Andrew Sharp of the Deadzone rules committee guides you through the changes in the Deadzone 2.1 FAQ/errata.
So this is what you’ve been waiting for! Not only the final FAQ but a substantial faction errata!
Most of the FAQ concerns itself with clarifying ambiguities in the way abilities interact or adapting the rules to prevent loopholes that weren’t spelt out in the rulebook but were in the spirit of the game to not happen. Whenever a game gets popular and people are playing competitively there will be some who try to gain an advantage through generous interpretation when there is ambiguity in rules writing. That’s to be expected and actually is generally a good thing as it leads to a tightening up of the rules over time.
The errata was our chance to really look back on all the factions and see how they are being played in the current meta, including issues noticed by the rules committee and feedback to us from the community. We were especially interested in making all models that people owned playable, not necessarily better, but just more playable. So there have been some point changes, ability changes, VP increases and reductions etc. In fact with the exception of the Veer-Myn who are back in public beta for their v2.0 and the GCPS who are being released soon, every faction has something that has been changed to improve balance.
Finally thanks to everyone who sent us comments about things we should look at changing or clarifying. They may not have made it into here but do believe us when we say we did consider them all. We will aim to collate questions as they come up to be considered for the next FAQ, whenever that is!
So after the leak of the FAQ v2.0 without the errata [Ed – sorry about that, I got a little carried away] we had a chance to get some more community feedback and change a few minor things but this is pretty much the same as the FAQ v2.0 you may have seen on the Facebook Deadzone Fanatics Group. However, it is very nicely laid out now with all the FAQ v1.0 bits added too. Here are some of the main changes:
LoS – There had been some debate on whether LoS should be changed but we came down on the cleanest and simplest way which is that you can draw LoS from any part of your model or base. This is actually the same as in the rulebook but I think it’s helpful to nail it down now. We looked at other options but they were actually less workable than the original.
Smoke – We spent a fair bit of clarifying how smoke works to ensure that it is as clear as can be. This ended up being pretty wordy but it’s a piece of the game that can be very important and really can affect gameplay so we thought it was worth trying to get it right.
Hatches – These are a new things and really make getting around terrain much simpler. They will involve a small amount of extra layout before a game or an agreement between players but will help a lot.
Cube sizes for bridges – these have been clarified so that size 1 or 2 models only can stand on them. So you may need to bring that balanced force to ensure that smaller models don’t just get out of the reach of your Aberration! Now large models can move along narrow walkways but can’t stop on them, I picture them tiptoeing along a rickety bridge whispering ‘please don’t fall, please don’t fall’ all the way!
Deployment – ‘Coaches rule’ is now official and is the advised option for deployment when your strike team doesn’t fit into the designated deployment zone. Although the other options remain.
We spent a long time looking at all the things we could do to factions but needed to keep things balanced, which meant some of the fun ideas had to be dropped. Here are the main points for abilities and factions.
Teleport – is now a long action. We were hearing about a lot of Teraton spam with 3 fights possible in a turn, which was never intended. To counter the change to a long action, the Teleport is now 3 cubes rather than 2 so the total movement possible in a round is the same. Be extra aware of pinning now though as it means your Teraton will not be able to teleport at all that round as it will need to stand up first!
Weapons Teams – these are a straight lift from the GCPS list where they worked so well. We wanted to use the same method to bring into play some of the heavy weapons rarely seen. The key thing here is that the loader and firer count as a single model of size 3. This makes them cheaper, more resilient and they lose the Slow Reload, which was such a pain! However, if they are wounded they get the slow reload back, which means that medics are also now more useful to take to keep your heavy weapons firing. To my mind though the best thing is that now you create mini dioramas with your models on 60mm bases which will look amazing. These weapons teams mean that the loader stat line in the Plague and Rebs list is removed and replaced with a whole new stat line in the Specialist option. Wait, I hear you cry, now I don’t get my troop tax paid from the loader. Ah but you do as the Team is the same cost as the specialist you would have had to buy anyway (but better) and now you get points free to pay for another troop choice to unlock them, which for the Plague and Rebs can be very cheap.
Here you can see Andrew’s take on the mini diorama’s for his Weapons Teams.
Striders – all Striders/IA/Stuntbot etc. no longer have the Vehicle ability (though they are still Vehicles for strike team building) and instead have Construct, Beast and Solid. So no pinning, no healing/toxic effect and no using items BUT they can now move up terrain to gain height. This will be a real advantage for them and I expect to see lots of King Kong style pictures of you scaling tall buildings with them.
New Weapons – the Plague and Rebs get a couple of new support weapons with Flame Throwers and Grenade Launchers. These are to fit with the new weapons on the Plague 3A and GCPS sprues but should open up some interesting build options.
Jetbike and Sky Razor – these can now fly! There has been a big call for this and it will be great to see them soaring over the battlefield.
Enforcers – some small changes to points and weapons here. Main thing is the Assault Enforcer now gets Frenzy (1) which is a bit more in line with the Version One Brawler ability. Still not a super fighter but a very versatile model nonetheless.
Forge Fathers – some major points changes here with Steel Warriors and Brokkrs coming down in price and the Brokkrs gaining a Hammer to really give them a close combat option. The Forge Guard gain Solid to reflect their plodding approach to the battle field but remain speed 1-1. The Chief Brokkr gets a few buffs as well. Even the Iron Ancestors get a little love with the standard one increasing in speed and the Thor pattern coming down in cost and gaining Frenzy (2).
Marauders – some more changes here mostly to increase the VPs for models. This faction was one of the cheapest for VPs. The Ripper Suits and Hulk also go up in cost to reflect their in-game strength and to reward killing them more. The Stuntbot gets a little cheaper in VPs and gains Frenzy (1) so maybe he’ll see more gameplay too.
Rebs – some big changes here as well, with the Missile launcher becoming a weapons team, new weapons, points reductions to the Judwan medic and the Rebel Sorak drops to a troop choice, opening up lots of Blast options. Most excitingly there are two new models you can take now; the Sorak Swordspawn gets his own profile as a specialist, not the strongest but with Frenzy (2) he should be fun and the Teraton Shock Trooper added from the Mercs list so he can now be taken as a Specialist option in the Rebs faction.
We hope that this FAQ answers most of the queries and makes the game more playable and accessible to competitive and casual gamers alike.
The Faction Errata might seem large but actually should just make some models more balanced, we certainly don’t feel we have created any super powerful models or nerfed any too much either for that matter. We are also really keen to get people playing with models that might have been collecting dust by giving them more useful stats lines. Time will tell though and do keep giving us the feedback we need to make this game the best sci-fi miniatures game played on a 3×3 cube system (quote from a DZ fanatics post)!