Thursday, 5 February 2015

A closer look at the models of Mantic's Dreadball Season IV

Time for another look at post, this time for a tightly packed package that arrived on my doorstep two days ago, curtsy of Mantic Games' Dreadball Xtreme Kickstarter. All of these are straight out of the box, so there are a few mold lines here and there. Just wanted to share these now I have the time.
Dreadball and Dreadball Xtreme have a season release schedule, generally with four new teams and some character MVPs getting released at the time. Given that all teams will eventually be interchangeable between both games and Xtreme's second season is still in the playtest phase Mantic has opted to release the four, new teams that were fully ready for original Dreadball.
Xtreme Cheerleaders
The 'Fans'

So the Kickstarter backers got their hands on an extra, very nice rulebook for season 4, four new teams, the season 4 MVP characters and a collection of upcoming characters for Dreadball Xtreme.

Brokkr Team
Hobgoblin Team
Rebs Team
Sphyr Team

Where I think the visual design of the game really shines is in its characters and boy are there a lot of very cool new ones this time round. If I were to have a complaint then it would be that Phantasm and Crypt are restic models, while the teams they belong to will be produced in clear plastics (as one are pure energy creatures, while the other are part crystal). Still very cool models with great detail, but they're really going to stand out next to the eventual models for their respective races:
Kryphos, Irsala & Phantasm
Asylum, The Excavator & Brute Force
Galod, Kailasa & Crypt
M'zei kein, Schnorkel & Lyra the Fixer
Kickstarter exclusives Ardia Shi'lek & Rush Tracker model
I'm a fan of the game and the design of the Warpath universe it takes place in, so I was rather easily satisfied when the first releases of the game came out a few years back. However, looking back now it is rather clear just how far Mantic have come quality wise. Now the original Dreadball minis were some great designs, but quite a few teams has rather serious moldline issues that were both in very annoying places and tough to remove given the properties of the restic material.

There was already a big step up between the first and last original Dreadball minis, but the Xtreme models (also usable in regular Dreadball) have really pushed thing to a new level. Far fewer moldlines, much easier to remove and generally a lot smaller and sharper detailing:
  The new team composition is also rather nice. These four, new teams now give you the full team, two prones markers, options for a Keeper model if the team has access to one and an extra Dreadball. Haven't personally lost any of mine, but they're quite small. So definitely not a bad thing to have an extra ball of two around, especially as this now opens up the way for team-themed balls! I've also be considering a house rule for a multi-ball event ;-)

The books have also come quite a way, things just look tighter, have better layout and the photography and studio paintjobs have reached an entirely new level compared to that first edition Dreadball rulebook. Really hoping to see more of this level of display shot for Kings of War, Warpath and Deadzone, it really helps sell the setting!
Though I was pretty over the moon when Snorkel turned out to be exactly like his artwork, such a cool, wacky character design!


Turns out I have a lot of extra stuff, some of which will go to charity, one team to a friend and one team to a lucky community member. I help out the Tales of a Tabletop Skirmisher Facebook group with news etc. and doing a little give away over there. So for those interested, give it a look and drop a comment there with which of the teams you'd like to win to enter the contest!

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