Sunday, 2 November 2014

Mars attacks dreadball team first game and thoughts

I got my first game in today with my new martian dreadball team, and wanted to share a few thoughts on the rules, and how I found them to play on the pitch.
I was interested to see when I got my team how Mantic were going to fit what is a different genre of game, into the setting of the dreadball universe. Basically the martians port through a tear in the fabric of space, and end up in said barmy dreadball universe. The martians are horrified to discover their ancient enemy 'mankind' has spread to the far corners of this new galaxy, and their small strike force had no way to deal with such numbers. Soon they discover that all the races are participating in a strange game called dreadball, and come up with a cunning plan to integrate themselves within society and then destroy it by becoming champions of this new and strange game. However, they soon discover they just love the game and all thoughts of world domination fly out the window, in favour of smashing a ball down the pitch pitch an crumpin some ummies (or shooting them as I discovered today :) )
Although not long, this bit of fluff explained nicely how the new team fits in to the game, and I did not find it too jarring at all. Obviously I have abbreviated it quite alot and it is a little better written than mine, but it gives you the basic jist of how the martians entered this universe.
So onto the rules and stats. When I first looked at the new martian teams rules I was not too impressed. They have a movement of 6, speed & strength of 4 and a skill of 5. Guards and jacks have an armour of 4 while the striker has a value of 5. This is not sterling stuff and when you take into account thier special rules I was srtuggling to see what good they were. All have the fragile rule, which means that they roll one less dice on their armour check. The jack has a new rule called illegal, which lets you shoot your opponent when slamming (this is optional) for one extra dice, but is classed as a foul. You can also shoot them without slamming, and this acts as though you have thrown the ball at your opponent, but with +2 dice. Finally the striker has the safe pair of hands rule that lets you have abetter chance of catching a indirect throw.
Ok so now onto my game and how the martians performed. I won't give you a blow by blow account of the game but just my thoughts on how they performed. They start the game with 3 coaching dice and one dreadball card and boy do you need them. I found that the learning curve with this team was pretty steep. Actions like picking up the ball and scoring a strike were extremely difficult with the skill of 5, and I had to use my 3 dice pretty quicky to try and score at least some points, as my opponent was absolutely crushing me with his guards (he was playing the dwarves). At one point I had 4 players injured and one dead, with just a lone striker left in their table half. The fragile rule here is pretty crippling, as my players were going down faster than I could bring them on, and alot of my actions were wasted just getting them back on the pitch. (I have to interject here that I am still getting to grips with the game and a more seasoned player would probably have much more initial success than I at figuring this team out)
The guards failed miserably to take any of the dwarves down, and my strikers could not pick up a ball to save their life, or score a strike for that matter. As the game progressed I started to use the jack ability to shoot the opponent, but this was a double edged sword as more often than not my player was being sent off for a foul when he shot at a stumpy (and usually failed as he still needed a darn 5+). After all this I ended up losing the game pretty badly, but towards the end I was starting to figure out how this team works (believe it or not) and to use the jacks ability to my advanage. The strength of the team really is in the jacks and their illegal ability, and took a bit of thought in using to begin with. You really need to think about how to place your jacks, and use the shoot ability when the ref is out of range to take some sneaky shots to remove a particularly annoying opponent.
Overall this is not a beginners team. They do require some thought to play, and have some very glaring weaknesses that takes some skill to overcome. The illegal rule is pretty cool however, it adds some nice flavour and hilarity to the game, and helps mitigate the weaknesses of the team somewhat. What is cooler than having a martian whip out his ray gun and zap you in the face during a game of football :). The 5+ skill however is crippling, and I really need to find a way how to mitigate this through other tactics. I really enjoyed using the martians by the end though (despite all my mistakes and the crushing defeat) and will certainly be fielding them again. The minis are also very nice and I can't wait to get them painted.
What are your thoughts on how this team plays, and how do you think their weaknesses can be mitigated?
Nafnaf out!


  1. I would have been disappointed if they didn't have a death ray.

    1. Lol yup and me. It is pretty fun to use, even if it does get you sent off half the time :)

  2. Yesterday the Martian Teams arrive to my local store, and I bought them, I was waiting for months!!

    Well, the games were terrible, I lost 2-3 martians per turn againts the new Brokk Team... It was terrible, but I think I have to learn to use the Illegal rule.

    I think maybe a Martian player shouldn't play a common style of fighting each ball and using the body or the strength, maybe shooting in the rival's back could be the best way...

    Any more tactics or advices?

    1. Yeah I was pretty bummed after my first game with them, but you are right about the illegal rule. To make them work it is essential that you play to that strength, as without it they are pretty poor overall and get stomped pretty bad. What you have wrote in your comment is really what you need to focus on, and you will find that they do actually start to work on the pitch. Shooting your opponent in the back, and then grabbing the ball is the way to go. Make sure you have your strikers lined up though, otherwise the foul is wasted :)