DreadBall 2: Rules Update

“All right you miserable bar-stewards,” Jesus Ortiz barked at the hapless members of the DGB Rules Revision Committee, “I’m locking this door, and I don’t want to see any of your ugly mugs until we’ve got these rules nailed down harder than the furniture at a Zee convention!”

The members of the Committee shared a forlorn look as the heavy wooden doors of the conference room slammed shut behind the great man, the aroma of the cheap cigar he kept clenched between his expensive teeth at all times left behind him.

“Well,” said the Chairman, a pudgy man in his mid-thirties clearly out of his depth, “you heard the man. Let’s get cracking…”

Michele's Nearly-Final DreadBall Ultimate 2 Cover Art

Being given the task of working on the Galaxy’s Greatest Sport is a privilege and a responsibility, and one that every member of the Rules Committee takes seriously. Drawn from the DreadBall community, these are people who live and breathe DreadBall, who know every one of its quirks and are dedicated to making the Galaxy’s Greatest Game even better:

  • Pete Fullergreen
  • Tim Jackson
  • Arthur Monteath-Carr
  • Lee Montgomery
  • Jeffery Shortland
  • Rob Taylor

Joining us are the DreadBall Alpha Squad: Our lead playtesters who between them have played more DreadBall games than is probably healthy for a human to play, who have been invaluable with their feedback, support, and candor.

  • Geoff Burbidge
  • Leon Chapman
  • Tris Moran
  • Dale Robinson
  • Kris Vezner
  • Andrew Wodzianski

Here is a sneak peek at the changes and tweaks you can expect in DreadBall V. 2.0:

 

Change – but not for the sake of it

dreadball-the-futuristic-sports-game

A lot of DreadBall Veterans have been wondering how 2nd Edition will affect their collection and we’re happy to report that we are striving to make sure that every model remains viable and that your pitches are safe.

We’re obviously replacing the Season Books and the card deck is getting rewritten as well with more exciting events and actions, but other than that, nothing in your existing collection is invalidated. Sleep easy Vets.

 

Hanging in the balance

As the roster of different species and teams have grown, so has the gap in power level – and it’s time to rectify that.

We’re going to be reviewing and playtesting all the teams at the same time to balance them up against each other. We’ve already decided that Armour is now going to be variable – it would mean that the light armour the Kalyshi wear is reflected in their profile, and that Forge Fathers can have better armour than Brokkrs for example.

dreadball season 4 brokkrs vs midgard

Even this little change and the one to Jacks below will change the complexion of certain teams but the other thing we wanted your opinion on was the addition of another stat – one for Agility.

The proposal is that Dodging and Dashing are both Speed tests, but Agility would be used for a test where Speed doesn’t make sense, such as evading, jumping or even standing up. The addition of an extra stat can really help provide a point of difference between the teams and allow for some very interesting combinations. Adding Agility and opening up variable Armour would allow us to cull a large number of special rules, too.

Let us know what you think in the comments.

 

You Don’t Know Jack

Jacks: The workhorse of any DreadBall team. That said, a Jack is rarely the poster-child or the one who takes in the big exclusive sponsorship contracts. When was the last time you saw a Jack advertise the latest sneakers or PDAI software? Exactly.

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To make using Jacks more attractive and activation-token efficient, Jacks can now take a full Run action as part of a Slam, Steal or Throw action – unlocking the potential for bold new plays with these oft-overlooked generalists. Run Interference remains a one-step move before a Slam, however. This also unifies the movement rules, making for a more consistent play experience.

 

Finder’s Keepers

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Tired of giving a brain-damaged lump of muscle a DreadBall glove and hoping for the best? So are we! That’s why Keeper training is now an elective, rather than a random upgrade.

Also, when standing in a Strike Zone, Keepers now count as threatening any strike zone hex from that zone, in their front arc, for purposes of Throwing a Strike. This means your Guards can run up-field to crush skulls as God and Digby intended, secure in the knowledge that “Cuddles” McGee has the 3-point zone on lockdown.

 

Oh Captain My Captain

If, like us, you have an extensive collection of MVP models, it’s sometimes sad to see them gathering dust on the shelf, while your other figures enjoy the excitement of life on the pitch.

mvp-rilla-web

In addition to new rules governing MVP availability, select MVP models are going to be chosen to represent Team Captains. These players will be a permanent addition to your roster, and will qualify for advances.

Captains will either complement the team’s playstyle, or shore up an area where they are weaker. For example, the Trontek 29ers – whose most famous captain, Lucky Logan, lead them to three unbeaten seasons between 3009-3012 – have a reputation for having Captains that tend to be the jammiest blighters in the game, while the Greenmoon Smackers – seeking to fill the boots and fabulous moustache of their flamboyant first captain, Slippery Joe – tend to appoint nimble and agile Goblins with a knack for throwing Strikes to fill the role.

 

DGB in Non-Discrimination Lawsuit Shocker!

Following the landmark Investor Dispute Arbitration settlement of DGB vs Dyna-Gen last year, the Dreadball Governing Body has begrudgingly accepted that clones with variable junk DNA qualify as “similar, but legally distinct products” from their donors.

hazardsystemheroes-colour

This has led several enterprising players from the MVP circuit to commission their own clones, bound to work under contract until the cost of their creation has been paid off. Usually these clones work in different conferences, but on occasion scheduling conflicts or contractual oversights result in two clones of the same player being hired into the same league. These “mirror matches” have been dealt with in a number of ways, from simply issuing a palette-swapped kit to one of the players, or concocting elaborate storylines involving evil twins, goateed alternate dimensional doppelgangers, long-lost obscure relatives wearing eye-patches or more.

Some league sponsors insist on running “pure strain” leagues, and Digby hasn’t seen fit to revoke their licensing as yet, so traditionalists still have the option of watching what are presumably the genuine articles in action. If the change has upset some fans it hasn’t shown in the ratings; indeed, some sub-net forums have sprung up around debating which iteration of an MVP is the better player, although how they can tell the difference between them is anyone’s guess.

mvp-praetorian-colour-2-web

As for the clones themselves: Legally speaking, as a product rather than a person, their best hope for freedom from their indentured servitude is to play as many games as they can before their donor invents new penalty fees to keep them under control. The Clone Emancipation Movement is hopeful that a new Investor Dispute Arbitration case will lead to these contracts being dissolved, but if the rumours of key Council of Seven member’s holdings in Dyna-Gen are true, those hopes are probably futile.

What this means for you is:

  • Cheaper availability of MVPs
  • MVP exclusivity reduced – picky players must per force play for more than their preferred partners.
  • League sponsor’s choice: Either stick with the original bidding process with exclusive availability of MVPs in a pure-strain league, or open up your collection to the brave new world of the All Clones Allowed (ACA) Leagues.
  • Underdog system to be re-thought, focusing on giving teams a leg-up if they lag behind in development so they can both catch up to more experienced teams, and compete with higher ranked teams without relying exclusively on hired guns.

 

Dirty Deeds (Done At Rather Exorbitant Rates)

The various systems and sub-systems attached to Dreadball are being given a thorough going-over to ensure that they add value and interest to the game, rather than being extra book-keeping without much payoff or impact on the pitch. Cheerleaders, Coaching Staff, and Hacking will be updated and tweaked to make them engaging and rewarding to coaches, while systems such as Grafts & Fan Invasions are being stripped for the bits that work and those that don’t are being cut.

 

Foul Play

Officially, the DGB maintains that fouls are disgraceful misconduct. Kicking a player when they’re down, lurking around a team’s sub’s bench to bushwhack unsuspecting fresh players – these are all penalized for a reason, and dirty players should be treated with the same scorn that should be levelled at used hovercar salesmen and anti-capitalists.

DB3---Colour-on-Black

Unofficially, infosphere analytics and social media trends have proven that fans love a good controversy. Dirty plays mean online discussion, which means engaged audience members, which means more revenue, and if there is one thing that the Dreadball Governing Body is in favour of, it’s more revenue.

With this in mind, the AI and software that controls the Eye in the Sky and the fearless, intrepid RefBots is due for a tweak, lowering the chances of a player being removed from the game entirely, but increasing the chances of time on the sub’s bench. The Ref Check is being looked at to see if there is a way to even out the probability curve, to make Fouling a more enticing proposition, but still keeping the risk of losing key players.

Of course, every system has its weaknesses. But DreadBall coaches are one and all fine, upstanding citizens who wouldn’t dream of leaving, say, access codes and a decryption key for the Referee software along with a large bundle of unmarked credit chits in a plain brown envelope where any Reb-affiliated hacker could find it and use that information to, say, tweak the detection ratio or feed bad precedent-data to the hapless, hardworking AIs who keep DreadBall games above board and honest. Nope, not a chance, wouldn’t dream of it. Moving on…

 

DreadBall Ultimate

Finally, DreadBall Ultimate will be given a fresh breath of life, with a new pitch designed to eliminate ‘dead’ areas of the board and keep the focus on the action.

DreadBall-Season-3-Cover

Ultimate was a popular way to play the game, and made for an excellent capstone for a league or great way to spend time with your mates over beverages and pretzels. The most frequent complaints we heard from Ultimate players, though, were twofold:

  • At smaller player-counts large sections of the board never saw any play, and a ball could get lost in the weeds if launched in the ‘wrong’ direction.
  • Long wait times between your turns sometimes meant you spent more time shooting the breeze than shooting for Strikes.

The new DreadBall Ultimate pitch is designed to solve the first problem: Each team has a Strike Zone that they must defend in the usual way, and a Strike scored in a team’s Zone will ‘steal’ points from them as it does in standard DBU play.

However, there is a central, shared strike zone in the center of the pitch. A Strike scored in the center zone will earn you one point that is not taken from another team. The center hex also doubles as the Refbot hex.

ultimate2.5b

What this allows us to do is to shut down the sections of the board that are not in use. Instead, the ball will bounce off of a low-power force field erected at the border of the unused section, and any players that stray over this line (or are pushed out) will be committing an Out of Bounds foul, and potentially sent off. This means that the balls cannot wander off into the wilderness, keeping the action focused.

As for the second problem, the new DBU card deck will contain new ways for you to act in an opponent’s rush. This will mean you have to keep an eye out for opportunities and openings, and watch out for your opponent’s tricks and schemes while planning your own Rush.

We will, of course, include rules for using the existing pitches with the new cards and rules – after all, Gruba-Tek is going to want ROI on all those new Ultimate stadiums they built…


The DreadBall 2 Kickstarter is now live! What do you think of the rules changes? Tell us in the comments!

43 Comments

  1. I like the look of the proposed changes, especially full movement on Jacks, I think that’ll make them a far more useful player whilst still not being better than Guards for Slamming and Strikers for moving around and scoring.

    I think the Agility stat could be a great way to get further diversity amongst the teams, as long as it doesn’t mean that slow teams always have low agility too as then it’ll just be an extra stat with pretty much the same meaning.

    • With the addition of team captains I would love to see a generic captain builder, that would allow you to create your own captain based on your chosen team. Maybe something simple like a stat tweak system, or a selection of special rules or traits you could pick for them. I think it would be cool to see some characters painted up differently, even just a cool striker model painted with a different colour helmet. Maybe it could be a cheaper option than an MVP style character in a league.

  2. Shawn Grubaugh July 26, 2016 at 11:44 am

    Nice…Very Nice!!! Dang straight on the ROI!!!!!!

  3. MY NAME IS ON THE BLOG! I’m so excited for team captains, I can barely contain my pure-strain enthusiasm.

  4. I also agree on better Jacks and adding the Agility stat. It sounds interesting and gives room for diversity. Also, having Keepers feel more like “goalkeepers” adds a nice flavour.

    Have you guys considered any changes for the stat used to steal the ball? I always found strange that the Veer-Myn could steal the ball from another player much easier than taking it from the floor.

    • We agree – Steal should probably be a Skill test.

    • I agree this was always a strange one.
      Perhaps it can come under the new ‘agility’?
      Could be good for some of the slower teams to have a chance at stealing the ball

    • Steal with Skill and defend vs Steal with Agility, perhaps?

    • But it you move it to Skill then the rats and zees are going to suffer as they rely on stealing the ball to gain possession.

    • Timothy Roller July 26, 2016 at 3:20 pm

      They’re not going to suffer if they have a suitable Agility stat.

    • They will because they will not be able to get the ball because picking the ball up and stealing will be Skill test

  5. Excellent stuff! Super excited to see Geoff and Andrew on here, because that means I can help them test! (I think… Right?)

    I love the idea of Keepers, but I have a few questions:

    It says that Keepers, if standing in a Strike Hex (only?), they will Threaten the hexes in front of them. Don’t models already threaten those hexes?

    Does this mean that a Keeper can catch a thrown ball at a missed Strike attempt? In the current rules, I think a Striker can try, but only because of their bonus dice. Would a Keeper have a similar chance, and ONLY on a miss?

    If a Keeper is standing on a Strike Hex, and it functions similar to, say, a Striker doing the same thing, is it not really changing anything other than changing who is standing there?

    If the rules for a model standing on a Strike Hex are essentially the same, how does this really change Castling? My biggest pet peeve is that any Coach can stack up their 3 least useful players and completely block shots, and also forces the opposing coach to do the same in order to play competitively, thereby leaving only 3 models per side in play.

    I understand that this technique is INCREDIBLY necessary against very “Score Heavy” teams (Rebs, Judwan, etc…), but it also really cramps what I view the game actually playing as, relegating players to being walls rather than playing the game.

    IMO, this is one of the biggest issues with the game, and should have some sort of workaround to get a sort of “Pre-Strike” interception opportunity going, but still make “blocked” Strike Hexes targetable.

    Thanks for listening!

    • I think the idea is that a keeper standing in a strike zone counts as a threat from every hex in the strike zone that is also in front of them, not just the ones they are adjacent to. So if you stand them at the back they can defend the entire strike zone.

    • +1

      For me the reason why keepers are so stupid right now is they force you to attempt to pick the ball up and thus end your rush if active even if you actually cannot catch the ball. This makes them a liability especially when having the ball with them provides no benefit they can’t hand it off or pass it meaning unless you’ve got a group of very skilled 360 vision catchers in a bunch down field and lady luck is blowing your way, your going to lose control of the active play as soon as that balls released. This makes them worse than Guards at defending and far worse than a striker because your forced to test if you can.

      I fully agree they need some skills to make them work as a defensive specialist guard but please fix the issue that makes them unusable and that’s that they are a liability not that they aren’t performing a role unique of the position.

      What about Giants? I’m really hoping to see generic Giants that can be permanent members of the squad, if your putting captains in then Giants are fully workable and would make sense. I was hugely disappointed by the very limited fashion in which Giants were introduced into the first version of the game it felt so lacklustre for models which should form centre pieces of a well painted team line up.

      Finally what about initial rosters? I see your removing grafts which is fine because again there current introduction was underwhelming and very exploitable. I would very much like to see a open team list that you create from with your budget rather than fixed initial team costs and line ups. Choice is the spice of life and there’s a huge amount you could do in terms of post game material for long term and immediate games for on going leagues so I really hope these elements are implemented.

      While I appreciate this blog entry it doesn’t actually tell us really anything beyond what had already been inferred and says nothing at all about my biggest issue with dreadball (league play) nor does it provide any true insight into how these changes are being implemented which is what really matters. Without this information even in a limited fashion I won’t pledge, in the past you’ve been criticised heavily for editing errors which in truth I couldn’t personally give a crap about for the most part but what I cannot abide is half implemented ideas, utterly exploitable rules and dull half realised progression systems which is something Dreadball, Deadzone and Dungeon Saga have all equally suffered from, I can’t comment for Deadzone 2 because I’ve not played it, though it does seem to cover the ground Deadzone was supposed to so there is that.

  6. Very good update.

  7. Timothy Roller July 26, 2016 at 2:44 pm

    Very excellent stuff. I’m down for everything involved, including the agility stat. I’ve been moaning about unified armor since I started playing, so I’m glad to see that stat will adjust.

    A lot of these changes seem like they will make Martians (my preferred team) quite a bit better. I’m interested in seeing how they are ACKfected.

  8. Mike Zebrowski July 26, 2016 at 3:23 pm

    Variable Armour – I have no idea what this means, what is going to vary? An example would be handy.

    Jack upgrade – Considering how long this has been talked about, not much more can be said. An additional enhancement that I’d like to see is to include more Running Interference cards in the deck. Maybe making some of the cards duel-purpose, for example a card that is Strikes – Throw, Jacks – Running Interference.

    Keeper upgrade – An excellent idea. The only real issues that I see are teams, such as the Judwan and Tsudochan, than can move players will nerf the Keeper’s ability.

    Agility vs Speed – I like the idea of adding a new stat. I don’t know if I agree with the division of tests. I’d like to see it split along offensive/defensive lines. So Agility would be used for defensive rolls, such as Dodge, Evade, and Stand-Up. Speed can then be used for offensive rolls such as Dash, Steal, Jump, and Feint.

    Team Captains – Sounds like a good idea. Really depends on the final rules for advancement and team building.

    League play – Doesn’t sound like there has been any real movement on the new league system. Fairly disappointed in this as this is what is killing Dreadball at my store. I’m able to get players excited with normal demo games, but the league system was so lack-luster and frustrating, that over 75% only participate in a single league before dropping out.

    • Currently Armour is fixed. Strikers have an armour of 5+, Jacks and Guards an armour of 4+. What we are suggesting is that the armour stat will vary depending on the player position and what team they’re from – it’s nonsensical that a heavily armoured Forge Father Striker has the same armour value as a lightly armoured Kaylshi Striker for example. They might be slow but they’re tough, whilst the Kalyshi has to rely on it’s Speed and Agility to prevent it from being hit in the first place.

      League Play is a big thing for us and the team are taking a look at what we’ve done with Deadzone, which was well received (in fact Arthur worked on the DZ rules committee that suggested that campaign system to begin with) and what we’ve done with The Walking Dead. Leagues are a big thing and we’re working on it, we just don’t have anything to share at the moment.

    • Timothy Roller July 26, 2016 at 3:39 pm

      Everyone’s armor is the same per position across all teams. This would add some actual variability. So maybe dwarf guards go to 3+ instead of just getting an extra die. Currently the armor doesn’t make much sense. Everyone is a 4+ or 5+.

    • Mike Zebrowski July 26, 2016 at 4:10 pm

      Oh, that’s all? I was hoping for a variable number of dice based on wounds.

  9. Timothy Roller July 26, 2016 at 3:40 pm

    Sniped by Mantic! The ignominy!

  10. I really like suggested changes, but I’m not sold on adding a new stat. I always thought of “speed” as “agility”.”Movement” tells you how far you can go on the pitch, so it’s more like “speed”. I understand the need to differentiate 30 teams but I feel it’s being pushed.

    Normal Speed tests are: Dodge, Evade, Dash, Stand up and Steal.

    I don’t think we need to divide those tests among 2 different stats, though I like the idea of “Steal” being an skill test.

  11. Timothy Roller July 26, 2016 at 4:18 pm

    I initially felt the same way, but when I started thinking about all of the special rules…if one stat culls a bunch of those, I’m all for it.

  12. Mike Zebrowski July 26, 2016 at 4:22 pm

    Are there going to be non-league team building rules?

    • Yeah, I’d be interested in one-off games too, though I only seem to be able to play competitively.

      I think that there ARE currently rules for this, but it’s not highlighted well enough.

      That’s mostly why units have MC cost, so that you can build a team and add MVP’s and such.

      I think it’s in Season 1 book.

    • Mike Zebrowski July 26, 2016 at 5:23 pm

      “Team Building” is another lackluster area of the game. While there is a paragraph or two in Season 1, it is very boring. The rules in the tournament kit are a bit better, but not by much.

      I’m looking for something more than: Start with a base team and add a few extra options.

      Maybe something similar to DBX team building rules, but instead of matching sponsor keywords, the players need to match the teams keywords. Each team can also have a minimum required number of players to be valid. For example, a Corp Human team would be required to have at least 1 human guard, 2 human jacks, and 1 human striker to be valid. The rest of the mc can be spent in a manner similar to DBX.

    • I’d be happy if team building stays in DBX, to be honest. Fixed starter teams are much much easier to balance. Players can probably do some psudo-team building anyways, by playing the one-off game with advanced teams (120cp in the current system, for example).

  13. Mostly good stuff. I do want to address one point specifically that is always a good idea but rarely done right: Underdog Bonus. The concept has shifted over the years from a “Ensure people losing don’t fall out of competitive range” to “Let’s punish the better players so weaker players don’t have to actual figure out how to play”.

    Attrition needs to be a valid strategy in order for Bash teams to fully function. Taking that away takes them mostly out of the competition.

    • Mike Zebrowski July 26, 2016 at 10:44 pm

      The League system, including the Underdog Bonus, should function in such a way as to prevent players from getting frustrated and dropping out of the game.

      I have a game store and have been demoing Dreadball and running leagues at it. Roughly 75% of the players that I get into Dreadball drop-out after their first League. Their biggest complaints are: Player deaths and lack of advancement.

      Player Death is the single biggest complaint that I’ve had. The best example that I recall is a Judwan vs. Nameless match during the opening week of a league. The Judwan player lost roughly half of his team to the Nameless. When he realized that it would take multiple matches just to get back to a 100mc starting team, he pretty much lost interest in the league and later the game. The Nameless player also suffered as nobody wanted to play exhibition matches against him and risk losing their players as well.

      Lack of advancement was the second biggest complaint. Sure, it is nice to spend that Underdog Bonus cash on ’88, Buzzcut, or even a Giant; however, using the MVPs/Free Agents to win means that a coach’s players are not earning XP. Also, the XP system only rewards big plays. So if a team can not get 3+ wounds from a slam or goes for 1-2 point scores instead of 3-4 point scores, they’ll suffer in the XP race.

      The new League system needs to make players feel like they are constantly making progress and not locked into a death spiral. Players that don’t feel they have a chance often quit as they are no longer having fun. (This isn’t Dreadball specific, but is common to games that have long-term campaign systems. The bottom 2/3rds of the players often lose interest as soon as they realize that they can no longer win)

    • They’re not dropping out just because players get killed. It’s no better if you have no players getting killed. Gaining 3 ranks on your players after a match while killing 4 of the other teams players can often put the winner in a MUCH worse position. The loser has all sorts of options of what to do with his 60mc including rolling on FA tables where the average mc of the players received is 12+. Not to mention MVPs. Oh, and if the winner saved some cash to at least drive the cost of the OP MVPs, the loser just got that much more mc to bid anyway…….for free.

      The league system is broken from all angles.

      While 4 wounds should remove you from the game, you could roll after the game to see how bad the injury was. Maybe they just got knocked out but are fine to play next match. Maybe they need to miss a game or two. Or maybe their mangled beyond repair or even dead. Lots of stuff.

      Games done right are games where even though you got curb stomped in the match, you still feel like your team got stronger. This is why post game underdog can actually be the best thing going. The games that had these that “didn’t work” weren’t broken in this area (necromunda and mordhiem were both atrocious at actually calculating a factions true value and once gamers figured out the “freebies” they took advantage and that’s why weaker gangs couldn’t catch up…..they weren’t getting the proper bonus).

      The MOST important thing is to allow players to feel like they are improving their club after each match (or usually improving their club). So even if I lost 3 players, there are charts for me to roll on, assignments for me to give, and player advancements to be had. If I lose 5 games in a row, but after each lose my team evolves and progresses, I’m left with a feeling that I’m gonna get mine if I keep at it.

      Losing matches doesn’t kill campaigns. Stagnant or ever decling rosters does. It’s the thing Mantic has gotten mostly wrong out of anything else in both dreadball and deadzone, but much of that is gamer community ignorance of the core problems with most campaign systems that gives them terrible feedback as well.

    • I should clarify “should feel like your team got stronger” as “should feel like your team got something out of the match” whether it be the survivors ranked up, the club got an impressive payday, or whatever activities there are to do post match. DB matches don’t take long enough to not consider a 15 minute post match cool down to tell the story of what happened afterwards. That was my favorite part of necromunda, win or lose.

    • Another thing to consider is…what is ‘winning’ in a league setting? We all play to have fun, but is there only one winner? The player with the most league points at the end of a predetermined number of matches?

      To account for teams at all levels, I sprinkle several ‘winners’ about the league table. Sure there’s the overall champion, but we also recognize a ‘peoples champion’ – the player with the highest rank not on the winning team. We have an award for the player that ends up at the bottom. Etc. What you have are multiple goals the coaches can aim for.

    • Totally with you! I hate to bring up the elephant that is Blood bowl but that game is balanced where its supposed to be, inducements work, injuries work and development works, there’s tons of variation and the game has been tested and used in extreme environment of online play with leagues going on for years and teams playing hundreds of games yet it still holds up. Is it perfect no, but it is a very strong example of progression and league systems working as they should.

      Deaths and serious injuries are something I’m not sure your ever going to get perfect just make sure the roll to find out the actual injury itself isn’t one that can be altered. Going back to BB which in its 3rd edition which is what the current system is based on had injuries directly effected by kill skills and it was dumb utterly silly you could get odds as high as 70% of killing someone on a block. DB also does this currently in DB your abilities to cause damage directly influence what happens to the player you need to separate this mechanic, yeah its slower but not having damage skills is boring, yet having them have huge influence upon the actual injury is too much and I’m positive you won’t get that balanced in a single test it just wont work.

      I’m going to be interested to see how mutant and Robot teams are handled in the new rules because people that think nameless teams are good at dealing damage wouldn’t know they were born against the creations you can make via mutants or robot squads. Personally I’d not be against them being removed as teams and put into all teams as a limited number option as that would be interesting and remove a huge balancing issue. I guess you might be worried about negative feedback from those like me that have multiple squads of both but really with how multi part they are you could use most of those minis in a huge variety of alternative teams with various paint schemes so I doubt you’d find people struggling to utilise those minis.

      Anyway I said already its the League system and the post game mechanics I’m most concerned with, a new statistic and variable armour provide a ton of additional options if its enough I’m not 100% on, but it is a change for the better, as is fixing the broken player types which is a huge change and will be good for the game but for me they are the lesser part of the bigger issue and that’s what I’m more concerned by.

      1 year isn’t a long time to build a fixed system especially for a progressive league with so many teams to balance (I’m sorry Torkel but I really don’t agree with your position, fixed teams is a lazy work around for a poorly balanced system – limited player types per role is all that should be required to create balance and currently the fixed starting rosters is just dull IMO). I really hope your not trying to do it in too limited a time frame again. Finally I’m 100% agreed underdog systems are rarely done right but I’ve rarely found games where by players drop that dramatically because of a poor start, in my local gaming groups its purely down to gaming style as to why some players drop out of leagues, while others don’t. It tends to be the more narrative focused guys that struggle with league or progression systems where the focus of gameplay resides in the mechanics because this type of gamer is generally more of your RPG kind of player that can’t see the woods for the trees when looking at mechanics – I am generalising here to a large extent, but its these players that get too attached to there models and the same thing transfers over to online games as well, where people get too attached to there pixels rather than seeing player death as a chance to try a different build or to bring something new to the pitch they get caught up in the players story and history, there’s nothing wrong with narrative play and I love my story focus for game play but at the end of the day I can pick up a rule book and see the story the numbers and systems are telling before I place my guys on the pitch and that makes my approach to game play entirely different to someone who’s writing player bio’s and the history of there stadium.

      Thanks for reading: crimsonsun

    • Timothy Roller July 28, 2016 at 9:45 pm

      Ugh, I quit Bloodbowl because of the terrible balance and randomness issues. The leagues absolutely don’t work with teams with fragile players like goblins and ogres. I was always told “that’s the fun of an underdog team.” No, not really. It’s very possible to balance all the teams and have advancements that help the team overall. Have y’all considered possibly having players go off for training? Pay X amount, player comes back with some improvement or possibility of improvement? Only one player per game, can’t play in that game kind of stuff.

    • Tim – While I agree the fun of those underdog teams isn’t in the getting wiped out, if you don’t enjoy losing you shouldn’t play those teams really, I think you missed or where miss informed about those sides and there competitiveness because surviving with a Tier 3 side is doing well, however with tier 2 sides I’ve been able to get to the higher divisions and stay competitive with the best players in the world.

      Anyway on topic your idea is workable due to the squad size and sub bench style of play in DB, however I’d be adverse to overly long periods of training especially if there’s periods of absence required due to injuries. Also don’t make advances cost money from your winnings, I’m not against having to re-negotiate salaries in a league system after a specific amount of time but don’t make it a hard choice fiscally for taking an advancement as in the short term its punishing someone for essentially progressing and that sucks.

    • Timothy Roller July 28, 2016 at 10:03 pm

      That’s my point: “If you don’t enjoy losing, you shouldn’t play those teams” is just an excuse for a poorly written ruleset that doesn’t balance teams. I’m more talking about the advancement here; for instance, with Ogres, because most of their scoring is actually done by Snotlings, the Snotlings can get two or three skills that they absolutely do not need and they’ll be summarily wiped out anyway. Getting skills on Ogres rely on relatively high bar injuries. It’s possible, but not that easy. So it’s easy for an Ogre team to just not level up much as the Snotlings get wiped out and the Ogres stall. Conversely, you have Vampires, which will have a couple of amazing players with a huge flaw 16% of the time. It’s a little easier to balance out skills with them because the thralls are just middling, not terrible. Both are just fundamental issues with the balance of the game and leagues. Caveat: I only play the tabletop version, some changes may exist online. And this is just my opinion as a player, I’m certainly not an expert in either game. I’m just glad Dreadball seems to be dealing with its issues.

    • Hey man this isn’t the place for this discussion but put simply no the Bloodbowl rules weren’t poorly designed because those teams were balanced to be that bad, it was part of the design intent just because you don’t agree with that design decision doesn’t make the games progression poorly maintained. Also reference Vampires are sodding fantastic, one of the VERY BEST teams in the game that can completely compete at the highest levels of play in a progressive environment, however they demand a very specific type of coach and a very specific style of play but they do defence to a degree that no other side can even approach – possible argument for high tier nurgle sides maybe. Out of interest are you using the 6th edition of the rules?

      Anyway I don’t want to derail this any longer if you want to continue the conversation feel free to email me or drop me a message on the mantic forums and I’ll happily debate it as its a subject I know a hell of a lot about. :p

  14. Timothy Roller July 26, 2016 at 7:39 pm

    One other question: I saw the mutant team listed as being the plague team. Does that mean they’re no longer going to be customizable like they were previously?

  15. Mostly looking good – although I still dislike the whole hacking thing. It always gets ignored in our club, so it’s no big deal. I really like the look of the changes to Ultimate too – much needed.

  16. Hey,
    I think the new rules mentioned here look great and I’m really looking forward to this edition

    I do have one general comment about strategy. Trying to hurt teams is fun but rarely of much use. It would be great if this was a more viable strategy – not leaving an opposing team with no players (that’s no fun for them) but being able to target ‘types’ like Strikers or Guards and if it goes well it forces your opponent to alter their strategy.

    One reason why hurting tends t fail is because Strikers have no real weakness (they have less armor but its not enough). In particular you cannot hit them from a direction where they are weak. Hitting a guard in the rear hex forces them to Dodge (loss of a dice compared to when they Slam) and for many teams their big guys have poor dodge. In comparison hitting a Striker from behind makes no different: they still get the +1 dice for Dodging as a Striker and they get to use the stat that tends to be higher. Giving the Striker +1 Dodge ONLY when the block comes from their front hex would make them more fun to use (position them to score or to survive?) and more fun to play against as playing smart, or setting up right gives you a better chance of stopping the Striker. Then all player types have weaknesses.

  17. I don’t see the need for a new stat if all you’re looking to do is introduce variety. Using the existing 4 stats you already have 81 different possible statlines, and that’s before you bring in the possibility of different armour values or special abilities. It seems like an unnecessary complication for no real benefit.

    If you’re really set on an Agility stat just rename Speed, since that’s what it is really anyway.

  18. Won’t Jacks move full distance mean there this no need for the other player roles? I understand they won’t get the +1 dice but won’t half distance work okay?

    • I like the full move for jacks, consistency in the rules is elegant and it just makes sense. Starting team compositions will have to change for balance now but that is happening anyway. So happy with jacks having uses now.

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