DreadBall: Ghosts in the Grid

Later in the month, I’ve got some out of town guests coming over…old buddies I used to game with. Since most of us are interested in Dreadball, I figured that organizing a single day season would be a lot of fun. Never content to leave well enough alone, I also decided to put a little spin on it and created a brief narrative for the season.

Looking for an angle, I happened upon the Gemini models. Not my favorite figs but reading their fluff I found a spark. I’ve retooled their background for this purpose and you can read my bad fiction and poor rules writing in the packet below. I had hoped to have Melody (striker) and Harmony (guard) to have their ‘skin/flesh’ parts appear more holographic, but I don’t have that level of talent. In frustration, I ended up just going with a gloss over those areas and now they look wet. Oh well, I think the idea will be there come game time.

A Pit Visitor’s Guide to Ghosts in the Grid

The last couple of pages are my standard League rules, but it’s the first few with this mini-season’s specific notes. Some coaches have already asked a few questions, so clearly I need to rework the rules a bit. Initial questions are following. Hopefully, I can debug any others before the end of the month.

Q: What happens if the shocked player is holding the ball?  Does melody/harmony cause a turnover or do they get control of the ball?

A: No turnover. Melody can make a pickup roll or the ball scatters. This event happens at the beginning of a turn, so the order is: randomly decide playeR, place them in sin bin 2, place correct Gemini model in their space, if DB player had the ball, roll to retain ball (if Melody), if not scatter ball, then player begins turn…to include moving the Gemini model.

 

Q: Is the player physically going to the sin bin, or is Gemini taking over the suit of the player while the player is unconscious?

A: The player physically goes into the sin bin. After 2 turns you can run them back out as normal. The thought is, I want coaches to have the option to slam Gemini on their own team. However, if it’s a player’s physical body Gemini is controlling coaches may be reluctant to injure their own player.

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Dreadball: Bad Call

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A few months ago, before I ran my first Dreadball league, I asked around for extra event decks. A gentleman reached out to me that he had several, and a few other DB bits I may be interested in. He tossed in extra bases, male Corp minis, dice, etc. Most importantly, he had two models he claimed were test figures for a never released MVP for the Dreadball Xtreme Kickstarter campaign…Bad Call.

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I wasn’t into the DB scene at that time, so had no idea what he was talking about, but sure, I took the extra ref figs. Come to find out he was a former Mantic employee who had these unreleased prototypes. It appears her stretch goal was never met and Mantic found the sculpt to be lacking. I did have to green stuff the ankles as they were so thin her legs snapped off her feet.

I have a ton of minis to paint (don’t we all), and painting ref models is low on the list. Fortunately, I dig how Dreadball has a future-retro 80’s vibe, so with that…why not paint these ladies as homages to Hajime Sorayama? Straight up silver all the way? Easy.

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Now, I’m not sure why ref robots models need mammaries, but it is what it is.

I wasn’t sure what to do with her card, so went with the classic green, yellow, red. I figure it’s vague enough to mean any number of things. Is she sending a player off to the Sin Bin for two turns? Is she signalling to a jack?

Perhaps one day the popularity of Dreadball will explode and this unreleased fig will be worth as much as the famed Warhammer Nuln Spearman. Himself never released, but a scant few in existence…recently selling for over $1,500!

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DreadBall Team: Glamrokk Systems Dynamo

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Finished up another DreadBall team this weekend, the Brokkr, and the first that I topped off with the upcoming team captain player in mind. Seems that in next year’s DreadBall release a lot of what where MVP characters will have their minis moved to a team captain role which will provide some coaching benefits while on the pitch.

Anyway, when coming up with the color scheme for this team I looked to Italian glam rock band Giuda’s 2013 release “Let’s Do It Again”. Besides being an incredible album, the cover and interior are done up as if the band were a 70’s RollerBall team.

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Initially, I was going to go with the darker main color, almost black, but with the black bases in DreadBall, I decided on something a bit lighter to provide contrast. I may have gone a step too light, hoping the shading process would darken it up a bit more, but with a large pile of unpainted minis yet to knock out, I decided this was good enough. I went with the solid uniforms, but yellow trim on the shoulders/sleeves, but the main bit of inspiration I got from the cover is the grease or ‘eye black’ under the eyes. Not sure why I’ve never applied that to any of my Blood Bowl or Dreadball teams yet, but it makes perfect sense. Particularly with the neon lights, shine, and glare of a DreadBall pitch.

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For the name I leaned on the Rollerball motif some more. James Caan’s team is from Houston in the flick and my MLS team is the Houston Dynamo, so there ya go. Glamrokk as a nod to Giuda’s music, while sounding like a viable sci-fi locale or entity, but two k’s because, well….Brokkr. Finally, continuing the idea of each team having a corporate sponsor and I introduce the Glamrokk Systems Dynamo.

MVP – Nightshade

“Nightshade, amazing play in the three-point zone, but Skreeg claims his boots were stuck to the grid. Any comment?”

“…”

BIO: Not much is known about the one who calls himself ‘Nightshade’. When he originally appeared around the PDL he was not thought of as the most spectacular of players. His play was often critiqued by commentator Chas Esperon, but Nightshade maintained his customary silence on the matter. It wasn’t until after Chas’ disappearance that the perception on his game began to be described as ‘inspired’ or at least ‘highly talented’.

No link has ever been made between Nightshade and any illegal activity. The main concerns are the number of strange coincidences that happen around him during games. Lighting will fail at crucial moments, allowing him to avoid opponents or appear in strike zones unmolested, flooring will become unstable at the most inopportune moments for his opponents, and strike targets have been known to fail to appear when opponents are about to score.

If a coach wonders aloud whether he just might be guilty of any wrongdoing remember this one thing: even if Nightshade refuses to comment…the facility is small…he probably knows where you bunk…

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This model clearly looks like a good candidate for a Batman style treatment, but I never was much of a DC fan. However, I was into a sorta ‘not-Batman’ character from Marvel…Night Thrasher. Well, I was into the first run of the New Warriors through Nova, and Night Thrasher was the leader.

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I understand he’s dead now, but I used his colors and get-up as an inspiration for painting this Nightshade model. I added a little more red and light grey though just to give the fig more color…a solid dark grey fig wouldn’t do.

This model took longer than it look because the detail on the face is incredibly small. I had to do the eyes over and over and over. Eventually, I just settled on “oh,well…guess he’s got white contacts” which is fine because his image in the season two book looks to have no pupils as well.

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Though looking at the model now, I should have painted some checks on him because he’s clearly skanking…

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MVP – The Enforcer

“Enforcer, excuse me, Enforcer. Any special message for all the fans?”

“Stay out of trouble”

BIO: Many ex-Dreadball players have joined the elite Corporation unit known as the Enforces, but as far as anyone knows this MVP is the only individual to make the change the other way. Some say the Enforcer is an AWOL member hiding in the outer sphere. Others claim he was sent to keep an eye on the sector. It’s also been reported that he is, in fact, a former Dreadball player coming back to the game. It’s hard to be certain, as the story around him keeps changing. But what is certain is that this individual does seem to own an almost entire suit of Enforcer battle armor – a rare and expensive piece of kit. It even retains the integral jump pack, which allows the Enforcer to be even faster and more agile than he doubtless is naturally. However he came to be, on the game grid he has limitless opportunity to express himself through the medium of violence; a prodigious talent he is happy to employ for anyone who can find his fee.

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My painting has stalled a bit when it came to doing up the six MVPs for the league, but I decided to jump back into it and the Enforcer model seemed the easiest way to do it. I was right. The above individual was done with only three colors and took about 20mins. If I were to paint a Deadzone Enforcer faction similarly, I could probably do a whole group in about an hour. Basically, I used Chainmail Silver on a few parts, Adeptus Battlegrey on the others, and a spot of Ice Blue. Then I washed the whole mini with Nuln Oil and when dry did a sorta-dry brush of Chainmail Silver to shiny the armor bits and touched the Ice Blue to the chest light. Done.

Originally, I was thinking I’d paint him green with a purple face mask or maybe go with one of the many Iron Man variants that this model seems to be painted in frequently. In the end, I spotted what looked to be a Robocop take on the model and thought that was perfect. Initially I was thinking his chest light would be red, but being a guard and having a red front arc I wanted a little more color. Plus, Dreadball makes me think of neon blue and red, so going with the electric Ice Blue seemed natural.

One thing that I really enjoy about painting these sort of sci-fi models is that with spray paint technology, at the least, being a thing the models are really easy to paint. I mean, a fantasy model requires more colors as armor, straps, cloaks, boats, hair, etc are all different colors and also require their own shading. With sci-fi models one can assume the metal/hard plastic can simply be painted, so in the end you can paint a model with fewer colors and it still look sharp for the setting.

 

Team Photos

Been toying with the idea of standard team photos for my Dreadball squads. I think I like this current arrangement, but am wondering if I should put a filter on the corporate logo? It seems too crisp on top of my poor photos. Maybe if I softened the edges of the logos they would blend in a bit more?

I also need to start working more with lighting. I simply took these shots during the day near a window. Still, some photos have turned out better than others. The Phantoms at the bottom seem to be lighter on the left and darker on the right. Probably either a shadow from me or the trees outside. I think of thefour photos, the Miners at the top came out the most even. Maybe I’ll re-shoot the others some time.

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In other news, I’m currently backing the second edition of Dreadball on kickstarter. I’m not sure the deal is there yet as even with an early bird, the base is set up at two teams and the base game. There’s a chance I wait until retail and buy the teams separately. This would give me time to finish painting the other teams and have something to buy. There’s supposedly a change coming to the campaign, so I’ll give it a few more days yet. It’s a fantastic game and I’d really like to see it get out in front of the impending Blood Bowl release, there’s plenty of room for both.