Monday, June 30, 2014

Deadzone: The game I've been waiting for, what about you?

2 Players, 45-60 minutes, Requires Hobby skills, Deep gameplay
by Ray Snyder

Deadzone is a game of Sci Fi skirmish combat on a Plague-infected world that has been quarantined from the rest of the Galaxy. Players control small strike teams of Plague Victims, Corporate Enforcers, Marauding Orx, or Rebels looking to steal supplies and equipment from the abandoned World. The Starter box set includes the Enforcers and the Plague. The Enforcers are the best soldiers the Corporations could buy or create, they are Clad in full enclosed power armor that protects them from the plague. The Plague Victims are horrible mutations of the citizens that live on the infected world. Some are huge monsters that have lost all their humanity while others still retain some idea of who they are and how to use technology.

The Game itself is part board game and part Miniatures game as it combines aspects of both to make very satisfying but quick gameplay. All most all  dice tests such as shooting or fighting are handled with a dice pool of three dice rolled against a target number list on the models unit card. If the test is easy you add more dice to the pool, if it’s harder you remove dice, it’s fast and easy. Additionally most tests are opposed by the opponent, so you both roll a dice pool and see who gets the most successes, ensuring both players are always engaged in the game. The map you play on is a two foot by two foot square, so it will fit on most tables easily, it’s broken down into three inch cubes that are used to count range and movement. The thing that’s really neat about the squares are they are much bigger they your figures and you get to place your figures any where your want in the square, so your could place a figure behind a barrel for cover or on top of some crates so he could see better, or maybe hidden behind a wall. True Line of Sight rules mean you can only shoot what you can see, so careful positioning of your figures could be the difference between victory and defeat.

The Game also uses secret victory conditions, a deck of cards that can be used to boost your character’s effectiveness and exploding dice (if your roll the max number you get an extra dice to roll) so you never know for sure how things are going until the game it over. That plus very cinematic details and effects make for an very entertaining game. If your like skirmish level games or want to play a game that also feels like watching a movie unfold, I recommend you give this game a try.

However: one warning, this game requires a lot of assembly, it’s what some might call a Hobby game, in that constructing and painting the pieces can be a hobby in itself. If you have no desire to spend a few hours gluing plastic figures together and then possibly painting them, this may not be the game for you. That said, I highly recommend this game, it’s great fun and tends to create awesome moments when a grenade explodes and threw the opposing team’s leader off the top of a building and down into the Plague Hounds below it. Or your Sniper manages to thread the needle and get a head shot on the approaching Plague beast that was about to eat your Enforcer Sergeant.

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