Deadzone is a hybrid game, falling somewhere in the middle between a boardgame and a miniature skirmish game, taking mechanics from both areas and melding them into something with plays like a sci-fi skirmish game, but in a shorter time due to not having to do things like measure movement.
My initial impressions are pretty positive. The rules are relatively simple, and their lack of complexity will not be to everyone’s taste. On the whole I quite like them, and can see them being adapted for use as a ‘general’ skirmish set.
I do have certain issues – for example, I do not like the i-go-u-go turn format, but understand Jake going this way as he’s talking about trying to institute fire and manuevere tactics in the game. As you might guess, I have been an instant convert to the turn sequence that Too Fat Lardies are using in their Chain of Command rules, and I feel sure that an adaption of this would work in Deadzone – it would mean that you could still use fire and manuevere, but would be perhaps more limited (and therefore have to make more tactical decisions) on which units could or could not be activated each turn.
It is well worth taking a look at these rules, and with the de-luxe terrain mat now funded on the Kickstarter, if Mantic do what they have suggested they may do, and open up a terrain-only pledge level, the option of using these rules and terrain for your own games with your own figures could be worth considering.
You can find the Deadzone Kickstarter here