I believe that this is being viewed as a crossover product, appealing to both Miniature Wargamers and Boardgamers, so I thought I’d take a look at the components from the game wearing these two different hats and give some of my thoughts. Wargamer thoughts are given in red, and Boardgamer thoughts are given in blue. Thoughts for both are given in italics.
A nice box with good box art. It’s a shame that this isn’t a ‘standard’ box size though – it’s about 2″ bigger than the standard square boardgame box, so it won’t fit on my shelf next to my other games.
The Board and Rulebook
The rulebook is well produced and laid out, with clear examples and lots of pictures. But an 80 page rulebook? I thought this game is supposed to be relatively simple?
Inside the box
These are really thin and flimsy card – most cad counters I am used to tend to be 1mm thick at least, so this counter sheet is disappointing.
These seem to be a pretty standard cheaper dice set that many boardgames are coming with these days – they’re OK, but not as good as those you get in several other games.
Generally good quality cards with a glossy plastic coating, rather than a vinyl finish.
They could maybe do with being a little thicker, and the edges are showing white, which might cause issues with heavy use – I will have to sleeve them.
A good clear layout with lots of spare sheets.
This should do me fine for quite a while, but I hope they sell spares!
These will be fine until I can get my spreadsheet sorted out.
These look to be a good set of miniatures – pretty well sculpted and detailed. Slightly smaller than the 28mm that I’m used to but they look pretty nice. A few sprue ends to trim off the figures and a little bit of clearing up to do around some of the mould lines, but generally really nice looking – a few pieces to assemble for each mini, but on the whole they look pretty nice – can’t wait to paint them!
Hang on, you have to assemble these figures? Why can’t these figures be in one piece? Where’s the assembly instructions? These are nice looking models, but they look pretty complicated to put together. Why are all the figures the same colour? Why can’t the different teams be different colours? Does this mean I have to paint them before I can play a game?
You may think that some of the above comments are a little harsh or extreme, but I think that the wargaming and boardgaming markets are actually very different in several respects.
The undoubted strengths of Dreadball is in the rulebook and the board. The board artwork is great, and the rulebook is well put together and is clear and thorough, and gives you everything you need to get you started with a league. At 80 pages, its sheer size may be off-putting to some boardgamers, who are simply nt used to large rulebooks.
The models are generally pretty good, although a little smaller and more slender that what I was expecting for 28mm figures. They do require a certain amount of modelling skill to assemble, especially without any instructions, or even advice of what glue to use – just because they’re plastic, don’t assume you can simply use plastic cement! For mini wargamers, assembling and painting the figures is half the fun (or more!) but many boardgamers find this a chore at best – simply having the different teams cast in different colour plastics would have been a huge help (companies like Fantasy Flight Games and Days of wonder are really good at doing this)
For the rest of the components, when you compare them to other boardgames for a similar price point, whilst the cards are pretty decent, I’m afraid the dice are below par and the card counters are simply poor.
Whilst overall the Dreadball game is a decent package, I’m glad I have the Kickstarter package with the acrylic counters and the hex bases for the figures. to supplement the base game.