The ship with the cargo container bursting at the seams with the new edition of Dreadball is making its way, and everyone is excited to see what is happening with their favorite teams from the greatest sport the Galactic Co-Prosperity Sphere has ever known.
As always, feel free to let me know where I have screwed up or missed something. (Yes Rob, Fragile has not been dropped (and I corrected my previous entry here) , it was just missed in the listing of abilities (it must have fallen off between pages 100 and 101 :-)) . I found it in the Asterian team listing, but the mechanites can also 'add' it.
Anyway, there are a couple of across the board changes that affect all teams to be aware of
First, the point value of players (and of teams) has gone up by a factor of 10. So now a 'standard' team is 1000mc instead of 100mc, and players like the Human Guard went from 10mc to 100mc. This allowed them to do a little rebalancing of the point values.
Secondly, a new attribute, Agility has been added. Agility is generally the old Speed value - Strikers get +1 for their Agility tests, while Speed is generally used for Dash now - and Jacks get the bonus +1 for any Speed tests. So I won't be giving full stats for anyone - for comparison I'll be looking at the old Speed value against the new Agility value.
Armor (again, with the UK spelling of Armour) values have also changed - so while Strikers generally have an armour value one point below Jacks and Guards, different teams may have base different values (so not all guards are the same (a good example are the Forge Fathers, who now have armour 3+ for Jacks and Guards, and 4+ for Strikers).
Finally, the costs of some of the extras have been updated as well
- Coaching Dice - 50mc
- Dreadball Cards - 75mc
- Coaching Assistants - 80mc
- Cheerleaders - 60mc
- Fans and hacks have been removed
As part of the original starter set, I have played these quite a bit in demos, and have suffered from the jack issues in 1st edition. Now that is fixed they should be more fun.
Many people have said that in later seasons this team was no longer competitive, but giving them a 4+ agility (so they have a decent chance to stand up when knocked down) and better armour should put them back in the game.
Season 2Season 2 introduced four new teams, that really began to change the meta with a team whose players could literally change their role during game play.
I painted these as my second team (after Nameless), but never liked them because in 1st edition Jacks simply sucked. I think they will be interesting to try now.
Season 3 was the last one funded by the original kickstarter. Where without kickstarter they would most likely have had 4 teams in metal, with it they instead 12 teams in premium plastic. Season 3 also introduced Dreadball Ultimate, the version for 3-6 players, as well as Giants!
This was discusses as one of the first 'broken' teams. I have played this team, and at times they do feel a bit overpowered (especially for the first three seasons). Knocking back the strikers does balance them a bit, though adding reach to the Undulan Guards seems even more powerful (at a huge cost however). Being able to use Gotcha and not be adjacent (so they can't put a threat back on you) seems to be pretty powerful, especially when combined with the Feromite Guard 3+ strength. Since I have one of these teams painted up, they will be some of the first for me to try.
While I don't play these (I don't care for the sculpts, and c'mon - they're elves!) I have played against them. At first it seems like this really weakens the team - however the key here is that the "Taking a Dive" action has changed - it no longer has the once per game per player, nor once per rush for the team. I can see a these dirty cheaters sending off three opposing players on the very first rush! I don't think they will be easy to play, but could be very tricky to stop with a good coach behind them.
Season 4The Dreadball Xtreme kickstarter also saw three more seasons - for 13 more teams. This is where the power creep really seemed to come in - I remember a league against the Unincorporated where they never lost a match (and most were landslides). Then the ability to customize your mutants led people to being able to really min/max their team. And if I have to admit it, the Tseudochan were also pretty strong with no range on their push ability.
What makes them much more unique now is they gained the team rule Anarchic Rebellion. This rule says you can only spend one action token on a given player, but can spend up to 3 cards per player. If at players of at least 3 different races were activated during a rush, the coach draws a card. If 5 different races (yes, meaning you have to get a transfer to do this) then the coach draws 2 cards. However the premium for adding a transfer player to the rebs is only 20mc instead of the normal 60mc.
I can see Unincorporated teams becoming a lot more interesting.
However Mantic no longer has the license from Tops to make Mars Attacks!, so they have not been included in the total of 29 teams for the game (though I can't help but want them to come back and make an even 30 teams (and not just because I've painted up so many (none of which I actually have)). (There are rumors that they may return as an unofficial PDF download, but I haven't gotten confirmation on this (much like using Mars Attacks! in Deadzone or Warpath).
Season 5Season 5 was the long awaited introduction of all the models from the Dreadball Xtreme game (and kickstarter) into the 'normal' Dreadball game. Convicts, Kalyshi and the new free agents were finally playable in regular games.
These would be a more fun team to play if the sculpts weren't so "soft". Since Kalyshi are Asterians, which are effectively space elves, I used the Army Painter Dip when painting them (as I did with all my elves / asterians). Well the faces were so shallow that the dip, instead of just shading them, filled them in completely so they lost any detail they had. I actually like the rest of the sculpt - but at some point I need to see about replacing all the heads (and NOT dipping them!).
Construction of your mechanites is slightly different. Each one now begins with a basic stat line of Move 4 and 5+ for all other stats. Then as you add components (role, locomotion, body, head, 2 arms) you can get upgrades to certain stats or abilities (no stat can get better then 3+).
You will have to get the book for the costs, but here are the various types of upgrades. Most of the role restrictions have been removed (Jacks and Guards must take one of 3 arm options (Hand/Claw, Launcher, Glove)). If I don't list a stat improvement or ability for an option, then it doesn't offer any (but is really cheap)
Role (each role gives all the role bonuses for it)
- Guard - +Armour
- Quad Wheels - +Move, Steady
- Mono Wheel - +Move, +Speed
- Quad Legs - + Agility, Stubborn
- Bird Legs - ++Move, +Agility
- Armoured Legs - +Armour
- Body A - + Strength
- Body B - +Speed
- Body C
- Body D - +Strength, Can't Feel a Thing
- Cranehead - Reach
- Quadeye - +Skill + Speed
- Radar - +Skill, +Agility, Fragile
- Slim - +Skill
- Wreaking Ball - +Strength
- Air Cannon - Shove
- Grab - Gotcha
- Hammer - Pile-Driver
- Ram - Ram
- Launcher* - +Skill
- Glove* - A Safe Pair of Hands
- Damage Control - Quick Recovery
- Tactics Upgrade - Extended Interference
- Situational Awareness - Alert
- Motion Focus - Boost
I have to say I really like the fact that the book has a picture of each part with the name of it so you can more easily build your Mechanites. The models do have the issue that not every arm can go on either side, so there are possibly some options that require a little more modelling work than others. A Jack with Armoured Legs, Body C, Tank Head, Hand/Claw & Glove would only be 60 pts (with Armour 4+, 5+ for everything else but A Safe Pair of Hands), while a Guard with Quad Wheels, Body D, CraneHead, Wrecking Ball, Grab, Damage Control and Situational Awareness would run a whopping 230! (But have Steady, ++Strength, +Armour, Can't Feel a Thing, Reach, Gotcha, Quick Recovery and Alert)
- Asterian - +Skill
- Grogan - Illegal
- Judwan - Feint
- Nameless - Toxic
- Z'zor - Alert
- Judwan - Reach
- Nameless - Gotcha
- Teraton - +Strength
- Z'zor - A Safe Pair of Hands (Jack or Striker), Keeper (Guard)
- Toughened Skin - +Armour
- Yndij - +Move
- Kraaw Wings - Jump
- Sphyr Tail - Strong Tail
- Veer-myn Tail - +Agility
- Accelerated Metabolish - +Speed
- Augmented Focus - +Skill
- Chemical Conditioning - +Linked
- Enhanced Muscle Density - Grizzled
- Enhanced Reflexes - +Agility
- Skeletal Reinforcement - Can't Feel a Thing
- Regeneration Ability - Quick Recovery
I've played against some min/maxed mutants - and it looks like I will be again. Personally for the Mutants I would have liked to see a limit for each mutation unique per team, not just combination. It feels too easy to take super cheap Jacks and maxed out Guards and Strikers. You couldn't do that with Mechanites because there aren't enough unique parts (some have to be repeated) - but since you only have to take a single Mutation it just feels too easy.
Season 6The final season had a mix of really powerful and meh teams - with one of the most catching points being that two teams came in translucent plastic which could have exciting modelling and painting possibilities.
While the probabilities make it harder, it is the range that provides more balance.
New TeamsOf course it wouldn't be a Dreadball release without new teams. The new edition adds five teams
- 2 Orc Guard
- Nameless Undulan Guard
- 2 Human Jack (Trontek 29ers)
- Human Jack (Void Sirens)
- Judwan Striker
- Kalyshi Striker
- Jetari GL14 Guard
- Pusk Rampager Guard
- Avarian Treebeat Jack
- Yxaal Bloodsucker Jack
- 2 Zee Buckaneer Jacks
- Jetari SL22 Striker
- Vlorox Spinpede Striker
- Yndij Reaver Striker
And there you have it - 29 Dreadball teams, revised or new.
At this point I don't know if I'll go over all the team captains and MVPs.
Because it is all fun and games . . .