As you are probably aware, Mantic games are currently running a Kickstarter campaign to produce a new skirmish boardgame – Deadzone.
Their Kickstarter page has been undergoing a big facelift in the last few days, showing off all the latest updates, including some renders of potential battlefields you can make with the new scenery that they are providing.
As far as I understand it, Deadzone takes place on the frontiers of Corporation space. These are outpost worlds, small colonies. As such, when people first arrived to colonize the worlds, I would expect them to bring ‘flat-pack’ habitation with them. The sort of thing that was represented in the first pictures we saw of the buildings, in fact.
However, there is a problem with this layout – it uses most (if not all) of the scenery provided in the ‘standard’ box of Deadzone, but doesn’t come anywhere close to even half filling a 2′ x 2′ board, which has lead to lots of questions about just how much scenery you will need in order to create the sort of game that Mantic are envisaging.
However, I have a real problem with these table layouts.
OK, let me ask you a couple of questions regarding them.
1) Do you see a building anywhere where you could either live, or work.
2) If you were a town planner, are these layouts in any way sensible? Is this how you would organise your settlement?
Just because it’s sci-fi, doesn’t mean to say that any sort of common sense or design should just be thrown out of the window. These layouts have lots of places to hide, line of sight is broken up everywhere and there are several high places from which to shoot. To me, these do not say ‘frontier colony’, but rather they scream one simple thing: gaming arena.
Where have we seen this before? Ah yes…
Now, this type of layout for Necromunda at least fitted the ‘Fluff’ of the game – I don’t think that the latest Deadzone layouts do.
When I picture the type of terrian Deadzone is fought over, I see a sci-fi frontier town – much in the mould of the old Wild West towns, only built with plasteel rather than wood. Or maybe something like “Hadley’s Hope” from Aliens. I think the original pictures we saw of Deadzone captured this. However, I think they also highlighted a flaw in the vision – you could build sensible buildings with the tiles supplied on the building sprues, but then you couldn’t fill the table with scenery, as was originally intended – not without needing to spend a lot more money on scenery. Hence why we now see these new renders.
Mantic’s new visions of frontier towns may be great to fight over, but I wouldn’t want to live there…