Blaze Away Damage In Deadzone

As we’ve talked about before, it makes some sense that damage should be possible with Blaze Away attacks. I’ve tried a number of solutions to this and had abandoned all of them for various reasons. The main problems were that it was making BA a better option than Shooting in so many cases that it was clearly going to create an imbalance in weapons use.

There are a lot of different model types in Deadzone, and in several cases the main difference is the weapon the model carries. Now there’s simply no point in going to the trouble of making all these models and writing all these stat lines if we then introduce a rule that makes one type flat out better than the rest. That would be silly.

The force selection process is very open to allow you to pick what you like from the models you have, but the flip side of this is that the balance must be pretty good. If one type is better all round then that’s all anyone will use. We’re aiming here for a selection of differently armed troopers, each of which has their own niche. Whilst you may have a favourite, they should all have a situation when they are the best at what needs to be done.


After I posted this there were several rather disappointed comments, so I went back to have one final look. Now there are several ways this could be done, but I really didn’t want to stick in a completely new mechanic that had nothing to do with the rest of the way the game worked. Then I had a new idea and this is what I’ve gone with.

When someone uses Blaze Away to attack they may cause damage to their target. Work out the attack as before with the addition of a triples result that drops the target 3 steps of Aggression. If the target’s Aggression is reduced to Suppressed and it still has steps left to drop then it takes those additional steps in potential damage instead.

For example, a Pinned target that is doubled would lose 2 steps of Aggression. One takes it to Suppressed and the other becomes potential damage. If it had been tripled it would have taken 2 points of potential damage.

This fits the damage process into the existing drop in Aggression and allows AP cards to be used with Blaze Away. It also gives you more reason to stack supports onto a single BA attack. All in all I think it works very smoothly to introduce the possibility of damage without making it overpowering or requiring radical changes in mechanics.

So I’m quite pleased. Hope you like it too.

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38 Responses to Blaze Away Damage In Deadzone

  1. Teemu Hemminki says:

    Well, at least I know that I do. Actually I think that this is quite perfect way of making it. It is simple, doesn’t break existing game system and supports combined effort between units.

  2. David Kenny says:

    Yeah I can see why you’d be pleased that works quite well, and fits in narratively with how blazing away works. The initial barrage can cause damage as targets are too slow getting to cover, subsequent salvoes cause damage as it chips away at the precious cover enemies are sheltering behind. Genius.

  3. so cool how the creative process works… good on ya, Jake! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Luke says:

    Just to make sure I understand, this extra damage can only be applied during the attack that reduces the model to suppressed?

    • David Kenny says:

      If they can’t go any further down the supression levels, and there are ‘left over’ successes on the BA roll, yes, these become potential points of damage.

    • Luke says:

      Just re-read this and realized I completely misinterpreted it. The model takes potential damage equal to the extra drops in aggression not number of successes. This seems much more balanced then how I read it the first time haha. As I understand it the maximum amount of potential damage you can cause is 3 and that is from tripling an already suppressed model, correct?

  5. BlasterCA says:

    I still hate calling it Blaze Away! Blaze Away is firing wildly in an attempt at doing more damage than is usually normal. No one Blazes Away to suppress some one!

    • yeah, maybe calling it suppressing fire or covering fire (like in Saving Private Ryan).
      “No one Blazes Away to suppress some one!” – true that. Usually Blazing away means suppressing your own brain activity (wid de ‘erb!) ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • Quirkworthy says:

        We had this whole debate before and the poll ended up with slightly more people wanting something else, but that group was very divided on what. In the end the pro-BA vote was actually the largest single bloc.

        We all know what it means in a DZ context though, which is the important thing. I think there are more important thing to worry about. Like when I can get some Martians. Did I mention that I really like the Martian models?


        • BlasterCA says:

          I realize. Hence saying ‘I still hate it”. Gonna be a hard sell in my area. One of those little things that irks a lot of people & gives a *That’s just stupid* vibe to the game. I still don’t see why it’s not simply Suppression Fire. It’s not confusing to use *Suppression Fire* to *Suppress* someone.

          I also don’t get the reasoning that people were *slighty in favor of renaming it but couldn’t decide on what to rename it so it didn’t get renamed at all*. If the vote was to rename it, why not put up another vote on the alternatives? Maybe even with a *Nevermind, just keep it BA!* option.

          But I get it. Over, Done with. Gone. Every game has its little details that make ya wonder. This will always be one of mine with regards to Dz.

          Bottomline for me & my group is that Blazing Away does not equal suppressing someone. So it’s always gonna be confusing for us. Much more confusing thanhaving two similarly named rules in Suppression Fire & Suppressed. But you can’t please all the people, all of the time! (Even if the vote was in favor of renaming it! :-))

    • David Kenny says:

      I have never understood this, Blazing Away implies firing on full, emptying a clip, throwing everything you have at something.
      You don’t get accuracy with that kind of fire, you use to saturate an area, thereby driving enemies to seek cover or keep their heads down so other elements can advance on them.

      Firing wildly in an attempt to do more damage than normal isn’t going to work on your own, unless you’ve a giant gun and then it’s the same difference. What’s more, anyone I’ve asked reckons it’s a stupid thing to do in any instance- unless you’ve a giant gun designed to fire wildly ๐Ÿ˜›
      I asked a mate of mine in the defence forces and he had no problem understanding the concept or the BA term

      • guest says:

        I don’t understand the hate on Blaze Away term. Firing wildly to force people to take cover. Blaze Away sounds entirely appropriate.

        Now as to why he didn’t label Aim as Turkey Shoot, well, that’s another discussion.

        • David Kenny says:

          Turkey shoot might feature in Mrs Attacks if we’re lucky! ๐Ÿ˜€

        • BlasterCA says:

          I hate it cause it denotes something opposite to suppression fire. It denotes an overkill type of firing, wildly firing at one or more targets to do maximum, even overkill amounts of damage. Blazing Away is not tactical firing. It firing to injure, maim & kill one or more targets by firing ’til the ammo runs out or all targets are dead.

          It’s an angry or desperate action. Hicks was blazing away at the xenos before he was dragged down by them. Rambo blazed away every other scene & it was never just for effect, for pinning people or making them duck. It was to kill, Kill, KILL! It is not a tactical action like suppression fire is. The only time someone blazes away or effect is as a diversion.

          Hell, just about every time you see someone fire to pin an enemy in the movis or on tv, it’s with short, quick aimed bursts. That Is NOT Blazing Away!

          When the name of a rule denotes something entirely different than the rules it represents, that is far more confusing than using *Suppression Fire* to *Suppress* someone. & if for some unknown reason Suppression Fire/Suppressed is too confusing, change Suppressed to Pinned. Oh wait, can’t have that. Wouldn’t want to confuse it with 40k’s Pinning now would we…

          Suppression to Repress someone woulda weorked too.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          @BlasterCA – you’re talking about Hollywood. I’ve talked to quite a few real world military personnel about the game including several who have seen real combat, and not one has had a problem with the concept. Now I’m sure that won’t apply to everyone, but it has been a clear trend so far, and that’s good enough for me.

          There is also a dialectal bias going on here. Like many terms it means something slightly different in different times and places, but it’s obviously impractical to change the word to match each preference.

          Also, I’ve had a great deal of experience in showing new games to people, and know that the same term for multiple meanings is generally less clear rather than more. Again, not in 100% of cases, but there is a definite trend.

  6. Jonatan Reino (asdepicas) says:

    really liking this rule! as always Jake you find the way to make the game better.
    Still, I would add some kind of rule for units that for some reason cant have their aggresion lowered (could it be for a special rule or a card being played) that they are considered to be already supressed to see if they are injuried, standing for the fact that they are not trying to take cover so they are more easily injuried
    (hope that its clear what I mean… not sure if my english is good enough)

  7. Philip D'Hollander says:

    Thanks for sharing the process and the outcome. I’m very pleased and am very much in favor of preventing/avoiding that one type of attack nulls/overshadows all others.

    In D&D (Pathfinder) anology: it’s why every single barbarian build takes the superstitious rage power, because it’s a no brainer compared to any other option ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Michael Kelley says:

    Question for the rule. If it is “potential damage”, does that mean you must bypass armor. If so, does the weapon’s AP stat come into effect?
    And as for the name, yes, perhaps the largest bloc wanted to keep “blazing away”, but I suspect that if you did a run-off vote between blazing away and the other single largest vote getter, blazing would go bye bye.

  9. Chris Pearse says:

    This is an elegant solution to the damage with Blaze away, which i am in favour of, but i still have a problem with the damage being the result of the original attack roll. The reasons are:- the target is more likely to be damaged if they are in cover,( i appreciated your logic with more likely to pin/suppress if cover available,) but not damage. Also the target is now more likely to be damaged the more he is hunkering down,( further down the aggression scale.)
    I am not saying either of these breaks your new rule, but they do feel a little strange.
    A partial fix could be to reduce the potential damage by 1 if the target is in cover. Actually this could fix both problems as hunkering down is less effective in a cube with no cover.
    Still love the game and looking forward to the release,( latest Mantic newsletter says November, is that right!)

  10. I like both the name blaze away and this new potential damage!
    It has some analogies in tournament paintball which I used to play. Some of the team essentially had the job of firing almost constantly with the intention of keeping the opposing team behind their barricades whilst your team moved up the field. Of course there was always a chance they would pop out to take a shot and get a paintball in the face.

  11. Psychochink says:

    Actually, Chris just made a really good point…doesn’t make logical sense. I do think the potential for damage should be there, but…

  12. Kyle Hotchkiss says:

    I love the new blaze away rules, little worried about being in cover making it easier to wound. Sorry if this has been mentioned before, have you thought about giving armor bonus for cover cubes? It would counter act receiving damage in cover, but might be a little too useful as to slow the game down. As a soldier, I don’t want to take anything to touch my armor. Cover is absolutely essential for survival in any firefight, and it definitely will stop bullets.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      What I’ve done is add as +1 if Pinned or Suppressed modifier to the Survive roll. That negates the cover penalty if the target is making particular use of it.

      This is a way of dealing with that issue without adding an extra unique step into the calculation. Whilst there may be instances where you could argue that other more complex rules would be more realistic, I think the overall effect of this comes to the right place.

  13. Should this stack with It Burns! for those armed with flamethrowers?

    • Quirkworthy says:

      It Burns! sets your target on fire after you have resolved the initial attack. The modifier for the survive roll is for the initial hit which is resolved separately.

      • Just a q on It Burns!
        …My Orx Incinerator flamethrower attacks an Alert Enforcer in Cover, Blaze Away first, getting 3dice Shooting (5+) vs Enforcer’s 2dice Survival (4+).

        1/If the Blaze Away action part of this attack fails, do I still roll for Flames vs Survival after it is resolved? i.e. is the It Burns flames bit independent of the BA bit? Or does Survival win/draw mean the burning part auto-fails?
        2/For the Flames vs Survival opposed dice test, is it
        A/ Same number of dice as the BA for the Flames? At 4+?
        B/ 3dice 4+ for the Flames?
        THEN does the Enforcer roll the same amount of Survival Dice as they did for the Blaze Away, or 3 dice?

        LOSING means the Enforcer takes the difference +1 in Potential damage only for the initial Flames test right?

        LASTLY If the Marauder doubles the Enforcer’s Survival successes, the Enforcer remains on fire, and on his next activation must use a Long Action to try and put himself out, doesn’t take the extra +1 on the potential damage, like he did on the initial flame test, but now takes damage at AP2 as the flames heat up and begin to consume him.

        Right… I think that’s my question over with.

        • mastertugunegb says:

          No reply yet? *sadface* Oh yeah… Noticed also that the thermal rifle is listed as Single Shot… Meaning it can’t Blaze Away, even though it has It Burns! on the same weapon. Easily fixed by changing It Burns! first sentence to BA/Shoot, right?

  14. BlasterCA says:

    @Quickworthy- Yes, I get the dialectical differences. That’s why I said ‘It’s gonna be a hard sell around here’ (my area). Most everyone in my group will be constantly confused that *Blase Away* is used to *Suppress* a model. Not only that, it will become a joke in no time.

    As for military personnel, I have several relatives & friends who served &/or are veterans. Everyone of them would never associate *Blaze Away* with shooting to pin someone in place. It’s definitely as Hollywood term as you say. But even my military buddies laughed & wondered at *Blaze Away* as a term for a suppressive fire action.

    As to multiple terms, I have no idea how *Suppression Fire* leading to a model being *Suppressed* would be confusing. 40K players aren’t the brightest bunch but they have no problem with weapons that cause *Pinning* leading to the squad being *Pinned*. It’s rather intuitive, in fact. A weapon that *Stuns* would lead to the model being *Stunned*. *Knock Back leads to *Knocked Back* Etc, ad infinitum.. I just don’t see how a similarly termed action & the results of said action could be confusing.

    That’s all I’m saying. I know it’s done. The rule is set. Minds are made up. Just letting you know the other side of it all, ex post facto. Plus the what the results of the rule, around here at least, will be. (& the results will not be favorable to the game, how it’s perceived & all that. :-))

    I do love the damage from the action rules, btw!

  15. Rhift says:

    Now that Blaze away can cause damage will you be adding AP values to some of the blaze away weapons? This would make sense and would help account for weapon attributes (e.g., power) that is not accounted for by the weight of fire and firestorm attributes. For example, there is a big difference between a rifle and a heavy machine in both rate of fire (accounted for by weight of fire) and power.

  16. spoiler says:

    Great read on BA. One things I am not clear on If they canโ€™t go any further down the suppression levels, then posable kills can happen. Do you apply the AP value of the unit too? If there is two hits left over after the suppression, does the unit AP absorbs the rest and you now only have a suppressed unit?

    • If my Enforcer blazes away against an already suppressed enemy model (say, an unharmed Commando) and triples then the Commando will take 3 more aggression reductions, but cos he is already Suppressed, all three of these become potential damage. The Commando still has 1 point of Armour, so it takes only two potential damage, injuring on the first, then killing on the second.

      Had the roles been reversed, the Commando blazing away against a suppressed, undamaged Enforcer, the Enforcer would absorb two of the potential damage with his armour, then only take an injury.

      Don’t even waste your actions against Striders and Stuntbots. Probably rampaging Stage 2As either. Just Shoot them or run for it.

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