Deadzone: Code 13

Code 13

The elite forces of the Corporation, Rebels and Marauders are the best they have to offer, but even these outstanding warriors sometimes run into enemies they find a challenge. Asterian and Forge Father armies have fought across the stars since Humanity was grubbing around in the mud, banging rocks together to try and make fire. It’s not surprising that individuals in their elite units are often better than their Human counterparts.

In response to this, High Command sometimes calls a Code 13 mission. These are more challenging than normal missions and the chances of failure are higher. For this reason, more resources are available.

You can play individual scenarios or whole campaigns as Code 13. Just decide among yourselves whether you would like to play normal size or Code 13 games.

The game changes are as follows:

1)   If you are playing a campaign then your initial Strike Force is 200 points instead of 140. You get one extra initial clearance. There are no other changes. This will give you more models, but their improvement will be more gradual.

2)   Whenever a scenario defines a Strike Team as 70 points, you get 100 points instead. If the Strike Team is a different cost then it is limited by other aspects of the combat environment and does not change.

3)   If the scenario is won using standard mission cards then the winning threshold is 13VPs not 10. Some missions may even need the Intel to be achievable. Nobody said Code 13 was easy!

Note that these changes apply to every faction, not just the Corporation. With their superior technology and unparalleled intelligence gathering, neither the Forge Fathers nor Asterians are commonly surprised by these larger enemy Strike Teams and move to oppose them with powerful units of their own.



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28 Responses to Deadzone: Code 13

  1. LavaJohn says:

    With the way some of the new stuff was shaping up I wondered if something like this was on the way. Sounds like a good way to up the action once you get the hang of a ‘normal’ game of Deadzone. Does this mean that the FF and Asterians are designed for this level of play (mission wise the FF seem to need more bodies than they can get at 70 points) or is this just a nice alternative play option?

  2. Compel says:

    Cool, I’ll need to try this, I know some people were saying folks like the judwan medic or the Peacekeeper Captain weren’t feeling too viable at the 70 points mark.

    Trying to keep good management oof your cards seems to be a good trick to this game mode, right?

    Would it be an idea to always shuffle 1 Intel piece onto the board for one off games?

    • Quirkworthy says:

      I considered making Intel a mandatory inclusion and decided against it in the end. In some ways I think that knowing it’s there somewhere is more of a trap than a help. It could still be effectively impossible to get to.

      The fact that there may be 0-2 Intel available encourages some exploration but also raises the question of how long you wait and under what circumstances you choose to abort. In the end I think that not auto-including Intel makes for a better story and a more interesting set of things to think about.

  3. gavin says:

    Considering intel is a random item auto include them for 100point games. Really excited to use some minis that seem hard to fit in 70p

  4. Could you run this in a campaign like so.

    Start in normal mode and at some point (random, gm decided etc) switch to code 13 by granting +1 clearance and reinforcements up to 60 rep.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Flipping in and out of Code 13 within a campaign might be more fiddly. If you were planning on doing C13 at all then I’d suggest that the Strike Forces were worked out for that level from the start. After that they could run either size of mission. It’s probably easier to think of it that way round.

      • Chris Blackburn says:

        Cheers that sounds great. I am thinkibg of playing a campaign with rhe C13 starting rosters and on a random roll of 13, rolled each campaign round, then all missions are C13.

  5. Amdre says:

    I have a feeling this will become the default level for most games and tournaments, especialy when the walkers and bikes show up.

  6. Brian Sherry says:

    Just to be a theory-hammer devil’s advocate, if for example Forge Fathers are outnumbered 10 to 5 at 70 points, they are outnumbered 2:1. If we increase the points by a third as here, they would be outnumbered 13 to 7 or so, still roughly 2:1. Assuming this is a problem, how does this address the issue when it maintains roughly the same ratio of forces?

    • Because with the synergy of the FF and Asterian forces, I would assume they do not follow a linear line of “getting better” as they grow in number. I would expect it to be more of a bell curve.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      As Jimmi says, the issue is about synergy. With very costly troops such as Forge Guard it’s hard to get enough models to feel like you’ve covered all the tactical bases. In 100 points it’s much easier to do so. It’s not just about how many models you have, it’s which combinations of models…

  7. Brian Sherry says:

    Cool. Well I intend to play some FF games at 100 points so I will definitely let you know how that works for me.

  8. Gavin says:

    Hmm, looked over them a bit now but I still think the Forge Father mission deck needs a rework to work with C13.

    In a 70 point game, Forge Father can take a Husarl and a Forge Guard and get five models down on the table. X/Y/Z Marks the Spot requires exactly five and becomes impossible (save for Intel) after the first casualty.

    Take the same one Huscarl and one Forge Guard in a 100 point list and you’ll hit eight models on the field. X/Y/Z Marks the Spot requires 13VP and thus 8 models. First casualty still puts it out of reach unless you’re lucky.

    In 70 point games Look Under Every Rock only allows for two casualties from the usual 5-man list before it becomes largely impossible. C13 fixes this! So it stops being a problem at 100 points (though still tricky since a lot of FF bodies are slow ones). But still five model minimum isn’t bad (you can stick in 2-3 Forge Guard and still manage that).

    However, at 13VP Our’s Now is totally impossible without intel (so auto-redraw for any player with a brain. The Enforcers suffer the same fate, but the rest of their missions scale nicely for C13 since it makes for more target-rich environments where they can probably cap enough specialists and leaders to make up the extra points in their X/Y/Z missions).

    Unfortunately, a redraw for the Forge Fathers still gives them a great chance of stumbling in to a stinker like X/Y/Z Marks the Spot whose rewards only scale with their own force size.

    This means that at C13 point levels, the current Forge Father missions list contains one mission that isn’t feasible for C13 and three that offer no margin of error at all.

    Meanwhile, while the 13VP limit makes it tougher for other forces, I am hard pressed to pick many missions (outside of the Enforcer’s Dominate mission) that should be marked as a pure auto-redraw.

    Enforcers mostly get lucrative objective-based missions (9VP from objectives) with kill secondaries (so their secondary objective scales with enemy force size not drawing a lower bound on them which allows for more varied build options). The Plague scale entirely on enemy force size with any low-kill VP missions having a Survive secondary (which offers a great scaling benefit with more bodies on the table). Marauders scale well with a bevvy of kill and capture objectives (and don’t tend to suffer from a body shortage anyways). And Rebs probably only encounter issues on The Good Stuff, but have access to Scavenger which does help things quite a bit (but I would still probably skip it in C13).

    But the Forge Fathers are kind of boned on 50% of their missions and their missions are heavily dependent on their own force build. In neither format can you grab more than one Forge Guard and hope to have a chance of success on more than half your missions. The increase to 100 points doesn’t change this.

    For that 100 points to matter for allowing more varied Forge Father lists X/Y/Z Marks the Spot need to be fixed. Once that happens, I think they will be sitting pretty.

    And there are a few possibilities here.

    Upping Scour to 2VP would mean that normal games can be won with as few as four models on the field and C13 games can be won with seven. This is still a bit tight on C13, but may be workable (I’d prefer C13 not punish folks for taking more than one Forge Guard, though).

    Scavenger could be applied liberally to several units like the Valkyr and/or some other Brokkr units (Engineer maybe?). This would allow for the same 4 model victory in normal games but would also allow for C13 games to be won with as few as 5 models (assuming two scavengers).

    Finally, Scour could be replaced with Survive in those three missions (Look Under Every Rock is still tough at 70 points, but do-able; if it is relegated to priority redraw in normal games no biggie since the same happens to Our’s Now in 100 points games). This gives Forge Fathers a scalable secondary that meshes well with their play style and also has a good narrative tie-in to boot. Hardened prospectors stubbornly defending their find until it can be extracted is a very dwarfy thing.

    I not looking to make their job easier, but if 50% of their missions were doable with a more interesting layout, then I would be happy. As is, due to the body-count issue in many of their missions, remotes become a liability since they take up specialist slots, points (lots of points) and don’t add activations (and can be taken out via killing a single model). If we could relax a bit on making sure we met a rather high (for Forge Fathers) minimum model count and offered more scalable missions, then more interesting and varied lists could be created.

    Just my two cents on it.

    I like the general idea of the format, but I don’t think it works to fix the mission issue with the Forge Fathers.

  9. lord_blackfang says:

    Good, good, even more models stuffed in a tiny area for my Guntrack to murder on turn 1.

    Jake, can you do something about that? Seriously, the Guntrack as it is now either wins the game before anything moves or it does nothing at all.

  10. gavin says:

    I think 100points works better as a points level. As some models which were unusable are now useable not sure about 13vp some missions (for all factions) seem almost impossible I will havemto Playtest the hell out of it as intended tonsee if I’m worrying for no reason

  11. scarletsquig says:

    This is certainly an interesting expansion, right from the moment I read the stat cards, 70 points seemed too low to get the level of interaction and models-supporting-other models to make the game really shine. 100 points feels like a better fit.

    On a related note, it also feels to me like 2×2 is a touch too small, and 4×4 is too large for a game like this. It is possible that games like Malifaux and Infinity have settled on 3×3 after discovering it to be the perfect skirmish board size.. still just about fits on a dining table for convenience, but is firmly in the wargame rather than board game zone. DZ does manage with well with a 2×2 space thanks to it being a very 3D game, I’m starting to realise that tall buildings with open edges touching the board edge (so you can get minis in and out easy) and lots of criss-crossing walkways connecting everything is the ideal board to get the most out of DZ in the 2×2 area and feel like you’ve got a truly 3d game.

    I think it would be quite interesting to make this an official future expansion for the game, with either a 3×3 rubber mat produced, or just making use of the very handy Secret Weapon deadzone tiles which are 1′ square and could easily make a 3×3 board with no extra work required. As for the rules, randomization with d12’s for rows/columns instead of d8’s would work fine.

    As a supplement pack with Code 13 rulebook, mat (maybe just paper), d12’s and some new mission card decks it would be pretty cool. There really is a lot of places that DZ can be taken in future I think!

  12. Brian S. says:

    Hi Jake- Played 100 points of FF vs. Rebs today. FF had X marks the Spot and Rebs had Breakthrough. Game ended when the FF killed the last Reb on the table. VPs were 10-9 for FF. FF got all 3 objectives and 2 scour points (actually I assumed they could have taken them off as they held the table.). Rebs had 3 infiltrators and 3 kills for 9 VPs. If I should not have counted the scour points then the FF lose 9-8.(How do you treat unfulfilled missions which could ostensibly be completed after one side tables the other?) Obviously it was quite a close game. FF went in with 7 models and Rebs with 10. Teraton ate a Huscarl missile early which was a real equalizer. Brokkrs are for real in CC which did not occur to me right away but cannot be overlooked. I enjoyed the game and it seemed pretty balanced. If you want the force compositions let me know.

  13. Machikaze says:

    (p.52) “Earn any VPs for mission” Max VP 13?
    (p.43) “CONCEDING A BATTLE” His opponent earn 13 VPs regardless?

  14. Brian S. says:

    Got in another 100 point game…same FF list: Huscarl FG CDR, FG ML, FG Helstorm, 3 Brokkr, Brokkr with HR. Plague took Gen 1, Teraton, Mortar, 2 Gen 3s, 2 Hellhounds, Swarm, General.. FF got Dig In, Plague got Fight Another Day. FF were hard pressed early and lost a couple of Brokkrs, one to mortar and another to swarm. Hover the FG really shone. The ML took out the Teraton. He’s so dangerous with a move card. Later the heat rifle Brokkr took out the Gen 1. Eventually the FF got the swarm and a few more models which stopped Plague from gaining survive. I called it when it was clear that the FFs were going to table the Plague although technically at that moment it was tied 6-6.. The FG are really good with armor 2 tough and life support. The FF in general having 4+ survive makes it hard to molest them with the mortar, especially in adjacent squares. I’m interested in trying them at 70 points to see how that goes as at 100 the FF seem pretty strong to me right now.

  15. PeterB says:

    Code 13 games seem to take about twice as long as standard 70 point games – it’s not so much the lack of models as the inability of most factions to “burst” to a win, which makes VPs of secondary (or even tertiary) importance. As a result, the games are really death matches decided by wiping the other player out…

  16. BrianS says:

    I just want to agree with everything in Gavin’s post, above, and PeterB’s post. Code 13 isn’t a very elegant solution to FF and Asterians being over-costed at 70 points. In addition the fact that most missions are unwinnable as written under Code 13 is just not fun and is unacceptable. I hope something can be done. While I am wishing, a revised Rebs deck would be good, as it’s just awful compared to the others.

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