16 December 2015
Sci-fi skirmish battles from Mantic Games
Mantic Games | Skirmish | £60 | 2-4 players | 60 minutes | www.manticgames.com
Deadzone is listed here not only for the game itself but also because it provided the launching point for Mantic’s innovative customisable plastic terrain, which can be used in a wide variety of skirmish games. The two-player box set for Deadzone comes packed with terrain that can be used time and time again, thanks to an innovative clip system that (sometimes with a little jiggling) can be easily popped in and popped out to create a wide range of buildings or walls. If you’re a regular skirmish game player – particularly science fiction skirmish games – then it’s worth a look just for that.
Anyway, the game itself sees a range of different factions, including the space marine-style Enforcers, Marauders also known as space orcs and goblins or Plague (semi-intelligent zombies that can still use weapons) going head-to-head on a grid-based environment. The use of a grid is particularly interesting for a skirmish game as it means there’s no need for potentially complicated and time-consuming measuring, instead you just consult your character’s stat card that tells you how many squares they can move or how far they can shoot… then you just count the squares. For that reason, this is a neat introduction for people keen to get into skirmish games but perhaps a little worried about all those tape measures.
Combat is also pretty simple and normally consists of roll-offs between the attacker and defender – again it’s just a case of consulting those informative little stat cards. An element of randomness is included thank to ‘exploding sixes’ that count as a success and allow a re-roll, plus the use of battle cards that can buff units or give extra dice.
If you pick up the Deadzone starter set then it comes with everything you need for two-players, including Plague and Enforcer factions, along with the fairly in-depth rulebook, which ensures it’s a good intro for those wanting to make the move from boardgame to full skirmish game.
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This article originally appeared in issue 1 of Tabletop Gaming. Pick up the latest issue of the UK's fastest-growing gaming magazine in print or digital here or subscribe to make sure you never miss another issue.