Hi everyone! After going through some of the exciting rules changes in Deadzone: Third Edition, we’ve got a new series of blogs that will hopefully inspire you to start your own Strike Team. Here at Mantic HQ we’re obviously extremely excited about Third Edition and a number of us are undertaking a Strike Team Challenge – in other words, to build and paint a Strike Team ready for launch. We’ve got almost a month to finish… what could possible go wrong? Today Dave (studio wizard) is discussing his Asterians.

So, after a long time working away behind the scenes, all of our efforts have paid off and Deadzone: Third Edition has been revealed to the world – cue sounds of much rejoicing. This is, as you can imagine, is very exciting up at Mantic. I had quite a few people coming to ask me if I had access to force lists and building up their own strike teams over the last week, so I ended up going through the new books (in digital form, at least) a few times building lists for other people. After a while, I wanted to do one of my own. Something new, that I hadn’t tried before – in this case, the Asterians.

I decided to start with the War Clade Faction Starter. It’s about ten models and I wanted to say ‘If I can manage it, then you can too!’ by working out of one of the boxes we put together for people to start with. It makes my life a bit easier too, as I’m not particularly good with tactics and list building, so I could just take what was in the box and use all of that and have it be my list. This was kind of the thinking behind the new starter factions – it’s a nice, small force in a box for starting the game with, without being too overwhelming. Plus, when you’re working out these sets you get a little attached to your favourites.

It’s got a nice mix of troops and specialists and since I wanted to get into a playable faction, I decided to plan out a proper force list for Deadzone. This was mainly for the Marionettes, who come with a bunch of options, so I wanted to know how I should put them together. I started with the Cyphers – these were must haves, as I could really change what they were armed with. A Prime to lead the team, with two Cyphers with special weapons – a missile launcher and a force rifle . Then I took one standard marionette with Noh Rifle for each model, which made sure that I had more than enough troops to unlock the fun toys.

Adding in the drones and extra marionettes from the sprue, I worked out that I could get all but one model in box into a nice little 150 point list. Marionettes forming the core troops, with the Cyphers and weapons drones bringing heavier weapons or snazzy abilities. The extra was a Marionette with a sniper rifle – which I recall was particularly helpful in the urban confines of Deadzone boards. Unfortunately, it took me just a little bit past 160 points, so it didn’t make it into my initial list. This wasn’t a huge issue though, as I knew that I should try to reach at least 200 points in the future, so I can save them for this goal.

I did stray to one more model though, with just under 40 points to spend for 200. The Spectra is hands down the best model in the faction right now (sorry Matsudan) and I had more than enough troops to unlock one. A Spectra with a solar blade took me to 199 points exactly with my spare Marionette and gave me a nice reward for working through the rest of the faction. I’m really quite happy with how that turned out, but I shouldn’t get ahead of myself – I still need to actually paint everything!

For the colour scheme, I went back to the original yellow and black tones that the Asterians were painted in. In the background, there are a few named Clades for the Asterians, although I don’t believe they’ve officially been linked to colour schemes yet. One of these are the Clade of the Golden Rose, who are a fleet-based proactive faction within the Asterians, having fought to defend the Death Arc from humanity and the Plague for a long time. My simple brain took the ‘golden’ part literally and decided that these were the older yellow Asterians. We’ve never actually had any of the more recent releases – the Marionettes and the Spectra, notably – painted up in those colours, so I wanted to see how it would look (and once again, paint a Spectra).

I grabbed my old copy of Incursion for reference and decided to stick to a warm saturated tone, although I think in reality the models are a bit paler and softer than they appear in the photos. I worked out how the colours were applied to the Cyphers in terms of areas and then mapped this on to the Marionettes and broke it down. I mainly needed to worry about three colours – the yellow armour, the black functional areas, and the blue weapons. After this was sorted out, I went for a test model and had pretty much instant success. I haven’t had to change my initial notes on colours at all.

I also really just enjoyed painting the Marionettes. They’re fun little models that work well with my painting style. I’ve started to paint models recently by spraying on an undercoat then applying a wash all over the model. This gives you a nice mid tone to work from and shows you where all of the details and textures are. At the time of writing, most of the Marionettes are finished and I’m starting work on the Cyphers and Drones. The latter, especially for the support drone, will be interesting, as they seem to take on a darker scheme than the rest. I think this is reflecting the fact that these are autonomous weapons, so they have the colours of the weapons, rather than the troops. Once I have my initial force painted, I think I’ll throw down the gauntlet to have a game of the new edition.

The Asterians venerate the pursuit of universal balance above all else, their very society based around this concept. Their disdain of warfare and violence has led to the development of technology which allows their finest warriors to fight on the battlefield without physical risk, piloting sophisticated remote drones from orbit known as Cyphers which are as nimble and capable as a living being, with the added bonuses of far superior speed, strength and endurance.


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The best sci-fi skirmish game is about to get better. Third Edition takes everything you love about Deadzone and turns it up to an exploding 8.


Buy now

The best sci-fi skirmish game is about to get better. Third Edition takes everything you love about Deadzone and turns it up to an exploding 8. This bundle is great for beginners that want to upgrade the starter set with a neoprene mat, acrylic tokens and the plastic objectives.


Buy now
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