Deadzone Alpha Rules

deadzone-logo-whiteThe Deadzone Alpha rules are going up today and this post is here for your comments and feedback.


The rules are a work in progress and I’ve got a few specific questions that I’d like to ask your views on, but for the first day or two I expect I’ll mostly be fielding questions about how things work and just making sure that you guys have understood my intent. Some of the wording needs to be tightened up and there is a set of diagrams about how things work in 3D which we haven’t done yet because we haven’t got the proper buildings. I’m working on some roughs for those at the moment.

Mostly this is an abbreviated doc that aims to get the core concepts and mechanics into your hands so that you can kick it about on the tabletop and get the feel for the game.

These rules will evolve over the life of the Kickstarter and beyond, and I will be collating comments and either putting up amendment files or doing another version of this Alpha (or Beta when we get there, hopefully around the end of the KS). This is something of an organic process and we’ll just have to see where it takes us ๐Ÿ™‚

Welcome on board. It’s going to be a wild ride!


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320 Responses to Deadzone Alpha Rules

  1. Rich Jones says:

    Yehhhh can’t wait to give it a blast – have my Star Wars and SG-1 proxies at the ready Sir!

  2. This looks to be just the kind of game I’ve been wanting. Especially if campaign rules materialize!

    • nathan payne says:

      Cool i’ll use my gears of war minis or SOTR minis. Been after a sci fi skirmish game that would grab my attention. Deadzone has done just that. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Sean Pollman says:

    I have to admit I am a little disappointed, it seems like a mix of Dust Tactics and some other mechanics, I am not really seeing anything unique. I also thought this was supposed to be a skirmish wargame. its clearly a boardgame with large movement spaces that can hold multiple figures.

    It might not be a bad system, but there is nothing new and unique here. Getting rid of the I-Go-You-Go mechanic for an alternating activation system would be a much better start.

    • Earthquake says:

      Agreed. Rather than being able to move every figure, if you only had limited figure activation each turn (scenario dependent?) that would increase the number of tactical decisions that you would have to make in a turn

      • Earthquake says:

        Err – to qualify the ‘Agreed’ comment, I was refering to the i-g-y-g bit

      • Adrian Williams says:

        Again, I have to agree with getting rid of one team and then the next. Maybe 2 or max 3 activations pre players turn. That way the second gen (as its counts as 2 units) would count as 2 of your sides 3 go.

        Other than that, all looks great. Simple dreadball rules but with D8’s

      • I agree with this too. I was hoping for more of an Infinity approach where the opponent could react. I tire of games like Warmachine because the downtime when it’s not your turn.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          Opponents can react with overwatching models. I find that Infinity has gone too far the other way with reactions from every single model that can see at every single activation.

      • Pacer says:

        I’ve only read the rules (not played) so I hope this comment will be useful.

        I also agree with the idea with the idea of having a limited activation or something of the kind. The reason is that I find that games should have little downtime between player turns. It’s true for boardgames and it’s true for wargames. It’s also what drew myself and a few friends away from Warhammer and Warmachine to Infinity. Infinity does have player turns but the ARO mechanic means that you can make useful decisions and interact with the game even if it is your opponent’s turn. Your impact is diminished but because you participate in the game it keeps you interested.

        When you have a downtime of 10 minutes or longer where you can’t influence anything either I or my opponent usually lose some interest in the game. This is especially the case for Warhammer when your opponent has a lengthy movement phase that has no participation on your behalf.

        Since I haven’t played yet I don’t know how long the downtime is between player turns. It has a small model count but that doesn’t mean much because even in skirmish games with 6-10 models player turns can get lengthy.

        You can minimize it in any way you like, like alternating activations, alternating group activations (like three models at a time) or even a mechanic like Infinity’s ARO that lets your models respond to your opponent’s actions. The current overwatch mechanic does look like it can alleviate it although it requires your troop to use his turn to activate it.

        I understand that a simple alternating activation (you activate one model and your opponent activates one model) or a random activation (you roll to see what activates now) has a negative impact on strategy and I agree. You really can’t effectively plan or maneuver your troops. I do suggest though that you consider something other than having the entire team activate while the opponent sits mostly passive. It might just be me (I’m probably just impatient) but the downtime between turns can be a killer.

        And good luck with the Kickstarter! It looks very good!

        • Quirkworthy says:

          As it stands the downtime is not great anyway (the whole game can be played in an hour or so). However, I am playtesting a variant turn system this afternoon so we shall see.

    • Gareth says:

      Ummm, it’s called Deadzone: The Sci-fi Miniatures Board Game… Sounds like a board game to me. ๐Ÿ™‚

      I for one, really enjoy the movement spaces, there are bazillion skirmish style games, and I dig the board game element. To each their own, of course.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Mechanics are seldom ever unique. What is unique or unusual is the combination and the way it interacts on the table. We tried alternate activation as I quite like that and have used it several times before. What it didn’t do well was allow for coordinated actions among team mates and modern fire and movement tactics.

      Alternate activations would offer different decisions though I’m not at all sure there would be more of them.

      • Adrian Williams says:

        If you allowed 3 activations per side as I posted just above, this would allow players still to use tactics to advance and moving within a fire team. Just a thought

        • Quirkworthy says:

          I’ll have another play with it. A number of things have changed since it was last tried and it maybe that It would work well with the command values I’m working on (and which aren’t in the Alpha cos they’re not balanced).

        • Adrian Williams says:

          Sadly I’m taking my family away on holiday so I can’t get up to see you on the 11th but as I’m not too far away I’m happy to pop in one day and help play test with you ๐Ÿ˜‰

        • Quirkworthy says:

          I’ve sent you a message.

      • Earthquake says:

        Another possibility on the activation front would be to allow a ‘Random’ element.
        To Explain – each faction has an Initiative stat. This denotes how good the faction is at operating independently. You can roll a number of dice, and any successes means you have that number of actions
        In adition, your officers can have a command stat, which gives a bonus number of dice to add to the dice pool when determining initiative – this can easily give you variations for character figures – some are better at commanding troops than others…

        • Quirkworthy says:

          I’m working on a command stat at present, which is what drives the way cards are used in the full rules. At least that’s the idea. It could also do other things.

      • euansmith says:

        I started work on a skirmish game to use with the Dreadball Figures when that Kickstarter was running. The activation mechanism I was looking as (probably lifted unconsciously from one of the dozens of sets of rules I have read) was basically as follows:

        1: Roll to determine Initiative for the turn.
        2: The player who wins Initiative is the Active Player, the opposition is the Reactive Player.
        3: The Active Player actives one figure at a time.
        4: When activated a figure can execute up to two actions (Move, Attack, Aid, etc).
        5: After each action has been completed, the Reactive Player can chose to make a Reaction.
        6: A Reaction allows the Reactive Player to select a figure to carryout a single action.
        7: Once a figure has acted or reacted, it is marked with an Activated Token.
        8: A figure with an Activated Token cannot be selected to act or react.
        9: The Active Player can pass at any point in the turn, at which point the Active player becomes the Reactive Player and visa versa.
        10: Once all figures have been marked with Activated Tokens, the turn ends.
        11: Each force has a Leader. The Leader has access to a special action called Command. Using a Command Action allows the player to remove an Activated Token from a single figure.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          That would work. Unfortunately it breaks up the ability to act as teams, one suppressing and the other moving, for example.

          I do have a plan, as mentioned, and am trying it out today.

        • At Salute I was introduced to a game that had the idea that was similar to this, however, it used a mechanic whereby if an activated model failed their rolls then command switched to the opposing player until they failed their rolls or they had used all their models. It was an interesting concept and worked fairly well. The games was called “This Quar’s War” free PDF of the rules is here

  4. chrisbburn says:

    Just a quick question on stats. How come the assault enforcer is better at shooting an the tac and support are better at fight seems backwards to me??

    • Earthquake says:

      Chris, I think you are thinking the wrong way around. The Assault enforcer needs 5+ on a D8 to hit something, the Tac and Support need 4+, so Tac & Support 12.5% better shots that Assault.

  5. I heard in the video that 10 sides were too many and 6 were not enough. But would the d10 not allow you to build bigger in the future also? or maybe d20’s to allow super-fantastic fine tuning?
    I also saw on the forum, that the your supplier for dice could not custom make d8’s, Custom dice for this game would be REALLY nice KS add-on imho.
    Like how this is progressing though and hope I may chat to you tomorrow at The Foundry over a coffee, biscuit and a demo game of GoB. ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Quirkworthy says:

      For some reason getting custom etched D8s is proving tricky. Printed D8s seem easy to get hold of, but they just aren’t as good.

      • Troy Baker says:

        D8 makes scatter easier on a grid but otherwise D10 is pleasing while we use the decimal system ๐Ÿ˜‰ Once the game is shipped dice size won’t matter (assuming we get enough in the box!) although it makes playtesting at home slightly trickier.

        More importantly; etched is essential. I prefer to have ‘faction’ dice in a colour appropriate to the army I’m playing but still have numbers/pips on all faces rather than weird symbols. It seems that gamers assume faction dice are included in all Kickstarters these days although personally I think time/energy/money is better spent manufacturing other things (moar bitz!).

        • Quirkworthy says:

          We don’t much like printed dice either, which is why they’re not on offer. If anyone knows of someone that does etched D8s then please let us know.

      • euansmith says:

        I did a quick Google and came up with this company. You may have already taken a look. They do custom engraved dice including D8s

  6. Pingback: Deadzone Alpha Rules available to download! | Mantic Games

  7. pewc says:

    Just had a quick firefight (in my case rebs v. stormtroopers; after all its nearly May Fourth) – the rules do what they say on the can and the Dreadball type opposed rolls worked OK I thought. I like the action mechanic; there is not a lot left that can be ‘unique’ now a days but I think Jake has done another great job and it seems to have a good feel. Wargame like Force on Force or Operation Squad – probably not; but certainly more than a ‘boardgame’.

    Off to do a melee or two ๐Ÿ™‚ Glad I kept those bits from an unmentionable box set ๐Ÿ™‚

    Rich J

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Do remember that this is just the core mechanics without all the myriad variations with more stats, weapons, pickups, battle cards, etc. And you only have part part of 2 factions and we’re working on 6 ๐Ÿ™‚

      • pewc says:

        I know and I was only using the shooting mechanics to see how the area fire/pinning worked against trying to go for the kill. I can see it working great for suppression while a manouver group go and grab the objective etc. Plus a great scope for a sniper sitting there using point fire to pick off troops. Seems that it will model ‘modern’ fire fights well.
        Cards look good – presuming you can choose to use either bit of the card.
        Rich Jones

        • Quirkworthy says:

          That’s right. One or other of the actions on the card, which gives you another decision to make. The cards are also the driver for game length, which is another decision – do you want the game to finish now or do you need more time?

      • Jack Trowell says:

        “working on 6” you say ? I only count 4 factions in the current planning.
        Already working on season 2 I suppose ? Or is it a sneak hint that more factions could be added as stretch goals ? ๐Ÿ˜€

  8. moocifer says:

    Oh dear .. not a fan of this combat boardgame using Dreadball dice rolling mechanics, sorry. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

  9. HeadHunter says:

    The first thing I noticed is that the rules omit the definition of “doubles” when making a roll. Now, Dreadball players take the meaning for granted (any roll that scores at least twice as many successes as the opponent), but it’s not clearly stated in the rules – and it will need to be.

    Also, the grenade rules aren’t entirely clear as to throwing a grenade onto a higher level. It would appear that this is not possible because the thrower cannot see the square, even if he can shoot at models on that level. And the “adjacent square” for mods to the Survival roll needs to be clearly defined as adjacent to where the grenade lands, not the thrower.

    • Troy Baker says:

      I suspect you’ve correctly identified an important distinction for Area Fire between an automatic/spray weapon (Blaze Away) and lobbing/rolling/dropping a grenade into an area you can’t see (Throw Grenade). Should there be an additional form of ‘fire’ beyond Point Fire and Area Fire? Or should Area Fire be replaced or subdivided into Spray Fire and Indirect Fire?

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Good points. Thanks HH.

    • “The first thing I noticed is that the rules omit the definition of โ€œdoublesโ€ when making a roll. Now, Dreadball players take the meaning for granted (any roll that scores at least twice as many successes as the opponent), but itโ€™s not clearly stated in the rules โ€“ and it will need to be.”
      Never played Dreadball, worked that out right away. The only other thing that it might mean is rolling 2 of the same number, but given how it’s written “Overwatch succeeds” followed by “Overwatch doubles” I think it’s pretty clear what is meant.

      • andymeechan says:

        Can’t say I agree. As the bonus for rolling an 8 is pretty slim to get, I thought on it then settled on ‘2 of the same number’. Clarification is always a bonus.

        • David Smith says:

          Don’t know about little chance of rolling 8’s, seems to happen plenty of time’s in the 45 games we’ve played so far.

        • Matt Gilbert says:

          It’s the same as DreadBall – so you are comparing the number of success in each roll not 2 of the same number. If one side rolls no successes, the other side only needs to roll one to “double” the result.

          Player A roll 3 successes for his Fighting vs Player B who rolls 2 successes for his Survival. The Fighting wins.
          Player A roll 4 successes for his Fighting vs Player B who rolls 2 successes for his Survival. The Fighting wins.and doubles.
          Player A roll 1 successes for his Fighting vs Player B who rolls 0 successes for his Survival. The Fighting wins.and doubles.

          With overwatch, you only need 1 success (it’s a (1) test). If you roll 2 successes you double. If you roll 3 successes, you triple.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          Clarification is a good thing. WIll find the packet and sprinkle a generous extra helping on the rules ๐Ÿ˜‰

  10. Jack Trowell says:

    Hum, having now finished reading the rules, I think that I know what models I will use as proxy to test the plague :
    gen 3 => hormagaunts (smal and with ranged weapon)
    gen 2 => genestealers (good armor and powerful close combat)
    gen 1 => tyranid warrior with appropriate close combat weapons, or maybe something bigger like a carnifex should the gen 1 have really impressive stats.

    Of course, in the role of my enforcers, there will be Roger, Conrad, Tim and Bob the space mareeenes … ๐Ÿ˜‰

  11. Troy Baker says:

    { The following is offered with warmth and support for the alpha version of rules which will change over time – here is a proposed text edit. }

    Sequence of Play Step 2. As written the text in this paragraph suggests cards and actions are exclusive (‘either/or’) rather than inclusive as clarified in the third paragraph (‘either/and’). May I be so bold as to suggest an edit?:

    {Replace}: “2. This model takes either one long action or up to two short actions. Additionally you may choose to play a card on this model”.

    Note: You may prefer use digits rather than words to describe the number of actions (…”1 long action or up to 2 short actions”) according to your writing style/preference.

  12. Pete B says:

    What are the Interrupt actions for the characters? P 5 suggests they will be on the cards, but they don’t appear. Could any revision also include overwatch counters?

  13. Michael Kelley says:

    I think I must have missed the penalties for being pinned. I see that they are a -1 for fighting and breaking away, but I would assume they will have a greater effect than that. Do they prevent movement or attacking, until the character wastes an action to get mad? If so, I missed it in the rules.
    But I am definitely liking what I see so far.

    • Michael Kelley says:

      Never mind… I forgot that it had said in the section on pinning that your first action must be getting mean.
      But shouldn’t pinning remove any over watch tokens on the character? It would seem odd for me to pin my opponents in preparation for a melee assault, only to have them blow me up with a missile interruption.

  14. wachinayn says:

    I know that a lot of people are going to say that the system is too simple or boardgame-y. However, for me that’s OK. That, coupled with the small space the game takes from the table would maximize my possibilities of actually playing it with my SO and non-wargaming friends.

    Probably you won’t know the answer to this yet, but just in case… Will there be a point-buy system to create our own cards? Failing that, will the cards for each faction be able to be purchased without the miniatures?

    • Quirkworthy says:

      I hadn’t thought about a point-buy system to be honest. We’ll see how baroque the points calculator gets ๐Ÿ˜‰

      I’m not 100% sure on whether the cards will be available separately, but it should be possible to get them. I don’t deal much with how things get packaged I’m afraid. Try asking on the KS comments – that’s where the Mantic staff will be reading and they’ll have a better idea.

      • wachinayn says:

        Thanks for the quick response.

        As you could imagine. The reason for the point buy is to build my own units.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          Of course, and I’m not averse to that, just hadn’t really thought about it yet. Still trying to balance the points system.

        • Philip says:

          Money buy cards is an area I wish to address in a structered manner with my toughts an possible proposals, as I feel that with the use of so many cards the long term life of the game could hinge.

          The use of point value cards could make the game very difficult to learn, and lead to a lot of fustration.

          consider a player who corner-sits and holds many cards to achieve a win constently by the other player using all the cards first.
          consider that among some faction there is a winning combo of cards that will unballance the game esp. if it is used every turn.
          consider that some factions get one card per figure, others two, as a mechanism of game ballance, perhaps a deck of twenty five pick ten, might solve your goal.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          I think that allowing the players to choose their own deck is way more open to exploits than having them play with a set deck. Just as a general rule for any game.

  15. Nice that you decided to work with SWM ^_^ , about the rules so far i love how you adapt everything that dreadball’s system have, but there is one thing that i think is off :
    Clear shot : For example if i can see the whole mini except for a fit or even a little part of the base, i don’t have a clear shot. Maybe if the base is removed as part of the equation in both LOS cases ( normal and clear ) it will be more situations where you have clear shots and less when you have normal shots. Maybe i’m totally wrong since this has a different system of movement but it looks a little extreme.
    Also can you give us some kind of basic pdf with the mat ? ( not the image of course but the square sizes )

    • Quirkworthy says:

      The question of whether the base counts as part of the model is simply because it makes the question far more cut and dried. As soon as you start saying that some of the playing piece I move around the battlefield is a target and some isn’t then you get the arguments that 40K has. At present getting a clear shot is a rarity, and that’s one reason why it currently gives you a really good bonus. The difficulsty in getting this shot has been encouraging some nifty movement and clever tactics in our test games, which I think is a good thing. It’s really rewarding when your cunning plan comes off and you manage to get a completely clear shot.

      The mat just needs 3 inch squares ruled on it. It’s probably easier to rule out the lines on a big bit of paper than it is to stick together a bunch of small printed sheets.

      • Thanks for the answer,

        I was reading about “Short Action – Shoot” and i thought that if Survival Doubles it and there is Friendlies in the same square, one at random recieve the difference in
        successes as potential damage and suffers -1 Aggression.

        Any reason why that is not part of rules in that action ?

        • Quirkworthy says:

          The only reason is that I’ve not got round to that detail yet. People rarely Shoot into the same square as their friends, whereas they do sometimes Blaze Away (and that already works fine).

    • Dan says:

      The squares are 3″ by 3″ in an 8 by 8 grid. All told the playing area is 2′ by 2′.

  16. Michael Kelley says:

    Another question. If an enemy begins the turn in my line of sight, chooses a move action, and I am on overwatch, what happens if I only succeed (meaning I resolve the interrupt after his action) and he moves out of Los? have I wasted my overwatch because I didn’t roll two successes?

    • Quirkworthy says:

      He’s been too quick for you! Yes, in this case your model hasn’t reacted in time and by the time you’re ready he’s gone. Of course, that assumes that you have to shoot him. If you can see the square that he has moved into you could still Blaze Away.

      Remember though, that if you really wanted to Shoot him then you could have done so in the precious turn instead of setting the Overwatch (when he would have been in the square he started this action in).

  17. Alright, I just splurged my first impressions over at Fire Broadside:

    Overall I really like what I see, and I’m looking forward to trying it out next week. It looks like a game that will be very good at telling stories, perhaps even as good as Infinity. The rules are lighter, but that’s certainly not a bad thing. Variety is good.

    Will be back with more later on as I’ve digested the rules a bit more.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Nice write up Martin!

      We’ve been finding the rules tell stories well, especially little vignettes within the overall game. Lots of heroic or doomed warriors. As we get more of the detail, extra stats, new missions and extra factions all of this will grow very quickly. Oddly, grenades seem to be pretty good story tellers too ๐Ÿ˜‰

  18. Craig ONeil says:

    The scatter uses a single fixed template with one d-8 roll. A more fully random scatter can be obtained by have 8 templates and rolling two d-8 dice, one to select the scatter template and the second to determine the actual scatter in that template

    • Troy Baker says:

      …I think the existing scatter ‘template’ is sufficiently random and suitably fastplay.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      I’m inclined to agree with Troy. You could produce scatter templates which were biased in one direction or another, but the extra fun this would produce doesn’t seem like it would be worth the extra effort.

  19. Jason says:

    Can’t wait to try this weekend. I’m a big Dust player, so pretty much can proxy everything including the board. Allied armor 3 troops for Enforcers, Axis Gorillas for the bigger plague, and Ubertoten zombies for the smaller plague. I have some extra of the foam/mousepad Dust game mats that I can cut an 8 x 8 out of for a board (3.75″ squares vs 3″, should be close enough to proxy)

  20. crimsonsun says:

    Hi jake, quick question from reading the rules – I was wondering which models start with grenades I assume zero and that you can only pick them up. There are also no notes for the plague ‘guns’ which thus fail to define there range and fire options.

    In regards to the rules overall its too early for me to say overly much, but as a base I feel they should work fine, but for me currently they lack depth, and I release you like to keep the core simple but I would like a lot more depth in the finial product, this is especially true in terms of a campaign that players can develop new skills and/or abilities.

    A few things I am wondering after reading the Alpha –

    There is nothing for awareness, hiding, ambush and related actions nor is there a statistic that would currently make for a good way of testing for this.

    Ammo, is it unlimited? Seems somewhat silly that in a combat zone where supplies are limited that ammo is not a resource that needs careful management – especially in terms of a campaign.

    Competitive checks – I really like these personally, but from a perspective of objectivity, you have mentioned elsewhere that you wanted the heart of the system to be very fast paced, these seem to go against that basic principle. I might be wrong obviously but surely a standard modifiable check against target number would be faster?

    I am not sure I like the concept of game length controlled by cards, but this might be because I am not overly keen on the idea of cards having as much impact as they do on the game any way. I did like the initial concept for them as described in a previous article though, as a provider of an extra action per turn but for me that is enough. I release that to change this you would need a new method of ending the game, as simply wiping out the opposing team is if alone as a game decider somewhat dull. Also I realise this is beyond the scope of the Alpha but in an on going campaign in which models gain xp will there be an option to retreat – obviously this should have penalties, but there are times when you have got it all wrong from the start and the only outcome is beyond bleak so discretion becomes the better part of Valour. My other issue with cards in this system is based around balance because cards are faction specific which leads to the assumption that in the finished version you will have some very in character fraction specific cards, this can create obvious balance issues. Yet if the cards are not diverse enough or are lacking in character they could be rather bland in my opinion. There are other reasons why I do not like cards in a game like this but I will ignore those for the moment as they are universal rather than system specific, and that is a discussion for a different forum at a different time.

    Injury – This seems rather limited as described, and is an area I would prefer more depth, for example I would have expected a 1st gen plague victim to be able to take far more pain/damage than a 3rd gen and would prefer that to be the case. Having the true nature of an injury that removes a model from play is fine to be resolved in a post game stage is fine imo though. I would have also expected the inclusion of abilities/traits as well as weapon qualities that are either applied to or against damage. Eg; Regeneration, fire, concussion, ‘energy’ resistance etc.

    Armour – While with armour I just feel could have so much more done with it, especially as you have set the level with enforcer armour which is supposed to be the top end, yet confers only 2 armour and no other modifiers or bonuses is IMO rather a bland start. I would have expected this to not only be higher but also have other bonuses inherently built in like the jump packs; examples that I thought up in 2 mins include grav boots reducing knock backs upon a model that has been pinned, A bonus against basic melee weapons -clubs, knives, fists, chains etc, inbuilt sensors to help spot or find hidden foes or crates. All of this is before taking into consideration items such as energy fields and Shields or armour qualities such as heat proofing, oxygen tanks, and defensive abilities like electrified armour.

    Weapons only having a basic ammo type seems very bland in a science fiction game, current modern day weapons have tons of ammo types at each calibre, and that is before you even start to consider missile/grenade launchers. I hope that along with a range of missile weapons that you go on to cover a solid selection of melee ones as well.

    Aggression – It comes across as a bit simplistic, and limited in its current form, with too few stages or states.

    Obviously all the above are purely from reading the initial rules, and some of are likely to be ‘moot’ in reality due to the very basic nature of the initial Alpha rule release, this is also pure conjecture based on theory and ‘feeling’ and not though any form of play testing and thus I could be total wrong in any of my initial ideas. Any way once again I have written a epic post for your digestion so I will leave it here and look forward to any further discussion.


    • Jason says:

      You realize these are alpha rules, and pretty much QuickStart rules for the most part? You have some valid points up there, but your requests for more depth will probably come as the rules advance farther.

    • Michael Kelley says:

      While I appreciate the thought you put into this detailed post, let me say that for me, as more of a boardgame player than a miniatures player, most of the stuff you describe here strikes me as unnecessarily fiddly, and feels like it would slow down gameplay too much. For example, except for maybe the rocket launcher, I would not want to keep track of ammo for units. This isn’t survival horror ๐Ÿ™‚

      • crimsonsun says:

        That is totally understandable, we all have different hopes and ideals when looking at a project, so of course we will have differing opinions.

        Jake has the very difficult prospect of trying to make us all happy, which is never going to be easy, though possibly an option when it comes to the ‘fiddly’ stuff is to add a optional rules section. Though I think it should be called that, nor do I think it should be called Advanced rules as these titles both have regrettable ideologies affiliated to them but I am sure you follow my point.

        Actually from the setting information we have been given so far, survival horror is exactly the sort of gritty feel I get from the background. A sort of Fallout meets firefly, meets necromunda, though once again this is purely opinion based on the what I ‘feel’ from the game.


        • Michael Kelley says:

          Can I just say, if someone made a “fallout meets firefly” game, I would buy it instantly!

      • Quirkworthy says:

        @Michael – special ammo will be treated like grenades – as a one-use item. That way we don’t have to track individual rounds and can instead simply use a counter which you have or don’t.

    • crimsonsun says:

      I intended to include this in above but it totally slipped my mind when I was writing the post, most likely as my meandering tangent of a reply went off in a different direction and thus my thoughts with it.

      Exploding 8’s, or dice in general – can you give any details to what you feel they bring to the game? I am more than a little cautious regarding them in gaming systems as they vastly influence the amount of affect luck can have on a game, to such an extent that if one players rolls are on fire it will make it impossible for the opposing player regardless of tactics and skill. Obviously with all games that involve dice you will have this to varying degrees but IMO the exploding dice effect only goes to increase this ‘luck’ factor.

      I have noticed the vast amount of posts regarding LOS and targeting models, which is something I have never had any issues with in the past so I will not weigh in on that debate, but it got me too thinking about play styles and which that Deadzone is conceptually designed for. Now to me personally Games of this scale are more about the development of your team and the on going narrative the games in a campaign form rather than a Tournament style highly competitive game.

      Obviously there is no right and wrong here, both are equally valid and both styles I enjoy, but I tend to think of games that are more fitting for a Tournament setting are full on war games, in which the various armies have been extensively balanced, or with games like Dreadball or bloodbowl that by there directly competitive nature in both design and background. By comparison I tend to think of skirmish games more along the terms of a wargame/RPG crossover and thus not suited to a highly competitive enviroment.

      Yet with its board game element/style Deadzone could in fact be more suited to the Tournament system than I see it conceptually. This is due to how the frame work of a board game works, from the restrictions of the board and from there the natural inclinations of board games to keep everything balanced and equal – Which by default leans away from models gaining xp, or at least seriously limits any levelling options thus avoiding possible rules abuse, and or gamest combinations. It also suggests that all conflicts within the game should at least start on a level footing, thus needing some kind of inducement based levelling system to equal things out. This leans away from my image of an RPG light skirmish in place of a far more pick up and play system that has any xp based campaign added as an after thought.

      Now I am not saying this is the case at all, far from it because at this stage I have no real idea! I am just putting this up for open discussion as I did my previous thoughts, not for any other purpose than I find it interesting. WOW more Waffle!!


      • Quirkworthy says:

        Exploding dice do increase the luck factor to an extent. However they also allow for all manner of real world events which do not happen if you stick with normal non-exploding dice ๐Ÿ˜‰

        What I mean here is that a very lucky shot by an average trooper can take down a better equipped and better trained opponent. Black Hawk Down is all about this. The weight of fire from many poor opponents will eventually include a few who get lucky shots and take down the elites. However, most of the time the elites will romp all over the poorer troops. Exploding dice models this very well indeed.

        I see DZ as having different game modes, which will suit different people and situations. You’ve got the basic 2-player game which will start even and play to a conclusion. A campaign or multi-player game might suit a group of friends or a club.

    • crimsonsun says:

      I just noticed that some of these questions have been answered in a fashion over on the FAQ comments thread, so I apologise for repeating any points that have already been made, as I obviously was not looking to go over already covered ground until more details are fully fleshed out.

      Other parts of this and as well as my below post though are new in so far as I have seen. ๐Ÿ˜€ Anyway just thought I would clarify that.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Hi Crimson,

      for the Alpha nobody starts with any equipment. Buying starting gear will be an option in the full army building rules and in the campaigns as will experience for individual troopers.

      i don’t think that hiding/ambush would add a great deal to DZ as a whole perhaps as a specialist troop type, but in general the warriors have such a wealth of situational awareness enhancements in the way of tech surveillance that they are fairly well aware of the locations of enemy troopers during a fight.

      Competitive or opposed rolls are marginally slower than rolls against a single target number. However, the payoff for this is that opposed rolls are both more interactive and more fun for both players, and I think that the very slight addition to play length is worth it in this case.

      The game needs to have a forced end mechanic in order to avoid stalemates when both sides are hunkered down and refuse to give in or advance. That’s more common in my experience than gamers withdrawing in the face of overwhelming odds. The cards do a number of things, and do more in the full rules. They help to characterise the different factions, allow tactical options and flexibility to players, make the opponent less predictable, offer tactical choices about whether you extend or shorten the action, and more. These all help to add to the decisions during play and tell an interesting story, both of which I like. I also find it better to have an end sequence which is integrated into the player’s actions and is at least partly within their control rather than an abstract one like a turn track. Turn tracks are fine for DreadBall where they’re playing a fixed length sport, but for a skirmish there should be no such fixed limits.

      Different faction decks do make balance more time consuming and difficult. But then identical decks make things less interesting and samey. I choose to take the harder route to the more fun outcome ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Injury is deliberately simple as we’re dealing with effect rather than specific. What I need to know in the middle of a battle is whether the trooper can still fight or not. Medical details can be dealt with out of combat. A combination of varying survival and armour stats already provides a difference in ability to resist damage, and pain threshold is only a detail of that. In combat how a model carries on is far less important to the commander than the fact that ti does or does not.

      Just because items are not listed separately does not mean they have no impact on the game. The reason that Enforcers survive as well as they do is down to their armour which provides all manner of protections. In a campaign setting the far less well armoured Rebels may suffer between combats as well as during them. However, within the space of a few minute’s combat the difference may not be noticeable. I can also think of many possible extras to give to models, but that doesn’t mean that they are either appropriate in the background nor available to these particular troopers. many, of course, will be added in the full game. For the moment, armour 32 is a massive improvement on armour 1. Try it out with a couple of stage 3s shooting at an Enforcer behind a barricade (a normal sort of shot) and see how long he lasts!

      More ammo types are available later. Mind you, not that many are worth including as they add so little variation. Very subtle differences such as turned brass sniper hand loads are simply too detailed a difference for this sort of game.

      For Aggression, there is one state not used in the Alpha and the possibility of adding one more that needs more testing. That said, most of the game will still be played out in these 3 core states as that is really all you need to know. Is the model pinned down, functioning normally or going a bit crazy? Most real field commanders know less than that.

      Thanks for the comments.

  21. killaminis says:

    Jake, I wanted to copy this comment I just posted on the KS comment page in the event you might not see it while wading through the thousands of comment….

    Scott “KillaMini’s” Myers just now
    @Mantic – You probably know this but… Jake Thorton is a keeper, do whatever you can to maintain his services. I just read through the Alpha rules and I’m blown away. It really is a very Smart Game. It’s fast, fun and smack in the middle of a way too easy boardgame and long drawn out/ rules heavy wargame. It’s exactly what this project needs to be popular and grow your customer base. In addition, his approach to the average gamer on Quirkworthy is unheard of( at least I’ve never heard of a designer going to those lengths). I truly believe he is the next god father of wargaming!!! Give that man a raise and a big office ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Thanks Killa. Just waiting for my huge corner office now ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Tristan says:

      ^^^ this – I have to 100% agree.

      It makes me think everyone complaining that they don’t like “squares” or that this lacks “depth” either want you to make it more like their favourite game, or don’t understand the “role” (for lack of better term) you are trying to fill with this game. I wonder how many times they have actually run through the game or if they are just making these comments based on their perception that they “don’t like the idea of _____”

      Keep to your guns Jake!

  22. Rob says:

    For the Blaze Away action, one of the Survival mods is “-1 in Cover”. Should that be a +1 instead?

    • Rob says:

      nevermind, I found the load later in the rules about this.

      • Sam says:

        Its a beautiful concept. Waiting and suppressing the enemy before you shoot them and they Rampage is a really cool concept. Likewise the Enraged 3rd Gens shoot better if you Blaze Away at them once and don’t double. Cool mechanics.

  23. Jon Finn says:

    What’s the timing for playing cards that boost stat tests?

    If I have a +1 Survival card, can I wait to see what my opponent’s result is before I use it, or do I have to use it before anyone has rolled dice?

    Is any timing affected by whether I’m the acting or reacting player?

    • Quirkworthy says:

      A good point that needs to be clarified.

      You need to declare before anyone rolls their dice. That seems only fair. I’d say that the acting player decides to add cards or not first.

      • Torkel says:

        Similar situation for Dreadball and coaching dice on opposed rolls btw. The way my group has been playing is: “The acting player rolls first, with as few or as many coaching dice he likes. Afterwards, the defending player rolls, choosing at that time whether or not to add his coaching dice.”

        Mixed feelings for us with this. It’s a huge boost for the defender to see the result of the acting player’s roll, obviously. But we choose to do it the way we do mostly because it speeds up and simplifies game play. Requiring both players to choose their boosts before anyone rolls anything, will by extension require the acting player to ask his opponent if he wants to spend coaching dice before rolling dice for any opposing action. (If not ask, at least give him a chance to.) Not only does this slow the game down, but it’s a pain to remember to do, especially in timed games. And it causes mistakes. (So we choose to not make it a mistake to just go ahead and roll your dice.)

        Anyways, first of all I wonder what your stance is regarding this sequence in Dreadball.

        Secondly, I’m concerned with your stance on “declaring boosts before rolls” in this game. Do you vision simply making it the non-acting player’s responsibility to interrupt the acting players move before he tosses dice? Or do feel the responsibility lies with the acting player to check with his opponent before rolling opposing dice?

        • Sam says:

          We declared a shot, acting player says if he’s using a card.
          Defender declares card use.
          Both roll.
          Worked well.
          Declaring stuff after the event was done a couple of times because we forgot what we had, it slowed the game down and felt un-fun. Not to mention one dice won’t fix most rolls.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          I tend to play as Sam does, active player declaring then opponent. I do the same with DB as you describe. It does give the defender an advantage, but they are being done to rather than doing so one can reasonably assume they’re on the back foot anyway so all it does is balance things a bit.

          Who is responsible is a tricker question. Most of the time a group of players will know each other and the social dynamic will resolve this without a specific rule. However, I know people do like rulings o this and I’d say that it was probably the active player’s responsibility to ensure that his opponent had had the opportunity to play a card if he chose. This does not have to be asking them each time if they want to play a card. You can reasonably assume that telling people what you’re doing, playing a card or not and then saying what you’re rolling (a good practice to avoid arguments later) is enough time for them to decide or ask for a second to think about their reaction. As long as you’re not playing so quickly that they haven’t got the time to react you should be fine.

  24. Teemu Hemminki says:

    With grenade damage: What happens if survival wins, but doesn’t double?
    Is area fire possible from ground to higher level or not?
    (BTW, I posted some pictures from my DIY game board and first battle here: )

    • Pete B says:

      Look at the end of the “Grenade Doubles” section – it’s the last sentence, which was mistakenly not split off & bolded.

    • Chris Richardson says:

      +1 Your playset (inspired me to buy some foamcore) and +1 your area fire ground to elevated question. Hope you get a response soon!

  25. tacsgames says:

    Are you not concerned that your rules for los will affect how people position their minis arms etc? Pointing all arms or weapons up will give a smaller profile laterally for example. Also I’m a big fan of any ruleset that is designs for fast fluid play but won’t positioning of minis and checking all lines of sight really slow the game down?


    • David Smith says:

      Shouldn’t be concerned about that, your in with the wrong group of gaming buddies if any would do that. I’ve played real LOS for years and only in the rarest of occasions do you actually need to do that.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Actually most of the time it’s really quick because you tend to position models either completely out of sight (until the bad guys flank you) or in the open taking a shot. In a typical game I will carefully check one, maybe two, LOS.

  26. Kevin Wesselby says:

    Hi Jake.
    Just a quick thought about the game turn mechanic.
    As some people find IGO-UGO a bit ‘old hat’.
    And I can totally see how alternating activation can disrupt the ‘team tactics’ that are very important in this type of game.

    How would you feel about using a variable bound mechanic like ‘Blood Bowl’. uses?
    (Any action that COULD provoke a responce from the enemy, requires a skill check to succeed, and failure to perform an action successfully ,the player turn ends.)

    OR using a command points system ?
    So all models could perform a simple action, or one or two models could try to do more while others stay in cover etc.

    Sorry if these have already been discussed and found to be lacking.But most of the talk about the game turn mechanic seemed to be ‘IGO-UGO vs alternating activation.

    • Sam says:

      This is alpha, trust Jake for a week, play some games and see how it goes.
      My first reaction was disappointment that it wasn’t a Malifaux style one activation then pass to your opponent style. Having played it I can see what he’s doing and I like it.
      Will be interesting to see how it scales to more models.
      Uncarved block, grasshopper.

      Advanced rule idea: Double on Fight – instead of optionally taking another Fight action which very well may get you killed…how about an option to throw them off a building or slam them into a wall a la grenade’s knockback mechanics? Or an Enforcer could judo throw them to a random square. Another Fight isn’t always what you really want but if an Enforcer manages to double a Plagued they damn well should do something awesome!

      I was a little annoyed the game didn’t go longer. Which is a good sign!
      I’d love to see mission scrambling around looking for gubbins to plug into a machine, hack a terminal, give Johnny Plague what-for and be back in time for tea and kippers!

      • Quirkworthy says:

        You’re the second person to ask for a knockback effect, and I’ve slated some time to look again at the doubles/triples for cool effects. And throwing grenades back…

        Missions will vary between factions (with obvious overlaps) and finding a bit to take to another bit would be possible.

        Tea and kippers would be a campaign thing ๐Ÿ˜‰

  27. John says:

    Just thought I’d say that having a quick read of the mechanics of the game that I love the simplicity of the system. Chess is pretty simple rules wise but unarguably tactical.

  28. MM says:

    quick question: players starts with 4 cards in their hands, are they picked randomly or the player can choose them? (maybe it’s written somewhere but I couldn’t find it)

  29. chrisbburn says:

    Am I correct in thinking that if you are shooting at a enemy and so require point fire line of sight you will always get the clear shoot bonus? It mentions in the LOS rules about some kind of normal shoot but no where else I only see the two options point fire if you can see all of the model with +2 bonus or blaze away if any of the model is obscure.

    • Michael Kelley says:

      You may point fire if you can see ANY part of the enemy, even only a gun barrel. Clear shot only applies if you can see EVERY piece of the enemy, which will be very rare unless you burst around a corner and flank them!

      • chrisbburn says:

        what the rules say has lead to confusion and after re reading it I see how it is meant to be like you say. Could do with removing the bit about whether you can see it all.
        Page 7 ” Point fire LOS is calculated by looking from the models perspective. If you take a models eye view, can you see the target? //REMOVE By that I mean can you see it all: yes or no. //This includes the base of the model.
        If you can’t see it all then you can’t shoot it with point fire.
        If you can see every last bit of it then you have a clear shot and gain a bonus”

        Makes sense now

        • Chris Richardson says:

          I think you are leaving out a key word in the instructions. The word “at”. On Page 7 it says, “By that I mean can you see it AT all; yes or no? This includes the base of the model.

          If you can’t see it AT all then you can’t shoot it with Point Fire.”

          See how the single word AT changes the whole meaning of both of those sentences?

  30. Adi richards (lord arcane) says:

    Got to say I’ve had a bit of a bash at this game with what I can put together to play with and I’m liking the way it’s played so far. Quick clean and simple. Got no arguments over the Los rule as I agree a clean shot should be rewarded in a game as cramped as this. Keep up the good work. P.s granades are cool.

  31. Andy says:

    I like what I am seeing so far: a clean, quick tactical combat system that seems balanced between shooting and melee, a good platform on which to build. And I firmly agree with Jake that squad-level tactics go out the window with alternating activation of individual models.

    What I’m not yet seeing (and perhaps wouldn’t expect to see at this point) are any fun, exotic special abilities which would make the factions feel especially different or give particular models a sense of individuality or even give a distinctly sci-fi feel to the game – examples being nanites in Sedition Wars, gang special abilities or individual traits as in Necromunda, psionic abilites as in 40K/ Necromunda, computer-hacking abilities for terrain interaction, unique “commander” abilities, etc. There seems to be room for this in the mechanics: special abilities on unit cards, special cards for each deck or added cards a particular model could contribute. How new and intersting these would be are what will make or break the game for me.

  32. steve r garcia says:

    To add on to what Kevin Wesselby has wrote about alternating activation (a personal favoriate) .
    I’ve played games (very good ones) that got around the cordinated attacks
    using alternating activation by have a command skill/roll ,normaly a leader, that allow
    the leader to activate another unit along with said leader. after the two units did their thing
    it went back to alternating activations. this worked really well and gave a good use for leader models
    something like this allows us to have our cake and eat it to. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Though I love Dreadball style rules. I can see alternating activation make for
    a much better multiplayer game.

    great work so far.

    • killaminis says:

      This could be a possibility, especially when the model counts per team get up past 8 models or so. Having a force leader and then some sargeants so you can split up into small squads and use thier leadership abilities to move all together whilst the normal movement could be alternating activations.

  33. steve r garcia says:

    sorry for the odd sentence breaks in my post

  34. Ebbe B says:

    I like the rules sofar. Gonna make a mockup table and actually try the rules later this weekend.

    I can’t find any reference to grenades being a “one-use” item, but I guess thats the case or can you just keep throwing grenades at enemies every turn once you find a box?

    The item: Booby trap – “Resolve the booby trap as if a frag grenade had exploded in that square. Do not count it as accurate.” I guess you mean the +1 for a succesful throw.

    As for campaigning ideas, I like the descent 2’nd edition where the overlord buys new cards to his deck of evil actions with his xp. I could see a progression where the winner of an mission gets new options to build a deck of specialist actioncards which suit their style of play/team setup.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Grenades are one use. All pick-up items are. I should make that clearer.

      Accurate = successful, yes. Me using a DreadBall term by mistake ;P

      Buying new cards would be cool in-game, but would be a bit of a logistical issue and would require a bunch of extra cards that would only get used some of the time. It’s certainly a possibility, but probably not for the core game where I’d want to include stuff that was guaranteed more use.

      In a campaign mode a player will be able to tailor troops to individual missions to a degree.

  35. Colin j says:

    In fights under fight doubles it states that a model may only get one free fight action per turn. Is this the same for if the survival roll is doubled if the target is attacked by another figure during the same turn? Only asking as the survival doubles doesnt state that its only once a turn.

  36. Matt says:

    My initial read through of the alpha rules has just brought up one suggestion: Grenade miss could scatter a number of times based on the range thrown. so throw full range 3 squares and miss, scatters 3 times.
    Otherwise it looks pretty straightforward and fast paced. Will try to get a practice game played soon ๐Ÿ™‚

  37. Matt Gilbert says:

    Question on squares defined as cover and how it interacts with LOS. The way I read it, a model could be in clear LOS (clear shot) but still in cover. The actual terrain in the square denoting that the square is a cover square may or may not block LOS from the firing model. Is this correct?

    • Sam says:

      This is counter intuitive but it was a cool mechanic in-game. We’d often take a Move action within the same square to line someone up for a Clear Shot and doing so would normally expose you to a Clear Shot next turn as well. I can forgive a little unrealistic fudging like this for a lightening fast game. It really was a weight off the shoulders to not touch a tape measure.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Yes, you can have a clear LOS to a target that is in cover so therefore both modifiers could apply at once. In “reality” the model is in the open when you fire, but has cover so close by that they can get behind it immediately. At least, you could imagine it that way.

  38. Bob Hambleton says:

    Questions and thoughts after the first couple of games:

    1) “In addition, only a Move short action may only be performed more than once per turn”. I’m assuming this slightly garbled sentence means that move is the only short action you’re allowed to do twice as both short actions. Why? Seems like a completely artificial restriction if you can’t shoot then shoot again but can shoot then throw grenade.

    2) Booby traps are fun but what happens if the explosion scatters someone off the edge of the board? Happened more than once. I played that the board edge was a wall and resolved it as a collision but I’d be interested to hear the official view.

    3) There may be more types in the full rules but I can’t really see the point of having both short and long actions. Being able to move and then go into overwatch, or shoot then go into overwatch doesn’t feel overpowered and opens up more interrupt possibilities and Fight being a long action is irrelevant when you can do it for free as part of a move (short) action and get a bonus fight dice for doing so (and if you kill the enemy in the fight you still potentially have a short action left). Making fight a short action and taking the free fight away from move just seems easier and makes the Move cards a more valuable resource. Free fight with move is particularly harsh if there is a Rampaging gen 2 plague on the board as it can hit you from 4 squares away (free rampage move towards nearest enemy then move action, then move action, then play a move card and engage in free Fight with a horrific 6 Fight dice pool).

    4) Blazing Away with pistols just feels wrong. Sidearms don’t usually have the rate of fire or magazine capacity to put down decent suppressing fire. Also, removing this attack from Assault Enforcers means they have to coordinate their assaults better with tactical enforcers providing the suppressing fire. It would stuff the bonus for doubling a break-off success though.

    5) Sticking with Blazing Away, can anyone provide support if they give up their actions? E.g. can a gen 2 plague with no shooting ability count as supporting? Can a Missile Enforcer support (since they cannot themselves Blaze Away)?

    6) Doubling the survival check against Blazing Away increases your aggression level? That should really be optional as it is a drawback for most Enforcers to get enraged and nobody should be penalised for winning their dice check. It’s particularly odd as it is vastly more likely that enforcers will suffer in this way if the gen 3 plague trying to blaze away actually misses (no successes on the shot so any survival success by the enforcer counts as doubling and can screw his ability to shoot). It became a default tactic to use against any enforcer who climbed up to an elevated position as it cancelled the elevated position bonus and completely stuffed his shooting if he climbed down again.

    7) Get Mean! – There needs to be an opposite version of this (Calm down?) as getting enraged is a major drawback for shooting specialists and hard to reverse. The Steadfast card should work on increases in aggression as well as decreases.
    Have you considered making Get Mean a dice check so it is possible to fail it but also possible to double and gain more than one aggression level?

    8) Breaking Away – if you are in a square with multiple enemies in and try to break away, which one makes the Fight check against your survival check? Does your opponent choose? I assumed he does but it could follow the Fight rules where the active player chooses the actual model being fought.

    9) Shooting seems underpowered when compared to fighting by which I mean it is more difficult to build up a significantly larger shooting dice pool than the target’s survival pool. With the amount of cover available on an interesting board many targets are surviving on 4 dice basic with the shooter having to spend an action aiming to counter that and climb to an elevated position to gain a dice advantage. And suppressing the target first down to Pinned actually gives them an advantage, not you. Compare to Fight where a 5 dice fight pool for the attacker is easily obtained just by being enraged and moving and the defender’s 3 dice base pool can be reduced by Pinning them whether they respond by Fight or Survival.

    Right. Tomorrow I shall develop new tactics and resume the endless struggle to rid the cosmos of tiny plastic men.

    • Longshanx says:

      ad 5)… It seemed strange to me as well, but things changed when I considered other kinds of support: The supporting fig. does not have to shoot – it may act a spotter, ammo assistant, …

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Thanks Bob. Lots of good thought there. To take them in turn:

      1) Yup, slightly garbled but that’s the meaning. Why is because it works, is clean and fast. Having played a lot more I am considering removing this restriction as there is usually no point in shooting twice (aim and shoot is usually a better option, for example). The only real issue is with Blaze Away.

      2) I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone scatter off the board, which is interesting. Treating it as a wall would be my first thought as well. I’ll add it to the rules.

      3) Taking the free fight away from move is not an option. I’ve tried it and everyone hated it. It just feels wrong and was unanimously hated by the playtesters. I think that the long actions work fine as they are. Fight has a bonus additional fight or move if things go well which deals with the unpredictable nature of melee nicely. Overwatch should be a serious choice. If it’s a short action then half the enforcers do it every turn which means that approaching melee troops stand very little chance.

      4) Well spotted! I forgot to note that pistols can’t BA in the Alpha. I didn’t think it was sufficiently vital to mention it once I’d noticed. And yes, it does make backing out of combat less dramatic for those armed with pistols, but then they should be working as a team!

      5) Only models that could BA at that target can support.

      6) I’ll probably remove this as it causes more problems that it’s worth.

      7) The overall special rule for the Enforcers was that they could use Get mean actions to go up or down A level of Aggression. In the full card decks there will be cards to help this too.

      8) The opponent chooses. It needs to say.

      9) Shooting with normal issue rifles is a bit underpowered compared to melee specialists in their element. Correct. I needed to leave some room for the really big and fancy weapons ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Also, are you counting people as in cover vs shooting only when they are standing in a cover square? This is what should be happening. If they are partly obscured by something in another square then the shot is not a clear one (so no bonus), but they do not get a cover bonus. The cover modifier only applies to models in a cover square.

      Some excellent points there. Thanks again.

  39. Sam says:

    Some balance thoughts:
    The Fight bonuses for Enraged (+dice) and Brawl (+dice) seemed a lot to remember.
    The Second Gens would eat anything they got into melee with, even multiple combatants.
    It felt like Brawl was overkill and just one more thing to remember. Unless the maps will be bigger.
    I like Rampage it makes the Plague player lurk and the Enforcers Overwatch to nail it once it sticks its head out. The board didn’t feel big enough for this to really happen, though.
    Do they really need a free Move, two regular moves and a Card move (of which there are many)?
    The Aggression boost is enough that they’ll never suffer the effects of Pinned in their turn.

    First play mistakes:
    I missed that the Missile Launcher was a long action to fire.
    I also completely missed all Enforcers have Jet Packs…should this either be on all their cards or will there be an Enforcer faction card listing their common abilities? Something similar for all Plagued starting with Enrage would be great, too.

    Second play through was awesome, was a little concerned I could just Blaze Away with 3rd Gens until the Missile Launcher was Pinned. It would be nice if he could switch to a pistol instead of waiting to not be Pinned. He wasn’t even in Cover that game so it could have been 1 dice easier to do, too.

    Was a little disappointed Assault Enforcers weren’t much chop in close combat. Maybe they should have Brawl? The pistol was still handy, surprisingly.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Jump packs should be on the Enforcer cards. The Ml should have a pistol noted on his card too.

      Enforcer assaults are handy against stage 3s, especially if you remember to enrage them before they go in. Against stage 2s they’ve got an uphill struggle because stage 2s are so good. You can get another dice by adding a friend though, and getting the charge is good too. Taking them down really requires team work with one Blazing Away to reduce the 2’s aggression then at least one enraged (assault) enforcer jumping on him.

      When 2s didn’t have brawler they got killed lots to no effect and really struggled getting through Enforcer armour. They are supposed to be extremely mean and more dangerous than anything the humans have in melee, which I think is where they are now. Just don’t fight them in melee if you can avoid it.

      Remember that these are only 2 of at least 6 factions in the game and so they have to work in a wider context.

  40. Kendachi says:

    Got in a few test games tonight and had some questions –

    When using an area effect like Blaze Away or grenade damage, does the attacker roll for successes once and then each model in the target square roll against that single roll? Or does the attacker roll for each model?

    And what does the distraction item do?

    I think that’s it. Fun rules, can’t wait for more.

    • Michael Kelley says:

      I believe the distraction “item” is not an item, but a marker for when you have used the distraction card on an opponent. The marker will remind you that the figure cannot perform any actions on its turn.
      I think the only items right now are grenades, ammo, and intel. Kinda dull, but I’m sure there will be many more in the full rule set.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      BA/Grenades: yes, roll once for the attack/explosion and then separately for each model that is affected.

  41. Sam says:

    The Distract card seemed a bit powerful. It’d still be useful even if it only stopped a Short Action.
    I’d rather something subtle that throws a spanner in because of the timing you use it, rather than just outright power.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Only stopping a short action would be fiddly (what if they do a long action?) and kind of feeble. If it’s worth including then it needs to do something. There are hardly any available so they will be retained for the vital moment. At that point they need to have some worthwhile effect.

      When you’re playing with a full force then they will have less effect as there are more models on the table.

  42. Matt Gilbert says:

    In 2 games last night, the only time anyone used overwatch was once just to see what it was like. Being a long action and needing 6+ just to try to then do something was not enough of an incentive not to act in your own turn without having to roll for it.

    • Colin J says:

      It could be worth, if overwatch is under used, giving a bonus to the number of sucesses you get. I haven’t got the alpha in front of me but as best I remember it was a single sucess pass roll. If you roll a double prehaps it could give you some bonus. Just a suggestion. If I’m wrong just ignore me.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      We use overwatch quite a bit. Possibly not every turn, but at least 2 or 3 times a game. That’s enough for it to give a flavour and break things up.

      @ Colin – the different levels of success do give different results, including being able to fire AND keeping your overwatch counter so you can potentially do it again.

  43. Pingback: Deadzone – Alpha rules released | Meeples & Miniatures

  44. killaminis says:

    It seemed to me that you were most curious about the ” I go You Go ” turn sequence. I found it totally fine. However, the model counts in the alpha are very small. Once you start taking the models up to 8 or 10 figures I see a potential for problems. Using a command system and an alternating turn sequence seems more palette-able with larger forces.. To allow for Team Tactics/Squad TActics such as shoot/move/cover/advance with maybe a Unit Leader and some Corporals would be a great way to allow a large force to break up into smaller tact teams and work together. For the life of me I couldn’t get my head around how to implement this tho, but my experience with other games of this sort is limited. I don’t want to understate this though, I really believe that the current turn mechanic will be the Death of The Game Once you utilize more Troopers and that exploring an alternate method is imperative.


    • pewc says:

      I’d be tempted to do a reverse dice pool test. A side starts with x dice in their activation pool. First figure free, second figure you roll the dice pool. Say everyone is 4+ needing one success to activate, take one out of pool. Next one you one success but take die out etcc.
      Come to think of it a dash type test to enable next activation would work. So have a pool roll each activation needing one more success. Cards could help or hinder this.
      Hope that makes sense.

  45. M Hollingsworth says:

    I don’t know if anyone has put this in as a request. I would *love* to see something akin to Necromunda/Mordheim rules. Getting currency and XP at the end of each encounter and the ability to spend the currency on weapons/armor/stuff/cards for your troops and XP to upgrade their stats.

    $150 for a fully fleshed out (4 factions, board, AND scenery included!) Necromunda/Mordheim type game? Yes please!!

    • Quirkworthy says:

      A campaign system is in the works. It won’t have terrain like Necromunda, but that’s not really appropriate for what these factions are doing in this setting. It will have experience and extra gear though ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Gareth says:

        I find the lack of terrain a shame. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I always loved building up my hangout.

        Could they not have orbital facilities, satellites, black market contacts, forward observation posts, research labs (on planet or off), workshops, etc? These could be acquired on planet or allocated to the force by “high command”.

        Not possible?

        • Quirkworthy says:

          Anything’s possible, it’s whether this is the best approach for this background. I’m looking at a number of options at the moment, including something a bit like this.

        • Gareth says:

          Cheers! Thanks for replying, nice to know it (or something similar) is a consideration. Good luck, don’t work too hard. ๐Ÿ™‚

  46. David Smith says:

    Repeat of an unanswered question above. When you Blaze Away at a square with 2 models in it, how do you do it? Roll against each target in turn? Roll the attack once but all targets roll to defend, or just one target roll to defend and all take the same effect? We had 3 good games this afternoon and this is the only real question raised – excellent stuff.

  47. pewc says:

    Just a few observations from a few games this afternoon. Hardly used overwatch but I think I know why it may be Jake is using it more. I suspect the real playtest games are using more troops. Even a couple of more enforcers would mean it would be worth leaving a couple covering area. With only 4 there is too much to do with them.

    The enforcers seem to get pinned a lot but then that’s what steadfast cards are for I suppose.

    Loving it so far.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Good to hear. Your test game board looked good too (over on the DZ facebook group).

      I think use of overwatch is largely player choice. Bob loves it ๐Ÿ™‚

  48. Alphawog says:

    I like what I’ve read(haven’t had a chance to playtest it yet though). Some quick thoughts:
    1. If one side is maxed out on figures, which I believe is 25, how well does the IGYG+ system work? It seems like the system may bog down quite a bit with a 25+ activations a round. What if the roster was broken into 5-man teams and each round you activated 1 team and played cards.
    2. d10s would offer more granular control over stats and they roll better. I like DreadBall, but the difference of a 4+ and a 5+ is so huge that I would never play the FF in a competitive league.
    3. Are the cards for the models just a quick reference for stats? is there a plan to have a roster for campaign play or do you have another trick up your sleeve?


    • Quirkworthy says:

      1. Way ahead of you – been testing a new system this afternoon which scales much better. More later.

      2. I didin’t feel I needed to go to D10 to get the level of granularity required. No point in having more sides than you need. D30s roll especially well (in fact, are hard to stop).

      3. Current thinking is that a roster for campaigns will be hard to avoid. Still looking for a better trick though.

  49. Epix says:

    I think only 3 dice for common tests is to small. Using 5 for example would allow having more armour variations from 0 to 5 while actually we can only have from 0 to 3.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      3 dice works perfectly well for DreadBall ๐Ÿ™‚

      Armour could go higher than 3. It’s not likely with the models you have seen so far, but that’s not all of what has been concepted.

      You need to remember that the variability in survival is also available to differentiate between different model’s resistance to damage. It’s not just armour.

  50. David Smith says:

    Calm Down (as mentioned above). I didn’t notice until after playing that Aggression goes up one if you injure a model in melee, this means we definitely need a Calm Down action to reduce it, don’t fancy having my missile launcher running around the table looking for somebody to thump.

  51. Kevin Wesselby says:

    Hi Jake.
    Just a thought about how actions are presented in the rules.
    This is just a alternate way that may make more sense -easier to work with?

    If we say there are 3 basic types of action.
    This includes walking ,crawling, climbing ,diving prone, dodging , etc.

    Combat strike,(Punch ,kick, parry) , throw, shoot.(etc.)

    Get Mean , Calm Down*(this may need adding) ,Aim ,Set up/Reload*(May be needed for heavier weapons perhaps?).

    All actions fall in to one of these generic sets.

    Then we could call ‘long actions’ ‘combined actions’.And give the examples of what 2 actions are used.
    ‘Fight’ = move (dodge , lunge etc.) +combat strike.(Punch kick stab etc.)

    ‘Break off ‘= combat strike (parry)+ move.(doge away.)

    ‘Run’ = Move +Move.(Walk/crawl/climb twice as far as normal.)

    ‘Snipe’ = Ready(Aim) + Attack (Shoot).

    I hope this makes sense.
    If you wanted to use ‘action point mechanic ‘ to control how much one group can do in one go.Then listing simple actions may make it easier to do.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      In some ways this starts out simpler, but then you end up having to take so much time to explain all the permutations that I think you end up back where you started. It’s also a bit restrictive as I want to be able to do things like differentiate between different types of attacks (Shoot and BA), and then restrict certain weapons from doing one type or another. That’s a bit tricker with this simplified classification and instantly introduces a bunch of compromises and exceptions.

      If you wanted to take this approach you’d probably have to begin with this and build everything around it.

  52. Jack Trowell says:

    Suggestion: improved card deck

    The idea is to make a deck with a few generic but powerful cards (like card allowing for a third activation of a model, or giving a better bonus to an action). To prevent those additionnal card from impacting the game length (due to the “no more card” end game trigger), each tome that a player draw one of those cards he should discard one card from his hand (his choice).

    The main way to get one of those card would be from one special item.

    Another way could be to “buy” access to those cards for your starting hand (as usual you wouldl have to discard from your hand for each superior card that you draw), this could be done with whatever rules are used to build your force and/or could be an upgrade that you buy in the campaign system with your experience points.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      I think that these powerful cards can be included within the normal deck as rare ones. If they’re too powerful to include in the deck then they’re probably too powerful full stop ๐Ÿ™‚

  53. Jack Trowell says:

    Suggestion: giving an item to an ally

    An enforcer with missile launcher just got an extra amno crate. As the player wants to shot and not blaze away with this player, he chose to give the item to a nearby tactical enforcer.

    Currently, if I didn’t miss anything, the ML enforcer would have to move with the item to the tac enforcer and then let it fall to the ground, and the TE would then get it during his own turn.

    In order to improve the flow of the game, I suggest that when a model move into another square you are allowed to freely exchange items between any models in the square.

    Apologies if it is already possible in the current ruleset and I missed it.

  54. Jack Trowell says:

    Suggestion: cover limited from/to some directions

    I know that the current alpha ruleset, a square is said to be in cover or not.

    While it might seems strange to have a model standing in front of -for exemple- a stack of crates get a cover bonus, I suppose that this cas represent the fact that the model has cover nearby and is able to jump behing it if needed.

    However, there are some terrains where this might not be ideal.

    For exemple I own a ruin model. The walls of those ruins might prevent models from moving throught them, but there has many openings from where a model can fire (or be fired upon).

    If I use this building, then it would make sense to get cover where fired from outside the building.

    However, what if the attacked is itself inside the building, in another square ? Or what if I use a half ruin where the wall protect from one direction only (I could even model the ruin as a lone wall !)

    My suggestion would be to simply acknowledge that some covers come from the separation between square, and should only apply when fired accross the appropriate side.

    • pewc says:

      Isn’t that covered with the clear shot mechanic. If a square is cover but the shooter can see all the figure he gets the clear shot bonus. Now this is altered by the square being cover but to me that just models the scenery that would be there IG we modelled everything. For instance the debris crap inside a building etc sO long as we are playing right it seems simple and effective.

      • Jack Trowell says:

        As you say, the clear shot bonus is still modified by the cover.

        Moreover, as a cover is also a bonus to the attacker when doing a spray fire, you can in theory get both a clear shot *and* a bonus from cover.

        Hum, maybe we might have clear shot cancelling cover (both for direct shot and spray shot) ? Still not perfect, but seems slightly better than the current system to me.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          You can have a clear shot to someone in cover and so both modifiers could apply at the same time. This represents someone who is in the process of getting into cover or is immediately next to it. The combination of the two modifiers gives the effect of a half-way house between the two extremes. I think it works well to give a middle ground type of shot whilst being no more rules.

  55. Jon Finn says:

    Is there a limit on the number or types of cards that may be played in a test? Could a player use both a +1 Fight and a Weak Spot card in the same test?
    Does Distracted remove Overwatch?
    Can a player check through the discards to see which cards have been played? Through their own and opponent’s discards?
    If there was a Shoot card, would it allow a missile launcher to fire?

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Currently only one card per model/test. I need to expand on the explanation of this restriction. Examples would help.

      Distract… hmm… interesting. It would probably be simplest if distract and OW just cancelled each other out.

      Examining discards, I’d say no. This does leave some intriguing options open though.

      Shoot would allow ML to fire as they use Shoot actions. This is why the Shoot action is described as counting as long for them rather than (as was originally) it being a new type of action.

  56. Jon Finn says:

    Can a model Blazing Away on Overwatch use other models as support?
    Can a model react to forced movement, like that caused by a grenade blast?
    What are the “before” and “after” points for Overwatch when an opponent Moves into the same square and is about to take a free Fight action? For example, if an opponent starts their Move out of Point LoS, is there enough time to make an interrupt Shoot after the Move but before the free Fight?

    • Quirkworthy says:

      BA OW cannot use support.

      Depends on the blast. OW is described (I believe – at least it should be) as reacting to an action. Being blasted out of a square by a grenade in your opponent’s turn isn’t an action, so no. However, if you were reacting to a move action and that move action resulted in a booby trap blowing the model into a new square then your shot at the end of the action would be against the model wherever it was blown to (because that was the position at the end of the action). Make sense?

      The before point is where the model was before it took this action. The after point is where it is placed once it has moved (if it does). The answer to your question is therefore no.

      This last point is a little abstract and necessarily so because of the variations of terrain and position. We cannot clearly define every point between the start and end of a model’s movement during an action and so allowing people to shoot in this interim would have to be entirely arbitrary. We know the start and end for certain, and while only allowing people to fire at these two points can cause an occasional odd moment I find a little abstraction better than arbitrariness. In any case, we are dealing with fleeting targets, glimpsed as they rush between cover and melee and so I don’t think there is a real problem imagining that you simply don’t get the chance for a good shot every time

  57. Jon Finn says:

    Can a model save up Move actions to climb multiple levels? Could a model climb a three level tower using a Move action + Move action + Move card?
    How many levels can a Jet Pack equipped model rise (or descend) in one Move action?
    Do you have to Move directly onto a token to pick it up, or just Move into the same square?
    When a model Gets Mean to recover from Pinned can it be placed anywhere within the same square (in the same way as a model becoming Pinned may be placed freely)?

    • Quirkworthy says:

      I didn’t talk about going up multiple levels with no place to pause, and I need to. Jump packs also need a fuller discussion.

      Moving onto the same square is enough. I’ll check that’s clear. Good point.

      Yes, placement of a Pinned/unPinned model is freely chosen by the owning player.

      • David Smith says:

        Concerning climbing, I take it a model could climb vertical taking 1 action and would the need to spend another action to move forward onto the other square, say at the top of a building.

  58. Jon Finn says:

    How do vertical distances affect limited ranged weapons like Grenades and Pistols?
    Does a model at a higher level always have Cover to opponents lower than it (because not all of it can be seen), or does it have to be in a square with Cover in it?
    How do you determine if a model is in Cover to a grenade blast? Does it simply have to be anywhere within a square that contains Cover?
    Is the Cover bonus or penalty applied regardless of Point LoS? Is it just whether there are elements of Cover within the square?
    Do you count the shooter when determining whether there are “Friendlies in target square”? For example, would an enforcer suffer the Friendlies penalty if it was Shooting at an opponent in the same square as it even if there were no other enforcers in the same square?

    • Torkel says:

      Pretty sure the rules cover these things.

      A square is defined as cover or not cover. If you’re in a square defined as cover, you get cover bonus.

      From the alpha rules:
      “If a model starts an action in the same square as an enemy model then it can only choose to Fight or attempt to Break Off.”

      • Jon Finn says:

        Yes, I missed or forgot the mandatory Fight or Break Off rule and I did not grok the rule on Cover.
        I now presume “in cover” to mean “in a square with an element of cover in it”. This seems to be similar to Dust Tactics’s abstract rules for cover, but for me does not jibe with the TLoS rule used to determine whether a shot is Clear or normal.
        Thanks for clearing those points up!

  59. Dan Brown says:

    May have been covered, but if people want a more randomnesss to the movement, why not roll to see how many units/models you can act in a turn. It certainly makes people think more about what they are doing.

  60. Pete B says:

    1. Enforcer cards seemed short on interesting stuff – just a lot of cards which gave a die here or there. I hope in the full game they have some extra actions mixed in.

    2. Breaking away didn’t seem to do much unless you someone else standing by to shoot your attacker after you run out. Even if you double, get the free blaze away and pin your target, they can just get mean and move back in to restart the process, going up 1 die for the charge.

    3. The rules don’t address the situation where models can be in the same square at different elevations (as things stand, a model can fight another model 6″ over its head and area fire hits every elevation).

    4. Should grenade wall slams and falling damage be AP 1? As it stands, any model which takes this damage is already Pinned and they are simply a second, less effective roll to the one which was already made. I get that you don’t want basic grenade explosions to be very dangerous, but it seems like there should be added consequences for these situations.

    5. What happens when models won’t fit in a square due to the terrain present?

    • David Smith says:

      If a model is at different elevation then he’s not in the same square, you have to go up to his square to fight.

      If a model can’t be placed in a square then he can’t go in it.

      • Pete B says:

        “If a model canโ€™t be placed in a square then he canโ€™t go in it.” – the problem here is it is possible to keep enemy models from entering a square if all 3″ aren’t available (because of terrain which partially fills it, for instance). I don’t think that’s the intended result.

        • David Smith says:

          Good point, you could stop those L2 Plague from fighting you. I guess then as a square can hold 4pts of forces then it should be able to, but the rules say you can’t make way for other models to enter, bit of a conundrum.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      1) All the faction decks will be bigger in the full release.
      2) Breaking Away does need to have some team mates nearby to work well. I think this reflects what would really happen. Disengaging is not easy.
      3) I’d have to check the wording. That’s certainly not the intent.
      4) I don’t think AP is appropriate for wall slams and falling. They may need to be more damaging, but the armour should protect against them.
      5) I’ve expanded on the description of the placing and how that works in the Beta. Basically it shouldn’t stop the models fitting in.

  61. Chris says:

    Well, feel I can’t comment without actually getting to play the rules… but I will make one small point ๐Ÿ™‚ It seems perfectly feasible to include vehicles. From media it is always fun to see people advancing with some sort of truck/transport/dune buggy in centre for the leader/heavy weapon. From ‘the real world’ transports are jump off points for close urban combat getting the troops 90% of the way in so they aren’t shot up just getting to a target building.

    So they will get houseruled in if nothing else for scenarios. Currently I will be saying something like moves at same rate as infantry, with no doubt various special abilities but fundamentally this is stuff advancing alongside/supporting/dropping off models. Some sort of rule for disembarking/embarking (no doubt -1 hex move) and movement limitations. Unless skimmers no climbing, otherwise small (motorbike) can go around normally, medium (orc raptor) must have adjacent empty hex otherwise cannot move (need better wording, in essence takes up two hexs perpendicular to direction of travel), large (APC) needs two adjacent hexes (so one to left and right of direction of travel),anything bigger move zero.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      There are two issues with vehicles.

      1) They tend to move too quickly and run out of space.
      2) They are often very powerful. This reduces every game to a “monster hunt”.

      My thinking on this is that when we start dealing with multi-m at (and multi-player) games then they will fit in better. There will be more space and also more models on both sides so that a vehicle or two won’t be so overpowering.

  62. Steve says:

    He All,

    Not sure whether my comments would of been covered but after some playtesting yesterday here my thoughts.

    – I go, you go, works not a excellent system but it works
    – Shooting, seems to be a bit pointless for the enforcers, we could hit the plague but very rarly caused any damage, and setting up the “assists”, seemed quite a gamble as the other player had to do nothing at all.
    – there must be a mechanic to reduce aggression, multiple times the plague were blazing away at enforcers really not caring whether they hit in fact hoping they didn’t so the enforcer doubled went to enraged and suddenly your man standing on a building trying to shoot stuff is far less effective
    – in 2 games, the enforcers were comfortably ahead until the gen 2 got into combat then the proceeded to rip everything apart without much hope of being able to do anything about it ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    Good Things
    – the game flowed well,
    – the LOS is so simple and clear i love it
    – the card are great adding choices and an interesting potential end game
    – grenades (apart from the obviously lack of 3D) are great and seem to work well, the blast into wall damage should possibly be adjusted
    – what happens if your blasted off the table side ? we played it as if you hit a wall ???

    overall a pretty good set of alphas, the mechanics seem to work (at least in principle) and i have high hopes for the future

    well done ๐Ÿ™‚

  63. David Smith says:

    The L2 Plague seem a bit to tough at the moment, 3 games and not been able to take one down yet, All they do is get pissed off when wounded and then just wipe out the Enforcers.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Need to try harder ๐Ÿ˜‰

      They can be taken down in a single shot and if you’re feeling really bold they can be killed in melee. That’s rather tricker and may take a bit of pondering, but is entirely possible. Of course, the favourite method for dealing with them is the missile launcher (which is why they brought it in the first place).

  64. Keith says:

    The warpath activations are loved by our community. Could control be kept by one faction automatically for the 1st move, then on a 4+ for a second move then 6+ for the 3rd and subsequent moves. When control is lost it passes to the opposing faction. Repeat until all models in both factions have moved to complete the first turn. Different factions could have a modifier to these rolls according to their organisation. We will trial this tomorrow.


    • Quirkworthy says:

      That’s the Warmaster system, sort of, and works OK. Not a big fan myself as it has a number of issues for this kind of game. In particular it makes co-ordinating teams very hard, and that is currently a big part of the game (when played well).

  65. Mike says:

    Hello Quirkworthy,

    What a brilliant new game system you have created!

    I am a keen Deadzone kickstarter backer and have been reading the Alpha rules and all the kickstarter updates over the long weekend. Great stuff though I do have some questions:

    1) Rules: Combat โ€“ a great set of rules you have there but I am a little confused with the combat/survival rules if you forgive me. A fight is a long action and when you roll to test for it the rules says โ€˜3 dice test Fighting vs Fighting or Survival (x)โ€™. When do you roll against โ€˜Fightingโ€™ or โ€˜Survivalโ€™? Who chooses what or does the situation dictate this?
    2) Video demo: Quick game โ€“ could you upload a quick full demo game?
    3) Background: Living history โ€“ will gamers be able to affect the narrative and history of events that form the gameโ€™s background? Thinking of potential Deadzone gaming campaigns and events as examples, would you incorporate real player results and experiences into the on-going story of the game? Or will the background be more fixed/static?
    4) Factions: More information โ€“ The different factions certainly look exciting but could you give more of a summary of what they will be like in the game? How are they all different? Are they all shooty or are some a lot more combat based than others? Could you make a shooty Plague โ€˜gangโ€™ if you wished? Would โ€˜gangโ€™ creation in Deadzone allow for this level of experimentation and flexibility? Or is what you have in a โ€˜gangโ€™ in terms of model types set?

  66. Tom Flannery says:

    Hey Jake! Got some feedback/suggestions you may or may not have had presented

    First, love the system and the mechanics, gameplay is smooth and quick. Played through two games tonight and had an absolute blast. A lot of fellow gamers were intrigued and asked tons of questions!

    Okay onto suggestions:

    Enforcer Missile Trooper: needs to have a pistol sidearm, something that allows him to be an effective short range shooter for games when he repeatedly gets pinned. One game tonight virtually saw him getting zero use for 3 turns straight because he was pinned down and could only move after getting mean, which made him a very opportunistic target and pretty much wasn’t a factor for an entire game. It was really disappointing.

    Enforcer Assault Specialist: give him brawler! Also, his fight value feels like it needs to be decreased by 1 to 4. Even if you increase his shoot value to 6 as a trade off. (This would in theory make him a statistical opposite of the standard enforcer grunt) I need an assault specialist that can actually assault and hope to kill the target!

    In the two games I played, the assault specialist died in a melee fight. Even when he stuck first (due in part to low dice rolls on my end) he just wasn’t doing enough damage to make me want to have him. I’d rather just have another grunt to be honest. The Gen 2’s alpha strike in melee is just to strong. I don’t want to get near them in melee.

    Plague Gen 2: reduce his armor value to 1. Other than that he’s fine as is.

    My reasoning is because if the gen 2 initiates a melee attack. He’s going to swing 6 dice (7 if theres a fight card) at me, I can only hope (and pray) I roll enough 8’s to survive. The enforcers are already at a HUGE disadvantage if they get hit in melee having only 3 dice for survival(4 if I play a card) odds are not in the enforcer favor for survival. And if the assault specialist manages to strike first he’s rolling only 4 dice (5 if I use a card) while the plague player can use 1 card to up their survival to 4 dice and still on average take 0-1 damage if I’m really lucky with rolls.

    Meanwhile in return if the gen2 swings his max dice of 7, I can defend against 4 of those with dice(and a card), absorb 1 with a point of armor, and end up possibly taking 2 points of damage anyway which kills the enforcer.

    Have you thought about any way of balancing that out? I know gen 2’s give up shooting to be combat monsters but mathematically speaking, even on average rolls I’m going to get slaughtered by average dice every time.

    Thanks in advance for your reply. Love the game so far!

    • David Smith says:

      Yep, there is no way to beat L2 Plague once they are in a fight, you might be lucky to survive a couple of turns but the Enforcers will never cause any damage and even breaking of is nigh impossible (but they will follow anyway) they don’t even lose a dice for being wounded due to Rampage. Also if the keep to cover (and there is plenty of that) and/or you can’t get a clean LOS you can’t wound them either with shooting.

      • Tom Flannery says:

        Yep. And if the gen2 is this bad in melee I’d hate to try and imagine how ungodly the gen1 must be.

        • Torkel says:

          I think 1st gen is slower tho, so easier to avoid. He might not even be more vicious in a fight either. He could have other qualities ^_^

    • andymeechan says:

      Assault Specialist vs. Plague#2 … I’m thinking that would constitute uneven ‘points’, so why would we consider it a fair fight? Your Enforcer would get a bonus dice If he had a friend in the same square and if that friend fired at, then was on Overwatch when the P#2 drew closer, perhaps that would balance it a little? Try it and let us know.

      And at what point would anyone want to fight fair against The Plague? ๐Ÿ˜‰

  67. Tom Flannery says:

    Oh also, a question.

    When you fire the missile launcher is its damage treated as a grenade or a regular shooting attack?

    • Quirkworthy says:

      This type of round is a regular shooting attack at AP2, which makes it pretty special. It originally had a frag round too, but was wiping out everyone on its own so I put that to one side for now. It’s real job is anti armour and the only train the Enforcers brought them along is that they know what they’re facing…

  68. yetisa says:

    Hi Jake,

    It seems I’m a little late to this party and most of my questions have already been dealt with. The one area that I haven’t seen covered though is floors/ceilings. I have a few questions:

    Is there any distinction between a floor that you can move/shoot through (e.g. grating or an access hatch) and those you can’t (e.g. normal concrete floor)?
    If not, what are the assumptions? Can you shoot at a model directly above/below you? Can you climb to a higher level if you have a roof above you? etc.

    I also don’t see any rules covering moving directly up or down while remaining in the same square (e.g. a cat ladder with an access hatch) or ascending/descending multiple levels (e.g. climbing the buildings in the sample scenery), is this because they aren’t allowed or were they just not covered in the alpha?


  69. Yesterday I were testing the alpha rules with a friend and we are very impressive with the game. I think itยดs fast and easy, maeby a little bit simple, but I suposse that this is because of are alpha rules and not complete rules.

    That are my 2 cents:

    – Iniciative: I belive that there is better sistem if the inciative should change each turn with a dice check or something similar, like other games how Dropzone Commander. Maeby with a modifier based on command atribute.

    – We have some doubs with figth. Itยดs posible to shoot if you are in the same square that a enemy unit? With clear shoot if you fire to this unit in the same square? That is maeby so powerful, we think.

    – There are so much token in the field. With the complete rules and decks of troops itยดs easy to put the token on the card of the unit afected, but just now itยดs a little bit confusing, especially if there are two or more units in the same square.

    And that all for my side. Good work and keep going!! We are waiting for our strike force!!

    • David Smith says:

      Random initiative will not work on an Igo ugo system, can you imagine the advantage of going last and then follow up by going first with all your troops and also playing with a full deck of cards while your opponent can’t replenish.

      • Maeby a didnยดt explain correctly. I mean that the start of the turn should change from one turn to other turn. For exmple you start first turn with your first miniature activate; and after that the opposite player play with his first miniature but that not secure you that the next turn you go first.

        I think itยดs a good way to give more interest to the game.

  70. Jon Finn says:

    Is it bad form to place a figure with the centre of its base in one square but a substantial portion within another, in order either to avoid giving a Clear shot or to get LoS?

    For example, could I Move a model one square to a corner position and poke enough of it out to claim LoS for a shot I could not otherwise have taken, (arguably) effectively giving me two Moves and a Shoot in one activation?

    • Tom Flannery says:

      @Jon technically speaking and according to the rules your figure occupies the square that the majority of his base is in. So even if you “toe in” to another square, the square that has the majority of the model in it would be the origin location of the attack.

      Likewise if you moved the majority of the model into an additional square I would consider you using two move action and then your models activations would instantly end (unless you played move card)

  71. andymeechan says:

    For all us folks interested in helping out Jake I recommend that you take 20 minutes to read Mack Martin’s 4-part blog on Testing a Game. It contains a lot of wisdom, including the importance of contextual feedback.

    Part One:
    Part Two:
    Part Three:
    Part Four:

  72. David Smith says:

    How are linear obstacles handled in the game concerning being in cover? Models’s don’t count as in cover but can block clear LOS?

  73. Scott Beil says:

    Been reading the Alpha Rules sounds like a fun set-up. Looking forward to getting DEADZONE, will be pledging in the next week or so.

  74. yetisa says:

    Hi Jake,
    I just read the alpha rules again and a couple more questions came to mind… this time to do with overwatch.

    First, there is a scenario that the rules don’t seem to cover.
    There is a model on overwatch keeping an eye on a target. The target starts its action in a spot that the overwatch model can’t see and ends in another spot that the model can’t see, but must pass through an open area to get there. An example of this would be a sniper taking aim at an open door way, waiting for someone to run across it (a difficult shot of course, but not impossible for a highly trained enforcer with advanced targeting). The alpha rules allow overwatch to interrupt an action at the beginning or end of the action, but not in the middle, and since there is no LOS to the target in either position there is no way for the sniper to take his shot, despite the fact that he may attempt his overwatch interrupt (Area Fire LOS on one of the squares). Is this deliberate or a side effect of the system?

    Second, what happens to a target’s action if it has been successfully interrupted?
    For instance, a model doubles the overwatch roll, blazes away at a target at the beginning of its action and succeeds in pinning it. What happens next? The target is pinned so his only available action is Get Mean, but he has already declared something else.
    As I see if, the target was intending to move/shoot/whatever but as they poked their head out of cover they were surrounded by a hail of bullets and hit the deck. This would imply that the target looses that action and becomes pinned, so the only thing they could do for the remainder of the turn (assuming they have a card or short action remaining) is Get Mean. Is this correct?

  75. Matt says:

    I gave it a shot last night with a friend of mine and absolutely loved it. That being said, in bigger games I can see the whole I-Go-You-Go could give the first player a huge advantage. Going off of that, changing overwatch to a short action might help keep it balanced.

  76. Lee says:

    Hey Jake! Obviously loads of comments here already, but a few more wouldn’t hurt, right?
    Finally got to try it out a few nights ago and mull things over:
    LOS works great, love it! Simple and clean. The Clear shot/cover tandem was a little counter intuitive at first, even knowing ahead of time how it would work. But it is one of the things I love about the system, both here and DreadBall. They are opposed actions, so I understand that the firer gets a bonus because he has a clear shot and that the target is trying to get out of the way and that is made easier if there is cover in the vicinity!
    Grenades are very cool! See all kinds of potential here. I know some would like to see AP, but those could be different types. Looking forward to seeing what you have up your sleeve there.

    My only “concerns” (probably a bit strong of a word) were in two areas, would it be okay to put forth some suggestions on these? Yes? Thanks!

    1: Fight seems a bit strong right now. It is ostensibly a long action, yet can be done for free with a move action. Since it is free, it is not subject to the same limits as shoot, which in a futuristic scifi game, seems a little counter intuitive. However, I think it would be less of an issue except for how it combines with…

    2:Movement. I like how clean it is, but that simplification comes at a bit of a cost. It makes the skirmish game perhaps feel a bit more board gamey than it should. Particularly in terms of elevation change and the combination of the aforementioned Fight. Example: In the game there was a Phase 2 Plague coming straight at the two Tac Enforcers on the right flank. One of them went up on top of a building to try and get a better shot while the other remained in cover and continued to fire as well. The best they could manage was reducing it to Alert Status. The Phase 2 then played a move card to end up beside the building the enforcer was on, followed by a move action that allowed him to scale the building and eat the enforcer (pretty sure he swallowed him whole!). With remaining short action, moved again, hoping off of said building into the adjacent square to eat the other enforcer. This essentially gave it the equivalent of 5 short actions in one turn-3 moves and 2 Fight, very potent! I really don’t feel the issue is balance in stats, just cost of actions.

    Not really a complaint, but the Phase two scaling the building to the enforcer and still get full dice just felt a little wrong. Sure, tactically, the enforcers probably should have started to retreat as the plague closed the gap. But It just didn’t seem that scaling a building would give the same impetus to combat that moving into combat on the same elevation would-usually the defender has an advantage with the high ground!

    Scaling buildings and moving through squares designated as cover seems a bit to easy. Was there any consideration of having a move action that starts and/or ends in cover or on a building being a Long Action? Would give more consideration to terrain and the environment interacting with movement. I imagine it could also give more value to some abilities and or units that are more mobile. The phase two could have something like Agile that allows them to still move into those situations as a short action. Similar thing with the jump packs (though I realize they are already handy in not needing walls to change elevation). Though I am certain you probably already have a variety of ideas for some differentiation in movement!

    Anyway, looks great so far, excited to see it progress!

    • Chris Vanderstoel says:

      G’day Jake,
      Big fan of your previous work especially Pandora & Dreadball. The issue I currently have with the Alpha rules is with the way area fire works. With rules as written it is not possible to injure or kill a figure. I know this is intentional, but it effects my immersion in the game. I realise the purpose of the “blaze away” action is to restrict the targets ability to react, but I’d like to think all those rounds (bullets, lasers, death rays, whatever) have a slight chance cause damage ๐Ÿ™‚
      Would wounding on a triple success work? Or is it broken in someway I’ve missed?
      Anyway, overall I’m really liking what I’ve seen so far, thanks for your efforts.

  77. SirP. says:

    Had a quick playtest of the ruleset today.
    The main thing that stood out as desperately needing a fix was that Fight (normally a looong action) is free when moving into an opponent’s gridsquare!
    Combined with the bonus for moving this seemed overpowered in this first game.

    • David Smith says:

      Disallowing M+M+F would help with the devestating power of the Plague L2, at least you might be able to shoot it as it moves in.

      • SirP. says:

        Or adding an assault action, which would presumably be a long action.
        Or the move card could have a caveat that it can’t be used to move a model into a FIGHT square.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Fight really doesn’t seem broken to me. I’ve been running demos and talking to people all day about DZ and it works fine.

      Fight as a long action, represents a model that is stuck in an ongoing (and by definition reasonably well-matched) melee. If a model does well in a fight then they get a free fight or move action, thus effectively making fight not a long action but a short one if it is lopsided enough.

      When the model runs into combat it gets a fight because it looks bizarre and highly counter-intuitive if they don’t. Making this a separate type of assault action doesn’t seem to add anything while simultaneously creating a bunch of “why can’t I?” moments for people who wonder why you can move into melee sometimes and not others.

      • SirP. says:

        Thanks for the response. Next time I play I’ll be exploring some of the natural counters to this type of gameplay, e.g. overwatch.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          Overwatch is an obvious and often effective counter. Use of blazing away and pinning/suppression is another. A third is even simpler – don’t stand still and let them dictate the flow of battle! Keep repositioning.

  78. SirP. says:

    A few queries we had,
    a) when breaking away from multiple opponents, who’s fight stat to use
    b) when blazing away at a square with multiple targets, do you roll for effect on each separately?
    c) can a player shoot a target in its current square
    d) do miniatures obscure line of sight?

    As a long action, overwatch just didn’t get used in (our first only thusfar) game. There just wasn’t time to get setup on the incoming badies, with 2 movement per turn and add a movement card plus free Fight action they were int he fight pretty quick smart. This made for the kind of game that I can’t really see myself enjoying. (a bit of “oh great I’ve just been charged in turn 2/3, I’ll just remove my models and go home now” syndrome).

    One of my favourite things about Dreadball (over that football game) is the change to IGO UGO mechanic, limited actions that can be spread around all your players.
    I wonder if DZ would work if each side had a total of ~8-10 actions per turn to be spread around between models (max 2 each).

    WRT initiative options:
    I think I played a game with a bidding system for action points, e.g. you could each put out a D8 with a bid for the max number of actions you’d get that turn. Lowest bid goes first and can perform the number of actions they bid. THerefore like dreadball you wouldn’t have a full IGO UGO turn sequence (a la WH40K, WHFB, Bloodbowl, Necro, etc etc).

    The Blitzkrieg commander style leadership checks are one of the most popular wargame mechanics I’ve ever encountered, and I suppose they could work in a DZ context too,

    • Quirkworthy says:

      a) The player who is not breaking off chooses.
      b) roll once for the BA effect and then separately against it for each model in the square.
      c) No
      d) yes

      Overwatch is a funny one. Some people don’t get much use out of it, but I see it in use all the time from folk who’ve played a few games. A lot of how useful it is depends on the terrain set up you have and where you deploy your forces. It also depends on how well you understand fire & movement and how much you use your troops to support each other instead of just attacking the enemy.

      If the Plague romp across the battlefield unmolested and then eat you in melee then either the dice are really against you or you’re doing something wrong. The do arrive quickly., but should not be doing so without taking dome punishment first.

      I’ve been at the Mantic Open Day today, and a fair proportion of the DZ demo games were won by the Enforcers, including the last two I happened to be watching.

      We tried a limited action pool, in fact that was where I started. It didn’t work. What happened was that people played the game with half the army (the best half) and only used the rest of their models when the best half took losses. Leaving half the models standing around on the base line looked silly.

      Bidding for actions is an interesting mechanic, though it is slow. It also has a tendency to revert to a standard format between players unless mitigated. Interesting, as I said, but I don’t think right for DZ.

      Not familiar with Blitzkrieg Commander.

      • SirP. says:

        Hmm, yes I can see what you are saying about only using half your army if given limited action points, I have caught myself in that mode a few times with Dreadball.

        Blitzkrieg Commander (based on warmaster I’ve been told) requires a ‘leadership/command’ check before activating a model/unit. You can assign multiple actions to the unit, but each check after the first is harder to achieve. This ends up with some units performing several actions per turn and IMX this eases the IGO UGO monotony.

        I’m looking forward to my next playtest session, what a wonderful boon it is for potential game-buyers to check out the rules in advance!

        Keep up the good work.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          If it’s the Warmaster mechanic then it suffers from the same “half the army” issue as you have no incentive to start with anything but the most effective units and can do so every turn, moving them repeatedly if you choose and the dice let you. The ones that come at the back of the list of priorities often do nothing for much of the game.

          It has a couple of advantages though overall I think the disadvantages for this kind of game outweigh them.

  79. Pete Jones says:

    Any plans to include the Judwan as part of the Rebs faction? I can see them being a useful addition to the Rebs, perhaps not actually fighting but using their unusual abilities to make their allies more effective (creating diversions, acting as spotters or runners etc.)

  80. Jon Larsen says:

    2 quick fragementary thoughts.

    Pinned โ€“ unpinned at startโ€ฆyet suffers -1. Why not, just unpin figures at the completion of combat? Or, make it contingent on winning combat.

    Needs 3 morale states โ€“ 5 is too much bookkeeping, but even if the game had MORE statuses, thereโ€™s not enough to differentiate these. If you must have them, thenโ€ฆBerserk should be some forced movement that the Plague have WHEN enraged. And further, Pinned/Suppressed should be the same thing โ€“ with some weapons allowing for a heavy form of โ€œpinnedโ€ thatโ€™s a negative modifier to the pinned checkโ€ฆ

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Making standing up contingent on winning basically makes it never happen. It needs to happen automatically regardless of the outcome as it’s already a penalty. When you actually stand the model up is not very important in the current version, though it has mattered in previous incarnations. I’ll see where we get to and what’s tidiest.

      Berserk is still a WIP.

      Pinned/Suppressed are very different in application, even if they might appear similar on reading the rule. On the tabletop there is a world of difference between an effect which the target can take off in one turn and one they cannot.

  81. William says:

    I’ve noticed a couple of posts about activation, especially the dislike for the I go you go system.

    One game I’ve played that managed the limited figure activations for each side pretty well was Heroclix. In that game activating gave you a counter that could be removed after a player turn without activating.

    If needed, you could act again with the same miniature two turns in a row (pushing), but this resulted in some damage and a second counter. Miniatures with two counters could do nothing but clear counters the next player turn. This might migitate both the “bystanders” and limited modern tactics problem with limited figure activations.

    The number of actions in Heroclix was determined by game size and possible leader figures/special rules. Is this type of mechanic applicable in some form in Deadzone, perhaps with penalties/bonuses in number of activations for elite/more swarmy factions?

    • Quirkworthy says:

      I think I’ve already got something which ticks all these boxes and which it interwoven with the command values for cards. It achieves much the same kind of thing with slightly less rules and constraints ๐Ÿ™‚

  82. David Smith says:

    Just like to say I love the Distract card, after all what do your heroes do in every film to try and get past the guard? Chuck a stone to distract him and sneak past or whack him. Distract and the way it works is perfect for the game.

  83. Craig Adamson says:

    Well, I’ve run through my first “competitive” game – and it played pretty well. Needed to run through the “clear shot” / in “area with cover” part a few times, but actually makes sense overall. I did keep forgetting my plague were enraged from the off, which left me with a couple of pinned S2s that did not need to be. Also, grenades being thrown at a target on a higher level – can it be done? And then the issue of what is an adjacent square, since explosions move in 3 dimensions, not 2. We played this as acceptable if you could see a target in the square, and adjacent squares were only on the same level, as this seemed reasonable for speed – the target square was in a ruined building, so had open squares around it which meant models on a lower floor would have been adjacent if the effect went up and down a level too.
    The cards made seemingly difficult to reach opponents easier to target, but at a cost of reducing your deck, so balance maintained. Personally I love it!

  84. I’m very sorry – there is a lot in here, and I wanted to leave some feedback, and I recognize that it’s probably _up there_ somewhere…

    Played a game tonight, and it plays as wonderfully as I would have expected given my reading of the rules. Great job!

    We had a couple questions that seemed unclear, or not in the rulebook:

    1. When Blazing Away at a square with multiple targets in it, what dice are rolled and when? We rolled once for the shooter, vs once for each model in the square. Seemed like the right thing to do, but it isn’t clear.

    2. Shooting a square that contains friendlies has a -2, whereas Blaze Away does not. This feels odd, although I definitely took advantage of it. ๐Ÿ™‚

    3. After you get thrown against a wall from a grenade blast, the Survival roll appears to have no target number. It just says 3 dice 5+ vs Survival, with no target.

    Big thanks, and I’m even more stoked to play and get this KS finished off! ๐Ÿ™‚

  85. Craig Adamson says:

    Just thought of one thing – what happens if you get thrown from a building / ledge from a grenade blast? I know you take damage from the grenade, but what about from the fall? Or is this yet to come? Thanks

  86. I mentioned it on the Mantic forums, but does anyone else think that “blaze away” shlould be renamed “suppressing fire?”

    When I hear “blaze away” I think of an action hero busting down a door and shooting all the bad guys in a room. You know, he goes in “guns blazing.” But the in-game effect for Blaze Away doesn’t do damage and is only meant to get people’s heads down.

    It is just a nagging thing in the back of my mind whenever I read “blaze away.”

    • Craig Adamson says:

      Never thought of it like that, but you’re right – suppressing fire might be a better description of the action. Blaze Away could be another action that actually targets all in the square, but at reduced damage per model (-1 to number of dice maybe?), as no-one is specifically targeted, but all could be hit.

      • Quirkworthy says:

        I think that 2 firing modes are sufficient. BA may get a possibility of damaging the target on a triple.

        Regarding the initial comment, blazing away and guns blazing don’t mean the same thing to me. And the real problem of confusion between suppression and suppressing fire PLUS the fact that it isn’t a verb (and all other actions are) haven’t been addressed.

  87. chainbreaker says:

    Probably somebody else already made similar suggestions but what immediately came to my mind after reading the alpha rules for the first time was this:
    I’d like to see an additional long action “push”/”throw” which is similar to fight but instead of dealing damage allows to push an enemy to an adjacent square (off a building/bridge or away from an objective).
    As in “blaze away” there could be supporting models (if I can’t push you off that bridge alone maybe I can do it when my buddies are helping). The property “big” could give a substantial bonus on both offensive and defensive side such that you really need several small models to push a big one. Maybe you can even push models over a railing on a double/tripple.

    • chainbreaker says:

      Hmm this could also work the other way round: When the enemy tries to move into “my” square, instead of fighting back you could “push back” / “block” as a reaction (standing on a bridge and screaming “you shall not pass” gives a bonus ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

  88. Matt Rap says:

    I had a quick question: I know several of the pledge levels come with both a hard copy of the rules and a PDF, and that the expected delivery isn’t until December, but will people be able to get the PDF version sooner so they can play with other miniatures until December?

    • Quirkworthy says:

      A good question. The PDF version would normally be the final laid out version in electronic form and so would only be done when it was ready.

      I’ll ask Mantic and see what their plans were. Not sure what happened with DB.

      • Matt Rap says:

        Alright, thanks.

      • Torkel says:

        If I remember correctly, the PDF rulebook was given out a few weeks before shipments went out. I assume that was when the book was finalized and sent to printing. I would expect the same for Deadzone.

  89. Lance King says:

    I just started reading the rules and I am up to page 7. So a couple of remarks before I continue. First on page 7 in the Sequence of play you state actions versus card play as an EITHER/OR option. In a paragraph at the bottom you show it as action and card together. I would guess the Either/Or is wrongly worded.
    Also dice explaination is too wordy and the first few pages have several redundancies. I am sure your proof readers will clean this up as we go!
    I have not pledged yet but will as soonas I decide what I ant (besides everything)!

  90. Earthquake says:

    Jake, after listening to you explain rules during a Deadzone gameplay video on Youtube, it raised a couple of questions:

    1) I was making the assumption that since you can complete consecutive move actions, it is possible for Plague models to climb 2 storey buildings (or 3 storey, if the also have a move card played on them) in a single turn, providing there is a ladder present. Is this correct?

    2) Since Enforcers are equiped with Jump Packs, does this mean that they can move up and down multiple levels for a single move action? (Since it is a power jump, rather then using a ladder, wouldn’t it be a much quicker form of transport?)

    3) I made the assumption that the Misslie Enforcer is equipped with a pistol, as per the note on Page 14, which says that pistols are carried by Specialist Enforcers as a secondary weapon.. Is this correct?


  91. killaminis says:

    I’m curious as to the Alternate Turn sequence or Command system you’ve mentioned last week or so. Haven’t heard much on that, does the silence mean your still working on it or does it mean you’ve given up on that and are sticking with I go you go??

  92. killaminis says:

    Just got over to the live Facebook with Ronnie and he clarified my last question. Seems you played through some new rules changes today that were exactly to the question I raised. From Ronnie’s comments, he seemed to be very happy with your Command Points system and mentioned release of an updated rules next week .. Can’t Wait ๐Ÿ™‚

  93. DiploDawg says:

    Hi – I’m a long time reader first time poster –

    I really like the ideas you’ve started with here in the alpha rules. Thank you for all your hard work. I’m relatively new to the tactical skirmish games, so I’ll defer to people with more experience on one point I noticed and would like to bring up for consideration.

    I found that the unlimited range of all weapons (excepting grenades and the AT pistol) limited the requirement for effective tactics. Depending on how the board was set up – if the enforcers won initiative, then the Missile Trooper was able to take out a Plague Gen 2 brawler on round one from the opposite side of the board. In one case, the enforcer player used a card to gain a move action and used two short action “shoots” to put down both of the Gen 2 brawlers. While I admit that unit deployment was a factor, I would argue that giving weapons unlimited range across the board effectively limits the amount of tactical movement and strategy necessary to maneuver a faction into a strategic firing scenario.

    Have you considered imposing limits on the range of weapons as you have done with the pistol and grenade (both 3 squares). I would suggest that this might encourage tactical movements rather than simply blasting away from one deployment zone or another.

    If I’m misreading the rules, thank you in advance for anyone’s advice and/or criticism.

    • David Smith says:

      I haven’t found that problem as we tend to use cover a lot to prevent this happening, It’s probably bad tactics of the Plague player to position his models where they can easily be shot at. If anything a 24″ is actually short for this scale of game.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Welcome Diplo, and thanks.

      All weapons will have ranges in the full rules to take account of the fact that they may be played in larger games than a single mat as well as encouraging a little more movement and to make exact positioning more of a consideration. This was not included in the Alpha as part of my attempt to focus on the core rules. This rule uses a standard format so that the rule you need to know for pistols will also apply in exactly the same way to rifles, missile launchers, etc. The only different one will be thrown grenades which are a fixed 3 range.

      As David suggests, the amount and layout of buildings you are using and the exact positioning of the models can have a very big impact on the way the game plays out.

    • Torkel says:

      Keep in mind that the missile launcher’s shoot action is a long action. He cannot shoot twice in a turn (not sure if you meant that he was the one taking out both 2nd Generations in one turn.)

  94. Earthquake says:

    Currently each faction has 12 cards. What do you envisage being the size of the faction decks in the final game?

    Also, will the cards be printed in the final rulebook, or will they only be available as separate card decks?

    • Quirkworthy says:

      I’m expecting the Battle decks to be about 20-24 cards. In addition there will be mission cards and stat cards making a whole faction deck of 54 cards.

      I was expecting that the cards would be available as a deck of cards rather than in the rules. I expect to include a commentary on the effects on the cards and other details in the rules, but not a copy of each one.

  95. neilflood says:

    After first few games a couple of thoughts (these may have been mentioned before, I havent gone through all posts)
    The Distract card,one person interpreted the wording to be that you choose if they cannot do long or short not both, My understanding is the model can do neither.
    The free fight at end of move makes the fight too powerful, 3 fights per turn? Suggestion is not to include fight in a move but create a long action CHARGE get to move and do a fight action.
    A consolidation move after a succesful fight was also thought of, either to get in square of another opponent (but not fight) or to duck behind cover.
    Blaze away thought it would be nice if there was a chance of injury (triple result?)
    Open terrain of the roof. We cam across an example in game due to the size of the building two models were on top 3 square away, the roof was large and flat therefore a clear shot was given. Technically the victim could claim cover as the square he was in (at ground level) contained cover, even though he would have no cover on the level he was on(no barricades, barrels etc). Could square at different level have different profiles with cover. I know this is terrain specific but I am sure it will come up.
    But saying that we all loved it but only 1 out of 3 frag grenades had any real effect.

    • Matt Gilbert says:

      The square underneath would be a different square – the model cannot be both in the square above and below at the same time! Otherwise the reverse could be true – the square below was not in cover because the one above it was clear.

      • neilflood says:

        So each level is counted as a different square. As not specified in the rules. (I know this is then just a wording thing but thats what this is all about)

        • Matt Gilbert says:

          Sure – the alpha isn’t the full rule-set so not everything is covered ๐Ÿ™‚ That level of detail will need to be called out in the full rules I agree.

    • David Smith says:

      I expect the actual intention of the rule is what you just suggested and how we played concerning move and fighting, not sure its really possible to get 3 melee attacks in anyway as unless you kill of all the models in the square you can’t take a Move action to move to the next, but yes this would need clarifying. And as others have said, if you are in a square on top of the building then you are not in the one below..

      • neilflood says:

        Phase twos do pretty well in combat in our experience so I am sure a phase one will make short work of most things. We got two fights in a single turn but as they were two squares away to begin with the first short action was used to move to an empty square first, second into square with an enforcer. Killed him and then used move card to move to next with an enforcer and fought him. Victory for the plague.

  96. Reuben says:

    I couldn’t see it 100% spelled out, when rolling attacks, both attacker and defender roll a base of 3 dice is that correct? If so, that seems to weight things heavily to the advantage of the defender, when you take armour into account…

  97. I have a comment about weapon range. The assault enforcer has a range of 3 squares, that’s about 14m (three squares straight) to 20m (3 squares diagonal). True, many modern handguns are only accurate to about this range, but an enforcer would have the latest high-tech weapon with stabalising technology. I find the idea of weapon range on a 2′ board absurd. We’re talking a maximum possible range of about 50m diagonally across, and in reality much shorter since there will be blocking scenery. I can’t believe that high-tech sci-fi handguns won’t be accurate to this range.

    Even if you scale up to a 4′ x 6′ table, we’re only talking football field size, with a diagonal distance of 139m, well within practical range for a modern trained shooter with most firearms, though I accept this wouldn’t be the case for pistols. Again, in a scaled up Deadzone, I assume scenery would make long shots fairly rare occurrences.

    Games with silly weapon ranges irritate me when you think about the actual distances involved. Let’s not make Deadzone one of them.

    Going back to the original point, I’d like to see the range limit taken off the assault enforcer, and some other way of limiting the effectiveness of his weapon.


    • Quirkworthy says:

      Weapon ranges work slightly differently in the Beta with staged modifiers at increasing range. This accommodates larger games as well as dealing better with pistols.

      However, I think you’re confusing nominal range with combat range.

      Most modern weapons are accurate to quite large distances compared to a DZ playing area. At least, they are on the firing ranges. Combat is very different and every analysis of actual combat and every memoir I have read that touches on this subject demonstrates that in order to be accurate you have to fire at very close ranges – far closer than nominal.

      Ranges in DZ are intended to reflect realistic combat ranges rather than firing range stats. They assume that the major factors are still the individual firing the weapon rather than the weapon itself which is largely interchangeable within its class. Even self-loading, gyro-stabilised, burst selective weapons with programmable ammo have to be pointed by someone. On a range nobody is shooting at you, you are typically not tired, overloaded with gear, have just watched your buddy eviscerated by a monster and haven’t slept for two days. Even the most realistic combat training fails to overcome the basic knowledge that it is not real.

    • David Smith says:

      Real life and wargame ranges do not equate to the same thing, in all wargames ranges of weapons are set to make the game fun, diverse, fit table size and playable. If you are going to a 1:1 scale then all weapons could shoot across the entire house you are playing in.

  98. Nihilium says:

    I have some thoughts regarding the IGO-UGO. How about all units (or maybe firegroups) roll all their initiatives together at the start of the round? You could allow various choices for how initiative is actually assigned, and allow alternating initiative groups to act at a time. That is, allow choices that encourage synchronizing some of your units, while also encouraging you to move before your enemy does, and potentially even time yourself around overwatches or other reactions. There’s lots of room for special abilities to shake things up and represent improved synchronization of different units.

    For example, consider each unit having its own initiative roll, and those with higher rolls must take their actions first. You essentially will be building an order of which units will be acting, and you could even represent this by arranging cards which represent each unit in an order, so everyone knows which units will be acting next. Stats could allow units to go first, or potentially adjust their roll up or even down, to allow units to act together. Command power could allow rerolls or other ways to synchronize results to each other.

    That could represent a lot of potential here, where chaos/randomness may have units act out of turn, where a well disciplined fire-team could all act as one.

    Such a system would add lots of complexity, but there’s lots of interesting decisions you could put in there, and the results will certainly mix up how turns complete, while having a potential balance of strategy of moving lots of units at once but not allowing the other side to get bored.

    But this might all be unnecessary if Overwatch works out well, and encourages flanking but not camping.

  99. Gรถtz Kirchhauser says:

    On doubles and triples. Successes vs. a fixed number are pretty straightforward (e.g. Overwatch). However, I think the instances where it’s double the successes of the opponent need a rewording. e.g. if both opponents roll 0 successes that would be a draw [which is also how the rules are intended I suppose] however with 0 on both sides the attacker has twice the number of successes that the defender has [0x2=0] at the same time the defender hast twice the number of successes that the attacker has. Confusing heh? However this is kind of nonsense, since it’s pretty obvious that this should be a draw. But the situation gets complicated, when only one of the opponents rolls a 0. e.g. What if the defender has 0 successes and the attacker has 1 success? Does that already count as double successes [1>(0x2)] or does he have to have at least 2 successes to count as doubles?

    • David Smith says:

      This does result in some silly situations such as Blazing Away and not get any successes, means with just 1 success the target go’s ape. Not what you want to happen when trying to suppress a L2 Plague.

    • Torkel says:

      Don’t make it difficult for yourself, Gรถtz.
      1 success doubles 0 successes, as math tells you.
      With 0 successes, you have failed. If both players fail, it’s a draw.
      It’s really straight forward. No need to let mathematical definitions create problems..

  100. Paul says:

    Printed Beta rules this morning, had an extended break at work ๐Ÿ™‚ 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!!!

  101. Paul Kennedy says:

    Will Deadzone have the equivalent of season 2, 3 etc? New scenarios, models…

  102. chrisbburn says:

    Quick question. Will there be an action to calm down ie does the opposite of get mean so that models can cool off to make them more successful at shooting?

  103. RMBLees says:

    Beta Rules Question:
    In the short action rules, it states that there is a -1 Shooting Mod for the Short Action – Shoot.if Enraged.
    It also states that there is a Short Action – Get Mean; which raises the models Aggression level by one step along the scale: Supressed>Pinned>Alert>Enraged.
    Is there a Short Action that allows a player to “calm down” moving in reverse order from Enraged to Alert (and down if required)?

    • Scott W says:

      “Discipline” special rule. Printed on stat cards. Its there toward the end of the beta. Enforcers have it, allows you to go in either direction when you get mean.

  104. Craig Adamson says:

    Finally managed two games of beta rules last night – went really well, I like the command stat change – no. of cards drawn / kept. However, the max number of models moved per phase kept getting missed and the game ended up as Igo-ugo – which was still really good – managed 2 games in 2 hours, so that was great. In the first game the enforcers firepower decimated the plague force, leaving me with one gen3 cowering when the deck ran out. I nthe second game (scenerey changed) the Gen2s mauled the entire enforcers army on their own. While the Gen3 riflemen caused only 1 wound and 1 suppression in the first game, they failed to even cause a wound in the second game – It seems the enforcers firepower is insane, while the gen3s are little better than moving targets. The Gen2s are also pretty tough! Geat game, and looks to be getting better.

    Question – if, I roll 3 successes and opponent rolls 1, I have doubled, but they have 2 points of armour, so I have not actually caused any wounds – and therefore the effect of any doubling or tripling is ignored – correct?

    • Quirkworthy says:

      3 successes to 1 would be a triple if there was such a thing for that test. If not, then it’s a double. If it was shooting then you are correct: 3-1 = difference of 2 which are both stopped by the Enforcer’s excellent armour.

      An S3 on its own is not very effective against Enforcers. They’re better against other factions, but for the moment the problem is the heavy armour of the Enforcers. It’s a good example of why working in mutually supportive teams is important. Several can support each other to make more effective BA attacks. Pinning the foe stops Overwatches allowing others to move, plus also reduces their effectiveness in fights. Ganging up on opponents in fights with several S3 models gives each one a bonus dice to the fight test, thereby making it easier to get the big difference you need.

      • Craig Adamson says:

        Yeah, tripled! Thanks – really poor maths there! So, this is how we have been playing, so that’s good! I tried using the blaze away with the gen3s, but the enforcers even managed to ignore that! Thought about supporting, but adding 1 dice for the supporting model vs rolling at least 3for thier own test, I figured “roll more dice”. I have another session in a few weeks time, so I’ll try lots of supporting fire and see how that goes. Thanks again – Can’t wait for the final rules and Solo play!

      • Quirkworthy says:

        The thing about rolling two BA instead of one is that the target rolls more dice too. If you support a single attempt then you roll more dice but the target doesn’t. That’s the key thing.

  105. Epix says:

    I was thinking that it could be nice to have some scenarios using teleportation devices/platforms.
    So using, a move action, a miniature entering a teleportation platform could moved automatically to another teleportation platform of the miniature owner choice.
    It would allow surprising moves, decreasing the distance to reach the ennemies.
    I can see this being really pratical on big board games so the factions remain equilibrated especially for the Plague.
    We could also allow destroying the platforms.

    What do you think?

    • Quirkworthy says:

      This would make it very like a video shoot-em-up. They often use teleporters, but then they seldom have any real background to the thing – it’s just there to keep that style of game rolling along. DZ works rather differently so I don’t expect it to be commonplace. Also, teleporting isn’t mentioned at all int he background docs I’ve seen.

      Whilst this works in the context of a computer game it is less useful on the tabletop for a number of reasons. Firstly it’s not real time. That’s key. Secondly, you’re controlling a force of several models, not a single man. That’s also key.

      On the other hand, Teratons can naturally teleport which is one of the key features that differentiate them from other aliens. So teleporting does turn up in DZ.

  106. mesmero says:

    Hello, I just end my first test on the beta (without the grenades and ammo as the other player never try DZ. And it was really fine (essentially at the end of the game) but we both had the same reaction: it’s really frustrating for us to prepare really dynamics actions like a blaze aways for supress a 2nd gen plague then a move carde for a powerfull shot from an enforcer as the other ensure the reaction with an overview… and finally do nothing because the hit chances are really low. Because of this, most of the game result in un successfull try to wound somone and suddenly a really bad throw come with a lucky shot and an important character is instantly kill.

    We were thinking that it might be more intresting to low the armore caracteristic of every soldiers by one but give theim four to five hit point and not juste two. So the characters keep a good lifetime but we still have the sensation the the game progress wound by wound.

    PS: the game end with the enforcer victory which wipe out every plague trooper except one stage 3 and loose the ML and one tactical trooper.

    PPS: I’m a french fan so I’m sorry if their is too many mistakes in this message.

    thanks for reading!

  107. Pingback: Deadzone – Alpha rules released – Meeples & Miniatures

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