Deadzone Asterian Deck

DZ_Asterians_Leader_final_x2Here you go.

Asterian Faction deck v1

The chap on the left is the Asterian Commander. He is the only actual flesh and blood Asterian in the Strike Team. The rest of the fighting force is made up of a variety of artificial constructs, most notably Cyphers (see below).

This heavy deployment of robotic helpers means that the fastidious Asterians don’t have to actually get their carefully manicured hands dirty when they deal with the lesser races (everyone else).

Oh, and you may have heard that there are a few sniffles going about. Not plague proportions or anything, but it might be worth taking a little care not to catch anything nasty while they’re exploring the planet…

Asterian Cyphers B net

There are a couple of new abilities to play with too:


The model represents a collective that is made up of billions of tiny flying robots rather than being a single construct. Its use of hive intelligence means that destroying a few thousand of the individual robots makes no difference to its ability to function as a whole.

A Nano-cloud does not interact with other models. This means that it cannot attack or be attacked. It occupies no space in a cube and will not be damaged by falling, or moved by Blast, Knockback or similar effects. To all intents and purposes, within the context of a battle it is indestructible.

A Nano-cloud cannot pick up items and so will not trigger Booby Traps. Instead it treats objectives and items the same way, secretly looking at the hidden side of any such counters in the same cube. This allows the owner to use the Nano-scout in a recon role.


Shield Generator (x)

This is a larger version of the familiar Energy Shield and works the same way (see page 77 of the main rules). The only difference is the area that it protects. Instead of covering a single model, a Shield Generator provides protection for every model of either side in the same cube.

If a model is protected by more than one Energy Shield/Shield Generator then all apply. Roll each separately and reduce the incoming damage by the total effect.

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53 Responses to Deadzone Asterian Deck

  1. garathon66 says:

    The nano-cloud is a great idea, really fun. Is there any plan to make a rule for Recon N32-19’s drone thingy?

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Not at present. Last time we discussed it we decided that whilst it was great when he was sneaking about on his own, once he joined the rest of the team he’d switch to combat mode and put them away for next time.

  2. Torkel says:

    These are way cooler than I thought they would be! I was gonna pass on them, but now… idk. Conceptually, I’m suddenly super excited for them!

  3. crimsonsun says:

    Wonderful I was hoping this was the route you would be taking with these guys, I posted up in the Mantic Forums about them all being constructs, Made me smile. ๐Ÿ˜€

  4. Retalus says:

    Is it possible that the Rebel’s drones were supposed to have Construct?

  5. Do you have any idea of how you’ll represent the Nano Swarm? Is it going to be a token or an actual model? Also: I always wonder why robots are always carrying weapons? If you were building a robot, wouldn’t you just integrate the weapon into the arms or chest or shoulders like Iron Man or War Machine? Yeh, I know it’s for selling models etc. but it’s one of the things that bugged me in sci-fi movies. Like that gun-toting mech in avatar that was equipped with a giant knife. Cool looking, but one another level really ludicrous. Anyways, I think I will try these out w/my old eldar Wraithguard models as proxies. When can I download a copy of the rulebook btw?

    • Sam Dale says:

      On a human sized chassis, you’ve only got so much internal space for mechanism, power supply and ammo, so unless it’s an energy weapon powered from the unit’s main power supply, there’s only so much stopping power that can be carried internally.

    • Koltoroc says:

      depends, really. humanoid machines have the advantage that they can use any equipment that any normal human could. that means, instead of having a range of various constructs for various purposes, you have 1 mass produced design with a huge variety of equipment.

      Integrated weapons make sense when you go for specialized designs, but then, why should it be humanoid to begin with?

      • True. If they used the robots as an alternate choice instead of sending in troops, then their ability to carry standard weapons would make some sense.

        I think the thing that bothered me about Avatar was that they had to construct a giant gun and a giant knife for a giant robot to hold in his giant hands. ๐Ÿ˜‰

        As for why a robot should be humanoid – I remember an interview with one of the engineers of Honda’s little dancing robot explaining that he made it humanoid because one of the uses they wanted for it was to help the elderly or infirm at home. Thus, it had to operate in an environment designed for people. Which kinda makes sense if you think about it. So maybe the Asterians have the same thing. Standardized weapons and ships that could be manned by Cyphers some of the time….

        • Quirkworthy says:

          I always found that quite a compelling reason in its simplicity. You can also argue that people find them easier to relate to when they’re performing functions you need to think of them as sentient rather than washing machines.

          And it just occurred to me that the Avatar “robots” weren’t – they were piloted exo-skeletons. Does that make a difference? Hmmm…

    • Quirkworthy says:

      The nano swarm hasn’t been sculpted yet. My suggestion was to make a “cloud” that had facets like a gemstone rather than bubbles like a smoke cloud (or a bubble). I did ask for a clear resin version. Unfortunately it’s on a tool with other stuff. Perhaps a special edition ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Humanoid robots that pick up tools like humans is a standard SF trope (Avatar, Star Wars, etc). Personally I think it’s a bit strange – especially the giant combat knives in Avatar. There are arguments in its favour though such as the ones mentioned already, so it’s not entirely foolish.

      If you were a KS backer you should have had emails with links to the download. If not then I suppose it would be on the Mantic store.

  6. Jerka says:

    Nano-cloud is cool. However, an indestructible spotter for 5p that also has scout seems a bit unbalanced. Granted that it is a special unit and serves no other purpose than to actually spot (and I guess to peek at items), it still seems a bit wierd that there is no way to counter it (other than to run out of its LOS). I can accept the fact that it is indestructible, but I think there should be some way of negating its spotter-ability, or EMP the cloud, or whatever. To me, at least, it seems at bit too good to be immune to damage AND interruption.

    (I just realized that the glue grenade or the smoke grenade would sort of do the trick; however, would that be a valid investment when those are a signle use items costing only 3-2p less than the actuall model I’m interrupting costs?)

    • DrDuckman says:

      Perhaps somehow making it vulnerable to It Burns! weapons would help? It would also make sense it the context of flame throwers, wide dispersion energy beams and the like.

    • Luke says:

      It also takes up a specialist slot of which the asterians are going to have very few!

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Unbalanced in what way? It can’t do any harm to the enemy on its own, and even with friends it is only providing a +1 BA to an army that isn’t all that good at this normally. And it can only do that if it can see you in the first place, which it shouldn’t do most of the time with a built up battlefield. Spotter doesn’t stack, so the bonus is only ever +1, and if the Asterian player spends lots on them to cover large areas then they’re not spending them on other things.

      It’s useful, sure, but I don’t see it as unbalancing.

      • Greg Kourik says:

        How does it interact with Control and Capture? Will it prevent either?

      • Jerka says:

        Having had a second look at the team, I guess I reallize that the Asterians are about as poor in fighting as the Enforcers. Since that is the case. I guess their additional BA-capacity is valid.
        Sometimes a lot of F-range weapons can create the illusion that a team is superb in fighting; when in fact, their stats and abilities (or lack of abilities) don’t allow them to be all that successful after all.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          Asterians aren’t generally a melee army. The Knockback allows them to push folk about and clear their own models for their impressive shooting to take things down instead. They also have a large number of +1 Break Off cards to help maintain this separation.

  7. Erion says:

    Is the jetbike ridden by a Cypher? If so, should it also have Construct or is that covered by nature of the fact that it is a vehicle?

    It seems to me that a vehicle piloted by a living creature would still be subject to the effects of changing Aggression levels to some extent, while the Cypher piloting the jetbike would still be a construct with a static Agression level of Alert.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Vehicles always count as constructs, so the rule doesn’t need to be listed separately. Crew can go wonky, but that’s covered by the catastrophic damage. On the whole vehicles aren’t very good at lying down ๐Ÿ˜‰

      And yes, ridden by a Cypher.

  8. Luke says:

    Had a chance to give a good look at the Asterians deck now and have some initial feedback.

    -Love the Cypher stats, they are powerful elite robots that can be wipe out by a lucky shot. It’s a cool risk. I also love the prevalence of shields to help mitigate this risk!

    -I find it a bit odd that there are several instances of steadfast in their card deck, as far as I can tell the only unit that can benefit from that is the leader.

    -Building a list with these guys is hard. With only 1 expensive leader and 2 expensive troops and a ton of specialists, it’s hard to have much variety. I have a feeling this was ton for balance since the asterians have pretty great statlines, but if there is room for some shuffling without making them broken it would be great to have a cheaper leader(cypher prime?) and/or a cheaper troop(drone swarm?).

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Thanks Luke.

      Their deck has no Courage cards, so Steadfast is all you can do to save your leader. And yes, he is the only “real” Asterian so they’re all for him. Of course, you can always use the other half of the card if you prefer, but I’d personally be inclined to keep one in my hand to get the boss out of trouble. Speaking of the boss, it’s intentional that he is the only leader and there is no sergeant. This is the core of their backstory and part of what makes them very different.

      Building a list is a challenge, as it is for many forces. I want it to be a challenge so it takes thought. As the Asterians start with the best commander in the game they tend to have fewer troops. True. They don’t bring chaff to war. If you want a numerically large army then they aren’t the ones for you. This is all part of trying to offer a wide variety of tactical challenges to players. I don’t see any point in churning out 8 shades of the same army – I want them to work differently on the tabletop, and these do.

      • Luke says:

        Thanks for the response and your thoughts. I look forward to try them out in a game! Though I suppose I should get in a few more games with none beta forces first haha.

  9. Hendybadger says:

    The Prime has Overwatch: Shoot but no Shoot stat or ranged weapon.

  10. David Hopknson says:

    Am I correct in thinking that constructs should take damage as if already suppressed when the target of a blaze away action? RAW it seems they are immune to damage which seems a bit counter intuitive (if you don’t hit the deck when a minigun blazes away in your direction you’re going to get hit!). It also seems a little odd as it makes rapid fire weapons almost completely useless against Asterians.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Not feeling joy does not equate (necessarily) to being uncaring about one’s own survival. Constructs may seek to use concealment and cover as much as the next artificial sentient object.

      This does need looking at, and I will get to it. However, it applies more widely than Asterians and I’ve not yet got a version I am happy with. Still WIP.

      • Koltoroc says:

        right now blaze away is useless against constructs, but the way I see the blaze away ability it is exactly as it should be. somehow the problem is not with blaze away or constructs as such, but with rapid fire weapons.

        It is like in a number of movies and stories I read, while you fire randomly into the area of the attacking machine you only hit it very few times doing only superficial damage but then they sneak up at the machine and hit it at closer range with enough shots to actually do enough damage to stop it.

        so, rapid fire weapons should get a way to do direct damage. maybe allow shoot actions if the target is within half range of the weapons

        • Greg Kourik says:

          Or just do away with Rapid Fire. Then the weapon can choose to Blaze Away (and suppress non-constructs) or Shoot (and damage constructs).

        • Quirkworthy says:

          The division between weapons that allow one, other or both firing types is a key part of the way the game works and a major driver for using models to back each other up. No one model can do everything on their own, which is how it should be.

          As I said above, this area does need looking at and I am doing so. However, I am very conscious that I need to avoid breaking a more important consideration by making a over-hasty change here.

      • David Hopkinson says:

        Perhaps an elegant solution would be to change the construct rule (or a new rule like fearless or something) to something like: ‘At the start of this models activation, regardless of supression or pinning, it may choose to set its status to Alert for free. This does not require one of the models actions. This model can never be enraged’

        This way they are immune to staying suppressed/pinned but can still be damaged by good luck in a blaze away roll as normal (Arm 2 should protect them from most). It makes sense that the robot would seek cover when under fire, but upon being told to break cover it would do so without hesitation. Thoughts?

        • Quirkworthy says:

          An intriguing suggestion. Unfortunately it would mean lying down and standing up the model a lot, and this would allow frequent repositioning of it too – an unintended benefit and not really what was intended.

        • Greg Kourik says:

          It seems the intent (correct me if I am wrong…which is often) it that Constructs should be immune to small-arms fire being used in a suppression role. Could we just tack on a new weapon ability that modifies how Blaze Away works against Aggression level immune targets? Or how Construct works against Blaze Away?
          For instance: Squad Support is the new ability and has the exact same text as Rapid Fire. Then add to the end of the Construct ability “,except by weapons with the Squad Support ability.”
          Obviously not all existing Rapid Fire weapons would get this because they are not so beefy (the Kraaw grav-blaster for instace or Enforcer heavy rifle).

        • Quirkworthy says:

          It needs something. When I’ve finished a couple of bigger things I’ll have a proper look. lots of interesting thoughts been thrown up so far. I’m not sure we’re quite there yet though.

  11. DrDuckman says:

    I suspect the simplest solution, rules wise, is to change the Construct rule to include that Blaze Away actions against that model resolve as Shoot actions, including all interactions with cover, Spotter and clear shot. This means that the opponent needs to specify the model as the target, not the square.

    Playtesting will show if the action should still be considered a Blaze Away, thus subject to +1 Blaze Away cards(which seem the obvious choice, to maintain card balance), or just a Shoot action, which means you’d need Shoot +1 cards. I also assume that support will not work in such occasions, since it is now a shoot action. How would Firestorm and weight of fire interact, however?

    The other option is to state, again in the Construct rule, that all successes from Blaze Away actions simply count as potential damage, but Cover grants +1 Survival dice, not minus. This is different, as it does not give bonus dice for clear shots, but it does allow for support, which makes sense in the context of an automatic weapon. Most importantly, it still allows the opponent to Blaze Away the entire square, just like before. That may be too powerful however, since there are a lot more Firestorm models than Sniper ones. Perhaps you can get a good compromise via playesting. i.e perhaps Constructs count as get an 1 extra survival dice or possibly even armor against such attacks, since you are spraying and praying instead of aiming for weak spots.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Your first solution doesn’t sound very simple to me as it breaks pretty much every other rule it touches.

      The second suggestion sounds cleaner, though I’m still not sure it works. I think it makes BA better than Shooting against some combinations, which is wrong. Like you say, it needs some tinkering and playtesting.

      This is the challenge: getting it to do something without being overpowering, overly complex, or causing exceptions to half a dozen other areas of the rules.

      Tricky, eh?

      • Torkel says:

        “I think it makes BA better than Shooting against some combinations, which is wrong.”

        Does it have to be wrong? =/
        I’m not sure if you’re saying it’s wrong for reasons of balance, or reasons of concept. But I’m thinking that, conceptually, it may not necessarily be wrong to let Blaze Away be effective at hurting machines that do not take cover (or just aren’t as good at it.) Maybe it’s acceptable for the game that weight of fire could be more effective than precision given the right circumstances.

  12. steve r garcia says:

    heres an idea for construct vrs blaze away.
    is it possible to leave all the rules as is but with a tweak.
    “constructs are immune to the effects of Pinned and supressed.”
    they would still slide up and down the scale of Aggression but are immune to its effects.
    this allows blaze away to damage constructs without changeing how blaze away works.

    example: you’ll surpress the construct (but its immune to its effect) and every addtional success
    is a point of damage

  13. steve r garcia says:

    It is a simiple solution and changes very little of the rules as they are.
    you might have a win here.

  14. Rene says:

    Can anybody telle me how Big are the Basements for each Figure ??

  15. Hakon says:

    How about this:
    Constructs don’t loose aggression, instead they take damage as follows….
    shooter draws/wins: no effect.
    shooter doubles: 1 damage.
    shooter triples: 2 damage.
    shooter quadruples: 3 damage.

    how this plays out: in order to damage a cypher you need to quadruple the result to overcome the armour or triple with an ap1 weapon to kill instantly.
    you could make it the damage occurs as win 1 damage, double 2 damage, triple 3 damage, but you would find with the 5+ survive, and the vulnerable they will die like flies to focus fire.
    making it need x4 result normally means opposition players may make use of assisting blaze away more, and incorporating cards like headshot.

    could this streamline system work?

  16. Hakon says:

    also a better way to write the above rule into the current rule set is to simply change the entry ” blaze away damage” 3rd paragraph to read as follows:

    Work out the effects of Aggression loss on the target. Once the targets aggression can not be reduced further, either by becoming suppressed or by being immune to aggression reduction, the left over aggression losses translate into damage.

    Explanation: not only does this allow constructs to die to blaze away actions, it also represents that being fearless can also be silly as you don’t duck out of the way of fire.

    This does make Asterians weak, but the only way to change it as mentioned above would be to have a blaze away quadruple result with -4 aggression, and then give constructs an extra rule saying they ignore the first aggression loss on blaze aways, meaning only quadruples could kill them or as mentioned in the above post, trips with an ap 1 weapon.

  17. Hakon says:

    just thought another way to make asterians a little more survivable is to add the rule to constructs stating that against blaze away, constructs always count as having one extra survival roll success.
    this would negate the need to make a quadruple result. and means the only tweaks to the game being made are:

    1. in blaze away attacks, if aggression can’t be lowered it translates to damage.
    2. constructs count as having 1 extra success on survival rolls against blaze away.

    i hope simplifying it like that will work with how you want the game to operate. ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. Pikaraph says:

    For me a Construct under Blaze away fire is like the Terminator T-800 walking through bullets storm, taking some shots but walking relentlessly 8)
    They don’t know fear, they want to kill you…

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