Sponsors organise the games of DreadBall Xtreme, and put together the teams that play in them. But what do they do once the game has started? Well, it’s not all champagne and caviar.
If you read the beta rules you’ll see that Sponsors continue to scheme throughout a game, doing whatever they can to gain an edge, both on the field and in a league. Each Rush you get to pick one dastardly scheme. The options they have are:
- Intimidate: gives you an extra Coaching Dice for this Rush (use it or lose it).
- Nobble: threatens or blackmails an opposing player in to performing badly in their next Rush. They get -1 to all their tests (except armour).
- Bet: puts on a side bet that you will win. If you do then you get more cash at the end.
Each of these is useful in a different circumstance, and different gamers I’ve watched prefer different options.
Bet is only worth doing in a league match. Money doesn’t matter in one-off games and so this is irrelevant. When you are in a league match Bet adds a longer term choice to other options which are both very much immediate game effects.
Nobble is most useful if the other side has a single important player. Perhaps they have the ball at that moment, or look like they might be making a run to strike. Maybe it’s their only remaining Striker or Guard. Whatever the target, this is most obviously useful if the opposing team has a clear choice of player for a task. Mind you, if they have two to pick from then you could use this on one and then Slam the other out of the running.
Gaining an extra Coaching Dice with Intimidate is always useful, and becomes the default for many players as it’s so easy to use. Don’t forget it only lasts for this Rush though!
A Bigger Picture
These options are not only different in detail, but focus on different styles of play. The first boosts your own team, the second hinders your opponent, and the last looks at the bigger picture.
On The Board
The main use of the Sponsor model is to show which of these schemes is in operation at any one time. The hexes in the Subs’ Benches each identify one or other of these choices. When you pick one you place the Sponsor model in the appropriate position. This means that you can tell at a glance what’s going on.
These options are the basic ones. One of the things I’d like to do with future Sponsors is to look at these schemes and see what else we can come up with. The three “big picture” categories will remain as I think they’re a good framework, but there’s more than one way of helping your own side or hindering the opponent. These will be listed as Sponsor abilities and are another way to define the unique character and style of the many different Sponsors.
I have a couple of pages in a notebook dedicated to wacky Sponsor ideas, but I’m sure I’ve missed some good ones. What do you think would be fun for them to do?