Rule 5: Pace Yourself!
It pays to act quickly in DreadBall, but sometimes it pays even more to slow down and take your time. I’m talking about situations where you can spend two actions doing what you could have done with one. Why on earth would you do that?
Well, as an example, let’s say you’re attempting a Strike, and you’ve got two actions left. Your Striker, holding the ball, is a Run move away from the four-point hex. You’ve got two options – which do you think is better?
1) Spend Action 4 elsewhere in the arena. Maybe you Slam someone, or you buy a card. Then you take a Throw action (which includes a free Run because you’re a Striker). You move into position and make the throw, picking up a -1 dice modifier for moving and throwing.
2) You spend Action 4 on a Run, to get your Striker into position on the four-point hex. You then spend Action 5 to make the throw from a stationary start, avoiding the negative modifier.
This (fairly artificial) example has only one sensible outcome. (It’s option 2, if you were wondering.) When there are four points on the line, every die counts, because success can speed you towards a landslide victory in a very short space of time (and two successes on the roll gives you a double fan check, which is never a bad thing). In this case, you’d be crazy to spend that other action doing anything but assisting the Strike attempt.
However, DreadBall’s rarely as clear-cut as this example, and once again you’ll need to apply some risk-vs-reward thinking when this sort of thing comes up in-game. What if that extra action could put one of your other Strikers in a position to potentially catch the ball when it fires back into the arena, maybe even getting a Free Action into the bargain and scoring in the enemy’s turn? What if it’s only a one-point Strike instead of a four-pointer? What if you’ve got a chance to injure the enemy’s most useful player?
There’s no definitive answer, but it’s vital that you recognise the advantages and disadvantages of taking your time with two actions. Deciding when it’s worth doing is one of the skills you’ll pick up over time!
Well, that’s it – the five Golden Rules of DreadBall. They might not make you a pro, but you won’t find a great coach who doesn’t understand them! I hope this has been a bit of food for thought, and that it’s given you a better idea of how DreadBall plays. If you see me at any of Mantic’s upcoming events, do let me know what you think! I’m sure everyone’s opinions will vary slightly, and I’m looking forward to some sensible debates…
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