ve heard about Spartan’s disposable games. I’ve heard about the lolrandom and so have kept away from them. There is only one strategy when it comes to rolling 6’s and that’s to roll as many dice as possible. But that’s the case in a lot of games anyway, the more dice you roll the better chances of success, 1 die has a greater chance of success than 0 dice etc.
    So it boils down to luck, if you get lucky, even without strategy, even without calculated risk, then you win. This is fine in ludo because there isn’t much strategy in there anyway, but less fitting in a game where it’s case of manoeuvring models to get the best odds of success. Rackham’s Confrontation had this same problem, actually it had the 1 is always a fail too, which made luck and even greater component. However using 6’s to re-roll fails sits a middle ground; that is, it allows a player to get lucky, but never exceed the odds that they have manoeuvred to obtain.

    9 I don’t remember anything being said about keepers. In a game where losing the ball is a turnover and can give the ball to the opponent, and the opponent can score in a single turn, then anything that plays the ball badly is a liability, not an asset. Well a keepers 3+ armour on 4 dice is a nice asset, but it won’t be when the ball scatters onto a keeper during your first action.
    That’s Dreaball ! ba dum TSSsssss – Let’s play Bloodbowl instead.
    there was the thing about keepers being able to catch a ball thrown at them as a weapon; I find it a pity that keepers can’t actually “keep” We will test this anyway, I predict that coaches will simply never throw the ball at an opposing keeper.

    10. Yes, it has been FAQ’d, We had simply pre-FAQ’d it ^^

    11. Well this is a complex one.
    Vermyn have move movement, so do indeed sprint further than anyone else, but vermyn have 5+ skill, so sending 1 vermyn zooming down the pitch might pull off, but it’s more likely to fail.
    A human striker however can consistently zoom down the aforementioned pitch, double to pick up the ball and strike a 4 pointer using 2 or 3 actions.
    This is why human teams are better.
    But why sprint? Well we’ve tried a couple of things; like restricting one action chit per player (and one card, and as many free actions as possible) but this just slows the game down. It starts to resemble Bloodbowl actually, because the 5 action chits tend to get spread around the team rather than just one key player.
    We briefly considered removing the cards, but that removes too much of the game.
    So we are left with sprint. It begs the question of why is it in here in the first place?
    Movement is simple, so why add this complicated movement type? It certainly doesn’t apply “KISS”. It has forced amendments in the efficient rule-set, just because of the bit about turning. It really feels tacked on.
    The other thing is that it allows players to get around very quickly, on one hand vermyn can go from one end of the pitch to the other very quickly, combined with their speed of 3+ means they get at least one extra hex for free every time too. Whereas Forge fathers pretty much need to sprint just so they don’t have to roll for a dash. So it just deepens the rut between teams with different movement values.
    On a pitch so tiny being able to get to where you need is important, and not being able to limit the opponent’s movement limits any defensive strategy.
    Now the game is all about scoring, that’s good, the problem that has arisen is that it’s the first person that doesn’t score loses, and that usually boils down to luck, not strategy, because there is no viable defensive strategy.

    The thing about in game fluff though, it just doesn’t seem to be there.
    It’s said that all team players must wear regulatory kit. But this isn’t the case. How many MVPs wear regulatory kit? It would be a weak excuse to say they are MVPs so don’t need to follow the rules (in which case why don’t they bring a chainsaw, who knows, they might get away with it too, or they could just pay the fine)
    Orx obviously don’t have the same kit as humans, nor do Forge fathers, nor do ver myn, Robots don’t wear kit at all, not sure that Zzor do either and Judwan don’t wear helmets…
    So why bother stating that they all wear the same kit when they obviously don’t?
    I would have much rather have it stated that DGB rules are in fact “guidelines” that each team applies as best to their ability, that wearing old kit, new kit, helmet or not depends on the player and the team. That would be plausible. (That’s how european directives, regulations and guidelines work; it’s lots of fun too as you can imagine, you should see the size of the loopholes in that set of rules !! Some countries really do prefer to pay fines than obey the rules)

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Rather than restart some well-rehearsed debates again I’ll just comment on a few points.

      8) I’ve been recently working on another game in which I tried out a very similar mechanic – re-rolling within the number of dice you started with. It worked well on paper – less well in actual games. It’s a bit more fiddly, a bit trickier to explain and for people to get, was done wrong more often and was generally liked a bit less. I appreciate the mathematical advantages, but I don’t find it as much fun or as simple to use. Players made far more mistakes implementing this than they did with a simple “roll up 6s” rule. As ever, YMMV.

      9) You keep saying that people will go and play Blood Bowl instead. That’s fine. If they want to do that then I haven’t got an issue with it. People will be off playing any one of the other tens of thousands of games out there too, it really is not an issue. What is more of an issue for me is changing DB to be more like BB, which is what you seem to be arguing for. I think that’s a bad plan.

      11) I don’t think sprint is a “complicated movement type”, nor does it seem to be hard to explain to people in demos (which is usually a good sign that it needs simplifying). It was, in fact, not a late addition at all, but one of the first rules to be written for DB. Run and sprint have always been there. How much simpler than “one movement point to turn and one to move” can you get without being the same as Run?

      Also, you seem to object to players being able to get across the pitch quickly, which is the reason that sprint is in there in the first place. DB is a fast game, and taking four turns to get across the pitch does not help that – hence the sprint option. Obviously some teams are going to be faster than others – that’s part of their character.

      You seem to have misunderstood the concept of “regulation gear”. Let me try to explain a bit more. It doesn’t mean “identical”, it means “conforming to the same regulations”. So for example, let’s say that a regulation stipulates that I must carry a litre of water in a container with a resealeable lid. Beyond the capacity and the function (not the form) of the lid I am free to make the container in whatever shape, colour, size, material, weight, texture, pattern, etc I choose. Some will have a flask on their hip, others a conformal pouch on their back, some a rigid bottle, others a soft bag. In this context, all would still be regulation kit. In DreadBall, the regulations dictate the hardness of surfaces, the minimum and maximum degree of coverage and protection, and so on. They do not dictate the exact shape of form of the gear because the freedom allows for both the variability of the form of different races, plus (importantly) leaves open the opportunity for different teams to add to their “stage persona” by adding or leaving off elements. You have to remember that DB is like top end American wrestling in its theatricality. People bending the rules for story and drama is all part of the show.

  12. So… that about:

    Quirkworthy says:
    March 30, 2013 at 11:26 am
    Both Strikers and Jacks can get Misdirect.

    Coaches and Cheerleaders coming in the next day or two.

    was just a premature April’s fools? ๐Ÿ˜›

    • Quirkworthy says:

      No, it was just other DB content getting in the way of them. I’m posting the DB articles in the order that makes most sense at the time. People were discussing the house rules in the comments of another thread, so I bumped this post up to the front so that people could collect them in one place. The Kick-Off video needed to be used before it was too old. Tomorrow’s DB is about a part of the league system in S2 because it relates to what people are already posting. Coaches and Cheerleaders are still coming – they just got pushed back to the end of the line…

  13. Keith Mullumby says:

    A simple one. No game is FRIENDLY. Use “Massey Ratings” to rank the league ladder. A least squares technique (like finding the line of best fit) to rate sporting teams. Every game counts (statistically speaking) and beating top teams means more than beating cellar dwellars. Also not every two teams need meet each other (blessing when herding cats). Excel does all the hard work.
    Chapter 4 of

    Click to access massey97.pdf

    Simple example

    Beast Squares Gausian Eliminators Likelihood Loggers Linear Agressors

    Beast Squares 2 -1 0 -1 6
    Gausian Eliminators -1 3 -1 -1 -10
    Likelihood Loggers 0 -1 2 -1 -1
    Linear Agressors -1 -1 -1 3 5

    Beast Squares Gausian Eliminators Likelihood Loggers Linear Agressors

    Beast Squares 2 -1 0 -1 6
    Gausian Eliminators -1 3 -1 -1 -10
    Likelihood Loggers 0 -1 2 -1 -1
    Linear Agressors 1 1 1 1 100 FIX BOTTOM ROW (else infinite solns)

    Beast Squares Gausian Eliminators Likelihood Loggers Linear Agressors RANKINGS

    Beast Squares 0.375 0 -0.125 0.25 6 27.4
    Gausian Eliminators 0 0.25 -2.22045E-17 0.25 -10 22.5
    Likelihood Loggers -0.125 0 0.375 0.25 -1 23.9
    Linear Agressors -0.25 -0.25 -0.25 0.25 100 26.3

    • Keith Mullumby says:
    • Quirkworthy says:

      Thanks Keith. A simple one? Not simple enough for me I’m afraid. Equations full of Greek letters make my brain fog over.

      Gaining more ranking based on the ranking of the team you beat is lovely – my brain just goes squirrely at that sort of maths.

      • Keith Mullumby says:

        Unfortunately I have wrapped my gray matter round that stuff. The good news is you can “BLACK BOX” it. The only thing you need to be able to do is make the original matrix. The main diagonal is games played, reading across from each team you put negative the number of games played against each opponent (eg -3 = played 3 times) and the final column after the square matrix is just the total strike difference over all games played for that team.

        Change the bottom row of the square to all 1’s and a 0 in the strike difference. This will make all the ratings add to zero if summed.

        The Excel does the tough stuff. It will generate the matix inverse of the square matrix, then matrix multiply it by the strike differences and WHAM the answer is your shiny new least squares sporting teams rankings.

      • Quirkworthy says:

        Not unfortunate Keith, just different. I can see it as a way tournament organisers might want to rank players on the day, and it would work well for that. In casual leagues you’d need someone whose brain was wired like yours, not mine ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Keith Mullumby says:

    Here is an excel file of our local shed league after only 2 rounds (but the friendlies are now counting in the sheet)

  15. Doug says:

    A couple of rules I came up with to change some aspects of the game.

    Income is a test just like other tests. Success is on a 4+ for all teams.
    3 dice income test (0)
    +1 for being a landslide victor
    -1 for losing
    +1 for highest fanfactor – equal grants +1 to both teams
    +1 for each 10MC you were an underdog

    Each success grants you 6MC. 6s explode as normal.

    Allows the potential for more cash.

    Recovery for players in a Leagues at the end of the game.

    If a model is currently off the pitch due to injury or being sent off when the game ends, you must make a test to see if they are fit to play in the next game. This is a 3 dice test needing 4+ requiring a number of successess equal to the number of turns the player is off the pitch when the game ends, to a maximum of 3. Failure means the player is unavailable for the next game and must skip it – they are either too injured or have received a suspension notice for fouling. This has no effect on your team value for determining underdogs (so you can’t get extra free money to build your team back up).
    Resurrected players count as automatically failing this test and must miss their next game.

    There were two reasons for this; one, I wanted more than just dead or alive (although we see injuries in S2 with the el’cheapo resurrection) and two, I wanted to force coaches to use different players on their team.
    Very quickly we’ve seen that the high XP players keep getting all the action because they are better at doing it. The guards that got the XP first in my team now have 3 advances each simply because those advances increase the chances of them getting XP in later games (either through surviving long enough or injuring more often).
    People are hording their money to resurrect their star players and not buying new players. There isn’t an incentive when you’ve got an uberstriker who will win you the game.

    So I wanted to incentivise people by having players miss games. This is one thing missing from Dreadball that IMO would help spread the XP out across teams and encourage the buying of more players. If your star striker has to miss the next game (either because he was out at the end of the game or was resurrected) then your second string strikers need to step up which will encourage actually having more players.

    Currently there hasn’t been enough money in the league or a reason to want more than 8 players on the team and many have been playing with less for several games because they can always resurrect their best players.

    The last one is about underdogs, MVPs and Free Agents.
    Now this one is because the current rules confuse me. Underdog is a relative value, if I’m an underdog by 50MC then it doesn’t matter what the actual values of either team are, the important bit is the relative difference. However because MVPs and Free Agents ‘count’ towards the maximum team roster, I could be an underdog by 50MC but have a full team (cheapest human team is 14 jacks @112MC) vs 162MC but the offsets of the Free Agents on my team to help with being an underdog aren’t available. Yet the underdog rules say that I am just as disadvantaged in this scenario as I would be if I had a team of 8 human jacks (64MC) and the opposing team had a value of 114MC (just over starting value).
    I’ll get underdog dice added to my cash, but won’t get anyone to soak up the injuries which one would imagine would be quite large if the Underdog has a full team roster (their opponent must have a lot of expensive XPed players who will do nasty things).
    The other thing is that you don’t need to be an underdog to get MVPs (although the lowest ranked team has so far in our games had too much money to compete with…) which means even if you had the money to buy a larger team you’d not want one because any chance of taking an MVP onto the field is removed if you do. Seeing as how MVPs are superior to normal players, that hardly makes it likely anyone would want a full team which for me is a sad thing. I like the idea of buying more minis and having a large team that develops over time, but not if it has built in downsides.

    So I have the following:

    The Roster
    Every team can take a maximum of 14 players onto the Dreadball pitch and you may only purchase a maximum of 14 players for your team.
    You can choose not to bring your full roster to the pitch by standing down players for the match. These players will be unavailable (just as if they had failed a recovery roll) for the game. They have been put on leave or are undertaking extra training or have even been punished for some indiscretion.
    You can fill any positions left vacant on your roster as a result of stood down players with free agents or MVPs you have received for the game. They take the players’ team number for the game.

    • azoxystrobin says:

      I agree with the reasoning; no one here seems to want to purchase extra players either, and when there’s an underdog, no one else can compete when bidding for MVPs, because the underdog has so much disposable ca$h, but also because high ranking teams hog their money to resurrect their HL strikers.
      The thing is, even if you could step players down, why would coaches want to buy MVPs or stand-ins anyway when their own team is better?

      • Doug says:

        You wouldn’t, you’d stand down un XPed ones. Unless of course you wanted to stand down your high XP earners to avoid being killed in the next game if your opponent happens to have lots of killy smash too.

        You could also put them in the slot of a player that is forcibly missing this game (see recovery), thereby effectively providing a last minute replacement.

  16. crimsonsun says:

    A few house rules I have been thinking about play testing.

    1) Increased options for underdog cash such as coaching dice, bonus cards and cheerleaders that are only for use in the match. I feel that bonus dice and cards should be restricted in number though as there is only so many special preparation plays a team could train for, and for the same reason I do not see extra coaching staff being a option that would fit. Cheerleader troupes I feel are very appropriate as an option that could easily hire themselves out to underdogs. I also intend to try out free agents being able to buy limited/restricted advancements as I feel this is most likely going to have the best ‘balancing’ affect.

    2) MVP’s gaining xp, this will greatly increase the work load of any league sponser but something I would like to try because it will keep MVP’s amazing no matter how experienced the teams become. I would limit the MVP’s available for all normal games to a chosen group of those who play for the majority of teams only. Those who will only play for a specific team or two would be limited for use in cup/tournament finals and semi finals, remaining MVP’s would be kept for a new pool if a new division/group was set up for fresh teams.

    Each MVP would need to be written up onto a card so that xp and their skills and abilities could be recorded, and given to the coach who won the bidding at the start of each league round. Each advance would increase the MVP’s min hire cost by 2mc, and is determined by the coach who gained the advance while using the MVP in his post match sequence. The MVP must roll on the appropriate table for their role or at the cost of 1 extra xp on a extra coaching table which would further increase there min hire cost by 1mc. The league sponsor would be able to veto any advance they felt was not fitting or appropriate. Any left over xp would be carried over, and added to any they achieve in future matches. All normal restrictions that apply to advancement are otherwise used.

    If the MVP is killed at any stage they always have the money in there personal fund to pay the medical bills but they lose all unused xp as well as their last advance, the coach that the MVP was playing for when killed can only hire the MVP in future if they first pay half his Min hire fee as compensation for his medical bills – this money is not included in the bidding for there hire, it is a extra on top for him to take to the pitch, it however does not need to be paid if the coach is only hiring him so that other teams cannot, and thus he will not be added to there roster for that league round.

    I think using these rules will greatly increase the fun and continuing use of MVP’s within a league, I hope that by restricting the MVP’s to those that can be used by nearly all the teams as well as the increased costs due to injury that one coach will not be hiring the same player every match and thus developing him into a ultimate crutch for there squad. Yet they can still use those MVP’s that only play for specific teams in the most important or prestigious matches, advancing them at a much slower pace but keeping them as a truely unique option for that race.

    3) Allowing a pass to be made via bouncing the ball off the wall if the shortest/direct route is blocked. The pass would count as 1 range band higher, as well as having a -1 mod to the test. The player cannot pass the ball to himself as this would be open to abuse, nor can you score a strike. You could target an opposing player in this way though. The reason behind me wanting to implement this house is simply visualisation of the arena in my mind and how cool it would look. Doubling such a throw – either as a pass or attack would generate a fan check as it is classic show boating.

    • azoxystrobin says:

      I like 1)
      2) sounds like way too much paperwork, even though it appears reasonable.
      3) I like the idea, but am unsure about execution. Surely if you pass off a wall, then that’s going to be an inaccurate pass? It would certainly explain why you can’t score by doing that. In such a case it wouldn’t need to be “1 range band” higher, because it would be inaccurate.
      Showboating off the wall sounds kewl, but if it’s too easy to do, then some coaches will spend 5 actions passing the ball off the wall. However again, if it becomes an inaccurate pass coaches won’t be able to abuse it.

      • crimsonsun says:

        2) is not as much paper work as it looks like really but I did state in my first sentence that it would increase the work load considerably.
        3) Is far from a final draft, my intent is to make the pass and the catch more difficult but not impossible, or as difficult as a 3/4 point strike yet with the two tests passing and catching it would be far more difficult to fluke, thus making it a highly viable option for two skilled players but nigh on impossible for two unskilled ones, my exact execution is likely to change many times I just put what I considered a good starting point.

        Show boating easy to restrict to once per match per team as the fans get bored of the same stunts more than once if that becomes an issue, though I doubt it would.

        I toyed with the idea of the catching player needing to make a speed test before being allowed to catch it to cover there reactions, but feel this is too many rolls, so I am currently thinking that the catch requires two successes instead, 1 for the catch and 1 to react.. add in modifiers for threatening hexes and the less dice due to a more difficult pass, though rather than increase the range band for the purpose of the pass i feel that a -1 dice penalty per range band would be more appropriate, remember of course that the harder the throw the less dice the catcher will have, and the show boating roll only happens if the thrower doubles and the receiver makes the catch not an easy prospect.

        Anyway I will test things out and see if it needs making more difficult. Crimsonsun

    • James maz marsden says:

      My issue with 2 is that MVP’s will always be special any way as many have stats or skills ordinarily unavailable to regular players so you’re doing a lot of extra record keeping for not much benefit.

  17. Hipcat says:

    A few house rules we’re using (or about to use in S2) in our League
    1. As we are a “pick-up-and-play” league without a structured league format, MVPs are purchased ad hoc, but cost +50% (rounded down). This allows Underdogs to take them when needed, without going through the auction process. This suits our more informal league. Two additions being considered for the League in Season 2 are:
    2. Floating MVP costs: If MVPs are used in a Round, their cost rises 2mc. If not, it drops 2mc. This keeps popular MVPs at a high price, and encourages people to use a variety of different stars.
    3. MVP availability: As Season 2 adds a lot of new stars, MVP availability is determined randomly each round to limit the numbers somewhat. Each MVP is only available in a given round on a 5+, rolled by the League Sponsor at the commencement of the round. This gives players the heads-up on who’s in town and available to play, prior to scheduling their games and opponents.

  18. CthulhuDeathlock says:

    Put Him Over the Boards
    If a player is standing on the Subs’ Bench entrance/exit hex and is slammed in the direction of the bench, the player is removed from play for the remainder of the rush and may return through the subs’s square per normal movement on that Coach’s next rush.
    -In the event a player is slammed into the opposing team’s bench, the player must immediately make a 3 dice Armor (X) check, where X is the number of opposition players currently on the bench. For every success remove 1 hit. Any remaining hits are applied to the player on the next rush and is moved to his team’s sin bin. 4 or more hits and the player was killed during the gang beating in the opposition’s bench area. +1 if checking player is a Guard.
    -After all results from the Slam are resolved (e.g. gang beating armor check) the slamming coach makes a Fan Check.

    (Inspired by the body check of a player over the boards in hockey, where the protective glass is not present)

  19. Doug says:

    Another one:

    Ref Check
    This is a one dice test that succeeds on a 4+.
    +1 for the ref within 7 hexes
    +1 for vigilant ref event
    -1 for inattentive ref event

    For each success the fouling player is sent off for one turn.
    Success of 4 or more sends player off for the whole game.

    I like the fouls but the really high chance of being sent off means virtually no one uses them in our league. Few fouls used in the game have actually done anything (except punish the fouler). The only one that is used is Sneak because it has a much higher chance of succeeding (the chance of the player sneaking on being the one sent off is a lot better than a stomper succeeding on their stomp and not being sent off).

    This reduces the punishment of a foul (on average) but still allows for someone to be sent off for the whole game (you just have to roll 6s to explode success).

    The only other option would be to make fouls more attractive to perform (like stomp granting a +1 dice bonus and does this hurt therefore giving you 6 dice to roll…)

  20. Torkel says:

    This is touching on a topic of maneuverability and sprint, as was discussed a bit further up.

    We’re considering making sprint a static +5 hex movement (possibly +4). 12 hex sprint for Veermyn is pretty ridiculous (not to mention an easy 13 or 14 with dash), and 8 hex sprint for Forge Fathers is so limiting. Especially in that particular match-up, the extreme constrast feels… unfair. (For the record, I’m the only one in our league playing Veermyn).

    Another one I have thought about is not allowing free action after sprinting to pick up the ball (maybe just a standing throw). You can’t sprint with a free action either. A human striker sprinting from his bench to pick up the ball and scoring 3/4 pts in 1 rush, without cards, also feels wrong. It’s not even difficult to do. Same when Veermyn do it, it just doesn’t happen as regularly with them because of their skill.

  21. Bo2bros30 says:

    I have a question about the teams.

    Is there any posibility of choosing your initial roster configuration? ie: create an initial Human team with 3-4 guards and less strikers for playing a very strong teams league or begin with more or less coach dices

    I think this will increase a lot the playability of the teams

  22. chrisbburn says:

    Does anyone have any house rules (Or jake are there any plan for offical rules) for Team Captains?? Was thinking about this on my way to work this morning. What if your first ranked up player becomes your captain or your highest ranked player? This player has some sort of bonus to help his team out not sure what yet but possiblities include extra type of action to boost teams mates ablities or extra dice. Maybe they could get a captain dice. Like a coaching dice but can only be used by that player = to their rank?

  23. Sorry to trawl up an ancient thread, but we were discussing the ball shatters card on Facebook, and apparently quite a few people play that it takes effect instantly, rather than at the end of the current action.

    Personally I like the rule as written, because it forces more tactical play. If you pick up the ball with a double in the opponents half, and are within running distance of the strike zone, you have to consider whether your opponent might be holding a ball shatters card, when deciding whether to use a separate action for the throw.

    This is a bigger concern in Ultimate because there are a lot more coaches, and a lot more cards in play.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      In DB, when something is supposed to interrupt another play, then it would ideally do so immediately. However, what “immediately” means in practice is that it may have to wait. The only reason you do this is to avoid horribly complex situations where, say, a Slam, pushback and damage process is stopped in the middle for someone to move, potentially into the middle of the action. Then where does everyone go?

      With the shattering ball the principle is the same. It happens as instantly as is practical to avoid over-complex situations and exceptions within individual sub-processes (slamming, throw-catch, etc).

      • lostcarpark says:

        Thanks, further discussion on Facebook, and I misunderstood, thinking that the event would take place after the current action, including any free actions. The consensus seems to be that the new event happens after the current action, but any free actions are considered separate actions, so the event happens before them. I missed this bit, but it makes sense when explained this way.

  24. lostcarpark says:

    So here’s another one from the same Facebook discussion…

    How about allowing Run Interference to also be used against a catch? So if a player throws the ball and the catcher is within 1 hex of my jack, I can play RI, and barge him out of the way of the catch. An extension would be to allow me to try to catch the ball as an inaccurate pass (requiring a coaching dice).

    My concern with this is that it might give quite a big benefit to the female corporation team. Love to hear your thoughts on it.


  25. Lamanzer says:

    Hello ๐Ÿ™‚
    Both skill: “Show Off” and “Roll” are weak, and many coachs in league hate to get them.

    2 ideas to improve these skills:

    keep the same and add:
    “Furthermore, When the dodging player is knocked down by a slam (or a pile driver) he may move 1 hex in any direction and then chooses where he falls. The slamming player turns to face directly at the hex the rolling player just vacated.”

    Show off:
    “The player MAY choose to get 1 less dice on any Strike attempt. Other Throws are not affected. If the player chooses this option and succeeds in a Strike attempt then they always count as Showboating (generates a fan check) regardless of whether it doubles or not.”

    (In fact Player can choose to user Show off or not)

    • lostcarpark says:

      While those are great ideas, I like the idea of having one “dud” shill on each table. The change to show off in particular means most coaches would never use it.

  26. Pingback: Dreadball House Rules – The Wargamers Forum Archive

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