Deadzone Campaigns Again

A couple of tweaks in this section. Firstly, the strike force goes up to 140 points rather than 100. This gives a great deal more soak to the force and more choice to the player. Coupled with a change in the casualties (below) this will greatly reduce the likelihood of having to get green recruits from High Command to fill the ranks.

I’ve looked at the costs for improving models and they are already on the low side compared to the amount charged to models in their initial form. As the synergy of the extra stats and abilities is already an uncosted bonus for veteran models, I don’t feel that I can reduce these costs any further and pretend to stay balanced. As I said the other day, worth looking at again, but on closer inspection not a good idea to change it.

I have made some slight changes to the way casualties are dealt with that makes it a bit simpler and also removes some of the absenteeism. The easiest way to explain is to show you the whole section:


Resolve Casualties

Models that were killed during the battle are removed from the roster unless you bought a resurrect model upgrade for them. You need to buy one such upgrade per model and may choose to resurrect some and not others. If you want to resurrect a model you must do so immediately after the battle in which they were killed. If you cannot afford to pay at that time they are removed from the roster permanently.

Models that are resurrected must roll one dice on the complications table below and apply that result.

Complications Table

Dice roll Result


Bleeder: Despite every effort, the model cannot be saved and dies permanently on the operating table. Remove the model from your roster and bury them with full military honours.


Brain damage: -1 Command value. The model’s cost is reduced by 1 point.


Impaired reflexes: -1 Survive. The model’s cost is reduced by 1 point.


Blurred vision: -1 Shoot. The model’s cost is reduced by 1 point.


Muscle wasting: -1 Fight. The model’s cost is reduced by 1 point.


Smooth operation: No complications. The model returns to active duty immediately.


Surgical genius: the model is not only returned to active duty immediately, but they also retain any experience earned in this battle.

Injured models will recover on their own given the normal medical attention available. However, this will take some time and they will be absent for a single battle. If you do not buy emergency medical care for a model then mark them as absent for the next battle. You need to buy one such upgrade per model and may choose to treat some and not others.

Models that receive emergency medical aid are not marked absent and may fight in the next battle.

Reductions in Shoot, Fight and Survive game values make the number rise by 1. So, a 3+ becomes a 4+, a 4+ becomes a 5+, and so on. If the model already has a game value of 7+ and is reduced further then they fall into a coma and cannot be revived. Treat this as a roll of a 1 instead

Reductions in Command value move down the hierarchy listed on page XXXX. If the model has a 1/1 command and is reduced further then they fall into a coma and cannot be revived. Treat this as a roll of a 1 instead.


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46 Responses to Deadzone Campaigns Again

  1. Jack Trowell says:

    Thank you Jake, with this and the new BA rules, You have removed what were from my point of view the main flaws in the base rules :

    – Blaze Away now has a chance to wound in extreme situations, without competing directly with the shot action.
    – buying the emergency medical aid for injured models no longer add a roll to the complication table

    And as a bonus the complication table now has more chance of a full recovery.

  2. jonatan reino (asdepicas) says:

    I’m still not comfortable with the fact that for balancing the game the player with more xps is limited instead of guving some kind of bonus to the player with less xps. If i get to level up my models i will be eagering to use them in battle all at a time but with this rules i wont be allowed to do it. If i play for example a 10 man squad of enforcers. If one of them levels up i wont be able to play again with the exact 10 man squad because now their cost is over 70 points… This it isnt only frustrating but ilogical… I cant imagine high commander telling to his soldiers “hey! Now that you have already completed a mission and become more experienced soldiers i’m going to reduce the squad members to nine and mike will wait in the base till you come back”

    • jonatan reino (asdepicas) says:

      What i mean is that right now i rather prefer my models not to levelup and be able to play with one or two more

      • Caballero says:

        As far as I understand the rules, you are not forced to spend the experience points in a roll in the advance table if you don’t want to.

        Nevertheless, I love this system, I feel it’s quite balanced, if you want to field some ubersoldiers you have to pay for them. It seems logical to me.

        • Jonatan Reino (asdepicas) says:

          sure, but i still dont like the idea of fielding less models just because they got more experiece… i prefer that the forces maintain their size (or even get bigger) as the campaign advances.
          I know someone is going to tell me that i can increase the points used to pick forces as the capaigns advances… well… yes, i could, but… why would I buy a game that needs house rules to work well? as the game is still being designed maybe a rule that increases the points as the capaign advances should/could be implemented

      • Quirkworthy says:

        @jonatan – I understand your view, I just don’t agree with you.

        Throughout history and in any fictional world I am aware of, elite and veteran units are always used in smaller groups. That is what happens in Deadzone.

        • Jonatan Reino (asdepicas) says:

          yes, I agree with that, thats why enforcers use less miniatures than rebels. Is my (in reality our, as my play group has the same feeling) gamer side wich tells me that I want to use more and more miniatures each time, not reduce the number of minis as the campaign advances…

    • jonatan reino (asdepicas) says:

      A solution could be that players get extra points to buy their force depending on the oposing players reputation or xps instead of increasing the models cost

      • Jack Trowell says:

        This would probably be harder to implement or to balance I think.

        It would probably be easier to simply decide at the stard of the campaing that missions will slightly increase in size over time, so that for exemple you start with 70 points for the first X misisons, then go to 75 or 80 for the X next, and so on. This way the experienced player could field a veteran team of unchanged size, the new player (or the one with many death resulting in a rooky team) could field a larger force, and the one with truly elite ultra-veteran at max level would have to chose if he really wants to field all his veteran for a very small but ultra-elite force or mix them with less experienced models depending on the mission.

      • Craig says:

        Just a thought – but are we (as gamers) likely to hit 70 points exactly? If you just take 10 enforccers – no specialists, leaders etc, then yes, but add one or two of these in and you are probably going to be fielding 8 or 9 models and have a few points left over. Factor this in and you could have 3-4 games before you have to rejig your force. (I stress could – you may level up much faster by being REALLY good!)

        • Quirkworthy says:

          Remember that you can (and probably will want to) buy items as well and these are good for hitting exact points values.

          Also, and this is important, there is a skill here. If you raise the points cap whenever it gets to be even slightly challenging to build the force you want in 70 then you take away the skill. An army selection that allows you to take everything you want is a dull and pointless one. The discipline of selecting a force to a points cap is a skill in itself and should be encouraged, not dumbed down.

          There are also issues of both balance and density of models. Increasing the density of models (by upping the points in a strike team) changes the balance in the way the game works and makes some forces disproportionately powerful. Doubling the points on the same space doesn’t just give you more models to use, it changes the values of the different models because of the way they interact.

        • Chris says:

          On a slightly different note any details on these “items” to complete the set of campaign rules to give them a go.

    • Teemu Hemminki says:

      Your last comment made me understand what is the problem (that you want to have more and more models on the field as campaign progresses). I think that Jack Trowell’s solution would fit quite nicely to Deadzones campaign system and hopefully it will get mentioned in rulebook (at least as a suggestion for campaign manager).

      Deadzone will have rules for bigger battles anyway (multimat games for example) and it is hard to see why they would not be covered or mentioned in campaign rules.

      • Jonatan Reino (asdepicas) says:

        I´m sure mantic will love a game that encourages players to buy more miniatures the more they play.
        And yes, we want our games to grow as the campaign advances, fielding less models just helps people to lose the interest in the campaign. and that is one of the biggest problems campaigns usually have,
        @jack trowell your solution could work, but even that way the first time a model levels up you will have to reduce the size of your force. I dont think what i was suggesting would be so difficult to implement… seems to work well for games such as blood bowl…

        • Quirkworthy says:

          But it doesn’t work well for BB. It’s the most perennially broken part of the game and this is true for every game that uses this model. Quite apart from my other experience, I know this from running BB, Mordheim and Necromunda for GW and dealing with all the rules issues, customer comments, etc that came in for them. For every complaint about how movement or shooting worked you would have a hundred issues with the league/campaign system. handicap process and the points balances.

          That system is inherently flawed.

  3. Psychochink says:

    Just an idea – in order to represent the general ‘survivability’ of veterans (i.e. most casualties in battle normally happen to newbies) how about allowing models with veteran dice, who have not used them during the battle, to use them for a reroll on the complications table?

    I would argue that this is by no means unbalanced because it does require a sacrifice on the part of the player, with that sacrifice not meaning anything unless a very specific set of conditions takes place:
    – they choose to forego the use of that veteran’s dice during the battle;
    – the model in question has to have been killed, and;
    – they want to take a gamble that they will prefer the reroll to the initial roll.

    Similarly, an unused veteran’s dice might allow an injured model to return to the next battle, without the need for emergency medical care (although that one might be considered unbalanced).

  4. Kyle Hotchkiss says:

    I can see both sides of the argument, and the heart of the matter is balance. I loved necromunda, but I hated how unbalanced things got. The oscillation/bungee cord effect that the balancing mechanic created was a real downer in that system (at least in my circles.) Although it’s hard to come by a system that can let you bring all your cool veteran bad asses to bare, but still be fair to your opponent who lost all his cool guys. Could we give the player with the lowest total rep/vp/kudos (i would say the attacker, but missions are a little different) handicap by choosing the point level their games will be played at (incements of ten between 60 and 100?) This might give a little more variety in games. You might consider that people playing bigger games will gain too much exp. but I don’t think this drawbacks should be too horrible because, afterall, they will cost more. And consider the fact that the more soldiers you bring into the field , the more casualties you could have.
    On another note, does anyone else feel like you should know the mission before you choose your squad load out? (I’ll feel silly if that’s already the case) it seems in a campaign you would send your engineers to build bridges and your infantry to fight battles, not vice versa. Although I understand the “target of opportunity” environment/concept that deadzones are famous for.

    • Psychochink says:

      As far as I read the campaign rules, you do choose your squad after the mission is drawn.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      You choose your models after the mission is known in campaigns, but the other way round in one-off battles. This is really just a matter of practicality as pick up battles are usually played with pre-designed forces. This is explained in the rules (campaign section I think).

      Variable size battles on a single size board changes the balance of power between the factions and is less good an idea in practice than theory. I like the idea on paper, but in reality I’d always want an Enforcer side as they’d get a nice, free, unpointed benefit from that.

  5. Did Tactician and Strategist get defined?

    • Craig says:

      I have looked around here and cannot find anything that defines these two rules. The lists I have found show these as WIP, so until Jake has time to post the rules, we’ll just have to carry on as is.

      • Kyle Hotchkiss says:

        I would think it would be something that effects the card mechanic, such as tactician allowing one redraw, and strategist allowing two. This is only speculation, and has no basis in reality.

        • Kyle Hotchkiss says:

          What I’m curious about is the defender shield. I bought a bunch of those because they look awesome. I assume +1 to survival from forward arc. Again, just speculation.

  6. Kristian says:

    Can I check I’ve understood how the two different approaches are designed/perceived?

    DZ: Total experience/efficiency of the force brought to the field is capped and predictable. Roster/quality of available troops may grow or shrink, but the number of ‘point’ on the field stays the same. Player skill determines whether the most efficient force is put on the field.

    BB: Total experience/efficiency of the team used for play is not predictable. Roster/quality of available players may grow or shrink, and that directly affects what you see on the field. Coach skill not relevant once you grow big enough.

    Is this correct?

  7. mastertugunegb says:

    Yeah, could see the Defender Shield going +1 (or even +2) Survival. Interested to see what the claws will be like, same with the mace thingies. Really want to see how the Forge Fathers, Asterians, Veer-myn and Zees shape up. Not sure if a straight Judwan faction would work, unless they had some kind of non-lethal attack powers or something. Robots should be available for non-Plague and probably non-Veer-myn. I could see the Rebs, Corp and Orx making use of battle ready robots. We already know the Asterians have their own (superior?) bots. Don’t know enough about Zees. They seem to strike me as a sort of Planet of the Apes faction. Or are they another Corporation cock-up? ‘Whoops! Our cloned from ape dna creations are trying to kill us. Who knew?’

    • Craig says:

      Well, as yet, no Veer-myn at all. Zee and Judwan are part of the rebel faction, and have their own stat cards already: Judwan are non-combatant medics and probably would not get their own faction and Zee look like cannon fodder!

  8. Michael Kelley says:

    Here’s a question I forgot to ask from the last campaign rule preview.
    If a character levels up one of their stats, their WORST stat gets leveled, correct? And you choose if two are tied?
    If I have that right, doesn’t that mean that the first stat upgrade will be a waste for melee only units, since their shoot skill will be raised first?

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Possibly. It depends a great deal on the model and varies a lot.

      • Michael Kelley says:

        I am thinking specifically of the stronger plague models. They would always get a wasted shoot upgrade first, right? It would make me hope to roll a new ability instead.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          Just so. It’s one of the ways of controlling the power of the monoculture models. Things that specialise in one form of attack are often the first things to become over-powerful in campaigns. More so if they are allowed to spend all their xp on half the items. This rule avoids that problem.

      • Michael Kelley says:

        Whoops, just realized they have a dash instead of a stat. Problem solved!

  9. James 'Maz' Marsden says:

    Going on what will be in the Marauder & Rebs starter set they will come out at just over 90 points, but thats with everything and obviously we wont have clearence for some of it straight away.

    Are there upgrades and things we can buy on top of the models to make up the 140pt force? I’m thinking grenades, armour upgrades, etc.

    Also any chance of the updated skills list?

    • Quirkworthy says:

      As I understand the starter set (by reading the KS) you can get 93 points of models out of it by spending your initial 3 clearances on the Commander, a Grogan and the Teraton. That leaves some room to pick different things and still have over 70 points available for your initial strike team. Plus you may have more multiples of other allowed troops. Plus you can always take Ammo counters 🙂

      I’m saying “as I understand” because I don’t have a final laid out copy of the rules and they were jigged about a bit from my original manuscript. I don’t want to tell you something based on what I’ve got and have it turn out otherwise.

      • James 'Maz' Marsden says:

        Thanks for that Jake,

        Can’t wait to get the rulebook so i can have a play around at creating a force.

        Oddly my first thought was “ooh if i use my three clearences on a teraton, the commander, and a grogan…”

        Thanks again for the swift reply

  10. Teemu Hemminki says:

    I tried to look out if this has been addressed before but didn’t find any talk about it.
    So, in our campaign test plays, spending points to resurrect models tends to leave no points for additional purchases.
    For example, you get a 14 reputation points to spend after major victory, but got 3 models killed so I choose to use 9 points to get a resurrection dice for them, which leaves only 5 points to be spent on other models. On next game I get 3 models killed again and gain only 4 victory points, so after resurrections, my unspent reputation is only 1.
    Is the intention of rules to make player “let go” of experienced (but maybe somewhat crippled) models in favor of buying new ones? I can see this being a trend with The Rebs humans, which are so cheap that I might more likely spend my money on buying a new one, than getting a chance of crippling one.
    Do I “break” the game if I decide to house rule that killed models always roll from recovery chart, but get automatic 8 if they pay 3 points in resurrection?

    • Quirkworthy says:

      You don’t break it Teemu, you change it. And, if that suits you better, you should do so.

      The rules are hard for two main reasons. Firstly, I think people should be penalised in some way for getting stomped on. The game has a safety net of free green recruits if you cannot field a minimum army, so it’s never unbalanced and you can always play a fair game. However, you shouldn’t be able to replace everything you lose every time for no effort. You need to feel some pain to encourage you to do better next time!

      Also, I think hard choices are more interesting than easy ones. If you can replace everything and still have loads left to buy whatever you want then you need no brain to make the choice. I think that’s dull. When the decision is between saving one damaged but experienced veteran or replacing them with a shiny new recruit you have to actually think. I always like players to think 🙂

  11. Jack Trowell says:

    Rereading the campaign beta rules whie waiting for the game, I just realised that the veteran dice section make no mention of the dice being restricted to be used only by the corresponding veteran.

    Is it an omission ?
    Or are Veteran dice supposed to work like Blood Bowl rerolls andbe useable by anybody in the team to represent the “help” that the veteran experience give to the strike force ?

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