Sunday, July 10, 2016

Deadzone 2, Review and AAR.

Just in time for the end of month, I thought I'd  get my first stab at Deadzone 2 documented.  This wouldbe  the results of Mantic's latest Deadzone Kickstarter that was funded on April 6th, 2015. I was for the quarantine pledge and 14 months later it delivered safe and sound.

 I've only ever played a couple demo games of the Original Deadzone, acquiring a handful of models along the way as I liked the look of them for generic sci fi gaming. 18 months after my initial Deadzone trials, I find myself with a bunch of models, my Kickstarter pledge delivered and exactly 1 Deadzone 2 Demo under my belt played at Adepticon this year.

While Mantic has retooled and geared Deadzone 2 to be the boardgame-esque companion game to its new "Warpath" game system. ( a 40K competitor large format Sci Fi wargame, ) I do think Mantic somewhat missed the boat here. Originally Deadzone was  presented as Mantic's only Sci Fi wargame entry. Uniquely different from 40K  It had found itself a good niche. However it seems the resulting success of Kings of War, (almost entirely due to Games Workshop blowing up Warhammer Fantasy) somehow clouded  Mantic's judgement into thinking a 40K style entry could do similarly well and the "new" Deadzone sort of just got piled in with that.

While I am glad it did it as I could care less about Warpath, and I am kind of thinking alot of gamers who like the genre will not care either ,because if you want a game "like" 40K you just play 40K, Which leaves a a small percentage of outcasts that like the genre but don't like 40K , for whatever reason and want to invest in Warpath.

Regardless,  I like Deadzone 2, it reads quick , I like the mechanics with low model counts and a small board.  There no shortage of excellent terrain and models to be had, I've quickly found myself with 5 factions between trades, cheap buys on ebay and the Kickstarter. I now have Enforcers, Rebs, Plague, Veer Myn and Forge Fathers. not tons of models but enough I can field Deadzone teams for all 5 factions. It nice was  to actually play something with nice selection of Sci Fi models I've had for years. the fit is right.

Here is a walkthru of  my first actual game:. Factions are Enforcers Vs Rebs, on the new Industrial Terrain.
 I have some actual mantic models done here, mainly Rebs 5 of 8 models, but the Enforcers ,except for one , Pathfinder Sniper, are proxied by my Reaper Nova Corp  who seem to  fit right in. Terrain is all new from Kickstarter , with the exception of the grey command building which is from the Urban terrain set. Things are not totally done yet, I'm still getting into it but I modeled up the buildings and got the spray cans out a couple sundays ago..Here is how the game went:

The board- this is basic KS terrain set plus a couple Urban Sprues for the grey building.
Strike Teams at 150 points

Mission : Scour.


Sergeant- added Laser Rifle
Pathfinder Specialist- Sniper
Strider w/ Equalizer
3 Enforcers
Medi Pack

Enforcers (proxied Reaper Nova Corp, the Strider is a Robotech promo model from 2 year back)

Commander with Sniper Rifle
Sorak Specialist
Yndij Trooper added combat blades
4 Troopers
Smoke Grenade
Frag Grenade
AP Ammo

Rebs, a mix of Mantic and Reaper figures
Initiative:  5 Dice Recon Test, both Leaders have a 4+ recon value
Enforcers rolls 5 Successes
Rebs 3, Enforcers have initiative choose to deploy and go first.
Enforcer Strider and Sniper take Scout Moves
Reb Yndij makes Scout Move.


Command Dice, Enforcers roll 4 dice (+1 due to Tactician skill)
+1 Model and 3 Fight Dice,
Reroll the 3 fight dice.3 3 +1 Model,
Command Dice 2- +1 Model  2 Move Dice.

I activate the Strider who in a good postion thanks to its Scout move. It fires it massively powerful equalizer cannon at the Teraton who is partially visible, The Teraton ties the first shot with 1 success each, the Strider fires again this time the Teraton win 2 Success to 1.
So the shots miss.

Shoots and Misses...Teraton has more survive success than Strider had hits.

Command Dice 5, (+2 for Tactician)
They get 2 Shoot. 1 move, 1 Splat, 1 Fight
Reroll Splat and Fight
2 Shoot, 1 Move, 1 Dice, +1 Model

Yndij Trooper fires rifle at Enforcer in open under bridge
3 Dice, +2 dice for open shot plus +1 dice for Elevated.  6 dice vs 3.

Yndij rolls a 8 and gets an extra dice ending with 5 success vs 0!! For the Enforcer.
The armor absorbs 1, but he takes 4 damage and is out.
Enforcer in foreground shot down by Yndij Trooper

Since Shooting is a short action and the model has not moved it fires again using the “fire for effect” ability of his rifle, if successful this can pin the troopers  this time at the two enforcers in the adjacent cube who have cover for the bridge strut  The Yndij gets 4 dice..while both enforcers get 3 Survive dice. ,  but enforcers get more successes so the burst of fire misses.


Activate the Trooper that was just fired upon by Yndij,  Sprint Moves thru cube with Item recovering Item (ammo) on way.   I use the a +1 Model Dice to activate the already setup Pathfinder Sniper who gets 5 Dice in her shot at the  Yndij, thanks to the Sniper Scope, however the Snipe Shot is “heavy” so the shot is a “long or full action” the Sniper rolls 4 Successes one of which is an 8 so we roll an extra die…but stll end with 4 Successes…The Yndij Roll 2 Successes but both are 8’s so we roll two more and get a 3rd success..the Yndij has no Armor and takes 1 hit and is Damaged.  Lucky!


Use 1 Move Command Die  Then Teraton sprints to behind command building moving 4 Squares.

Use +1 Model  Command Die , to Activate Reb commander . She moves 1 square Fires AP ammo Sniper Shot at Strider its  6  success vs 3 Success ,  exactly what she  needed for 1 wound!  The Rebs luck continues
Seemed like a good idea, she did wound the Strider, but leaving her in postion to be blasted next turn, bad idea.


Activate Enforcer Sgt, he climbs one cube then moving another on to the elevated walk way recovering
An item in the process we flip it over and its booby trap!..OOF….how he gets a bit of luck getting 2 survive success vs only one success for the exploding trap..he chalks it up to a misfire.

I use the last Enforcer command die +1 Model, to activate the last Enforcer who makes sprint action to join the other Enforcer  .

All Enforcers Models have moved.


REBS have 2 Shoot Dice and one “ Xtra Die” Dice in the command pool.

REB Trooper (with Medi Pack) move 1 Cube up and heals Yndij Trooper of Wound

REB Trooper moves 1 and Fires for Effect you using a Shoot command die winning 3 Successes vs 2 and an Enforcer Trooper is Pinned.

Reb Trooper  moves 1 throw smoke Grenade block view of  forward Enforcer Trooper.

Reb Trooper Sprints, joins Commander,

Sorak, Sprint toward Item.

Check Smoke (3) smoke remains.


The Strider vaporizes both the Reb Commander and Troop on the corner of the Red Building here.

Command roll 4 Dice-  (2) +1` model,  1 Splat (special ability), 1 xtra Die
No reroll.

The Strider activates and immediately returns fire to Reb Commander in cover at the side of building.
It will use a command shoot die for a 4 Die roll, we get a whooping 4 success one of which is an 8 and we roll another for 5…no sense in even rolling the the 3 survive die, since the equalizer is AP4 the Reb Commander is obliterated!.
The  Strider then takes it second short action to fire at the Rebel Trooper in the same cube as the Reb Commander with the Commander down he is wholly exposed making this a 5 dice shot (+2 for in the open)
This time the Strider rolls 3 Successes but the Reb Trooper rolls NONE, he too is vaporized…
Enforcers just even it up big time, and Pass to the Rebs.

Command Roll,  3 Dice since Reb Commander is Out of Action,
We Roll 3 “xtra Die” symbols and decide to keep it.

Teraton Activates uses it special action to Teleport to within one cube of the Strider, then a short action to move into the Cube with a Strider for a Fight.
The Teraton get 3 base dice in a fight plus 1 for moving into the cube this turn and 1 since the Strider is injured. And we also use an command “xtra die” dice  as well  for a total of 6. The Strider has a better chance trying to evade the attacks (survive) than try to fight back…
Since its larger model it get an extra dice. For a total of 4.
The Teraton scores 5 success vs 3 for the Strider,  for net of +2 the attacks are AP 1 essentially making it +3 the Strider’s armor is 3, so we fail to damage it… we need one more.
Striders are Tough!

Enforcer Sgt uses the Splat Command die to activate his special ability mobile infanty, this give him a free sprint action. He pick up an item (ammo) during this move he then uses his Rapid Fire ability to try to Pin the Ynidj Trooper down and keep him from attacking other teammates.
He successfully pins down the Ynidj 4 success vs 2.

Pass to Rebs.


Sorak drops Frag Grenade make a Sprint Action to unclaimed item. He picks it up and it AP Ammo



SNIPER has to reposition in same cube to aim at other targets, since this counts as a short action and his weapon is “Heavy” he cant shoot.
Activate +1 Model Die to have pinned Enforcer stand up then make a short action move to cube with cover against Rebs approaching from left flank.

Pass to Rebs


REB TROOPER Picks up Frag Gren left by Sorak, takes 2nd short action to base of  conveyor ramp



Activate Trooper who uses Fire for effect with Command Xtra Die to Pin down Reb Troop at Mine shaft entrance…he does so with a whopping 7 successes  (with exploding dice) vs 2 for the Reb
He then does this again at the Trooper on roof with his second short action but does not succeed.


Pinned Trooper activates stands and shoots..a misses 3 vs 1 in favor of Enforcers

Reb Trooper on roof fires using last command xtra die at same Enforcer. And he does hit but
The Enforcer armor absorbs it.

Check Smoke (2) smoke remains.

Current Score ENFORCERS  6 VP,  REBS 3 VP
Yndij Trooper Pinned by Enforcer Rapid Fire.



(note on Initiative.  Enforcers continue to go first as initiative at the top of the round goes to the strike whose models finished all there turns 1st.  Since the Enforcers were initially outnumbered  8 to 6
Its difficult for the Rebs to finish the round 1st without several +1 model command moves. Considering the losses both sides have faced future turn may see the change in Initiative)

Command Roll 4 Dice = Shoot , Splat,, +1 Model.

The Strider Activates.  I quickly realize the Teraton shouldn’t have engage the Strider as this point it too hard to get thru that armor without some better  Strategy, The Strider simply takes a short action to move out of the cube. This give the Teraton a chance to attack against the Strider’s better Survive skill. Its  4 Dice vs 4 Dice and the Teraton win 4 to 3 but even with AP1 can’t get thru the Armor.

Now in the Adjacent cube the Strider can fire its powerful cannon point blank at the Teraton and it does.
And well the command xtra die plus our 2 bonus dice for 6 total dice… with exploding 8’s rolls a whopping 6 success !, while the Teraton  rolls all three of it success, its looking at 3 against this AP4 weapon, however the Teraton is “tough” so we remove 1 right away looking at 2 success then an Armor 1 for the Teraton meaning only 1 wound gets through…wounded.

Here we now play the enforcers xtra command shoot die for another chance 6 dice again, +2 for clear shot and now the Teraton is wounded. This time the Strider gets 4 success but the Teraton only gets 1, for +3 , we remove 1 for “tough” with net of 2, since the Equalizer is AP4 it bypass the armor for 2 Damage the Teraton is Down and out!

With the relative ease the Strider withdrew, I knew the Teraton was in big trouble


Command Dice, 2 Moves , 1 Xtra Die

From here out is all down hill for the Rebs, losing the Teraton gave the Enforcers another 3 VP and they had 2 Items secure so they begin withdrawing

The Rebs end up losing another Trooper  from the Pathfinder Sniper during their own exit but The Rebel Yndij does grab a nearby item which turns out to be the mission Intel  worth 2 VP in this Specific mission

At the turn of Turn 4 all models have exited the board via their own D-Zone save the Pathfinder Sniper who was covering retreat sitting on an Item (ammo)

Final Score is 11 VP for the Enforcers, 4 VP for the Rebs

Enforcers had 1 Casualty,  a Regular Trooper.

Rebs had 4 including their main two units.

Enforcers left with 2 Ammo, 1 Frag Gren and 1 Med Pack they had brought but never used.

Rebs left with Intel, 1 AP Ammo, and 1 unused Ammo and Frag Grenade brought into the mission

I’ll go into detailed Campaign options when I write about setting up the next game but briefly.

The Enforcers Soldier died after rolling on the injury table and was removed from the Roster.

All remaining Enforcers got  at least 2 XP allowing them to level  up while the Sniper and Strider both had 3 XP, the Strider was clearly the MVP, getting commendation medal.

The Rebs all Survived but the Commander and Trooper miss the next game and the other Trooper lives  get his survive stat pushed to a 7+, The Teraton miraculously survives and is ready for the next game.

I had all models getting 1 XP, but the Sorak and Teraton (the MVP) got 2 XP with the Yndij Trooper getting 3XP, unfortunately the Yndij Trooper has no campaign options for Command Skills (as there is Yndij commander you can purchase) but the Teraton does, so he’ll be promoted to commander for the next match.


A really fun game with some good dynamics, The Enforcers seem very difficult to beat, especially with the Strider without some sort of heavy the missile launcher as a counter. The Rebs really seem to need to concentrate fire a lot more than I did and use more teamwork, I left the commander hanging and that got her easily taken out, I can see the Teraton being a beast in melee against normal models, the Strider was a terrible choice to engage and it paid for it. 

Overall Kudos to Mantic for this fun little game, I’m enjoying the stuff and will surely model some more figures and terrain up soon, and that’s it for Deadzone 2, I hope was interesting and informative, if you have interest in the game.


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