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Dreadball: Galactic Tour Series – Azure Forest» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Azure Forest Expansion rss

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D. Patton
United States
Myrtle Creek
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Azure Forest is the first in a promised line of "Galactic Tour" expansions for the DreadBall game. You get two models (one MVP and a trophy); 14 DreadBall cards; and a 31 page mini-rule booklet.

I highly recommend watching Jaume Salva i Lara's unboxing video so you can see the items as close to in person:

The MVP you get is an Yndij (alien species in DB and Deadzone, Mantic's sci-fi skirmish game). They remind me of a cross between a chimp and a cheetah and are obviously lithe, athletic beings. A'teo Adysi is this MVP's name and you get a little back story blerb for him as well as his in-game stats. The model is metal and mine had a modicum of flash. You also get a second metal model, which is a tribal-looking trophy to accompany the Azure Forest tournament. Mine had a lot of excess metal (flash) from the molding process and will take much more care/time to clean up than the MVP model.

The booklet is the standard Mantic glossy mini-rulebook with nicely done photos and interior art. They tell you how to play a game in the Azure Forest setting including use of the extra cards they provide in this expansion. These cards are placed in the standard DB deck, replacing 7 random event cards from the regular deck. Mantic were kind enough to mark the Azure Forest cards so you can restore the original deck easily after a game. Games played in/on the Azure Forest are in the open air, so there are weather events that happen periodically. Cards govern when the weather changes and a die roll determines what that change will be.

While playing a campaign/league in Azure Forest your teams can win 'honors' that are valid for only the next game. How many honors won are based on how well the team scores at end game. These honors can be swapped for 'preparations' to reflect mystical charms or drinks, herbs, etc. that the locals may bestow on players. These preparations are, in effect, temporary bonuses. It's supposed to help maintain the flavor of the setting and by keeping them temporary and limited to the next game, it helps them from becoming overpowering.

The cheerleader rules (Azure Forest denizens love cheerleaders) are SUPERIOR to the ones introduced in the Season 2 rulebook IMO. Hopefully they will become standard as they are a real reason to include cheerleaders in your points budget. Standard cheerleaders can produce extra fan checks (that can get you more coaching dice) if your score piece lands on the score track where they've been placed. The AF rules for cheerleaders spices that up. They can 'work the crowd' to get a fan check for any friendly player's action. Or they can 'Flaunt It' to distract your opponent, impacting the number of dice he has for a test. These two new uses for cheerleaders end with the cheerleader having to head off-board temporarily; they can be brought back later by use of supporting coaches though.

The 2014 official tournament rules are included as 8 of the 31 pages. It covers what an organizer should know and do including tourney format. It's a basic breakdown that's useful to anyone who has decided (or been volunteered) to run a DB tourney. The final pages include stats for 3 MVP models developed from the original DB Kickstarter (KS). These KS models were specifically designed to reflect the wishes of some specific KS backers. Their rules were not previously available, so Mantic included them with this expansion.

The MVPs include a cyborg human striker who refuses to play for human teams; a Buck Rogers/Rip Van Winkle human jack who awoke from cryosleep to find the world a different place and a place for him to excel at DreadBall; and a guard* who is supposed to be a 7 year old boy riding the back of a cyborg-tyrannosaur-esque mascot for breakfast cereal---oh, the 7 year old boy on the dinosaur's back is a hologram of the actual 7 year old boy; after all, having a 7 year old playing DreadBall would be madness itself! The MVPs are a neat addition to the game. As with all MVPs their abilities and stats will vary their impact on game balance depending on what teams are being fielded. They are fairly expensive compared to many other MVPs listed in the other supplements but they have some fairly hefty special abilities, too.

Okay, that's the general overview of this expansion. Mantic have noted this is a limited release with only 3000 copies being released. The Yndij model is reportedly going to be available later and the rules will eventually be electronically available, if I understand correctly. I think AF is a decent addition to the game. At $25 you get a new MVP, rules and cards for a unique tournament setting (Azure Forest itself) and a thematic trophy. I will say, the price point was about $5 higher than I would have thought based on my subjective sense of the value given. I will give Mantic credit though for actually selling this via retail/direct sales versus yet another Kickstarter; but that's a topic for another time.

If you want to use these MVPs and/or if you'd like to have a tournament/mini-campaign or league/exhibition matches with a different feel, I'd recommend picking this up.

*Just want to say I did not make this up. Buy the expansion and read all the details (I've actually tried to simplify it )

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