I’ve been collecting interesting bits to do a series on building Deadzone scenery. The idea was to start with the basics and explore various ways of adding detail as we went on. This is partly because it’s something I’m asked about, and also because it’s the best way of making me do it myself. As always, when I develop a game it’s before any of the proper bits are made, so I live in a gaming world of proxy everything. By the time it actually comes out I’m usually neck-deep in something entirely different.
In the course of this collecting I noticed an Indiegogo campaign by a small company called Etch-Master. As you may have guessed from their name, they make brass and other metal etched sheets for modelling. And, what’s particularly intriguing about this project, is that one of their new sheets is specifically designed for Mantic’s Battle Zones. In other words, Deadzone terrain.
I’ll let the pictures tell that story. Suffice to say that I think it looks really rather spiffy and will be reporting back on how I get on with it as soon as I can get my paws on some for real. Of course, as they’re not made yet this will be after the campaign ends, so if you’re interested then you might want to jump in now.
Some before and afters:
Crates and company logos.
And a rather splendid open access panel.
Like I said, I think this lot looks great!
As the chap who sculpted the DZ scenery, it makes me feel pretty good to see people love it so much that there’s support there for making extra add-on kits!
It’s been very popular among the gamers I’ve talked to, and the detail sets will only make it even better. I’m hoping for more of these too, perhaps in resin as well as PE.
I was just at Kubla Con (Northern California) last weekend, and a few folks came up to me to ask about the scenery while I was getting mauled as the Rebs by my Plague-playing opponent. I was happy to chat ’em up about how great the scenery was, and how it should be available soon (or might be now, and to check the website, etc.) even though they all admitted to me it was for… a different game…
It would be intriguing to know what fraction was bought to play 40K over. Of course, we shall never really know for sure. I’m sure it’s not a small number though.
Almost entirely unrelated Jake, but the scenery element of Deadzone has got me thinking.. what are your thoughts on destructible terrain in games?
It’s something I’ve felt could work well applied to deadzone.. fire at the building to damage it (maybe give larger buildings 1 “wound” per cube), once it is damaged, it all counts as cover cubes, and walls etc. in those cubes are ignored for the purposes of drawing LoS to models in the cubes, but you can never have a clear shot against them (too much dust and rubble!).
I think it could be a fun optional rule, you could either mark the building with a rubble pile to represent the damage or replace it with a ruined version. I just really like the idea of starting a game on a pristine intact building board and then ending it with a pile of smoking ruins after all hell has broken loose. 🙂
I agree that the mental image of an environment which degrades as the battle progresses is an enticing one.
It’s the lack of practicality that is the main problem. When you’ve got an open battlefield with a couple of farmhouses then you can have blown up versions to replace them with. The more complex and abundant the structures in your terrain set up, the more problematical destroying it becomes, and DZ has an urban environment. In order to make terrain destructible you’d have to be able to swap out any piece of it for one with a hole in. I looked at this when we started DZ, but it just wasn’t really practical, which is why the terrain is immutable within the timeframe of a battle.
In terms of rules, destroying buildings is easy enough. The challenge is always one of how do you show this on the tabletop because there are no limits to the buildings you can make and yours may well be quite different from mine. You have to be able to define the rules in such a way as not to interfere with the flexibility and creative fun of building the stuff, and then whatever you do has either to dismantle easily (tricky in the middle of a game for complex buildings) or replaceable (expects everyone to buy the whole lot twice). Neither solution feels very satisfactory.
You could House Rule something that would suit your terrain collection easily enough. Whether it would work for mine is another matter. I also suspect that destructible terrain would limit the way you built it up in the first place, which would be a shame. Whether this trade-off is a problem is a matter of taste.
Yeah, the practicality is definitely a bugbear. I guess with deadzone you have the sub-cubes within a building to worry about rather than just the building itself, and then how to replace parts of buildings, or dealing with damage on a giant multi-level building.
Still, Warpath has rules for it, and I’m looking forward to making some ruins to go with it, probably going to be a modular set of “corner ruins” to mark out the area of difficult terrain, then some collapsed pieces and rubble to fill in the centre.
After playing lots of deadzone games, I think ruins are going to become the default for my terrain collection for that game, much easier to place models in and around the terrain and build high when there’s no roofs to remove.or any sort of mid-game disassembly required.
Long, interconnected buildings are the norm on the tables I’ve seen folk build, which makes defining what you’re blowing up when you say “building” tricker, and also getting in to replace the bits you need to change. Like I said, you need to decide whether the options for building are more important than the limitations posed by ease of changing them out.
On the Mantic forums username “crimsonsun” pointed out that with 3 Pathfinder troops and “Dominate” mission card, the Enforcers are able to win the game on turn 1 if they start the game. Thought that it should be pointed out if there is something that can still be done about it.
Also, when will we get the next update? Over a month without saying that you are on vacation or anything is a little bit worrying :S
Hey Teemu. It wasn’t a vacation 😦
I’ll have a look at that combo.
First turn for Enforcers : move the Bike 2 squares with Sprint action, move the Bike 1 square with Move action (assuming the Pathfinder bike has Fast ability). Then, the Path finder dismounts and can move 1 or 2 squares… that’s really quick to take Objectives indeed !
The rule could say a player cannot win 1st turn, so there would give a chance to try to kill some Pathfinders.