Friday, 14 February 2014

Dreadball Digital

So Mantics Digital Dreadball rules got released recently and i got around to picking  up the collected edition last night. 
So i thought id share my thoughts so far.

Its a hard product to judge in terms of my expectations as i really wasnt sure what my expectations were.
When it was revealed back at the Mantic Open Day, I was very much intrigued by the idea of this cross platform app product but couldnt really figure out how it would actually work in practice.

Now ive got my hands on it, i can see its a browser app, which is fair enough, that makes a lot of sense. But does mean you cant use that function if you dont have an internet connection. This is supplemented by a hi-res and lo-res downloadable version of each book. This solves the no internet issue but obviously isnt as fluid or navigable as the webapp.
The webapp reader i think is very nice but appears to be hampered by a few glitches even with my limited time with it. There have been a couple of times already where im browsing through the book and the page goes blank then just wigs out and i end up somewhere totally different, hopefully this will be ironed out with some updates.

I like the fact that it seems to remember where you were up to last, even on a different machine. I was reading the compendium with my ipad last night, i thought id load it up on my pc to see if it glitched a bit less and the compendium opened to the same page i was on, thats a nice touch.

Now that ive worked out which stat was what, I also quite like that new hex display widget theyve got for the stats rather than the table. Takes up less space and is more visually striking. It gives the game more identity i think.

The thing that probably irked me the most about the product so far though was regarding the erratas.
I was already aware that my team,  the Judwan, had a nerf, and in the compendium and in the season 2 rulebook web app reader that change has been made, their speed is 4+ in the stat hex.
But if you download the season 2 rulebook pdf or compendium pdf its still the same as the original release where theyve got 3+ for speed in the table. That seems really sloppy to me and could make it quite confusing, especially for a casual player. 

So, there are some pros and cons. I think ultimately id rate it as a good product, but i think thats on the proviso that the glitches get ironed out and the forthcoming 'playbook' is what i hope it will be, some sort of digital team roster / digital league tool add-on.

The other thing that occurred to me was whether the cross-platform web app was the best choice, obviously as an ipad user id have much preferred it to be an ipad app. I think that wouldve made it slicker and faster. However that wouldve meant a higher development cost and they'd have to develop a version for each platform so i can totally understand why they went the route they did. 
Judging the product as is, I'll give it 3 Richs. If the playbook is good and the glitches get ironed out i may revisit that score.


  1. In related news, i've finally unboxed my Judwan and ACTUALLY GLUED THEM TOGETHER.
    I might even undercoat them this weekend.
    If im feeling REALLY fruity, i might actually put some real coloured paint on too.

    1. I'll have to give it a look at Nottingham but I like the idea of doing away with the need for so many different books. I've still to finish glueing all my humans as the Daemons are still cling to be finished for next Thursday.

    2. definitely, being able to do away with all those books and replace it with an ipad (or even a phone) is nice. I still need all the accessories gumph though, the tokens, ball, board, cards etc. Shame they dont sell those in a pack separately (although, the cards and ball i think are in the 'extra time' pack)