When I first thought about the Deadzone game, and what I wanted it to be, I had some very clear ideas shaping the vision. I hoped for a very cinematic game, where the rules, scenery and models came together to create an experience that felt like you were playing scenes from a movie. I knew we would need some support to tool all the requirements for that – including a good selection of scenery, models for a number of factions and a tight rules set. I’ll be honest, I hoped it’d be big – but WOW – that Kickstarter got really big. The success, combined with trying to deliver on time, set us many challenges – and on the whole I feel we did pretty well. Lots of people ended up with huge piles of very cool models, fantastic terrain and a great, but slightly complicated skirmish game.
However, there were things that we felt with a bit more time could have been better with the game.
- Rules that were slicker and easier to pick up, with less things needing to be looked up,
- A faster, more fun game experience that would welcome more gamers
- We’d have liked more of the range in hard/sprued plastic – less restic
- A lower in-store retail price for the base game to encourage new entrants (did people NEED the deluxe mat to get started?)
- All the essential rules in one book, with better campaign rules.
I had a nagging feeling that those factors were holding Deadzone back from being the game it should have been. After Adepticon last year, where in spite of the areas for improvement, it was still the best attended Mantic tournament, I knew this was a game that needed to be refined and developed to allow it be what it should be. There was a great core rules set, but there was too much clutter in the way to allow it to shine, and bring in new people. We took it back to KS last year to add some of the hard plastics for the factions and a couple more sprues of terrain (they are ‘oh wow!!’) and a print run to platform the retail launch – and now we are just 6 weeks away from that happening! I worked with Jake (the game designer) and the DZ rules committee (the people who were playing the game regularly but knew it could be so much more) and we set about developing DZ 2.0.
- The game now has a beautiful, hard cover book – with the rules and army lists for all the factions in 1 place!
- There is a slick game system that keeps all the charm of the first edition, while adding some great new developments, based on a more refined, intuitive set of mechanics
- A couple of new terrain sprues that take the Battlezones range on to another level (no pun intended!)
- Lots of the core troops in hard plastic, and razor sharp detail throughout
- The cards have been replaced with something that’s just as much fun, but a lot easier to manage, namely the new command dice
- A full campaign system to allow you to play a series of linked games and develop your strike force
Skirmish games are the easiest journey from purchase to tabletop. They can be picked up quick and your force quickly assembled and gamed with. The Mantic gaming night started last week with 12 teams – unheard of numbers!!! When we designed this edition of the rules the plan was to have a little redundancy as possible, so the items you previously bought – via retail or Kickstarter – would still be useable. The hope is that this time you’ll finish off the faction and terrain you started a couple of years ago (like my Rebs – still only based and undercoated!!!), get your minis on the tabletop to playing the game. All the games we’ve played so far – both in testing and demos – have left the players player wanting to play again, and again… and again – Me included!
At Mantic I really want you to be enjoying your box of toys (yeah, I know you’ll never paint them ALL, but hey we need to get SOME of them on your tabletop!). This means the Deadzone 2.0 was probably a little early for a second edition – but I thought it was so close to being the game that lots and lots of people would love to play – and so many people already had the models and the scenery – that the best course of action was to get the rules out to allow them to use all that they had! Over the next 6 weeks we will be adding to the website background on each of the races you’ll find in the Warpath Universe, and collating all the great hobby content that has been generated for Deadzone over the past 3 years (please grab the free downloadable audio book – done by DZ fans ‘Coach’ and his friends – which you can find the first 2 parts of here.. http://deadzonegame.podbean.com/
And of course we will be making the basic rules and 2 starter lists available to download for free from the website – so you can give the rules a try before you have to spend anything.
Seriously, it is really important to me that you enjoy the games we make and want to tell lots of your friends about it, so they start playing too. They can buy their faction at their local store – and that’ll help to support our retailers, who give us all places to play, and provide a venue for us to release more factions and add-ons directly. Ultimately this keeps the game exciting and fresh, creating a supportive network that keeps reinforcing itself. It starts with us making games you want to play over and over – I really hope Deadzone is one of those!
Through the painting, collecting and gaming we will build a huge global community, that want to play great games with like-minded folks and collect armies. The bigger the community, the more chance we get to share the great hobby we all enjoy. And this IS what Mantic’s about. Making great games and models that people want to play!
Please enjoy all the great content we have for Deadzone over the next few days and please do give it a try.