Mantic Open Day, 30th November – Part 2, Dreadball Tournament

I blogged about Mantic‘s open day here. Now here are the games.

Dreadball tournament

Dreadball player squeeze

I’ll get my excuses in early. With exams and whatnot, it had been a while since I’d played. I also decided to take robots, which I’d never played before. Wise? Probably not, but it sounded like a laugh.

Since hearing about them, I’ve loved the idea of robots that can transform into any position; and once transformed into guards and jacks they play very like Corporation, only with better stats.

Their big drawback is a lack of bodies. The team starts with just six players and adding another would cost a whopping 14mc! They also all start as jacks. Transforming to guards and strikers costs an action, with no free move for doubling the skill check.

So I was expecting to start each game slightly on the back foot and, with just six players, be vulnerable to bash teams like Marauders.

Game 1 vs Marauders

First up was Matt and his Maruaders. Matt followed the tried and tested bashy Orx tactics, soon leaving me a few bots short of a team. Despite the barrage of slams coming my way, Matt always left enough actions to keep the scoreboard moving. This game really ebbed and flowed, with 3 and 4 pointers coming from both teams.

Result: 0-1 loss

Game 2 vs Marauders – again

Marauders again? This time with Pathfinder Chris in chanrge. Like every good Orx coach, Chris had brought his slamming trousers, knocking seven shades of robot lubricating oil out of me. This did leave a few gaps at the back and I managed a landslide – possibly aided by a few lucky rolls.

Result: 7-0 win

Game 3 vs Marauders – aaargh!

I was getting sick of the sight of greenskins by this point and I hope I didn’t moan about this too much to my third opponent, Adam. He’d taken a different tack than the morning’s players. The big revelation for this game was that with an offensive coach, goblins become good! So Adam played a much more score-orientated game, coupled with some great defence that I hope to emulate in future. Great game, Adam!

Result 0-3 loss but the most enjoyable game of the day for me.

Game 4 vs Nameless

Dreadball games

Me (near right) about to have my arse handed to me

I’d finally escaped the green tide! My last game was against Nick and his Nameless. I’d a vague idea how to take these fellas on, but oh my they’re tricky! A single sticky guard managed to tie up two of my guards for pretty much the whole game, while the rest of his team ran rings around me. I was proud of a run interference play late in the game, to prevent an early landslide, though that was only delaying it until the final rush. So I ended the day with a hammering, but a great game nonetheless.

Result: 0-7 loss

Result and Post-Tournament Ramble

I finished 20th out of 26 – a bit disappointing, but I had great fun and that’s what it’s about. So four more tournament games under my belt; and four more fantastic opponents. I learned a lot, especially from game 3. I enjoyed playing robots and will stick with them.

With hindsight going for the advancements was a bit of a waste. A couple of times I forgot things like stat increases or abilities. Probably nothing that would’ve changed the result but I think I’d have been wiser to have taken a couple more coaching dice.

Its worth reiterating the spirit the tournament was played in. I had fun in all the games, and I hope my opponents did, too. At the prizegiving Curis, the organiser, pointed out that every game finished on time and he wasn’t called in to a single rules argument. This is a testament to both the players and the rules of the game. Both in terms of the game and the community built around it, Mantic has played an absolute blinder!

I’ll definitely be back for the next one in May, though whether that’s for Dreadball or Deadzone I don’t know. It’d be hard to turn down the chance of another four games like I’ve just had.

Thanks very much Mantic – and see you next year!

(Photos by Mantic Games, used with permission)

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