Deadzone

deadzone-logo-whiteDeadzone is an SF skirmish board game set in Mantic’s Warpath universe.

It went live on Kickstarter on the 26th of April and reached its funding goal of $50,000 in just 33 minutes. It is currently top of the Hotness list on BoardGameGeek.com.

The rules are currently available as an Alpha version and you are encouraged to read, play and comment on them in the FAQ and articles threads below.

 

Living FAQ

Living FAQ – ask your questions here.

 

Alpha Rules & Designer’s Notes

Alpha Rules – the first public version of the WIP rules.

Alpha Rules Feedback & Comments – please add yours here.

I’m Listening – a roundup of early comments and general themes

Kickstarter Rules FAQ - Ask Alpha rules questions here.

Deadzone Articles Plan 

Gridded Board & Line of Sight – why this combination and what does this mean in game?

Turn Sequence, Overwatch and Card Interactions – why i-go-u-go isn’t all bad if you add lots of sauce.

Suppression – rounding out the effects of Blazing Away.

Force Selection – how to pick armies.

55 Responses to Deadzone

  1. Pingback: What Has Kickstarter Ever Done For Us? |

  2. moocifer says:

    Just listened to your M&M interview at Saute and I hope you don’t conjure up a sissy Judwan Medic/Scientist or a bland Judwan diplomat. As much as the concepts are fitting I think people might come to associate these with fringe races sharing some similar characteristics from Star Wars.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Medics, scientists and diplomats were all around long before Star Wars. I haven’t watched a lot of the recent SW material as what I did see was depressingly awful revisionist kids stuff. Whatever edge it used to have has been polished down to a mirrored sphere.

      The suggestion of a ninja-death killy Judwan is just so trite and pointless as to be beyond words. I’d far rather have an interesting alternative than just another fighter in a game which is already chock to the gunnels with different kinds of combatants.

      • Sam says:

        A medic has obvious uses and a wizar-scientist could pull out some awesome abilities.
        A diplomat wandering into a Deadzone would take a lot of explaining and it does smell of Star Wars episode ohmygodwhywhywhy Trade Federation delegate especially with their superficial facial resemblance and (presumably) robes.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          No robes if anyone listens to me. It happens occasionally.

          The thing is that the Judwan (and a lot of the rest of the Warpath universe) is only very sparsely explored in public, and I think that there is a far richer tale to tell than simply dump them in the “let’s make them a ninja” camp. It’s been done to death and it isn’t exciting any more.

          Whilst you may have seen the Trade Federation doing diplomaty things in SW I don’t recall them every turning up in the middle of a game. Maybe they did in one of the computer games. I dunno, I only played them for about 10 minutes before I got very bored.

          The problem with being inventive is whatever you invent people say “it’s a bit like X, Y or Z”. This is a natural human response for categorising things, but one that does tend very much towards blandness. With the alien races in DB I am trying to drag the background into a different space from the standard issue cookie cutter SF. Some of it works, other bits don’t. You’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg so far though, in terms of background. Loads more to come. When you do have more frame of reference within a Warpath context you’ll be able to make more sense of things like Judwan diplomats.

        • Rolex says:

          “With the alien races in DB I am trying to drag the background into a different space from the standard issue cookie cutter SF. ” This is wonderful music to my ears. Please, pleease, please do.
          It’s what I like most of the DB e DZ BG. Very beautyful.
          Rules and toy soldiers are very nice, but dreams are what games are made of.
          And this “dream” is shaping up very promising, interesting and thought-provoking.
          Nice. :)

      • moocifer says:

        I heartily agree that a lone Judwan Ninja would be dull. On the other hand a troupe of Pygmy Zee Ninja’s would be AWESOME !! :)

  3. heavymagazine says:

    Speaking of factions, Jake, will the regular (which is to say not Enforcers) Corporation troopers be making an appearance in Deadzone?

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Not sure yet. The number of factions we do in this set really depends on how well the KS campaign does, and they aren’t in the first 6. Don’t really want more humans do you? Aliens are much more fun…

  4. zergos says:

    Since this seems to be the place to talk about Warpath/Deadzone aliens: Will there only be plague versions of humans or some of other species, too? I guess 1st and 2nd gen are way too far mutated to look much different, but what about, say, third gen Orx? Or Veer-Myn? Especially the later ones are, if I remember correctly, troubling common on many corporation worlds.

    • greenboy1978 says:

      I second this request when ever you get mutent or zombies or skeletons models they are always human would be nice to see a change

    • Quirkworthy says:

      You may have noticed in some places I refer to the Plague as Stage 1A or 3D. The letter is a reference to the original species. “A” is human, which is the most common on Corporation worlds, and so the most common form of Plague. The further we get in the KS the more we get to expand the range of models and the more likely we are to see Plague with non-human starting points. The plague dogs are really just 3Ds.

  5. Paul says:

    Printed Beta rules this morning, had an extended break at work :) and read rules 3 times over a few mugs of tea and toast. Well done Mantic, so many new possibilities running through my head. Initiative and Command Total are great game mechanics. Query: Assault Enforcer has a 5+ pistol range 3 Missile Enforcer has a 4+ pistol range 3 and missile AP2 Enforcer Sergeant has a 4+ pistol and range 3 I can see that the Sergeant would have better weapon skills at a 4+, but should the Missile Enforcer be the same as the Assault pistol as 5+, his missile skill being 4+? Would love to see close encounter shotguns, range 3 with damage bonuses :p Keep up the excellent work, can’t wait to get some beta games in this weekend, and it’s a Bank Holiday in UK on Monday, so another day of play testing…yippee!!!

    • Quirkworthy says:

      The shooting skill is a function of the model, not the weapon.

      However, the ML should have 6+ Fight, not 5+.

      More weapons incoming :)

      • Tristan says:

        Ah, I need to update my print out!

        I also noticed that it says in the rules that on the player stat card their particular interrupt skill will be listed – but it doesn’t. I assumed that for most bar the Plague 2A it is just a shooting action, while they get a fight action – but what about the Assault Enforcer?

        • Quirkworthy says:

          They were missed on the original cards and I posted them up here. I just can’t remember where. I’ll be doing some new cards soon anyway.

  6. So wait a minute, this thread says no Judwan ninja assassins… “The suggestion of a ninja-death killy Judwan is just so trite and pointless as to be beyond words.” So what is WRATH

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Ronnie’s fault ;)

    • ph3brickid says:

      Lol, I just saw that and was about to say the same thing. ;)
      Though for the record, I think Wrath is pretty damn awesome! It’s not like he chose to be a ninja-death killy Judwan… The Council of 7 forced him into it and now he’s making them pay! :)

  7. Pingback: Model-less Rules « pigment.apply

  8. Hi
    I have translated Deadzone beta rules in french.
    I would like to know if I can publish it on BGG and make it available for french people interested with the game. not sure about copyright .

    In addition, during translation some points appear not to be clear for me,
    About models positionning : “If possible, always position opposing models in adjacent cubes so that they are not touching.” not clear for me…

    About Break Off action : it is said “A model that is in the same cube as any standing enemy models cannot guaranteethat they will be able to walk away unharmed”.
    For me, standing, is then about Alert or Enraged models, not Pinned ou Suppressed as the figure is lay down, so I’m a bit confused with the fact the Fight mods can concerned Pinned ou Suppressed foe…

    Hope you can help on those points.
    Thanks

  9. Mike says:

    Dear Quirkworthy,

    I have read much about Deadzone in recent months and I have some questions in regards to larger games and a possible alliance system:

    Larger playing area – Ever since the kickstarter I have been drawn to the idea of a larger 2×4 playing space (2 Deadzone mats).
    Will the game design for standard 2 player games be compromised in this larger playing area? Or will it scale up nicely? I’d imagine the likes of the Plague maybe hindered with the extra space while the Rebels will no doubt love the extra room for manoeuvre. How have you found the scaling up of the game during play testing?

    3 Player games – I’m expecting, once I’ve receive a copy of game, to have a few 3 player games. Or at least have one extra bod wanting to play this most awesome cracking game. Would a game having one large force of say Plague (140 points) vs 2 forces of Enforcers (70 points each) or 2 different forces (Enforcers and Rebels), be OK? Does the game accommodate this kind of flexibility? Can it be played in this way? Will you be writing any special 3 player+ scenarios? Which brings me to ask…

    Alliance System – is there going to be an alliance system? Does it matter if Plague pair up with Marauders to fight Rebels? Does anyone want to pair up with Enforcers? Really? Is there a system to use or is it quite flexible who you buddy up with? Are there enough reasons to justify why Rebels would be best friends with Enforcers for a game? Which brings me to ask…

    Civil War – can forces of the same faction fight each other? And if so, why would they? Are there civil wars within the Corporation and Plague? Or do they all get along nicely? Would it make sense to have 2 sets of enforcers fighting each other over a long campaign? What are your thoughts Quirkworthy?

  10. Pingback: Heroes & Villains |

  11. Hey Jake,
    I wanted to ask if it was ok if I were to make a rule adaptation of Deadzone, fluffed and crunched for Kings of War instead of Warpath? I wanted to check to see if the DZ stuff fell under the same license as the KoW stuff in terms of fan army lists and rules (ie, can’t use it for profit, must attribute it properly to copyright holders, etc). Would this be alright?

  12. That Lee guy says:

    Planetary conditions cards? Gravity, light conditions, fog/smoke, seismic activity, extreme temperatures, raging T-rex’s now that the fences are down, carnivorous plants (see previous electric fence down)

    That Lee guy

  13. gmort says:

    Not sure where else to post this where you might see it so I’ll give here a go.

    I’ve been looking at the special character pdf and as a plague fan I obviously went straight to Dr Simmonds…however I’m not sure I get what she’s actually for…

    She’s only 2 points cheaper than a General so she’s not exactly a bargain for her statline.
    She has Tough but no armour (a general has armour but no tough) so the end result is the same. She’s a worse commander than a “general” (2/1 rather than 2/2), has a marginally better survive and Fast. I may use the model and just call her a “General” as I can’t see any-one at my FLGS complaining but other than that I’m not sure she has a use.

    Making her a ‘Plague’ medic might have been a better idea. Or at least giving her Tactician or Strategist.

    Or am I missing something?

    • nobbla81 says:

      Looking at her stats etc, I would say Dr Simmons is a flanking unit. A bit like Wolf Riders in Warhammer. Her strength is her Fast ability allowing her to move 3 spaces a turn. That is the 2 spaces for sprint which due to her ability is now a short move, plus the usual 1 space move ability. So in just 2 turns she is pretty much in the opponents deployment zone. Pair her up with one or two hounds who can keep up with her speed and you then have a headache for your opponent. No need to run her into a big fight. Just sit her somewhere where she can be a pain. A weak opponent will be greatly affected by her presence and will make mistakes which you can exploit. But even a seasoned veteran will want to do something about her and will result in distracting some of his troops away from your more deadly troops. She is also a mutant so perhaps you can beef her up with some even more annoying abilities like spit acid which will really put the wind up your opponent. In terms of deployment I would set her up in one of your flanks where you would think your opponent’s team will be most light in models.

  14. DrDuckman says:

    Hi Quirkworthy, I posted this suggestion at the Mantic Deadzone Rules forum, but I figured I should also send it to you for your consideration:

    So, after looking at the Mauraders gunrack and Hulk, and knowing that the Strider will also carry a HEW, I am seeing a bit of a potential issue. Right HEWs and AP6 Deliberate weapons in general seem to be an entire class of weapons that are placed in a very awkward position, since I don’t think the system, as is, can support anything over 4 armor. Currently, unless you are targeting the Helfather, there is no unit in the game an AP1 sniper is not better against. Their main advantage of AP6 is wasted, making them essentially longer range inferior snipers.

    I am well aware that that will change when bigger game types and the Forgefathers come out. Bigger ranges means that guns with range 14-16 will be more useful, and if the Helfather is any indication, Forgefathers will have armor 3 models. However, this seems like a very specialized niche for a these models.

    I think units like the Maurader Hulk or HEW gunwagon, perhaps eventually the Strider(Looks like it has a HEW) need a wider niche to fill. So my suggestion is, in order not to have to change the cards, to simply have a rule in any future expansions that says that all AP6+ weapons get Irresistible. It’s not as neat as giving it individually, but it works. Suddenly now the anti tank weapons are no longer just longer range sniper rifles. Instead they can hunt units like the Phase 1, Teratons, Hulks or Piece-keeper Captain, as they should. Those models will still be tough cookies, due to their 3+ survival roll, but now they have another tactical consideration. Most importantly, it makes the HEW Gunrack and the Hulk attractive prospects on normal games of Deadzone, whereas now, Rainmakers, the mortar gunrack or snipers seem almost always the wiser choice.

    Plus it would make more fuff sense, cause seriously, why is a goblin with a sniper better than an anti tank plasma at hurting Phase 1/Teratons/ Hulks. I rather like the idea that it takes a tank or a Strider to down a Phase 1. What do you think?

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Thanks DrD. I don’t get enough time to deal with all the comments on Quirkworthy, so rarely make it over to the Mantic forums. If you want me to look at stuff then this site is the place to post.

      It’s an intriguing idea and I rather like it. It’s not quite how I’d implement it, but a good approach to start from and worth developing. I’m tinkering with some experimental rules which I will post up at some point. I’ll test out something along these lines too :)

      There are reasons why a sniper might be more able to kill a target than a less subtle weapon. For example, imagine that Superman’s eye was vulnerable. You could try to snipe that small a target, but hitting him in the belly with an RPG would still do nothing.

      • DrDuckman says:

        Happy new year! Thanks for replying, sorry I did not reply back earlier, Christmas be crazy.

        I saw your experimental Excessive Force rule, and I thought that was a really elegant solution. I added a comment over there for a possible solution to the potential issue that people mentioned, of making the really expensive superheavies(i.e the Piecekeeper) too risky to take. I think if you simply added the Tough and Really Tough (so +1 or +2) to the armour value to be doubled, you’d solve this issue rather elegantly.

        Yeah, I see your point about the sniper, but if these things are anti tank weapons, surely no infantry should be able to withstand them, even the really big and boney variety. Though perhaps something like the Plague Teraton is simply that badass. That thing does look like it could take a tank shot and keep trucking. I love that model :D.

  15. Jesse De Vaan says:

    Hi, I’m not sure if this is the right place, or if it’s already been answered, but what happens if I buy a Reb Commander a Energy Shield?

  16. If I have 3 size 1 models in a cube, can I prevent a fight from size 2, 3 or 4 model because it can’t move into that cube?

  17. Daron says:

    Peter, Each side can have up to 4 size units worth of models in a cube. Your opponent can have 4 size units worth of guys in the same cube as your up-to-4 size units worth of guys.

  18. Has there been any word on the AI deck? Any testing for it planned? I’m about to finish up my pledge manager and I noticed this has little to zero information.

  19. Matt Price says:

    Hi Jake,

    I just posted a review over at bgg (check it out if you have a moment: http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1132161/deadzone-this-aint-your-daddys-table-top-miniature) and someone replied that the paper map was not included in the retail version, that the mousepad version has replaced it. Do you know if this is the case? I’d love to update my review, as the paper map was pretty crummy.

    Also, do you know if the colored plastic boxed set that was available for KS backers will be made available retail, or if that was just a KS experiment?

    Thanks again for this great game.

    M

    • Quirkworthy says:

      As far as I’m aware the paper mat was a KS only thing. This was the original spec, and when the mouse mat appeared they decided to add rather than replace. But the retail version doesn’t need both, so it gets the better version.

      I’ve never seen the coloured plastic version myself. My guess would be not at retail because multiple versions will risk confusing people, but that’s a guess.

  20. I picked up dead zone recently and am really enjoying it. I was wondering if you had a vision for the game being played at a tournament level and if so if you think true line of sight could cause issues with certain models at that point I.e. the stage 2 leaping over a barrier is more of a liability than the one crouching down. Did you ever consider abstracting the los for the shoot action like you did for the blaze away action?

  21. Matt Price says:

    Yea, the non-shooty models that are tall are quite a liability in DZ. I don’t use the tall 2nd gen, and have modeled the leaper as crouching (I also have a pet peeve against models that drag terrain along with themselves on their bases!)

    That might make serious tourneys a bit tough!

  22. David Smith says:

    Blaze Away to Powerful?
    We’ve got a couple of dozen games under our belts now using all factions and Blaze Away has become the default method of shooting as you have more chance of wounding than a normal shot.
    Once a model is Pinned or Suppressed, which is easier to hit than a shoot, other models then Blaze Away with almost certainty of getting a triple as it’s so common for the target to roll no successes with 3 dice and the attacker needing just 1 success to get the triple and therefore get 3 hits on the target. Shooting only now occurs when there is a good sdice advantage in doing so.

    Is anybody else finding this and if they are, ok with it?

  23. David Smith says:

    Sure, but you have a heck of a lot more chance of getting 3 hits pre-armour with blaze away than a regular shot, You would need to roll 3 successes with a Shoot action and only 1 success with Blaze away if the target rolled none AND the target would roll more dice in defence with a shoot action.

  24. Matt Price says:

    I’ve not played as much as you have (only about three games so far) but all the “Oooh, that’s gotta hurt” cinematic episodes are from Blaze Away. That the defender tends to get fewer dice in Blaze Away does make it easier for the attacker to get some very strong results. It’s a bit of a pity to hear that you’re finding BA is now the default shoot action. I know Jake was working on BA until just about when the game was released; I’m interested to hear what others report too.

    • Bill says:

      I’ve seen the same only it’s a little harder than what you are saying…at least in our games.
      Rarely does it happen that an Enforcer is killed by this. Usually by just rolling 1 success it messes the whole thing up. And with their 2 armor,well it’s just hard. And the leader for the Plague or the Enforcer Captain…forget it. Even with 3 times the hit unless you are using AP rounds. The Captain has 2 armor with tough and the plague has 1 armor with Very Tough. Even 1 defensive success you are wasting time there.

      • David Smith says:

        Well you are talking about the heavies and not the general grunt, and their protection stops everything except the best of shots anyway. Try playing with Survival 6 Rebs.

  25. Peter Fontebasso says:

    Where do we find the cards for the Mercenaries? The Mantic site only has 2 to download. There were none in my Nexus Pi PDF but I got a number of them in my Kickstarter?

  26. Bill says:

    A few questions we ran into while playing:
    A) when shooting a grenade (marauder ripper suit) do you have to target a model or a location like when you throw? If targeting a model do they get a ‘defensive type roll’
    B) using the above- do you use your shooting stat? Do you roll 3 dice? How many success’ do you need?
    C) when shooting a grenade can they use long range? Double the shooting distance?
    D) a model is suppressed in his next available action the only way to stand the model up is to use a courage card and a ‘get mean’ battle card correct?
    E) is it correct to say that you can play 1 offensive card and one defensive card on the same model total? Or can you use multiple defensive cards but in different turns?
    F) when drawing site from a vehicle is it from the drivers view or the weapons or either?

    Thanks, I think that’s it for now.
    Bill

    • mastertugunegb says:

      Following answers are broken into Frag Launcher (which is what I believe you mean) and Frag Grenade (what you MIGHT mean)
      A) Frag Launcher: It has Single Shot, so it’s a PointLOS Shoot Action attack thus pick an enemy model and frag it.
      Frag Grenade: Uses Throw Grenade Action, so it targets AreaLOS, throw in general direction and watch it explode.
      Both cases get survive rolls, though the Throw Grenade is a single success to hit Action, the Survive roll for it comes when you move on to the Frag part. The Launcher gets two Survive rolls, one from the primary target shot at to see if it HITS, the second for the opposed Frag test. Roll the Frag part once, then anyone and everyone in the target cube and adjacent ones get to try and Survive vs that result.
      B) Yes to both. Shoot stat is used for all ranged attack actions, as stated in Shoot, Blaze Away and Throw Grenade.
      C) Frag Launcher: Yes. But with usual penalties for Long Range,
      Frag Grenade: No. Hand grenades of all types so far, including Frag Grenade are listed as Limited Range. So 3 cubes is it. You could miss and have it scatter a further cube, but beyond that, that’s pretty much it.
      D) Yes… or you if you have a model with Tactician or Strategist and a Command Token unspent, you can attempt a Command Action to try and have the model take a ‘Get Mean’ that way too, and then use a ‘Get Mean’ card or a Short Action ‘Get Mean’ of their own.
      E) You are limited to one Active Card for each model in your own Turn. In the opponent’s Turn, you can use play one Reactive Card for each Test. Hybrid Cards count as whatever they are played as (your one Active Card if played as one in your own Turn, or a Reactive Card if played in your opponent’s Turn). You can play as many Reactive Cards as you have Tests that can use them in your opponent’s card up to one Reactive Card per different Test.
      F) Can’t remember the exact ruling on Vehicle LOS. I think it’s from the Gunner/Driver, but not too sure.

  27. Bill says:

    Hey Jake,
    Can you help answer my questions? Others are asking me if I have gotten any new info about it.
    Thanks,
    Bill

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s