DreadBall Irish Nationals / Conclave 2013


The view of Fortress Thomond as recorded by O.C.P. Patriots helmet cam during grav-chute deployment.

I played in the Irish DreadBall Nationals event last Saturday.  It took place in Thomond Park, arguably the most significant rugby stadium in the country.  That obviously also makes it quite an amusingly appropriate venue for a “sports” event like a DreadBall tournament.


Tournament restrictions limited eligible teams to those from DreadBall Season One.  Having had email discussions about how best to approach team selection, long time gaming wingman PB and I squeezed in a single practice game on Friday evening.  We then packed up our teams and pitches and headed to Limerick early on Saturday morning.

OCP Patriots Dreadball Corporation Team

OCP Patriots Dreadball Corporation Team

The DreadBall event was part of one of Limericks annual gaming conventions, “Conclave”.  The wargaming side of the event included Battletech, both flavours of Warhammer and most importantly as far as I am concerned, DreadBall (which is a boardgame with miniatures rather than a wargame really, but whatever).  For the nationals I decided to give my O.C.P. Patriots their shot at the cup while PB coached his Bubonic Beasts (veer-myn, in case that isnt obvious).

Ivor (in green), me (in need of a haircut).

Ivor (in green), me (in need of a haircut).

My first game was against “Wee Ivor” of the Wee Gamers gaming club in Antrim.  Ivor was fielding the Skarags Skarboyz marauder team and like all of the players that I met during the day was a pleasant guy to game with.  The hobby draws its fair share of oddballs but I am glad to say that none of them were playing DreadBall with me on Saturday, which was fantastic.

Game 2.  Thats me rightmost at the rear and Seoirse opposite.  The stadium grounds are visible through the window.

Game 2. Thats me rightmost at the rear and Seoirse opposite. The stadium seating and pitch are visible through the window.

Next up was Seoirse and his Hu-man Rangers corporation team.  I havent experienced a lot of hot Corporation-on-Corporation action in DreadBall and knowing exactly what the humans can do makes me uneasy when I do play against them.

I gesticulate wildly while waiting for round three to begin.

I gesticulate wildly while waiting for round three to begin.

In round three I faced PB.  As the event was to be decided over four games and both of us were undefeated at that stage, in many respects this was to be the deciding game.  With the two of us having been gaming buddies for over twenty years, it was something of a (good natured) grudge match between the Patriots and the Bubonic Beasts 🙂

Game 3: Im at the end again, PB opposite.

Game 3: Im at the far end again, PB opposite.

Despite some sweaty armpit inducing cock-ups early on, things went my way and the Beasts got sent to the showers in record time.  This meant that barring some very extreme upset, I had the event in hand.

Game 4: final game versus Kyle, another "Wee Gamer"

Game 4: final game versus Kyle, another “Wee Gamer”

My last game against Kyle (another Wee Gamer) and his veer-myn was my closest of the event.  It was a bit dodgy for a while but in the end the I managed to turn the Rysek Runners (I think that was the team name) early lead into a landslide in my favour on the final turn of the game.  The result of this final game meant that I had won the tournament with the maximum points possible – four landslides.  Pretty sweet 🙂

PB is awarded his runners up prize.

PB is awarded his runners up prize by Mark from Mantic and John the local Mantic Pathfinder.

The final result meant that I had won a “sporting” event at Thomond Park.  Winning any game at a venue like that is fun, but winning a sports boardgame there was the icing on the cake.

National Champ at Thomond Park.  For everything else there's Mastercard.

National Champ at Thomond Park. For everything else there’s Mastercard.

In addition to the plaque shown in the photo above I will also get a prize from Mantic Games: a personalised metal DreadBall pitch with my name and the name of the event engraved or laser etched onto it.  As prizes for boardgames go that is a a pretty nice (and even functional) trophy.  A Scottish version of the pitch (as owned by Mantic Mark in the photo above) can be seen here with some more information.  My pitch should look something like this when I get it in a few months:ScottishPrizePitch

It was a long day, but a good one.   Good enough in fact that I may be making the trip from one end of the country to the other in a couple of weeks to take part in the DreadBall event at Q-Con in Belfast.

L to R: PB, me, Limerick Pathfinder JK, Mark from Mantic and Kyle

L to R: PB, me, Limerick Pathfinder JK, Mark from Mantic and Kyle



17 Responses

  1. Congratulations on becoming national champion!


  2. Flawless victory! Congratulations Paul! =)


    • Thanks apeekaboo. The tournament was small (disappointingly so really) but winning by landslide in every game gives the title a little credibility at least 🙂

      In other words, I will mention the day in my memoirs, but I may not have an entire chapter about it 😉


  3. Well done! And what a fantastic prize! That board looks beautiful.


    • Thanks Denis!

      The board is a particularly good prize. I have won product in numerous forms at various events over the years, which is great of course but forgettable. I have very limited memory of which of my various Heroclix bits and pieces I won and which I bought for example. On the other hand a plaque is a fun thing to display in the man-cave but not much use other than that really.

      The trophy pitch is a great combination of the two that I can roll out for friendly games for giggles and a bit of a friendly wind up 🙂


  4. Lovely, congratulations! Well played and the pitch looks sweet too.


  5. How many competitors did you end up with total?


    • A disappointing eight in total sideofiron.

      Ireland is a small place of course, but considering that I ran a ten-strong DreadBall event with competitors who had to travel quite a distanc, waaaay out into rural Ireland at one extreme end of the country a couple of months back I was hoping that the Conclave event would have larger attendance.

      It was still fun of course and I certainly got a kick out of winning decisively in a historical sporting landmark, but I did expect a turnout in double figures at least.


  6. Inspiring write up. Thank you. DreadBall has been on my wish list for a while now, but I’ve not got it yet. May need to bump it up the list 🙂


    • Thanks very much amanandhistoys.

      Anybody with a Blood Bowl gutter runner as an avatar would surely enjoy a game or two of DreadBall. The games both “simulate” similar environments but the rules for the two games differ in very significant ways. The DreadBall ruleset is much cleaner than Blood Bowls is currently and DreadBall play time is about half that of Blood Bowl. These two factors make getting new players involved and getting games/tournaments actually played far easier. This fact alone is making it work out for my local gamers.

      I have a lot of fondness for Blood Bowl, but its a harsh mistress and a two hour game is often decided in the first few seconds, which is torturous. The rumoured new edition of BB will be very plush in terms of components etc but even with a radical rules overhaul I cant see GW reducing the play time significantly and I will be exceptionally surprised if any BB release will be supported further by GW afterwards: it doesnt fit their marketing mdel these days.

      All of this means that there is room for DreadBall in any Blood Bowl players life as far as I am concerned. I hope that you enjoy it 🙂


  7. Well that gaming performance was five by five! Well done champ. I will wager heavily (in terms of lead) on you in the next one. Paul B did well to score the runner up (but I won’t be betting on him natch). That’s a much better prize than the usual “twenty quids worth of our crap” prizes.

    Did you bring the purple cat coach, I suspect there is true power in Grinxii?

    8 People in Ireland at a convention competition like this is actually a decent turn out.


    • The approval of the Iron Chancellor is always welcome, thanks. There is another competition being run in Belfast next weekend by Wee Ivor and Wee Kyle (as seen in the report above). I really shouldnt go for financial reasons, but I am trying to scrape the cash together to make the trip. Watch this space…

      If I do make it then Mr Darcy the purple gyrinx will be coaching again. Although his behaviour coaching the Patriots at Thomond was as erratic as can be expected from a self-serving feline, he came through when it mattered. He got a special tickle under his itty-bitty chin for that 😉


  8. Splendid stuff! =) Now I’m considering talk of future Blood Bowl games more of a threat than a promise of a fun past-time! =D


    • You neednt worry Mattias. I dont have the ability to concentrate for long enough to win over-long Blood Bowl games. Seriously.

      That said, when we eventually meet over a game, its likely to be DungeonBowl… so all bets are off 😉


  9. […] am the current Irish DreadBall Champion.  Mantic supplied me with this prize pitch as a rather nifty functional […]


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