This page deals with all the rules questions that you might have about the Deadzone Kickstarter rules. When the full rules have been published and the game released in its final form I will replace this with a living FAQ for that.
Please read the questions and answers below to see if your query has already been answered. If not, feel free to ask in the comments section at the bottom of the page.
If you have any questions on the game rules, or if you see a post on a forum somewhere that does, then please direct them here so that I can deal with them all in a single document. That way questions get answered consistently and everyone gets the benefit 🙂
The following are dealt with in 3 steps rather than the more common 2. As well as a Question (Q) and an Answer (A) I’ve included a Discussion (D) section so that I can talk around the topic as needed. This might explain why a rule is as it is, the history of its development or the tactical implications among other things. The intention is to give you a better insight and understanding into the decisions behind the rules as well as the rules themselves.
Q: When will the rules be made public?
A: We’re aiming to put an Alpha version of the rules onto the Kickstarter by the end of next week (5th May).
D: I’m playtesting all weekend in-between writing up corrections, then it needs a day or two in layout to make it pretty and get the sample cards organised. The aim is to get a condensed version that will allow you to see the core rules and let us know what you think. It will contain examples of the different elements, but not all instances.
Q: What’s an Alpha?
A: An early version of the rules.
D: Rules normally progress through 4 main stages with smaller increments within them. The first is Proposal/Concept, then Alpha, then Beta and finally Release versions. I could call this a Beta (that’s what people normally call things that get released to the public regardless of their state), but realistically there are a number of things which still need to be addressed before we get there in my eyes.
Firstly, what is done? Well the core concepts and processes have been developed and the game works as something you can play – it’s just not been refined enough yet for me to be entirely happy. What has yet to be finished is the details and balancing of the many weapons, troop types, faction specific cards and so on. I’ve got roughs for most of these, they just aren’t all balanced yet. You can help with that.
Then there’s the Kickstarter. To a large extent you guys have the control of how much goes in the final Deadzone rulebook. I’ve proposed a raft of stuff to Ronnie, and he’s tipped a stack more ideas into the mix, but whether we can get them all done or not depends on how well the KS does. It all takes time and time is money. If we get the funding then well be adding more factions, “locals”, extended campaign rules and loads more as well as all the extra models, terrain sprues and suchlike you’d expect from a successful Kickstarter campaign. This means that I can’t really call the rules a proper Beat because I don’t even know what’s going to be in the final version yet!
So the Alpha will show you the kind of game Deadzone is and you can easily see where it’s going. If you’re interested you can even chip in and offer suggestions. Always happy to listen to good ideas 🙂
D: The final contents of the rules (and the game in general) depends on the success of the Kickstarter. See my discussion above.
Q: Can I play without the board?
A: yes, with a few house rules.
D: If you really don’t like the idea of a board you could easily adapt the rules to a plain table. You need rules for movement, ranges and scatter and all can be derived from the grid measurements (movement and ranges) or borrowed from other games (scatter).
However, I personally see no real benefits and two distinct problems with doing this. Using a tape measure instead of the gridded board guarantees a slower game and also offers more opportunities for disagreements. I chose to use the board to make a slicker, faster and less fractious game as I like all those features.
To keep things tidy, comments and questions will be deleted from this page once they have been addressed in the FAQ.
So do the rules play like Necroumunda or Infinity? Or something completely different?
And will there be scope for campaigns, with characters gaining experience and skills and better stuff?
A bit like both and nothing like either 😉
There are rules for movement, shooting and cover like both games. Players do take turns, but the card system changes it from a simple i-go-u-go system like Necromunda to more of a hybrid between that and what Infinity does.
It has stuff that neither game has, such as pick-upable items and secret missions.
In general the rules are very different from either necrimunda or Infinity, being simpler and faster to play without sacrificing tactical choice.
Infinity does have secret missions when using TAOS and they seem to becoming more popular too for games I’ve seen too.
Personally I’d prefer gridless options in the core rules. I daresay I’m probably not alone in wanting a true mini campaign based skirmish game.
Secret missions? I’ll take your word for it. I’ve not played Infinity for ages, and the few figures I’ve still got are on their way to eBay. Some lovely models – I just never got on with the rules. I don’t even know what TAOS is. New book?
The core rules are on a grid. Like I said though, if you really insist on a slower, more clunky and more argumentative system then do feel free to add the few house rules you’ll need 😉
Campaigns are very popular and are definitely on my to do list.
How are the vertical distances measured on a grid then?
I’m very happy to hear there’s no I-go, U-go system.
Necromunda’s predecessor Confrontation had system where they used the Initiative of the model to decide who went first, and that Initiative was affected by amount of gear carried, any wounds etc. I loved that system.
What’s your system?
Never liked infinity to much hide and seek.. .
will there be different types of Grenades ? smoke, stun, blast
i do love chucking Grenades.
Not many games use them well if at all.
Mostly distances on a grid are very easy – just count the squares 🙂
Turns are i-go-u-go after a fashion, or they would be just that if the cards weren’t there to mess with things. I originally had only half each side acting in a turn, but that just ended up with players only using the best bits of their force and having the ret as cheerleaders (as happens in Infinity) so I changed it. However, I don’t much like simple i-go-u-go, so after you’ve done something with everyone you have to decide who gets to do the extra funky stuff.
Grenades are always tricky as they can easily be overpowering. There will be several types in Deadzone, and my favourite bit about them is blowing people off tall places with the blast 😉
Bongoclive was asking about vertical distances. 3D. How far away is someone 6 squares horizontal and 3 vertical?
9, but that’ll never be an issue as ranges are either the whole board or very short.
From googling a bit more it appears TaOS and YAMS are both unofficial but I see them used in a lot of tournaments and for regular gameplay here (Melbourne/Australia) and overseas.
OK. Maybe that’s why I’d not come across them. Secret missions are fun.
thanks for making public the rules! Will they be fully playable? I mean are you going to release also some stats for the miniatures in order to play an actual game?
Absolutely. The first Alpha will be a condensed version in the sense that it’s only a single scenario, one mission per faction and not all of the different troop types. However, the point of this is to explain the core concepts and to show you what we’re aiming for. The best way for you to see that is to try it out. Of course, the final version will have a load more models, missions, etc, etc and so will be far better, but this shows the ideas.
Are there any plans to introduce Forgefathers and Vermin, when?
So a 3″ x 3″ three dimensional grid on a 2′ square table, with a max of two dozen figs. Am I right in assumening that there can be many figs in a paticular grid, and that most of a paticular ‘gang’ will have the same stats.
Can you allow for a new palyer to compete equally against an experienced ‘gang.
FF & Veer-myn? Yes there are plans. When depends on the success of the KS. The better it does, the sooner we can do them.
There is a “stacking limit” per square that depends on the size of the models.
There is quite a variety of stats within a faction. There is basically one per model type plus some variants for veterans. many more different stat lines than DreadBall.
I’ve not really looked at a handicap system yet, but it might be needed for the campaign system. First things first though 😉
Will there be rules to use the project Pandora models easily?
Possibly. If we get to the Corporation faction (which would be different from the Enforcers) and if we get to the Veer-myn then you could probably use them. However, if we do get to them then we’ll also be making some new cool models 🙂
As with all these questions about factions, I’d like to do them all, but when I can get them done depends on the Kickstarter. A really good KS means more factions a lot sooner!
It wasn’t a request per see to have them in the kickstarter with new sculpts etc but more for cross game promotion, so you buy Pandora and get the option to download rules to use your new toys in Mantics other sci fi board game. Interesting option for boardgame buyers as buy the game, buy Pandora as a kind of expansion and also get exposed to model assemble and the like.
Cross-promortion is always an interesting aim, though often more difficult than it first appears. If I do the rules to enable them to be used them we might as well publish the whole faction as I’ll have done 90% of the work. Of course it could in theory save us making new models, but you know what we’re like for making new toys if we have an excuse…
Which isn’t to say that you couldn’t use your PP models. I’m just thinking that the most likely cross promo will be when the factions are done and we pull the PP specific units and mission ethos across.
Can Plague soldiers infect Enforcers or anyone else with the plague, increasing their numbers on the board?
Not within the scope of a game. The really dramatic and quick changes are the initial ones from the alien artefacts. These happen very quickly. Stage 1 to 2 and 2 to 3 are much slower and the creature appears to die before they change. In the context of a battlefield these are not fast enough to change.
Non fast enough to happen ingame, but it could be included in the in-between game sequence. Infecting captured enemies (or civilians) to replenish their ranks.
That would be very cool and in character.
It would indeed.
I was wondering if you will be making rules to allow more than two players (i.e., 3-4).
Since you did that with Dwarf King’s Hold, I imagine it’s on the agenda, but I’d like to know. My game nights are much more group-of-friends affairs than they are one-on-ones or going down to the local club.
I’m looking at the options for adding two boards together and playing larger games with more players. As it stands, the cramped nature of the battlefield makes adding more factions to a single scrap especially nightmarish, but that doesn’t mean it’s beyond doing. I’ve just not really spent much time on it yet.
After the dreadball rules, I am really looking forward to reading through this set 🙂
I’ve seen quite a stir on the KS comments section for solo play rules or missions. What’s the likelihood of that becoming a reality? and how do you envision it’s application into the game??
Solo play is something I’d like to do. It wold be a lot of work to make it function well as the core rules aren’t really intended for it. Definitely on the cards though.
How it would work I’m not sure. I don’t think that most game AI systems are very good as they tend to be very predictable and uninteresting. That’s because it’s difficult to do more than that.
Having an AI system that controls a neutral 3rd party is easier than one that controls the 2nd player, and that is likely to come in first.
Are you planning a levelling system within the factions for them to learn new skills? This is something missing from other skirmish games and it would be nice to be building your own elite hit squad.
Do designers ever look at the fanmade skirmish games
Have you seen big jims 40k skirmish game Killzone at galaxyinflames.blogspot.com/ ita very good and much better than GWs killteam
I do, though I don’t know that particular one.
Had a look and the links on his site seem to be dead. Maybe I’m looking at the wrong bit.
heres a link
you might also want to check out the wonderfully elegant in the emperors name
Is the game scenario based (like Necromunda and Mordheim) or more like Malifaux, in which deployment, scenery, missions etc are all generated randomly, or something else entirely?
At present the intention is to have a single method of setting up a game. However, within this it has variable deployment areas, variable (secret) missions, variable terrain, variable item and objective layout and you could both choose different forces each time.
So a bit of variation there, and to answer your question, potentially both.
The “training” system will be a short series of specific scenarios to teach you the game. I’d also like to do a series of “historical” missions, but I have to persuade Ronnie that’s a good idea first. Or you could 🙂
So, by offering terrain sprues that have the potential to be utilized as critical elements to the core ruleset (yay for that, btw), I’m trying to get a sense of the plans to use this terrain beyond the mere basics of serving as a handy grid for making movement easier or blocking LoS (assuming there is such a plan for such heady stuff).
Is there a plan for the ruleset to ensure that environment can add notable flavor to the gameplay?
For me, I think the market is very quickly reaching capacity in terms of skirmish games and many sorta feel very samey to me. One aspect I’ve personally been waiting for is one that embraces the environment (i.e., board) itself. So there’s my interest in Deadzone and why I’m backing it…seems like a game that wants to make it easy for players to get more out of their scenario’s environment without adding a lot of overhead to the rules and upkeep.
When you have the proper components, stuff like blasting holes in walls becomes easy to represent and intuitive for players to execute. Visual cues on the terrain itself makes it easy to remember that, oh yeah, you can teleport from here to there. Making an open door behave differently from a closed on can be a low overhead but flavorful when the visual cue is there (well…assuming your doors open/close…).
Anyway…hope I’m making some modicum of sense with what I’m curious to learn more about. Thanks!
I originally had more interaction with the terrain than is currently in the Alpha. The issue was simply that of speed. The game roars along so quickly that anything not immediate gets ignored. Modern (and therefore SF) combat is fast. At least the busy bits in-between the waiting are fast. Mouseholing through walls would be too slow. It took several iterations of the item/equipment rules to make them slick enough for anyone to bother picking it up. I am uncertain about how the doors fit and so I can’t say whether they are openable or not. Opening and closing them could easily be added back in though, and I wil be doing this if the scenery works that way.
Currently the interaction is in providing cover, blocking LOS, providing vantage points for marksmen and inconvenient sites for objectives, etc. all in all not a bad set of things to do as a start 😉
Obviously speculation at this point having not seen the rules but… I have seen plenty of skirmish games that handle stuff like mouseholing as a special ability, so the squad with the ability can move through a wall at half speed, no record keeping as assumed to be collapsing after them and whatnot. Anyway looking forward to seeing the rules, currently when i think of the game I can’t help but think of the recent xcom computer game! (Which was was bizarly skirmish wargame like.)
Are the bases attached to the figures and are the figures assembled?
Not 100% sure on this. I would assume that the models would have the in-built mini-base like all other Mantic models and then be attached to a larger gaming base – again like their other models.
One of the lower pledge levels is pre-assembled for board gamers who like that. The rest leave assembly up to you. I don’t think they’ll be in lots if pieces though.
Sorry I can’t be more exact.
The Zorr and the Nameless would fit perfectly into this horror setting. Deadzones would be great nesting areas for the zorr, and as I said the horror setting would be perfect for the Cthulhu like Nameless. Can we see these armies in Deadzone???
Also hoping for Nameless and if memory serves,they were comprised of three races, correct? The “John Doe”, the “Crab” Guard (with obligatory tentacles) and some unspecified third type that will be the non-guard role for DreadBall. Hopefully see them in DeadZone, maybe what Mantic was referring to earlier in the day in the comments about squid… One could hope! Hey Jake, maybe now we could get around to seeing the “cyber-crustacean” that never quite made it into DreadBall during my plea for Sharkmen? If only, if only…:)
@Mario – maybe. See my explanation above.
@Lee – I have a meeting today that is basically me saying “how many weird aliens can I make up for DZ?” I’ll know more after that. Of course, I could just stick loads more stat lines in and ignore the number of models they can make. Unfortunately that way lies nerd rage…
Hmmm, nerd rage? Are you sure? I would see it as an excuse to play with (and dust off) otherwise unused models in “counts as” fashion. But then again, you are probably right, guess eventually we would all clamor for the “official” thing….me included. Good luck with your meeting!
You can never be sure with nerd rage. It can strike unexpectedly from any quarter.
If teams gain experiance and skills I would very much see some sort of “inducement” system.
Not levelling things up too much but making games uncertain and fun for the underdog as well.
I think most Necromunda campaigns fall apart because the band that gains a lot of experiance very fast makes the game no fun.
Of course the overdog shoud still have an advantage.
The underdog could have temporary reinforcements from the command, or be joined for the mission by an exceptional individual, or get some dirty tricks to even the odds a little.
Would be nice.
Handicap systems are notoriously hard to balance, at least partly because everyone disagrees on where that balance should lie 😉
That said, they are an integral part of making campaigns playable and fun, so I’m obviously going to be aiming for one. Ground-breakingly awesome would be nice.
You must at very least do better than BB! 😛
Your fault for setting our expectations so high! 😉
Even getting close to the BB tournament system with customised and developing squads would for amazing. The tournament system seems to be the main pull that has BB as the only game that is played every year religiously in our group.
One simple ‘balance’ is utilising short-run campaigns. So your groups would agree to play a series of, say 8-12 games, after which everyone either resets, or you can level-up the weaker teams/gangs/squads/horde-of-virus-nerds. Narrative links would be ‘then 28 Days Later…’* the fighting broke out again.
Personally I would like a campaign that bolsters your squad in a manner that reflects the game result. I’ve played too many campaigns where I have either: lost every game, but my post-game has been awesome (leading to free models, specialise equipment, etc.); or my luck was used up in ‘dicing’ an opponent off the board only to find that my gang gained three Panini stickers and a water pistol.
*- or 6 months or whatever 😉
Why D8’s? Specifically I mean- I know the arguments for and against D6’s, but why have you gone with D8’s over D10’s D12’s etc?
10 was too many sides and 6 was not enough. Sounds trite, but that’s pretty much what it came down to.
Personally I favour the D8. The D10 can roll too far if you have a handful of them, but the D8 still gives that satisfying thud of the D6.
Oh, a games design reason… 😛
How many models per side did you design the game for in a ‘standard’ point size/scenario? Is the 6 model starter box (now up to 10 models in the KS) enough, or would you see most people getting 2x or 3x that to get the full experience?
There is a points system, so how many models depends on what you take. It also varies a lot between factions, or at least it can do. For example, if you take the Enforcer captain in the big armour (TM), a missile launcher, a burst laser, a sergeant and an assault trooper you have chosen costly specialists. Against this small army you could range three times as many opponents if you only took the cheapest troops.
As an average though? We’ve been playing the test scenario with half a dozen a side to get the feel for things. I think probably 8-12 models Per side as an average, though as I said this is quite variable.
The 6 model starter sets give you a core to build on. As there are so many ways you could take the force, giving people the core of commonly used models and letting them pick their own specialists means that people can personalise their armies more easily and just get the bits they want.
>one mission per faction
So some missions may be unique to a faction?
The Survivor made me think about mini-missions, what if he got his sample on the battlefield?
What if a First Gen can force him to succumb? Would that give him different abilities?
Third Gen recruitment could be limited by host bodies left on the last battlefield / models Second Gens killed in melee. Likewise, wouldn’t your First Gen have to infect someone in Melee to recruit a Second Gen?
It might make the game more a sequence of visceral action scenes rather than a fight and then back to the hideout to have a relax.
Most missions will be faction specific. Of course there will be crossover with parts of those missions: killing enemy models will often get you VPs, for example. However, most missions will be a different mix of tasks.
I don’t think that rigidly tying recruitment to battlefield kills would work in a game. Two reasons:
1) it only affects (restricts) one faction which seems unbalanced.
2) if you did badly you would be punished for it, kicking you into a negative spiral. Again, this would be unbalancing.
I do like the idea of bringing battlefield results into a campaign system, I just think that you need to be very careful how you go about it.
>I don’t think that rigidly tying recruitment to battlefield kills would work in a game.
>killing enemy models will often get you VPs, for example. However, most missions will be
>a different mix of tasks.
Awesome. That will add a lot to replayability. You’ve done this before, haven’t you? The multiple mini-missions in Malifaux have kept our Wednesday night crew fresh and still going for…2 years now? Are they likely to be randomly generated from their Faction, chosen or a mix?
Currently missions are a random draw from a faction deck with the option to discard and redraw if you really don’t like the first one. That’ll probably be refined, but something like that.
Does the game allow use of any kind of terrain (that fits to the squares) or is it playable only with 3″*3″ “bulkheads” and 1,5″*3″ “obstacles”?
Jake answered this somewhere. You can use any terrain using a tape measure for 3″ sections. May require a little house ruling for stuff like scattering (I’d guess a d8 determining which of the 8 neighbouring tiles it scatters to is too elegant for Jake to pass up).
You could use anything you liked. As long as you can define what is in each square and which squares count as cover you’re fine. The ones we’re making for it are just particularly convenient.
I think Sam is talking about my answer to the question about playing Deadzone without the gridded board. In normal games you never need a tape measure. To reiterate: if you wanted to house rule things you could indeed play without a grid. However, I think this would be worse in several ways (slower, more open to disagreement) and better in none. The only vaguely credible argument I can imagine that some folk might see in its favour is that the board might look a bit artificial. That is nullified by the grid being the edges of the concrete slabs which make up the floor – so the grid is designed into the art. Like I said – can’t see any benefit to losing it, and keeping it gains speed of play and clarity and ease of rules.
Could you please keep an update of how many tiles / floors the terrain sprues cover as the stretch goals are met? I also hope to see rules for my Ork Maruaders and Dwarven Forgefathers! Thanks!
I think that there’s a pledge manager linked on the site. Currently the exact contents of each terrain sprue have not been entirely finalised, but the rule of thumb is that you get 6 3×3 tiles (or equivalent) on each sprue. Some will be one design, others a different one, some with windows or doors and others battle damaged. You get the idea. I’m sure that Mantic will put up pictures as soon as they’ve nailed things down. They just want to ensure they get the best mix on the tools that get funded.
Marauders are one of the first 4 factions. FF will have to come after that if the KS goes well enough. Spread the word 🙂
This is also hyperlinked at the Kickstarter home page for Deadzone for convenience.
If there is enough call for it would you consider an official variant that would do away with the board? I was fairly disappointed by the grid system in Dust Tactics and, honestly, I can’t envision this being much different.
Well you need to upgrade your vision gear then 😉
DZ is not like Dust at all in terms of how it feels as a game. Much, much faster and more like a figure based skirmish game.
I might put a paragraph in the rules about using it without a board, but to be honest there is absolutely no benefit and a solid pair of downsides. Even if I didn’t it would only take you 2 minutes to work out the rules to use it on your kitchen table instead.
Having arguments means you’re playing with the wrong people. I wouldn’t consider having a tape measure and allowing complete freedom of movement across the entire table a ‘downside.’
Will it take longer than using squares? Sure. Will it allow a deeper experience than shuffling tokens around on a chess board? I can’t see how it wouldn’t. Having not yet read the rules I can’t help but doubt that you’ve managed to go from a movement system that allows complete freedom to one restricted to an 8×8 grid and sacrificed none of the tactical depth or flexibility.
Have a read: https://quirkworthy.com/2013/05/01/deadzone-designers-notes-grids-line-of-sight/
I don’t see how having a grid reduces freedom to move across the whole table. you are basically playing on a table with a tape measure printed on it, if that makes sense?
Thanks for earlier answer about terrain.
Will “faction deck” be one big deck that contains more cards than player has models (like with warmachine/hordes), or does it contain a card per model (so currently a starter would come with 10 cards)?
If kickstarter goes well enough, will there be any kind of vehicle units? (walkers/motorbikes/autogyros/etc.)
Ps. Please make alpha rules printer friendly.
A faction deck will have all the stat cards for that faction, regardless of whether the models are included. So yes, more than the models.However, stat cards are reference, not one per model, so if a starter has 3 of the same type of model then it only needs one stat card anyway. If you see what I mean.
Vehicles? ON a single board a vehicle wouldn’t have any room to go anywhere. The boards are scaled for really cramped and desperate close fighting. Perhaps if you stuck several together you could have one. We’ll see where Kickstarter takes us. I quite like the lander in the video, but we’ll have to see.
I’ll remind the layout guy about printer friendlies.
I love the lander, too, two people on WargamerAU mentioned it without prompting nor any apparent human intervention.
What about inhuman intervention, hmmm? Did you think of that?
Kind of a fluff question this one. Does the game focus on a specific ‘Dead Zone’ like Mordheim and Necromunda are set in one city, or can it be one of many Dead Zones? I’m assuming that each campaign would have to take place on a single Dead Zone as the Plague, presumably, don’t move from world to world.
Related to that, do the other teams set up a base in the Dead Zone and live planet-side for the duration of a campaign or do they have orbiting ships? Is their scope for capturing and holding territory within a Dead Zone that other players could attempt to seize?
Deadzone campaigns are more likely to be about resources and information than land (other than temporary positional advantages – mainly to exploit the resources and info). Units might be based on or off planet: it would depend on the faction and the specific circumstances, especially the number of Enforcer interdicts present in orbit.
I’m working up a background for a specific campaign now, and this is set on one specific world as you’d expect. The Plague can actually get off world, and this is one of the things that the Enforcers are particularly keen to avoid. The stage 3s retain enough of their human memories to be operate weapons and some equipment, including the occasional spaceship. Naturally they’d take their friends along for the ride…
Hi again Jake, just logged back on after the weekend and am happy with all the goals that have been achieved thus far especially since we are still at the very start of the campaign, I think a huge number of people will be waiting on the Alpha rules and/or scenery add ons, once those come out then I think you might have a struggle to keep getting stretch goals up fast enough.
At the same time I am glad you do not seem to be rushing the Alpha rules out just to get more pledges as I and I am sure you will agree as frustrating as it will be for the community its better to delay there release rather than put out something your still unsure of. Though I very much hope you do not need to delay at all!! (In fact get back to Work you! lol)
So I thought of another question that I feel is very important, and would be of use in your Q&A; What sort of restrictions do the factions have in terms of choosing your squads composition? Obviously there is only so much you can say, as a lot you wont have decided yourself yet but it boils down to when the Kickstarter gets on to its last weeks/days I will be looking at what add ons I can afford but when it comes to specific models if I will need some kind of loose guide as to what I can include model wise within reason, now I see the point of a little redundancy in favour of having options but overall I would like to keep such redundancy to a min.
I think I have explained that poorly so I will give an example, I have pledged for a Strike package, but think that initially I want to use plague so decide I will add to my plague model collect. I really like the plague dog models and the 3rd gen with the heavy machine gun so I add 8 more dogs and a second gunner, also currently there are 2 (and a third coming soon hopefully via current stretch) 2nd gens and I decide to add a third. Then you send me my digital rulebook in 3 months time (not an actual clue how long this will be, my guess is Nov/Oct) and it turns out my dogs are fine, but I can only ever field two 2nd Gens and 1 heavy machine gun I would be understandably disappointed. Now this level of disappointment will vary dependant on how many models I have that I cannot use in game (though I have no object to buying models that can only be used after a lot of campaign development) in combination with model duplicates I purchased in the process of this.
Now this for me stems back to memories of long past Games Days (GW) I think it was 96 or 97 when 3rd edition 40k and Dark Eldar first came out, me friends and I being 13 or 14 at the time ran down to the pre release stand to get whatever we could this resulted in us coming back with 8 homunculus models (each) amongst the range of goodies we grabbed only to discover 2 -3 months later that we would Not need more than 3 until the 5th edition Codex was released and even that would be only in massive games. For a 13-14year old wasting a considerable sum of money in such a way (£4 each I think) was soul destroying and I was pretty well off comparatively at that age due to having 2 paper rounds. (only way I could maintain my addiction to models) Now I am not a early teen any more (wouldnt want to be either though 21 would be great! ) but my money for buying models is actually more restricted ( I could splurge £50 a week then and still have pocket money for sweets and going out) but I am more cautious and in fact a ‘Gonad’ like older gamer so such things I tend to expect from gaming companies (but I dont get that feeling from mantic) because that way i avoid disappointment.
Sorry Jake I have once more made a massive rambling post to cover a simple question, though I have stayed on topic this time at least! Thank You for being so GREAT at communicating with the gaming community as a massive TT RPG fan, where such feedback is mostly unheard of I shocked by your constant and seemingly unending willingness to take time out of your life to answer our questions and as such I feel that a simple Thank you is the least I can offer.
Hi Crimson, you talk as much as I do 😉
The Alpha is a few tweaks away and I’m demoing it to Ronnie again tomorrow in what I think will be the final version (of the Alpha scenario). It then gets prettied up in layout and uploaded before the weekend, I expect.
Good question on the army list choices. You explained it perfectly clearly. At present I don’t really know, but I’ll try to remember to come back to it as it is important. If I seem to have forgotten do remind me as it’s worth exploring for the reasons you mention before the KS ends. We’re really focussing on how the game plays at present, rather than trying to break the armies. That will come next. I’d rather have as open a selection process as possible. It just depends on how easy the game is to break with mini-maxing. I do have a plan though…
I have to say that I’ve never heard of older gamers being called “Gonads”, though it did make me smile. I would guess it’s a corruption (or predictive text) of Grognard?
Its a corruption of Grognard that I find amusing and fitting from the position of RPG gaming, as pretty much all the serious debates are utter balls at the core 😉
As I said I didnt assume for a moment that you would be in a position yet to define what factions can take for the reasons you stated, and I doubt you will have the full answer by the end of the kickstarter either but I will not hesitate to remind you towards the end (last week most likely to make sure the community has time to use the information)
I like the sound of my own voice or text too much I think, but its also because I like to make sure I am not miss understood as miscommunication can often lead to issues especially on line. I am also very active on a good number of forums and therefore make a large number of posts which tends to lead to me waffling and struggling to stick to the point, I also have learned that the lowest and my preferred form of wit is best avoided over the internet because Sarcasm (I am British) is SOO easily read the wrong way! Though I wouldnt say its a bad thing too talk as much as you, I just hope that my comments are worth the reading. lol
As I said, I think I know how to make it work for everybody, I just need to test it out before I say it out loud (and the magic disappears).
You keep mentioning that the games will be fast, but how fast? How long would you see a typical game lasting?
About an hour, perhaps 10 minutes more.
Wait what? Plays on a board? Ugh…..That’s a game killer for me.
Have you read https://quirkworthy.com/2013/05/01/deadzone-designers-notes-grids-line-of-sight/
I very much doubt it plays like you think it does if all you’re considering is that is has a grid.
I have read that, but thanks for pointing it out. I was hoping for a game more in line with Infinity or Necromunda on steroids. With a variety of weapons, models with different skills and movement capabilities, I was hoping for a game filled with all of the things you’re purposly taking out. I want small % of cover to matter, I want finite movement. I was hoping the game wold extrapalate to a large 4×6 table where I could build a massive multi layer complex. All that with a detailed complex campaign wrapper. Sadly this won’t be that for me. But I do wish you the best of luck.
Fair enough Scott, and thanks. No game suits everyone. However, I would say that DZ ticks pretty much all of those boxes. Models have a variety of weapons, move in various finite ways, have different skills, dodge in and out of cover (and that matters), it extrapolates to multiple mat games, you can build as big a building complex as you like, and there is a campaign in the works.
Whilst I’m not expecting you to change your mind, I don’t actually understand how DZ fails to meet your list of requirements. I’m intrigued. if you have the time could you explain where you think if falls down?
The reply button wasn’t available in your reply so I’ll go for it here. I am glad to offer up my opinions. Obviously my ideas are based off of random comments, so without the rules in hand I’m going off of these assumptions. Movement: I assume a models speed will be based on a number of “squares” a model can move. So on a 24″ by 24″ board that’s only 8 units of movement in any direction. On a board played that small I would expect movements for various units to be limited, a fast unit maybe moving 2 squares. But what does that really entail? so if I am on the back line of square A and I move 1 square forward and place myself on the forward line that’s 6″ of movement. But in my mind I am thinking a slow unit would have in the neighborhood of 4″ of speed. Also it would seem to me you would never have to account for terrain affecting your movement, so a slow mover moving one square, and a fast mover using one square could end up at the exact same spot in the square with terrain having no hindering effect. That is how I envision grid movement to take place.
Weapons: Somewhere I read that weapons would be either “the whole board” or “really short”. Given that description it seems to me the list of weapons would be limited. I would want to see shotguns using a tear shaped template with targets taking more damage the closer they are to the model, or the same shotgun being loaded with a slug and now has a longer effective range say 12″. I agree that with modern weapons ranges can be pretty far, but an effective range should take into consideration. While my handgun can shoot several hundred feet, it’s effective range is only 50 tops. I have a hard time seeing weapons having this kind of variety when their ranges are in “squares”.
Terrain: I know you mentioned somewhere that you “could” use any type of terrain you wanted, but would “have” to define it into the confines of the 3″ square. As a terrain builder I find this very limiting. Without the confines of the grid you’re free to truly go wild. While I understand you could “house rule” anything you want, but when the core rules don’t support it, it makes it difficulty to get behind.
Cover: In a small skirmish game like this feels it would be, I enjoy the minutia of carefully placing the model to get the best shot and take advantage of the most cover. To me a game of this scale should have two maybe three levels of cover.
Detail: A game like this for me is all about the long term story, the “campaign” so to speak. It’s almost like a MINI – RPG. I want to be able to get behind the force and see I grow. By taking out what I see as the fine details for quick and dirty it takes away from the whole experience.
Thanks Scott, that’s both interesting and useful. Let me go through a few of your points. As you say, you only have partial information to go on. I’ll fill in a few blanks.
Movement is based on a number of squares, as you guess. The terrain you will see in the Alpha does not slow movement, though there will be types in the full game that do. This is based on watching film of real combatants moving through urban combat zones during firefights. They tend to be static or quite fast once the bullets start flying. As movement rates and turns in general are entirely abstract in any game I don’t think that the difference in the placing within a square really causes any problems in terms of accurately reflecting movement during combat. Normal movement is 2 squares. Slow models move 1 and fast factions are likely to have extra move cards to make their movement both quicker than normal and less predictable by the enemy. Coupled with the variability of terrain and mission and this gives a broad range of positional movement within the game. And don’t forget the third dimension! The effective size of the board is hugely expanded when you include that.
For the Alpha I’ve gone for 3 square ranges on grenades and pistols and the whole board for everything else. For larger (multi-map) games especially, but also for games with large height differentials, you need to cap the combat ranges of rifles too. Currently the larger games are using 3 range bands. However, I’ve not played many of them yet. The Alpha version comes to a near identical place given the board size and the weapons included in it.
Weapons come in a wide selection and vary in both range and effect. Some are slower to fire, some have a choice of ammo types, some produce blast or knockback effects and so on. I’ve not used a template because I don’t think it adds anything. I’m more interested in the effect of scatter shot over slugs and can produce that distinction without a template. A tear-shaped template is one way of modelling shotguns, but it’s not the only way. Not that shotguns feature heavily in Deadzone.
With building your own terrain, the only restriction is that you need to be able to tell whether a square is cover or not. If there is any lack of clarity with homemade terrain then simply agree with your opponent beforehand. It’s really not an issue and I can’t think of a piece that couldn’t be accommodated within the DZ rules.
Cover is dealt with differently in DZ, based on modern combat doctrine more than tabletop assumptions. What is often called soft cover is really concealment rather than physical protection and so is dealt with by modifying the chance to hit a target. Actual physical protective cover like stones is called cover and modifies the defence roll. Either, neither or both can apply to a give shot. These are the most common uses of “cover” in DZ and are what is in the Alpha. However, the universe is a big place and I’m working on more varieties for other environments.
While I’m talking about shooting, something that Necromunda and many other skirmish games ignore is suppression fire (or they treat it as the same as overwatch). Deadzone includes both point target shots as well as blazing away to suppress your target and sitting back and waiting in overwatch.
I’ve got 2 types of campaign on my to do list. One is a generic style that you can use to run anyone through and attach whatever background you choose to. The other is a specific narrative campaign based on a given setting. During both types of campaign the models will gain experience, boosting stats and possibly gaining skills and equipment. In addition the whole unit will improve as a fighting force.
Finally, I think your understanding of this as “quick and dirty” is mistaken. Quick, certainly, but not at the expense of a great deal of tactical choice and options. I just hide them in different places. If you look at my other recent games such as Dwarf King’s Hold, DreadBall or God of Battles you’ll see what I mean.
Hope that helps to explain stuff a bit, for you and everyone else 😉
Thanks for the reply. I’m certainly going to keep watching, and have a look at the Alpha. But I still can’t help looking back at say Dust Tactics and how vastly superior Dust Warfare is compared to the “boardgame” version, which is what the “grid” makes it feel like to me. I really look forward to some game play videos.
Regarding campaigns, do you see the models earning new abilities in the game as they “level up” Like a sniper eventually learning a “camo” skill that helps with cover and other things like that?
Learning abilities in campaigns is likely. I’ve worked out the core stat gain system for experience and am toying with how many additional skills they can/should/might get. Elite military units are a bit different from, say, Necromunda, because the troopers tend to already come highly trained in what they need to know. I’m sure I’ll find something nice and shiny to give them though 😉
New ally kit is always a requirement for military units. ‘Blacker guns’ would be a sought after upgrade…
the “upgrades” could be upgraded gear to represent commands recognition of their deeds. Sniper is given a hi tech camo cloak “cover bonus”, heavy weapons guy gets a proto type weapon “+1 damage”, Captain gets encrypted coms “bonus to moral”, unit gets new polymer inserts “+1 armor”, etc etc.
They might get to know better the area in which they are fighting. “Area Knowledge” kind of skill, giving them bonus from moving around, exploring and finding stuff.
All good ideas. I’m also thinking of allowing access to better or different troop types, in effect new stat cards becoming available to hire.
Thanks for the great questions Scott and a Thank You Jake for the awesome responses. Even more excited for the game!
Are you going to make pledge add-on’s for additional terrain? I’d really be interested in getting a couple sets of the terrain without having to spend an extra couple hundred.
Yup. That’s coming next week along with the somewhat mesmerising terrain video.
Awesome! Can’t wait guys!
Ok Mr. Thornton, I have read and ‘re read the alpha rules. Outstanding, sir, outstanding. Just one question, how does the three square range work (pistols and grenades) in terms of height… I.e. if I’m on top of a building can I throw to the same square as I could if I was on the ground/ if I was on the ground how high can I throw my grenade….?
We’re need a few more diagrams to explain all the 3D interactions with terrain more thoroughly. You can move and count range diagonally up as well as diagonally on the same level, if that makes sense.
If you threw a grenade across 3 squares on the same level it would then drop as many levels as it needed to hit a solid floor if it “landed” on a square which was really a drop. If you see what I mean.
He lost me at Dust Tactics reference, now that’s comparing apples to rotten innards.
Just curious. To climb walls, do you need to be at the side which is parallel to the wall or can you climb it diagonally? Because for a building with two walls and a roof, it would mean you could climb it at any angle
I need a diagram to answer this clearly. Working on some for next week to do a post on moving and shooting in 3D.
If you want to use my diagrams, or a variation thereof you’re more than welcome
I just posted over on the feedbacks and comments before seeing this FAQ forum. My question is simiar to the one above.
” I’m really liking the way your game is developing. I haven’t had a chance to read every piece of feedback and advice from all the playtesting that has been going on but I do have a question. Sorry if it’s been covered already…
Is movement up or down possible in the diagonal? From what I can gather, you can move diagonally on the same plane but I wasn’t sure when adding the 3D and trying to picture the cubes and how it would work, whether it counts as a single short action or two in order to move across and then up?
I’m looking at the diagram on pg13 of the Beta and trying to get the allowable move into the bottom right corner, is a single short or two short actions to get there?”
Its a repost I know, but it fits better in this forum.
Thanks for the hard work.
It’s a single short action to Move diagonally and up/down a single level. You need a wall in the right place to go up (but not down). The move to the bottom right position on the p13 diagram is therefore one short action to complete.
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