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Subject: DZ Play at Hobby Destination, Chandler, AZ rss

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D. Patton
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Myrtle Creek
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Yesterday three of us got together to play some more Deadzone.
We played two games using a 6 turn variant (not more than 6 turns played). We used two of the 8 x 8 square mats each covered with a generous amount of cover.

The first game I fielded Mantic's answer to space elves called Asterians. The card deck for this team is in alpha test phase so I printed them off. Since the models for the strike force aren't available yet I used Mantic's DreadBall minis as proxies. I used an Asterian striker as my Commander and for the mechanical 'Cyphers' I used the DB Robot team. I faced off with 140 pts of Asterians versus Grant and Matt each fielding the standard 70 pt strike forces of their own. Grant played his Rebels the first game and Matt played his Marauders.

The Asterians are a holy terror when it comes to straight up shooting. With a +3 shoot stat (they hit 75% on each d8 rolled) they can tear things up from long range. I screwed up their sentry drone rules, forgetting that they get 2 bonus dice when activating on overwatch. That resulted in my drones being basically useless during the entire game. In close combat Asterians take a pasting. Their survive stat is not very good and the robots have Vulnerable. Vulnerable means where most models have two possible wounds, the first wound on these models takes them out completely. Some Asterians have energy shields and their armor is pretty decent---but if something penetrates the armor the model is completely dead. Asterians are also expensive points wise so space elf forces will be few in models.

My opponents won the first game pretty easily. Close combat and focused fire on my smaller force was devestating. During the game we learned/relearned some things that are game changers. First, if you charge a downed opponent you need to be pretty sure you'll take him out. The reason is after the first round he is no longer penalized for being suppressed or pinned. That first attack has to be successful or you wind up helping your opponent by removing those effects.

Another important point is the dice rolling test. It's based on the comparison test that Jake Thornton (author of DZ) pioneered in DreadBall. When you an opponent roll stat tests against one another, you compare the number of successes. If one player rolls ZERO successes and his opponent rolls just one success, that one success is counted as either doubling or tripling (some tests only allow a double maximum result while others allow a triple) the zero success. That can be both counter-intuitive and aggravating when it happens to you. I've had it happen in DreadBall more times than I'd like to recall and we had our first instance yesterday.

The second game, we had another 2 on 1 fight. I took 70 points of Asterians and Matt brought 70 points of Enforcers. Grant armed up 140 points of Orx Marauders and we faced off again. The Enforcers and Asterians were both few in number due to the elite nature of the forces. Matt got taken out of the game early when Grant's mawbeast dogs got in close and were able to mob him. I survived a couple of rounds more but the dogs wound up killing all of my guys except one by the time we ended on 6th turn.

Movement and changing levels in DZ's 3D environment sometimes requires you to really study the diagrams and text closely. The rules state that you can move up or down one level as part of a move action (as long as you have a wall to climb (no open air Michael Jordan leaps) up. The rules also have a Climb action which we had thought was required to change level at all. Turns out you can go up or down 1 level during the move. Climb requires two and exactly two levels be changed during the action. This had an impact on Marauder dogs going after Enforcers one level up.

DZ continues to be a fun game with lots of potential. The occasional rules HUH? arises from times to time and the book's layout can be annoying (cover is discussed in several locations throughout so you can miss intent and specific assumptions if you don't look at x, y and z pages). We're getting more familiar though and that's helping move the turns along. We're still not using the higher building options that add, no pun intended, another dimension of strategy. Thus far we've only set up two-high buildings as a maximum height.

I think adding higher structures will add more to an already solid game. Looking forward to more DZ.





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Jonte Rydberg
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Thanks for the info/post!
If possible it would also be great if you could have a picture or two of the battles/gamesetup :-)

 
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D. Patton
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My buddies took pictures. If I can figure out how to share them once I get 'em, I will.
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