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Bobby's Games

I will be posting monthly recaps of my gaming which I have been doing in GeekLists. I'll also be commenting on games on occasion, though I can tell you that I will be behind the curve because I just don't get to play the new games as soon as some people do.

Archive for DreadBall League

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Never going back?

Bobby Warren
United States
Glendale
Arizona
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I was recently contacted and asked to join a Valley-wide DreadBall league.

I declined, in large part because I am still cheesed at Mantic for their poor packing, piss poor customer service when dealing with missing things for Deadzone, and the out-and-out lies told on KS campaigns that were never addressed. (Has anyone ever seen differently-colored plastic factions for Deadzone as promised on the KS campaign page?)

Okay, so the rant is done. One small paragraph, so I must be getting better.

I began to think about other reasons why I didn't want to play, and the biggest is that the league system just doesn't work in the real world away from pub and game club meeting days that just focus on one game. In other words, like nothing I've ever experienced. The game is awesome. It's a quick, simple-to-learn game which feels like a fast and furious sports game is unfolding in front of the players. The first eight teams are fairly well balanced (we haven't played with any of the later ones) and there is little player down time because of the interaction during turns.

The rules for experience are decent, but the initial death rules were way too penalizing. Some of the experience combos feel like they can be hard to beat, but they still don't create auto-wins for their teams and there were some rules fixes for living or dying in one of the expansion books which were a little better.

The use of hired guns/MVPs/ringers/star players is where the league rules really starts to falter. In the published rules, everyone is supposed to get together, figure out who they are playing, then bid on the services of the MVPs for a single game. The reason it is done after figuring out the matches is that players with the weaker teams will get some virtual cash which they might be able to spend on the available MVPs or a random one-use player.

That means that everyone participating has to be together and ready to play at the same time. Forget real life with jobs, wives, girlfriends (maybe all three at once!) and/or kids. Playing the game is supposed to be the most important thing, which is completely unrealistic.

I suspect the leagues we've had might have done better if there were effective ways of handling the MVPs. It's possible that DreadBall Xtreme might address issue, but the game has died in my group and I can't see myself having the energy to expend on getting it played. Mike and I will likely play one-off games, but the chances of having another league is zilch.
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Thu Jul 24, 2014 3:15 am
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DreadBall league re-launch

Bobby Warren
United States
Glendale
Arizona
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Our first DreadBall league fizzled with three games to go. So this time I decided to play an open format so everyone could play anyone at any time.

Nico bowed out for this season and we added Rob, Eric, Max, Nick, and Charles. Our teams:

. . . .Team (Owner) Race
. Fruity Pebbles (Nick) Human
. Hive Mind (Bobby) Z'zor
. Infesters (Rob) Veer-myn
. Kablamo! (Ben) Marauder
. Kobalt Krushas (Eric) Marauder
. Lambastors (Michael) Forge Father
. Least Resistance (Alex) Judwan
. Max's Forge Fathers (Max) Forge Father
. Pandora Pink (Charles) Void Sirens
. Sippycups of the Damned (Mike) Human


Nine of the teams are painted and nine have been named which is terrific! Just an FYI, the un-named one is not the un-painted one.

We also have seven of the eight teams from the first two seasons represented. Only the Robots were not used. Both Mike and I have them but neither of us wanted to play them at this time. I want to wait until I have a few more figures, which should be soon. Three of the four season one teams are duplicated, showing that old and comfortable flies a little more than new and shiny with these guys.

Our first week was fun and we had three games played. This validated switching the league format because real life interfered with several people being able to make a get-together to play.

I've chatted with a couple of players about getting together to get in a game over the next couple of weeks, and possibly doing a mini gathering where four of use meet and play a couple of games.

Our bare-bones league web site is here: https://sites.google.com/site/gddreadball/

You can see our rules for the league there, if interested.
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Wed Sep 11, 2013 2:20 am
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DreadBall League Status

Bobby Warren
United States
Glendale
Arizona
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On our third try we finally had a DreadBall league day which had everyone playing two games.

. Game 3
. Lambastors 0
. Rollers 5
.
. KABLAMO!!! 0
. Massacring Mauraders 1
.
. R.O.U.S 0
. Korsk Hammers 4

. Game 4
. Rollers 0
. Massacring Mauraders 1
.
. Lambastors 0
. R.O.U.S 3
.
. Korsk Hammers 1
. KABLAMO!!! 0



The current standings:

. Team Pts. SD W-L Race
. =============================================
. Hammers 7 +5 3-1 Human
. Marauders 7 +0 3-1 Marauders
. Rollers 6 +5 2-2 Human
. R.O.U.S. 6 +0 2-2 Veer-myn
. KABLAMO!!! 5 -3 1-3 Marauders
. Lambastors 5 -7 1-3 Forge Fathers


Pts. are league points which are 2 for a normal win and 1 for a normal loss or draw. A landslide win (winning 7-0) is worth 3 points for the winner and the loser gets 0.

SD is the team's total strike differential and Ranks is the team value.


Issues
As we suspected, there is too big a penalty to teams which have players killed. The odds are they haven't earned enough cash to be able to replace the killed players and the bonuses they get in next game or two make filling out their roster difficult – impossible if they happen to loose more players in the mean time.

Nico has had the hardest time with deaths yet he has managed to pull together a respectable 2 – 2 record. He has won his two games by a combined eight points while giving up a total of two points in his two losses. In his latest loss, both of his strikers were killed by Mike's Orx in the first two turns.

I've been fortunate. I have only had one death so far and that was in the last game and was to one of my jacks. I was able to replace him with a guard, which I would rather have over the jack. I've also bought two extra coaching dice so far and only have 1 extra "dollar" left to spend if something happens in the next game. As the winner of three of the games, I have received a total of $18. Twelve was spent on the extra dice, $10 on the guard, with one left over. I did earn an extra $5 for selling off the body parts of the dead jack. Basically, after four games with an above-average W/L result I have earned enough cash to replace two dead players (after selling off their bodies) if I didn't improve my team at all. If one of the three players I have which gained a skill had been killed, I haven't earned enough cash to be able to guarantee that I would be able to pay to revive them. That is why death is too penalizing.

Yes, you get virtual cash for hiring MVPs and free agents, but anything these players contribute on the field does not improve your team in the long run, which leads to another complaint. There is no attachment to the players on your team because it is too easy to lose players during the game.

Experience?
Mike and I both have played Blood Bowl and I suspect our experience in that game have given us an advantage in developing strategies which have translated into our 3 win, 1 loss records.

I haven't played Nico, but Mike felt that he made a mistake when they played by putting his more vulnerable players up front at the beginning of the game and not protecting them, which is why he lost two strikers. It sounds like Nico's style and strategies might be best suited for the upcoming Judwan which may well be a team of nothing but strikers. The best news for Nico might be that he plays me twice in the next three games and I have yet to kill anyone.

The team which I fear the most in the long run is Alex's Veer-myn. Should they get a striker with a skill point increase, then they will be very dangerous, indeed.

Fixes
We've talked about making some changes to the league when we play a second season.

Right now I am leaning to having players die on a 50/50 roll at the end of the game instead of their death being automatic if they are knocked out of the game and all the players are in agreement that it would improve things. Of course, if there are changes in the league system in the second season rules we will have to see what those are before making changes.

We'll also likely not have a schedule in the second league. This is something I would like to keep, but consensus seems to be we should just have league days where we play for five or six hours and play as many people as we can. I'm willing to do this, I just prefer a more structured schedule.

Fun?
Yes, we're still having fun, though Nico might feel like he's personally been beaten up.
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Tue Mar 26, 2013 5:18 pm
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Games Played in February 2013

Bobby Warren
United States
Glendale
Arizona
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I played 19 games a total of 40 times and recorded playing four expansions a total of 10 times. I played 10, over half, of the games in January. Two of the games and one of the expansions were new to me.

Real life interfered with the DreadBall league again. This time an unexpected visit by a relative caused us to play only one game because one of the players had to leave before he could get in his second game.

Other than that, there isn't as much variety in what I have been playing. I am not that excited about anything really new and don't know which older games to bring out to try and get played/introduce to new players.

Without any fanfare what-so-ever, here is what i played in February.

<toot!>

Okay, a little fanfare...

Agricola
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: 6/10
My Rating: 8

It was nice playing this again even though I was the only one who seemed to have a real plan. I wanted to play it again soon after so I would be able to show my dominance with those who do have plans.

The second game was with five players, which is a lot. I was after Michael and Alex who were the wood hoarders so I focused on getting my fields plowed and planted early on. It was fun playing it again, but I need to bring my copy because it is better organized than Alex's. I am more AR than most of the people I game with, Mike is the exception.


Agricola: All Creatures Big and Small
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: 7/12
My Rating: 7

Expansions Played: More Buildings Big and Small for one of the games.

Good enough on its own and better with the expansion. I would pick it up if I ever thought I would play my copy, but since Mike owns it I can't see buying it at this point in time.


DC Comics Deck-Building Game
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: 1/13
My Rating: 7

Mike and I played a couple more games and I have now bought it and am looking for a way to get the Martian Manhunter promo. Anyone?


Descent: Journeys in the Dark (Second Edition)
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 11/12
My Rating: 7

This time Michael was the Overlord and we lost to his zombie hordes when they killed a Cardinal, or some such other person of power. The two parts of the quest took about two hours to play, but it felt like significantly more to those of us playing.


 
Diamant
Times Played: 3
Last Month Played: 1/13
My Rating: 9

It's becoming a filler of choice for the group and those with Incan Gold wish they had a copy of the original Schmidt Spiele edition.


Dreadball
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: 1/13
My Rating: 9

I played my first two games in the fixed-schedule league. My Korsk Hammers lost their first game against Mike's Massacring Marauders. I had several good chances to score against him, but failed every time. He managed a win on the last turn in regulation time. I was fortunate enough to keep his Orx on the ground for much of the game so I came out of the game with no casualties, but I also scored no experience points.

The second game was against Michael's Lambastors. Once again I survived against a team which specializes in pain by making the rolls I needed to make them. He took an early lead and I again missed a couple of other scoring chances, but managed to score near the end to take the lead and win the game. I gained two experience points and still don't have anyone with a skill roll yet.

Our standings after two games:
.
. Team (Race) Record LP SD
. Lambastors (Dwarf) 1-1 3 1
. R.O.U.S. (Rats) 1-1 3 1
. Rollers (Human) 1-1 3 1
. Korsk Hammers (Human) 1-1 3 0
. KABLAMO!!! (Orx) 1-1 3 -1
. Massacring Mauraders (Orx) 1-1 3 -2

. LP: League Points
. SD: Strike Differential


Let's hope the league gets really rolling with our day on March and we play two games each on that day.


Elder Sign
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 1/13
My Rating: 8

Nyarlathotep and the Mask Monsters played Arkham and and their tour was cut short out by Jenny, Dexter, and Carolyn.


Gauntlet of Fools
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 1/13
My Rating: 7

Fun game which actually did work quite well with six. There were a lot of boasts on the characters and it was awesome, even though I died quickly and with little cash.


Ghost Stories
Times Played: 4
Last Month Played: 6/09
My Rating: 5

Alex wanted to play and I wasn't completely against it. When I first played it in 2009 I thought it was okay and then the more I thought about it, the less I liked it. I still thought it was an okay game and played a second time without any dread. We did manage to win the second game.

We played two more games a week later, this time Mike joined us. We lost both games we played but we were treated to an episode of Ghosts Gone Wild!


Ginkgopolis
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 6

Nico "taught" this game. We took some time to get the rules right and didn't do too well doing that until maybe the end of the game, or maybe just after the game was over. I won, but it was a hollow victory because I think I may have been the only one who really heard how to win. We need to play again.


Hordes
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 1/13
My Rating: 8

Bloody Barnabas was apparently named that because of the pummeling he took at the hand of Vlad and his Demolition Corps of Gator smiting.

There is a tournament on Saturday which I plan on playing in if my painted warlock and solo character arrive in the mail between now and then.


Infinite City
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 8/11
My Rating: 8

I introduced this to a few people early in the month. It went over well, though not as well as it did when it first came out.


King of Tokyo
Times Played: 7
Last Month Played: 1/13
My Rating: 8

Expansions Played: Power Up! for all the plays.

Everyone has it and everyone seems to like it, so we play it all the time.


Le Havre: The Inland Port
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: New to me
My Rating: 6

Meh. I really like the Agricola two-player game over this.


Mystery Rummy 4: Al Capone and the Chicago Underworld
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 1/13
My Rating: 8

Mike beat me. B******!


Powerboats
Times Played: 2
Last Month Played: 1/13
My Rating: 7

I managed to take myself out of the first race and then didn't do enough to win the game the second and third races.

Michael ended up picking up a copy of this and Nico wants a copy just for the three-sided dice.

Quarriors
Times Played: 4
Last Month Played: 12/12
My Rating: 8

We played a couple of games with Alex's set which does not have the latest expansion included.


Thunderstone Advance: Towers of Ruin
Times Played: 1
Last Month Played: 11/12
My Rating: 8

Expansions Played: Caverns of Bane and Root of Corruption for the game.

Mike and I played this. It was a little slow because of the mix of cards, but it was still fun.


Würfel Bohnanza
Times Played: 3
Last Month Played: 1/13
My Rating: 8

More copies have made it into the pool of players. I also picked up a second copy because my dice are starting to wear out.
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Wed Feb 27, 2013 7:50 pm
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Games 2 and 3 coming up this weekend

Bobby Warren
United States
Glendale
Arizona
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We're approaching the second and third games of the DreadBall league.

Our scores for the first games:

. Rollers 2
. R.O.U.S. 0
.
. KABLAMO!!! 0
. Lambastors 2
.
. Massacring Mauraders 1
. Korsk Hammers 0


The current standings:

. Team Pts. SD Rank W-L Race
. ===================================================
. Lambastors 2 +2 110 1-0 Forge Fathers
. Rollers 2 +2 99 1-0 Human
. Marauders 2 +1 116 1-0 Marauders
. Hammers 1 -1 104 0-1 Human
. R.O.U.S. 1 -2 101 0-1 Veer-myn
. KABLAMO!!! 1 -2 94 0-1 Marauders


Pts. are league points which are 2 for a normal win and 1 for a normal loss or draw. A landslide win (winning 7-0) is worth 3 points for the winner and the loser gets 0.

SD is the team's total strike differential and Ranks is the team value.

We're using four star players with a proxy figure in place of Buzzcut. I suspect only one or two of them will be picked up because cash is so scarce.
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Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:02 pm
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Slow start

Bobby Warren
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Glendale
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Our DreadBall league started off with a fizzle.

The first day we were going to meet one of the guys was unavailable and one was going to leave in the middle of it and then come back, so we delayed it and I asked everyone to play their first game. Two of the four games were played and Mike and I wanted to finish our painting before playing. I got my painted figures in the mail and needed to number them.

Yesterday I got an e-mail saying two of the people were dropping out. Luckily, they were the other two who needed to play their first game. So we are back down to our original six. The schedule had to be redone and our team site needed to be updated, neither of which was too big an issue.

I also decided to switch back to playing a Human team instead of a Forge Fathers because we had two Marauders and two Forge Fathers out of six and I didn't want to have too many high-strength teams versus too few quick teams.

So I now need to finish Michael's Forge Fathers (mostly done) and my Human team (primed with helmets painted).

I hope Mike and I can play this week and then we will be mostly on schedule.
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Tue Jan 29, 2013 5:54 pm
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Some things to consider during league play

Bobby Warren
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Glendale
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The first games of our DreadBall league should be starting soon, though there was a snag in getting everyone together for a day. Here are a few things I will be thinking about during league play.

1. Would it be possible to continue teams beyond the season?

My initial thought is it could be done if the skills aren’t too big of an advantage. What I would consider doing is allowing teams that played in the previous season to keep a player or two which has gained some skills. Since they gain value, it would be easy to figure out how much a player is worth. However, we would need to keep some level of the basic team construction in place and not give too much of an edge to the experienced teams. To do that, the experienced teams would need to follow these rules:

a. They begin with the same starting roster as they would with that team.
b. They replace a starting player with an experienced player of the same position and adjusts the value of the player on the roster.
c. The starting value of the team would be no greater than 110 mc.

That means a team would have at most one player with two skill rolls or two players with one roll. It would also mean any starting team playing them the first game would have the 10 mc to bid on a star player or one roll on the free agent table which would give them an extra player to play against the experienced team.

2. Is the game too deadly?

We've seen some matches where six players on one team have died and others where both teams lose half, or more, of their squads. Is there some way to change the player being knocked out of the game from being dead all the time? Mike suggested a 50/50 roll. I could see doing that, or rolling some kind of check and needing successes.

3. How would you run a league without a schedule that allowed players to challenge each other at-will with limits?

One of the limits might be not being able play the same team twice in a row and the same player (if they have multiple teams) more than twice in a row.

How would MVPs be auctioned off? Weaker teams wouldn’t necessarily know what team they would be playing and would not be able to use the rating difference as money to spend on them.

4. MVP limitations.

The more I think about it, the more I am convinced that the MVP rules are inflexible and really only devised for one kind of league and only that kind of league. It is the one suggested in the book. The MVP costs do not work if you want to run an open league which lets players play whomever they can/want to play. It requires everyone to be available to play at a particular time and to know who they are playing before the auction of the MVPs.

How could the rules be modified to allow for a less-structured league? What would MVPs cost if they were purchased for a team for the entire season (for as long as they survive)?
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Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:17 pm
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First DreadBall league day set

Bobby Warren
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Glendale
Arizona
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We have set our first DreadBall day to meet and play the first two games for each player in our league.

Two new players joined the league so we are up to eight players. Because of the team choices of the two new people, I switched from playing the Humans to now playing the Forge Fathers. This will give us two of each race which is ideal for a first league as it will let us see how the different teams interact with the other races as well as with each other.

Each team will play each other team twice, meaning we will have a 14 game season. It is a little longer than I hoped it would be, but I felt that having everyone play each other twice would be best in a scheduled format.

MVPs
After a little discussion, the group agreed to start out with just four MVPs. We will be using the four who are not race-specific: Buzzcut (with a proxy mini), The Enforcer, John Doe, and Number 88.

Should it feel like there aren't enough of them available, we will revisit the limit during the season.

I could also see allowing Slippery Joe since John Doe will not play with the Marauders. I didn't bring it up with the group because my initial thought is that allowing them an MVP that only they can hire is more of an advantage for the Marauder teams than not being able to snag John Doe.

Progress
I've paid to have my Veer-myn painted, along with an Orx Guard and a Forge Father Guard which will be used as free agents. I also gave another Forge Father Guard to Ben to paint up since he is also painting his Menoth figures for Warmachine and I thought it would look cool if the little guy was painted in those colors.

Because I still have so much to finish before the league starts, I am also getting my Forge Father team painted by the same person who painted the Veer-myn and free agents. he can make the turn-around I need which leaves me free to finish Micheal's Forge Father team, the MVPs, the Human team (which will be used as free agents), a Forge Father Guard, and another Orx Guard or two.

One of each of the Humans and the Forge Father will be painted in unique colors since they are going to be used by anyone. The rest of the humans are going to be a toned down version of my original plan for the team when I was going to be playing them first.

The Orx may be the team colors I was going to use or could be something else. I haven't decided yet. I do know I am not going to be using red and black because those colors are just too stereotypical for them.

Number 88 is going to be really easy to paint as will The Enforcer. John Doe might be a little tougher, depending on how I want to paint his tentacles. It's gotta be a coloration I can live with since I really, really want to play the Nameless team when it comes out in the third wave.

I should also paint the referees. I primed them white and thought I might just ink the recesses between the armor plates and paint the eyes, but now I think I may paint them slightly differently.

My next update will be pictures of some of the painted minis from Ken (the paid painter) and myself, and maybe some of the other players in the league. Then we will have the reports of the first game day.
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Tue Jan 8, 2013 12:50 am
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Schedules, MVPs, and free agents

Bobby Warren
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Glendale
Arizona
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It now looks as if we'll have eight players in the league which means we'll play 14 games instead of 10 if I keep with the plan to play everyone twice.

The other option would be to go with two divisions and have the players in each division play each other twice and play the other division just once, with the league championship being the winner of each division. The question will then become how to divide the players into divisions.

I'm leaning towards playing everyone twice, though I will bring it up with the group and see what others prefer.

There is no way the league will expand beyond eight players. That is just too many for something which is as much experimental as it is meant to be fun. The amount of overhead and work involved would be much more than I am willing to put into the endeavor.


MVPs
After thinking about it, I decided to try and find a way to proxy Buzzcut, especially since there could be more players in the league. The simplest proxy looks to be the Mighty Zug which is a Blood Bowl MVP.

He's significantly bigger than most of the minis in the game, yet will fit on a 25 mm hex base. I've asked my FLGS if they can get one through the GW bits program.

For a base I will be using a DP9 Heavy Gear base. These are slotted hex bases which should fit right in the hexes on the DreadBall board.


Free agents
Free agents are players the league assigns to an underdog team which play as part of the team for that game, then move on.

After hiring MVPs, for each 10 mc (million credits) a team is valued under the team they are playing they make a roll on a table and get either a Human guard, Human jack, Human striker, Forge Father guard, Orx guard, or Veer-myn striker added to their team.

My initial plan was to have two of each position available for teams to use. I bought an extra Human team, which gave me three strikers and jacks and I have a metal jack. I also bought an extra Forge Father team (four guards) and I have a metal Orx guard I can add to the guards from the original team. Then I just need to cull three strikers from my Veer-myn figures and I will be set for the first season.

The Humans will get all kinds of varied paint jobs because they are going to be extras. The metal Orx will look different from the rest of the Orx, which will get a paint job I plan using when/if I play them in a league, as will the Forge Fathers and the Veer-myn.

I need to figure out what to do on the occasion that more than the available figures are needed. Do we just re-roll? Should the rolling player get to pick which figure replaces the one which is unavailable?

This will have to be decided before actually playing.

Progress
I have three of my four teams built and primed.

I did not build my Veer-myn because I can't see using them until I am ready to paint them because they did not want to stand up on the tiny bases they come on. I will need to attach them to the clear bases and since I want to keep the bases clear, this means they need to be painted first.

I'll have to get some of them assembled before we start playing so I have the free agents available for the second game, which will be on the first Saturday we play.

I bought some blue tack to secure the primed minis to the clear bases for playing this week. I won't have time to finish painting them before the weekend and I would like to play a game or two if I can, especially using my acrylic board.
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Thu Dec 27, 2012 1:55 am
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DreadBall League: The Rules

Bobby Warren
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Glendale
Arizona
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DreadBall arrived last week. Well, half of my Cheerleader pledge arrived and I hope the other half will be here soon.

I am going to be running a small league with five of my friends. Four of them are getting the teams from the second copy of the game and the other has also Kickstarted the game.

I am going to be deviating from the suggested way of running the league in that I will be having a schedule instead of the more free-form method of challenges. The schedule will allow each of us to play all the other players twice, which should give us a feel for the teams and the league system.

Here are the rules I plan on using for league.

General rules
We will be using the rules from the DreadBall rulebook except where noted

Schedule
The plan is to play one day a month with each of us playing two games each day. We could end up playing more often or more games during a day if everyone is available.

MVPs
I will hold an auction for each MVP via e-mail beginning the Tuesday before each planned game day. This is to speed up the initial game on game days. If this doesn't work out, we will have them the day of the games. Between games we will have another auction for the MVPs.

I will have the MVPs available for those players who do not have them.

Buzzcut is not available in the first season and we will not be using Wildcard from the second set of releases.

Standings
Standings will be determined on a point system as mentioned in the rules. Points are earned as follows:

• If the match ends with a 7 point landslide: Winner: 3 points / Loser: 0 points
• Any other game: Winner: 2 points / Loser: 1 point
• Draw: 1 point each

If there is a tie in the standings, we'll use the following tiebreakers in the following order:
• Head to head record
• Total goal differential

Championship
After the last game of the season, we will have a championship game. The two teams with the most game points (kind of like hockey) will play each other. The first place team will get to decide if they want to be the home or visiting team for the game.

Player responsibilities
1. Record the score of each game and get them to me.
2. Let me know which players on your team have earned how many experience each game.
3. Send me a current roster/roster changes within a week after the game day.
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Mon Dec 24, 2012 3:50 am
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