Cards in Deadzone Redux

DZ cards 1I’ve had a few queries about cards in the upcoming Deadzone Redux, so I thought I’d answer them here by explaining my current thinking on the topic.

When we started looking at updating the rules, I read a lot of comments online and talked to a lot of DZ fanatics about what they saw as strengths and weaknesses in the game. The chaps at Mantic also had ideas about what they thought had worked and what had fallen short. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, and allows you to see all sorts of things you could have done better 🙂

I took this collection of broad notions and started working on mechanics that would make them happen in a final product. After some experiments I pitched a series of different versions to Ronnie and the crew, and they liked one that was quite dramatically modified from the original. Well, it is and it isn’t. The vibe is recognisably Deadzone and the core rules are sometimes identical, it’s just that I’ve done a great deal of streamlining to make it faster and bloodier so it feels more heavily changed that it actually is.

Regardless of the technicalities of the rules, what’s great for me is that everyone who’s tried the new game raves about how much they love it 🙂

DZ cards 3In the process of making these changes I’ve replaced all the existing cards with processes that simply work better. Like I said, some dramatic changes.

I’m not going to tell you all the details just yet, but let me explore some of the basics.

Cards in DZ fall into 3 types: stat, battle and mission.

As I mentioned in my overview of the new army building, this is now focussed firmly on the commander’s character, and for this reason the individual trooper stat cards are no longer as useful. What I’m experimenting with currently is an army reference sheet – one per commander – that has all his army’s details on. So, if you had reference cards for 3 different Enforcer commanders there would be considerable overlap, but each would be different. This army reference sheet would therefore be used both for building an army and playing the game, which I find quite appealing. In terms of size, I’m thinking no bigger than both sides of a single A4 sheet, and smaller if we can get all the info in less space (or on one side). This would include the stats for the army, unit selection options, weapon stats, army special rule and missions.

Battle cards have been replaced by a more dynamic system that avoids some of the cancelling effect the earlier cards had: I play a card and you play a counter which takes time but has no actual effect on the tabletop. I don’t mind this approach to card play in the right place, I just think that the new approach is far superior for Deadzone. You’ll notice how I didn’t tell you exactly what this approach was. It’s one of the core changes in DZR and I’ll come back to deal with it in its own post so I have the room to discuss it properly. Stick to cards for now.

DZ cards 2The final type of old cards are the mission cards. I really like the idea of faction specific missions and felt it could be developed further. The new army building approach is commander focussed, so I wanted to make the mission characterisation that level too. I’ve kept a couple of core missions that anyone can do, but with more individualised missions the definition is at the commander-specific army level, meaning that these will be on the army reference sheet I mentioned above and will be appropriate for that specific army. Obviously there will be overlap between factions, it’s just that the specific combination of missions can be tailored to suit each commander, which should allow us to balance the armies better.

So the old cards are superseded by better ways to do similar things. You still have stats and missions on hand to refer to, and can still change the course of the battle in your favour by carefully using a limited resource of tweaks and buffs. It’s just all slicker now 🙂

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127 Responses to Cards in Deadzone Redux

  1. Epix says:

    I am French and while I have no issue with English my family and my friends may have difficulty to read English cards so no cards is a good news for me.
    However when playing Mars Attacks or Dreadball Extreme I lose a lot of time and I am making a lot of mistakes due to the lake of unit stat cards so I believe they are really useful.
    So I don’t care if you remove the action and mission cards but please keep the unit stat cards.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      As I said, my current plan is to keep an army level reference card. This should be more helpful to you than individual model stat cards as it pre-sorts all the stats you could have into one handy reference 🙂

      • Epix says:

        I am fine with army reference cards as long as they are clear with icons and spaces. For example I have huge difficulty to use Mars Attacks / Dreadball Extreme stat reference tables as they are too small in my opinion (being astigmatic does not help). Why not having both army reference cards and unit cards? You could then put the unit cards half below the army cards?

      • TSNC says:

        Will stat lines change during a campaign still?

        • Quirkworthy says:

          Yup, but campaign armies will always need a roster. Also, remember that the vast majority of people don’t actually play campaigns, they just daydream about playing them 🙂

        • Tyr says:

          Well, if the campaign supports 1v1, Ill definitely play it. One-offs tend to get boring after a while, especially with a limited player base.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          1v1 campaigns are fine as long as the players are closely matched. If they aren’t then you’re onto a loser to start with, regardless of your chosen game.

  2. Michael Kaup says:

    Will the new missions, once they’re selected, still be hidden from the opponent? Missions being hidden, taking away that perfect information from the opponent was my favorite feature of DZ, and lead to lots of exciting gameplay, bluffs and deductions.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      That would be my preference. Not quite sure how I’m going to implement it, but it’s on my to do list.

      • Michael Kaup says:

        Awesome! Very happy to hear that!

      • vaultage says:

        oh yes please keep this. the asymetric information regarding missions is a real appeal compared to usual games.

        … whats the difficulty to keep this ?
        i would have preferred these to keep the way they are… after all the commander is tasked with missions from high command, so not always his choice

        • Quirkworthy says:

          The way it stands discourages the more characterful and extreme armies as they always need to be able to carry out any mission. By making the missions more appropriate to the specific force you can concentrate on building a cool army without worrying so much about what will happen if it draws mission X.

        • Tyr says:

          @Jake: You could go for cards again, but instead of random draw from the full deck, you get to tailor your mission deck. Ie, Ive got a really stealthy, fast, hit-and-run type of squad, so Ill base my deck around infiltrate and scour. So Ill take a specific number of missions (say, 4) and randomly draw one of those. And for campaign play, you could even give bonuses for completing a mission you *didnt* specialise for. Just an idea. 🙂

        • Quirkworthy says:

          I spent some time messing about with deck drafting systems, and they can be fun. In the end I decided that a simpler approach would suit more people. One of the drawbacks with drafting decks is that you need to know what you’re doing before it makes any sense.

        • vaultage says:

          as long as the mission can still be kept secret from opponent… we love this tactical depth where you try to achieve your mission as well as trying to find out your opponent goals…

        • theamazingmrg says:

          What about a mix of the two? Each Commander has a list of appropriate missions, and a list of generic missions. Then produce a deck of cards to represent the generic missions and Commander Mission 1, Commander Mission 2, etc. This deck would be usable with all Commanders, but the exact mission they relate to would be Commander-dependent. It also keeps the existing secret asymmetric mission selection.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          Currently still fiddling with options for this. The beta may not have secret missions, though they could be added later. Still WIP.

  3. Sonnyzoo says:

    Please don’t forget the Mars Attacks factions when doing the revamp. Part of the reason I spent money with Mantic was for the MA & Deadzone/Dreadball crossover.

  4. dragonwolf says:

    What about the individual characters like Blaine, The Survivor, The Helfather, etc. ? That can be used with different factions.

  5. Joe K says:

    I will wait to learn more, but this does give me concern. The one thing that I feel the unit cards helped most is newer or non-wargame players. My play group is all boardgamers, but I had some success with Deadzone with them because if its hybrid nature. I am not sure how they will take it if I tell them we need a pencil and paper to play now (we have not played campaigns).

    They don’t mind sorting through some cards and adding up the points. It is a very similar process as the X-Wing tabletop game, which they like to play. I know conceptually the old and new methods are not very different, but for whatever reason needing a pencil to play puts it in another gaming category mentally for them. Silly I know, but it’s the reality I am in. I am hopeful the army building will still be simple enough for my group, yet have plenty of depth for me and other advanced players.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      You needed pen and paper before to write army lists, at least, most people did. That’s not changed. In both cases you have costs on a reference card(s), and if you want multiples of some things (as you usually will) then you need to note down how many of each one that you’ve got.

      The only real difference here is that you’ll have a list of all the available models on a single large card, rather than on a series of smaller ones. You still have to do exactly the same calculation of points.

      Not sure where you get this pencil problem from.

      • Joe K says:

        Thanks for the reply Jake. It is likely just my confusion and false assumptions on the pencil use. So the cards will list a commander and stats for all available team members? That makes more sense and would work I think. What I was envisioning was something that looks like the Dreadball roster pad where we have to fill in all the data ourselves.

  6. gtblakey says:

    Gutted. 😦
    The only reason my wife will play Deadzone with me (rather than the enormous amount of other skirmish level games I have) is because the Battle cards make it more interesting. They don’t always counter each other. More often than not, the card is what makes the difference between no wound and a wound.
    Stat cards / Mission cards can be replaced but not the battle cards. DZR will become just another identikit skirmish game with little difference to everything else out there. 😦
    Sad I pumped several hundred dollars into a game that’s losing the part that I (& wife) enjoyed.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      The replacement is better 🙂

      • Gabriel Strong says:

        You obviously didn’t read his comment. The replacement is not better because it removes the function that mad it a game they could play together. No matter what you think is better if your customers see it as worse IT IS WORSE!

      • Quirkworthy says:

        No, I did read his comment, and he is mistaken. The change in cards does not remove that feature because it is replaced by the Command dice.

        I have played with both systems and neither you nor gtblakely has. I’ve also got feedback from all our internal playtesters who unanimously prefer the new system. Until the beta you’ll have to take my word for this. If you choose not to believe me then feel free to rage quit over nothing now, but opinions based on no information don’t trump facts, even if you use block caps.

    • Just play with the current rules, or house rule bits in. It’s what many a gamer has done when changes don’t agree with them. Though probably try the new rules out if someone you know gets them. Never know, wife might like them better for all we know. especially once the purpose (if any) of the 6 sided dice is revealed…

  7. Anthony says:

    Aside from the fact that DZ1 won’t disappear when DZR shows up, it’s probably a good idea to play DZR before jumping on that conclusion. Jake, how will the revamp translate into Warpath Firefight and Warpath Core? Will the stat lines be similar? Will there be cross play?

    • Quirkworthy says:

      I didn’t know Warpath Firefight existed until the KS started on monday.

      I’ve not heard any plans for moving between DZ and Warpath other than the fact that all the models and scenery work in both.

    • Teskal says:

      WP:F and WP are completely different systems compared to DZ and play completely different.

      Personally I think doing these new WP versions is the best Mantic could have done together with DZ.

      With the minis it will be possible to start DZ with 5-20 minis, later player bigger games with WP:F with 10-50 Minis and at last WP with 50-150 or even more.

      You play the game depending on your stock of minis or what minis are ready to play. No need to play with masses of unpainted minis if you don’t want to.

      • Quirkworthy says:

        That does sound like a plan.

        • Gabriel Strong says:

          Yes of course it does as you are turning DZ into nothing but a feeder for WP. I had hoped for better from Mantic but it seems you should ‘redux’ into Mantic Workshop.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          DZR, having a small model count, will always be one possible gateway into larger games that are set in the same universe and use the same models. It would be strange if it wasn’t, and insane to claim that Mantic wouldn’t be happy if people did move from one to the other. That is no different from pretty much every manufacturer that sells multiple games set in the same background, not just GW.

          For me as a designer, I’m making DZR the best game I can, on its own and with nothing to do with the other games in the range (apart from being set in the same worlds and using the same models).

          As Teskal points out, this range of game sizes gives an individual gamer the option to play at a size he feels is comfortable to him. Sure, he may move to playing larger or smaller battles over time, but I would expect that most gamers will settle on one favourite version and mainly play that. Personally I would prefer that to be DZR because it’s the one I wrote. I know Ronnie loves his huge battles and really wants the big game to be popular. We’ll see what happens when you guys see them all and can choose for yourselves 🙂

          Far from being a negative point, the range of options is a good thing for gamers.

  8. recrispi says:

    I want to hear more about the new rules. DZR is the same as DZ Infestation? or DZR is bigger and covers all of DZ up to date?
    Also I would like to know if DZR will also have some kind of rules for AI armys, like the original DZ used to have (using a deck in the original one).
    Thank you!

    • Quirkworthy says:

      DZR is a replacement for the original DZ, and as such is Infestation rules.

      Ronnie hasn’t mentioned AI, but then I’ve not tried using the old AI rules with DZR either, so it may not need changing. Can’t remember to be honest.

      • Tyr says:

        I think youll need to update the type list (support/line/assault/etc), but that should probably be enough to make it work… unless some core mechanics within the AI rules have changed, like aiming, command actions, etc… also, the Cunning cards might need an Errata if cards are removed. Shouldnt be terribly difficult though.

  9. pepperpunk says:

    The whole commander-based army list thing is a bit too Warmahordes for my liking. I’d rather make my own background and theme for my Strike team rather than being forced into special characters and their limited army list choices.

    Please at least include a generic commander option that allows anything to be taken.

    • jgoldenf says:

      The Generic Commander approach could work if you used the mechanics in the DBX Expansion idea for making your own sponsor. Maybe a DZ:I-X (added the “-” so it didn’t look like the Roman numeral 9) book?

    • Luke says:

      My hope is that there will be many types of ‘generic’ characters and they won’t all be named heroes

    • Quirkworthy says:

      I do have an idea for generic forces. The challenge here is that most people will use generic forces to simply cherry-pick the best things from everywhere, thus making an unbalanced force. So, there needs to be a point of balance to bring them back into line.

      Also, as a general rule I would say that you could use a named character as someone else with the same stats if you wanted to make up your own story. The universe is a big place, and maybe Howlett is not the only Enforcer nutter with claws. Maybe Sergeant Growlett has them too 😉

      • Tyr says:

        Couldnt you just have multiple generic characters that have specific forces as well? Maybe not quite as focussed on a specific niche as the special characters? (so, say, a Rebs commander unlocks up to 3 yndij and 2 Kraaw, Eddak unlocks up to 6, minimum 1 but doesnt allow Kraaw, and the yndij sergeant is somewhere in the middle?)

        • Quirkworthy says:

          Theoretically you could, but that would create a massive amount of extra work for very little gain. Experience tells me that the vast majority of players will use the named characters they are offered, and that the tiny minority who want to create elaborate backstories and entirely new characters are the same people who are likely to be (and are capable of) making up their own army lists anyway 😉

          That said, one of the nice side effects of this approach to army building is the ease with which I can upload whole new army lists at a later date (they’re only a page or two long and follow a standard format).

        • Tyr says:

          Hm, but there arent really that many faction specific mercs at this point? I mean:
          Marauders: Radgrad, not-stormboy, maybe boomer?
          Enforcers: Howlett, N32-19
          Plague: Doc, Aquissiaq?
          Rebs: Eddak, Hund, the Sphyr model
          Asterians: Nem’rath, maybe Nastanza (though that would greatly disappoint my brother)
          Forgefathers: Bjarn, maybe the Helfather (again, disappointing those who use him in other forces), maybe Freja (ditto)
          Veermyn: Do they even have any SCs?

          Overall, it just seems pretty limiting if youre going with the idea of leaders defining your force. Better to have Leader types, of which the special characters are some. Ie, Rebs Rin Nomad leader, and Hund counts as one but has slightly differing rules in some respects (equipment, etc).

        • Quirkworthy says:

          There will indeed be many defined by leader types in order to give each faction a good selection. However, I don’t want to start making a cookie cutter set for everyone. That’s unnecessary. It’ll be sorted on a faction by faction basis, giving each the options it needs to give a player a reasonable choice.

        • Captn Morgrim says:

          As part of a group who like to tell their own stories in our games, I have to second Tyr’s Leader type idea “… of which the special characters are some. Ie, Rebs Rin Nomad leader, and Hund counts as one but has slightly differing rules in some respects (equipment, etc)”
          Having to resort to Big Name characters in games like Warmahordes kept me from ever even considering them. (Well, that and iconically beardless Dwarves, *shudders* DZ Brokkr are something different, and I greenstuffed beards and ‘staches on some of them.)
          So, instead basing the force around Sgt Howlett or Chief Radgrad, basing it around an “generic” Enforcer Assault Commander or a Marauder Ripper Warlord allows us to develop our own stories and backgrounds, even if taking the Sarge or the Chief instead gives us an extra bonus or different weapons troops choices on top of it.
          E.g. the generic Enforcer Assault Commander could unlock a little more burst laser support, whereas Howlett unlocks more close range support like thermal rifles, with incinerators being available to both army selectors.

        • vaultage says:

          i hope it gets addressed in advanced rules (campaign rules or whatever…).
          there is a typical need to create a generic commander and make into an individual unique character through experience is solething that should go with the campaign system.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          Yes there will be (at least some) generic commanders. See my previous comment.

      • pepperpunk says:

        As long as points values are accurate and balanced (Plague ans Enforcers were, Rebs and Marauders were not), there’s nothing wrong with cherry-picking.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          I strongly disagree. Points systems are never more than best guesses based on imagined average situations. That’s not a failing of the design, it’s a fact of life. A points system cannot know all manner of critical variables when it is designed, and it is not practical for a points value to change based on all of these. So, it is inevitable that for the specific series of variables present at any one time, there will be more and less optimal choices, therefore cherry-picking from the whole range will always provide a more powerful option.

        • Tyr says:

          Which is why a public beta would be pretty useful, as those can help find those situations the designer *didnt* think of when designing the points system. 😉

        • Quirkworthy says:

          I think we’re going to get a public beta of some sort. No details yet, but I’ve discussed it with RR.

  10. Chris says:

    Will this all end up invalidating the AI deck? If so would we see a replacement? I liked the ability to run a game by myself when I couldn’t wrangle friends.

  11. Stu says:

    All sounds positive to me. None of our group liked the original deadzone mechanics, so we played Necromunda. I am really hoping that the new version fixes the problems we perceived with the original game (shooting being a bit rubbish in comparison to melee; the big guns not actually killing stuff (armour piece ten was only any good if you had enough dice to make it matter); there was a long list..

    has the basic shooting mechanic changed at all?..

    • Quirkworthy says:

      DZ won’t suit everyone, just like every other game ever made. As the saying goes, you can’t please all the people all the time.

      The core dice mechanic hasn’t changed, but the modifiers have a bit, and there are some other dynamics which make for a much deadlier game.

      As to the relative lethality of shooting vs melee, in the Warpath universe there are armies that predominantly fight hand-to-hand (or claw), and these need to work in game to follow that background. Whilst I don’t personally think this is realistic, it’s very, very common for SF games including 40K, WZR, and most of the others. That’s because most of them are (effectively) fantasy games in space. With ray guns 🙂

      So, will you like it more? I’ve no idea. All I can say is give it a go when the public beta comes out and see what you think.

      • Tyr says:

        Just something Id like to see… could you rethink how vehicles work? In the current game, a strider is just… kind of like a monster with special rules. I think itd be a lot more interesting if vehicles had a specific kind of profile. A relatively low survive stat (6+,7+, maybe even 8) but ridiculously high armour. This would fix a lot of the current problems high AP weapons have. Suddenly, you *need* AP to take down vehicles, which are all but immune to small arms fire, but theyd be far more vulnerable to antitank weapons.

        (also, snipers need a nerf. Maybe have the sniper rule be integral to the weapon, not the gunner? Also, no snipers without deliberate. Im looking at you, Nastanza… <.<)

        • vaultage says:

          yup, nice idea
          to nerf the sniper simply requires to change the sniper ability : instead of granting a bonus of +2, remove malus due to shooting at a long range or allow to shoot at a longer range…

        • mastertugunegb says:

          So they’d all become 40k 5th edition Land Raiders then. Able to ignore most attacks until something beat the armour and rolled a 5 or 6 taking it out in one hit anyway. Dunno which is better.

          As for snipers, you just eat them. Nastanza is supposed to be scary. Once you fight her though, she, like The Helfather, and most other shooty based Mercs get taken out quick enough. Also, suppression is a good way to prevent her from ever getting a shot off.

        • Tyr says:

          @mastertugunegb: Not really. A weapon designed to kill it (say, AP3-4) would kill it pretty quickly. Thats what the relatively low survival is for. Alternatively, you can throw loads of dice at it. But itd take a lot of work to kill it that way. Itd just solve the issue of a) vehicles feeling like everything else, dying from small arms fire and snipers, and b) itd make weapons with an AP above 2 a lot more attractive. I mean, why have anything above AP3 in the current game? Theres no model with 4+ armour. And the experimental AP rules seem more like an option of making high AP more killy against tough (ie, living) stuff.

        • vaultage says:

          +1 to that.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          I’ve got the bonnet up and am messing with the Vehicle engine already. Your suggestion is interesting, and is a bit like one of the options I’ve been considering. Still not sure if it’s the one I’ll go for. I don’t mind the sudden kill on a heavy vehicle if that’s done with an appropriate weapon. It is what anti-armour weapons are supposed to do. However, it needs to fit slickly with the other mechanics, and that’s where it currently falls down.

          I think that the sniper issue is more to do with the other things that the model has and does rather than the sniper skill per se. Again, I’m still tinkering with it. The challenge here is to have them work like snipers, but not be totally unbalancing. No point in snipers that can’t ever do the spectacular long kills either.

        • vaultage says:

          my 2 cents there : the +2 bonus dice on sniper skill is huge because with the proper shooter it gets you 2 extra damage (ie to damage vehicles or high armor)… it would be fine if the shots where not also applicable to any point blank shooting (say shotgun +2 dice ?) which then dont look really like the typical sniper skill.

        • Bobalot says:

          The only way I consider sniper broken is that it is a models rule not a weapons rule. An Enforcer Sniper using his sniper rifle should have the ability to annihilate almost anything with a well planned shot.

          However a pinned Enforcer Sniper getting mean then revenge executing someone with his pistol just seems a bit far fetched. In fact in my games my sniper only uses his rifle on the first turn because the ability to move and shoot with 2 extra dice trumps being stationary and getting that AP1 in my book.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          Well an untrained person with a sniper rifle probably won’t be as good as a trained person with a normal one. At least, that’s my view. But the problem is a surprisingly complex one to unravel as both weapon and individual clearly play a part. Should a sniper get his bonus for using a pistol? Probably not, though there’s an argument for giving them a partial benefit. Not that I’m about to start adding that sort of fractional modifier.

          This complexity is compounded by Mantic wanting a single model to be able to change weapon during a campaign, so there’s still a ways to go before I can say I’ve got a robust resolution that I’m entirely happy with.

        • Tyr says:

          “However, it needs to fit slickly with the other mechanics, and that’s where it currently falls down.”

          @Jake (re:vehicles): Whats the problem with fitting with the other mechanics? Seems pretty slick to me, though I obviously dont know what else has changed…?

        • Quirkworthy says:

          Without going into details, it’s just a bit rules heavy and fiddly in comparison to the rest of the game, and needs some tweaking to bring it into line. Looking for dead wood that can be pruned, or elements I can subsume into other systems.

        • Tyr says:

          But the high armour/low survive is pretty much the least rules heavy approach you could take, and extremely flavourful at that? I mean, living organisms dont tend to be heavily armoured, no body armour is going to be anywhere near as good as a tanks armour. But if injured, an organism has systems for keeping injuries in check. Blood clotting, altering blood pressure, changing motor movement patterns on the fly… vehicles dont do that. If something penetrates their armour, the stuff underneath is pretty much gone. WHich is why wound mechanics are always slightly irritating to me. 😛
          (they also lead to more bookkeeping/markerspam)

      • Stu says:

        Will do.. As for snipers, in RL they’re not all that great. They require a lot of time and space to operate and really hate being shot at or enemy close to them. They are surgical strikes for high-ranking targets, not just a +2 dice kill everything monster!

        And certainly without some big anti-vehicle gun, they really didn’t aught to be taking down vehicles unless they can kill the driver!

        • Quirkworthy says:

          Agreed. Once in position though, they can be very potent.

        • vaultage says:

          i still think this sum up as once in a position sniper can accurately pick a target from a greater distance than other regular troops.
          they have a steadier shot than others so i would it as “if you aim, you can pick a target without penalty and from a greater range than normal”

        • Tyr says:

          @Vaultage: That sounds pretty interesting… maybe snipers could never be penalised (or be penalised less than they usually would) if the used an aim action? Thatd make them extremely dangerous even if youre in cover, while not doing massive amounts of damage to things that are extremely tough… after all, theyd probably have the higher ground as well.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          Mind you, think about Shughart and Gordon in Black Hawk Down. They were real snipers, in a real battle, and were far from being hidden away in a distant vantage point.

        • vaultage says:

          the sure thing is that they ran out of ammo while being very careful about their shots.
          and yeah may also be pretty good shooters being in delta force and all (marksman ?)

          … you dont plan to include ammo rolls ?

          i was just thinking about american sniper : he combines both high shooting skills yet the sniper he is allows him to pick targets twice the usual distance of others.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          They supposedly killed 2 dozen enemies before they died themselves, so they were clearly able to use their competence and accuracy in a much more messy and close-in battle.

          No, I don’t plan on having ammo rules as a general thing.

        • vaultage says:

          so something like being able to pick up multiple targets in a series of quick but lethaly accurate shots ?

        • Tyr says:

          I think thats less to do with them being skilled marksmen, and more about being extremely well-trained and disciplined soldiers. At short range, hitting and killing stuff isnt that much of a problem, its about not being killed and not panicking. So I dont think them being snipers had much to do with their “success”. I could maybe see the marksman skill staying the way it is (affecting every weapon the model is carrying), but sniper seems a bit too much.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          @ Vaultage – that would be an interesting skill, though it doesn’t really say sniper to me. At least, not in a Warpath context.

          @ Tyr – I think it’s possible to pick apart which fraction of their real success belongs to which element of their character, equipment or training because people aren’t like that – they are an undifferentiated amalgam of all their experiences.

          However, games need the separation.

        • Stu says:

          (from wiki) “The primary mission of the sniper is to deliver long range, precision fire. Their secondary mission is the collecting and reporting of battlefield information. Soldiers are taught how to blend in with the surrounding environment by wearing a ghillie suit.”

          Perhaps concentrating on the latter half of the above (Intel & concealment) could give them something useful rather than just making them uuber lethal

        • Quirkworthy says:

          Like many things, the realistic role of the sniper is bent to fit a game of toy soldiers set in a fictional world. Mantic are a figure company, and gamers generally like and expect snipers to turn up, so reality is ignored and they are plonked on the table as the uber shooters of modern legend.

          Snipers would be more accurately shown by not being shown at all – instead turning up as a sort of off-board artillery.

          The sort of recon role you rightly suggest that they are often tasked with generally happens before things get to the point that DZR shows. They’re the ones who’ve found the info that allowed High Command to set the mission being played.

        • Stu says:

          Maybe it’s just a case of yeah they can be really good, but their numbers should be limited.
          I can see why it would be more difficult to represent them in a skirmish game than in a squad based one (in the former, you expect them to hit and be lethal because they are a sniper! whilst in the latter you expect them to shoot at the squad leader, NCO or LMG toting-figure (a la Bolt Action))

          I’d just like to see them have an equivalent negative.
          The Gobbo snipers seemed to be the best troops the orcs had which was a nice change but the orcs themselves were pretty crap

  12. BHC says:

    Question on the Army list… seems like it would be difficult to add new units to the game, since you’d have to add them to various lists. Especially mercs that can show up on multiple lists. Would that make the printed version quickly outdated?

    • vaultage says:

      yup, i have the same concer ^^

    • Quirkworthy says:

      It’s possible, and mercs would be a particular issue as you say. However, with the Warpath KS running, and lots already sculpted or planned for that, I think that the armies we’ll cover will already be pretty well planned and not get much added later. Instead we’ll be more likely to add a whole new force (Zzor, for example) or a new commander (which would have a whole new force sheet rather than updating an old one). Unexpected new units seem less likely.

      Also, part of my cunning plan is to have the army list reference sheets downloadable (Ronnie, are you listening?), so if there was to be any change then you could simply download an updated one.

      So yes, it might happen, but I don’t anticipate it being a major issue.

      • mastertugunegb says:

        What if you use something similar to Dreadball Xtreme’s sponsor rules?
        Using the Sgt Howlett example:
        lets say he has the following Groups available:
        (Assault (1), Enforcer, Incinerator, Defender, Breacher)
        Then you could have teams that have their own groups:
        Enforcer Strike Team (Enforcer, Strike) 4 regulars and a Burst Laser guy
        Assault Enforcer Team (Enforcer, Assault) 5 Assault Enforcers.
        Assault Incinerator Team (Enforcer, Incinerator) 4 Assault Enforcers and an Incinerator guy.
        Enforcer Strider (Corporation, Strider, Heavy) 1 Strider with big gun.

        A Commander may buy as many multiples of a team as he can match groups to it. If the group has a number in brackets/a circle next to it, then you must buy at least 1 of that Team for your force, but it doesn’t count towards your maximum total of that team.

        So in the case above, Sgt Howlett must buy at least 1 Assault Enforcer Team. After that, we can see by the Assault Enforcer team’s groups that they have the Groups Enforcer, and Assault, meaning he can also buy up to 2 more of that team for a total of 3 Assault Enforcers in his overall Strike Force.

        If he wants any rifle toting Enforcers we see he only has one match, Enforcers group, for the Enforcer Strike Team as he doesn’t have Strike as a group. So he can only have the 1 team of rifle toting Enforcers from that entry.

        If he wants a Strider, he is out of luck as he has none of the groups in common with the Strider.

        You could even have Groups with ‘Hates Heavy’ to represent a commander who will never hire a Team with the Heavy Group, whether he actually despises them or just prefers an approach without resorting to artillery and really big guns to get the job done.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          That would work fine, nothing mechanically wrong with that approach at all – in fact, it’s got better future proofing. The only drawback is that Ronnie specifically wanted something else 😉

        • mastertugunegb says:

          Maybe if you used symbols and a symbol key. Then you might be able to fool Ronnie with an “original” method that… wasn’t really original at all *cough* Dreadball XTreme *cough*. 😉

        • Quirkworthy says:

          I could say that I was being environmentally conscious and recycling…


  13. vaultage says:

    glad to see battle cards are changing for solething more commander related.

    i just hope that the commander centric lists and their related advantages / disadvantages will not be too restrictive with exact minis names but keep rather generic troops types (troopers, specialists, leader, rare, unique…)
    otherwise if/when new models get available, the commander sheet will not be able to hire them, which would be shame for the future expansions of this great game.

  14. Gimgamgoo says:

    Hopefully the equipment “drops” won’t change and invalidate all those lovely resin crate models we’ve bought and painted. Just thought I’d mention it. If you’re testing with cards, you may forget about those brill pieces of scenery/loot.

  15. Tod says:

    All you stuff looks good Jake, IF your AI cards are still going to be usable. I don’t have that many opponents available, but I have had fun using the AI.

  16. berger15 says:

    So are the stats and abilities changing to the point where the existing cards are invalid? In which case, I’ll have to seriously reconsider trying to convert people, as it will need a shedload of bits i didn’t get in the KS to make the game playable under the new rules. Or is it just the squad selection system that is changing?

  17. Bobalot says:

    I was very much pro cards at the start of the new kickstarter but on reflection with how much harder it is to update card sets vs. books I am totally behind the reference card/mordheim roster set up – it just makes more sense! I do think mantic could make a killing selling blank faction themed dry wipe reference cards for those who still want to use them for campaigns or what have you 🙂

  18. Paboook says:

    I used to strictly advocate cards, but I like what Jake suggests. Sounds great actually 🙂

    However, I would be happy to keep some random factor in mission selection. Also really hope that missions will remain secret to the opponent, a factor I really like in current DZ.

  19. Jonny P says:

    Any truth to the rumours of stats for Captain Ronnie the Peacekeeper Legend, deadly in the arts of shooting, combat, and improvisational comedy?

  20. mastertugunegb says:

    Seeing as we’re talking about Cards Redux and all that nonsense, will effects that only Activate an opponent who isn’t already activated be getting a redux too?… i.e. Distract, Glue Grenade, one of the Command action options, that kind of thing? Will these get some kind of redux too?

    While I’m not as concerned with the battle card being sometimes useless as it is just the fortunes of initiative and card draw, the humble Glue Grenade doesn’t see a lot of love from me.

    Unless I’ve somehow gained the initiative or I’m fighting a large force who haven’t activated the people I want to glue already, the glue grenade, distract battle card and the Command Action option that does the same thing just don’t seem like options worth bothering with.

    Would be cool if they messed with Overwatch and maybe had an effect that didn’t go away until the model(s) affected used a Long Action to shake it off.

    • Quirkworthy says:

      I’m dealing with all of these on a case-by-case basis. Essentially, I’m asking myself if they really do what I want them to in terms of overall game impact, and if not how they can be changed. Or, whether they need to be removed, broken into two options instead of one, or whatever. So I can’t give you a global answer because there isn’t one. However, I can tell you that everything is going through the “do we need it and does it still work” filter again 🙂

      • vaultage says:

        will the game turns / round structure get a review too ?
        i found out that it was very complicated for new gamers to understand the 2 intricated concepts.

        • Quirkworthy says:

          It’s been simplified, though it’s still split into turns (when a single model acts) and rounds (the overall “turn” in which every model gets a chance to act).

  21. mastertugunegb says:

    Will it work with more than 2 players? Is there any existing rules for say 3-4 players yet? If not, how does the new structure hold up potentially for a 4 player Deadzone Mission?

    • Quirkworthy says:

      I haven’t tried with 3 or more players yet. As a thought experiment it seems to work fairly simply. Probably better than the first version, to be honest, because of the changes in the turn structure.

  22. Sam Thrower says:

    Will there be a revamp of the AI rules for the zombies in the new rules? I really want to play those scenarios and got the book in the first KS but no AI deck.

    • Tyr says:

      Zombies dont need the AI deck though? You should have all the rules required to use them. And the zombie portion of the expansion doesnt look like itd need any changes to work with the new core game… unless the turnstructure has changed dramatically, in which case a small Errata should be enough to fix it.

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