Down the final stretch

We've all been there.  We can see the finish line from where we are.  But there is still that final piece that must be completed.  The last project before the deadline.  The final 100 yards of the marathon.  The final hurdle to finishing the race.  We've given it all we've got.  The tank is on empty, we are running on fumes.  Just that final push.

For some this is the moment of triumph.  So many times in movies, the heroic underdogs you have been following for the past 80 minutes come through in the end, and if they don't win, they come so close as to earn the respect and admiration of their opponents.  They show true grit and come through.

But in the real world, things just don't quite go like that.  The underdogs usually lose.  The team from out of nowhere is eliminated in the first round and goes back to nowhere, no one remembering them.  Yes, once in a while the lovable loser finds a place in our hearts - but in general nobody remembers who came in second, let alone the guy at the back of the pack that barely qualified and was just a stepping stone for the new world record holder to defeat on their path to glory.

They say that a miss is as good as a mile, or that close only counts in Horseshoes and hand grenades.

Nearly everyone should have received their Dreadball 2 kickstarter pledge by now.  It looks like a great improvement to the most popular sport ever in the history of the GCPS.  Four new teams, a new refbot, and even miniatures for the score and rush trackers.  But there is one thing missing.

One of the final stretch goals just didn't get met.  This wasn't a funding goal, it was a backer goal.  If the kickstarter got 1750 backers, everyone at the Jack and up pledge level would get the new Elmer and Dobs card holder.  The official backer count was 1684.  We missed it by 86.  Nor did we add 86 new backers in the pledge manager.  The final stretch, and we missed it.

Now, this isn't something that is critical to the game.  However it is cool.  This is a sports game, and what are sports without the ubiquitous sportcasters.  A professional sportscaster describing the play by play action for the fans watching and listening that can't be there in person.  Plus the color commentator, the retired player who may have taken one to many hits to the head, adding such brilliant observations as "he really got a hold of the ball there", "His chances are about slim and none, and slim just left the building", or "look at that little zee run".

I was never a sports game fan.  I have a copy of Bowl Bound still in it's shrink wrap.  I've played Circus Maximus a couple of times sure, but never did a league or anything.  I've never touched Blood Bowl though.  So when I saw someone had sportcaster models - well I thought they would be cool for my rush and score trackers.  I did not know they were models for existing characters - Jim Johnson (the vampire) and Bob Bifford (the Ogre).  I also thought the goblin camera men were awesome.

In addition, I'm not sure a cardholder is needed.  It isn't like you end up with a huge hand of cards that is hard to manage.

So we didn't need this.  But I wanted it.  I still do.  And now it looks like we can get it.

If you just happen to be near Nottingham in the UK, Mantic is holding a Dreadball 2 Launch celebration on March 24th at their headquarters.  Lots of games, from demos to Learn to Play events, to an open play area where you can throw down your team to see how they do against other coaches.  Of course part of this is the Mantic shop, which, as always, will have several retail exclusives, such as the Event Deck (with Elmer & Dobbs).  Yes, we missed the goal (so have to pay for them), but we can get Elmer & Dobbs!

So what about us poor unfortunates who live an ocean away in the US?  Well that same weekend happens to be one of the biggest wargaming conventions in the country - Adepticon.  Of course Mantic will be there with bells on, and there is a possibility that they will be available there as well.

Oh yeah, this includes the event card deck.  Event cards are an optional feature, often used with leagues.  There are two types of cards - Trigger Event and Event cards.  The Trigger Event cards are shuffled into the regular dreadball card deck after the coaches have received their initial cards.  When one of these is subsequently drawn (for any reason), then the top card of the event deck is drawn and it's effects are carried out.  The trigger card is then discarded and the coach draws a replacement card.

Events can add a fun dynamic to the game - as you can never be quite prepared for them.  The Azure Forest campaign expansion adds weather event cards to the deck - so a rainstorm could start on the pitch at any time!

So whether Elmer & Dobbs hold your currently active event card, or your card hand, or do nothing but float on the sidelines looking cool as they broadcast the game to all corners of the GCPS, I know I want one.

Because it is all fun and games . . .