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Zegema Beach Zephyrs – DreadBall Asterian Team

Zegema Beach Zephyrs

Zegema Beach Zephyrs

This bunch of dirty, cheatin’, skinny space-folk is my newly painted Asterian (space-elf) DreadBall team.  As of last Saturday the Zephyrs are now the “UK & Ireland Ultimate DreadBall Champions(more about that in a later post).

Saturday nights at the "Slann and Teraton" had really gone downhill.

Saturday nights at the “Slann and Teraton” had really gone downhill.

I normally name my DreadBall teams after fictional pop-culture evil corporations (and in one case a real-life evil corporation).  This time I named my new team after a location mentioned in one of my favourite films, Starship Troopers (1:11 is where the pertinent bit is in the video below).

Zegema Beach (not “Sagema Beach” as the video uploader mistakenly thought) is never seen in the movie or any of the other media iterations  of the franchise AFAIK, but unfor54k3n on devinatART reckons that it might look like this:

by unfor54k3n.  Used for illustrative purposes without permission, but I hope that he doesnt mind.

by unfor54k3n. Used for illustrative purposes without permission, but I hope that he doesnt mind. If he does then I will take it down.

The Asterians are Mantics take on the homo-superior, space-elf trope.  The Asterians are inscrutable, capricious and a little more “other” than the diluted 40K Eldar have become.  The Asterians include a few more Brian Froud, fairy-tale aspects than the Eldar do, maybe a little like the GW Wood Elves… in spaaace.  Future iterations of Asterians in DreadBall, Deadzone and the like may feature more tree-hugger aspects, but for now in the DreadBall environment the space elves are pantomime villains, like David Hasslehoff

A Vulcan dismisses as “emotional” the possibility of admiring the reflection of his haircut on a polished sphere used in human recreation. He also considers cheating at team sports at some point in the future.

The Asterians are almost certainly a little inspired a bit by Star Trek Romulans and Vulcans, with a dismissive attitude to the concerns of other races and in this case, other races notions of the rules of a sporting fixture.  In DreadBall the Asterians cheat, flamboyantly.  

The same Romulan executes his plan to cheat. This also takes place in the future.

The same Vulcan executes his plan to cheat. This also takes place in the future.

DreadBall Asterians cheat in an enthusiastic, blatant, Dick Dastardly fashion by Taking a Dive alongside opposing team members, causing the ref-bot to send them off.  When Asterians really want to make it count they drop a light fixture/grand piano/safe/Acme anvil on the head of opposing players that they really want to get rid of.  The Asterians are Fragile to compensate for this, but they are a handful to deal with no matter how you look at it.

Zephyr Jacks

Zephyr Jacks

I painted the Wildcard MVP a earlier this year.  Obviously a TRON: Legacy homage, I decided to paint her to fit with that look, although I added pink hair to avoid the final job being too monotone.  As Wildcards background suggests that her suit is of Asterian manufacture, I figured that I would go with a similar painting technique on my Asterian team when I got to them.

More Zephyrs Jacks

More Zephyrs Jacks

The pink worked well as a secondary colour on Wildcard, so I used it again on the Zephyrs.  Using pink on the DreadBall glove helped to make a distinction between the Guards and the Jacks, which are quite similar looking.

Zephyr Coach and "Prone" player.

Zephyr Coach and “Prone” player.

The Asterians are currently the only team to begin with a specialist coach on their roster, in this case a Defensive Coach.  As the Asterian team represents a sort of WWE, panto villain-esque bad guy in the sports entertainment supposedly represented in DreadBall games, I used a small Reaper Bones familiar to represent some sort of elemental, deus-ex-machina, vaguely Resident Evil Red Queen sort of backroom staff.  Its the sort of thing that would creep out the average xenophobic futuristic human I think, plus it was a fun excuse to get the model painted.

Zephyr Guards

Zephyr Guards

Some of the models have slightly peculiar heads.  The heads are small but not unreasonably so, just a lot smaller than some of the heroic scale miniatures that you may have seen recently.  Something else about the DB Asterian heads is a little off though – Im not sure what – but I did what I could when painting to make them reasonably decent looking.  I went with a paler flesh tone, something like a Star Trek Reman or maybe the elves from the second Hellboy movie.

Zephyr Strikers

Zephyr Strikers

Unusually for my Dreadball teams the Zephyrs are a mix of resin-plastic (“restic”) miniatures and metal miniatures.  The metal miniatures came out a little bit nicer, but I think that the whole lot was originally designed for manufacture in restic.

More Zephyr Strikers

More Zephyr Strikers

Below is a shot of the Zegema Beach Zephyrs taking on two UK and one Scottish regional representatives in Nottingham last weekend.  The Zephyrs won 🙂

The Zephyrs compete in the UK & Ireland Ultimate DreadBall Championship last Saturday.

The Zephyrs compete in the UK & Ireland Ultimate DreadBall Championship last Saturday.

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9 Responses

  1. Horray, Ireland has finally won a major sports competition. They will need to up their game to take that title off you, I can’t see you letting it slip out of your talons easlily. 😉

    Do you think the Dreadball teams suffer from game imbalances at all? You have played enough teams and opponents to have a good idea. Is it a case of rock paper scissors or is there one or two uber teams?

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    • “Ultimate” – the multi-player version of DreadBall – is a pretty fickle and random beast, far more so than the standard game. It has a fair bit in common with our own modified DungeonBowl rules from a decade or so ago. Its good fun, but has high shenanigans factor. Still, a win is a win 🙂

      A certain amount of rules creep is inevitable and some teams are a little better than others, but that aspect has been kept more in check in DreadBall than in many other games that I have played.

      The Judwan were the most obviously broken team for a while, but they were elegantly fixed with a single stat change a while back. Fast, good-at-scoring teams are usually better than slow, aggro teams but the gulf between each type is quite a bit less than that in Blood Bowl.

      There is some rock, paper, scissors and there isnt currently a uber team, although people are still trying to work out how to get around the Asterians unusual abilities. I dont think that the Asterians are simply a uber team though, the DB scene will adapt to them in a way that they couldnt adapt to the judwan.

      ForgeFathers are the worst team. They require a tweak to be made competitive IMO.

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      • A win is indeed a win. It is pleasing to see that all that time we spent fighting it out in Dungeonbowl (Skibbereen Roolz) has prepared you Mr. Miagi style to come out on top in the Battle Royale. You should retire now as undefeated champion and go on to a successful career coaching Dreadball players…in an ideal gamers world anyway.

        I am happy to hear that they keep a close reign on the rules. Tweaking the Judwan statline is elegant and bodes well for this company. It always bugs me when a company sticks to a broken idea (Toughness 8 Eldar Dreadnoughts anyone?) and doesn’t make an easy change to make things flow fairly (a T7 Dreadnought, duh!).

        I would not go near the Forgefathers after previously discussing them with you – who wants to not have a competitive team in a sports competition after all but hopefully they will get a little tweak in time.

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        • It is funny that our DungeonBowl era serves as groundwork for Ultimate DreadBall (to an extent at least. They are significantly different rulesets). I see that as the “Cadogan Road” era myself 🙂

          I considered retiring, Patches O’Houlihan style, but I think that I have a few decent years yet 😉

          So far Mantic/Jake Thornton are keeping on top of the more egregious issues, while as yet not being too knee-jerk. I heard at the Open Day that an issue or two that bug me are being addressed soon too. So well managed in the main so far.

          Funnily enough a number of the local players picked FFs as their first team just because the models are quite cool. PB also painted his FFs as his second team just because he unexpectedly liked the look of them.

          Toy soldiers is a unusual fusion of left and right brain activity: not all decisions made are correct for technical reasons when painting and the like come into it.

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          • Out of the bunch of teams I liked the look of the FF minis myself! They should really get better sculptors to work on much of their stuff. It looks like someones relative is sculpting those figures to me and there is no excuse for sub par sculpting on a professional game. I have seen better work from amateurs on blogs! Maybe it is just me.

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            • Some Mantic figures are great, but the proportion of not so great is historically a bit higher than some other manufacturers I think. There are a few reasons but keeping the price down tends to gave been a factor. They have upped their game a bit recently too. Many if the related issues are teething problems for a small startup company.

              I have become more forgiving of certain sculpts over recent years. If the model is good for an enjoyable game then I just try to get in with it. Part of it is a reaction from me to the often overworked GW style which puts me off painting. But you are correct, Mantic sculpts on the whole need to up their game a bit. The Deadzone stuff (coming soon) is an improvement over the DreadBall stuff though.

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              • I guess one positive about rough looking figures is that you tend to get them painted quickly as you are not so much under a subconscious influence to paint them to display quality. I agree that the dodgy mantic stuff is preferable to the overworked GW style du jour. Keep it crisp simple and fun!

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  2. […] Zegema Beach Zephyrs – DreadBall Asterian Team […]

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  3. […] of a theme running through one of my skirmish forces.  I used a similar scheme to that used on my Zegema Beach Zephyrs DreadBall team.  I like the somewhat anime meets TRON look that I think it gives.  Its a pretty stark contrast […]

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