Monday, 3 December 2012

DreadBall at FlameBowl

As if six games of Blood Bowl weren't enough for the hardcore fantasy sports gaming crowd, attendees at FlameBowl MMXII were treated to demonstration games of Mantic's shiny new DreadBall. Tactically situated on a table neighbouring the FlameBowl lunch buffet, Blood Bowlers had a chance to compare and contrast this new kid on the block with their 26 year-old classic.

DreadBall at FlameBowl 

The grizzled 'Bowl veterans grasped some of the tactical subtleties straightaway - starting their rush with Slams and manoeuvrings and only getting to the important scoring business at the end. There were a couple of observations that kept cropping up...  

Passing the Ball - Passing in Blood Bowl is a rare sight. The chances of losing the ball and suffering a turnover are high, even with skills such as Pass and Accurate. Blood Bowl teams tend to cage and advance down the pitch in tired, predictable fashion. In contrast, there's a lot of passing in DreadBall and more of a feel it's a sports game.  

Pitch Size - DreadBall's pitch is much smaller than Blood Bowl's. This is in partly cos there're a lot less models on the field (six a side rather than eleven). However, the models control much less of the board in DreadBall - rather than exerting eight squares of tackle zone in the all the adjacent squares DreadBall models only project their influence forwards into the three front hexes.  This is refreshingly different.

DreadBall at FlameBowl  

Game Speed - Khemri were 0-4 down against Elves, still with turns on the counter. Would no-one put Schmee's Tomb Kings out of their misery while the game dragged on to its inevitable conclusion? In DreadBall, if a team are running away with the scoring then the game ends - keeping it fast and fun.  

Nice Smells - The alternative MDF pitch smells of lasers. This is a nasal treat - much like the smell of printing in a new book, or the air inside a boxed game. If the DreadBall boxes came with MDF pitches inside it would be an olfactory joy explosion.

DreadBall at FlameBowl 

Special thanks to Mantic for sponsoring FlameBowl, their prize support and free Goblin miniatures for every player.

Chris "Curis" Webb

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