Into .. the Deadzone!

One Game Leaves, another spring up to take its place – this time Deadzone! by Mantic Games.

In the future, unthinkably powerful mega-corporations own and govern entire planets outright, protecting their interests with vast, private armies. Now, an even greater danger is sweeping the galaxy – a hideous mutagen wiping out entire sectors of space. To stem the carnage, highly classified Containment Protocols are enacted, blockading the infected system and wiping it from navigational charts forever. Here, with the veil of civilisation lifted, rival factions descend into furious conflict, each with a unique claim on the chaos of the Deadzone!

Our Local Pathfinder Alex was kind enough to run me through a demo of Deadzone this weekend – I was very pleasantly surprised by it.

There are six factions currently in the game

  • Forge Fathers
  • Enforcers
  • Rebs
  • Veer-Myn
  • Asterians
  • Mauraders

The demo that I had was Forge Fathers ( Yours Truly) and Enforcers ( Alex)

Deadzone
Deadzone Board Setup

 

The game at its heart is a small skirmish system, with some really interesting mechanics.

My Forge Father team consisted of a leader armed with a Forge Hammer and Pistol, Two  Steel Warriors armed with rifles and a Forge Father armed with a flamer.

The scenario we played was a race to victory points – Victory Points been given for taking and holding certain points on the board with objective markers  ( these markers showed how many VP were awarded for holding them), as well as Victory Points being awarded for killing members of the opposite team.

The Game is divided into rounds, with each player taking a turn and activating a model ( more on this later).

At the start of each round, each player rolls their command dice, these special dice allow actions to occur during each turn. The number of command dice is decided by the faction you are plus the expertise ( I am not sure of the stat here) of your leader ) My Forge Fathers had three dice + 1 for their leader. the leader also allows you to re-roll one command dice per round (if your leader dies, you lose the extra dice and the re-roll).

command dice
Command Dice

Command Dice Allow you to do:

  • Make an Extra Shooting Attack
  • Make an Extra Move
  • Use your special ability
  • Activate an extra model
  • Make an extra Fighting attack
  • Add an extra dice to a roll

Range in the game is simply measured in squares on the mat. A Forge Father rifle, for example, can fire over six squares, a unit can move one square or run two squares – either horizontally or vertically, as all terrain is measured in the same way.

Turn Actions

On your turn, your model can make one long action  ( for example running) or two short actions: Fighting, shooting, moving, get up – there may be more – but these were the only ones I was shown in the example scenario.

Combat

Eventually, you will be drawn into combat with the other side, combat is resolved by either shooting or fighting.

Shooting

Shooting is resolved by rolling the amount of dice your weapon has and then resolving the defender’s survival roll. For Example

My Forge Father Steel Warrior Fires his rifle at the Enforcer on the ground

Deadzone
Deadzone Shooting

I roll three dice ( D8s), needing fours to hit the enforcer, I also have a clear shot, adding two dice to my roll, and my Forge Father has higher ground adding one dice, finally, my warrior’s weapon has rapid fire adding an extra dice for a total of 7.  From the 7 dice 3 roll four or more. Alex’s enforcer has a survive roll of three dice, he requires 4s to avoid damage to his enforcer.  He rolls 4, 3 and 7. Meaning one shot goes through, ordinarily, this would be negated by his armor ( which is armour 1) , but my rifle has an armor penetration stat of 1, meaning it negates 1 point of armor, so the shot goes through, causing a blood drop on that model, if it is hit again, it will die.

Fighting

Fighting occurs immediately when a model enters a square occupied by another model.  Each Model rolls the number of dice of their fight skill, in my case three dice hitting on threes, the opponent also rolls their fight dice.  Each successful hit is measured against the other successful hits with each successful hit canceling another. Any hits that are left are then tested against armor, and damage applied as per shooting.

Mini Battle Report

After explaining all the rules, Alex and I played the intro scenario. Basically a race to 12 victory points.  The game would end as soon as the victory point (VP) threshold had been reached.

Round 1

After rolling command dice, and rolling for initiative, I had the opportunity to go first, I activated one of my Steel Warriors and ran him up into a tower, to gain a bird’s eye view of the battlefield.

Climbing the terrain

Alex then moved one of his Enforcers into position and fired on my warrior in the high tower – causing no damage due to a successful survive roll on my part.

Enforcers open fire

on my second activation, my Warrior on the ground opens fire, causing a wound on Alex’s Enforcer. Alex returns fire with his burst laser causing the Forge Father to be pinned to the ground.

The third activation brings the first real action of the round , my leader runs into the objective space , gaining an extra square by using one of my command dice. He now currently holds the objective . Not content to allow an early take, Alex charges his Enforcer Captain into combat  – melee weapons are drawn and the grim job of hand to hand combat begins.

Deadzone Fighting
Fighting Begins

 

Fighting Dice are rolled, things do not go well for Alex’s captain missing on all dice. The Forge Father leader strikes with his Forge Hammer, hitting on all three dice, rolling an 8 on one. When an 8 is rolled in Deadzone, it is classed as an exploding dice, allowing the player to roll another dice and add its results to the score. Another hit was rolled, four unanswered hits, caused the captain’s helmet to be struck from the rest of his armor, bouncing over four squares away, sadly for the captain his head was still inside on the first bounce…

The rest of the round was made up of strategic positional moves and closed with Alex’s drone dog moving into the action.

Forge Fathers : VP 2 for objective, and 4 for killing the Enforcer Captain

Enforcers : 0

Round 2 

Forge Father’s win the initiative again, the pinned warrior uses one action to get up and second to fire on the nearest enforcer – getting no hits

Return Fire!

 

The enforcer armed with the burst laser fires on the Forge father Leader, getting four hits, luckily the leader rolls and negates all of them by rolling two 8s and getting 2 extra dice. Time for the heroic Forge Father Leader to return fire , armed with his pistol, he fires at the enforcer assault marine, hitting him three times, using a command dice to roll another dice, it’s four hits, the assault Enforcer can’t take that much fire and stumbles to the ground.. dead.

Desperate to make an impact on the marauding Forge Fathers the remaining enforcer opens fire on the Steel Warrior in the high tower – this time the hit rings true, and the doughtyty Forge Father slumps against the barriers his armor shredded, bleeding, but still alive. After regaining some semblance of balance, the Steel Warrior returns fire, all of his dice ringing true, with two exploding dice, both rolling hits! six hits, the enforcer looks down in confusion at the smoking hole in his body and falls with a dead weight backward onto the still smoking corpse of his comrade.

Death to the Enforcers!

Finally, the Drone Dog moves runs into attack position and lies ready to strike next turn. The Forge Father Flamer moves within reach of the next Objective.

Forge Fathers: 2 VP for holding the objective, 1 Vp for Killing the Assault Enforcer and 2 VP for killing the Enforcer

Enforcers : 0

Round 3

This time the enforcers seize the initiative and throw everything at the Forge Father Leader – he avoids damage from the burst laser, and his compatriot returns fire ineffectually. The drone hound strikes! this time rending the Forge Father Leader’s armour and causing an injury , the hound then retreats view.  Staggering into the nearby building the Forge Father leader abandons his victory point ,conscious that his own demise would award VP to the enforcers. On entering the building , he has a clear shot on the drone hound .. he fires through the nearby window , causing three hits , the hound fails to avoid and is struck down by the leader’s trusty pistol – scoring the final VP needed to end the game!!

Forge Fathers : 1 VP for Killing the Drone Hound

Enforcers : 0

Final Score :

Forge Fathers : 12

Enforcers : 0

End Game Pictures

 

Thanks to Alex for the demo and the cool Blaine Minature.

I will be definitely getting my own Deadzone force – more than likely Forge Fathers . If this post has interested you in Deadzone you can buy it here as ever from Asgard Wargames , and if you want a demo drop me a comment and I’ll get Alex to arrange it – in Middlesbrough obviously or put you in touch with a pathfinder local to you.

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