Deadzone – Books, Cards and Stories!

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…

Books

Nexus Psi

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.

Nexus-Psi-3

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 🙂

Nexus-Psi-2

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 🙂

Nexus-Psi-1

Book1

Incursion

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.

Book-2

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…

Book-3

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-Deck

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.

Card-Back

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.

Cards-Front

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

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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 🙂

Deadzone – Plague Tester!

Inspired by my latest games of Deadzone I’ve been getting stuck into some of the extra models I have lying about. One of these happens to be an entire faction starter, the Plague. I’ve had these on the painting table for months with various different attempts at a paint job but unable to get anything that really caught on.

Whilst looking over Mantics later kickstarter for Dungeon Saga, I really liked the look of one of the zombies and tried to emulate the flesh colours from that and got something I was more than happy with. Take a look at the test models I painted up and see what you think…

Plague-3

Deadzone – Chovar Psychic!

One of my favorite models from the Deadzone range is the Chovar Psychic and I’ve just got round to getting mine all painted up…

Chovar-3 Chovar-2 Chovar-1

It really is a cracking mini and was a lot of fun to paint, ending up easier than I expected. Painting the tentacles separately from the body definitely made things a lot simpler and I would reccomend this to anyone tackling this chap in the future 🙂

A Weekend of Gaming!

Over the weekend I managed to get in a fair amount of hobby related awesomeness. The annual show here in Edinburgh, Claymore, was on and whilst there was a fairly good amount of games on show, there was two in particular that caught my interest…

Mars Attacks

Mantic games came along to the show and were showing off their latest offering, Mars Attacks. The models on show were fantastic, with some truly exceptional paint jobs and really make me regret not getting anything else from the kickstarter other than the Dreadball team.

Being a backer did net me a digital copy of the rulebook however and I’ve been slowly digesting it. I’ve found the easiest way to describe it is as Deadzones weird little brother. It’s much simpler than Deadzone but shares a lot of the same mechanics. It’s the character of the game itself that set’s it apart, taking a much more light hearted approach than most wargames. It’s not uncommon for a herd of flaming cattle to rampage randomly around the board for instance :D. The models were great to get a look at as they are cast in PVC, something Mantic have said they will be using much more often in the future(both Xtreme and Dungeon Saga will be using this material). They look really well detailed and dynamic considering they come as one piece, and I think the painted figures really show that this material does the job.

Firestorm: Planetfall

The second game to catch my eye was the upcoming Firestorm: Planetfall from Spartan Games which see’s massive ground forces fighting it out in the Firestorm universe.

This really caught my eye due to the scale of the fights and the scale of the miniatures. I’ve missed massive battles since dropping 40k and this looks like it would be a perfect replacement for many reasons. The scale is much better suited for the size of the battles, the models are great (especially the leviathans) and the cost seems to be about the same as the rest of Spartans range so not silly money. Now to keep an eye on news about when this bad boy will be released 🙂Axis & Allies 1941 is Setup and Ready to Play

Axis & Allies

To follow up one the fun had at Claymore I headed round to a mates for my first ever game of Axis & Allies. Wow. I really enjoyed the game as it’s basically Risk Advanced and really look forward to getting more games of this on the go. It’s fun just because of the alternate history aspect that comes into play. For instance playing as Japan I managed to invade much of the USA, where as the Russians nearly wiped the Germans of the map.

Deadzone

To finish of a great weekend I got a game of Deadzone on the go. I’ve not played in a couple of months so my opponent and I were a little rusty but a good time was had. Inevitably my Rebs lost yet another battle to the plague(I really hate mortars), but it et me try out the Kraaw and weapons team that I had yet to field and chat to a couple of new players who I’ll be playing soon. It also inspired me to get to work on my own Plague, which so far have had a few trial schemes but nothing solid. Now I’ve got a scheme down I’ll be getting stuck into them good and proper 😀

Mantic Games – Battlezone Sci-fi Ruins!

Ruins-3

I just received the BATTLEZONES: SCI-FI RUINED DISTRICT from the nice people at Mantic Games, so I’d thought I would share my thoughts as I worked my way through a box, building and painting up a few new buildings for my Deadzone board 🙂

Out the Box: First off here’s how the sprues look straight out of the box:

You get 4 of these...

You get 4 of these…

...and 4 of these

…and 4 of these…

…as well as a sprue of the connectors common to all of the Battlezones terrain.

As we’ve come to expect from this kinda terrain it’s very nice stuff. Strong, detailed and easy to get together :). It’s a nice variety as well allowing all kinds of ruins to be built from this set alone, combine it with some of the Urban terrain and you could make some truly unique buildings for any game. For Deadzone everything you get is perfect, suits the game really well and is the perfect size and shape for it. For other games it’s a bit more restricted as it sticks to a 3″ x 3″ cube format, although a little extra work and you can make them into any weird and wonderful shape you wish.

Building: I had a few ideas spinning around as to what I wanted to build up with these. A couple of small ruins would be perfect to act as individual sections of cover or positioned in the right spot, separated parts of the same building :), and I wanted to see what could be made up only with this box, so I started cutting and gluing and got these…

Ruins-4

The terrain only needs a wee bit of cleaning up, a few sections where they were clipped from the sprue as well as getting rid of mold lines in the hole connectors would be slotted into. You get a few rubble sections that act as a connector, which you can see in the top left of the picture. It’s a simple but cool piece that adds to the overall look of a ruined building nicely.

There was also a couple of sections that allow for some free-standing rubble. Here’s how they look straight out of the box with a smidgen of glue (they come as two halves that slot together)…

Ruins-5

Combining with the Urban Box: I also wanted to create a couple of bigger buildings like the Bar and Cafe that I’d worked on previously. Something with character, which meant (to me anyway)it should be a target, something that the Council would want rid of in the event of containment protocols and therefore ‘ruined’.

The first idea was a coms station of some sort and after fiddling about for a few hours I put this together…

Ruins-6

I managed to make it almost exclusively with bits from the ruins box and spares bits from an Urban district box. Anything I couldn’t find a suitable piece for from the Battlezones parts I used a few varieties of plastic bit’s and pieces instead, most of which I got from the local hobby shop. I’m going to continue adding some extras onto this building to help increase the character.

After all that I still have a fair few bits leftover to do another building, which in my head at present should be some kind of lab or medical centre, have to see what I can do…

May 2014 – A Month in Review

I’ve decided to post a wee gallery at the end of each month to show a roundup of the hobby prohjects I’ve completed in that time. This is so people will be able to get a look at everything in one place, but also to give me an idea of what I’m getting through. I’m also looking to try at least one new hobby method each month, such as the icicles I tried this month, to add to my hobby skills and hopefully this will encourage me a bit more.

So without further ado, here’s what I’ve done this month…

Deadzone – Nastanza

Another cracking model in the Deadzone range, Nastanza, is now finished and ready to blow some heads clean off…

Nastanza1 Nastanza2

Took a wee bit of time to decide on a scheme for this one. I knew I didn’t want to go with the ‘official’ scheme, but really didn’t have a clue what to do. It was the backpack that did it for me, as it kinda looks like the tail-end of a wasp, I thought yellow and black could look pretty damn good 🙂