Deadzone – To Blaze Away Or Not?

One of the discussions around the Alpha rules has been about the term Blaze Away as the name for that action. In the game this refers to the model firing at an area in order to Pin or Suppress the target rather than kill it.

I chose the term Blaze Away because it was different from the effect names (Pinned & Suppressed) and because I was familiar in its use in larger than-life-action movies and stories – both having the sort of atmosphere I wanted to evoke for the game). However, it turns out that not everyone is equally familiar with it and so I’ve put up a poll on the Mantic forums for you to pitch in and say what you think works best.

Of course, mechanically this won’t make a jot of difference. In the game it does the same thing regardless of what we call it.

My concern with several of the suggestions is one of the inevitable confusion. Blaze Away doesn’t sound like any other game status, action or effect, whereas both Cover and Suppress are going to cause extra work explaining stuff and make it harder to write clearly and without sounding like a dictionary. It happens every time you have similar terms in rules.

Anyway, please vote and post up if you’ve got other suggestions for terms.

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25 Responses to Deadzone – To Blaze Away Or Not?

  1. Jimmy To says:

    how about “covering fire”
    sounds like a similar mechanic to the sci-fi skirmish AE bounty

  2. Jack Trowell says:

    Maybe “Suppress fire” or “suppression fire” instead of just “suppress” ?

    It would be different enough of the “pinned” and “suppressed” status effects to prevent confusion while still giving the correct feeling.

  3. Quirkworthy says:

    The problem with covering fire or suppression fire (apart from the fact that I will spend the next decade explaining the difference to people) is that it is simply bad English. I suppress you, I don’t suppression fire you. Same for covering fire.

    • nathan payne says:

      Blaze away is great why change it, blaze away gives character to the game and situation its represented by. Firing round after round into an area to cause panic confusion and to keep the enemy down behind cover.
      Rapid fire would be good, but i like blaze away
      🙂 its different and movie like.

    • Michael Stewart says:


  4. Gareth says:

    I love “Blaze Away”. It was actually something that stood out to me as a term that I really liked. It evokes an image in my mind. It got my vote!

  5. James 'Maz' Marsden says:

    Blaze away is a brilliant name for it

    very evocative

    make me think of that scene from Predator where the gang is doing the job of a small logging company by deforesting an area the size of Norwich!! 🙂

  6. Blake Shrode says:

    Another vote for Blaze Away. Not even understanding problems with it, I think it is quite “right” as is. It feels right, as it is easy to see them sending rounds just as quick as they can, not really aiming but hoping it might hit or disrupt their enemies. I thought of Predator as well.

    • James 'Maz' Marsden says:

      Ooh a predator style merc! But if you chose one you cannonly use him. Would be a cool scenario

  7. Torkel says:

    I just have one picture in my head. It’s of Terminator and his minigun. When he’s up in the building unleashing hell on the police, blowing everything up but not hurting anyone. The police were pinned, to say the least. Pretty descriptive scene for Blazing Away, me thinks.

    I would not mind if the action was called “Trust me” ^_^

  8. David Kenny says:

    I like ‘Blaze away’, I get it, it evokes the kind of image you want. If it is confusing people there’s not much that can be done (It is after all explained clearly what it does!) other than take some action-movie phrase- Fire superiority, emptying mags/clips, keep their heads down, spray & pray….none of these have the same impact as the original though 😀

  9. Aswin Agastya says:

    If you’re not using Blaze Away, I’m going to steal it 😉 Spray & Pray and Eat Lead don’t seem like a good choice.

  10. Matt says:

    I think the problem with ‘Blaze Away’ is that, aside from evoking a pop culture drug reference, it doesn’t quite fit all weapons. You could probably ‘blaze’ with a submachine gun, but do you ‘blaze’ with a sniper rifle? A rocket launcher? It’s a specific phrase associated with a certain type of weapon, and I’m not sure that’s quite what you want for a general use term.

    I would put the emphasis on the intent of the firer. ‘Suppressing fire’ seems the simplest, most descriptive term.. It’s true that ‘Suppressing fire’ is too similar to ‘suppression’ as a status effect. The answer may be in calling ‘suppression’ something else. How about ‘pinned’ and ‘cowed’?

    • Matt says:

      Other alternative terms for suppression: ‘subdued’, ‘cowering’, ‘unnerved’.

      I think ‘suppressed’ is actually sort of an insipid word anyway, especially as used in Deadzone to describe a state this is more psychological than technical. I think ‘cowering’ is a pretty evocative way to describe someone having a Hudson-esque moment …

    • Quirkworthy says:

      You’re right that BA doesn’t fit all weapons which is why it is not applied to all of them. Missile launchers and sniper rifles cannot Blaze Away. See p14 of the Alpha for the ML rule.

      Pinned is already used and cowed is meaningless in a military context. I suspect that cowed is less well understood than Blaze Away. Cowering to me denotes someone who has broken and is not going to come back to usefulness any time soon (Hudson). This is an effect caused by massed fire and although longer term than Pinned it is still temporary.

      Suppressed is the correct term for the condition and works as a step in the Alert > Pinned > Suppressed chain.

  11. About shooting, i was think about cover and Line of Sight and i found a big cheese or something really cool ( probably someone spotted this one already, sorry if that’s the case :

    I think i got a piece of big cheese here : What if i put my miniatures in cover in a way that they are flat on the ground ( like touching the ground with their heads, knockdown in a way ? ), in order to represent they are taking cover ? If the cover is a barricade no miniature will have a way to see any part of it ( also if a don’t use round bases but other type of support, it will be completely in cover )…

    Am i being too cheesy or this is a good way to represent the taking cover action ?

    • James 'Maz' Marsden says:

      you could do that but then your guy cant see either

      • draskyvanderhoff says:

        True but is a good idea in some situations, for example if you are a reb and you just want to move more safely.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          This is potentially useful for pure melee models, but not for anyone who wants to shoot back as they will still have to stick their head out of cover to see.

          If you can’t see the approaching melee model you can always Blaze Away at the square itself, and adding Suppression to the aggression effects makes this far more effective.

          I really don’t think that this will be a problem.

          Oh, and you do have to keep the same base “footprint” even if you change the base, add resin inserts or whatever. That’s about the only restriction on modelling, and that’s in there because the base size actually makes a difference in game (for who fits where).

  12. Gnawhunger says:

    Mocked up a board and played the Alpha rules last game night. Only one of use had read the rules, but it flowed well and we played 2 games in just over 2 hours, including setting up and explaining the rules.
    Blaze Away rolled off the tongue – ‘I’m blazing away at that square’ seemed very natural.
    Beardless dwarfs also got a positive response, I never used to be keen on the idea – but playing Dragon Age changed my mind.

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