Ok, ok, nearly time for the giant giveaway. But first…
7. Dreadball – The Galaxy’s Greatest Sport
BEST FOR: The gamer for whom you have no idea what to buy.
RRP: £40 (direct from Mantic with Collector’s Ed rulebook (limited offer!) – CLICK HERE)
I’ve talked about Dreadball a lot over the last couple of years. More than any other game, it’s the one I play with the kids, with my friends – it’s the fall-back, sure-fire fun for a rainy afternoon or beer’n’pretzels. Right now it’s an absolute bargain at £40 from Mantic at not only £20 off RRP and the full, expanded rulebook included for free (normally £20).
The set contains:
Double-Sided Gaming Board
2nd Edition Starter Rulebook
Quick Start Guide
12 Plastic Yndij Players – the Ninth Moon Tree Sharks
Plastic Yndij Captain – Na’Hautl
12 Plastic Neo-Bot Players – the Draconis All-Stars
Plastic Neo-Bot Captain – Romeo Blue
Plastic Rush Tracker and Trophy Score Tracker
Clear Plastic Hex Bases
54 DreadBall Game Cards
2 Team Cards
2 Captain Stat Cards
20 Captain Cards
11 Plastic Counters
18 Coloured Dice
I’m not a fan of sports games as a rule, but Dreadball has properly got its claws into me. It’s a fast, fun, accessible game, with some very clever mechanics, subtle strategy and a wide variety of choice to suit every play style. It’s a game I can play with my kids or my mates and have a satisfyingly crunchy time. A great, affordable buy whether you’re a novice, or looking for a beer (other non-alcoholic alternatives are available) and buddies game, or after a competitive, strategic, resource management challenge for the veteran.
The models are now preassembled, coloured plastic. They are crisp, with many fewer issues with mould lines that Mantic have been criticised for in the past. The teams have lots of fine detail that paints up well. The bases have indentations marking the threat zone (a great addition) and a peg hole that you can slot the new-style Dreadball into (meh). Mantic have brought their resin casting in-house, and the jump in the quality of that has improved noticeably; whilst the plastics aren’t produced in-house, there are clear signs that overhauling production has proven highly effective.
The Yndij are a great concept for a faction in any game: they don’t have special rules, they’re just better at… well pretty much everything. This is great game design, making them accessible for the novice and enticing for the experienced player alike. The Neo-Bots, meanwhile, introduce a simple but effective ability that allows you to chain actions when using a card, neatly introducing quite separate mechanics simultaneously and seamlessly. Whilst that may sound complex it’s actually very neat and intuitive; it’s telling that my 8 year old loves playing with HIS Neo-Bot team…
Talking of customising your team, full rules are included for designing teams of your own, including the option to buy in players on transfer from other races. The league play rules included, as well as dealing with the practicalities of running a league, also cover advancing your individual players and hiring MVPs (star players) for a one-off fee. The collector’s edition of the rulebook also includes the Ultimate variant (with its own arena on the reverse of the game board) allowing for up to 6 players and giant-fuelled mayhem. I always rather liked the giants in DB and it’s great to see them getting pride of place in multiplayer.
Currently, there are 2 expansions for the game available. The event deck (with the snazzy resin announcers – proof that moving resin production in-house leads to better product quality) add all sorts of unpredictable twists and turns to the game. It adds to the general hilarity, but also helps upset the best plans, in a good way: no amount of devious planning can anticipate a streaker darting in front of your star Striker. The league expansion set, meanwhile, gives you a variant set of rules (and cards) for open-air forest-world play. It’s excellent value for money, giving you blank cards for homebrew use, waterslide decal player numbers, a metal trophy and Yndij MVP, and a full whack of cheerleaders and coaching staff.
So, there we go, a full round up of Xmas goodies to chew over this year!
Now everybody really just comes here for the free stuff don’t they?
Let’s recap the Prize Pool, first of all:
– Harry Potter Miniature Adventure Game (Revised Edition) – REVIEWED HERE
– Transformers TCG Blaster Vs Soundwave 35th Anniversary SDCC Limited Edition – REVIEWED HERE
– Knight Models DC Universe Miniatures Game 2nd Edition Rulebook (Hardback) – REVIEWED HERE
– Maelstrom’s Edge Terrain Sprue #2 (set of 2) – REVIEWED HERE
That’s over £150 of geeky gaming goodies!
So to win yourself the huge pile of geeky gifts, comment below with which one you’d like to win most of all! And remember to Like, Share and Comment on the Facebook Post for an extra entry, and we’ll reveal the winner in a couple of weeks!