Well, I just got back from another night’s gaming with the DreadBall @ Confetti guys, and I had even more fun than last time! 

I painted up my Corporation team for the season opener last month, and they saw action again tonight. I have of course named the team, built up a backstory, and already worked them into DreadBall’s background. They were on good form tonight, playing up to their (so-far mostly fictional) reputation as a bunch of chancers with a ridiculously lucky streak. 

One of my favourite parts about games like DreadBall has been the story you can tell through playing games. With that in mind, I thought I’d tell their story through the blog. Once I get involved in an actual league things will really kick off, but for now here’s something to start things off. 

The TuStax Wranglers are, so far, the only team entered into the DreadBall leagues by the Good Old-Fashioned TuStax Corporation. Initially formed when TuStax CattleCorp bought out the sphere-famous Bubba-Rojel’s Good Old-Fashioned BBQ Booth, the fast food giant has always preferred to focus its finances on terraforming asteroid belts to house its megaherds of EnormoCattle™. Executive chief Boss J.R. Hogan famously went on record to state that “TuStax has no interest in dressing fancy and playing to the crowds. No, sir. You want that, you can look to Trontek, or Mi-Gan or one of them gush-darned greenie corps. We’re happy spending our time finding new and better ways to bring the Bubba-Rojel experience to your table. Remember – we guarantee that less than five percent of our meat comes from unthreaded sources. Have you tried our new smoked plexiwood sauce?”

Of course, that all changed last cycle, when young go-getter Elroy Hogan took his uncle’s place after J.R. was injured in a freak hoverzat accident. The younger Hogan didn’t have his predecessor’s hangups about the world of corporate sponsorship, and before long the TuStax brand was showing up in a variety of new places. Inevitably, the sports arena was one of the first places. The Wranglers, a team made up of former ranchers, cattlehands and stablejacks from the corporation’s ranches, were rushed into training and – according to commentating legend Jim Horowitz – were “in the arena before the ink was dry on Elroy’s succession contract”.

The team has yet to really prove itself in one of the big leagues, but is building a quiet reputation at the fringe arenas. One of their most recent outings saw them beat the Thunderbolts in a landslide victory at the newly built Antenna Station Arena. Their opponents, a team of penal colony guards with a reputation for serious brutality, seemed to have caught the Wranglers on the wrong foot at the start of the match. Led by the Guard known only as The Juggernaut, their game-opening charge put the hurt on Hogan’s boys, leaving less than half the team standing. Fan-favourite Wrangler Guard Tex LaFontaine pulled things back from the brink when he took his opposing number out of play with a lucky uppercut, which made an opening for Cody Norris, who scooped the ball up and attempted a short-range pass to fellow Striker Jeremiah Dillinger. The Thunderbolts were doing a good job of marking the pair, and the shot went wild… only for Norris to miraculously recover it mere moments later and take a second attempt! This time Dillinger caught it, ducked past the huddled defence and sprinted to the end zone to score a game-winning four-pointer. Post-match discussions all centred around the near-fumble, with multiple vidcast replays and dissections. In the end, the debate came down to whether they thought Norris was damned skilful or damned lucky, with the general consensus leaning towards the latter. Following the same match, T.J. Williams, the team’s newly signed Jack made a public apology for his shoddy performance. He’d spent the entire game in one place, hovering near the Wranglers’ endzone strike target, displaying none of the flair that had won him a place on the team. One spectator pointed out that he also seemed to have his visor tint turned up to maximum, which is normally reserved for pre-game shows and outdoor displays, as it can seriously impede a player’s performance. In his post-game speech, a clearly dishevelled Williams came clean that he’d had one too many glasses of DuneShine™ the night before, and that he’d learned his lesson and wouldn’t be doing it again. Rumour has it that he was fined thirty megacredits by the DGB for his obviously intoxicated behaviour, and that he would have been axed from the team if he wasn’t the great-grandson of Marv Williams, one of the three original founders of TuStax.

In darker news, fans are hoping for the swift recovery of Anton Downey and Champ Fanshaw, who are taking time out in the medipods following their last game against an unknown Veermyn team. The game, which hadn’t appeared on any official listings, seems to have sprung up as a result of a last-minute agreement between the two coaches. Buddy Mahoney was unavailable for comment, but an official statement by the Wranglers insists that they were convinced the game was legitimate and within league parameters – despite the fact that they were unable to respond to questions about their opponents’ identity. In any case, sportscasters agree it was one of the best games they’ve seen in some time – “full of flair, fluke and face-breaking”, according to CorpCast contributor Krovan. Dillinger excelled himself once more, teaming up with primary Jack Hank Dupree to deliver a pair of four-point strikes that would have won the game if not for some brilliant recovery plays by the Wranglers’ opponents. An inquiry has already been launched into the identity of the mysterious Veer-myn, with several prominent corporations already expressing their interest in a sponsorship.

Fontaine (centre), flanked by Dillinger (left) and Dupree (right), in a recent promotional shot for Wrangler Steax.
Fontaine (centre), flanked by Dillinger (left) and Dupree (right), in a recent promotional shot for Wrangler Steax.