Skirmish

Deadzone — Now on Kickstarter

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deadzone_largeMantic Games has a new Kickstarter. This time it is for a sci-fi miniature skirmish game with a twist. The game passed its funding goal in just over 30 minutes and blew past $300,000 in funding with 3o days still to go. Designed by Jake Thornton, Deadzone, set in the Warpath universe, is a unique blend of board and miniature game. It is played on a 3″ grid for movement but with 3D terrain. In fact part of the Kickstarter is a whole new line of injection molded plastic terrain pieces that can be used to make custom buildings over which to fight.

The alpha rules are available and they look quite good (Kickstarter supporters now have the full rules PDF and it is very well done). There is also a FAQ. The game is I-Go-U-Go but with special action cards and a nice overwatch mechanic to break up the flow. Movement is simply by 3″ squares but where you move within the square matters. Line of site is also a basic if you can see it you can shoot it. We suspect there is more depth hiding behind the simplicity. How you move your troops and to where in the square will have an effect. How you choose to react and what cards you choose to play and when you play them will matter. Even the game length itself is set by the first player to go through their deck so length will be variable from game to game. All of these simple mechanics should combine to create a tactically challenging game.

EnforcersIn addition to the great plastic terrain, a very nice rubber gaming mat has funded along with a number of new models. While the game is set in the Warpath universe and uses its existing races, all of the sculpts are new for Deadzone. So far they seem to range from good to outstanding. Our favorites are the Enforcers and the Plague.

If you like sci-fi skirmish games at all give Deadzone a look. Also check out Jake’s blog for more information. The Meeples & Miniatures podcast has a nice interview with the designer in Episode 108.

Tablescapes now has a dedicated Deadzone terrain tile set with 1.5″/3″ squares.

The Deadzone Kickstarter closed at $1,216,482. Backers can look forward to a ton of good stuff.

[Updated: 7DEC13]

MERCS — Resources

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MERCSWe’re still painting our CCC unit for MERCS. You’d think six guys wouldn’t take too long but you stick in a squad of Terminators, a detour into Dropzone Commander and a little affair with Sedition Wars and there you go. Not to mention our next squad of Bolt Action Germans staring at us the whole time….

But we got some extra motivation to get going again following Beasts of War’s MERCS Week. They really did some outstanding coverage of the game and probably some of their best work overall yet. Our favorite quote of the week was, “Did you say nukes?!” Below are some of the highlights and other useful links.

One thing many folks comment on when seeing MERCS played, and which you’ll see in the BoW videos, is that the cards used as movement templates not only seem annoying but somewhat gimmicky. We agree but you can dispense with them altogether and we think it actually improves the play. The cards are fine for those playing MERCS more as a board game on the paper map but any miniature player is going to want to dump them. Just use a fixed 2.5″ template/stick to measure movement. You can move up to that maximum. We also made the various fire templates out of card so we don’t have to keep holding two or three cards down on the table to check coverage. Basically you just need a 7″ circle, 7″ straight and a T with a 6″ long base and 7″ wide top (the 3-card T) and a T with a 6″ long base and 3.5″ top (the 2-card T). The cards are 2.5″ wide. This all speeds play and allows you to leave your cards free for reference and initiative order sequence.

Also don’t miss the MERCS Bag. It is a nice small convenient size that still allows you to carry 6-10 squads with room for your cards and other misc gaming stuff. It is also useful for any 28mm skirmish game or even 6-15mm games as well.

[Updated: 14APR13]

No Mr. Bond, I Expect You to Die!

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7TVWell here is something completely different. Anyone who has been visiting the site recently knows we’ve gotten sucked back into 28mm gaming. Well as if that hole wasn’t getting deep enough we stumbled across Crooked Dice Game Design Studio’s 7TV: Wargaming in the world of Cult TV.

We have always been huge fans of the original James Bond movies. The mix of action and campy 60’s fun and style is classic. 7TV essentially brings that world to the tabletop. You can play the game as a literal ‘TV set’ simulation with as much or little campy action and over-the-top characters as you wish or drop out the concept of TV altogether and play it as a straight modern skirmish game.

Minions with SMGsAt its heart 7TV is simply a 28mm skirmish game — of course there is no real reason one couldn’t play in 15mm either. Scale is 2m per inch and each turn is 1-5 minutes of real time. The game is designed to be played with about 12-40 miniatures. Each miniature has various stats such as movement, agility, morale, etc. It uses an interesting activation and leadership mechanic and uses cards for special weapons (gadgets) and events.

7TV includes complete character and force generation mechanics plus a huge amount of pre-generated characters. Complete scenario and campaign generation rules are included as well. Four scenarios are included.

The 186-page rules are available as a PDF or in full color print. They are extremely well laid out with clean, clear text and lots of period style. Even better they are very well written and easy to understand. There are also plenty of expansions adding new missions and characters.

If you like the theme at all or just want a good skirmish game give 7TV a look.

Missile ControlCrooked Dice have their own 28mm miniatures line for 7TV that is very nice. For additional figures and terrain they recommended both Hasslefree Miniatures and Copplestone Castings. The Copplestone Room Sets are very nicely cast resin interior pieces. Many of the pieces are double-sided so can be placed against a wall or in the middle of a room — they really make your rooms and buildings look great. 15mm gamers are not left out either. Khurasan Miniatures has their 60’s Spy line of figures.

You can never have enough minions baby!

[Updated: 3DEC13]