Tag Archives: Deadzone

Easter – The Time of Intergalactic Conflict and Sporting Rebirth


Among the denizens of the Floating Citadel being given days off work is heralded by an anticipation of the potential for staying indoors and hovering around little models of men in armour, or, possibly, really small tanks. Sacrifices are offered, supplications made and trips out with the family to he most horrifying of all places on Earth, the shopping mall, to placate the almighty deity known as “wife” in the hope we will be allowed out to play with a friends.

With a wave and a cheer I dispatched my significant other to her parents and had the delightful company of Gribblin and Servitob to share my gaming time with. While we don’t exactly have photos or a full feature battle report to bring you I thought it’d be at least worthwhile to show off what we played and how we felt about it. As gaming is so few and far between right now deciding what to play becomes a much larger concern than ye olde “buy everything” mentality that pervades our hobby.

So it was that we kicked the day off with Deadzone. It’s a cinch to set-up and plays pretty quickly too. I love the fact you don’t need a huge table full of terrain as the mat is a great thing to play off. We ran our second ever game using Rebs against the Plague. For the Plague I created a list with the 3A General, 2 Stage 2As, 3 Stage 3As, 2 3Ds and two 3As with HMGs. Up against them were an eclectic band or Rebs; Rebs Commander, 3 Humans, 1 Yndij, 1 Survey Drone, 1 Desolator Grogan, 1 Kraaw, 1 Zee Scavenger and 1 TK-Zero.

I drew Scour for my mission and Gribblin, armed with the Zombie like Plague drew Infiltrate. Eventually it was the Rebs who won. After turtling in their deployment zone and despatching their faster moving elements to go grab the loot tokens they did a pretty good job of destroying the enemy using the Grogan and TK-zero. Turn 1 the Grogan one shotted a 2A with a pretty awesome display of marksmanship. Gribblin did manage to get the second 2A off the board as well as a 3A. Unfortunately that was as far as his game went. TK-zero took a number of shots that put the pain into his Strike Team, despite the HMGs of the Plague doing their best to suppress the weapons team. The highlight of the game was a missed shot that left the 3A in the target cube undamaged but the resulting explosion catapulted the general into a cube occupied by a 3D. The resulting collision saw both fleshy sacks of alien mutagen expire and, with a follow-up headshot from the Commander sealed the game with a rather empathic win for the plucky Rebs.

Following on from that we dived into Dropzone Commander. Up against Gribblin’s totally cheesy Shaltari teleportation shenanigans were my UCM. We played 1500pts and it was a really tight game. I horribly misused both my Wolverines and Katanas, so much so that none of them had any real impact on the game at all. My 6 Gladius however were a total wrecking crew. A Battlegroup that costs over 400 points may be a little excessive in a game of this size but they certainly paid for themselves with the impact that they had. They killed a terra gate, stopping the moving of an objective off the table, dropped some bricks on the head of the Shaltari warsuits preventing them from finding an objective (after a pair of Raven B’s had already put the hurt on the same building killing off an earlier attempt to find the objective with a different squad) as well as nuking a Coyote. Not bad when they lost not a single one from their number over the course of the game.

My Legionnaires in the Raven As were brilliant. They went into buildings, found objectives and then de-bussed quickly. With the blistering pace and small landing zones the Ravens got away quickly securing two objectives that I managed to get off the table. Gribblin managed to down one with an attack run from his fast mover but all it did was ground the transport. A transport I quickly replaced with a “Call for Extraction” card. I never felt hampered by my lack of a Commander above CV3 although spending so much on the Gladius group meant I had far fewer AA units that I’d have liked.

When it came around to post-pizza Dreadball I took my Void Sirens for their inaugural run against Servitob’s more masculine looking dudes. The game was quick and brutal, my good dice from earlier in the day deserting me. I was happy to lose as I’d had pretty decent luck through the rest of the day and I still got to play a game that was a blast and has the benefits of, like Deadzone, being quick to set up, play and pack away. Always a bonus in my mind.

We had three great games, it was really nice to get to spend some gaming time among friends. I’ve now got more motivation to get the stuff I’m using painted so that it looks nicer and we’ll see when it is we can get around to doing it again. It certainly looks like we’re all in a good place with the games that we’ve got to play and not a GW mini in sight.

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Highway to the Deadzone


Ahhhh, the heady aroma of mercilessly butchering 80’s rock ballads! I originally started a draft blog post regarding Deadzone at the start of December when a rather large box arrived on my doorstep, but, as I was feeling like a puppy kicked off the side of a mountain, I never got around to finishing it. It seems a little silly, after all this time, to go back and try to pick up the threads I’d started there, so I figured I’d just start up a new post. Especially since I’ve actually been able to play the game since then!

We might even get to play another game, although, I imagine that Gribblin wants to flop his wad of Nids on the table first.

Deadzone was the first kickstarter that I really threw down some serious cash on. I was lucky enough to get in on the ground floor with one of the Early Bird Strike Team pledges and after seeing how much stuff was crammed into Dreadball I thought this seemed a wise decision as Kickstarter would let me back out later on if I needed to. I’m very glad that I didn’t. My $141 got me 5 faction starters, twice the amount of terrain normally included, some extra dice, an extra playmat (so we can actually have two games going at the same time) and all the Mercenaries available at release. I bolted on a few extras, like a printed version of the campaign book, the acrylic tokens and a Rebs faction booster. There really was a lot of stuff in the box when I unwrapped it all. You can see it all in the picture I posted when it turned up.

So, the real important things are what you’re waiting for, how are the minis and what is the game like?

Let’s start with the miniatures.

This is the first time I’ve had my hands on Mantic’s stuff. I remember when they first started I saw their Elf line and thought it was terrible. I still think their Elves are terrible, but the stuff I saw on the Kickstarter was obviously enough to get me excited. As someone who is more used to the universal posable nature of GW kits the Mantic stuff does leave a little something to be desired. The sculpts are good and they do go together very easily, some don’t even need glue with the way the tabs fit together, but you’re not going to be getting away with the kind of poses you can do for GW, but then, this is a smaller game where you’re not going to be repeating the “same” models over and over gain. Also, Mantic have some issues with how they split their molds, often with mold lines going through major areas of detail, like the middle of a face. As the plastic that I am used to is GW’s obviously I’ve gotten used to what is, without doubt, the best in the business, therefore the Mantic stuff feels much harder to work with and tougher to clean up. That being said it’s not that hard of a process really but as it’s not what I am used to I thought I’d make mention of it.

Overall though I’m impressed. The models are crisp and well detailed, any bends you find (the material is softer than GW plastic) can be fixed with the traditional hot/cold bath method. There are some fiddly pieces (I’m looking at you Zee and Goblin heads), one of which I thought I’d lost until I found it lodged in the lining of my slippers, but no worse than you’d see anywhere else. As these models are much cheaper than what you pay for from GW I can forgive the (small) shortcomings I’ve come across, also, GW themselves seem to be moving towards mono-pose models. I know from the new Dark Elf stuff I have they are all labelled with numbered parts that cannot be mixed and matched as in days of yore.

Considering the success of Kickstarter we got a whole bunch of extra basic figures too. I’ll be getting the 5th faction (Asterians) sometime this year but in the meantime I’ve got my Rebs, Marauders and Plague to sort (I gave the Enforcers to a friend that fancied them and he bought a few add-ons himself). Most things are now built with a few Plague and some Marauders being left over.

What I would recommend is investing in some card protectors for the vast array of cards that the game uses. I did and put them into a snazzy deck box to keep them all safe. Even though I’ve done that there still isn’t enough room in it for all the cards you get in the box. I’ll have to get another one for the Asterians and I’d given a whole faction away so you can see you really do end up with a huge amount of stuff. The acrylic tokens are also a take it or leave it option. I find them quite nice but the card tokens are more than adequate for use in the game and you’ll be using quite a few to represent various things.

Overall I’d be giving the models a rating of 7/10. Good, not outstanding, but certainly fit for purpose, even if they do take a bit of getting used to after a lifetime of GW plastic.

You really cannot comment on the models without also factoring in the terrain. The terrain is a really large part of this game, so first off the bad. You don’t get enough connectors. Seriously, with the amount of terrain you get in the box a single connector sprue is about half of what you realistically need if you want to open up the full range of options that should be on offer. Luckily you can now buy single sprues for £2.50 a go which I think is more than fair value. I got 2 connector sprues to go with then 20 or so other terrain sprues. Also, don’t count on reconfiguring your terrain every game using the tiles and connectors to push together something new. The fit is very snug and popping them in and out is going to lead to some damage. I’ve already got a few snapped pins that I am going to superglue into place. I’ve got enough terrain to provide two full tables so I’ll have the option for what to use on each one that I’m not too fussed about the immutability of what I have.

The tiles are nicely detailed and also have in-game effects. It is possible to create some really nice multi-tiered pieces but you’re going to have to be either very frugal with those connecting pieces or grab some extra ones to make sure that your creations can come to life.

There are some really nice pictures on the Mantic forums of what folks have come up with and I’m really tempted to grab some more terrain when the second kickstarter survey drops at the end of the month. Overall I’d say it’s worth an 8/10.

That just leaves us to talk about how the game plays. Which I’ll deal with in a separate post.

Entering the Deadzone


As may have been noticed from the picture that I posted yesterday I am in possession of the first wave of Deadzone stuff from the Kickstarter I backed earlier in the year. Since popping my proverbial Kickstarter cherry I’ve backed two other projects, one that was funded and that I am waiting on my loot and another that is still on its way but is hitting stretch goals left, right and centre.

To say that the 4.9 Kg box is a bit full would be an understatement and while folks may be wanting more pictures of just how things turned out, I’m afraid that you’re going to have to wait. I spent the better part of three hours last night just going through all the plastic baggies looking at what models they looked like they contained as well as getting my head around all the other stuff that came in the box. I’ve since sorted the factions out and know what I’ve got in each. There was just so much stuff that it really does need to be methodically pored over to understand what arrived.

There was of course the main Deadzone box itself, however, this really did contain only a small portion of the goodies I received for my Strike Team pledge level. I was surprised to get the paper gaming mat as well as the cloth one unlocked through the stretch goals. As Deadzone is a 2 player game this works out well as I’ll be able to have two games on the go at the same time. This is also made possible by the fact that I received two sets of the terrain, the one that is present for everyone in the main game box itself, plus a complete second set due to the stretch goals of the Kickstarter. What this will mean for me is that I can actually do a nice range of buildings, some larger, some smaller, in order to vary the terrain in each game and make use of the vast customisability that Mantic have built into their terrain system.

Currently everything is still more or less packaged up. I got a good start on reading the rules (I did get the digital download but there is nothing that really compares to having a book in your hand and being able to flick through it) and things look promising. I like the way in which the 3D space is used and the nice range of actions available. With all 4 starter factions and a 5th on its way next year I’ve got plenty to sink my teeth into. Hopefully over the weekend I’m going to be able to take a much better look and maybe even get some more (and better) photos online.

Watch this space.