Last Sunday I played a few games of Deadzone second edition.
Three games took about four hours to play or so. Point sizes were 100, 150 and 200.
I played with X-Com '94 Plague faction.
My lists were:
Stage 3A Leader
4x Stage 3Z zombies
Stage 3A trooper
Stage 3A specialist with grenade launcher
Stage 3A specialist with HMG and extra ammo
Same as 100 plus
- Chovar Psychic
- Stage 3A trooper with Frag grenade
- Stage 3A specialist with HMG
Same as 150 plus
- Strider with Chainsaw
- +2x Stage 3Z zombies
- extra ammo for the second HMG specialists
Opponent played with Enforcers.
First two games were Recon missions.
I got only one uninformative picture from the first game, so I'll just try to sum it up briefly.
Shooting proved itself to be far more lethal than it used to be. I mean, Plague strike team was shooting Enforcers dead in this game... Though those were pretty much the only kill Plague got in that game. Enforcer shooting was even more deadly, and I lost Stage 2A very early. Throughout all these games there was an awkward trend of Plague trying to score an objective victory instead of wrecking face in melee combat. Perhaps Enforcers made it easy just by the virtue of having so few models on board.
However, having lost most of my actual fighting power to a few well placed shots, Stage 3Z zombies weren't ultimately enough to grind the required number of victory points.
In second game I had the Chovar psychic. Yet again a good shot nearly killed Chovar on first turn. One bullet must have cut through it's psychic membrane as it failed just about every Invigorate attempts it made during whole game.
Plague shooting results from last game proved to be anomalous, and one by one my specialists went to various vantage points just to die uselessly.
Stage 2A got into melee, but didn't do much. Zombies, on the other hand, were the masters of martial arts. Casualties were inflicted to both sides, and yet again I only had a few zombies shambling in the end. Game was a really close one. I think Enforcers had 11 victory points when Plague got to 12+ ... which, by the way, was incorrect victory point number for the point size of this game, so Plague victory can be questioned.
Scenario in this game was Search and Destroy.
Enforcer Sniper and Missile Launcher were terrible nuisances in this game. If I remember right, I finally nailed the Sniper who was on a tower about in the middle of the board by shooting it with two HMG's with extra ammo, Grenade Launcher and rifle from Stage 3A Leader, and activating some specialists again with Chovar. In this game Chovar was an amazing combo piece, by the way. For a long time that Sniper was my only kill, though here and there I scored lucky injuries.
By combining lots of command dice and Chovar skills and everything else that I had in my possession, I got Strider into melee with a pinned Enforcer. The Sectopod was probably bugged or something, because it just ran next to the Enforcer and... stared. Not even in an especially menacing manner.
And then Missile Launcher blasts it into a wreck. Just as planned.
Well, at least the Strider had drawn some activations away from Enforcers and bought time for Stage 2A Chryssalid to enter melee with the very same Missile Launcher guy. What ensued was one of the most iconic moments of X-Com: Enemy Unknown '94. I had the zombie contagion command die in reserve.
Enforcers were on an unlucky streak, and Stage 2A wreaked havoc in their lines, while meagre zombies were scoring points from the objectives. An honourable mention goes to the frag grenade carrying trooper. It tried to lob it on top of a building with Enforcers on it, but missed. I guess it didn't have the Time Units to throw the grenade after priming it. Grenade scattered to the very same cube where the enthusiastic little pyrotechnist was.
Enforcers couldn't kill the Stage 2A until it was too late. This time it was an honest victory for Plague.
- - -
So. What do I think of Deadzone second edition? From my point of view, the streamlining has been done quite well. I hadn't been an avid player of the first edition, and I never could quite grasp all the small details of different modifiers in different modes of attacks. Probably because not all of them were very intuitive. A lot of such confusion seems to be gone.
Battle cards had been a nice mechanic, but I think I can live without it. Only thing that bugs me is the loss of asymmetrical scenarios. Sure, they are optional there in the rulebook, but as far as I'm concerned, that aspect of the game was done better with cards.