DBX Beta

This page has links to the DBX Beta rules, plus articles including the FAQ and design notes.

DBX Beta rules


Design Notes

What’s the difference between DB and DBX?

Why 4 Team Action Tokens, not 5?

Why Strikers Can’t Slam

54 Responses to DBX Beta

  1. David Gannon says:

    DBX Beta Rules, Page 23, Example: You are repeating the mistake made in Season 1. There is NO difference in a ball traveling from B and a ball traveling from D. Nor is there a difference between balls traveling from either C or A. In all cases, the ball strikes a flat wall panel and bounces straight back. The only way a ball could bounce from B to C as shown in the diagram is if the scatter die were a D12 and an odd number were rolled. As this is never the case in Dreadball (or in Dreadball X), then this cannot happen.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      The key is to look at the number of “edge” sides on the hex that is adjacent to the wall. We have kept the hex edge to the board, but in reality the wall is not exactly this shape. The bounce diagrams models the real shape and so is correct.

      • David Gannon says:

        QW, balls cannot exit a hex side on an angle that is off like that, though. Look closely at the diagram, and tell me what is the difference between the ball leaving space B and the one leaving space D. Both travel along the NE direction, but where D bounces back, B takes an odd skip. Ditto the ball leaving C and the ball leaving A. What is the difference? When you look closely, you see there is absolutely no difference.

        If the wall is not hex-shaped, then how do we measure the angle when it is odd like that? i.e., what makes the B-C ball go straight down to C instead of going off at a more SE angle? This is introducing a potential mess to the game…

        • Quirkworthy says:

          The difference between B and D is the shape of wall that the edge of the board represents, as shown by the number of external hex edges in the last hex (2 for B and 3 for D). The “real world” shape of the wall varies by height, and what you see on the board is ground level. The ball, containing anti-gravitic engines as it does, seldom if ever strikes at this level, so we need to replicate the bounce from the height it impacts at.

          In game, you can ignore all that. Simply use the number of edge sides on the edge hex as your reference point for how the ball bounces and you’l be fine.

          A and D are the same. Both are included in response to questions asked during playtest.

          This isn’t introducing anything new. This diagram is copied from page 14 of the original rules.

        • David Gannon says:


          I apologize for my continuing questions on this, but I still cannot see why the ball traveling from B differs in any way from the ball traveling from D… Both leave their hexes in the NE direction, but the B ball heads slightly left as it does so. How is that possible in a game where the only way for a ball to hit the wall is for it to scatter? And if it is a scatter, it goes in 1 of 6 directions, each directly through a hex facing like D, not at an angle like B. (Yes, I know the ball can hit the wall in DBO on a Launch, but that’s a different issue.) As I said in my original comment, the only way for the ball to head off like that is if we rolled a d12 for the direction.

      • David Gannon says:

        Another question for your reply. If the wall is what causes the bounce (instead of the hex), how do we count spaces for a scatter, then? Is that one more space to get to the wall proper? Or only half a space and when it bounces back that makes up for the half and the total scatter is less by one because of it?

        On the whole this seems to be inviting disaster, but I must admit I have not had the opportunity to playtest the field the way you suggest. I’m playing some DB and DBX with friends in a few hours, though. I hope to see your thoughts when I get back.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          Sorry, I seem to have added more confusion. The board has no partial hexes and you have no need to count any. Any hex that does not border 6 other hexes is an edge hex. There are no partial hexes beyond that. That’s the edge of the playable board.

  2. David Gannon says:

    DBX Beta Rules, Page 24, on a Player catching a Scattered ball: The text reads,

    “A player can double the catch for a scattered ball, with the normal benefits even during the opponent’s Rush . If this happens then your opponent will resume his interrupted Rush once all your free action(s) have been resolved.”

    The way this is worded, it sounds this could happen: my opponent takes an action to move a player down the pitch to a spot where he could catch a thrown ball. Then he moves another guy to slam one of my guys away from threatening the ball that is on the ground. For his third action (he’s been spending action tokens so far), he moves a third player to get the ball, but he has to Dash to do so. He fails, and lands in the spot with the ball. According to DBX Beta, this does not end his rush. I catch the Scattering ball with a Striker and I double on the catch!

    This is where I am interrupting my opponent’s Rush.

    I choose to throw with my free action, so I run to a good position, and then throw to one of my players who is in position to score. He catches the ball, and doubles, enabling him to throw on the goal, and score! My free actions are resolved when the ball relaunches, and my opponent’s interrupted Rush resumes, according the rule quoted above. He now has only two action tokens left to spend. True, or false? I am hoping “False,” but the rule will need some clarification if it is false.

    If it is true, this is almost as bad as the rule about a player with no dice being forced to “try” to catch the ball.

    Please clarify, either way. Thank you!

  3. Blax says:

    Thats all true. Its the same in regular dreadball you can score in your opponent’s rush through a few means.

    Whats the problem with that??

    • David Gannon says:

      I moved this to the FAQ page, and after a lot of thought about it, there is no problem. Sorry for wasting your time, and thanks for the reply!

  4. I am liking extreme as it appears to be more violent, I have made the pitch, terrain and cards this weekend and hope to play this week. A couple of things:
    I love the dunk idea as I play with marauders in DB and can’t throw well with the goblins, (but I can slam well with the orcs). Please can this make it into DB2 or Season 4-6?, as it shouldn’t be too hard to defend against with the scoring zone difference.
    I have noted as different the ability to dash and slam with jacks, I like it, is this deliberately different, if so why?
    No stealing for strikers (or jackS), YES! Sick of the ball being robbed or popped loose from my goblins. (personal rant over).

  5. Blax says:

    Im afraid the stealing is still in. Just been missed out. Sorry.

  6. Zorblag says:

    On page 18, the rules say, “If the modifiers reduce the number of dice you can roll to zero or less then count this as no dice. You cannot make this roll without using Coaching Dice (see below).”

    Does this mean that you cannot attempt the action or that you cannot succeed at the action?

    For example, if a jack has sprinted into the threat zones of two opposing players can the attempt a throw a pass without coaching dice, knowing that it will get no successes and thus be an inaccurate pass?

    I know this same issue was raised in the DBO FAQ, but the beta rules here use the same language; it would be lovely to have it cleared before it becomes an issue in DBX as well.

  7. Finstar says:

    I downright love the DBX format – might even prefer it over DBO! One thing I would like to see: Keep the focus on one-off’s. The original focused a lot on leagues, which is not easy to pull of for many of us (gather enough opponents, time required besides real life, etc.) So if DBX would focus on being primarily a normal 2player game without a a bigger league needed to dig into the finer aspects of gameplay, then that would be awesome and make it more accessible (and fit the theme of illegal and shortly-organized matches much better.) Thanks for designing such a great game, regards, Finstar

    • David Gannon says:

      There is one significant downside to playing DBX as a one-off game: there is no long-term cost to blowing up your own guys if you’re playing Convicts. In League play, you have to pay to replace them, or watch your roster whittle down to nothing. There is a downside to doing it. But in a one-off game, who cares? Blow ’em up! As long as you have enough guys to kill/beat the other team, it’s fine! This gives that team an unfair advantage over their opponents. This is what my friends and I found after an afternoon of playtesting so far.

      • Quirkworthy says:

        Did you remember the limitation of cost? You have to pay a fine when you blow up someone’s convicts (after all they want them back later). This limits a convict team to blowing up 2 of them in a one-off game.

  8. Craig Johnson says:

    I know its a long way to happening but how do you plan for teams to play in tournaments

  9. pagangerbil says:

    When setting up a game, what are the ‘marked team zones’? The strike zones for that team (all close to traps) or the edge of the board for bringing on subs?

  10. Blax says:

    It idnt in the rules yet but Jake answered by saying for the moment you can setup along your own subs bench. Ie the hexrs you can enter the pitch.

  11. MajVictory says:

    For both the beta rules and the dreadball main I feel cards are not work the give up of a token. How can they be a more impactful part of the game? Not seeing the “nasty” cards may help this but I am looking for more of a consistent draw to impact. For example why not let players turn in cards for fan impact. As not all cards are effective for all team setups this would make some of the give for throwing away an action more valuable.

    • David Gannon says:

      It all depends on how your team plays and what’s going on in that rush. I play Judwan in my exhibition games, and most rushes, I have actions left over when I score. When I see that about to happen, I spend an action to buy a card (two, usually, as I already bought an extra card with my 20K). Granted, the Judwan cannot use a large number of the cards, but when someone has played an event that really hurts me, or really helps him, it’s nice to have a hand of cards that contains an event or two to stop that.

      Also, I’ve seen an Ork team use the “Run Interference” card with one of their Goblins to great effect!

      As for playing a card from your hand for the fan check or the ref check (and hey, why not for “random” player selection, that seems to me to be a way to take away the randomization of it, and I disagree with that use of the cards. Just my opinion, of course.

      • majvictory says:

        great feedback David. I see the card impact to be great but the rarity is so large I may see 1-2 cards played in a whole match. I may just try and play some rouds with all players starting with 2-3 cards and see how it changes the game flow. Your Judwan example is a key one as several teams have a lack of jacks that make most of the cards worthless, why not provide an option to turn those cards in for moving the ref or fan checks?

        • David Gannon says:

          The idea of playing a card out of your hand breaks the random factor of those elements of the game. For players who never value cards, they fall victim to those who can afford to give up an action per rush who can then move the ref just about anywhere they want every rush. Or never waste a single fan check point, *and* never get a null result on a fan check.

        • David Gannon says:

          Sorry; I just realized I avoided part of your question. A benefit I see when I play Judwan and have a hand full of cards, it makes my opponents change their strategy when they think I may be able to give one of my guys another action, or play the “Ball Shatters” event on their turn (presuming it’s not yet come up in the game).

  12. Murrell says:

    Posting this again to ensure it gets seen. Just a rough draft, but I think it can go somewhere.

    I feel dunks, while automatic if uncontested, should have an opposed roll if an opposing player has a threat hex on you.

    If a dunk is contested roll the following:

    3 dice skill or strength test (let you decide Jake, but honestly both make sense and picking which to use also makes sense) test

    +1 Dice if you’re a Jack (defensive specialists and more imposing players. In basketball, it’s often the big maulers who stop dunks and dunk through people)

    Threatening, Gotcha, and additional threat apply as normal

    Dunker win – Player Scores. Take a fan check.

    Dunker Doubles – Player Scores. Blocker is knocked back. Take a fan check

    Draw – Ball scatters. All normal scatter rules apply including ending the turn.

    Blocker wins – Ball scatters. Dunker is knocked back. Take a fan check.

    Blocker Doubles – ball scatters. Dunker is knocked down. Take a fan check.

    You could possible resolve doubles as if they were slams for the blocker.

  13. Jon Finn says:

    Initially, we’re thinking that the Convict Scum are a stronger team than the Alien Filth: the Asterians don’t seem to have an advantage anywhere and in particular have a weak slamming game. However, I expect they just have to be sneakier and take more risks with the traps in the early game. We’ll keep trying.
    Does Grizzled (-1 dice to opponent’s Slams) apply to Slams from Traps and other sources, or only those from players?
    Is there (going to be) any reason not to take your Fan Checks as soon as you get them?
    Will balls bouncing off Tall obstacles will always come straight back along the same path they went in on (example A) or do you have to take (tall) obstacles in adjacent hexes into account? What about adjacent players, should they be considered temporary walls for calculating bounces?
    Where’s the “appropriate team zone” for initially deploying players? Just the hexes adjacent to the sub zone?
    Please can we have blue, yellow and red dice in the box set? 🙂 (Home, Away and Coaching colours.)

    • Jon Finn says:

      Sorry, this was going to be playtest feedback but turned into FAQs, but in the wrong place and many already answered.
      I’d still like blue, yellow and red dice though.

      • theearthdragon says:

        A Farkel set does wonders. Players can grab dice that match their team colors!!

        But seriously, a Farkel set let’s you have enough dice of different colors to cover each player, coaching dice, defensive play dice, and Zee dice.

  14. Jon Finn says:

    Actual playtest feedback this time:

    “Nobbling” was the most popular Sponsor action. It was hard to remember that it only affected a player in their own Rush. Quite a few (Asterian) players were nobbled to death on their Recovery rolls.

    The Convict Guard was really strong, especially with Threatening. Their stomps were frequently against zero dice for dodges. Threatening felt like the Enforcers were getting a free Jack activation every time they slammed.

    The Jetari Drone Guard was good at being a punch-bag, but never seemed to deliver Slams when it was needed. It was almost always nobbled.

    The Asterians seemed to have no advantages over the Convicts. Opportunities to Backstab were few because of the risk of entering a hex next to a trap. The traps also limited their mobility. 5+ Strength meant even Backstab Slams relied on lucky roll-ups.

    With only four actions per Rush, the Convicts seemed to have enough specialists to get whatever they wanted done: two hitters and three scorers. The Asterians didn’t have enough hitting power or enough Dodge to be standing their next Rush to be clever, and 4+ Speed and 4+ Skill meant there wasn’t much clever there anyway. Their Jacks seemed like meat hanging from hooks, waiting to be fed to the Enforcers. Five dice at 3+ versus two dice at 4+ (or 5+!) got messy quickly. Four dice at 3+ versus zero dice at 4+ and armour 5+ was often an unappealable death sentence.

    While there might well be subtleties to playing the Asterians that we missed, it seems they’re a harsh choice for a starter team. I get the feeling that they’ll be a very unpopular choice. Maybe some tactical tips or favourable examples of play should be included in the rules for them.

    I don’t think we made any rules mistakes, but if we did it was forgetting when Threatening and Nobbled applied and when they didn’t.

  15. Because DBX uses a model to represent the strike hexes, do those models count as an obstacle if the dreadball or a player scatter into them?

  16. Josh says:

    First off, totally surprised not more comments after the preview of Blaine and The Warden from the KS update… 2ndly, sweet DBX KS update!!! 3rdly.. looking at the point costs (credits rather) for the various players… would it fair to say that Friendly Players are the base cost, Familiar Players are 1.5 x the base cost, and that Strangers to the Sponsor are something like 2 x the base cost + either 1, 2, or 3 points depending on if their total cost is in the single digits, 10s, or 20s? That is the best I can some up with describe the point costs variations from Blaine and the Warden but seems like a good system IMHO at this point… without playtesting it across all the models from DBO and DBX obviously!!!

  17. JHarp says:

    This makes me think of the points for MVPs. I was in a league that decided (before we really started) to let folks buy multiple MVPs, but then limit them to one-at-a-time on the pitch (per team). I didn’t like that rule, but the others pointed to their costs not being really representative of their power, and to a reply you made about how folks could limit MVPs if they didn’t work for their league. Sad thing is, my league-mates read that reply as if you were saying that the MVPs should be limited, period. Didn’t you guys playtest them, too?

    • Quirkworthy says:

      MVPs were tested and designed to work with the system given in the rules (which is completely different to the DBX one mentioned above). That means bidding for their services. Their costs are not on the same scale as normal players because you only get them for one game, not permanently, and also because they are the minimum your bidding starts at instead of being a fixed cost.

      If you don’t use the system explained in the book then the points are likely to be wrong. However, I can only playtest the rules I’ve got. If you want to make changes to the rules then you’ll need to re-point the models too 🙂

      MVPs do not need to be limited. However, you may decide that you want to because this brings the focus back onto the normal players you develop during the league rather than on pre-generated MVPs. I think the unique characters you create yourself and nurture through many games are more fun than the ones straight out of a book. Not everyone agrees though, which is why you need to talk to the other player in your league and decide for yourselves.

      Another interesting thing that limiting the MVPs available in the league as a whole does is change the balance. For example, if the only MVPs allowed in your league were Strikers, then they would end up scoring many of your Strikes and experience would be slower for other players. If you only allowed MVP Guards then the casualty rate would probably increase. And so on. Playing with the available pool of MVPs can give a fun s[pin to your league, and limiting them is more about that than their power-per-point. If you think that someone is getting too good a deal on the MVP then just bid against them!

  18. Wiccabloke says:


    I was just looking at the recent sneak peak of the sponsors and I noticed something. In the example teams there is a small grey box with the amount of cash left in it and another item simply labelled “extras”. There’s no reference to this anywhere that I can find, including the beta rules, but I’m fairly sure it refers to cards and dice.

    Can you confirm if this is right nor not? Here’s the link to the pic again for those who want to see it: http://Manticblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/CURIS-DBX41-551.jpg


  19. Wiccabloke says:

    I’m intrigued now. Any chance of a further explanation or will we have to wait till we get the rules through?

  20. Josh says:

    DBX preview through KS and Wargames Vault – looks great!!! only typo I saw was a misspelling of throwing but now I can’t find the page it was on… and then question about STEADY… it says the model is taken off the pitch to recover, but of course, that’s true in DBO, not in DBX? so if a STEADY model is injured do they then fall down? just stay in one hex injured and have to make recovery rolls till they recover or are injured & killed, or something else? Really looking forward to this game!!! – Josh

  21. Colin says:

    Having missed the Kickstarter, when the DBX products be available on the Mantic website?


    • Josh says:

      This is not official at all, but I’d image if Mantic is trying to get KS stuff mailed out in January, you could expect pre-orders about the same time… that’s what they did with Deadzone and Mars Attacks! so would expect the pattern to continue. – cheers

  22. jundle says:

    In Dreadball Xtreme, will we be able to have sponsers hire from “teams” other than the convicts and the kalyshi? If so, will that be info added to here or the mantic site, or will it be a new book?

    • jundle says:

      Also, will there be an option to do league play with multiplayer games (games with three or more players playing)?

    • Josh says:

      at this time, I believe Xtreme Xpansion will have all the rules for adding any model from any team through a variety of sponsors…. I was hoping we’d get mini-updates about using Season 4 teams in DBX prior, but doesn’t look that way yet…

  23. lord_blackfang says:

    So the Brokkrs, Hobgoblins, Sphyr and Rebs are shipping right now, along with a number of MVPs. It would be nice to get rules for them.

  24. alessandro says:

    please,Jake, can we have some beta rules for additional sponsor and DBO models (or 4 wave DBO/DBX models) in DBX? I find silly that Mantic has done and sent them to customers and we can’t use them……

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