36 hours or so have passed since I got my mitts on the new "DreadBall" board game and I thought a few comments were in order.
What is DreadBall?
It's a game. A boardgame. A game using miniatures, a board, dice, cards and counters.
It's fun, fast and quite easy to pick up.
It's a sports game:
DreadBall is the most popular sport ever devised, and the revenues it generates are vast. Corporations fall over each other to sponsor new teams and ever more splendid new arenas, knowing that their investments will return many times over. Teams pay huge sums for new players, hiring exotic aliens and even former enemies to liven the spectacle and amuse the fans.
Oh, and it's not BloodBowl
. (See -->here
<-- for why.)
Yeah, pretty good. I've had only a couple of niggles, which isn't too bad.
Niggles first, I found the Veer-Myn models excruciatingly hard to get to glue together - most especially the arms on the oddly-posed crouched Strikers - but as all the other three teams (Humans, Orx & Goblins, Forgefathers) were a doddle, I can forgive it. I also found the absence of a statement of what constitutes a successful Pass action distracting... but I imagine it's simply a one success requirement. Finally, I wish my acrylic counters were actually in red and white, like the pic on the Mantic sales site, instead of all being see through acrylic which is hard to differentiate.
Niggles aside, the game is nicely made and well-presented. As a Kickstarter supporter, I have a few extras straight-away - like the acrylic counters, two extra teams and loads of Most Valuable Player (MVP) models. The board is sturdy and the models quite nicely sculpted (excepting those odd Veer-Myn Strikers with the low pose). The book is very clearly written and quite easy to follow.
How's It Play?
Well, I've had a quick solo run-through. I hope to persuade the Missus to play a game over the next day or two, but until I can run it with another human (like at the school club on Tuesday), a solo report will have to do. Sad, eh?
It plays well. Quick, clear and easy to learn.
I like the way the score fluctuates up and down between the players on a spectrum from 7 to zero to 7. I like the fact that many actions require opposed dice rolls which would (in a non-solo situation) involve both players all through each person's turn (called a "Rush"). I like the totally different feel of the game as a futuristic sporting event, not a clone or adaptation of an existing sport.
The card deck is a big plus. It adds lots to the game and covers a lot of mechanics with the flip of a card. Wanna move the Ref? Flip a card, read the top-left number for how many hexes. Making a Fan Check? Flip a card, read the bottom line for the Cheers. Need a random Player as a target? Flip a card, read the right-hand line of numbers to select the unfortunate sportsperson.
It's easy to memorise your team stats. It's easy to remember the basic rules. It seems quite well-balanced despite some seriously different teams.
There are MVPs, rules for leagues and all that jazz. I can see me running a league at school for the kids. They just need a team and a roster sheet. With teams retailing at £14.99 each (8 players), it's a snap to get them into the game... assuming they like it.
I am just itching to play a game, to be honest. A real game. You know, versus a human.
That'll be the proof of the pudding: can I get other players to try it?
Barriers are the mental assumptions people make, like "oh, it's just a BloodBowl clone, right?" Wrong!
DreadBall is a cool, unique game and I am itching to play it.
Labels: boardgame, review