Deadzone Beta Rules

The Beta rules for Deadzone will be available in a few hours so I’m putting this post up to collect any feedback and comments you may have.

There are a number of changes from the Alpha and a distance yet to go till we’re finished. However, this is a significant step forwards, with many small refinements to the core system, a new Command system and an altered turn mechanic that integrates with it.

I’ll be attempting to get some of the remaining goodies up before the Kickstarter ends with more missions and expanded army lists high on the agenda. As ever, subscribe to Quirkworthy or check back regularly for the latest info πŸ™‚


This entry was posted in Deadzone. Bookmark the permalink.

224 Responses to Deadzone Beta Rules

  1. killaminis says:

    Is this still happening today?? I think it’s around 10pm, I guess I can assume they were to release on completion of the next stretch goal?

  2. So I’ve had a read… it might be because it is late but I’m a bit unsure of the turn system.
    Is it ‘I’ have initiative so I activate as many units as I like before passing to you who does likewise then I activate my last unit (let’s say) and hand initiative back to you who activates your last units and that ends turn 1. Because you finished turn one means I start turn 2 but can immediately pass initiative to you?
    Have I got it right?

    • Craig Adamson says:

      I am utterly confused by the turn system! Whats the command stat for? It seems you can only activate up to the sum of the two command stats before you must pass over to the opponent, then they do the same until every model has moved. This means if your leader gets killed, the maximum number of models you can move per turn is reduced. Once every model has moved, the round ends and starts all over again. Or am I wrong?

    • Quirkworthy says:

      @ David – When you have the initiative you activate at least one model and up to your current Leader’s Command Total. Other than that, basically correct.

      @ Craig – yes, as your commanders are killed your ability o control the battle is reduced.

      • Torkel says:

        I felt the sequence of play was fairly easy to grasp. It did require a little more concentration and slow reading than the alpha version, but I thought it was well structured. Still, since there seems to be confusion, ideas for making things more clear:

        – labeling (/naming?) step 2, the execution of a turn, in some fashion to illustrate that this is the part of the sequence that’s being repeated until it stalls each round.
        – quick example (as always) to illustrate the set of choices a player goes through in each turn. Possibly also how a round ends and what happens then (cards, counters, etc).

        The sequence of play isn’t complicated, and I think that once players try playing it they will pick up on it very quickly. It might be that the long list of choices listed under Sequence of Play becomes (out of necessity) so “wordy” that it’s easy to miss the underlying structure.

        Just a few thoughts for you. Thanks for the exciting pdfs! πŸ™‚

  3. Craig Adamson says:

    Oh, and as for passing:
    If the player has less models on the table “”that have not yet acted in this Round”” then he may choose to Pass.

    So if you have 3 models left to move and the opponent has 2, then you cannot pass.

  4. Steve Garcia says:

    Just gave it a quick read.
    Without testing it out, I do like
    what see very much.
    So glad to see the new turn sequence.
    This I feel will allow the game to
    Scale up nicely.

  5. Jason says:

    I’m sorry, I don’t care for this activation system at all. Please go back to the original.

  6. Quirkworthy says:

    I’ll post up a few examples and discussion on the new turn sequence and what I see as the main benefits at a slightly more sane time of day tomorrow πŸ˜‰

  7. mike w says:

    Could you clarify overwatch- if an model moves into my overwatch models square can I shoot him after a successful overwatch roll before the free fight action ?

    • zergos says:

      Well, since the moving model would end it’s movement in a square hat the overwatching model has a LOS to you would be able to use your interrupt action to interrupt the move if you had doubles or triples. However, the free fight action is stated to be a part of the move action, so a single success would only allow you to shoot after the fight.

      I have a question of my own that came up just now (yay for playing deadzone at one in the morning!):
      If Enforcer A is in the same square as Plague B, would A be able to move out of the square by using a “Move” command card? I assume no, but I’m not sure about it.

      • mike w says:

        The fight action is a seperate free action made after the move- not a part of the short move action.

        • zergos says:

          quote from the “Long Action – Fight” entry:
          If a model moves into the same cube as an enemy model then it will fight for free AS PART OF THAT movement action. If there is more than one enemy model in a cube the active model chooses who to fight.

          But I guess it still could use some clearing up and being stated like that in the “Short Action – Move” entry. Maybe something along the lines of:
          If a model moves into the same cube as an enemy model then it starts a free Fight Action as a part of that Move Action.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          @ Zergos – A model that starts its action in the same cube as an enemy model can only Fight or Break Off.

          @ Mike – If you could see the cube the model started in then you could roll OW before it moved and if you got a double or better then you could fire before it moved. If you cannot see the cube it started in then you could only roll overwatch after it had moved (because you can’t react to what you can’t see). However, at that stage you’d already be in a fight, and you can’t fire in a fight. This needs some examples to explain it better.

  8. robertb says:

    why not have another stat for attention/reflexes (for overwatch tests)
    I think it’s a little strange that all units have to pass the same difficulty (6+)
    with one more stat you could differ units even more and there could be area “control” specialists because they only need a 5+ or so to pass the overwatch test.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      I try to reduce stats where possible rather than add to them. You’re right that a this is an area we could explore for especially vigilant or dull models, but as this will be rare it can be done more cleanly with a special rule for the few it affects.

      The whole concept of overwatch requires a number of assumptions and vagaries as the event we’re modelling is so full of variables we cannot really deal with. At its most basic, exactly where is the model looking at precisely the moment the target becomes visible from its position. Real overwatch often defines a narrow arc to watch. This is a bit too fiddly for DZ and so we have to abstract it a bit more.

      • It doesn’t need to be a stat. It can be a special rule like disciplined or something to give them +1 to die rolls or +1 dice

        • robertb says:

          i think a stat would be the easiest.
          In my opinion Its less complicated/confusing to look at a stat that every troop type has than remind yourself of a special rule especially for the opponent who maybe has no char with this special rule.

          My thoughts on this
          A Heavy Weapons guy will have a hard time reacting to movement if he is not exactly aiming into the direction (should have a 7+ rating on overwatch?)

          A Enforcer with a heavy Rifle is better trained than maybe a normal Reb trooper and should react faster (5+?)

        • Quirkworthy says:

          A stat would be easy to do, but it would also clutter every single card and make every single card look more complex than it needed to be and it would only be useful in, say, 15% of cases.

          The special rules will be defined in the book so there’s no secret about them. Each player’s stat cards are on the table in the open so they aren’t secret either. A rule that appears on a few models, is in the book and probably only adds or removes a single dice from a roll doesn’t sound like a major issue to me. YMMV.

  9. Imarchi says:

    a doubt about the long action – fight:

    When fights doubles, winner gets a free move or fight action, and when the survival doubles, Survivor gets a free Move or Fight action. This does not count as a Break Off and does not
    require another test to leave the fight.

    Why when the winner of a fight doubles doesn’t have the same opportunity of leave the square?

    PD: Sorry for my bad english

    • Quirkworthy says:

      A good question. My thinking was that the winner of a fight would be more likely to continue to fight to beat their opponent. The winner of a survival roll probably doesn’t want to be in the fight as they chose survival rather than fight in the first place.

      There’s an argument for allowing both to Move out of the square and I’ll have a think about that. What does anyone else think?

      • Psychotic Storm says:

        It is good as is the winner can either follow up to another nearby opponent or retreat out of sight if he has eliminated all opponents in cube or keep fighting.

        A clarification if pinned or suppressed applies to the free Fight would action is needed.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          A Fight action is always the same, so the Pinned/Suppressed modifiers would apply in theory. However, if you are taking a free Fight action then you won’t be using them. They only apply if a target model is Pinned/Suppressed and chooses to Fight back. I don’t think they do any harm being listed and only applicable under certain circumstances. Most of the modifiers are like that.

        • Imarchi says:

          The problem is when there are opponent/s in the cube, because if there is no opponent in the cube, you can make a move action without need of a Break off.

          I think when the fighter win and doubles, it could have a break off free action, to take the chance of retreat quickly, giving the fighter a chance to attack other unit in other cube,take cover in other cube or allow another friendly unit to move to the cube, due to the limit of figures per cube

      • Torkel says:

        Seen from a G2 monster’s point of view, it would certainly not make sense to be winning a fight by doubling, and then making a Break Off-ish move before the poor adversary is taken out.

        Seen from an Enforcer, after doubling a fight reaction against a charging G2 (“picking up a nearby fire extinguisher and whacking it on the jaw as it jumped over the barricades”), it would certainly make sense to get out of dodge so his team can light up the now rampaging monster ^_^

        I know you don’t like complicating things, but intuitively, making it depend on aggression would make the most sense. If Enraged, you will keep smashing πŸ™‚

        • Quirkworthy says:

          I get where you’re coming from, but I think we can leave this sort of detail to the player. If the option was there then the player could weigh the situation and act accordingly. Given the myriad other things that could be going on nearby at the time I’m sure there will be circumstances when the opposite of your reactions would be the desired one.

          I’ll add this to my list of changes for the next iteration.

      • Chris Pearse says:

        I think all models should have a choice of fight or move,with free break away after a doubled fight or survival. Regarding the free fight action after a double,the Alpha rules said only 1 free fight per turn, beta doesn’t. Was that your intention. Also if the winner of a fight, with a double,then chooses to move into a cube with enemy he has to fight. Can he continue to take a free move each time he doubles, and get another fight if the new cube entered contains enemy,( he is then getting multiple free moves,not free fights,technically.)
        I playtested Alpha a couple of times and really liked it.then when i was about to post a few suggestions you went and released Beta! Great job so far.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          Yes, I removed the limit to the number of Free actions. It causes as many issues as it fixes.

          Cascading free actions works well in DreadBall and seems to work similarly in this. It’s a bit different because DB moves often end with a strike, and there isn’t the same clear cut end point in Deadzone. The closest you get is running out of adjacent enemies, and that’s something your opponent can completely control with his positioning, so I’m happy with that.

  10. RangerRobAZ says:

    Your new command / activation system is honestly the most brilliant I have ever read. I have never seen anything like it, and I believe it will fix the problems of a i go, you go system. Hopefully it does play out as well as I think it will.

    One question on battle cards. Are you limited to playing just 1 on a model per round, or is that limit just when you want to use them for a bonus action during their activation? From this section:

    b.ii. This model may take one long or up to two short actions. In addition it may have a single Battle Card played on it.

    This is during the model activation. This seems to suggest that now you cannot play a battle card to activate a model outside of its chosen activation time. Can you play dice modifier battle cards on that model later in the round (reaction to an attack for example). Can you play a dice modifier battle card on the same action that you used a battle card to activate it for an extra action?

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Thanks RR.

      A model can only have one card played on it during the Turn it is activated.

      You cannot use a card to get a model to take a new action (such as Move) outside its Turn.

      However, you can play up to one card per test on a model in response to an enemy action. This is where many of the modifying cards get used.

      I’ve been working on some icons for the cards to clarify when each can be played, but it’s still not quite clean enough for my tastes and we’re still working out the best layout. That’s the nub of it though.

  11. Just Dave says:

    Hey Jake, I have mentioned this before, but I am not sure how much you can put into the rule book, but I like the idea of “Basic Rules” mostly you Alpha set. Then “Advanced rules” which includes Beta, this allows new players to get gaming fast, then move up to your newer system when they are ready to be challenged. Just a thought. Back to reading, and high lighting things that need to be re-read

    • Quirkworthy says:

      I’m not a big fan of different levels of rules as it often seems to denote a lack of conviction on the part of the designer and also causes confusion. Although the intention is as you say – learn the basics and graduate to the full thing, this rarely seems to happen in practice.

      My intent here is to include a series of scenarios that instruct you to read a specific part of the full rules and then play using those rules. The next scenario introduces the next section of rules and so on till you’re familiar with all of them. This “Programmed Instruction” was a concept used to teach the original Squad Leader and was a clear and effective way to learn a highly complex system. Deadzone is nowhere near as involved as Squad Leader, but the principle is a good one.

      So your idea of getting people gaming quick is definitely a good one. I’m just trying a different approach to get there πŸ™‚

    • Random_Login says:

      I had the same idea. I had originally looked at Deadzone as a stepping stone to get my wife and some nongaming friends into gaming. The alpha rules were very easy and “borad game” enough to not be scary to anyone. While the new activation system may be an improvement in many ways, it also could be an impediment to my original goal. As such, regardless of what “officially” get put in the rules, I have kept a copy of the alpha ruleset and may just run my wife/friends through Deadzone with alpha rules anyway. πŸ™‚ If they get the bug to move on cool, if not I think it will still provide a good experience.

      • Quirkworthy says:

        If the Alpha rules work for you as a teaching tool then by all means…

        The programmed instruction I’m working on is very simple to follow and if I can make the current plan work will start without reading any rules at all: take this model and that model and place them on the board like the photo…

        • Random_Login says:

          Oh cool. I’ll be Looking forward to seeing the programmed instruction you mention. That sounds like it might be more accessible. The visual component will be a big help for everyone but for my new player targets most of all. A lot of people will find it more intuitive to learn from visual example so sounds like a win to me. Thanks for the reply.

  12. killaminis says:

    I’m a big fan of this new turn activation system. Sure I go you go is a simpler system but that’s the problem, it offers no real tactical options. I must admit, when you first read it over there is an uneasy feeling. However, I’m sure that feeling goes away once you set to playing as you are instantly bombarded with what do I do now..or what if I do that. To me having multiple decisions tactically makes a Skirmish Game a Skirmish!! Smaller model counts, more decisions and tactical choices.. Brilliant, this is precisely what the game needed.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Thanks K. What to you think the “uneasy feeling” is from?

      • killaminis says:

        Hard to say. Mostly I think its rooted in Fear and presumptions from past wargames, and this particular section is a touch wordy. It took me a few read through’s. I had to personally sit back and really play out in my head how it could work on the table. After a few minutes of feeling like their would be too many possibilities it dawned on me… ” If I’m having trouble thinking of all the iterations of a turn then that’s Awesome, it just means I’ll have endless tactical choices”.
        I’ll sit down with some playtesting over the weekend. I have a very good feeling about this for sure. I tend to really enjoy being bombarded with options, even if I always pick the wrong ones it seems πŸ™‚

        • Quirkworthy says:

          I’ve got as meeting to go to and when I get back I’ll be finishing off an article about the turn sequence, its intentions and implications. I’ll also include some examples and so on (which will also be in the final rules) to help clarify things.

          Once you’ve played through it the rules aren’t hard and you’ll have them memorised long before the end of your first game. However, explaining them thoroughly enough to leave few loopholes for the lawyers always takes a disproportionate length of time.

          That said, I’ll be looking to rework them to abbreviate what I can.

          Enjoy your testing πŸ™‚

  13. Imarchi says:

    The idea of the coverage still do not like much. Designating a whole cube as cover, you seem compelled to make all the cubes of buildings cove, otherwise the only advantage you get is cut LOS, but if these buildings are not fully closed, have the four walls in the same high level, we would see the situation we’re giving coverage to someone who has a clear shot, which seems a contradiction, so it seems appropriate that are exclusive shot clear conditions and coverage.

    I think is better see in a diagram;

    PD: Sorry again for my poor Englsih, I’m just a Evil Spaniard…

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Thanks Imarchi. Your English is very good πŸ™‚

      Cover is like area terrain on a normal tabletop battle. You can’t reasonably expect to model every tree and shrub that a model could hide behind, nor can you really model every block of rubble, crate or chair, table, lamp, or other piece of furniture that originally filled the buildings. If you did then fitting models with bases in the same space would be impractical.

      In your diagram, you could choose to designate that cube as cover or not as you decided. If you think that the area is relatively clear then it gets no cover. If, on the other hand, you imagine that this was the inside of a building that has partially collapsed then it might be a combination of rubble, office furniture, medi-scanning tables or whatever (depending on what then building was originally). If you have models for all of this in detail then great. Most of us have to use a representation of the idea of debris and cover to show the intent, but understand that this is not a literal diorama-like representation (because that would be impractical to game over).

      The clear shot bonus, the assumption of partial cover for a normal shot and the modifiers for cover all go together to create a spectrum of differing difficulties of shot.

      • Teemu Hemminki says:

        Just to clarify:
        Walls itself won’t grant cover, they mostly just deny “Clear Shots”.
        Did I understand it correctly?

      • Imarchi says:

        Thanks for the reply

        I understand the situation, but I think that if you are using to give certain advantages to the attacker with clear shot rule, a rule based on LOS, cover rule would be the counterpart to clear shot but for the defender, should also be based in LOS, not in areas.

        For example, you could use a system based on percentage of vision: more than 50% of visible figure, no cover, less than 50%, cover. If in doubt, is solved by a dice roll, 1-4 cover, 5-8 no cover, to avoid arguments

        • Quirkworthy says:

          One of the reasons I’ve come up with this LOS system is to avoid the % based arguments so I don’t really want to step backwards and introduce them again for cover.

          Cover is different from pure LOS as it is representing something that is not practical to model exactly on the tabletop. When I draw a LOS to a model that model is the correct volume for the target, it’s just not necessarily in the right pose. It can’t move and we’re making the abstraction of slicing time into turns and so on, so it seems reasonable to use the LOS system explained. Cover is very different.

          With cover we have to deal with something that is impractical to model literally and some of what constitutes that cover isn’t really on the tabletop – in any pose. In order to move our static models with big bases stuck to their feet around a set of terrain we have to cut some corners with the fiddly bits and tight spaces. In other words, we have to abstract the cover terrain into something that we can play around. A super-realistic diorama would simply not be very usable as a gaming board. I know – I’ve tried playing on them.

          So, as we are necessarily abstracting the physical models of cover, it makes sense to abstract the way it works in the game to give our models a chance to make the appropriate use of it. What we’re after here is the correct effect even if we have to make some simplifications in the terrain models.

          The current system balances the idea of a clear shot giving a bonus with the idea of being in or right next to cover you could use to protect yourself. You therefore have several grades of shot depending on which modifiers apply, and all are usable with the slightly abstracted cover terrain we need to play over. It’s a practical compromise.

  14. HeadHunter says:

    With the new method of placing the Item counters, it is entirely possible that the Intel will not be placed at all. Is that intended?

  15. Craig Johnson says:

    I like what I’ve seen so far of the activation system. At first, I thought you’d do something Kim WoC’s Star Wars mini game and have a set number if models act per turn. The addition of the Command stat to determine how many models activate is brilliant. I’m sure it’ll be even better when the rules are complete and we have different commanders to choose from. I’m impressed by the versatility of the command stat since it is also used to determine the number of battle cards you draw and retain each round.

    I like that the Plague can choose their aggression level at the start if the game. That’ll save me from using one of my initial short actions to Get Mean. I also like the change in the way items are distributed. Not as likely to have the items clumped in the center now. Plus, you won’t have as good of an idea of what the items are since they’re not all used.

    One question, the Missile Enforcer has a Fight value of 5+, like the sergeant and the assault trooper. Tactical troopers have a Fight value of 6+. Is this a typo on the Missile Enforcer?

    Keep up the good work and I can’t wait to try these rules out!

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Thanks Craig. The Command stat and its multiple use was something I’ve been working on for a while. Using fixed numbers for alternate action was tried, but felt like I’d just pulled a random number out of my hat for no good reason (because that’s what I’d done) and I didn’t like that. This is a means of integrating the command skills of the unit’s leader with the way the unit behaves on the tabletop. I’m much happier with this.

      Yes, that’s an error on the ML card. He should have a 6+ Fight like the Tac. There had to be something…

      • Craig Johnson says:

        Good to know that it’s a typo. I won’t nitpick the little things, just glad to have the beta rules to try out!

  16. So are you allowed to climb corners?

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Yes if there’s a wall (or they have jump packs).

      Let me see if I can paint a diagram in words.

      If a model is in a cube and wants to move diagonally and up one level then they may do so providing they have a wall to climb up. This wall needs to be in one of 4 positions for diagonal climbs. Point the model at the corner you want to climb up. One or more of the four sides radiating from that corner must be a wall.

      Does that make sense?

      • Craig Adamson says:

        Following on from this – Using the numbering of the scatter chart overlaid onto the leower right movement diagram on page 13, the model can move into square 6 (back and right and UP one level) as there is a wall to climb, so why can he not use the wall to the front left to climb to sqare 4 (immediate left)? If you only need a wall in the corner of the square, then he should be able to move up a level? What am I missing on this?

        Read the activation rules a few times now, and it actually makes really good sense. Protection of command also seems to be much more vital than in other systems, which again, makes sense. Really looking forward to trying these out properly!

        • Craig Adamson says:

          Sorry – meant back and LEFT and up one level to square 6.


        • itsnothingpersonal says:

          Correct, this is what I was wondering as well. Because most places are going to have corners of walls or walls themselves unless it’s a long building. Kind of makes jump jets useless. Also, can jumpjets be used to jump over 3″ walls? If there’s a wall on the line between 2 squares next to each other, can you climb over/jumpjet over that?

        • Quirkworthy says:

          @ Craig – I’ve been playing that orthogonal moves needed a wall on the side you go over as you’re going straight over a wall. If you think of the move being from centre of square to centre of square then it might make more sense. The centre-centre move of an orthogonal move would take you over the middle of the wall. If it’s not there then you can’t do it. The centre-centre move diagonally takes you straight over the corner.

          Of course, this may be unnecessarily restrictive and it has survived from a much earlier incarnation of the game. The balance to strike is to allow a lot of movement without allowing everything. The average build of this terrain looks like it should have some inaccessible parts. The trickiness i in defining how this might work.

          Starting with the diagonal move, you haven’t got much option about how to define this. You could make it 2 walls of those 4, not just 1. That might make more sense.

          @ intsnothing… – the rules do have to accommodate all the permutations that you can build with the scenery (or model yourself) and that’s a lot of options. The challenge is to come up with something that works for everything without being overly restrictive or allowing any move at all.

          Jumping over walls as you describe was supposed to have been added. Forgot 😦

        • itsnothingpersonal says:

          I didn’t quite get that. And it’s somewhat disturbing I didn’t. Assuming I’m going to be playing with people who rarely play boardgames, how would I explain what was just said to them?

        • Quirkworthy says:

          Diagrams, old chap. The full rules will have lots of them πŸ˜‰

  17. KennKong says:

    Like the new activation sequence based on reading alone! AT-43 had a similar mechanic, I think, wherein you could pass an activation if you had less units on the table – less total, no distinction if a unit had activated or not, so you could catch up if you were running less than your opponent, or if you got hammered and lost more units, etc. (you could also spend command points to pass an activation…or take an extra activation with a new unit).

    However – why does CV had a double number #/#? Is it due to some future/advanced rule yet to be revealed (like a “wounded” or “suppressed effect or something?

    • KennKong says:

      Never mind: third time (reading the rules) is the charm. I found the reason for the #/# on the Stat Cards. And I love it!!!!

        • KennKong says:

          And Helldorado was the other game I was thinking of that has a similar activation mechanic – you can pass your opportunity to activate if you have fewer units than your opponent until they’ve caught up to your “count”. Again, I love Helldorado, too, and I can’t wait to give the Beta a try or two!!!!! Great work!!!!!

  18. Earthquake says:

    I have one slight concern with the Command stat – it’s not about the mechanic, but rather the Commander stats

    Essentially, according to the stat, a 3rd Gen Plague Leader is as an effective commander as an Enforcer Sergeant.

    One is highly trained NCO in an elite fighting force, the other is simply an infected human/alien. Surely, one of the strengths of the Enforcers is they should be one of the most highly trained units in the Deadzone hence have the highest command rating) but have a lower model count, so will end up having more choice of when to act.

    In this particular set up, I’d have expected the Plague leader to have maybe a 2/1 command stat, showing that they are not as good a leader and the Enforcer Sergeant.

    Also, a ‘standard’ 3rd Gen has the same tactical ‘nounce’ as a standard Enforcer? I would have expected their command stat to be 1/0, and not 1/1.

    …just some thoughts on the command stat, I’m sure that there are still some balancing issues to be overcome,

    • Quirkworthy says:

      This is explained more with the full background info. As you may remember (not sure what’s been explained so far) the Stage 3s are the least mutated of all the Plague and retain a lot of their human memories and skills. This is what allows them to use weapons and fly spaceships and the like. In the case of the 3A commander this allows them to use their considerable tactical skills as a former general or equivalent. Their primary retained skill is their tactical one, and to this is added the animal cunning caused by the changes.

      The Enforcers are very highly trained as you say, but this is reflected in both uses of the Command value, not just this one. It’s also reflected in the options available for the army which are better overall. Plus, their commanders are better protected and survive longer, which gives them a different effect over the whole battle (rather than just at the start).

      The 1/1 for the base line trooper being the same is a reflection of two things. One is that at the bottom of this spectrum training is muddied by instinct and reflex. Secondly this level of commander is unlikely to see much use on a faction unless you’re in dire trouble – you’d always start with a better leader and should try to keep them in one piece!

  19. Craig Johnson says:

    The Gen 3 leader is 3/1, as opposed to the Sergeant’s 2/2. So their Command Totals are the same. I think this could be reasoned if the Plague have something like a hive mentality as opposed to the Enforcers’ elite training. Don’t forget, the first number also determines the number of cards that are drawn and the second number is how many cards are kept, while the rest return to the deck. The Gen 3 is able to draw more, but can only retain one. The Sergeant draws two and keeps both. The Plague will be able to get the cards they want faster, but are limited to what they keep. A Command Value of 1/0 would be pretty useless. They’d be able to draw a card, but couldn’t retain it. I’m betting 1/1 will be the lowest we’ll see, but obviously Jake may have other things in mind.

    • Earthquake says:


      Yeah, you’re right of course with the 1/0 stat – I was trying to think of a way to reduce the command stat of a 3rd Gen plague to be less than an Enforcer, but maybe it has to move the other way, and a ‘standard’ Enforcer have a 2/1 stat.

      Of course, the ‘retain card’ stat does affect how you manage your forces – having more cards in your hand (as the Enforcer player will have) makes your force more tactically flexible due to the extra actions that can be taken each turn – the Plague player’s card hand will grow more slowly and so, effectively, the Enforcer player can control the game duration as he can empty his card deck first.


  20. Ariteko says:

    Can I throw a grenade to an empty cube in a higher level from the surface, so it explodes mid-air

  21. Alex Cooper says:

    Hi Jake,
    Been following this and the kickstarter since day one and i’m pretty excited. Been a fan of your work for a long time, still got a first edition copy of necromunda lying around somewhere!

    Thought i’d add my thoughts on the Beta (no games yet though)

    I’ve had a good read through several times over on my way to work. The only thing I can say is that whilst the new activation sequence is far superior to the alpha its overly wordy. Maybe its because its 8am and i’m tired but it took several re-reads just to understand it!

    Got it now but I hope you can find a way to simplify the explanation.

    Everything else seems good in theory, I hope the new ‘suppressed’ aggression level is as good at curbing the gen 2’s power as it seems. Ill get some games in over the weekend and ill report back once i’ve had a couple of practical sessions.


    • Quirkworthy says:

      Hi Alex. Yes, it is a bit wordy. The full rules will include a lot of examples which will help a great deal I think. They won’t make it shorter, but will perhaps make it easier to follow.

      Adding a brief overview would help too.

  22. Earthquake says:

    OK, one thing that still isn’t clear (or perhaps it is). Can a model use two (or three, if playing a card) move actions to climb a level 2 or level 3 building in a single turn, should they wish? Or do you have to finish each of your actions in a square in which you can physically place your model.
    The move example in the rules would seem to indicate that you cannot do this, otherwise I would have expected this to be noted in the example text.

    Also, jump packs – OK, you can use these to move up a level where no ladder exists – it would seem to indicate that these are still limited to a single level per move action. However, same question – can an Enforcer use two consecutive move actions to use his jump pack to leap up multiple levels (say, onto a level 2 walkway above him). It would seem perfrctly reasonable to allow a model with a jump pack to do this, but nothing in the rules states either way.

    Common sense would seem to indicate that you should be able to string consecutive move actions together to climb/jump multiple levels, but we all know of players who may not allow this as it’s not in the rules…

    • Quirkworthy says:

      I agree with your common sense comment. Unfortunately this doesn’t work at all well with Overwatch and real LOS. You have to know where the model is in order to see whether you can shoot them or not. Whilst this is easy to fudge in a game between friends, I’m still working on ways of making this clear and unequivocal in terms of exact rules. Best not to leave fudge lying around πŸ˜‰

      So, for the moment, you do have to finish each action separately in a position you can place the model.

      • Earthquake says:

        Thanks Jake

        That makes a clarification on how Jump Packs work more vital.

        Can Jump Packs move (vertically) more than a single cube in a single action. If not, with the ruling you have stated above, it makes getting above level 1 almost impossible, unless your terrain is set out in such a way to be ‘stepped’


        • Quirkworthy says:

          Yup. Ziggurats are all the rage at the moment.

          I’ve played a couple of games with Enforcers being able to go up several layers in a single go. Apart from the previously mentioned awkwardness with OW, there was an issue with tall terrain layouts of them getting into hard-to-reach places, sniping at the enemy and then just burning through the cards to end the game with a minor points victory. Wasn’t a fun way to play.

          So I agree – it needs some more work.

      • Chris Pearse says:

        I think this could be resolved with a little redefining of terms. How about ” each model gets 1 ACTIVATION per turn, which can consist of 1 long or 2 short ACTIONS.” You could then allow double moves upwards,using walls or jetpacks,and have Overwatch responses at start or end of ACTIVATION,according to the success of the test. Move actions from cards would be a seperate Activation.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          My next version of the rules already uses the term activation for a model “doing stuff”, just as you have here. It’s often useful to have specific terms to use as a shorthand to describe discrete sections of the game.

          I’d not considered using this as a way of interacting with overwatch and it bears a bit of exploring. Nice idea Chris!

          The major objection I can see is from the people doing the overwatch – it’s not letting them shoot people as much as they’d like. I’ll see what it looks like on the tabletop. As in most things, it’s a matter of finding a compromise.

  23. yetisa says:

    Hi Jake,
    I like the way these rules are coming together, particularly the turn sequence.

    Just a quick thought about breaking away. I’d like to give the defending player the option to not contest the roll. If I found myself in the same cube as a 2nd gen and he decided (for reasons of his own… female 2nd gen in the next cube?) to go somewhere else… I don’t think I’d be particularly inclined to stop him. πŸ˜›

    • Quirkworthy says:

      That’s an interesting thought. Can you choose to fail a roll? Hmmm. I’ll have a ponder on whether there are any other situations this might turn up (and any exploits).

  24. Psychotic Storm says:

    I feel the following need some work.

    First of all the wording, rules are quite solid but they are conveyed in a more complicated way than needed, or in other cases like cover are left to the players intuition that may or may not serve the rules well like the above cover example.

    In the close combat section though it needs major rethinking, models can break off while pinned or suppressed without any ruling allowing them to do so, the “If a model Breaks Off into a cube
    containing enemy model(s) then they get a free Fight action as normal.” leaves me puzzled nowhere is another reference for a free fight action, to make it “as normal”, likewise battlecards need more work, cards can be played in your opponents turn (stated n the card) but the only rules reference is them been played at a models activation or overwatch.

    Since you went for Dreadball rules (not an issue here) why not copy the armour mechanic and leave it with the more simplified armour mechanism you have now?

    I would argue that an amalgam of the dreadball rush and your current turn activation may serve the game better, start of game round make a pool of orders equal to the models alive, each turn you may spend as many orders as you want equal to the leaders command, not sure if modes need restriction in how many times they can activate? maybe as many as their command?

    The plague have an interesting deck building mechanism in them, by drawing 3 keeping 1 putting 2 back the plague player can fix his deck quite fast knowing what cards and when they will come.

    A minor note is that I personally find many of the order names unintuitive, fight, blaze away, get mean do not mean anything if you do not read the rules, melee, saturating fire, regroup would be better descriptors of such actions.

    On gameplay I feel an ability to move two cubes would benefit some models and I find grenades too powerful for such a small board, likewise the scattering rules need some rework in my opinion, a grenade thrown from above for example is not allowed to scatter one cube up, despite said location been sheltered by a roof for example.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Hi Psychotic.

      Most of the issue I think remains with the rules is a lack of examples and explanatory discussion. Having the dry rules in full is necessary to be clear, but it’s easier to learn with overviews, diagrams, explanations and tactical hints. These will be included in the full rules in due course. Part of the function of the Beta rules is to find out which bits need most expansion and which bits are clear without extra examples.

      I’m interested in which parts specifically you think are more complicated than needed. Most are worded like this to start to avoid the problems we normally get with tourney level players πŸ™‚

      Close combat. When you Move into a cube containing an enemy model you get a free Fight action – this is “as normal”. It’s in the Move action rules.

      You’re correct. Break Off survival mods for Pinned and Suppressed can be deleted as you cannot Break Off if you are Pinned or Suppressed. This would also need a clarification on the limits of what you can do when. If you are Pinned/Suppressed then this takes precedence over being in a square with an enemy model in terms of limiting your available actions.

      I’m working on a system of icons to define when cards can be played to make it clearer.

      Armour. Originally I did use the DreadBall armour system and only abandoned it when it became obvious that it wasn’t going to work in an environment where armour and weapons were much more variable.

      Turn sequence. I’m not sure what advantages your suggestion has over the Beta version. However it would seem more prone to the cheerleader issue I’ve been trying to avoid.

      The Plague can indeed pout cards back in the order they want and so influence what comes out later. It gives them a different character from the Enforcers.

      Terms. Everyone finds different terms more and less clear. Melee is a borrowed foreign word that only really applies in specialised reading, whereas every child knows what a fight is. The film Fight Club could have been called Melee Club, but wasn’t probably because the studio execs thought it would be less clear. Saturating Fire sounds like I’m soaking people in something to me… I know what you mean though. Unfortunately one size never fits all.

      Grenades are dramatic, but unlikely to kill people not in the same cube. In reality they are, if anything, underpowered for the scale. The blast radius of modern grenades is huge. Your example of scattering up is dependant on the exact terrain layout (as far as I can tell). This is tricky to explain succinctly and definitively given that the terrain is so mutable. It’s on my list to look at further to see how much more I can define clearly.

      Thanks for the feedback!

      • Psychotic Storm says:

        Interesting discussion.

        As an example of wording its the free fight action as usual, i the movement the model moving gets a free fight action (and none of the models already in the cube the model is moving), in the break of it implies the models in the cube the breaking of model is moving are getting the free fight (and not the model that is moving to the cube).

        Fight is an interesting thing, as a foreigner to me it is a nebulous thing describing various form of aggression between two entities, be it individuals or more, I have never in my life associated it with close quarters battle, I will agree the naming of actions is quite tricky and after the introduction to the game they will eventually stick.

        Eliminate cheer leading? ok now I see where you go with this sequence mechanic, admittedly I think I either heard you talk about this intention or read it here but forgot about it entirely.

        Personally I feel that this action mechanic, sacrificing models actions to make other act more, helps more in creating a coordinating group actions, it can create a drastically shifting battlefield were models can act a little bit more, but at the expense of others, yes it will inevitably leave models inactive but its a trade off, but if you really do not want that, its a design choice I can understand.

        I have not extensively playtested the armour as much as you have, I was thinking a simple “armour equals dice you roll, fixed number say 5+ (or each weapon having its own target number, but may be complicated) AP increased the target number, successes reduces potential damage”.

        While I do understand grenades are under powered in comparison to real life equivalents, they have a threat area that is almost a quarter of the board and their most damaging effect is pushing models out of cover than their damage, they seem dominating.

        If I can make two suggestions, until you make the graphics could you add a (A) and an (R) tot he cards to indicate when they are used? and could CV be written as 4 (2/2) or 2/2 (4)?

        Thanks for discussing feedback, much appreciated.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          I can see how fight might not be as clear if English was your second (or third) language. It means both fight in a large scale and a small one. Not as confusing as wind (moving air) and wind (turn a handle) though. English is fun!

          The cheerleading issue is particularly bad when you have the more powerful Stage 2s and Enforcer Captains. Many early games had one of them running around stomping their opponents with nothing else really doing anything. The more dramatic the difference between the available model’s power, the worse this is.

          I think that the reason why the DreadBall armour system didn’t work was simply the amount of variations I was asking it to deal with. DreadBall is fairly small and contained in terms of variables, and Deadzone is far more wide-ranging and it felt like I was fighting against it every time I wanted to add something new. This system remains very simple, but still allows for a wider variation. It’s not the only workable approach, but it does work πŸ˜‰

          As you say, moving people about is very useful. However, do note the modifier for being in an adjacent cube rather than the one toe grenade goes off in. This makes a very big difference and greatly reduces the grenade’s effect. It becomes probably will have an effect on the target cube, and may have an effect in adjacent ones.

          The other limiting factor for grenades is that they are one use and relatively uncommon.

          I was thinking of using icons on cards, but the effect is the same as you suggest. Does CV need to be totalled for people? Really? Can’t they add two single digit numbers? It’s easy enough for me to write it out, but it starts to look rather daunting and is not a hard sum.

          What does anyone else think?

        • Psychotic Storm says:


          I can see what you mean with the cheerleading issue, it needs much fine tuning and if the design choice is to give a heroic feeling it can have issues, as I said its a design choice I can understand.

          The only issue I encounter with the armour is it is the only part of the game it does not use the dreadball rolls mechanism and the only one that cannot “miraculously” alter the course of a result, but I can understand the design choice for a simpler solution.

          Will grenades be limited use after more advanced model like the 3rd generation with grenade launcher be introduced? its one of my primary concerns.

          Icons on cards are perfect, I suggested letters as a quick fix until you get the graphics to the point you like.

          From experience, people hate calculating things, or calculate things wrong in the “heat of the moment” while it is perfectly fine as is to add them up, it should be quicker to have the relevant numbers already available in the reference/ stats card.

          Again thanks.

        • Psychotic Storm says:

          Sorry for the follow up, I was just thinking a way for the cheerleading issue as a mental thought, wargame design is a hobby and a passion for me so I could not resist, models activated more than once each round cannot be activated next round, that could solve it and create some interesting strategic situations.

          Again it is not a suggestion just a solution I thought to the problem you illustrated.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          The thing about the armour was that the DB system gave a weird feeling result far too often. It’s hard to describe more specifically than that. With a set of DB armour you can easily argue for a lucky roll hitting players in an unarmoured vulnerable spot. harder to argue with Enforcers wearing full sealed suits.

          Balancing grenades is a concern of mine too., They can be very potent indeed. Luckily, a combination of the innate inaccuracy of the stage 3s and the innate inaccuracy of the grenade launcher makes them a nuisance weapon that needs to be very lucky rather than a predictable game winner.

          Your suggestion for the activation is similar to something I tried for Eternal Battles. It ended up as an intriguing theoretical experiment though it was a bit clumsy (and used a lot of counters). I may go back to it for EB later. Its other issue was that it still didn’t remove the cheerleader problem – just reduced it.

  25. Jimmi says:

    Hi Jake, looks really good except one section of what looks like hasty writing, consequently I’m struggling to understand the turn sequencing, here’s where I get lost:

    “During a Round (or Game Round) all the models on all sides get to act. Each model may only act once in each Round.” – I thought models could act twice if they were both short actions?

    “1.Determine which player has the Initiative.” – Assuming no one has had a turn yet, how do you do this?

    “2 a.If the player has less models on the table that have not yet acted in this Round then he may choose to Pass.” – This genuinely doesn’t make any sense to me. So if you have 10 models and 6 have already been activated this round then you can pass you go? Why would you want to do this?

    “4 a.If a player has not played one or more Battle Cards so far in this Round they must discard one of their choice now.” – Hang on, there’s no mention of using battle cards before this?! What are the circumstances you use a battle card? (This may be further back in the rules, but this was my beef with the DB rules – too much flipping backwards and forwards through the rules)

    “4 d.If the game is not over then remove the activation markers from all models and start a new Round at step 1.” – What activation markers are these then? As far as I can see this is the only reference to activation markers in the entire document! Where do these activation markers come from, and when do I put them down next to a model?

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Thanks Jimmi. This is an involved process, but simple enough when you get your head round it.

      Round. “Acting” is either one long or two short actions.
      1. This is defined on page 4 – starting the game. This serves fine for the Beta.
      2a. Less models than his opponent that have not yet acted this Round.
      4a. section 2.b.ii talks about playing Battle Cards.
      4d. section 2.b.ii again. It’s not called the same thing (which it should be), but this talks about marking them as having acted.

      General comment on rules flipping. There is no right answer. The optimal sequence for the rules depends on what you’re looking for, whether you’re reading or referencing and what your specific individual understanding of the rules is. No one layout sequence could possibly be perfect for every use.

  26. Pacer says:

    What happens when you shoot at a model in a square that provides cover while being able to draw line of sight to the entire model? Do you get +2 to shooting for a clear shot and the targeted model +1 to survival for being in cover?

  27. David Smith says:

    1) It was asked earlier, but what are the 2 stats for the command value, the Q originator found them but I haven’t spotted it yet, can you let me on in the secret please πŸ™‚

    2) Also, I can’t agree that a wall does not provide cover, if a few bushes do, then why not an intervening wall? Admittedly it is a problem to solve when terrain is on the line between cubes, but they do really need to provide cover.

    3) Would it be possible to supply good images of all the models used so I can make up prettier cards and card figures to use, apart from orcs I don’t seem to have a lot in the way of sci-fi figures.


    • Quirkworthy says:

      Hi Dave,

      1) Look on page 4. This explains what Command Value does. The same icon is used on the stat cards (at the end of the doc).
      2) Walls do provide protection in DZ, in effect reducing the attack from 5 dice to 3. It’s just presented in a different way to cover (not getting clear shot bonus).
      3) Your best source is the DZ Kickstarter. Loads of images to pinch there including models from all factions πŸ™‚

  28. Torkel says:

    Hi! Four Things:

    1) Movement stuff:
    A model (on level 1) wants to move straight ahead.
    a) If path is clear, he can move.
    b) If there’s a wall to his front up to level 2, he can move.
    c) If there’s just a wall, without a floor on level 2 in front of him, can he move?
    d) Now lets say there are only two “tiles” of terrain around the model. One wall section to his front, and one floor section on level 2 to his front. Can the model move to level 1 to his front? This will require him to move around the wall section, passing through two other cubes.
    e) If d) is allowed, one could ask if moving straight left in your second diagram on page 13 also should be allowed. But that’s passing through three other cubes on the way to your target.

    Where to draw the line is quite arbitrary, I guess. Sorry if I’m just unnecessarily over-complicating things.

    2) You cannot Shoot into a smoked square. Can you Shoot (or Blaze Away) out of one?

    3) What happens if you Get Mean and return to Alert in a square with an enemy?

    4) The wording on Rampage regarding the extra Move action should probably be changed, because of the definition “Turn” now has. (p18)

    (+ Swap Items is not in the list of short actions, and “Fight wins:” is not bolded (p11))

    • Torkel says:

      Ow. Had some comments, but was unaware of the formatting used here. (that’s why some of the text is in italic)
      Comment to 1.c)
      – I would assume so, considering b).
      Comment to 1.d)
      – Logically this would make sense if c) is true, considering that c) passes through two other cubes also, just by a more difficult path.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Thanks Torkel – some good points there.

      1) For the movement, think of it as cubes in layers. If I want to move on the same layer then I can ignore everything on layers above and below. I can’t move through solid walls or float where there is no floor (obviously), but apart from that I can move pretty freely.

      I’m not confident that I really understand your movement questions and as they’re so specific I feel I need to. Care to draw me a diagram?

      2) “The cube it explodes in blocks LOS completely.” That would be both in and out: it’s “completely”. You still need an LOS for BA.

      3) You can’t Get Mean in a cube with an enemy in it too: only allowed actions there are Fight or Break Off.

      4) Change “turn” to “of the model’s turns”. In other words, when you go to activate the model it gets a level of aggression.

      • Torkel says:

        Thanks for the answers. And ok yea, the words got a little out of hand there. My bad. I cooked up an image for you now tho.
        My point is basically that going around a wall feels the same as going over a wall (moving around is also generally an easier path.) But my gut tells me that’s not the intention. However, the rules on p13 do say “This can be into any of the 8 surrounding cubes on the same level that are not completely blocked.” Guess it all depends on what “completely blocked” means. Sorry I’ll shut up and let the gorgeous orx take it away.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          Gorgeous indeed πŸ˜‰

          Currently, if we assume that the wall between where the Orx starts and where he wants to go is a 3×3 solid wall then this counts as “completely blocked”. That being the case, (b) is OK but the other two are not.

        • Craig Johnson says:

          That response brought up a question we’ve ran into, partly because we’re using terrain from other systems that aren’t in three inch sections. Does a ruined wall block movement?

        • Quirkworthy says:

          I’m still looking at simple ways to deal with partial walls, walls with windows and so on. My current version uses the size of a model (how much space it takes up in the square) as a size for the gap. A man-sized model can fit through the smallest space, a Stage 2 can fit through a big window or door and a size 3 model would only fit through the largest gaps.

        • Chris Richardson says:

          So could an Enforcer with a jet pack make that completely blocked move over a 3 inch wall? Is that one of the intended advantages of jet packs?

      • Torkel says:

        Excuse me, but it seems like you’ve contradicted yourself in the confusion regarding question number 3 πŸ˜›
        Your quote from earlier in these comments say:
        “Break Off survival mods for Pinned and Suppressed can be deleted as you cannot Break Off if you are Pinned or Suppressed. (…) If you are Pinned/Suppressed then this takes precedence over being in a square with an enemy model in terms of limiting your available actions.”
        This is in direct contradiction with the answer to my question number 3. What to do when pinned in squares with mutating monsters? D-:

        Also: Can a model jump down one level by a route he couldn’t also climb up? (i.e. jump down from a balcony etc).

        • Quirkworthy says:

          Yup, you’re right.

          If you are Pinned/Suppressed in a cube with an enemy model in then you can only Get Mean. This would bring the model up one level of Aggression. If this made you Alert then you would be governed by the limitation that you are restricted to fight or break off when sharing a cube with an enemy – but as both of these are long actions and you’ve already done a short action this Turn you wouldn’t be able to do anything more. It would, however, avoid the -1 dice in a subsequent attack.

          Or, if you had a card that gained you a level of Aggression and could get to Alert without using an action you could then fight or break off as normal.

          Jumping down a level doesn’t need a wall. Page 13, top right paragraph. It’s only moving up that needs a wall.

        • Torkel says:

          Perfect! You’re awesome

  29. Sam says:

    Love the new activation system. It took a few reads to make sure I had it right, but it plays out very well. I like that targeting the opponents leader has a real impact on the game and losing a leader reflects the ‘fluff impact of losing a leader’ well in the rules.

    The only advice I have for this to add some examples of how the activation system works for easier understanding.

    I did have to read through the ‘Doubles’ section a few times. I’m thinking the “4 to (2),
    6 to (3) and so on” was adding to my confusion rather than clarifying how doubles works. So instead of tacking that on to the end of the sentence I’d break the “4 to (2)” into its own example with enough verbiage to explain it as well as the “6 to (3)”.

    I also didn’t grasp the ‘Doubling and Tripling Against Zero’ section easily. I think some examples would add to the understandability. The ‘highest level of success’ threw me until later in the document I saw some most tests can only be doubled with a few being allowed to triple.

  30. 482 says:

    Sorry Jake, but this update on the activation sequence has pretty much killed it for me..its far to complex, it took me about 3 attempts to understand it and I’ve been gaming for donkeys just seems rather convoluted, but i understand why you’ve done it, a few loud voices have changed it for everyone. its like the DZ kickstarter terrain stuff. a few loud posters in the comments sections have influenced the entire campaign and instead of loads of new and exciting miniatures we have cubes…sorry to seem bitter, but simplicity and structure should be key. sadly it appears as though this game has neither.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Hi 482. Sorry you’re not happy with this. I think you’ll find it is quite simple and structure when you understand it. I’ll be reworking it to see how much I can reduce the length of the rules, but to be honest it’s mostly down to writing it in such a way that the tournament players don’t immediately poke holes in it.

      The main things that are needed are a very brief overview and lots of examples, no of which are planned for the full rules. I’m writing this in a gap in a meeting, and when I get back in a couple of hours I’ll be finishing off a post talking through the turn sequence in detail. Perhaps that will explain it a bit better.

      Also, the alternate activation was something I was always aiming to include. While it has been nice to see that the majority of comments have supported this, it is my preferred system for this sort of game. I was just in the middle of the command structure and rules when the Alpha was needed, so I went for the IGOUGO for that as this works very similarly when the model count is very low.

      Anyway, thanks for posting. I’d rather not hear complaints, but if therre are complaints en I’d rather hear them than people not like and not say πŸ™‚

    • Torkel says:

      (Assuming a Command Value of 4)
      “In each of your Turns you must activate between 1 and 4 of your models that haven’t acted yet. Alternate turns. After the last model has acted, that turn ends, and activation counting is reset.”

      That’s (the basics of) the new activation system in three short sentences. I think that if I had told you that before you read the beta rules, it would have been a breeze. I would encourage you to try it, cause I hope and think that you would be relieved.
      (To illustrate: To change the three sentences into describing alpha-turn sequence, change “between 1 and 4” into “all”.)

  31. Alex Cooper says:

    Hi jake,
    Could you please clarify a point for me in reference to the card system?

    If I had a plague leader and it was the first round of the game, I would play one card from my hand of 4 during the round (or discard at the end) then at the end, draw 3 (first number in command stat) and choose 1 to keep and add to the hand of 3 left from the round?
    Is that correct? I ask because the wording on page 9 would imply I could keep one card but have to discard the other 5?! Meaning my hand would only ever consist of one card.
    If im right then I believe a re-wording is in order.

    Thanks in advance

    P.S. a major part of the hobby for me is creating house rules and over the past year ive begun to write an entire game from scratch, though i wouldnt even go as far as calling myself even an amateur games designer. Because of that, one of these days when your head isnt so full of deadzone, I would love it to have a discussion with you over the merits of various wargame mechanics, warhammer vs warmachine vs deadzone for example. And maybe even doin me the honour of casting ur experienced eye over my own work. Having a legend such as yourself give me feedback would be a fantastic help in learning the field.

    God! That sounds more sycophantic than I intended. I also fully understand a rebuttal.

    Thank you for taking the time to even read this

  32. Adi richards (lord arcane) says:

    I’ve played several games with the beta rules and am very pleased with what been happening in the games. Enforcers seem to be winning just as many games now. This could be down to the new command system, not sure but that’s the way my games seem to have gone. The new way in which you draw cards in excellent and adds flavour to the armies. Very happy if this is the final release of the rules. Great job πŸ™‚

    • Quirkworthy says:

      The final release is looking like being this with a lot more model types, equipment, examples and clarifications, full campaign system, etc. Basically this is the core around which all the bells and whistles get added πŸ™‚

  33. I’m looking the the rules for rolling up exploding 8s, and I think I might have been playing it wrong.

    Here’s the rule:

    “Each dice that shows an 8 counts as one success and you may roll an extra dice. If you roll an 8 on this dice too then it is another success and you get another extra dice. Keep rolling again until you roll something other than an 8. For this reason an 8 is sometimes called a Roll Up”

    Here’s how I’ve been playing:

    Compare each extra die against the stat being checked, and if it’s equal or greater, add it to the successes.

    If I understand the rule as written, the additional dice only count as a success if they role another 8. Is this correct? This would significantly reduce the impact rolling 8s has on the game.

    Personally, I hope this is wrong, and the additional rolls are to be checked against the stat as with the initial dice.


    • killaminis says:

      AFAIK, you check every exploding die to the stat being checked. It’s written here in reference to rolling further Dice and making sure to count each one as a success ( if it beats the TN that is.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Killa is correct. Again, I’d stripped out the examples to see what was clear and what wasn’t.

      Every dice you roll is against the stat being tested. If you roll an 8 then you count a success and get another dfce to roll against the original stat.

      So, if you were rolling against a 5+ and rolled 1, 6, 8 you would have 2 successes and a roll up (from the 8). If that new dice was a 1-4 it would fail, if a 5-7 it would be a success and if it was an 8 then it would be a success plus you would get another extra dice to roll the same way.

      • lostcarpark says:

        That’s what I initially assumed, from playing Dreadball. It’s just when I actually read the rule, it’s not what it actually says, as currently written.

        I’m sure the rule can be clearly and concisely written, without the need for examples (though examples in the final rule book are helpful). I’d be happy to have a go at it…

        – Role all dice at once.
        – – Each dice is read separately.
        – – Each dice is compared to your stat. If you have equalled or beaten the stat, you have scored a success. If not, then that dice is a failure.
        – – In addition, check for any dice that scored an 8, roll an extra dice and compare to the stat as above. If any of these score an 8, add more dice and repeat. This continues until you roll something other than 8. For this reason rolling an 8 is sometimes called a roll up.
        – Add up the number of successes to find your total score.

        That could probably be further clarified, but the main change I made was to take out the part about “for any result other than an 8” from the rule about comparing to stats, since that will always apply to 8s anyway (I assume you’ll never have a 9+ stat). It then becomes unnecessary to state that 8s count as successes.

        That’s my suggestion, anyway.


        • Quirkworthy says:

          Logically you wouldn’t need to state that 8s counted as successes, but when it didn’t say so specifically I was asked if they did. You’d be surprised how non-obvious something can be to some people whilst being entirely unnecessary to others.

        • lostcarpark says:

          I was hoping the “in addition” in the bit about 8s would cover it, but maybe the paragraph about success needs to so explicitly say “including 8s”. I think excluding 8s from the success rule doesn’t make sense, since everything in it does apply to 8s.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          Examples are the way forward, I think.

  34. lostcarpark says:

    A couple of minor corrections on the beta rules…

    On page 2 and 4 is mentions the deck of 12 cards for each player, but there are now 13 cards at the back of the book for each faction (this really confused me when I cut them out and counted them).

    On page 5 it says “one card you must use or discard per turn”. I presume that should be “per round”. If you had to use a card per turn the game would end very quickly.

    I’ll raise other points when I spot them.


    • Quirkworthy says:

      Bother. Yes, each deck is now 13 – I snuck in an extra card for each faction.

      Yes, per Round. Missed a couple of “turns” when the meaning changed between Alpha and Beta.


  35. Ebbe B says:

    Can’t find any mention in the rules that grenades are “one-use” items. Seems like they would be since both ammo item are one use items.

  36. Jon Finn says:

    We came across one possible weird effect of the Area LoS rule.

    If you could had two models in the same row of cubes with walls inbetween them, they could both be peeping out (i.e. mostly in one cube but partially in another) to have Point LoS to each other, but not have Area LoS because they could not see the other’s cube.

    Should the Area LoS rule have something like, “or a figure in that cube” added to it?

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Yes it should. I thought I’d made this change already but it’s obviously slipped through. Good catch!

      • Chris Richardson says:

        Ahhh… Is that why I can’t find the updated rule for tossing grenades to a higher level? That was a promised update for the new rules. I was looking and couldn’t find it anywhere in the Beta.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          Actually that change is in. It’s subtle though. You need to be able to see the cube to be able to area fire, and a cube is 3D. So, if I can see the space within the cube I can blaze away at it or throw a grenade there. After all, that is the physical space through which the bullets or grenade must pass.

  37. killaminis says:

    Haven’t seen anything in terms of leveling up your squads? Is that slated to be only for the campaign mode? or will it spill over into the standard game?

  38. Johno617 says:

    Why are me and a friend finding it so difficult to wound, what could we be doing wrong, we can’t seem to overcome armour

    • killaminis says:

      make sure your adding additional Dice as per the modifiers when attacking and not changing the Target Number.

    • killaminis says:

      It also helps if you try to flank your opponent to get a clear shot bonus and take Aim for another bonus. If both you guys are staying behind cover and just shooting at eachother then it should be hard to wound.. these rules seem to reward those utilizing accurate squad tactics. So yeah, shoot move cover outflank, or blaze away and suppress those cowards and move in for the close combat kills πŸ™‚

  39. Johno617 says:

    All the numbers are right but a 2nd gen gets 5/6 dice to attack, 2 are instantly discarded due to armour that’s 3/4, not being a statistician I’ll knock that to 2/3 successes then you have to bear in mind that it is a vs (x) test not a (1) test

    • killaminis says:

      Another thing to keep in mind is the Plague from a point cost perspective are not a 1:1 vs the Enforcers. You’ll have to team up on them ( which gains you a bonus too) to take them out. I believe most scenario’s the Plague will outnumber these Elites. It also helps keeping them Enraged if possible – – Get Mean Man!

  40. killaminis says:

    Not sure about your stat breakdown. Why are you discounting Dice before you’ve even figured if they’re success or even better addtional dice due to 8’s. Seems to me if your Plague and your Fighting you should almost have 2x the dice counts to roll Vs an Enforcer. That gives you a huge advantage as the likelihood of doubling or trippling is pretty good. Also, notice the plague 2nd gen’s are your melee guys and the stat of 4+ reflects this and their attack is AP1 which I believe… negates 1 point of Enforcer Armor when you calculate damage. So your average of 2/3 successes should be enough to Wound, or kill if you differential is favorable.
    Hope that helps. If not, you’re going to have to give more information, step by step so we can see if your doing something off.
    During my playtests it seemed to be in line with the Background fluff. I usually try to make sure I suppress or pin before heading in as that decreased their Survival test dice pool.

  41. Johno617 says:

    Apologies I don’t discount dice and I forgot the ap1 just then but seriously we struggle to kill, we need the gameplay video fast

    • Quirkworthy says:

      There is a bank holiday in the UK tomorrow and the studio models are all at a games convention for the weekend. James (Mantic’s community manager) has the gameplay videos to do as his first task next week.

      In the meantime, can I ask if you are only having trouble wounding in fights or is it shooting as well?

  42. Chris Richardson says:

    A note for your layout guy: Please use larger font sizes on the cards. The stat numbers in the Alpha were great. I had to rewrite the Beta stats just to see them with my old man eyes. Please don’t let this game join the micro font crowd like Sedition Wars and Relic Knights!

  43. Paul Kennedy says:

    Hi, played a few games now, very impressed.

    Please clarify if the following is allowed:

    An Assault Enforcer takes first short action, moving into a cube with a third gen present.

    Enforcer gets a free fight action for moving into the enemy occupied cube.

    If he does not kill the third gen with the blade, he takes another short action to shoot with his pistol at the third gen.

    If he killed the third gen with the blade, his second short action could be a pistol shot at another in range enemy.

    • Jon Finn says:

      If you’re in a cube with an enemy the only actions you may take are either Break Off or Fight (p11, first column, paragraph after the Short Actions list).

      • lostcarpark says:

        There a couple of scenarios I’ve been wondering around this…

        When you move into a cube with an enemy model, you get a “free” fight action. If you move, then fight, you’ll have taken one short and one (free) long action, so do you still have one short action remaining?

        In the case above, you could shoot as a short action, move as a card action, fight as a free action. If you succeeded in killing the enemy, would you still have one short action remaining to shoot another enemy?

        Also, it’s possible to win the fight with a double, but cause no wounds. The double gives you a free move or fight action. Could you move out of the square (taking a break test), then shoot back into the same square with the remaining short action?

        All this seems feasible, assuming that the “free” fight action doesn’t lose you your remaining short action.

        • Jon Finn says:

          You couldn’t Move out of the cube if you doubled the Fight test, because the only actions you can take with an enemy in the same cube are Break Off and Fight, and they’re both long actions. The free Move is for when you’ve killed all enemies.

          You’d have been better off doing a Shoot then a Move (plus free Fight action). πŸ™‚

          In the Beta rules a Phase Two can Move (free Fight) (free Move) Move (free Fight) (free Move) Move card (free Fight)… I can see that happening against careless low armour troops (Rebs? Zombies?) strung out in a line.

          Free actions don’t count towards the limit of two short or one long action per activation, so if you have a short action left and you’re eligible to take it then you can (p11, first column, last sentence).

        • Quirkworthy says:

          Jon is right.

          Melee nasties can indeed munch through several enemies in one Turn if they’re positioned just right. Easily avoided by positioning them more carefully.

          If you spend a short action then you have a second one left. However, you must be in a situation where you can use it – not in the same cube as an enemy, for example.

  44. RangerRobAZ says:

    It seems as though the text for Rampage may need to be updated to reflect the new terms used in the turn sequence. Previously a ‘turn’ was a player turn and involved activating all of his models. Now a ‘turn’ occurs more frequently.

    “At the start of each turn it gains +1 Aggression.”

    As written it would seem that a model with rampage would increase aggression every time the initiative changed. I am guessing this should be at the start of each round now?

    Also, the other bullet for Rampage starts with…

    “At the start of each of its turns, if it is not in the same square…”

    A model doesn’t take a ‘turn’ any more, but the player does. Perhaps this should be at the start of its activation or before taking actions. Something like that.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Yup. I think someone mentioned this already. You’re quite right though.

      Both should be at the start of the model’s “activation” (a term I need to include officially).

  45. RangerRobAZ says:

    And a question on VPs.

    “Slain Enforcers and Stage 2 plague models are worth 2 VPs each to the opposition. Stage 3s are worth 1 each.”

    That makes it so that enforces have 10VP and the plague have 9VP. But should the Plague stage 3 leader be worth 2VP instead of 1VP? Or is this by design that the leader is also worth just 1 VP?

  46. RangerRobAZ says:

    Another question (working on updates to my deadzone reference sheet). The enforcers assault interrupt action seems to have been changed from ‘Move’ to ‘Shoot’. Was this intentional?

    • Chris Richardson says:

      Also true for the Enforcer Sergeant. He has Blaze Away & Shoot. Is this right? Can you Blaze Away with a pistol? I thought I read somewhere that wasn’t possible.

      • RangerRobAZ says:

        Ah yeah you are right, in the equipment section (pg 17):
        – Carried by specialist Enforcers as a secondary weapon. Seldom used.
        – Shoot.
        – Range 3 cubes.

        No Blaze Away for the Pistol

  47. RangerRobAZ says:

    One more on supporting models on the Blaze Away action.

    “*A model may only support if it could have made a Blaze Away action of its own, ie it may not have acted this Turn and must have an Area LOS to the target cube. A model that supports can take no other action that Turn and must be marked as having acted. However, it can have a card played on it during that Turn.”

    With the new play sequence, if I understand correctly, you cannot have a card played on a model outside of when you activate it. Being able to play a card on a model the supported the Blaze Away action (and thus was marked as activated) would seem to be inconsistent with not being able to play a card (for an action) on a model outside of when it is activated.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      The first instance of Turn should be Round.

      Yes and no to the question. It is effectively being activated (by being part of the BA) and will be marked as such, so you should be able to play a card on it. The issue comes because you’re activating several models at once so you cannot practically play cards on them all at that same moment. probably needs a bit more explanation.

  48. Just a small point on the rules…

    On Page 4:

    5: Starting the Game
    Both players roll a dice and the player with the higher roll takes the first turn.

    And on page 9:

    1. Determine which player has the Initiative.
    a. The player that did not move the last model in the previous Round starts with the Initiative.

    I think these rules need to be beside each other (in both places if necessary). I tend to dip in and out of the rulebook rather than read it cover to cover, and when I find related rules dispersed around the book, it tends to frustrate me (I have to say Dreadball had one or two problems like this – it took me ages to figure out what the different scoring zones were worth, because it wasn’t under an obvious heading, like “scoring”).

    • I made this exact same point earlier on πŸ˜‰

    • Quirkworthy says:

      This is partly due to this being a WIP and the proper mission selections not being included yet.

      However, there is also the issue I discussed earlier about there not being a perfect sequence for rules – any rules, not just these. Depending on what you’re looking up and whether you are learning or already know the game you will need things in a different order. It’s not possible to simultaneously be in the perfect order for every option.

  49. David Smith says:

    Played my first BETA game today and found that the new turn sequence and order card allocations worked really well as it gave the more disciplined Enforcers better command and communications feel. The only concern with the new command system is the number of tokens models have to carry around with them spoiling the look. There were a few things that didn’t feel right though:

    1) Booby Traps.
    Currently cover gives a bonus to a booby trap and when its an ammo crate being trapped, giving a Survival bonus for that is just plain wrong. I’d suggest that there is no cover for Booby Traps and the item is destroyed.

    2) Climbing & Difficult Terrain.
    I have made a jungle board up for something different to an urban battlefield and feel that we need some way to slow models moving through terrain that could be classed as difficult, such as jungle or climbing through windows or up walls, moving up walls at the same speed as along a road is not right. My idea is that a model has to take a test if he wants to move into one or more ‘Difficult Terrain’ cubes. For every success he can move through one such cube. This means that your Enforcer might be able to climb up to a second story with 2 or 3 successes or just left struggling at the bottom if he fails or score one success.

    Another example would be a Plague 2 wanting to charge 2 squares through difficult terrain to combat an Enforcer, he needs to roll 2 successes, he rolls just one so it is moved one cube closer but fails to reach its prey.

    You could even add an Agility stat to give different model types better or worse chance of success, I can’t see a Ripper Suit climbing as quick and easy as a 2nd Gen Plague.

    This would also give jump pack troops an advantage, at the moment there is no benefit to them at all, jump packs could give an auto success to the roll, leaping tall buildings and over difficult terrain.

    3) AP Values. I feel that the Heavy Assault rifle could do with AP1. That’s a lot of firepower attacking a target but does less damage than an Enforcers Wrist Blade and only equal to a pistol shot.


  50. Matt Gilbert says:

    Jake answered one question for me last night but I’ll post it here along with some others from a game last yesterday.

    1. Distract – the card says β€œnext turn” but does it mean β€œnext round”?
    Answer from Jake – it needs a reword to describe missing an activation
    2. Follow-up question – Can a Distracted model still have cards played on it (e.g. to gain a move action)?
    3. In a Fight, if Survival doubles the model can gain a free move. If this free move takes you into a square with an enemy model, do you get a free fight action (must you fight in other words)?
    4. In a fight, if the Fighting doubles you can take a free move action but it is not worded like Survival doubling so does this mean that unless you have killed all opponents you cannot take the move action (because there is no clause allowing you to move without breaking off)? If the answer is no (the wording is deliberate – is this to remove the possibility of using your free move to step out and then any remaining action to move back in gaining the extra die for β€œcharging” into the square again?
    5. How many cards per ROUND can a model have played on it? Can a model have a move action played on it in its own activation (turn) and then other +1 type cards throughout the rest of the round?
    6. If a model on overwatch is subsequently distracted – should they lose the overwatch?
    7. Has Berserk been removed from the game now in favour of suppression or will that be in the full game too?
    8. β€œA model can do either two short or one long action per turn in addition to having one Battle Card played on them.” I take it this is regardless of the type of effect? So if you play a card to gain a Move action, step on an item which is booby trapped and then need to roll on your survival, you cannot play a second card to gain +1 on the survival test?
    9. There was another one but I can’t remember what it was!

    When picking up new cards, we played that you take the number indicated and then from those picked up, you choose and put the remaining ones back. What you keep you THEN add to your hand. That made sense but it’s not explicit that you do this (the alternative might see people adding all the cards to their hand and then returning those they don’t currently want out of the larger set).
    Only one game played with the beta so far but the issue of too many counters cropped up again. With multiple models in a square, some had 4 counters on them (activated, enraged, item counter and injured). It got pretty confusing and annoying to move all the clutter around all the time. I’m not sure what the answer is though (putting stuff on the cards is an option but only if you have a card per model).

    • Jon Finn says:

      Counters: if the counters had different colours (especially on the edges) you could stack them because only the item counter needs to have visible information on it. The other states are either “Yes” or “No”.

      We tracked Aggression with only one small counter. If the model was upright and had the counter it was Enraged, if it was laid down and had the counter it was Suppressed. We used the flat green 1cm plastic discs you get from some supermarkets.

      I suppose you could either stack two counters for Berserk or say that the Marauder slang for Berserk is “ASDA”.

  51. Mark says:

    Hi Jake,

    Had a bit of a think about the awsome new Enforcer models and came up with this… I put it on the main comments section of the KS but not sure if you check there…

    Add ‘cover’ to a cube for friendly models and prevent ‘clear shot bonus’ to friendly models in the cube. Shotgun can only do ‘blaze away’ at longer ranges, but at range of < 3 cubes can do point fire.

    This makes them useful support models who can use their shotguns to keep the enemy heads down, while providing cover to their friends so they can move up through 'clear' cubes (i.e. streets) which is a nice feature that other factions couldnt do. Keeps them nicely distinct in role from normal enforcers and assault enforcers.

    I would make healing an 'overwatch' style ability. If a friendly model in an adjacent cube that the medic could reach by 'normal' movement is wounded or killed, the medic can make a roll to react in time to save him – if passed, ignore the damage done (or one damage per success?) …of course the adjacent cube would need to have no enemies in it, so this wouldnt work in close combat.

    This makes the placement of the medic really important, meaning he has to be in a close support position for his squad. It also means that by making their response an 'overwatch' style ability, we dont need to keep track of down/dead models and leave them lying around cluttering up the battlefield.


    • Craig Johnson says:

      My two cents worth on the Medic: an over watch healing ability could be cool. If a model takes its final wound and is in an adjacent cube to the Medic, the Medic could move to that cube to stabilize the model. The target model makes a survival (2) test to avoid the final wound but is now suppressed. The Medic should also have a FAK (first aid kit) ability. If the Medic is in the same cube as a wounded model, the wounded model takes a survival (1) test. If successful it removes a wounded counter.

      I’d make the overwatch ability more difficult because, as a civilian paramedic, I know it’s damn near impossible to make a real difference in the outcome of a severely wounded individual. It would take futuristic medicine to not only stabilize them, but make them combat worthy again.

      • Mark says:

        Thanks Craig,

        I understand the complexity of real life, but I was trying to keep it simple… I am already worried about the number of backers who expect every tiny detail to be included as a rule, when in my mind simplicity is better.
        I dont want another GURPS (which I love, when the need for realistic simulation is on me), but for this I want a simple and fun rule set – which Jake has been doing a great job with so far.

      • Quirkworthy says:

        I’ve been watching a lot of helmet cam footage from Afghanistan recently, and several of those vids include people being hit. What is interesting is that regardless of the severity (or lack of) in overall life-threateningness of an injury, being hit often takes you out of action for a while. Even troopers that were back in action shortly after may be shocked and stunned by being hit. It’s the psychological effects as much as the physical ones that stop soldiers being able to continue. ON the flip side, it’s not the uncommon for combat troops to carry on even though injured, not noticing the damage until some time after. This is usually attributed to the adrenaline, though the effect is also achievable with drugs. American police famously had a lot of trouble with criminals on PCP who would not stop even after numerous hits.

        And then you have to remember that this is a game and it’s SF…

  52. Bomster says:

    Played our first game yesterday and it worked like a breeze… for the Plague at least; I seriously underestimated the need to shoot down those 2nd Gen’ners before they reached close combat range… πŸ™‚
    Having read the explanations here beforehand, I thought activation worked fine and gave a lot of tactical options.

    A couple of things popped up – Hope they haven’t already turned up in other discussions:

    a) Can a model with Firing skill 0 (i.e. a 2nd Gen that picked up an item) still throw grenades?

    b) In that regard – can any model pick up an item, or are there any that are not skilled/intelligent enough for that task (e.g. drones or the aforementioned 2nd Gen)?

    c)Due to Discipline, Enforcers can use a “Get mean” action to reduce their aggression value (they ‘get mellow’, so to speak πŸ™‚ ). Is there any way for other model types to actively get out of “enraged” mode other than getting pinned/suppressed by enemy fire?

    d) As I understand it pinned/suppressed models can’t act apart from getting mean again. Wouldn’t it be an option for a model pinned/suppressend while in the open to be able to ‘crawl’ one space into a cover space without changing their aggression level? Possibly as a long action?

    • Craig Johnson says:

      Page 13, second column, paragraph 4: Gen 2’s are the only models that cannot pick up items at this time.

      The Enforcers’ Discipline ability is the only way to voluntarily lower Aggression.

    • Torkel says:

      Blomster, I’m not sure d) would accomplish anything. If a model is pinned, it can Get Mean to become Alert, then Move one square for its second action. Letting you do that move while staying pinned makes little sense imo. As for Suppressed, the state is supposed to take you out of the action for a round. I guess if Suppressed turns out too powerful, “Crawl” could be an option.
      You could try it out, letting a Suppressed model take one Crawl action in addition to Get Mean. It would be somewhat of a compromise between alpha rules with no Suppressed state, and beta rules with it. I’m sure Jake would like to hear feedback on it. Although I’m not sure how settled he is on aggression so far.

    • Jon Finn says:

      Bear in mind that whenever a model changes its Aggression from Alert to Pinned or Pinned to Suppressed (and vice versa) it can move within its current cube, in effect as part of the Get Mean action. So models can already potentially crawl out of line of sight, or at least somewhere that doesn’t give a clear shot.

  53. Bomster says:

    Ah, thanks – the 2nd Gen thing was the quote I was looking for.

  54. MM says:

    Hello Jake
    Had a lot of fun yesterday playing the alpha with some friends!
    We had a problems with some rules, can you help us?

    fighting rule at page 11
    Fighting allows the “target” of the close combat to choose between Fighting and Survival when making the compared roll. The sections has two different sets of bonus/malus, what’s the correct way of reading them? If the “target” chooses Fighting he needs to add the bonus/malus listed in the fighting mods otherwise the ones in the survival mods list? In this way it is possible that the “target” of the close combat action could actually kill the oppenent that started the fight action right?

    Action cards
    there is a limit of 1 card played on a model per activation, but what happens to the card played on the opponent? Like Distract, Change of plans or Booby Trap, are they limited in any way?

    thanks in advance

    • I’m not Jake but I’ll take a stab at your questions and he can correct me if I’m wrong.

      It sounds like you interpreted the Fight rules correctly. The target of the fight can either try to use the Fight action or the Survival action as a response using the appropriate mods. I’m assuming that if you score a double (either Fight or Survival) and gain a free Fight or Move action you could use the Fight action to initiate another round of combat or Move to another cube.

      I would think the cards played on your opponent like Booby Trap, Distract, etc. are just discarded after their effects. I think the owning player would still be able to play a Battlecard on those models if they haven’t been activated yet.

      • MM says:

        handling the fight in that way seems strange to me, what whould happen in the scenario below?

        PlagueA moves into a square occopied by EnforcerB as a free action starts a fight with EnforcerB
        EnforcerB uses fighting (instead of survival) for he compared roll and kills PlagueA, doubling the score of PlagueA the EnforcerB could move in another cell (!) and eventually start a fight with a new opponent (!!)

        this will led to EnforcerB being able to act outside his activation and eventually activate more than one time per round… am I missing something?

        • That’s a good question. The true answer will have to come from Jake but I can speculate here. Since Free actions have to be taken as soon as the current action has been resolved or it is lost, and it does not count towards your two short or one long actions, it would seem that your model would still get his normal activation even if he used a free action. Maybe…..

  55. Torkel says:

    Hey, I have another movement question for you, with diagram.
    What kind of restrictions would you place on moving diagonally, if any?
    Are the moves i) and ii) in the new diagram allowed:

    • MM says:

      adding my two cents…
      I don’t think that there is any kind of restriction for moving diagonally, each cube is treated in the same way when you move (i.e. diagonal movement doesn’t cost you more)
      i guesst that both I) and II) are allowed (it costs two short actions), II) is a weird scenario, in my understanding a square is either free of impassable terrain or occupied totally by it. I think that there shouldn’t be a mixed scenario where the square is partially impassable (by something that is not a wall)

      • Torkel says:

        Oh crap, I forgot to specify that I’m asking if the moves are allowed in ONE move action. You can move diagonally in open terrain with one move action. My question is, if you start adding more obstructions, at what point is the diagonal move considered blocked?

        Btw, a square does not have to either be free off impassable terrain or occupied by it. That is obvious if you look at Mantics scenery images. Example: On a narrow ramp between two buildings, only half of the cube will have a floor. Not letting a cube be “mixed” would severely hamper scenery layout, to where it would become very dull indeed.

        I tend to logically think of a square as a set of four smaller unit squares. This is because it fits with Mantics Deadzone scenery, but also because four regular models can occupy one whole square. So half a square (ramp, balcony, narrow alley, etc) can be occupied by two models. Two regular figures will also physically fit in that space. I feel that this way of thinking lets me easily define a particular square as having room for 0-4 number of models, without limiting board layout significantly. (Note that I can’t proclaim that this is the “correct” way of thinking. It’s just my personal way.)

        • MM says:

          I think that if the starting square doesn’t have a clear connection to the destination square you can’t move it in a single move. So both I) and II) are not possible in a single move.

  56. crimsonsun says:

    Hi Jake me again… Sorry! lol..

    Firstly congratualtions – currently the kickstarter is 13k short of the mechs stretch with five hours to go -Its almost Unbelievable the success you and mantic have achieved, and my major concern is which extras to add now and which will have to wait but the kickstarter has exceeded my expectations in all regards. I imagine you are in a state of shock yourself, and no doubt after you have a few days rest following the kickstarters mantic may release they need to chain you to your desk with how many rules/scenarios/guides you have to write! lol.

    So ive been thinking, which is likely a bad idea but these stray thoughts seek into my head from time to time, and I seem powerless to prevent them but to the point I am concerned about weapons in Deadzone lacking variety or the means to make them meaningfully variable in any quantity. As far as I can tell, the only variables for ranged weapons are fire modes, range and special attributes (such as Ap), this really does not lend itself to many options within a class of firearm.

    For example – How different can you make a 1)shotgun, 2)pump action shotgun, 3)riffle, 4)assault riffle, 5)lazer rifle and 6)heavy lazer riffle. Ok you could say 1 and 3 are for shoot only no blaze away, 1&2 could have a 5sq range,4&5 8sq, and 3&6 12sq, but these are really cosmetic differences, leaving the only commonly effective variable to become the attributes but how many of these can you really have without causing issues to other areas of gameplay I can think of flamming, Ap, Knock Back, Blast and other AoE’s, bonus to blaze away, reduce/ignore cover, continuing damage, splash damage, stunning, Lethal – any damage kills type, move or fire, slow reload, multi shot. I am sure I could come up with a few more but the issue I see is that a lot of these would be too powerful to see much use, thus restricting there usage. Anyway I think you will get what I am saying, and I am sure you agree that variety is the spice of life which is my concern. Now obviously this is nothing major in terms of mechanics but just a pet niggle but I am currently hoping i have overlooked something.

    Kickstarter is now at 2.500k shy of mechs – wow!

    The second reason for my post was to inquire if you were planning to include any form of generic Mercenaries in DeadZone? If not I would be interested for the reason?

    What I would love to see is Generic Merc’s that could provide missing roles to a faction at increased cost. My ideal would be to have the option of varying species profiles, with then a add-on class system which provides skills, +stats & equipment giving max room for personalisation and customisation. Both races and classes could have specific faction restrictions to keep things balanced along with the resource cost. They could gain xp in a limited fashion kinda like the hired guns in Necromunda thus enabling us to write/create our own storied histories behind them, and develop them over the campaign. While I love the backgrounded Mercs they are kinda frozen in time and of course someone elses creation so do not lend themselves to an evolving storyline. The other benefit is the opportunity for conversions to create them.

    And we Have Mechs… lol

    Going to cut myself off now.. I know I keep posting this but still missing faction lists :(! Thanks for taking the time to read my rambling posts, and all your hard work.



  57. lostcarpark says:

    I suspect Jake may be taking a couple of days off, but a question came up in a game last night…

    Can you get mean during a fight? I suspect the answer is no, as the only action you can take when locked in a fight is fight or break away, but it seems reasonable that there ought to be something that could trigger you to become enraged in the middle of the fight. However, I’m not sure what that should be.

    Just as an aside, I’ve played or supervised other people playing about 3-4 games each of alpha and beta, and I was pleased that after just a few games we don’t need to refer to the rules at all.

    Well done on a very successful Kickstarter!

  58. Deaven Randolph says:

    Greetings and Congratulations!
    When you get back to the madhouse, I have a couple feedback items for you.

    1. Damaging Percentages seem way too low. I don’t want to get into the math (though I could). But even against targets in the open, our Enforcers seriously struggled to even damage the Plague units. Not to mention those same Enforcer units being virtually invulnerable to ranged fire from the Plague. All the Plague can do is Blaze Away and try to rush in. (Perhaps this is what you want. But I think it would be nice to do a little damage every once in a while. Otherwise, there is no real choice/option for the Plague player because regular shooting isn’t worth it at all)
    Personally, I think that the problem is actually the armor values. They feel too high. For Enforcer troops to have a 4+ Survival rating AND 2 Armor seems a bit much. Again, perhaps this is what you’re going for. To me it just seems overkill.
    I do understand that armor needs to be there for the AP values to mean anything so another alternative would be to simply reduce the Survival rating of the Enforcers. They still have 2 Armor…
    Proposed Solution: Either reduce all Armor values by one. Or reduce Enforcer survival rating by 2ish.

    2. True LOS. I actually really love the concept. I think it can work, but I see a few issues with it. From what I can tell, the only drawback to modeling your units low to the ground is that they too receive reduced vision on enemy units. This is a problem for two reasons:
    A) What is to keep someone from modeling all of their melee units low to the ground? The drawback of not being able to see an enemy is not really a drawback to them. Honestly, the best tactic for a melee squad would be to have them all curled up in the fetal position on the ground.
    B) Modeling my shooting units taller is also a poor choice. The fact is, my standing missile launcher/sniper on the top floor of a building will be able to see his target better, BUT he only gets one activation so it only improves him against one enemy unit. Conversely, EVERY enemy unit on the table gets improved visibility on me. This disparity means it will be most effective to model all of my shooting models crouching or lying down as well. I can just position them to see the one target I want to see and avoid all of the others.
    C) Being able to target any portion of a model means that dynamic poses with arms stretched out or guns in the air are actually detrimental to play. Since vision is from the firer’s head, anything sticking out from or above that level only makes you easier to shoot at. This means that all of those cool poses are best replaced with models hunched over, guns pulled into their chest so as not to make themselves a target.

    Quick note: I love the rules. And I don’t think there is anything you can really do about the LOS issues other than to make a rule that tournament organizers have final say on what is too cheesy. And I want it to be clear that I personally won’t be playing in such a beardy manner. Let’s not get rid of the TLOS, but let’s see if there is a way to minimize those negatives I just mentioned. Because let’s face it, we will see it from some people….

    Any solutions guys?

    • First of all, if you model all your figures to be lying on the ground, nobody will want to play you (except maybe other model-for-advantage gits).

      Secondly, having played a few games, I doubt it will make that much difference. The rule is that if you can see any part of the figure, including the base, you can take a shot. Apart from when you’re in a building and someone can spot you through a window, it’s generally quite hard to position a miniature so that all of the base is completely hidden. Models with dynamic poses or flowing capes might be at a slight disadvantage, but I really think it will be slight. If there’s a solid wall, it’s generally not that hard to hide behind. If you’re in the open and there’s cover around, it’s generally not hard to prevent a clear shot, but not usually possible to hide completely, no matter how low to the ground your model is. I guess it’s mainly when there’s a wall with gaps that some models will have an advantage.

      The way I see it, as long as you’re not being a complete eejit about it, it’s just swings and roundabouts.

      • Deaven Ramdolph says:

        I agree with you.
        But I’m expecting this will be a tournament sort of game (and I like to play in these occasionally). So whether I want to play with the git who has modeled all his assault troops lying down makes no difference there.

        Honestly, I agree with you. The benefits of doing so are very slim and hopefully that will make it unreasonable. The vast majority of circumstances, it won’t matter. It will be very clear whether you have LOS or not.

        What have you found with the survivability thing? Are models impossible to kill for you too?

        • Matt says:

          I guess in a tournament setting the ruling would have to be that models can only be posed “as is” ie, how Mantic supply them.

  59. Jake, reading through the rules before I use them for a game with the USMC taking on the Taliban on Thursday! Looking at the rules for the Smoke Grenade have you considered that during the end of turn sequence that if the smoke does not dissipate then a second roll is made for random movement?

    Looking forward to actually playing the rules.


  60. Matt says:

    Jake, will we be seeing a “duller” beta rule set anytime soon? I’d like to get a chance to see how my Marauders are likely to fare for example πŸ˜‰

  61. Ben Fletcher says:

    I really like the idea of the blaze away / suppression mechanic, but it seems like there should be *some* chance of causing damage with it. I know that it is an abstraction, but it just feels unintuitive that there is no chase of actually wounding even if the target is in the open!

    • Quirkworthy says:

      I think there probably will be in the final version. I’m just trying to balance the value of one against the other. They need to be clearly different tactical choices.

  62. Reuben says:

    It seems as if two enforcers were shooting at each other, only the most random of happenstances would get them killed – With Armour 2, the defender would need to flub all their rolls whilst the attacker would need to make all theirs to succeed. This seems like it might result in a negative play experience in a mirror match

    • David Smith says:

      That’s true but only in that one situation mathamatically but it doesn’t happen in game when you have several models, tactical positioning, objectives, game cards, melee and missile launchers to use.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Reuben is right, but then so is David. If everyone were to use only normal troopers, sit on their cards and roll average dice all the time then the whole thing would be dull indeed. Happily this doesn’t happen πŸ™‚

  63. Tom says:

    Quick question regarding ranges. When firing up a level or two, do you need to add anything onto the range. Eg, a pistol with 3 cube range if firing at a target 3 cubes away on the same level, Compared to a target 3 cubes away but also 2 cubes up…. Technically further away, but not by much.
    One option I was thinking of was to add half the vertical cubes (rounding down) to the distance…
    Or just ignore the extra distance?

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Count the way you would move (assuming you could always move up/down at will). So a cube is adjacent to the 8 cubes surrounding it on the same level plus the 9 above and 9 below. Moving into any of those 26 cubes counts 1. Continue this process to calculate range.

      There are some rounding errors involved, but they give as much as take away and in the flurry of CQB are inconsequential.

      Make sense?

  64. Captn Morgrim says:

    Hello, Jake,

    first of all, hats off for a very nicely flowing game. So far, I only did a 1 person playtest to get familiar with the rules, before starting to preach the gospel of Deadzone among my peers. So far, I have to say that the combination of command abilities and strategy cards helps creating some tactical depth even for the beta rules – using your troops and their abilities right can lead to some interesting decision making processes. Do I hold them down with Blaze Away or do I go for the lucky shot necessary to bring them down?
    Interestingly, I found that the Enforcers seem more suited for VP-counting victories (e.g. deal a lot of damage early on and go for an empty hand) whereas the plague tactics seem more suited to the Wipe the entire Enemy force style of thing.

    There’s one thing I noticed in testing melee combat, which kinda surprised me. Combats can go back and forth for a while because you easily beat the 2:1 sucess ratio, but the difference in sucesses might result in little to damage (unless equipped for melee or adding weak spot cards). My observation was that a 2:1 sucess will only often do zero damage without AP, but still allow a 2nd fight action, thus wage back and forth for a while until one side gets really lucky or breaks off instead. Of course, the later action makes more sense for Enforcers than the plague. I ‘m curious if there’s a way to speed these things up.

  65. Captn Morgrim says:

    Hi, Jake,

    it’s Captn Morgrim again. Hope this feedback is of interest to you!

    Now, after another weekend playtest, during which I discovered a few mistakes interpreting the rules (e.g. cover and clear shot counting both, charge bonus dice only counting for the 1st fight action), I noticed that that combat thing I mentioned is happening for a bit. While I find that the combat waging back and forth actually makes sense, as it allows the winner to retalitate or move out of the square. The later seems like a more sensible option than fighting on (after all, you loose the bonus dice for initiating the attack after resolving the first fight action), however, this might result in an able melee combatant mauling his/her/its way through several adjacent squares – yes, looking at you, 2nd Gens. Of course that might be due to my tendency to keep my troops in formation, probably a hold over from my Mordheim and Necromunda days. Incidentally, this makes grenades interesting and rather effective to use.

    I ‘d need 2 clarifications:
    Fight action: If you double with fighting, the free move is only possible if you’re allowed to move, right? Meaning that in this case, you have to fight on if there’s still a surviving enemy in this square. In contrast, doubling with survival allows you to move out without having to break off, right?
    I ‘m asking because otherwise you could have a strong or lucky fighter jump back and forth between squares, most likely injuring the first enemy, jump into the next enemy-held square, gain +1 dice due to moving into the square, win 2:1 again and jump back into the first square to get +1 dice while punching the injured enemy’s lights out.

    Second, after 3 playtests, I see quite some potential how different weapons will other than the attacking model’s skill, but I leave that for another day. E.g., shotguns would allow to ignore cover at the expense of range (4 squares seems enough…), and there’s a few quirks that could be added to a rocket launcher.
    Looking forward for more!

Leave a Reply

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

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

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s