This is it folks, the last of our initial batch of Deadzone: Third Edition blogs. It’s been emotional. Don’t worry, it’ll be fine, we can get through this together.
Let’s look back at the good times we’ve had so far.
- September 13th – what the aim was with Third Edition
- September 14th – What’s new? Building your Strike Team
- September 15th – What’s new? Changes to line of sight
- September 16th – What’s new? Cleaning up keywords and abilities
- September 17th – What’s new? Units and minis!
- September 20th – What’s new? Moving the narrative along
- September 21st – Bonus blog! Calculating damage
- September 22nd – Bonus blog! Campaigns
Today then it’s one of the blogs that was requested by the community. A lot of you wanted to know how campaigns will work in Third Edition. In a small skirmish game like Deadzone, campaigns are always a great way to watch your favourite characters grow and develop across a series of interlinked battles – or die horribly as soon as you’ve given them a cool name. When we were planning Third Edition we always wanted to make sure that campaigns were part of the core rules but – and this is a consistent aim across Third – we wanted to make them easier and more streamlined.
You start by creating your Battle Group – these are the resources you can pull on each time you enter a Deadzone, including your units for Strike Teams and any items you uncover while exploring the various containment zones. Instead of Resource Points, you now earn credits for successfully completed missions, e.g. selling the equipment you discovered or passing on the top secret data you hacked to a rival corporation.
Before the campaign starts, you have 500pts(!) to spend on creating your Battle Group. Of course, you’re never going to fielding all 500pts at once but you need to have reserves for when your elite soldiers die in battle. Each game you’ll choose a selection of characters from your Battle Group to take into battle, and can potentially add new units to the Battle Group to replace those that have bravely died in the line of duty.
One of the big changes, compared to Second Edition, is the way your models will ‘level up’. In the previous version models gained XP and, depending upon how much XP they had earned, they would level up a rank. However, sometimes keeping track of all the XP you’ve earned – even with a roster sheet – can be tricky when you’re in the thick of the action. Now in Third Edition, a model will go up a rank by doing any of the following:
- Model scores one or more kills
- OR Model scores any non-kill VPs in a game (e.g. Capturing an objective, collecting Intel, etc.)
- OR Commendation (Player chooses 1 model in their Strike Team after game)
A model can only rank up once between games, to a maximum of Rank 5. When a model gains a new Rank, it may choose one of the following options:
- Gain a stat upgrade (once only)
- Gain a Veteran Die
- Gain a new keyword
When it comes to the keywords, if you’ve played Second Edition, you may remember that units had campaign options: Ranged, Melee, Command and Specialist. Some units would be able to chose from multiple options when levelling up. With Third Edition, we’ve streamlined that so that units can only choose from a list that matches their type, e.g. Leader or Support.
The ranking system is much easier to keep track of and will make that post-game management much smoother and faster.
Something else we wanted to amend from Second Edition was the fact that winning players would often soar ahead in a campaign – and once they were winning, it was hard for the losing players to catch up. We’ve adjusted that in Third by giving losing players a bit more cash after a battle so they can buy replacement units or better equipment. Think of it a little like the corporation behind the scenes pumping more money into the Battle Group to try and secure the objective.
Once you’ve finished your battle, it’s time to roll on the Exploration Table. There are 21 potential results on the revised table, including data caches, abandoned stores, traps and more. Players roll two D8 to find out what they’ve uncovered and, if they were lucky enough to win, they can choose the result they rolled, or one of the two options immediately either side of it.
What’s more, there’s also the opportunity for us to create new Exploration Tables in the future when holding an online campaign or releasing a new supplement. Think of an icy planet where you’re hunting for precious heat sources or a jungle with potentially poisonous plants!
Just like Second Edition you can find Strategic Assets on the Exploration Table – Landing Pad, Field Hospital, Fortified Outpost and Satellite Uplink Array. However, to highlight the importance of these assets now only one player in the campaign can hold each Strategic Asset. But all is not lost for the other participants in the campaign, as you can issue a challenge for a Strategic Asset when facing off against each other. This adds more realism to encounters, as they struggle to gain control of these key positions.
As you can see, just like the rest of Third Edition, campaigns have been given a bit of spit and polish to make them easier to manage but more exciting. We can’t wait to start our Third Edition campaign at Mantic HQ!