Yeah Team!!! Go Sportsball! In 3D!

(While I don't really like leading off with the 'big reveal', the first picture in the post is the one that is shown on all the links)

Go sports!  Yeah!!  Or something like that.  I'm actually not a fan.  Though I am a fan of "Weird" Al Yankovic, and he did a great song about sports.

As such, I'm generally not a fan of sports games.  I do like Dreadball, though if I were not a Mantic Pathfinder (which is how I got my original copy of the game) I may have never played it.  I never played Blood Bowl, and even though several people have said I should get the brewers union in Guild Ball, I'm more meh on that (and the minis I have seen for them don't seem to have any beer with them - what's up with that?)

Several years ago, my buddy Jim gave me a spare copy of "Bowl Bound" that he had after we played half a season one Sunday at his house with the kids.  I have to admit it is still in the shrink wrap.  I have enjoyed playing Circus Maximus a few times (and once wanted to adapt the rules to make a fantasy chariot racing game for conventions, though it never happened).

So it surprised me a little when I saw this kickstarter and wanted it.  Zero Gravity is a "capture the flag" game - you try to get the most cheers from the crowd to win the 2130 Grand Final of the XXV Zero Gravity tournament.  It wasn't the miniatures that interested me though - it was the board.
The board is four inner sides of a cube - leaving the two sides out so the players can actually reach in and manipulate the magnetic miniatures to play the game.

There are not many actual 3 dimension games.  So many that seem to be are effectively played on a flat plain.  Even something like Fantasy Flights Star Wars miniature games, when it comes down to it, are flat.

There are two games before this that I'm aware of that actively use 3 dimensions.  One is a world war I dog-fighting game where the planes are all on collapsible poles (think old car radio antennas) - and as such are set at a given height.  The other is Deadzone, where the spaces are all cubes, and height matters (and you can have multiple miniatures at different levels in a stack of cubes with no problems).

Most games that claim to be 3 dimensional can actually be played flat - but this one can't.  The 3rd dimension is an integral part.

While you can fight a figure in an adjacent square in melee, there are two ranges as well - medium (6") and long (12").  These are checked using provided measuring sticks.

If you are shooting at a target on the same plain as you are, then other figures and terrain can provide cover.  However if you are shooting at something that is on the wall or above you, then there is no cover.  And distance is measured directly - so something that may be out of range if measured flat may easily be in range because of the bend in the walls.  (Classic example - if the target were 4" inches in front and 3"inches up - on a flat surface it would be 7" away - out of medium range).  But it is actually 5" away using 3 dimensions - and easily in range to be shot at.

checking line-of-sight, distance on flat surface

and in 3 dimensions
This game play mechanic really intrigues me, so I'm giving this one a shot.  The base pledge has four teams in it.  There are options (currently) for two more teams, as well as two alternate boards (with different rules for each) to keep the game even more interesting.

There are four base teams that come in the box.  Each team has (from left to right) a commander, 3 harriers and 10 troopers.  There are stretch goals to add a runner and sniper to each team (which can replace a harrier).

Irish Sharks

Milwaukee Eagles

Moscow Jackals

Tokyo Demons
There are also two more stretch goal teams, though these will be optional purchases.

In addition there are also beasts.  The core game comes with 30 beasts.  The default are minotaurs, but there stretch goals to replace some of these with 10 replicator and 10 minelayer beasts as kickstarter exclusives.

Additional stretch goals also include upgrading the crate, mine and flag tokens to full 3d magnetic miniatures.

District Games has started an interesting referral program with their kickstarter as well.  If you sign up, and someone pledges via your unique link to the project, they you can earn bonuses towards your pledge - from a free copy of the "techno-hive" arena to second full copy of the game to unique painted miniatures.  So (full disclosure) of course I signed up (I won't beg you to pledge through my link, because that would be degrading and beneath the high standards I set for this blog (oh pleasepleasepleasepleasepleasepleasepleaseplease) :-) :-) :-) ).

This ends just before noon EDT on Friday, October 6th.  It looks to be taking sport games into a whole new dimension; so give it a look.

Because it is all fun and games . . .