The Blue Baron back again with Deadzone, the skirmish game by Mantic Games. The game is played on a 2 foot by 2 foot mat broken up into 3 inch cubes. This is further supplemented by their Battlezones modular terrain. This gives the battlefield a little bit extra.
Deadzone is a Sci-Fi skirmish game where each player tries to fulfill his or her random missions. These missions are kept secret from your opponent.This means that some games could in fact be won without a shot ever being fired. But of course, you never know what your opponent will be trying to accomplish so it’s usually best to put them into the ground. Each player controls a strike team consisting of 70 points of models. The list selection is simple but somewhat limiting. You can take as many leaders as you want but they are expensive and not necessarily better at fighting. The core of each list is trooper models. For the Enforcers, the human’s elite secret army, you get a choice of Enforcers armed with a rifle or Enforcer s armed with a wrist blade and pistol. For each trooper you take you can take either a special or a rare. These are your heavy weapons, snipers, or engineers. You are limited to one mercenary. So a typical strike force will be a leader, 2-4 troopers and 2-3 special or rare troops.
As of the time this goes live there are 6 different factions. I’m going to just go over the first four since those are the ones I have experience with (Also, the space dwarves are sitting on my desk waiting to be finished painting.). First off is the Enforcers. As mentioned earlier they are the Corporation’s special forces. In the setting most of humanity is part of the Galactic Co-Prosperity Sphere. This is similar to other sci-fi settings where corporations run the galaxy. Each corporation has its own standing army. There is a counsel in charge of the corporations. Their private army is the Enforcers. They are equipped with power armor and jump packs making them highly mobile on the battle field and tough to kill. They are highly trained and highly motivated. You can certainly draw some parallels between these guys and the classic Space Marines from Warhammer 40,000. However they aren’t super enhanced mega-humans. They are just highly trained, highly skilled, obedient killing machines. They tend to focus on ranged combat and mobility. Enforcers have great armor and survivability but tend to lack a sizeable melee punch.
Next up are the primary adversaries in the deadzone, the Plague. The Plague are created when humans, or any other creature, comes in contact with an infected artifact. Who made these artifacts and for what purpose are currently unknown. The initial infected are classified as Stage 1. These guys get bulked up with muscle and bone. They lose all higher brain function and solely exist to infect others. Stage 2s are created when infected by a stage one, they don’t bulk up as much and retain more of their intelligence. Stage 3’s are created when infected by a stage 2. Stage 3s are not infectious. They change the least, both physically and mentally and are able to use weapons, tactics, and vehicles. The plague is a fast melee force with supporting ranged elements.
Marauders or Orx, yes space orcs, are different in this setting than their Warhammer cousins. Marauders are smart, cunning mercenaries. They are organized and disciplined. Orx started out being trained to be the Council’s private army. After some time of training and working under the humans, the Orx got tired of it and rebelled. After the rebellion they splintered off into pirate and mercenary fleets. In Deadzone Marauders are represented by Commandos. These are the Orx special forces. Commando are the generalist troops. Their troops can do everything decently. The Commando leader tend to focus on command more than other leaders and is not that great in melee. The specialists are goblin snipers, trained attack dogs, and marauders in powered suits with a ridiculous amount of ranged or melee firepower. I find them the most fun to play as they can adapt to any mission.
Some humans and aliens believe the corporation is evil and slowly destroying the people’s freedom. They have subjugated and exploited aliens and their planets. Some fight back, these are the Rebels. Made up of disenfranchised humans and aliens, they are in the Deadzone for material and information. They have the most diverse roster in Deadzone. Their troopers are made up of humans, Soraks, Yndij, and survey drones. Yndij are nimble little guys and Soraks use a shockwave gun that can blow people out of a cube. They are limited to one type of leader who is a sniper. Their support can be a medic, flying melee specialists, or big beefy aliens, some with big beefy guns, some with big beefy blades. They are arguably the hardest to play with their emphasis on individualism. The game can be won or lost depending on your mission and the force you chose.
Next week I’ll go over the rules. I’ve included some pictures from my most recent game. I was playing the Plague while my friend Jack was controlling the Marauders. His mission was to survive as long as possible while mine was to take territory while staying alive. As you can see he bunkered in a fortified position while I spread out and kept him pinned down with a grenade launcher. About an hour and a half later I had gained enough victory points to win. Over all it was a fun game without too much bloodshed.
See you next week!