Deadzone Arrives

Kickstarter – Holy Crap! A Kickstarter delivered early this must be a Christmas Miracle. I arrived home to find this massive brown box on my porch last week. I didn't get a chance to dig into it until now but after opening it up look what I found.

Deadzone Box Set – The box is huge. I'm impressed with what they were able to fit into this box. I'm not sure that this will be the same as the general release but the one box held EVERYTHING for the (4) factions included in the Strike Force Pledge. It sounds like there is still some additional stuff that will ship later with part two.

Anyone who put together the original Super Dungeon Explore minis with be familiar with the massive amount of baggies with models and parts sealed together. At first glance it appears these models have unique pegs that will only fit certain holes. Nifty for the board gamer kind, kind of a pain for the modeler.

These are not polystyrene plastic models so you'll need to use super glue to put them together, plastic glue won't work. (One of my biggest pet peeves ... if you call them plastic models plastic cement should work ... they really need to call them something other than plastic).

The rulebook is nice and in full color. It's a little thin but at first glance it seems to cover the fairly simple ruleset and gives a good introduction to the universe.

Faction Starters – Tons of baggies. 4 Decks of Cards.

Terrain Sprues and Game Mat– Lots of good stuff here. It's a little light if you want to build full scale buildings but to create the paintball style layout pictured on the box it works. For the 2'x2' playmat you have in the box you should be able to do some interesting stuff. I'm looking forward to playing with the connectors to see it I can paint it and still keep the lego-like quality of the system. (Based on past experience with the Pegasus Platformer kits I doubt this will be possible)

The overall quality of Mantic stuff is pretty consistent, for the most part you know what you're getting yourself into if you've ever bought anything else from them. Not quite GW quality but then again not quite GW cost either. You're either a fan of this stuff or not there's not much room for fence sitting.

Personally, I hate Mantics base system and really wish they'd use something other than a disk of plastic on the models base. If you want to use any fancy resin bases the size will be off by a little and you'll have to figure out how to remove the models from that chunky base.

I'm looking forward to digging into this game in the future and putting up a full review of the rules and some battle reports once I have some time to spend with it. (At the moment I have my hands full with commision work and don't have time to get deep into this)

It all looks positive and the rules seem simple enough that in a few years my son will be able to play the game with me. Or some simple version of it.

Not quite Football ... Dreadball Review

Boardgames – Last night I had the opportunity to try out Dreadball, Mantics latest fantasy sport game. I've never been a big fan of Bloodbowl and never really got the whole concept of reenacting a sport on the table top. I honestly always just assumed a video game would provide a better translation of sports to simulation. As such Dreadball never made my radar and I passed it off as a "cheap" version of the GW original. (Which to be fair is essentially how Mantic started, sure they have their own rulesets now but most people use them as the generic to GW's name brand)

Now that my baggage is out of the way, lets talk about the game. Essentially Dreadball is like Lacrosse mixed with Basketball. You have three scoring zones per side and can throw the ball into the scoring slot. The game lasts 14 rounds (7 per player) unless there is a tie at the end then you go to sudden death and cannot replace players, first to score wins. 

Each player gets 5 tokens that can be spent to activate players or buy special cards. You can only ever spend two tokens on one player and a card if you have it. When you activate a player you can move, run, slam, pick up the ball or attempt to score. If you attempt to pick up the ball or score and fail your turn ends. 

My friend who ran the demo for me picked up just the base set with some acrylic tokens from the kickstarter. In the base box you get two teams, a board, deck, rule book, roster sheets and cardboard chits. This is more than enough to play a few one on one games and have some fun. The minis are on the small side similar to what comes with Zombicide so you can't really mix and match with the rest of the Mantic line. The sculpts are clean and fairly well detailed for the size they are.

I enjoyed the demo and from what I can gather this game "fixes" any of the oddities that cause issues in Bloodbowl. Not being a fan of Bloodbowl I can't really go into details about those issues other than the fact that Dreadball encourages you to play the sport as opposed to creating a team designed to injury your opponents. The card system also introduces some fun elements to the game without being overpowering to the core rules. Apparently there are a ton of reference sheets on Boardgame Geek that simplify them game which we had on hand for the demo.

If you're looking for a two player game that can support league play for a reasonable price Dreadball might just fill that niche. It's not something I have a strong desire to own but if I were to pick it up I can see it getting a decent amount of table time. I'm going to wait until more teams are released to make up my mind as none of the existing teams really draw me in.