We’re sure you want to know more about the Azure Forest pack – after all, it’s the first non-Kickstarter DreadBall release we’ve done, so there’s not much information available! We thought we’d give you a bit of an insight into how some of the new rules work, split between today and tomorrow. Make sure you come back for part two!
Every Season is Monsoon Season!
Azure Forest arenas are lacking a few of the mod-cons you’ll see in other arenas, such as heated seats, autovendors… and a roof! In a tribute to the earliest games on Azure IX, games are played under the open sky. Players never realise just how easy they have it in the environmentally-controlled Core World arenas. Normally, things like ambient temperature, humidity, even gravity are rigorously controlled to ensure a fair match in a standardised arena setting. Take all that away and things can get a little more tricky! In Azure Forest leagues, teams have to deal with the vagaries of the moon’s impressive weather systems.
Rules-wise, weather is handled by a very simple system. A reference card showing the Weather Table is placed next to the game board, and a random Weather condition is determined at the start of the match. After that, it stays in play until a Change In Weather? event card comes into play, at which point another roll is made on the table. This adds some subtle new challenges to consider. Play might be interrupted by a heatwave, a sudden downpour could wreck your throwing game, or – if you’re incredibly lucky – things might turn out rather pleasant for a short while. You can hope, right?
The Roar of the Crowd
If you want to see a live DreadBall match in the Core, you’re unlikely to feel very close to the action. The DGB values nothing more than the safety of the paying public, so the crowd invariably finds itself behind safety barriers, separated from the on-pitch action by flexiglass walls and atomiser screens. Out in the colonies these are seen as luxuries, especially when even building a level arena floor is incredibly labour-intensive. Most leagues organisers take the approach that most fans are sensible enough to duck if they see a ball coming their way – and those that don’t usually see the resulting injury as a great souvenir! With the crowd being so much closer to the action, their excitement can have a much greater effect on the game.
In the Azure Forest pack, this is represented in two different ways. First up, there’s the “Enthusiastic Fans” event card, which lets you draw an additional card for a Fan Check and choose which one to keep. In an interesting twist on the regular rules, this event card starts the game in play to represent the crowd’s excitement when the first ball is launched. There’s also a duplicate in the deck, so even once the noise has died down they might get back up on their feet at a moment’s notice! As well as the new event, there’s also a subtle tweak to the way Cheerleaders work – they now have a couple of new actions available to them! Rather than placing them on the score track, you can now use them to generate Fan Checks, or even make an effort to distract opposing players. It’s a dirty trick, but the fans love it!