Wednesday, 25 November 2015


Another miserable wet night, we have had some terrible weather recently albeit seasonal I suppose, my journey to the club was not improved by meeting a couple of less than decent drivers on the way, something which is all too prevalent in these here parts.

As I said last week this week it was a try at Deadzone, Mantic Games popular sci-fi skirmish. Whole planets have been sealed off as they slip into decline, however there are factions who still wish to make money from their resources and so these factions slip past the quarantine and make planet fall and of course end up fighting each other, I think that is the gist of the storyline.

I chose the 'Enforcers' which, if you read the blurb are the cutting edge of the military of the time and then some, I found out that they were more like our Community Support Officers for most of the game and they certainly shot like CSO's. The others were Mutants, Rebels and Orc's, they do get around don't they.

Ruined cityscape, this was quite impressive.
 Each faction has certain abilities, you then randomly choose a mission card and 20 other cards to play as the game progresses, once the hand of 20 is gone the game ends. I had to gain my victory points by killing off specialists or leaders and hold victory point Z and the squares around it, the problem was there were three zones and you had to get there to find out which one was which. Also placed at random in the playing area were little crates which would contain goodies for the troops e.g. extra ammo, grenades, chocolate etc. OK there was no chocolate.
The Enforcer squad with their stat cards.
My specialists, sniper and rocket launcher.
 Near my entry point was a goodie crate and just across the road a zone marker, perhaps I was right next to my objective, we would see. I set off and holed up with an all round defence, I put my rocket launcher on overwatch and aimed it at a tall building a way off with a goodie crate on the second floor, I wanted to catch any Orc who made his way up to grab the goods, with the Mutants coming in on my right I set up a defence with my Sergeant and Sniper while two grunts went for the crate.

Rorke's Drift Deadzone style.
I loosed off several shots at the mutants and only managed to wound one, there is a nice mechanism where you can simply blaze away just like in the movies and lacerate an area with bullets, this did me no good whatsoever but in my head I could imagine the chaos as the mutants scrabbled for cover, I really felt like doing sound effects but remembered where I was.

One brave trooper made it to the box and found extra ammo, he had to use it however as he blazed away at a mutant dog which attacked him, yes you guessed it, he missed. The Orcs meanwhile played a card which took my overwatch off, so the rocket launcher was now useless for a turn or so, but I had a cunning plan. The mutants closed in on me for some hand to hand at which they were supposed to be good and my men bad, but I killed the two of them. Over on the other side as the clock ticked down to the end of the game the Orcs raced their devil dog into a group of Rebels where it promptly blew itself up and merely showered the Rebs with it's own entrails, the Orc leader was unhappy. He decided as my rocket couldn't hit him to take his sniper to the top of the building with the crate, open it and take up a position. I played a booby trap card, the crate exploded and the sniper was thrown into the air and fell to his death, result!

The game ended with the Orcs as winners, their objective was to keep 50% of their force alive, an unusual card for Orcs but easily sustained, the Mutants got nothing and I am not sure how the Rebels fared, but I had killed two mutants and an Orc sniper without losing a man, so I did not win but I was chuffed.

Deadzone, another skirmish game which you can play with a minimum of figures, which looks cool has a great background story and has some interesting features. We played on a large table for a skirmish game and it is meant for a much smaller set up so we took some time to get into action, but once we got closer there was a lot more going on, I quite liked the larger table as it meant that I had to think about my moves vis a vis the objectives but it did take time to progress with four players. I enjoyed the game and look forward to playing again.

It looks like skirmish games are the norm these days and I don't see that changing as we greybeards with our big armies get older, they are clever, their production values are high and they present a false sense of wargaming on the cheap, but of course they are not as you always need or want the next expansion, new mats, buildings or new figures. I can happily play both but prefer big battles. Next week we are continuing with sci-fi as one of the club members has asked for an X-Wing game so Simon is busily preparing a scenario.

I see my membership has risen to the heights of 32, after a time I am convinced that widget counter is not working and stuck at a certain number, but no, so welcome Legion Games.

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