Are Z’zor evil or are they just misunderstood? It’s not easy to tell, and their peculiar noises and movements don’t fill the average human with any sense of comfort or warmth. This makes them perfect “bad guys” in the spectacle of a DreadBall arena.
On paper, the Z’zor team initially looks the least peculiar of the four new teams for Season 2. With a different stat line for each player role they are a bit harder for me to remember, but that’s not a big difference. What does start to make them interesting is that they all start with Can’t Feel A Thing because of their hardened carapaces. That’s pretty useful, especially as a team-wide ability. The models you put on the pitch are much more likely to stay there.
Z’zor Jacks also have a new ability called Slide. This allows them to make Dash attempts on any action which allows them at least 1 hex of movement. This probably doesn’t sound like much, but think about it. No longer are they limited to just a single step and Slam or Throw. Now they can Slide a little further, and with a 4+ Speed they have a fair chance of going at least a second hex before they do their thing. Even this small difference gives them a much bigger range of influence on the pitch and can make a pretty big difference to their flexibility. Incidentally, this skill is now available to all Jacks on the new Advancement Tables included in Season 2.
Better Jacks is a good thing because the Z’zor Strikers aren’t that great. The problem is their 5+ Skill. However, they are still Strikers at the end of the day and so they get all the bonuses for that role. And don’t forget that they have the extra resilience to damage so they’re harder for the opposing team to sack.
With a degree of resilience spread across the whole team, the Z’zor only start with one dedicated Guard – but he’s pretty impressive. He has the same stats as an Orx Guard, which puts him in the top tier to start with. On top of that he has Can’t Feel A Thing like the rest of his team, plus Steady. Scared yet?
All of these subtle differences combine to make a team which needs a different style of play. Their ability to both smash the opposition and move the ball around is less concentrated in the specialist roles than usual, as is their survivability. For this reason it’s a team with a great deal of flexibility and ability to adapt to a changing game. Expect to score more with your Jacks than usual, and also to Slam with them more.
As I’ve said a few times before, this is a subtle team to get the best from, as befits this new level of tactical challenge in Season 2. Whether this suits you personally or not is up to you to decide. I think all of these Season 2 teams will be more Marmite than the core teams, but no less balanced for that. They just get a bit more getting used to, that’s all. But what do you expect from a bunch of bugs?
Read more from Jake Thornton on his Quirkworthy blog.