I’m back online properly now – technical hitch fixed 🙂

In the UK we have the Salute 2015 show in London tomorrow, so that’s going to take up all of my time on saturday. I will be on the Mantic stand for an hour or so from 2pm, so drop by if you fancy a chat.

To go back to the DB teams, there were some comments about balance of teams overall. I’m hoping to do a comprehensive review of all the DBO teams later this year, in order to correct all the balance issues. I’ve spoke before about the complexities of balance and points values, so I won’t go on about that right now. For the moment, and for these latest teams, work on the assumption that they need to be on a par with the Trontek 29ers, when both teams are played in a one-off game by a Coach that knows how to use them.

Several of the latest teams are a bit OTT, which is fine as they can be toned down or increased in cost easily enough. Personally I think all could do with at least a bit of tweaking. But how much?

For the moment, and just thinking about these 6 teams (we’ll come back to the older teams later), how do you rate them? Which ones are too powerful, too weak, and by how much? Are they impossibly too good, woefully inept, or just a shade out?

In other words, without going into detail, what’s your one line summary of each team’s power, as it stands now? I’ll check this thread and use a combination of all the comments here and on the individual team threads to update all the team files on sunday, when I’m back from Salute.

If you repost this anywhere else, be sure to ask folk to pop back here and add their ratings too, so we can get as wide a selection of comments as possible.

And please, stick to these latest 6 teams for now. We will come back to the older teams later. 


This entry was posted in DreadBall - The Futuristic Sports Game. Bookmark the permalink.

31 Responses to Updates

  1. Don Squires says:

    Crystallans- On par with Orxx, and Teratons. Not competitive in a one off game.
    Tsudochan- Just fine. Dripping with theme and cool factor. Top of my personal must have list.
    Ada-lorena- Also fine.
    Koris- Possibly unbalanced. Will playtest tomorrow.
    Mechanites- Too many options. Pick and choose, built from the ground up players are too good. Will playtest tomorrow.
    Mutants- See above. Better options then the mechs, possibly broken combos. Will playtest tomorrow.

  2. Lubomirvaic says:

    I only have a few opinions so far, so here we go:

    Ada-Lorena: maybe a bit too powerful, they ran roughshod over the Crystallans in a game. Reduce Movement to 4 to make them less of a threat to score on each and every rush.

    Crystallans: would like to see a slight change where you look for bonuses at time to dice rolls instead of the start of an action to allow them more options instead of staying in a tight formation. Movement would still be done at start of Rush though.

    Mechanites: I think they have way too many cool abilities that are far too cheap. A slight increase in cost would be very helpful. Just bumping up the base cost of models by 1 or 2 MC would probably offset that ability

    Mutants: I don’t see them as broken as Mechanites as they have a base cost built in that seems to offset some of the Mechs. Would like to try them out on the pitch tomorrow.

    Have not really tried out anything for the Tsudoshan or Koris at this point, but I like the looks of both teams.

  3. Lubomirvaic says:

    Yeah, I realize that, which is why I thought they should check that at the start of the action, but also check for it during each roll they need to make. I actually put that in my comments about the Movement, but I just feel that you have to keep these tight clusters together far too much to gain much of a benefit and it would allow for a but more options if you checked when you needed to roll dice too.

  4. theearthdragon says:

    I’ll preface that you can get my detailed opinions in all the individual threads –

    Koris – TOO POWERFUL Neat Mechanic, Too high of skill. Create a new level of power standard with the ease they’ll score.

    Mechanites – TOO POWERFUL Too much flex without downsides. Will absolutely rule in one-offs and would dominate in leagues if not for….

    Mutants – TOO POWERFUL As with mechs, too powerful without a downside. There needs to be give and take otherwise this will be the team dominating most leagues if a player in that league understands the system, with a few exceptions giving them trouble (most of those being on this list).

    Ada-Lorena – A bit overpowered. Not as bad as these top 3, BUT they would in fact join them in the new top tier that is being created if all left as is.

    Crystallans – Just right. Excellent design, open up new play strategy. A lot of people aren’t going to understand how to play these guys to their potential, but that doesn’t mean you need to change them. Please leave as is.

    Tsudochan – Probably okay, but hard to pin down exactly how they’ll play out

  5. Quirkworthy says:

    Great comments so far. Nicely illustrate the challenge with Crystallans being described as both “not competitive? and “just right” 🙂

    The Mechanites and Plague are too free-form at present and need to be either more restricted (which I’m less happy with) or simply more costly.

    Keep those comments coming!

    • I view it like the way the Zees and their CD. They roll every turn to see what they get. They trade CD in for a different “system”. I feel the best way to control the Mutants and Mechanites is take something away that the other teams get. THAT’S the trade off. As is they get almost everything everyone else has and in combos no one else can put together. Lack of cards or CD or whatever could be a good trade-off.

      • Rob Uccello says:

        Losing cards or coaching dice makes no sense at all with these teams. Losing coaching dice for Zees has practical and thematic reasons – and as it is, the Zees suffer badly from the lack. Give Zees the ability to buy a CD just to spend on upgrades!

        • Sure it does. The teams are more worried about mechs leaking oil and mutants falling apart or just going wild to do some of the more intricate things the others can.

          As I said in the Mutant thread, you could argue that staff are more versed in “creating” players and not as much “coaching” players, so no assistants can be purchased. It’s about the most natural balancing factor there is.

    • James K says:

      One thought for the mechanite and mutant teams – make them into all-jack teams. This would reduce their power and flexibility as well as making the range of options for them less dizzying. As an aside, it would also eliminate the need to visually distinguish different player positions, which would make it easier for the opposing team.

  6. Rob Uccello says:

    Crystallans run the same risk that the Teratons and Forge Fathers have: holding onto the ball can be next to impossible for the set of Rushes they realistically have to hold it, given a Speed 5 and no way to protect from a Steal. Other that that they are an interesting team who should be fun to play. Possibly swapping 1 Speed die with ‘Alert’ when congregated in a large group?

    Koris are probably too strong. The portal placement coming from a Jack’s action could be a good starting point, or making the portals easier for opponents to use. Raising their Skill to a 4+ goes a bit too far. Consider breaking the ‘racial stat line’ to make balance easier.

    Mechanites and Plague are too good. Rule that a team must include at least 6 players, and add 2 to the cost of a Jack body, 3 to the cost of a Striker/Guard, that might be enough to make them fall closer in line without artificial limits. I haven’t done a lot with the Plague, but the Mechanites, through some paper-theory can field a team of 1 incredible Striker, 1 incredible Guard and 4 Jacks with Running Interference with the v1 rules. Adding 14 points to this build forces a player to make some hard choices about where to specialize their team. Another choice would be to add a new type of coach that is required to operate the team, taking maybe 10-15 mc out of the building budget.

    Mechanites, with the greater freedom to make a team, should have to count each model as a registered Role with respect to League play; if I build my team out of only 3 different Jacks and have 2 of each kind on my starting roster, the most I can have would be 4 of each kind of Jack as the season goes on, and not allowed to add other Jack builds or Strikers/Guards. These builds should be locked in at the League start. Plague should not have this same restriction, being focused on recovering parts during a league.

  7. Rob Uccello says:

    Tsudochan and Koris need clarification on how their abilities can affect the Ref and the Ball. No portals where the Ref can’t go should be added, and how the ball reacts if it lands on a portal. Can the Ref be Pushed? Can the Ball?

  8. wifstrand says:

    My opinions and experiences with the four teams we’ve playtested tonight.

    KORIS: *They’re far too good*, easily one of the best teams. Either A) make portals unable to be placed where the ref can’t move, otherwise I’ll just place my three portals on my own bonus hexes, ensuring the max number of points my opponnent can score is 3, and even then I’d still cover my rear strike zone with a Gotcha guard. Or B) Give them Skill 4+. They’d still be great because of their gotcha guards and spinner rule.

    TSUDOCHAN: *They’re just fine*. They’re easy and fun to play, but hard to master. Please don’t change these!

    ADA-LORANA: *They’re very good*. They’re challenged by having no real bashing game and by having only six players. So that’s good. They’re still quite strong, though. Maybe increase all players’ cost by 1 mc and remove their coaching die.

    CRYSTALLANS: *They have the most potential to be unique and change the game up, but my two games so far (and two more coming) just show them as being too weak*. Harmonics is more or less fine, but I feel their guards are overcosted and that the team *REALLY* needs to start with a card in order to truly have a jack-based ball game. It would enable them to slowly turtle the ball up the field while buying one card every turn, maybe every other turn. Furthermore, their guards are almost prohibitevely expensive in leagues. Making their guards 2 mc cheaper they’re more easy to reacquire, and you get access to that (imo vital) card.

    • wifstrand says:

      Quick thought we just had: Instead of making Crystallan guards cheaper in order to gain a card, Harmonics could really do with range 3. Again, instead of other suggestions.

      • wifstrand says:

        Even when playing a good turn taking it slow, I feel outclassed at every turn. It’s so damn difficult to create a cage, and it’s somewhat manageable to break if you dedicate a few players to it. I had my S1 Corp opponnent break through my cage two times in one game. After our dinner break we’re going to switch so I play Corp and he plays Crystallans.

      • Josh says:

        What about if the Harmonics stays active if the model gets bonus actions? for example, you start your Jack within 2 hexes of 3 other Crystallan.. he’s +1 move, +1 Str, +1 Speed.. he Sprints forward 10, actually doubles the pick up on the ball… now he reverts back to Mv 4, no bonus dice… what if he just maintained the bonuses until his next “Activation Token or Card”… it’s a small help but allows you to throw a guy forward if he’s “powered up”…

        • theearthdragon says:

          That sounds like a fairly reasonable adjustment. Circumstantial, but makes desperate last couple turn pushes a little more feasible.

  9. 4rmless says:

    Generally very nice design, but I’m concerned that they may have the same issue as the Forge Fathers; guards and jacks with 5+ speed fall over very easily and struggle to get up. This is compounded by only having the 3 jacks for scoring. I’ll schedule some testing over the weekend.

    Though I’d also like clarification on pushing balls, crates (in DBX) and so on, Push is a really cool ability. It mitigates the lack of flexibility a Jack based team suffers from (like Runaround should for Zees, if they weren’t so inept). I think they’re nicely balanced now, however they stand to gain a lot from any future fixes for Jacks. The couple of games I’ve played with them tonight make me think they’re in the bottom half of the field, though Push takes a lot of thinking through, so they may improve with practice.

    I really like these guys, abilities fit the fluff, all very nice thematically. Sadly, I think they are a little too good at present. Speed 3+ with -1 to slams and +1 to dodge means they are incredibly hard to hurt. This, combined with the way they give -1 to slambacks against them making steals makes them exceedingly potent against all the bash teams, none of whom need any extra hurting. I’m not really in favour of bringing back the penalties or reducing their stats (though looking at concept art, strikers and jacks could be strength 5, guards movement 4), but maybe the dodge bonus could go as I’m not sure it works thematically (why would being slightly insubstantial make taking a ball of you harder, for instance) and it’s very very powerful. Also consider removing a dice and adding 1 to each cost.

    Portal is a great idea for a skill that needs tidying up with some rules on line of sight, blocking key hexes and so on, and seems both interesting and fair.
    Guards with Gotcha are quite good. These seem to be appropriately costed when looking at Nameless Sticky guards at 9mc, but those are generally though to be rather too cheap.
    The Jacks and Strikers are significantly undercosted. It isn’t that they are broken in any particular way, just that they are good all rounders and Skill 3+ makes them far too effective at the passing game.
    Possible options for fixing this team include reducing their movement to make them more reliant on portals to move around or reducing the Jacks’ Skill. I don’t think removing their Card will help as they’d simply buy it back in a league and I’d want to stay away from their Strength, Speed and abilities as they become a wildly different team if those change,
    Worth noting that these are another team that stand to gain significantly from a future Jack fix.

    I love the modular idea, but it is so easy to min/max. Please try to retain this team creation model, but restrict various combinations:
    7mc Jacks with straight 4+ abilities or even 3+ Skill are not ok, even with Fragile.
    Fragile is not a significant weakness when players have easy/cheap access to Grizzled/Duck & Weave/CFaT.
    3+ Strength and Gotcha should not be available on an 11mc guard (he even gets Steady too!).
    The league rules already enable powergaming by letting you manage your team rating and abuse MVPs or Free agents, please don’t further enable this by allowing tiny elite teams of unkillable robots, some restrictions on number of players should apply.
    As pointed out on by theearthragon on the plague thread, giving free reign over cards, dice etc. is a recipe for abuse. It might be best to dictate these and only allow the remainder of the 100mc budget for player builds.

    Much of the above is true though actually I think only the strikers are really broken here (couple of test games today) as multiple of Dirty Tricks along with lots of Skill 3+ is just unfair.
    Also, the boiled down rule, while fluffy, exacerbates the league ranking abuse problem.
    I really think each player should have to take at least one mutation, and it probably needs to cost a few points, otherwise, as pointed out elsewhere, you can simply buy corporation players, with the ability to randomly add skills and tweak dice/cards/etc to your preference, making them clearly superior to corporation with no downsides.

    All in all I really like the designs and think you’ve done a great job thematically, but you seem not to have spent much time ensuring that these teams are in any way similar in power level to the corporation (as you’ve just suggested the should be), barring maybe the Tsudochan.

    I’ve got a rough draft of a revised Mechanites team that retains the same components (obviously important for Mantic as the parts are not going to change at this point) and I’ll type it up and post it over the weekend in case it can be of use. I think it addresses most of the major problems.

    Looking forward to reading your next versions.

  10. theearthdragon says:

    It’s funny how the first few game a “one-line summary” and it’s turn into full paragraphs lol

  11. Lamanzer says:

    Mechanites – TOO POWERFUL – Flexibility without downsides.
    Gamebreaker combo for 10 pts (jack: alert, Gotcha, Str 3+)
    Idea: cancel Gotcha!, increase price, Give more negative counter part.

    Mutants – TOO POWERFUL – Exactly the same problem as Mechs.
    Gamebreaker combo: 6 Dirty trick Strikers !
    idea: Switch Dirty trick by Taking a Dive, Give negative Mutation, increase price. random player creation (Could be very fun, but not easy to balance!)

    Koris – A BIt OVERPOWERED . Too easy…
    Fun team, don’t need very much work to be ok.
    idea: Skill 4+, Limite zone to create Portal ( like Refere move)

    Ada-Lorena – TOO POWERFUL. Perhaps the most Overpowered of all… Impossible to counter without specific team (Gotcha, Dirty Trick, Threatening) , Boring to play (cost to cost scoring) – 3 Games played with, never use Insubstantial: not necessary.
    – Solid: Use the same number of Dice as your opponent to Slamback or dodge, assists are added after for both side). Loose One Dice agaisnt opponent Steal Action)
    – Increase Price: 1x guard 14Mc / 4x Jack 12Mc / 2x Striker 14Mc + 1 Card

    Crystallans – tricky to play but can do something, not design to win championship but interresting to play! Same downside as Teratons, Orx and Both Forge Father teams.

    Tsudochan – Probably the most balance team of all! Jack power for great surprise moves. Like it!

  12. Bernard D. says:

    While I like the Tsudochan (simple yet elegantt), I believe many of the new special abilities are too complicated as they rely on tables in Heroquest fashion, and should be simplified and streamlined. For example, Crystallans could simply have a +1 to +3 die bonus to anything, and the Koris ability could simply be treated as a Dash or a 3D (1) test on 5+ when crossing portals.

    Mechanites and mutants seem interchangeable, and while the buy-and-pick idea is interesting, many options are just non-competitive (A Safe Pair Of Hands, Jump, Tail, Stretch, Quick Recovery) and at risk of making all teams similar. A simpler system for the Mutants could have been to have a simple list for everyone with a limit to what the sprues allow (e.g. no more than 2 asterian heads). Obvious choices are Skill 3+ Strikers with Long Arms and Dirty Tricks, a few Guards with Gotcha and Threatening (for a -3 dice penalty just for being there), and cheap Jacks with no options just to get in the way. Gotcha the most useful and powerful ability in the game, shouldn’t be combined with Threatening (Two recent games of DBX with a friend and my son proved that Gorgan are as formidable as Nameless Guards with those very powerful Gotcha/Threatening ability. The DBX Asterian got pulverized to bits.)

    Likewise, the Mechanites could have, IMHO a total of parts amouting to what’s available with the plastic sprues, with costs, a preset number of players per type and a max cost per figure.

    Mostly, however, I’m very disappointed with how the Crystallans turn out so far. They’re a very inferior variant of the classical Forge Fathers, a slow, non-scoring team (worsened by the lack of strikers) that gets easily beaten by slams in the back, with nothing for them. Nothing compensates bad Move and bad Speed combined, worsened by no Strikers. Even the Zees could beat the hell out of them and, worse, they are not fun to play. We already have Orx and Teratons with the “slow Slam, bad Throw” play style. Speed 5+ is a death sentence in Dreadball. The Crystallans have no mobility, no real option to Dash a lot, no Striker and not even exceptional Skill to compensate. The enemy gets a single 3 or 4 point strike and the Crystallans are good for capitulation. The Crystallans really need to and their Harmonics to be simplified and made more powerful. I’d rather not have to memorize or check a table in the book each time I move a miniature. I totally hated playing the Forge Fathers (thrice, each time a 7-0 landslide), the Orx were more balanced (at least the Goblins were fast and hard to kill), the Teratons couldn’t be struck in the back… But the Crystallans have none of this and will lose if only because the attrition war makes them more weaker because of the Harmonics rule. Even at their best (3 models), they aren’t a good team to score a strike. And please, give them at least one Striker! Even the third-tier Forge Fathers have a few!

    I fell for the DBX Kickstarter because of the Crystallan minis and I must admit I’m having some misgivings so far… I understand these are playtest rules and I truly appreciate the transparency and overture to players, but please streamline the rules and reconsider the fourth-tier teams such as the Crystallans. I loved the Season 2 and 3 teams (and I like the Convicts) and I’d love to seeing more like those. Simple rules twists, such as those for the Void Sirens or Teratons or Tsudochans, that require some thought without turning to GW-style bookkeeping…

    Dreadball is my favourite game because it’s fast to play, different each time and intellectually challenging. Earlier Dreadball books were excellent and raised expectations, so please bear with this melancholic if complaining fan of yours…

    • wifstrand says:

      Hey Bernard, go to the Crystallan-specific thread here on Quickworthy. While you’re (imo) correct that the Crystallans are too weak, it’s not 100 % as bad as you make it out to be. They CERTAINLY need readjusting, but their own unique playstyle is cool.

  13. Mark says:

    Perhaps, to make the Mechanites and Plague less powerful, let them not have Strikers, and a limited number of guards?

    • wifstrand says:

      I don’t think it’s a good idea to take strikers away from those two teams. I’d rather see a cap of max two guards and max two strikers on a rookie team. Barring them from using strikers at all is a no-fun way of doing it, imo.

      • Josh says:

        I agree with Wifstrand… maybe 0-2 limits or just, and this is the hardest part to get right, use point costs… if someone wants 4 super players and 2-4 junk players, they should be able to do that.. if someone wants 6 balanced players and a coach and dice and cards.. they should be able to do that.. if someone wants 8-10 “eh” players and wants to try to use the less common upgrades to challenge themselves to win that way, they should be able to do that… or at least that’s true for me!!!

  14. Josh says:

    So, I’ll try to keep this short, and Jake asked about vs. Trontek and in One off Games..

    Crystallans – I actually feel are okay.. not OP for sure, not a fast team, and it is going to be tricky to use them well, I’d prefer a card over dice due to the # of Jacks… but I think they are middle of the pack which is fine and doesn’t contribute to power creep.

    Tsudochan – also very reasonable.. not flashy.. kind of want Push to be able to scatter the ball or knock it out of someone’s hands/tentacles/claws just to give them some “randomness” (think Tree Beasts Tongue but for Steals only?)… but overall middle of the pack, which is fine.

    Ada-Lorana – very good.. OP? I think just by # of dice and cards they are. They are faster, flashier, and going to be scoring more than Crystal & Tseudo but small teams with good speed are going to be like that. Upper tier but just need a point adjustment IMHO.

    Koris – too good. I think needs Portals to collapse with use or randomly. Needs to use Action to trigger Portal creation and probably point increase. Love the idea of the mechanics though but needs a lot of clarification for ball/ref interactions, LOS, can players be pushed through portals?

    Mechanites – too good.. Strikers are way too good, too inexpensive. Guard with surplus of Str 3+, Gotcha!, and Steady are too cheap. League balance is going to be hard to figure out as far as team structure, replacements, new builds. Overall I think cost increase is the way to go. Limiting cards, dice, coaches, etc might be thematic in theory but since we are talking one-off game balance, not really the issue (yet I still talked about Leagues.. sorry!)

    Kovossians – I think they are actually not nearly as OP as Mechanites. Much better limitations with combinations overall, still need some cost increases for some abilities, and Dirty Tricks on Strikers is way too good!!!! Just make it Taking a Dive instead… nobody is going to listen to a Kovossian Mutant with spittle flying out mouth anyway… League balance also will be an issue depending on how models can be replaced/recycled & cost accounted (there I go again, sorry!)

  15. skarfang says:

    Mechs- Far to good. In their current state there would be no reason to league play them as they can be made seasoned as is. Personally I would increase the cost of upgrades and/or base player cost, limiting the amount of super players within a team.

    Mutants- like mechs they are far to good currently. Increasing costs will limit the amount of abuse. Also change dirty player to taking a dive and increase its cost. Possibly make it a jack only skill, thus making players use jacks within their team.

    Ada Lorena- Top tier team with a lot of fluff portrayed well in the rules. I would consider changing their speed 3+ to 4+. As they are there is no need to go insubstantial as they dodge like mad. The 4+ change would make players utilise the skill more whilst I don’t think it would hamper their only real way of getting the ball from an opponent, stealing.

    Tsudochan- Perfect as they are. Clarification is all that is needed with regards to what can and cannot be pushed, ref, ball so on. Really like this team but be wary of the future with regards to changes you make to jacks.

    Crystallans- very much a thinkers smash team. I fear that speed 5+ will hamper them to much. Once down getting up will be a problem so maybe change their skill around. 1 harmonic= +1move. 2 harmonics= +1 to any speed test and +1 move and 3 harmonics= +1 to move, +1 speed tests and then +1 to strength tests. 2 harmonics will be easier to get and help offset that deficiency.

    Koris- as others have said unbalanced atm but with tweaks should be fine. Again though clarification of where a portal can and cannot open would help and if the ball interacts with it. By far the coolest team though on paper. I still need to have a game with this team.

  16. Pingback: Collated Opinions |

  17. mattadlard says:

    The Mechs is a difficult one, as one likes them as they appeal on the personal level mindset and adaptability, which makes one like the variability. One also appreciates they are powerful, very at times.
    What about if they only have a few abilities ‘a limited scope for what you get’ and options improve as they get better, new upgrades become available. Sort of Alpha, Beta, Delta grades of hard ware, or that offers more or takes up less space, etc. Would hate to see them change to much as they work really well and the changeable nature works well and is fun.

  18. wifstrand says:

    So, this probably isn’t the right thread but here goes my question anyway. Any idea about when we can use our gorgeous convicts and Kalyshi models outside DBX? I was hoping for a temporary set of beta rules just to tide us over 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s