Now on with the game…
By far the most played game Mantic has had so far is DreadBall (I think closely followed by KoW). There is a few reasons for this, but I believe that the main ones are how easy it is to get into, and how quick it is too play. It has that wonderful balance of simplicity and challenge. It is creating a big following amongst tournament players, and I hope in the coming years it will become the Tournament sports game of choice.
Mantic takes some criticism for using Kickstarter, but there really is no better defense than DreadBall itself. In the pre-KS days my forecasts said that only the first 2 teams (those actually in the game) would be affordable to have in plastic. The rest would have to be in metal (much like the Bloodbowl teams were, so not a disaster!). Roughly 2500 backers got behind the game and helped us create 12 teams, released over 3 seasons, plus some really characterful MVPs and a 6 player game of insanity called Dreadball Ultimate. All 12 of those teams were also now going to be available in plastic, with all of them getting a booster set (most of those in plastic too – although that was probably a step too far with hindsight!). The reality is that Mantic spends a vast proportion of the funds it raises on tooling new products, and the rest on the goods and getting them shipped. This fantastic support mean the game launched to a much bigger audience than we initially expected, with the retailers knowing it was well produced and would have lots of future releases. It has now sold over 13,000 copies and sales continue. It’s on its 6th print run, with versions in French and German.
Its tournament scene is slowly growing; hopefully it will get to the tipping point sometime soon and become a truly global game. We want to encourage and support that. Tim King will be organizing the Mantic Dreadball events at Head Office this year, we will be creating organized play packs for retailers and event organizers to help them with their events too. And we will be creating a ranking system which can keep track of everyone’s scores, wins and loses – and put them all together in a leader board, which could let us fly the best European player over to Adepticon in 2016 for a slapdown with the best North American player in a ‘Ryker Cup World Series’. Anyone up for that?
To help make Dreadball a global phenomenon it needs to keep being supported by growing the teams and adding variety. We went back to KS last year to do just that. Again we got some unbelievable support, and 2015 sees the benefit of that.
The backers got a Christmas present under their tree with an earlier print run copy of the Dreadball Xtreme game. I think the production values are the highest Mantic has ever delivered. The print, the plastics and all the components are really top notch and the team has been fantastic getting it made. The game will be available from retailers in March, and it centers on what happens when Dreadball goes underground. It uses the core rules (which are all represented in this book, so it is absolutely designed for new players too) and the main features are what happens when you take away the ref – lots and lots more violence ;). And what happens when teams play in a disused hangar bay or abandoned warehouse – lots of exploding boxes and crates getting in the way to add more chaos to the game! The miniatures look amazing (just have a look below) and are all designed so you can take them from the box and play immediately because we had them assembled on the production line, so you did not need to! Later we will have an expansion that will allow you to select a sponsor and pick your own unique team – from any miniature in the range – but more on that another day!
However, the kickstarter did not just give us a variant game. Oh no, that would be far too simple!!! It also gave us 12 new teams for Dreadball – the sports game of the future! And in January the first 2 teams and 4 MVPs are coming out – which can only mean Season 4 is here…in the coming days we will be looking at each new team – it’s playing style, players and MVPs and what else you can expect.
So, whether you are trying Dreadball for the first time or a seasoned pro – hope to see you getting some game time soon 😉
In the first wave of season 4, which ships in January, we have the season 4 rulebook, which is pretty integral to the whole process! We also have the first couple of teams being released, The Rotatek Rockslides and the Unincorporated. Finally to top things off we have the Neodurium Knuckle Draggers MVP pack and the DreadBall Cheerleaders and Fans pack! Head over to the web store to pre-order your Season 4 goodies now!