10 Things You’re Missing if You’re Not Playing Deadzone

ManticGames has been shipping out their latest boxed game Deadzone and wants you to know what it’s all about:

Courtesy of ManticGames

Over the last few months, we’ve sent out a lot of Deadzone. It went out to almost 5000 Kickstarter backers, and was available in limited numbers through our webstore and retail stockists. That means there are a heck of a lot of people out there playing our new sci-fi skirmish game, and we haven’t even properly released it yet! The wait is almost over, though. Deadzone gets a proper release on 14th February – and I know for a fact that it can’t come quickly enough for lots of people! For anyone who’s still sitting on the fence, I thought I’d do some research into what makes Deadzone awesome and unique! (Thanks to the guys over at the Containment Protocol Facebook group for their answers – check out their page for awesome model shots, rules discussions and plenty more.)

#10: Simple rules with lots of depth. Just like all our games, Deadzone’s core rules are really, really easy to pick up. By the end of your first game you’ll know the majority of what you need to play – then you can start working out all the intricacies of what your faction can do by looking at their special rules. Neil Lync on the Facebook group says: ’I can play it on the kitchen table and can finish a game in an hour or two. Just because it takes little space and is easy to grasp the rules doesn’t mean it doesn’t have depth, in spades.’

#9: A whole load of character. Each of the four factions in Deadzone has a discrete playing style – tactics that work for Enforcers are never going to fly for the Rebs. Also, as you play more games in a Deadzone campaign, your Strike Force grows to be unique as you unlock new equipment and abilities. Add in some Mercenaries (guns-for-hire like Nastanza or Doc Simmonds) and your force will have its own character and playing style.

#8: Teratons!

Giant teleporting space-turtles! Enough said, really.

#7: Compact carnage. Deadzone takes place on a 2′x2′ gaming mat, which is included in the box. This keeps the action confined to a small space, and also – thanks to the grid printed on the mat – makes the game really quick and simple. There’s no measuring of movement or weapon ranges, unlike most skirmish games; instead, everything is divided into cubes, which cuts out a lot of complexity and makes the game easy to learn.

#6: Incredible atmosphere. Each game of Deadzone is a claustrophobic battle against your enemy, where hugging cover is vital and outflanking your enemy is a real boon. The simplicity of the game ensures that rules don’t get in the way of gameplay; as Ant Evans on Facebook says, ‘the combination of the dice mechanic, easy to pick up rules and the intensity of a close range firefight makes for a exciting game every time’.

#5: A compelling backstory. The Deadzone background expands the Warpath universe, and gives us a bleak view of a dystopian future. Alien viruses, uncaring Corporations, plucky rebels; there’s a great framework for telling your own stories. With the Nexus Psi campaign book and Deadzone short story compilation (both of which will be available shortly after Deadzone’s release) there’s a huge amount of additional information on its way.

They just can’t leave the terrifying alien artefacts alone, can they?

#4: Tactical gameplay. The way missions work in Deadzone means you can keep your opponent guessing as you pursue your objectives… but he’ll be doing the same thing. It’s a race to victory, and you have to keep your eyes on the prize. Matt Pritchard gave us this gem on the Facebook page: ‘To play [Deadzone] well, you need to think a bit more tactically than just “kill everything!”‘

#3: Infinite replayability. Between the different factions, expanding Strike Forces, secret missions, modular terrain (more on that in a moment) and future releases, no two games of Deadzone will ever be the same. Once you’ve taken your Strike Force to the limit, and turned it from a bunch of fresh-faced recruits to a crack squad of hardened veterans, you can start all over again with one of the other factions!

#2: The terrain. Oh my, the terrain. Deadzone’s modular plastic terrain has got plenty of uses outside of the game itself (it’s awesome for just about any sci-fi wargame you can think of, and a lot more affordable than many similar kits!) but I love how it ties in with the game rules. As the wall sections match the size of the grid on the gaming mat, there’s no need for strange abstractions when moving your troops, and although the playing area’s small, there’s nothing stopping you building up! I’ve seen amazing set-ups with towering buildings and precarious walkways, which are all the more dangerous when you consider…

I’m using this photo from Titan Games again because it’s simply glorious.

#1: …The explosions! I can’t think of a single other game on the market that models action movie physics like Deadzone does. After all, realism’s great and all, but when I throw a grenade into the middle of the enemy I want to see them thrown in all directions! As Greg Hendry said on the Facebook group, ‘…what other game has rules for knocking a dirty Reb commander off a four story tower with a well placed frag?’

Obviously, Blaine’s far too cool to look back.

There we go – a selection of great reasons to play Deadzone. If you think we missed any, let us know in the comments below. I can’t wait to hear from you all! Once again, massive thanks to everyone on the Containment Protocol Facebook group for your input.

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