I used my recently acquired 'Void Sirens' team and Gary (the guy teaching me) used the shops human team. He's one of whatever Mantic calls it's Henchman/Press-ganger equivalents so he seemed the best candidate as a teacher ;-)
The game mechanics are fairly simple.
Each team has six players on the table at any one time though your team itself can be larger with the extras being available as substitutes for incapacitated (or killed) players. These models are divided between three types (Strikers, Jacks and Guards) with each having certain advantages and disadvantages. Certain player types are unable to do certain things and others get bonus dice for certain actions. The number of these player types available to you also is a good indicator of the inclinations of your team...Marauders (Orks to all intents and purposes) for example have no 'Strikers' but make up for it with extra Jacks and Guards (the ones that do the hitting).
A card is drawn to decide who is the home or away player (home player deploys first) and different teams (Human, Marauder, etc.) get different numbers of coaching dice (bonus dice you can add to rolls) and cards (granting extra actions amongst other things).
Each team gets a number of actions to divide amongst their players with no more than two on a single player (though they need not be consecutive) and your turn automatically ends if you fumble the ball or score. Actions have a target number depending on your team and player type (Humans need a 4+ on a D6 for pretty much everything, Skaven are faster but weaker, etc.).
Most Actions are accomplished with a 'pool' of 3 dice which is then modified up or down depending on who you are and what your doing at the time) and these are so simple and manageable in number that after a few turns the modifiers become second nature. You can add a single one of your coaching dice (if you have any left) to any dice roll you wish if you deem it important. Should you be making an opposed roll against another player and double their total then bonus effects come into effect (free moves and so on).
Should you be unfortunate enough to get one of your players injured he takes a number of saves equal to the difference between his result and the opponents with the number of failures being equal to the amount of time (turns) the player is removed from the table...more than three and the player is unfortunately removed permanently...
The board has several scoring zones (red and white in the above picture) with different points being available based upon where you 'shoot' from and how far away from the 'goal' you are. The score zig-zags back and forth as each time you score your points first counter any your opponent may have already made. First to seven wins though you'll probably have scored far more than that as the score swings back and forth during the 14 turns
|I should probably have spent more time in my opponents half...|
The answer would have to be yes. The rules are so simple that by turn three or so I didn't need to really ask anything other than some of the effects for 'doubling' your opponents successes and for a simple system it becomes surprisingly tactical very quickly. The models are fairly characterful (as much as can be done on such a small scale and are easily identifiable as their respective types as the poses are quite distinctive. It's also surprisingly involving and immersive which I wasn't expecting from such a basic premise.
There are also campaign rules in the instructions should you and a group of friends wish to utilise them for a prolonged group of games and several of the locals are already doing so (and have been for quite some time).
I'll be buying a copy next month ;-)
I'm sure all the Dreadball players will be rushing to tell me how much of the above I got completely wrong but until then...
...thoughts and comments are (as usual) most welcome.