DreadBall Season 3 Mutterings

Season 3, or Ultimate as it’s also known, is the next instalment of the DreadBall range and one that you’ll see some more of over the next couple of weeks. As the public testing for Deadzone was so useful we’ve decided to do a bit more with some of the S3 stuff, notably the new teams.

The new bits in Season 3 break down into three main areas: new teams, GIANTS and multi-player rules.

New teams (and MVPs) are the sort of thing you know already and should be fairly easy for you to take and try out for yourselves when the rules have been tidied a little. Regardless of the weirdness of the teams themselves, the rules for using a team are simple enough. Once you’ve played a couple of teams you won’t have trouble with the new ones. As you may remember, there are four new teams in Season 3: Asterians, “Nameless”, Teratons and Zee.

GIANTS is the collective name for the multi-hex players. They’re a bit like MVPs, but bigger.

Multi-player games is simple enough in concept, though less so in design. The challenge is to keep it playing as simple and quickly as it needs to with all the extra coaches and players involved. I’m getting there.

Anyway, watch this space for beta versions of the new teams, coming soon 🙂


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49 Responses to DreadBall Season 3 Mutterings

  1. fenriryan says:

    All I need to know is when I can preorder the Terratons – a team fo heavy armoured teleporting dinosaurs is too good to pass up, and even if I can’t play them well, the model concepts of all other Terratons to date mean its a sure win just to own them.

  2. James 'Maz' Marsden says:

    Can. Not. Wait.

  3. sho3box says:

    Although I am interested in everything mentioned, the stat line and team line up of the Asterians is top of my list, followed by details of multiplayer games with a short duration (which in turn means that they might actually get used a bit. If multiplayer games take ages then the multiplayer pitch wont see much action round my way at least).

    Everything in Ultimate/S3 interests me if I am honest. S2 was fun to digest but S3 will open things up an awful lot more: I cant wait to get my hands on the rules. Will S3 have anything that has caused as much consternation as Judwangate I wonder 😉

    This is a little off topic so apologies, but has there been any negative feedback about the price of coaches in S2? My group are finding them excessively cheap to the extent that if they are available an offensive coach is now a must-have in tournament play. They seem quite inexpensive to me. In most tournament circumstances I would happily pay at least double for one.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      I’ve not heard any comment on coach prices either way.

      My intention was that one should be reasonably affordable and common, but that a whole set would be rare.

      • sho3box says:

        At least one coach per player seems a likely outcome in that case, based on my experience anyway.

        My only concern is that the extra action seems to benefit the faster and more competent ball carrying teams (currently corporation and judwan, veermyn to a lesser extent) more than others. Obviously the ability to play an extra action on a player helps every team to an extent, but its those teams that can push for landslide at the expense of everything else who get the most out of it. In my experience (six or seven games with the Off. Coach on at least one side) it changes the game quite radically.

        This wasnt be the best place for me to bring this up and I am derailing the S3 talk, sorry about that. Getting info straight from the designer is a temptation and got the better of me this time.

        • Henry says:

          I think its much more a problem with the tournament format than offensive Coaches per-say… In a league its a better buy for teams like Marauders I think, as they really need 3 actions on a jack to make proper scoring plays happen.

          If anything, I think the current Cheerleaders are a bit underwhelming (and by extension, the supporting Coach). They just seem to cost a lot for the benefit they bring individually, and the full package (2 + Coach) costs an awful lot. You can also have up to 7, but there’s little need for more than say 2-3. I think its a bit of a shame, because I actually really like the mechanic for them. I’d suggest a couple of changes:

          1) Allow underdog bonus to be spent on them. Gives an alternative to getting extra players, and also helps to get the man of the match award as well as allowing your actual players to have better odds of getting more exp by spending coaching dice on shots or slams which all helps weaker teams build up to take on stronger ones.

          2) Add a “Cheerleading Phase” after the coaching phase. A single cheerleader in reserves can move on to the score track, or a cheerleader on the score track can move to another spot on the score track. Once a cheerleader is “used” roll a dice – 4+ done for the game, 1-3 place them in sin bin at that level.

          Maybe increase cost to 10mc and adjust what the Support Coaching play does on this basis…

        • James says:

          I disagree. An offensive coach completely changed the game for the orx team as it essentially give us decent strikers instead of crap ones, on top of excellent guards

        • Quirkworthy says:

          @Sho3box – as you can see we have a debate about where the balance point is, which is a good thing.

          @Henry – cheerleaders are a little like coaches in that they are priced to make one or two moderately useful, but a full squad a luxury for only the richest teams. Feedback at the time suggested that there wasn’t enough to buy for the very wealthy, and as I was adding more cash this was going to be an increasing issue.

  4. sideofiron says:

    I think if that is the intent, then the pricing works well. However comparisons have been drawn to the utility of an Offensive Assistant Coach and buying another card. I know an offensive coach has been my first buy with my bots… an opportunity to negate the transform action with a third action on one player is just too good to pass up.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      You’ll find that the “best buy” depends on a combination of which team you’re playing, where it is in the league, your individual style of play, normal opponents and a number of other factors. Debate and discussion is fine and should be encouraged. I don’t think you’ll find a single solution that fits every situation and player.

  5. Henry says:

    So excited! I started a thread on the Mantic forums a couple of weeks ago to speculate on how the new teams would end up, so this should be cool to see how close people were with some things! Especially looking forward to trying out the Asterians!

  6. Lines says:

    Very excited!
    Will the Big Guys be only available as MVPs or will they be part of some of the new teams?

    Are you planning to add change to the rules of S1/S2 (as happened with mind line water) regarding:
    – the Judwan discussion
    – the prone-cage tactic
    – the launch ball / turnover discussion?

    • James says:

      I hope it goes like this:

      Judwan – definitely no change.
      Prone cage – no change
      Launch ball – definitely no change

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Much of the Judwan discussion seems to be based on what happens in weekend tourneys, which is best balanced by those tourney rules and not the rules for normal and league play.

  7. Awesome! I already have a friend that wants the Nameless ( me too probably… ).

    About the multiplayer, do we need a special new board for it ? I was thinking that since Deadzone has 3d terrain and rules, maybe for this new season or for season 4 dreadball could have some 3d board terrain, but that will probably too crazy and complex.

    • Lines says:

      “Awesome! I already have a friend that wants the Nameless ( me too probably… ).”

      What do you know about the team. Was there information released about stats or style?
      I´m curious what makes you and your friend want them.
      Maybe i missed the information somewhere.

      • Henry says:

        Well, there was concept art on Kickstarter… We know they’re a team with only Strikers and Guards (but 2 kinds of Guards)… We know they’re the same race as John Doe… Don’t think there’s much more information available than that right now…

    • Quirkworthy says:

      @drask… – multi-player does need a new, larger board. Without that you struggle to fit everyone on, especially with GIANTS about. terrain will wait till Xtreme if it happens at all.

  8. Jake says:

    Let the games begin!

  9. Henry says:

    I think beta testing is a great idea by the way – with a relatively small rules release (as the Dreadball teams are) the more eyes on it the better. I still feel its a little early to be calling Judwan over powered, but they certainly come across as extremely ‘easy mode’. You need to keep your wits about you to beat them, but playing them doesn’t require much thought at all. You can be pretty lazy with your positioning and play with only 2-3 models without much effort… Hopefully all of the Season 3 teams will be interesting, strong in their own way, but feel like they’re balanced against the other teams.

    • Rolex says:

      The beta testing should be a great improvement in balance.
      Up to now, in our gaming club, S2 (and the Judwan) has made several players drop out of DB. I hope this trend can be inverted with DB Ultimate.

      • Quirkworthy says:

        Sorry to hear that Rolex. My comment below applies to this sort of thing. I always strive to balance games, though it’s hard to get everyone to agree that things are balanced because many of the variables (especially players and play styles) are outside the control of the game itself.

        I’ve written theory articles that touch on this (see the tab above).

        • Rolex says:

          I’ve read and appreciated those. I also understand that results of playtest can differ a lot depending of who’s playing. I play in a very competitive environment (nasty) where everyone tries very hard to win and fun comes second. The less experianced guy has probably several hundred games under his belt (many BB).
          Almost everyone has a very rule-lawyer mentality so little balance issues become very big because everyone tries very hard to exploit them.
          I also appreciated a lot in S2 the way new skills and coaches help a lot teams that were at a disadvantage in S1.
          I understand that a Judwan player might feel frustrated that many people tells them their team is unbalanced. I also understand that Judwan may have more problems in a long league.
          But, in our book, a team that , in the first game of the league, has more than 90% chance of winning is not good.
          Anyway 7 perfectly playable teams in 8 is not a bad result. Keep up the good work.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          Sounds like you have a somewhat extreme gaming environment there Rolex. neither good nor bad, just at one end of the curve.

          90% chance of victory sounds excessive to me and isn’t what I’ve seen, but then I’ve not got your group to hand 😉

    • I beg to differ sir. As a Judwan player in a league, you have a very difficult job keeping your team alive.

      Really, Judwan are easy to beat – just block off the 3 point strike zone with three guards/jacks. Let your other three strikers run around unthreatened doing their thing whilst Judwan score 1 point per turn…

      • Henry says:

        That’s a good start, but certainly doesn’t prevent Judwan from running players down the pitch to Misdirect a line to the 3point strike zone…

        I think league play does balance them up better (particularly if Team Value determines the winner rather than league points), but in one off play they are pretty powerful as well. This is because even playing 3 players down isn’t a massive disadvantage to them, and can still see them take the win… Strikers (especially speed 3+ strikers) are actually pretty survivable as well, as they have great odds of dodging.

        Having Misdirect on all of their players effectively means it doesn’t matter which player is where – they can all do everything, which means you can play with 2-3 of them, leaving the rest in reserve…

        • “That’s a good start, but certainly doesn’t prevent Judwan from running players down the pitch to Misdirect a line to the 3point strike zone…”

          This is why you use guards as the goalies – to batter the Judwan as they approach. Obviously some teams will fair better than others , but that’s a good thing – otherwise you find that your just playing chess. (No problems with Chess, just not what you want if you’re intending to do some butt kicking with your Dreadball set!)

      • James 'Maz' Marsden says:

        Nicely said Jim

        • Henry says:

          Jimmi, that was exactly my point though – even if you are hitting them, they are pretty survivable and even if you do manage to take one or two out, they can still play with only 2 – 3 players due to the fact that all players can score and move players around…

          Even if they start a turn with no line to the 3 points, you can have one player take twi actions to sprint down and misdirect and use the other 3 to have 2 other players retrieve the ball and score…

          I’m not saying they’re broken, but they’re by far the easiest team to play and I’d prefer to see the Season 3 teams not end up the same way if at all possible…

    • Quirkworthy says:

      As I have said before, the Season 2 teams were always expected (and in some ways intended) to be more “marmite” than those in the core set. They are increasingly extreme and odd in their playing styles, and this means that they will seem overpowered to people who are unfamiliar with them. This effect happens to a greater or lesser extent with any new release of a new army/team for a game. Of course, they could really be broken – I’m far from infallible. However, I have been doing this a while now and experience makes me reluctant to make sweeping changes before things have had a proper chance to settle down and people have been able to evolve the necessary tactics to deal with the new play styles they face. Also, comments about the Judwan being too powerful are mostly (not all) from those who have only played against them (and often in events), not with them. The comment from Jimmi is typical of Judwan coaches.

      • Rolex says:

        It is the same kind of comment I used to hear about Demons in WFB 7th edition or Skaven in the 6th. Always from the guys that played them.
        “They are not overpowered, it’s YOU that are no good at playing.”
        It isn’t a good sign.
        After 20 test games (20-0-0 for the Judwan) we had to ban them. I was that or playing a all Judwan league.
        Ah, we lost 2 players in the process that decided that the game after S2 was not good enough.
        It’s not easy getting people to play, Judwan are making it harder for me.

        • Rolex, I think you’re missing the point, Jake was agreeing with me.

          To paraphrase – The people moaning about Judwan being over powered are generally people who have only played against them. Players of Judwan (myself included) can tell you that they’re not (see above). My anecdotal evidence is just as valuable as yours 🙂

          If you want to see some hard evidence check this: http://db.chezalex.net/last100.html you’ll see that in the last 100 recorded games, Judwan have a win percentage of 66% …. hardly the game breaking advantage that the doomsayers over on the Mantic forums would have you believe…

          Interestingly, If you look at the Corp (male) team you’ll see their win percentage is 64% in total (since time began), but in the last 100 games that’s leveled out to 50% – What does this tell us? I think it tells us that some teams require a little more thought, skill, and experience to beat, which is gained over time, therefore I predict that much in the same way as Human Corp, we’ll see Judwan level out a bit too.

          But for god sake stop crying about it, there’s nothing worse than that player who rage quits when he finds out his opponent is playing a team/army he doesn’t like. Sportsmanship is a skill which many in our hobby unfortunately need to work on.

        • James 'Maz' Marsden says:

          It will go one of two ways,

          Either tactics will develop so it evens out (as has happened with the S1 Human team) or the Judwan players will get bored of winning or being ostricised for playing Judwan and pick something else up.

          Also i don’t see what people’s problem is with a challenge!? Are we all too used to playing video games on easy mode to actually enjoy something not just being easy?

        • Rolex says:

          As I already said on the Mantic forum, answering to someone that points out a perceived problem with “stop crying” and accusing him of being unsporting is:
          a) a very poor discussion argument;
          b) unpleasant and offensive.
          Can’t we simply agree to disagree without unpleasantness or offenses?
          On the topic, you missed my point: I perfectly understood Jake was agreeing with you.
          I was disagreeing with both of you. I was saying that, when only people that plays a certain team/race says that they are not unbalanced when the most of the opponents say the opposite, it usually means that they are.
          Let’s just agree to disagree. 😉

        • Rolex says:

          By the way, in my opinion the human winning % dropped due to 2 factors:
          1) S2 new rules help a lot the other S1 teams with new skills (360 degree vision for FF and Orx) and new rules (offensive coach for goblins) so the gap with other teams has been mostly solved. In this respect S2 was excellent in solving S1 issues and I am confident that S3 can do the same for S2.
          2) humans due to their average stat line are very bad against Judwan: with ST 4+ it’s hard for them to hurt them (orx and FF are a lot better), with SP and ST 4+ they are easier to misdirect (harder against a 3+ stat) and moving 5 they are slower (veermyn keep up). And judwan can’t exploit the FF and goblin weaknesses.
          Humans are almost forced to play the judwan game and judwan are better at it.
          People have learned to deal better with humans as well, but I feel that it isn’t the main factor in the change. Just my opinion. 🙂

        • Quirkworthy says:

          @Rolex – I don’t think that the Judwan can be responsible for major odds shifts with the humans. Looking at the numbers, the season 2 filter (144 games) has them matched up 7 times with 4 wins for the Judwan. That’s hardly a major change for the human win percentages.

          The changes to S2 helped the humans as well as other teams, though their opponents may have benefitted more as you suggest. It’s never entirely cut and dried.

  10. RMBLees says:

    I want to be able to play Ultimate Dreadball, in a live environment, across Deadzone terrain!
    A cross between Harlem Heroes and The Mean Arena from 2000ad.

  11. Henry says:

    James – yeah, just checked back and you’re right – doesn’t look like it was actually funded (which doesn’t mean it won’t happen without another Kickstarter of course, just that people who Kickstarted previously won’t be getting it for free!)

    Perhaps its just because we haven’t seen that much about it yet, but I’m much more excited about Season 3 than Extreme anyway… Perhaps I’ll change my mind once I see some more stuff… Speaking of seeing things, where are these Season 3 Beta team rules? 😉 I am soooooo excited to start trying them out!

  12. micthulhu says:

    Allow me to add my timid opinion on the judwangate. Today was my first game with the Judwan team against the goblin/orcs team. You can add me to the camp of people who say they’re overpowered. It was an easy and crushing victory for my judwan. 3 speed, 6 movement, misdirect and an all-striker team made the match so easy it was boring. I’m starting to regret buying them. Please, re-balance them.

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