Deadzone Redux

Deadzone Redux, or DZR to its friends, is the current name for the updated and improved version of Deadzone.

I’ve been working on DZR for a few months now, and it’s still being tested so there’s not much in the way of detail I can tell you yet – best to wait till things are a bit more nailed down. However, it’s hard to keep the fun entirely under my hat, and I can say that we had a cracking game yesterday, as you can see from Ronnie’s happy face 🙂

ronnieIn case you’re wondering, he’s pointing out a Pathfinder that’s about to do something nasty to my sadly misunderstood rats…

All the old DZ fun is still there, with Ronnie making good use of the odd gaps blown in his newly-painted scenery to snipe at my rats from beyond the range of their weapons. Pesky humans. See if you can spot the nasty Pathfinder lurking in the distance (click for a bigger pic).

Spot the PathfinderDZR is a faster, bloodier and easier to learn version the original, and I’m looking forward to our next stage of internal testing when we add all the armies into the mix (so far only been using parts of a few to test the core mechanics).

As an illustration of the sort of carnage we’re making, yesterday’s game ended with this fight between an injured rat and the last of the pathfinders (their boss). We’d both largely ignored the objective markers and concentrated on slaughtering the opposition, and slaughter we did. At the end of the game there were 2 models left on the table out of 12 that started.

final_battleStay tuned and subscribe, bookmark or whatever suits your reading style as I’ll be back with more as soon as Ronnie says I can spill some beans 🙂

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71 Responses to Deadzone Redux

  1. Pikaraph says:

    Hi Jake 😀
    Some beans about a new way to play campaign mode ?

  2. vaultage says:

    cant wait to know more about dz redux ^^

  3. Luke says:

    Pretty excited! Do you know if there will be another beta? It was great being able to give feedback last time!

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Not sure now. That was the original plan and I’m happy to run something here. Unfortunately, Mantic have had a number of delays since then so the rules are behind our original schedule. I’ll ask Ronnie if he thinks there’s time when I next see him.

      • wurtil says:

        Please do a point balancing beta like KoW2 did this year at least. That helped catch a lot of issues with point costs and with a total redesign and change to how DZ models are allocated point costs it will be hard to nail everything in one go.

        I would much much much rather delay getting the new version and have spotless balancing than see issues pop up after the fact.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          It will be tricky. I’m working on the new points calculator now.

          I’ll see what Mantic have to say about public tests.

        • Chris says:

          I second that. As a backer, I’d not only be okay with it, but would prefer the game to be delayed if that means more testing and balancing and checking rule interactions and wording.

          The entire reason Infestation is needed to clear up Deadzone rules is that the original stuff felt rushed and bolted on hastily to meet Kickstarter deadlines. Rushing it again makes the entire exercise pointless.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          I spoke to Ronnie this morning and he’s as keen as I am to have some form of public testing, so I think it’s a goer. Not sure when – just watch this space 🙂

  4. Teemu Hemminki says:

    Glad to see that DZ is being worked on and your sales pitch (faster, bloodier, easier) excites me. Will this be comparable to edition 1.5 or 2nd edition? Originally Ronnie said something about original rulebook not becoming obsolete, but sounds like redux is going to be quite an update to the basic rules too.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      I don’t think the number we attach to this really matters, which is why I’m calling it DZR 🙂

      I’m writing this as a complete replacement for the original version because it changes quite a lot of bits scattered across the whole thing. You don’t want to be using bits of one book and all of another as that’s just messy – it’s far easier if you just start with a new book. Last time I spoke to Ronnie about this they were going to give all the original KS backers a digital copy so they didn’t feel like they were being squeezed for more cash. That’s not the intent at all.

      The models, scenery and gaming mat you’ve got are still all perfectly usable. While Mantic are doing more models of all sorts to things, there’s no need to change old Enforcers for new ones (for example). The old ones aren’t obsolete in any way. With a digital copy of the new rules you can get on and play DZR with all your existing models, etc.

      The reason why we felt there was a need for a new rulebook was to address feedback and comments from you guys. I’ve made the game slicker, simpler, easier to get into, faster to play, and more dangerous for everyone on the table. I’m also looking at the way the armies are built (partly to bring this more into line with Warpath), and how I can improve the campaign system.

      Like I said though, start with getting the core right.

      • Tyr says:

        While its great for backers of the original deadzone, it kind of sucks for retail customers like me though… bit of a shame really. :/

        • Quirkworthy says:

          It’s ben a long time since I spoke to RR about this and he may have come up with a better idea.

        • gtblakey says:

          Agreed. I bought all the rulebooks at retail, even getting the hardback special edition when released, as well as the digital rulebooks on the Mantic. They’ve been worth it, as I’ve gamed a fair few times with them, but it does suck I wouldn’t get the updated rulebook compared to one of the original kickstarter backers. I hope the new hardback rulebook for v2 isn’t priced GW style.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          None of their other books are.

      • Teemu Hemminki says:

        Well I actually were more worried about core rules not getting the face-lift they needed. Hard to wait until you can tell us about what changes Blaze Away and It Burns for example might have, along with campaign of course.

        As for the concern that Tyr exposed, I think I heard something about core rules becoming available for free, like with KoW.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          Free rules? Could be. Like I said, it’s been a while since I spoke to anyone at Mantic about that particular question. They may not have decided yet.

          At the end of the day, Mantic are interested in making DZ the most popular SF skirmish game out there, so it seems unlikely they’re going to deliberately upset a bunch of their fans. I wouldn’t worry about it.

        • vaultage says:

          i bought all rulebooks / expansions for dz and backed infestation to get my hands on the new rules and campaign…

          if distributing dz base rules for free brings new players to dz, i would gladly welcome it.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          I think that’s the goal.

      • vaultage says:

        is the way strike teams are built are going to go the way that was presented during infestation ks ? the idea of mandatory slots “a la” w40k was not really welcomed.
        the current dz rules for team creation works fine… just need a couple of options to give more depth to it (like advantages / constraints on factions and commanders granting you additional team builds options to play around)

        • Quirkworthy says:

          The current proposal is still only a proposal. It’s centred around the idea of adding more character to a strike team.

          You start by choosing a commander. This choice then influences everything else.

          Some commanders are more assault oriented, and others more shooty. Your choice of commander gives you a number of options to pick from. So, if you pick Sergeant Howlett as your commander you’d have access to lots of assault troops and specialists that backed up that way of fighting, but much less of everything else. Unit choices are currently along the lines of you can take 0-1 of these or 1-3 of those, with the options and upgrades being allocated on a per-commander basis to maximise the character of each force.

        • vaultage says:

          yeay ^^ love the “commander centric” approach and the link between character storyline / battle style and the advantages / disadvantages that are coming with it !.
          huge fluff x gaming interest in a simple stroke.

  5. Philip waldron says:

    Less rules would be lovely. Why Do lazers have limited Range? Why does everything scatter? Why am i typing this? Good luck with the Rats

    • Quirkworthy says:

      To take your questions in order:

      Lasers have a limited range for two reasons. Firstly, they diffuse in the atmosphere, meaning that you’re just shining a small light on the target at long ranges, not hurting it. In Deadzone we don’t normally worry about how well-lit the enemy is.

      Secondly, all weapons are limited by the ability to point them in the right direction. If weapons are not designed to be used at a great distance (because the normal combat ranges are short) then they won’t have the kit to make them accurate in those circumstances. Militaries work to a budget and usually provide their troops with kit that’s designed for average use and made by the lowest bidder.

      Thirdly, for game reasons we want variation between armies to give each a distinct character.

      Fourthly, the tech is all made up anyway, so it “really” works exactly the way it does in the game 🙂

      Most stuff doesn’t (and never did) scatter.

      I have no idea 😉

      • vaultage says:

        ever thought to remove the limits on ranged weapons to 2x the efficient range ?
        most modern weapons ranges (so that would also be the case with scifi) exceed by far the size of operations field.
        what limits soldiers from shooting very far is the accuracy of the weapon, visibility, recoil, distance to the target (and with that can come weather conditions) and the skill of the shooter.
        i’ve seen this modeled in few games (at-43, spectre operations) but think it’s great as no model is really out of range in games (though more difficult to shoot) and make for deadlier battles.

        • Luke says:

          I like range on weapons, it encourages more tactical positioning, and gives melee a chance.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          You miss out one of the important variables: doctrine. Troops often hold their fire long after the enemy is within theoretical range because they are trained to do so. Linked to this is the fact that the imaginary soldiers we are modelling would only carry a limited ammo load out – a fact we merrily ignore in our games. In practice, an infinite range often means that a game player has his models take shots they would never waste ammo on in reality because they only have a limited supply and the chance of hitting is way too small.

          And no, I’m not gong to add ammo counting to DZ 😉

          I don’t think we need to make DZ any more deadly at the moment. The game referenced above had a 100% casualty rate on the losing side, and a 70% loss rate among the winners. Any more deadly and there’d be nothing left!

        • vaultage says:

          not saying unlimited range without constraints. say efficient range is x and then the further you shoot, the more difficult it gets.
          in my view it allows some nice options around sharpshooters being able to pick targets from very far.
          and ammo is not really an issue

        • Quirkworthy says:

          Original DZ had combat range and long range, and the consensus of the feedback seems to be that it’s not well liked (so I removed it for DZR).

        • vaultage says:

          not saying unlimited range without constraints. say efficient range is x and then the further you shoot, the more difficult it gets.
          in my view it allows some nice options around sharpshooters being able to pick targets from
          and ammo is not really an issue as it costs an action to shoot, so a chance shot with low % of success is enough to materialize a tactical choice between shooting an easy target or picking a key ennemy with the risk of missing your opportunity.
          i dont think it reduce the role of cc either as there will always be some close quarters action where long distance are not useful at all.

  6. Joseph M says:

    The dice next to the play area are 6sided with text. Hmm???

  7. gtblakey says:

    I can’t wait to see the new version. Especially if it runs even smoother. What I would like to know though, is; “what company made that tiled DZ-esque board that the photo of Ronnie is in”? It looks even better than the ‘mousepad’ mats we have.

  8. So should I wait 4 the new rule set to introduce the game to new players? In the meantime I’ll play some dbx 😉

  9. Joe K says:

    Hi Jake, thanks for taking the time to answer our questions. Will the new rules support the alternate game modes that are currently available (A.I., Zombies, multi-mat)? And do you expect the Nexus Psi Campaign to be compatible?

    • Quirkworthy says:

      Not sure at the moment. That’s all stuff to look at later in the process when the core rules are no longer fluid. Zombies are part of the Plague army at present, though they can still be part of a third (neutral) force. Both work in the background.

      Different size battles currently look like they might be more of an integral part of the game, though that’s not been well tested yet.

  10. PeterB says:

    That board has shockingly little terrain on it, relative to what we use. I’m not surprised you ended up with 83% casualties when players could engage with clear shots on turn 1…

    My own sense was the DZ rules were fine (if a little fiddly), but the army construction/pointing & faction missions needed some assistance, so I would second the call for a beta with the hope that the community could help polish these areas pre-release.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      IIRC there was only one clear shot in the game, and that was a surprise one (for both of us). Remember that you have to see the entirety of the target model to get a clear shot. Hiding some of a model or its base round a corner isn’t usually hard, even with this amount of terrain.

      Speaking of the amount of terrain, this is the sort of quantity you are likely to get in a starter set, which works fine.

  11. Torkijo says:

    Gutted as bought the base set 8 days ago and now need to spend more £ to stay current!

    • Quirkworthy says:

      As we mentioned above, that may not be the case. Certainly, all your models and scenery will remain usable.

      • Torkijo says:

        Reading through your earlier post I think the changes sound good, but its still another £10 ish for the book -on the other hand, presume nothing would be out for 3/4 months so will play with what have in meantime

        • vaultage says:

          i also paid the retail price for each book of dz… yet i am very glad that dz gets a strong review / brush from jake.
          when this means a better game + potentially more appeal + potential free basic ruleset release = more players, then i am totally in.

          isn’t it better to have a widely played game that gets a lot of support from an editor + designer+ community of gamers ?

        • Torkijo says:

          Very true, very refreshing and love it.

  12. Pingback: Deadzone Redux Army Building |

  13. makerofgames says:

    Will the cards need updating?

    • Luke says:

      Unit stats will all be in the rule book now, not sure on the status of mission cards

      • svr says:

        That’s a mistake Mantic made with Mars Attack by not including unit cards. However, there’s fan made unit cards which are excellent and in many ways better than the deadzone ones as they tell you what each ability does. Maybe it’s just me but when a game has 30+ different characters I’d like to have just my current army’s cards in front of me.

        • vaultage says:

          where do you get these fan made ?
          i am interested if there is a template as we also play with 40k minis and i struggle to create nice playable stats cards in the dz format.

          as for stats card in the book, as long as they are printer ready so that you can print, cut and sleeve them, i think it would be a nice compromise between pre-printed stats (which can become obsolete quickly) and line stats in rulebook (which are nice for reference but a real pain for gaming).
          that or put them on mantic digital with a live update version (but please make them in the same format as the existing – can be sleeved like magic cards) ! that way, stats / points can be updated anytime and all players share the same stat cards and are up to date anytime.
          think the warscrolls in age of sigmar is a good benchmark there (though the sheet is a bit too large for gaming)

      • Joe K says:

        Has this been confirmed by Mantic? Not including cards caused quite a stir during the Infestation Kickstarter. From what I recall the end result was that they would not do away with the cards.

  14. Quirkworthy says:

    I’ll do a separate post about cards, probably later today. Some very exciting developments 🙂

  15. Kevin says:

    Being a huge Corp. fan, will there be (if not already and I don’t see it) a VIABLE interim Corporation army list to use now (for beta) and on release?

  16. Teemu Hemminki says:

    I played two games of deadzone yesterday and finally managed to put one of the problems I’ve had with the system into words.

    Enforcers vs. Plague. If plague manages to get into fight with enforcers, it almost automatic win for them. Enforcers rarely do have anything that they can do in that situation, especially if plague has some monsters like S2A or swarm in melee. I hope that this is fixed because even if I’m losing, it is no fun to just watch a steamroll after certain point. I want to be able to turn the tide of battle.

  17. mastertugunegb says:

    I’m listening to the Deadzone podcast and a few points have been raised that seem to ring true in current edition DZ. Overwatch tends to get ignored unless you have Sentry. Falling, Gliding, getting thrown about by explosions can mean more rules consulting. Crew rules feel a bit clunky, so on and so forth.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      I’ve sorted out crew rules and overwatch. Being blown up and flying is always going to add some rules. However, I think I’ve been able to simplify it again so that you can memorise it fairly easily.

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