Deadzone: Building an Army Pt. 1


Hello again dear readers, today we build an army in Mantic Games’ Deadzone!

Generally the games that we play have established point values for a typical battle.  These vary from game to game and the number of models that you get for the “typical” points game varies wildly as well.  In Warhammer 40,000, a “typical” game might be 1500 point, giving you a pretty wide array of choices for a given army to bring to the battle and even some redundancy.  For Warmachine, it’s typically 35 to 50 points, which is a bit more restrictive – it can be hard to cram all of the toys you want into an average list.

In Mantic’s Deadzone, the average game size is 70 points, and you feel those restrictions all too keenly.

In order to build a fair all-comers army in Deadzone, you need to ensure that you have a few types of models that help you deal with your foes, complete objectives and try to make the battlefield work for you and not against you.  There are many different model types in Deadzone, and many of them cross into multiple categories,  but this is a simplistic break-down:


1.  Command – models like the Peacekeeper Captain, or the Forgefather Huscarl.  These models are pricey but given you a number of advantages, including the number of models you activate per activation, use of the Command ability, and the number of Battle Cards that you draw and keep in a given turn.  Command models generally don’t have the highest of killing power, but their presence tends to be a strong force multiplier for your entire Strike Team.  Sadly, however, they cost a lot of points – they are at a premium for points (Peacekeeper Captains weigh in at 29 points, Huscarls at 19 points – or 27 if they bring their Forge Guard armor – that’s more than a third of your points tied up in one model!


2.  Shooters – probably the widest category, these are models that rely on ranged attacks to kill enemy models.  They tend to be relatively cheap in points (except for the Enforcers and Asterians, who have superior stats).  Examples include Plague Stage 3As, Marauder Commandos, Reb Humans, but also specialists like the Enforcer Snipers and Goblin Guntracks.


3.  Brawlers – Your dedicated hand-to-hand forces.  Sometimes there’s just no avoiding getting stuck in and carrying the day, and each faction has at least a few models that excel at it – including the Assault Enforcer, the Rebs Teratons, and really most of the Plague army!



4.  Blazers – All models that really excel at Blaze Away actions to ruin the enemy’s ability to act against you.  Again, every faction has access to some models that excel at this role – from Reb Grogran’s with Onslaught Cannons to Marauder “Ripper” Rainmaker Suits.


5.  Mobility – Many of the missions in Deadzone require you to actively move around the board and take Objective Counters and items to win.  While a strong gunline will make your opponent think twice about moving around the board without seeking cover cubes, it still won’t win the game for you.  You need troops that can actively get around the board in faster-than-normal ways – like the Glide ability of the Reb Kraw Warrior, or just the Fast ability of Plague Hellhounds.  Getting there faster matters .

reb vs zombies

While it isn’t necessary – or maybe even possible to have one model of each type in each army, you do need to plan out how you can cover the bases for each.  Maybe you will skip on Shooters and concentrate heavily on Brawlers with Blazers as support – pin the enemy down and then charge them.  Or perhaps you’ve decided that your Rebs force will be more of a Mobility and Command force – why fight the enemy when you can play Distract cards on them?  And then there are models that cross multiple categories (the Rebs Teraton is just such a beast – a very convincing Brawler with a touch of Mobility thanks to her Teleport ability)


Next time we are going to look at building armies for Plague and Enforcers at 70 points – and feel the pain of not getting everything we want.



  • LordRao

    This looks like a good and clear rundown of the unit types. I assume you’ll be showing us some sample gangs/warbands in a future article?

    • petrow84

      Well, there surely be, but until it comes, here’s my opinion about the starter packs:

      Enforcers: good buy overall. You can substitute blazers with engineer and sentry guns, but it is entirey up to your preference. However, the standard restic enforcers are pain in the butt to assemble. I’d definitely go for the hard plastic troopers, which will give you shooty brawler and blazer ones (burst laser or flamethrower), and there’s also component for a “capt-on-budget” sergeant.

      Plague: You’ll definitely need more stuffs to buy, as this one has the lowest overall point value. Dogs and Broodlords… ehh, I mean, Stage 2’s are good brawlers, but they cannot act on their own, and you’ll need a solid command to avoid losing due to activation-inability. Their fire support (HMG and especially the mortar) are also dirt cheap, so I’d definitely roll with them too from the expansion sets.

      Marauders: best buy, really. All you’ll ever need is some dawgs (mawbeast), if you want to spam them (but unless you go to tourneys, you better won’t). In the expansions sets trucks are OK, but mainly in the lobba config, as they’re extremely vulnerable.

      Rebs: a tough one. They’re diversity incarnate, but due to their mission cards they can suck enormously. Humies and drones are the cheapest troops, and they can act as good supporters for blazers (Like onslaught cannon gorgons). An expansion set is almost mandratory, the missile launcher is one of the most evil thing in the game.

      Asterians: extremely expensive troops, you’ll likely to have everything you’ll need in the starter, but if you want to roll with even more expensive support troopers, there’s the specialist booster for you. Their bike is cheap as duck, and though very vulnerable, ideal for supressing and harrassing the enemy.

      Forge Fathers: the largest point value among the starter boxes. Brokkr artilelry is somewhat difficult to use, as you’ll have to sacrifice the action of the controller to operate the artillery – and once the operator is down, the gun become a piece of battefield junk. They’re really good in melee however, especially with the support booster’s Valkyre bike. The Forge Guard part looks good but it is highly unlikely that you’ll ever take moer than 2 in your strike team.

  • amaximus167

    Not really a huge fan of most of Mantic’s sculpts BUT, I am very impressed that those Dwarf models did all have giant beards. I want to see more of that.

    • Eric Buchanan

      Have you seen the new hard plastics? I’ve found their restic sculpts to be just okay for humans, but their hard plastics look much better. The level of detail and the lines are great.

      Also, I really like the dwarf and ork models for dreadball and deadzone.

      • amaximus167

        It isn’t the quality of the material, there is just something in the general aesthetic that just kind of doesn’t do it for me.

    • daboarder

      their Zombies are Top notch, miles better than anything GW puts out. Though wargames factory does another good looking set as well.

      • amaximus167

        Agreed. The fantasy Zombies are great. The Ghouls are pretty nice as well. I have eyed them both for Typhus.

  • Jake Nolan

    Skirmishes, good for quick ‘n dirty fun, but I want more Warpath updates before I start thinking of spending time and money on a new game + army.

    • petrow84

      Considering the changes they made in KoW2.0 compared to KoW 1, I’m keen on seeing the WP kickstarter in this year.

  • TB0N3

    Quick-fast-casual fun, nice scenery, 7 armies to choose from, relatively cheap… a total Beer’n’Pretzels game.

  • Jared Swenson

    I appreciate you guys doing articles covering Deadzone. It is a game that I am looking into. I will start playing when my rulebook and minis get here from the recent kickstarter (long way off maybe, but worth the wait i think). Are you considering doing a series of articles talking about the different faction’s playstyles, as well as their strengths and weaknesses?

  • petrow84

    My problem with the expensive commanders that they’re highly “vulnerable” to things which takes them out of action, like, Command Action, or the Distract card.
    Would be way better, if Command was short action, instead of long, so a distracted commander could still potentially give out some orders.