It’s hard to believe that Deadzone has only been officially released for 6 months. Already the game has seen a great amount of products released which shows a great level of support for a great game.
I’ve managed to get as much of this fancy stuff as possible and want to let you all know what I think of some of it. The main things I’ll be looking at here are the 2 expansion books, Nexus Psi & Incursion, the Mercenary card deck and the Containment Protocol short stories collection. So let’s take a look at those books…
The first expansion to be released features some new rules, a campaign and some great fluff on the current factions as well as the mercenaries.
The new rules are mainly there to cover units available in the faction boosters such as the vehicles and the weapons teams. There’s only a few here but it does a great job of expanding on what was available in the main rulebook.
The campaign is designed for 2 players with one of the factions needing to be plague. This can be a little restrictive, but it’s a great campaign if you have a lack of players around for the full shebang. It features a total of 10 missions and a simple campaign map. The map features 6 nodes, the aim of the game being for your faction to control each and every one to win and a mission that needs to be won in order to take control of each. That leaves 4 other missions. The first one is a simple scenario to get you going and with the team taking on the plague trying to get some intel. The other 3 can only be played once per campaign and act as something of a balancer. Normally the winner gets to choose the next scenario to be played, but in the case of these extra scenario the loser can choose them in order to try and get the initiative back to their side.
I’ve not had a chance to give it a go yet but it looks exciting and I’m champing at the bit to take on some Plague with my Rebs, and there’s no shortage of Plague players around here :)
The fluff in this book is top notch and is a reason in itself to pick the book up. Each of the 4 factions the game started with gets a few pages of dedicated backstory. This really adds to the universe as a whole and gives a great deal of information as to the character, motivations, organisation and origins of each of the factions. In addition each of the Mercs gets a page to themselves, giving a backstory to the more famous names fighting on Nexus Psi. There’s also a couple of short stories sread through the book, which are all pretty good. Due to the lack of any background in general to the warpath universe(other than whats in this book) it’s easy to get enthralled with the wee snippets these stories give away :)
The latest book, Incursion, whilst not a campaign book adds much of the same as Nexus Sci. It mainly introduces the 2 newest factions, Forge Fathers and Asterions, with each getting a double page background section as well as a page for each of their main new units. The backgrounds for these are really good although they sometimes feel a little derivative, obviously inspired by their fantasy counterparts, but this is made up for by the elements that really make them feel unique and the absence of some of the more stereotypical elements that are usually shoehorned into races such as these.
There is also expansion on some of the previous factions with the new units coming soon getting a page each, such as the Strider and Peacekeepers in addition to a couple more short stories and something every sci fi game needs, a galactic map…
Rules wise there is a couple of extras in here. There’s a scenario dedicated to an Enforcer strike team made up of Peacekeepers and only Peacekeepers which looks like it would be a lot of fun, but one hell of a challange for the team taking them on. There is rules for Multimat games, which while interesting seem more like guidelines than solid rules, although I’m not complaining, better to have them in there than not. Finally they have some additional information on terrain, mainly due to the ruins and fortifications kits that came out, and the need to cover them in the same fashion as the standard terrain was in the main rulebook.
Overall I really enjoyed the book, it is primarily fluff but that’s really what I’ve been clamoring for when it comes to the Deadzone universe, so it does not disappoint.
Mercenary Card Deck
Something I was surprised was coming out was this card deck but after looking through them I’ve realised it is an essential add on to the game. The main bulk of the cards are made up of, you guessed it, mercenaries. Every merc available for Deadzone, including the KS exclusives is in the deck, and it’s very nice to have proper cards available rather then the paper ones that come in the mercs clamshells. These are of the same quality as the cards you get in the faction starters, so no complaints there.
In addition to the Mercs there are also some new cards for each of the factions to cover the newest releases; Striders, Peacekeepers, Pathfinders, The Recon Drone(the one that comes with N32-19, Stuntbots and Iron Ancestors. It seems the cards for these are only available in this deck and do not come packaged with the models.
Above and beyond that the deck comes with a couple more cards. The first of which is 3 Dreadball player cards. These are for one of the missions in the Nexus Psi book where a Dreadball star player is stuck in the Deadzone and must be rescued before the Plague can eat their face. The cards represent each of the postions in Dreadball; Striker, Jack and Guard, not the MVP pictured on the card.
The second of these additional cards is a few extra for the Rebs in order to fix some mistakes on the originals, adding the correct class to the commander, the correct points to the Kraaw and the addition of construct to the survey drone. As a Rebs player these are very welcome :).
The final card is for the Plague Stage 3Z, Zombies! Seems these will be covered in the next book, Contagion, and are for the solo play version of Deadzone or for throwing into a game to mess with both players :). Can’t wait for that.
Overall a very solid product and one that really will be an essential purchase for anyone looking to make use of the new units on there way. Whilst I would have preferred those cards being included with the models I can see the sense in sticking them together with the rest of the cards that would be coming out anyway and for £5 it’s hardly breaking the bank :)
Containment Protocol: A Deadzone Anthology
Released a while ago was this collection of 10 short stories set on Nexus Psi which I got around to reading a few weeks back, which you can get a hold of here.
As I’ve said I’ve been really keen to get a hold of as much background on this universe as possible and this collection does not disappoint. I honestly can’t think of any of the stories that I didn’t enjoy, and each brought something different and unique to the table. Whilst some were better written than others, each was certainly engaging enough that you wanted to read on with all of them giving a great selection of interesting characters and a good descriptive idea of their surroundings.
The few standouts for me where Need to Know and A Sense of Unity. The first for the intrigue that it raises. Focusing on what can only be described as the secretary of a council member, it’s not the action packed adventure you’d expect from a book like this, but a nice little look into the core of the GCPS. The second really grabbed me as it focused on the Asterions, who before I’d read this had little to no information, and it does a great job of showing you how they interact with the Cyphers and use them to fight. It also introduces the Prax, something I would love to see a lot more of in the future.
I’d recommend this to anyone looking for background on the universe, or even anyone who likes a good sci-fi book, and to be honest at £3.99 it’s not gonna bankrupt you :)