Deadzone Designer’s Notes – Classic Campaigns

I defined Classic Campaigns in yesterday’s post about Modes of Play. Today I thought I’d talk some more about the details of what I have in mind.

The central (but not only) feature of campaigns is that a player’s force of men and aliens develops over the course of several games instead of starting afresh each time. 



Experience is the key. Individual troopers that survive a battle can gain new skills and boost their stats as a result of their combat experience. This tells a great story, generates characters that are special to you, and gives you another layer of reasons for tactical decisions. Do you send forward the rookie trooper or the veteran? The vet might be better at getting the job done, but he’s an old comrade and you wouldn’t want to see him get hurt…

Deadzone feels like it could do with a tiny bit more detail in the experience system than usual. For this reason I’m experimenting with experience tickboxes per stat so that a model who uses mostly shooting gets experience in shooting stats/skills rather than melee ones. It’s a little more work to track, but in this case I think the system is easy enough to make the results worthwhile. 

When a model has earned enough experience to get a bonus they roll on a stat-specific table to get something appropriate. At least a few of the factions will need specific tables for themselves, and it might be worth doing them for all of them. However, the important thing is to allow a difference when it is needed (Plague, for example) rather than to do it by rote. A human rebel and a marauder getting better in shooting are probably not a great deal different.


New Toys

As a player’s force gets more experienced they will get access to a wider variety of equipment.  This is another way of rewarding an experienced force and giving players something extra to look forward to. New kit can be issued to existing models in replacement for their original weapons and gear. 


New Troops

Units that fight will take losses, and unlike a DreadBall team which would have to buy them, the military units in Deadzone will have replacements issued automatically by their parent formations. This avoids the need for dealing with money per se, though a unit will have other resources to manage instead.

This military background can be used as a mechanical means to avoid some of the disparity between winners and losers and mitigate some of the normal campaign problems of what happens when a player loses badly and has filled a lot of body bags. How do you allow them to compete next time? The fact that you usually have to buy replacements means that games can be quite lopsided, and so some sort of handicap system is required. I doubt that Deadzone will be able to avoid this entirely, though the automatic replacement system will make it less of an issue. Needing something less extreme will make it easier to balance the handicap system too.


Campaigns Overall

This form of classic campaign is a fun way to play Deadzone in a club environment or among a group of friends. What I’m focussing on in the rules is ways to enhance the individuality of the troopers as they get better and to allow the units to behave a little more like military formations, focussing on the mission, their training and equipment rather than managing cash. The fact that this quickly starts to generate real characters within the factions just adds to the fun and the storytelling among the players afterwards. 

I’m still working on the metagame mechanic for this style of campaign, and how you win overall. Using the DreadBall structure would work but is very abstract and rather artificial for a military operation. I’m currently thinking of a system that is tied in with the handicap system so that beating a force that is much weaker than you is worth less than one that is your equal or better. This would mean that you would have to beat a lower ranked force much more completely to get the same benefit. Still, it’s not right yet. More to tinker with there…

This entry was posted in Deadzone, Game Design Theory. Bookmark the permalink.

41 Responses to Deadzone Designer’s Notes – Classic Campaigns

  1. Jack Trowell says:

    I like what I read there.

    Having many experience tables depdending on your faction (or even unit) and style of play might seems to belike a lot of work, but I think that it will be worth it for a game like deadzone.

    Also, don’t limit yourself to experience tables per factions or style (ranged/melee, …), you can just do a few pertinent tables, and then for each individual unit say wich table to use with its XP.

    For exemple, let’s say that each individual model can gain XP in one of 3 types: ranged, melee, support (provided that you find some to give XP to support actions)

    There would exist several tables for each of the 3 types.

    There could also be some table restricted for some factions (or even some specific units of a faction). Those faction advancement tables could also be restricted to a specific type of XP (like table specific to the plague and melee XP) or be able to use any type of XP (like for exemple a forge father with some generic advancement like better armor or the like).

    Hum, maybe the “support” type could be a wildcard and use any type of XP, this would allow it to get generic upgrades useable by anyone, like defensive bonus, command upgrade, and so on.

    For exemple:

    Normal enforcer:
    – Melee : generic
    – Ranged : generic
    – Support : generic

    Enforcer with missile launcher
    – Melee : generic
    – Ranged : generic, heavy weapons
    – Support : generic

    Enforcer sergeant or captain
    – Melee : generic
    – Ranged : generic, heavy weapons
    – Support : generic, command, enforcer-specific command (with maybe skills like “orbital bombardement” ? :D)

  2. ph3brickid says:

    I like the idea of levelling up the skill that you’re using instead of inexplicably getting better a punching things because you shot someone in the face! 😉

    One request though is that can any tracking of XP gain be on a separate sheet and not on the cards themselves? I personally don’t like the warma-hordes-esque system of tracking on the stat cards, to me it’s messy and goes against my obsessive must-keep-everything-in-pristine-condition nature. 🙂

    A separate, printable PDF would be great!

    • Quirkworthy says:

      I’ve been assuming we’ll have a roster sheet of some sort for your force. You won’t need it for normal play, but in a campaign it will make tracking all the experience and changes far more straightforward.

  3. Joe says:

    Having thoroughly enjoyed Deadzone so far (finally, a game I can play on a regular-sized table!) the thing I’m now looking forward to the most are these classic campaign rules.

    For me, narrative campaigns are great for an evening or weekend’s entertainment (Project Pandora springs to mind), but I always prefer the games where the kid you didn’t expect to live through his first scrap gets lucky and a few games later, they’re a stone-cold killer! Getting rid of (or limiting) resource management sounds like it has potential, too.

    Are we likely to see an alpha of the campaign rules at some point before release?

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Campaign Alpha? Maybe, maybe not. There’s a lot of work to do before I get there, most notably on the full force lists. We’ve got less than a week left so it’s possible, but I don’t want to promise and then not deliver.

  4. John Bobita says:

    Hi Jake,

    My first comment here since I discovered it during the debut of Dreadball, and I just want to say thanks for your time and effort, it’s always an interesting and entertaining read. I’m 54, more a modeler/painter but have been gaming since before GW made it over to America, and I still have all my almost complete Dark Future collection and gangs and rule books for Necromunda, which I consider to be my most favorable gaming experience of my entire time in the hobby.

    So you’ll understand that I was extremely excited when I first heard of Deadzone. A skirmish level combat game? Modular rebuildable multi level scenery? A campaign/experience system? Sign me up. And a solo game mode to boot. I’ve died and gone to heaven. And having some success in getting a couple friends to play (and enjoy) Zombicide, the board game aspect will help immensely in possibly getting non gamers interest. A good move in my opinion. I was there at the beginning of the campaign (got a $140 EB pledge) and will be getting the 8 Battle Zone scenery bundle at least as I plan on playing this game on a 2′ x 2′ x 2′ board. Cubes baby, cubes.

    Which leads me to the rules. While unfortunately I don’t have anyone right now to help me test them out, I have read both the Alpha and Beta rules. Now perhaps partly because I’ve played Dreadball and partly because I’ve played a LOT of games over the years, and read many more rulesets than that, but I thought the rules were brilliant in their simplicity but tactical possibilities. And I personally prefer the beta activation system, really clever one there. Your blog explanation is a lot better than the rule book version, but understandably you were under a bit of pressure to get it out there and I think that led to a lot of peoples confusion. Really impressed with the whole way cover and line of sight are covered, and thank you thank you for dispensing with all that tape measure nonsense. Not since Necromunda have I been this excited about a game. I really can’t wait to play this. And as we all know, everything is better with ZOMBIES!

    Which finally leads me back to the campaign mode. I’ll admit although when I found out you were involved I was pretty optimistic, but at first my thought was that you’d have to come up with something pretty damn impressive to equal Necromunda, but damn if you haven’t already picked out and addressed a few of the clunkier aspects of the Necro campaign system, as enjoyable as it was it did have it’s faults. But this blog entry is the best thing I’ve heard since my discovery of the game itself. I can see you’re really putting some thought into this and that it will be a full and enriching part of the rule system, not some minor pokey little add on just there for the sake of keeping your word.

    Sorry for this long and rambling post but as you can obviously tell I’m extremely excited about the prospects for this game and just wanted you to know how greatly some of us appreciate the effort and thought you put into your games. I’ll mull over the campaign ideas a little more and let you know my thoughts on them but for now I’m just going to say “Thank you.” Sincerely,

    John Bobita (diehard)

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Thanks John, and you’re very welcome.

      A 2 x 2 x 2 foot cube to play on/in does sound impressive. You might need some tongs to reach the middle of that though. Be sure to send us some photos 🙂

      You’ve actually hit an interesting nail on the head there in your comment about the campaign not being tacked on. In discussion with Mantic we agreed at the start that it was something that had to be done properly and not stuck on at the end, so I’ve been thinking about how we can most appropriately deal with it from day 1. I tried to keep it all on the cards to start with, but that really doesn’t allow the flexibility and level of detail that I felt we needed, so in the end it’s back to the ubiquitous roster sheets. It’s an old fashioned approach, but it works and I haven’t yet thought of a better alternative.

      Rather than just copy what’s gone before I wanted also to deal with the fact that we’re dealing with a set of futuristic (mostly) military units rather than sports teams or bands of renegades. The infrastructure and support behind combat troops means that a number of the gaming campaign staples just don’t make as much sense and so need a bit of a rethink. That will give it a slightly different feel from the DreadBall or the old Necromunda/Mordheim systems as befits the different combat environment and force types.

  5. ph3brickid says:

    On the topic of experience and the cross over between games, what will happen when a model is killed in a game? Will there be a chart to roll on to see whether he can come back but with some loss of stats or whatever, or will he actually be dead permanently with no pissibility that he was only wounded and no chance of survival?
    I ask this because if they are all immediately gone then surely in a game with high attrition like Deadzone, experienced minis will be a rarity. The fact that there is an advanced and well developed XP system won’t count for much if characters aren’t surviving to accumulate XP.

    • ph3brickid says:

      Sorry, that should be ‘possibility’

    • Quirkworthy says:

      A good point. The level of lethality in the scenario you have is very high as the sole mission of both forces is to kill the other side. In most missions this is not the only or even main objective, so the number of survivors will normally be higher. Even so…

      Deadzone lives in the same world as DreadBall, and that has various forms of resurrection in it. Whether these will be available to front line combat units depends on who they are. However, the possibility is certainly there. Also, when we say a model is dead, we don’t necessarily mean medically so. What we really mean is that they are messed up to the point that they aren’t any more use in the timescale of this battle. That could well be treatable medically, and so there is every chance that a model could recover after the battle. I’m toying with adding another level of dead in the damage charts for campaign uses which would essentially differentiate between dead in terms of no use this battle, and dead in the sense that they’ve taken an anti-tank round in the head and don’t have an upper body any more. One would be treatable and the other not.

      • Jack Trowell says:

        My favorite solution is to just roll on a table for each casualty during the game, with most results just being “wounded but will get back on his feet/tentacles for the next battle”, and most others being small or temporary maluses, with a “trully dead” result (and maybe some crippling injuries with long-terme effect) being reserved for rare cases (like a double 6s/8s on the roll).

        Having the option to pay to heal a player like in Dreadball is good to save a high level character in a well developped campaing, but having to rely only on such solution make it hard to level up the rookies, and is somewhat less fun for the player (from my point of view) that “escaping death for this time”.

        • Chris says:

          The generic system we use if we want to bolt a campaign onto any game we are playing is for any attack that causes a casualty we roll it again. Success again means that are out of the campaign, failure means they are up and running if your side wins, out if you lose (typically though games are holding areas not the same as deadzones run out of cards mechanic), with a perhaps a chart for each if we think we need the detail.

  6. This sounds really good Jake. Levelling up in skilled as opposed to randomly getting better at things seems really good and ‘shouldn’t’ be too hard to keep track off. There seems little point in getting better at hand to hand fighting just because you have killed 3 gen 2’s with your sniper rifle. Computer games like oblivion allow for this kind of thing. You could maybe score xp for getting a ranged kill which would get you an xp point in ranged and xp for surviving the game/getting first blood/getting the Intel, which would give give an xp point in support etc etc

  7. Steve Garcia says:

    I like the idea of instant replacements.
    Playing games like necromundo,
    It’s very annoying to lose half your
    Force. It leaves your next few games
    pretty lame and you must likely start
    a brand new force anyway.
    This makes bypassing the Resource management very workable and simple.
    Besides the winning side gets ahead
    by having more experience troops
    In short.
    There are always rookies you can
    sent to the front.

  8. Ariteko says:

    If I understand the new troops sections it means that the gangs will not expand and will be fixed, always 1 captain, x regular troopers, y specialist and z heavy weapons or there wil be an option to modify these

    • Quirkworthy says:

      A force will always be about the same size, though you won’t always get an exact replacement for a fallen trooper. What you’ll get is what HQ have to hand and what they think you need. You will also be able to request specific types and this may or may not be listened to by HQ.

  9. @Jake
    Not the place to ask but didn’t really know the right place to do so…. Will the cards be as per the beta or will there be ra tion specific ones?

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Assuming you’re asking about the Battle Cards, they’re faction specific in that the mix of cards available is very different between factions. There will be some cards only available to one or two factions, but mostly it is in the balance of actions that the difference lies.

      On the whole, most of what you want the additional stuff to be is the same for everyone: you want to be better at fighting, moving, shooting, etc. These standard cards form the core of every deck, though as I mentioned the mix of them is very different.

  10. Troy Baker says:

    Getting free rookie replacements is superb and you’ve correctly identified that the outright loss of gang members diminishes fun in other ongoing-skirmish-games – and often leads to a downward spiral where the underdogs simply give up and stop playing.

    I like the “use it to improve it” experience system (re: Skyrim) but can we not use a dice roll on a Skill Table to generate powerups? Personally I prefer the idea of a simple skill tree system with tickboxes that models can spend experience points (ticks) on to progress. Skill trees would be themed to faction stereotypes – so shooty Enforcers could develop down sniper/accuracy or AP paths while shooty Plague would have paths focussed more on Blaze Away and pinning. Again I look to Skyrim; whilst not a miniatures game it has a lot to whisper into the ear of a miniatures experience/progression system.

    • ph3brickid says:

      I LOVE this idea; I never really liked the random level ups thing either. Given how much time I’ve spent playing Skyrim I can’t believe this never crossed my mind! 😉

    • Quirkworthy says:

      I’ve not played Skyrim, though this is a well-established MMO and RPG experience system and I’ve played other games that use it. It is an interesting way to do this in some respects. What I find less fun about it is that characters tend towards same-ness. You get the received wisdom that XYZ is the best way to make a sniper and then everyone does that. If one dies then the replacement follows along exactly the same skill route, and this loses all sorts of interesting character and story possibilities. Individuals are no longer individuals but simply elite sniper number 3.

      I think there should be a happier place than either extreme somewhere in the middle where some choice and some randomness give you a bit of control without it allowing cookie cutter repetition and blandness.

      • Troy Baker says:

        Agreed it does permit cookie-cutter builds and this is a ‘problem’ other games have (downloaded MTG decks, Grey Knights Draigowing lists, etc). At the other extreme is finishing a GW skirmish game and getting something punchy for your archer. Neither are desirable but the tipping point between the two is hard to get right.

        Perhaps it’s enough to allow players to choose from the Shooty table, the Punchy table or the Cool table – but then restrict them to a D8 roll to see what they win; you’d still be able to build Sniper 3 but he or she will take longer to get there and will pick up a few oddball powerups along the way.

        Perhaps the roll can be modified by +/- 1 if you have a Fnarg Quantum Refluxer on your roster?

        • Quirkworthy says:

          Oooo… Fnarg QRs. Don’t see them often.

          If we track separate types of xp then that can dictate the range of options you get to pick from or roll on. Possibly a roll with “choose from…” as a common result – a bit like DB.

      • Jack Trowell says:

        I agree about the need for some randomness to prevent seeing always the sam upgrades in the same order. Being able to chose among several tables of advancement for the same XP for some models can be a way to give some choice to the player (“do I roll on the generic ranged table, or the heavy weapon one for my enforcer with missile launcher ?”)

        In Dreadball, the coaching dice advancement table, plus now the new tables from season 2 play a good role of allowing both randomness and choice.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          Thanks Jack. DB isn’t a bad start, though for DZ I think a bit more specificity is in order, especially if we’re tracking xp in different areas.

      • M Hollingsworth says:

        “If one dies then the replacement follows along exactly the same skill route, and this loses all sorts of interesting character and story possibilities. Individuals are no longer individuals but simply elite sniper number 3.”

        I absolutely agree with you. Random (or maybe random within a sub set) upgrades create interesting characters and make the game more fun.

  11. Gary Powell says:

    Hi Jake,

    Just a quick thought on the attrition during a campaign making the worse performing players worse off. Being a Military combat game reinforcements don’t have to be rookies all the time. I am sure if the Enforcers were taking a battering in a sector The Council would be quick to send in experienced troops to shore up the current personnel. Like wise the plague would look to spawn itself with more vigour to get more 1st and 2nd Gens in an area. The Rebs might be a different issue but a charasimatic leader might choose to attach himself to this rag tag bunch of rebs whose heart is in the right place even if they lack the training…..with that kind of background keeping the narrative going the campaign wouldn’t lend itself to dying like other systems.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      A good point, and I touched on something similar above. Replacements won’t always be a like for like basis – you’ll get what HQ think you need form what they’ve got. The more story I can build in the better 😉

      • Troy Baker says:

        Despite being opposed to randomness in the post-game sequence the idea of being sent oddball stuff from Divisional Support appeals. “We lost our sniper Jimmy Cateye so HQ sent us twelve crates of strawberry MREs, a bottle of synthale and some new guy called Kung-Wei Liu Master of the Wristblade School.”

  12. Fabio Sans Picinin says:

    Hi. Great job you are doing with DZ.

    One campaign system I liked very much is based in classic battletech. You don’t fight the other player force, but NPCs controlled by the other player. In the other player turn, he controls his force and you controls the NPCs.

    The matches are a little biased to the active player, so he will be able to preserve some of his experienced units.This avoid the upper hand problem typical of most campaign systems.

    You build your forces until the big showdown in the last fight of the campaign. The objectives conquered during the campaign will be counted as bonuses in this last fight and your experienced units will make all the difference.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Thanks Fabio. That’s an interesting way to get round some of the problem. It does mean that you’ll double the length of a campaign though (or just play far fewer games with your real force). As with all these good ideas, you have to balance the downside.

  13. Chris says:

    Please please please Jake, with an enforcer on top…
    Could we have advances split into something like ‘rookie’, ‘regular’, ‘veteran’ with models as they get better advancing in category. Too many games have elite troops gaining experience like rookies. I would expect say rebel rookies to get steadier under fire, to pick up how to use cover better (and indeed to get worse at leaving it – an interesting facet of experience 🙂 ), to get better at managing their gear under fire, to get better at predicting enemy movements and so shooting them, to pick up more buddies as their fame spreads, etc…
    I wouldn’t expect enforcers to change much. Typically elites have casualties due to the unfamiliar at the start of a tour but quickly acclimatise and for them it is more about maintaining their range of skills rather then getting rusty at ones they aren’t using. So maybe their success breeds more backing in terms of drones, airstrikes, nifty kit, etc but I wouldn’t expect to see significant change in an experienced sniper.
    Likewise as a limiting factor I would expect models to get promoted out of a team and replaced by new guys, this is after all a facet of the wider war and they have their careers to mind 🙂 In practice no team of unbeatable killers as some have to make sergeant eventually..

    • Quirkworthy says:

      It’s a complex subject and I’m not sure about how all the wrinkles will come out yet. You raise some worthwhile points, but it all highlights that the factions have different things to consider, which all adds to the complexity of what’s being modelled. Clearly the rules need to be simpler than that and so the challenge lies in coming up with systems that model enough of the reality without making them unwieldy.

  14. Willz says:

    Hey jake,
    Everything you’ve outlined for the classic campaign sounds really cool.
    Will you be adding an exploration chart like mordheim/necromunda? To maybe flesh out the post gameplay side of things.
    I understand there will not be a cash focus per say but do you think you’ll include a list of items that units can “acquire” and keep eg grenades, special ammo, rope, better armour?
    Thanks for your time, really looking forward to campaign play either way!

  15. Torkel says:

    I’m most excited about options for buying gear and support for the next mission! Counter Strike style!
    Buying a smoke grenade for next match for one of the assault enforcers. Buying extra ammo for a machine gun plague. Extra med-kit or whatever for a medic. Maybe option for buying a permanent upgrade, like getting a regular 3G plague a grenade launcher.
    Other options like a reconnaissance drone run, letting you peek at one chosen item, would be sweet as well. Or air strike at the start of the match.
    I envision “kitting out” a combat squad, rather than evolving a warband.

  16. Chris says:

    Yes – would love for enforcers to go shopping and rebels get better at using the scraps they can get their dirty paws on!

  17. crimsonsun says:

    *** Warning long post very Likely! ***
    Hi Jake; So before you asked me what I was concerned about regarding the DreadBall league system to which I gave a reply that was rather ‘less’ than I had intended, so that night I was trying to get too sleep, my mind decided now was the time to be critical of what I had said or not said and why this was bothering me, finally I realised that DreadBall was not the concern keeping me awake but instead it was due to various comments posts I have read and then forgotten about for DeadZone, the contained information had obviously been sitting on my sub concious for a while without filtering though any real mean – Until that is about 3am on friday night when I was trying to sleep.

    Thank god for modern technology, no longer do I need to fumble around in the darkness to find a pencil to record my thoughts, so I can finally get some sleep with a clear frame of mind and not have forgotten half of what I intend to say by the morning, or as normally happens when it comes to writing up the relevant information. So instead I grabbed my phone, opened a word application and jotted down some notes for me to make sense of now. So finally on to the point and reason of my post…

    So a few parts of what you have been saying have left some nagging doubts floating around my head over but these doubts are all linked the linked split themes of Campaign Development and Faction Balance. I have a number of concerns either related to comments you have made or that have surfaced when considering various Mechanical Aspects of the proposed gaming system.

    1)Regarding Skills earned you say that you are intending to make skills gained random to essentially cut down on cookie cutter style lists and gamest force selections.

    “You get the received wisdom that XYZ is the best way to make a sniper and then everyone does that. If one dies then the replacement follows along exactly the same skill route, and this loses all sorts of interesting character and story possibilities. Individuals are no longer individuals but simply elite sniper number 3.”
    “I think there should be a happier place than either extreme somewhere in the middle where some choice and some randomness give you a bit of control without it allowing cookie cutter repetition and blandness.”

    Ok I understand where you are coming from here, but making skill choice random not only denies players the ability to find and create interesting skills Synergies but it also makes themed forces impossible once levelling takes hold. Now I like some random element maybe to determine if the upgrade is a Stat, Skill from an associated group to the earned experience or a ‘special access skill. But for the fine tuning I feel players should be given the option of choice, as this allows players freedom to clearly define how each model will develop, and even allow them to create and build development plans for each model.

    I do not want to come across offensively but it is my opinion that your reasoning regarding “Cookie Cutter” or “Broken” force creation is a flawed excuse. Ill balanced skills, faction choices, and development options are only in games because ‘you’ the developer put them there and if there is an option in game that means that all snipers take build A) and all melee specialists take build B) then you have made a terrible error in balancing the available skill choices. This can still be address by errata’s and Q &Q’s. If all options are balanced and someone wants to build all his rifle armed models identically who is too say this is wrong or boring? There could be thematic reasons, synergy based reasons or simply because the player has a awful memory but denying him the option to me comes across as being too lazy to balance the system properly. (I know you are not lazy, because of how active you are with your fan base so I am assuming that you have/are thinking about this from another angle)

    2)Ok my next concern is about Auto replacing dead/lost models, now this is more of a concern about how its implemented rather than an issue with the theoretical concept. You said:

    “A force will always be about the same size, though you won’t always get an exact replacement for a fallen trooper. What you’ll get is what HQ have to hand and what they think you need. You will also be able to request specific types and this may or may not be listened to by HQ.”

    Which sounds wonderful, unique and fun in concept, but when you start to think about it in more detail I cannot help but worry. If replacements are as you say random, then it is essentially down to luck on what you are given, and I have a massive aversion to this idea. When I play games using dice I attempt to play the odds, if things are unfavourable then I would preferably avoid them, gladly in games such as this there are a vast number of tactical choices I can use to help stack these odds in my favour, now this does not always mean you win, because odds are just that and the more dice you roll the more instances of billion to 1 results you will see.

    The point I am trying to make is that if for example we were to play DeadZone, and due to having a far greater knowledge of how the game functions you stacked the odds heavily in your favour and your plague force ripped my Enforcers a new one, with the side effect that 50% of my force was destroyed while you only lost a couple of guys. So post game we go roll on the replacements table and you get 2 plague dogs to replace your dead 2nd Gen and 3a with machine gun, While I am given 3 Enforcers in pathfinder armour, a sniper and an engineer to replace 2 sentry guns 2 rifle men and 2 assault troopers.

    This is clearly flawed, now obviously you need some form of balancing process but in this example you are essentially being penalised for playing a better game than me. The other concern with this system as well as random skills is it becomes far more open to abuse, or players cheating to gain a bigger advantage. Now you are never going to prevent a player from cheating if that is what they are attempting, but by having options/results that are unbalanced and based on luck really opens the system up too becoming utterly broken if these players cheat in such a way. (I know many reading this will think this unthinkable but some people/players care more about ‘winning’ than having fun or they are not happy if they cannot game an in game advantage – These players are not always easy to spot either, as they could be sporting in all other ways, and generally reasonable people.)

    3)You said that DeadZone will not be about managing credits/money etc, thats fine but without some form of resource management there will be no way to gauge the worth of xp/new equipment/models which will also result in massive unbalancing in game.

    4)You stated in the Rebels Force Video that they would not be able to stand up to all the other factions in a straight fight, but this would be balanced by the missions that they are given. Once again this sounds wonderful but I am concerned about how you will achieve a good game balance here, this is a very difficult concept to create a balance for because it has too many quantitative elements, and it seems to me an almost theoretical nightmare because you have zero room for error. Surely it would be more sensible to balance factions so that even if model for model one would lose, a combination of synergies and man power as well as tactical movement options would equal the fight. I know in DeadZone the aim is not for forces to have a straight up fight, but for the game to have balance in my opinion all the factions should be equally competitive in this before considering other forms of equilibrium.

    5)True LoS, I just thought I would add that I have NEVER had an argument in a TT game about who can see who, if there is doubt I always defer to the active model because I play to have fun, not to argue about some cylindrical space a model is said to occupy. I consider this whole debate the result of people forgetting rule 1, have fun. I understand tournament players have concerns but competitive gaming competitions always have rules so I see no reason why each cannot make a ruling they are happy with for any issues with this. This point is more to show I am not just trying to pick holes in your ideas….

    6)What happens with random model replacement regarding available models? I know from a product selling point of view this is not a concern really but it does result in a player being penalised because they cannot afford to buy model x at that time, which of course sucks. Now I know GW approached this always with a tough luck stance, but I have never considered that Mantic are about maximising profits at the expense of player enjoyment. Obviously Mantic are a business and want to make money etc, but I am of the opinion that they use a far more gamer friendly business model. Anyway I just thought it was important to mention in case you had overlooked it…

    7)My finial concern, is of Balance verses Fluff, or due to the limited fluff DeadZone it is more an issue of balance against concept. Now there will always be a difference, as fitting rules around fluff would lead to a level of unbalance that makes games unplayable, but I do expect games to attempt to hold true to the Paradox of realism in there fictional fantasy setting. Specifically in DeadZone I am concerned about how you will maintain balance while keeping such items as Peacekeeper Armour and Forge Guard true to the background and taking the example I gave above, how would another faction deal with 3 Peacekeeper Enforcers that were added by pure luck on the dice.

    In the Fluff Peacekeeper armour gives the wearer flight, variable gravity control, breathable air for 48hours+, can with stand void conditions as well as atmospheric entry, and provides its user access to ordnance level weaponry. It gives the impression that these are just the basic qualities that all suits have, but not by a long shot the limits of its capabilities. So how are you planning to balance this against a faction like plague who seem to have at best modern day technology levels without losing the Paradox of fictional reality (I have just made up that as a term but I feel it hits the nail on the head perfectly and as a result will be coining the phrase in future)

    Ok I will cut myself off, I did warn you this would be a long post, and you know I always waffle on so if you didnt expect it you should have… lol

    Thank you for taking the time to read my post.

    Ps – It is due to these concerns in part to why I keep on about the Beta force lists as I feel a lot will be unveiled with more information….

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 )

Connecting to %s