After a 'rebuilding' season


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
The players for all the standard starting teams remain the same, but many of the teams have changed the number of dice/cards/coaches (coaching assistants now)/cheerleaders they get.

Season 1

The first release had the initial base 4 teams.  As the later seasons were released, these were often thought to have been 'left behind' the power curve.  While they haven't increased much, the later teams have instead been toned down a bit.
The Trontek 29ers are the base human team, and as such are the ones to compare everything else to.  They are good at everything, but aren't great at anything.  They are still the easiest team to remember, as they are 4+ across the board (just like before), though their strikers are slightly reduced in points and they gain an addition card.
The Greenmoon smackers are the marauder team - marauders being genetically modified beings that the GCPS built for battle who later rebelled.  They still only have Guards and Jacks (though Jacks should be better in this version, so this is less of a drawback).  The guards are slightly cheaper, and they get an additional coaching die.

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.
The Midgard Delvers are the Forge Father team.  The fourth season walk-out of the Forge Fathers has finally been resolved, and they are back, just as strong and tougher than ever.  This is the first team to have a different value for Agility, getting 4+ while keeping the 5+ for speed.  In addition the guards lose steady, however armour for all of them goes gets better - going to 3+ for Jacks and Guards, and 4+ for Strikers.  Because of this, the cost for both Jack and Strikers goes up slightly as well.

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.
The Skittersneak Stealers are the Veer-myn team.  Great at moving but no so much at handling the ball.  The team only has Guards and Strikers still.  Guards were given a 4+ agility while Strikers got 3+ (the same as their speed).  Cost for guards went up slightly, while strikers went down.  Also, instead of a card they now get three coaching dice.  (Remember, in this edition all teams can buy ONE card even if they don't start with any.

Season 2

Season 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.
The Void Sirens were introduced as a female human team, although you can use male and female players on both of them.  Just like the other human team, they have straight average (4+) ability scores across the board.  Jacks now have the "Extended Interference" rule instead of the (now removed) old Running Interference.  Guards and Jacks costs both increased, while Strikers went down slightly.  They now get 1 card and 3 dice (instead of 0 and 4).

The Pelgar Mystics are the Judwan team, and as such are incapable of harming their opponents.  The entire team is composed of Strikers.  It is interesting to see they got an increase in Strength (as they don't use it), and were given average (4+) agility.  Their cost went down slightly, and while they keep the single card they had, they also gain a coaching die.  The biggest thing is they lost their special ability that gave them a longer range.  However in doing this, they can now score normal 4 point goals, that they couldn't before.  I think overall they got better.
The Chromium Charger were the original robot team (though they are now meta-bots, as there are two more robot teams in the game).  The Quick Change Artist ability is now Transform. They also went up slightly in points, but keep 1 card and 1 die.

The Locust City Chiefs are the Z'zor Team - giant bugs.  Stat wise, they all remain the same, with the Jacks being better ball handlers than the Strikers (4+ skill vs 5+ skill).  As such the cost for Strikers went down significantly, while the cost for Jacks went up almost as much.  Guard traded Steady for Threatening, and Jacks traded slide (which is now gone) for Boost.  They all keep "Can't Feel a Thing", 1 card and 1 coaching die.

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

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!
The Ukomo Avalanchers are the Teraton Team.  As everyone should know, Teraton's all have the ability to teleport, and they can use it to both avoid being slammed from behind as well as to get past opposing players.  Their stats all remain the same, though guards got a significant lowering of their cost.  In addition to Teleport, they also gained the Shell ability, so if they chose to dodge an slam from the rear (instead of using teleport) they get +1 to their armour check.  They also gain a single coaching assistant.
The Koeputki Kolossals are the Zee team - genetically engineered monkeys.  They have the worst stats in the game, but the old concept of throwing enough crap out there that something has to get through.  They got a 3+ agility and a 4+ speed, and also a slight discount.  They now get 2 cards and no coaching dice.  The monkey business rule has changed - so instead of rolling for coaching dice each turn, they get one per extra player on the field (before rolling for Sneak fouls).
The Kalimarin Ancients are the Nameless team (then how did they get the name "Kalimarin Ancients" if they are nameless?)  This team has two different types of guards that have been renamed.  The "Hard" guards are now Feromite Guards, and the "Sticky" Guards are Undulan Guards.  Feromite(Hard) guards had their speed increased to 4+, while they kept Agility (5+).  Their skill (used for keepers) also went down to 5+, and they lost Can't Feel a Thing.  Undulan Guards remain the same, though they gain Reach (along with Gotcha) and a huge point increase (50% - from 90 to 135).  Strikers got Agilility 5+ while keeping Speed 4+, and lost A Safe Pair of Hands.  As such they went down in cost almost as much as the Undulan Guards went up.  They also gained a coaching die.

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.
The Shan-meeg Starhawks are the Asterian team.  The Asterians are the masters of underhanded tactics on the verge of cheating.  The strength of their guards goes down to be the same as the other roles (5+), and Agility is only a 4+ (though Speed is 3+).  Skill goes to 4+ across the board (so Strikers lose a point there).  In addition the cost of both Guards and Strikers went up significantly.  They entire team gains Duck & Weave and all now have Fragile.  Strikers also gain Show Off (and Jacks still have Take a Dive").  Finally, they lose their coaching assistant (and still get no dice or cards).

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 4

The 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.
The Unicorporated are the Rebs team - comprised of four different races.  The Rin Guard pretty much stayed the same, going down slightly in cost.  The Gaelian Jack lost a point of Agility(5+) (though kept the highest speed in the game).  Their Charge! ability is gone (from the game), replaced with Ram and Shove.  Their cost went down slightly.  Sorak Jacks lost a point of speed (going to 4+), but kept A Safe Pair of Hands, with their cost going up a bit.  Finally the Ralarat Striker lost a point of Move (down to 5 from 6), lost Slippery Customer (again removed from the game) but kept Jump.  Their costs remained the same.  They did not gain any dice or cards (keeping 0 of both).

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.

The Nemion Oceanics are the Sphyr team - basically fishmen (In Space . . . as opposed to the Naids, which are fishmen in, well not in space).  This team is effectively the same as humans, having 4+ across the board for their abilities.  However they all gain Alert and keep Strong Tail (the renamed Tail ability).    Jacks went up in price, and Strikers went up even more.  They also lost the starting card they had.
The Rallion Roses are the Hobgoblin team, and were pretty strong with Stench and their Hulk (who was almost a giant).  The Hulk Guard kept Mighty and Steady, but exchanged Trail Blazer for Brush Aside (at the same cost).  The Hobgoblins (both Jacks and Strikers) exchanged Stench for Peer Pressure.  This new rule gives a player +1 bonus for Throw, Slam or Steal for every friendly hobgoblin threatening the hex they are in.  If the player fails however, his 'friends' knock him to the ground, and one of the threatening players can now make a free run, throw, slam or steal action as they try to show they are better than their fallen comrade.  They get 2 dice and 2 cheerleaders!
The Rotatek Rockslides are the Brokkr team - whose introduction in Season 4 caused the Forge Fathers to go on Strike.  The Brokkrs are similar to their Forge Father cousins (though don't let the Forge Fathers hear you say that) without the armor.  Their speed improved to (4+), and both Guards and Jacks added Grizzled (with all three roles keeping Steady).  Every role went up slightly in points, and they gained a coaching die (so they get 2) while they lost the card they started with.

The Red Planets were the martian team, based on the Mars Attacks! models.  These were fairly controversial when they first came out in the Mars Attacks! kickstarter as many coaches did not feel they fit the 'fluff' of the game.  However once they were included in Season 4 they became official.

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 5

Season 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.
The Long Rock Lifers are the Convict team.  All players added the Illegal ability, while the Guards lost Threatening.  The entire team lost a point of armor as well.  The only other stat change was the Jack lost a point of Skill (going to 5+).  Guards and Jacks went down quite a bit, while Strikers also got cheaper, but not as much. They now get an additional coaching assistant (so starting with 2) and add a card
The Bremlin Nebulas are the Kalyshi team - surprisingly compromised of all female models (though in Deadzone and Warpath there are male models).  Because they are so fast and light on their feet, they also lose a point of armor across the board.  Keeping an Agility of 3+, their Speed goes down to 4+.  Everyone gains the Acrobatic ability, but Jacks lose Shove.  Point wise Jacks go down slightly, while the Strikers go up by the same amount, and they don't gain any extras.

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!).

The Ro-Tek Brutes are the mechanite team - the second robot team to be introduced.   Instead of having a set of players with fixed attributes, you now could build your own players - with the restrictions that no two players could be identical.

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
  • Jack
  • Striker
Locomotion
  • Quad Wheels - +Move, Steady
  • Mono Wheel - +Move, +Speed
  • Quad Legs - + Agility, Stubborn
  • Bird Legs - ++Move, +Agility
  • Armoured Legs - +Armour
Chassis
  • Body A - + Strength
  • Body B - +Speed
  • Body C
  • Body D - +Strength, Can't Feel a Thing
Head
  • Cranehead - Reach
  • Quadeye - +Skill + Speed
  • Radar - +Skill, +Agility, Fragile
  • Slim - +Skill
  • Tank
Arms
  • Wreaking Ball - +Strength
  • Air Cannon - Shove
  • Grab - Gotcha
  • Hammer - Pile-Driver
  • Ram - Ram
  • Hand/Claw*
  • Launcher* - +Skill
  • Glove* - A Safe Pair of Hands
Additional Upgrade
  • 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)
The Kovoss Kryptics are the Mutant team - and like the mechanites you build them from components. Unlike the mechanites, the book does not identify all the model components for you.  Mutants are built like robots - however they only have to have one upgrade.  In addition, base Mutants start at 30 points.  Mutants also start out with Strength and Speed of 4+, with all other stats 5+ (where mechanites start with everything at 5+)

Head
  • Asterian - +Skill
  • Grogan - Illegal
  • Judwan - Feint
  • Nameless - Toxic
  • Z'zor - Alert
Arm(s)
  • Judwan - Reach
  • Nameless - Gotcha
  • Teraton - +Strength
  • Z'zor - A Safe Pair of Hands (Jack or Striker), Keeper (Guard)
Torso & Legs
  • Toughened Skin - +Armour
  • Yndij - +Move
Addition
  • Kraaw Wings - Jump
  • Sphyr Tail - Strong Tail
  • Veer-myn Tail - +Agility
Internal
  • 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
So the cheapest Mutant would be Jack with Z'Zor arms - only 45 points but he has Safe Pair of Hands.  On the other side, a Guard with Teraton Arms, Toughened Skin, Kraaw Wings, Enhanced Muscle Density and Skeletal Reinforcement comes in at 220 pts, but has +Strength, ++Armour, Jump, Grizzled & Can't Feel a Thing.

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 6

The 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.
The Glambek Ghosts are the Ada-Lroana Team - who can phase in and out of the pitch.  They all have Agility 4+ and kept Speed 3+.  They also all got Honorable as an additional ability.  Guards dropped in points slightly, Jacks increased slightly, and Strikers dropped a little more.  Not much change here.

The Sulentic Shards are the Crystallan Team - composed of crystals, Harmonics has been changed to give coaching dice instead of stat changes. Their armour also dropped to 3+.  Guards went up slightly, but the Jacks dropped by the same amount.
The Fran-Taar Philosophers are the Tsudochan Team.  They get an coaching die now, and other than that nothing changed except how their Push ability works.  It is now a Skill(123) test (-1 per threatening player (max -2)).  Success means they can move a player (either side) or the ball 1 space and change their facing to any direction.  Doubles allows for 2 hexes, failing ends the action.  However there is now a range limit of 7 hexes (for where it starts) - so there is no breaking a castle from your own castle.

While the probabilities make it harder, it is the range that provides more balance.

The Wu-Ling Wanderers are the Koris team - the portal spinners.  The stats for this team don't change, though the cost of Guards is reduced, the cost of Jacks goes up the same amout, and the cost of strikers drops even more.  The all lose the Spinner ability (which no longer exists), and Guards exchange Gotcha for Shove.  The confusion test you have to take for going through a portal now changes though - if you fail the test then the player is removed from the game (though in the case of leagues they are returned after the game).  Passing it means your opponent places where and what direction you are facing - you much double it to place it yourself.  So a bit riskier, but the potential from shoving opponents through the portal can make this team even stronger.

New Teams

Of course it wouldn't be a Dreadball release without new teams.  The new edition adds five teams
The Draconis All-Stars are the Neo-Bot team - the third robot team.  They basically have 4+ stats across the board, but all of them have the Linked ability.  When a coach plays a card on any player with this ability, any other player with this ability can take a FREE run BEFORE the card is resolved.  And they start with 1 card.
The Ninth Moon Tree Shards are a Yndij Team.  They have 4+ stats except for an Agility of 3+.  No other special abilities, which is good for a team in the new starter box.
The Matsudo Tectonics are the Matsudan Team, basically a bunch of huge, sumo lizards.   Like the Teratons, they have 3+ Strength, but also 3+ Skill (and Jacks have 4+ armor just like the Guards).  They all have the Grapple, Honourable and Steady rules as well, and get 1 card to start.  In addition, the standard starting team only has 7 players on it.
The New Eden Revenants are the Cyborg Team.  The Cyborg players all have the Quick Recovery and Won't Stay Down abilities.  In addition they may have abilities from whatever they were in their previous life.  The standard set is
  • 2 Orc Guard
  • Nameless Undulan Guard
  • 2 Human Jack (Trontek 29ers)
  • Human Jack (Void Sirens)
  • Judwan Striker
  • Kalyshi Striker
Cyborgs CANNOT hire transfered players, intead you revive your own cyborgs from other teams.  The player loses a point in Move and Agility, loses the Pacifist or Honourable abilities (if they have them) and gains the Quick Recovery and Won't Stay Down abilities.  Their point cost does not change, and you do not pay a premium for them either.  You can't take more of a player than they have in their own recommended team (so no, you can't get two cyborg Hulks).
The fifth new team doesn't actually have any new models - it is composed of the Free Agents from Dreadball Xtreme!  These are:
  • 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
I'm interested in giving this team a try - simply because I have them painted already (Dreadball Xtreme was one of the few games I actually painted up everything for, so also have Kalyish and Convict teams).

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 . . .