Yesterday eight local DZ enthusiasts (I joked it was all the DZ players in the entire state) got together to play some Deadzone. The vet players had not more than, say, a dozen games under their belts and we had at least one player entirely new to the game.
We played at the newly (less than a month ago) opened Play or Draw, located on the west side of the valley. The store is dedicated primarily to CCG play but also stocks several boardgames as well as miniature wargames to include Warhammer Fantasy, 40k and Warmahordes. The place is clean, spacious and well-lit. Being primarily CCG oriented and newly opened, there are no dedicated wargame tables. The owner was very helpful in getting us set up with all the tables and chairs we could ask for and was very friendly to non-CCG play.
We set up eight mats in a 4 x 2 arrangement with four players on each side. On my side we had three Plague players plus on Rebel force player. The other side consisted of two Enforcer and two Marauder Orx forces that had allied. The Marauder players each fielded an indirect fire vehicle, an item that few if any of us had either deployed or played against. The rules for those weapons weren't included in the base game's rulebook so we had to consult an on-line FAQ (yay technology!) to get the general gist of how they worked.
The game can be summarized as the Plague/Rebs trying to advance while being whittled away by accurate Enforcer fire and Marauder indirect fire. The Marauders were able to run their nasty close assault dogs into the Plague/Rebel lines. The Plague/Rebs alliance was decimated. That said, I think everybody had a good time.
DZ was designed and is ordinarily played by two players using only one mat. DZ being out only a few months and with only a few months play testing, it's still evolving balance-wise even at the one-mat/two-player level. Multi-mat/multi-player is fun for occasional play but until specific rules are released for this format, certain factions and builds will tend to dominate.
The best part of the day was getting together with fellow fans of the game and also getting to visit a nice new game store. Not only do we have another great venue for future games, we've made some new gaming acquaintances. We're already talking about league/campaign opportunities. Always a good thing.