DZ Asterians, Take 2 (or 3)

Thanks for all the comments on the v1 of the file. Here is the v3 (don’t ask).

Asterian Faction deck v3

I’ve gone through this with Stew at Mantic and they’re happy that this fits the models. I’ve also rechecked the costs and corrected a slight mistake I’d made the first time. Finally, most of the Cyphers have acquired a new trick:


Toxic Smokescreen

The model can generate clouds of poisonous smoke to hide itself.

Once during a battle, at the start of any one of its Turns, the model may fill its cube with Toxic smoke. The effect is identical to a smoke grenade going off in the model’s cube with the added bonus of the smoke being Toxic. As long as a model remains in the smoke-filled cube it is treated as having the Vulnerable ability. Models that are immune to Toxic are immune to the Toxic effects of a Toxic Smokescreen. Adjacent cubes are not affected by this Toxic effect.

Placing a Toxic Smokescreen is not an action and may be done even if there are enemy models in the same cube.

If the model moves away, the Toxic Smokescreen remains in the cube it was deployed in. It disperses in the same way as a smoke grenade.




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28 Responses to DZ Asterians, Take 2 (or 3)

  1. Pikaraph says:

    I love this new faction as it works really differently from others.

    I tought about one thing : as we can see in some SF series, why wouldn’t the nano cloud be able to materialize machines or other things ? And an ability to burn an enemy model (like the nano machines are able to do in Revolution series).
    I’d like to see those little machine more proeminent in the fight !

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Whilst these ones are the Recon variety, I don’t think we’ve seen the last of nasty Asterian tricks. Don’t let the peaceful nature of these nanites fool you. They have friends and they don’t play so nice 😉

  2. Luke says:

    This seem a bit more relevant now:

    A smoke grenade blocks LOS for the cube it’s in. Does this also prevent models in the cube from shooting out?

  3. Jon Finn says:

    No Toxic Smokescreen on the Black Talon? It’s gone up two points like the others.

  4. Torkel says:

    I’m sold on this deck! For some reason I find it’s choices and sacrifices very intriguing. Coolest deck so far… somehow! (I’m confused myself.) Asterians will definitely get picked up!
    The commander is iconic and cool, but my god he starves his strike team! (But I do think he will be key to success… Dat Command value!)

    The Toxic Smokescreen seems… a little random. Jake, I’m interested to hear why you went for that ability on top, and how/why you came to think of the ability in the first place.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      They were missing something. It’s one of those niggles I’ve mentioned. Sometimes I just have a feeling something needs adding, and the niggle doesn’t go away till I’ve worked out what it was.

      I think it fits very well for a couple of reasons. Firstly it’s thematically nice. Smokescreens are a common sort of last ditch protection for AFVs and I’m just carrying that across. Making them poisonous seemed to fit the unpleasant side of the Asterian character well. Constructs are immune to Toxic so using that gives them a nice edge on the squishy races (just have to keep the boss out of the way).

      In game terms it also gives them a simple, yet unique point of difference. Other people can buy smoke grenades, of course, but these come fitted and can be deployed in a Fight. This gives them some new tactics and a different side to their character, which is fun in a new army.

      • Torkel says:

        Cool. They really are elite, effective combat units! I like that their smokescreen is multi-purpose.
        Being so few in number and so strong individually, I intuitively picture them as rather large. The model for Praetorian in Dreadball looks to be a bit taller than humans (and even enforcers?), which should be fitting 🙂

  5. Piperi says:

    I don’t see what makes the charge glove Cyphers cost more than their flux rifle brothers. Sure they have energy shields, but they have the exact same stats. That just doesn’t seem with it to me.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      It’s a combination of the cost of the charge gloves and energy shield, mostly the latter. Stacking this on top of 2 armour is very tasty.

      • Piperi says:

        I just feel the Flux Rifle is far better than a Charge Glove. I still don’t comprehend how Knockback is a good ability. Especially when you would want your opponent to stay in the same cube as you and face Toxic.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          better or worse depends on how you use them. Flux rifles are easy to understand and use whereas charge gloves require more planning. Also, it depends on how you view the army as a whole. I tend to think of the Asterians as not really wanting to fight much. They’d rather shoot you, and the charge gloves allow them to control enemy positions, which is great for pushing them into fire lanes and out of cover. Also, if you have tall buildings, pushing them off heights and let gravity do your killing.

          Don’t forget that you can push people back into a smokescreen as easily as you can push them out of one. And you can do that repeatedly if they keep trying to escape because they can linger for a few turns.

  6. Peter B says:

    Hmm… at 70 points for a Strike Team and 11-15 points per model, Asterians are going to be very fragile – 5 models if they want a leader. That’s probably ok for matching up against Enforcers but they’ll be in real danger of getting buried by anyone else.

    • Crescent says:

      Very much agree. The asterian strike team in a standard match will be way small using this deck, especially since their only leader is so expensive and not a very powerful combatant either.

      I would personally like to see a cheaper troop option as five models (leader and 4 cyphers for example) seems like a bit too few.

  7. Greg Hendry says:

    Loving the Asterian cards and feel, can’t wait to get some plasma vortex drones into Deadzone! I’m also dreading the approach of the forge fathers…

  8. One thing that concerns me about the Toxic Smokescreen is that it’s state as being used or not is another marker that needs to be moved around with the troops. Should people make proxy cards and mark aggression,items and activation off the map or move them around with the models? In my demo games with the cramped terrain I find just marking and removing activation counters constantly can lead to model bumps. Best practice tips would be appreciated.

    • Tom says:

      Personally like the idea of each member of a strike force having a card, so everything is placed off the board, but for ease of reference for the opponent, the counters next to the figures works better…. Hmmm… I don’t care about the opponent, I’m going to use counters off the board on a card per miniature!

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Number or otherwise ID the individual models and mark tick it off when they use it on a Strike Team roster.

      Also, you’ll probably find that the model standing in or next to the smokescreen is the one that used it 😉

  9. Jesse De Vaan says:

    Are you still open to advise?
    If so I think that the mission cards for these guys are far too hard because a Strike Force (with Leader, Special and Items) is 4 mini’s, I can’t capture let alone control objectives effectively with that, nor can I infiltrate, the only thing I see myself (sometimes) winning is ‘In Our Way’ if fighting Enforcers/Monster-heavy-plague or ‘Sacrifice’ if fighting anything else.

  10. mastertugunegb says:

    So… the Nanite Drone Swarm has been outed in favor of a Cypher with Force Rifle… Interested to see what this Force Rifle does… some sort of Sorak Blaster style gun perhaps?

  11. scarletsquig says:

    Been giving this list a try… the specialist/rare section is really nicely done and quite interesting, lots of good picks there (I can see a potential use for all of them) but balanced by the fact that expensive troops means you won’t get to field anywhere near as many as you’d like, You’ll get 2 specialists only in 70 point games (3 max, but one of them has to be a cheap jetbike) so you really have to choose wisely.

    The mission deck is pretty solid… have to make some effort to kill specialists and leaders and ignore everything else.

    Basic 11 point Cypher with flux rifle feels perfectly balanced. Definitely killable, and the weapon is nice with AP 1, however the shorter range means you’ll have to move a little or be outshot by a different faction playing the shooting game. Construct and vulnerable is a combination that makes you hug cover cubes and creates a cautious jumping from cover to cover playstyle, with toxic smokescreen being a tactical option allowing a push through open ground to some extent.

    I have no idea what on earth the 14-point Cypher with charge gloves is supposed to be doing. Expensive model, only has energy shield (2), so can die fairly easily, can’t kill anything do to being a knockback-focused model.

    As it stands, it’s just a model that I will never, ever use in a game and I think most Asterian players will take the same approach, it can’t kill stuff and compared to similarly priced specialists like the black talon or cypher prime it just isn’t all that useful.

    I lost the last game against Enforcers, but it was far from a crushing defeat with me holding 7 VPs at one point. Enjoyable game.

    Commander is very good, automatic command triples, pretty much, and can be used to reliably draw surge or headshot out of the discard pile for some fun. Plus, 7 command to steal the initiative is awesome.. although 6+ survive means he’s a bit vulnerable, and the model is very expensive. Seems well-balanced to me for the points.

    A cheaper commander might be nice, if not, Black Talons and Cypher Primes can at least bring a 2/1 to the table so there is an alternate build… with the low mini count of the faction, you can get by on that.

    In short, early playtests are promising, but only 2 troops choices, and the cypher with charge gloves being pretty much useless (or at least, extremely overcosted) means the faction effectively only has a single troops choice.

    I don’t know if there’s room for further tweaking to this before it comes out of beta, but that is the one thing I would look at in your internal playtesting, seeing if a list with 3 cyphers with charge gloves is actually capable of winning or if the model is as bad as it looks on paper.

  12. paddy says:

    we could do with a cheap command option maybe change cypher primes command to 2/2

    • says:

      I agree. Or leave him as a 2-1 but make him a Leader. After all, in that one short story a Prime leads a strike team.

      • scarletsquig says:

        Really good idea, I think. Every other faction gets a cheaper leader and the Asterians just plain don’t have any room for the 25 point commander in a 70 point game. A Prime as leader rather than specialist makes a lot of sense.

  13. Doug says:

    Hi Jake.

    Just received the pdfs of the Asterian and FF cards.

    I noticed the missile launcher is still the same. Which is to say it’s a slightly cheaper and worse Fission beam.

    Was this intentional? As in, the only purpose in having it is if you can’t afford a fission beam?

  14. Josh says:

    I had posted this on the FAQ page, but could someone verify the timing of the Toxic Smokescreen for me… it says “at the start of any one of Turns”… so does this mean before anybody on your side does anything, you have to decide how many of your Asterians are going to pop their Smokescreens? and then you can’t later (during the same Turn) when actually Activating the individual models decide to pop Smokescreens at the start of their “Activation”, right? it’s kinda like the whole team (well, a # of models that haven’t popped smoke yet) deciding to pop Smoke at the same time.. not on an individuals activation basis. Correct? I was of course playing it that each model would decide to pop smoke at the start of their individual activation but I think I read it incorrectly. – Josh

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