Second Look - Boardgame reviews in depth. Check out that cat.I must preface this post by stating, with full intensity and sincerity, that I am by no means a sports fan. Most of my knowledge of sports comes from the fact that my kids play them, and the GFL series of books by Scott Sigler.

That being said, Dreadball has fast become one of my favorite games.

Miniatures? Check. Violence? Check. Sports?


Yup. Check.

In Dreadball you’re coaching a team of intergalactic sports players who’s goal is to get the weapons-grade ball into one of 3 scoring zones on the opponent’s side of the pitch. You’ve got 3 player types: Strikers, Jacks, and Guards. Strikers can run the ball. Jacks can run the ball and dole out hits. Guards can only hit. Your team is built of these 3 types of players, though only 6 can be on the field at once. The others are benched, waiting for another player to be switched out, injured or killed to come in to the game. There’s also rules for MVPs and Giants, but that’s a bit beyond the scope of the basic set.

dreadballPlayers take turns over the course of Rushes, each taking 5 actions each before the Rush counter is moved up and the opposing player takes their turn. Players run, pass, smash, and push their way towards goals. Everything is dice based, and actions can fail, succeed, or double, which gives you special actions that be taken. Through all this you’ve got fans to please, and a ref that can be caught off guard if you feel you want to cheat a bit. The rules can get pretty in-depth, though not in a complicated manner. You can peek at them here.

Something about this game just clicked with me right off the bat. I’ve already pre-ordered a new pitch, and am planning on getting some more teams, and the corresponding rulebooks for those teams. One of these days I’ll get my teams painted.

The game is much more accessible than a game like Bloodbowl, which may be why it scratches the right itch for me. It’s a sci-fi, customizable sports game that doesn’t take too much time or money to get into.

A copy of Dreadball was provided free for review by Mantic Games.