Deadzone 2nd Edition Starter Set Review and Unboxing

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We’ve just got our hands on the new Deadzone 2nd Edition Starter Set and we’re pretty damn excited. We were fans of the first edition of Deadzone and were keen to see what came in the box of the new boxset.

So, why did Mantic create a whole new edition? Basically Deadzone 2.0 comes with a brand new set of rules that are more dice based, banishing most of the cards and score tracking of the previous edition, therefore Mantic decided to go the whole hog and not only re-boot the rules but also reconfigure the whole contents of the box.

Don’t fret, although the rules have been modded, Deadzone is still a skirmish game set in a futuristic world and played in a 3D battlescape, with Mantic promising that veteran Deadzone fans and new players alike will enjoy the more fast-paced nature of the new ruleset.

We couldn’t help ourselves so thought we’d do a quick Deadzone 2nd Edition Review and Unboxing of the contents.

Deadzone 2.0 Box

Without further ado, let’s have a look at the packaging. The first edition of Deadzone came in a fairly large rectangular box. The new box is a more compact square with nice artwork on the front showing the Enforcers having a go with the Forge Fathers.

Deadzone 2nd Edition Box Front
The back of the packaging nicely depicts the two factions you get in the Starter Set plus describes the contents of the box.

Deadzone 2nd Edition Box Bacl

Deadzone 2nd Edition Starter Set Unboxing

So the outside is all good, but we’re mostly interested in what we’ve shelled out for (the contents right!). In the Starter Set you get the following:

  • A hardback rulebook
  • Battlefield Mat
  • Gaming tokens
  • 8-Sided dice
  • Command Dice
  • Battlezones Scenery
  • Accessories and Connectors
  • Enforcers Strike Team
  • Forge Father Strike Team

I’m going to go through each of the bits in the box in more detail so you can see what you’re getting.

Deadzone 2nd Edition Hardback Rulebook

This is a really nice addition to the box. Inside you get a 112 (ish) page hardback Deadzone Rulebook which will take more of a beating than the usual paperback editions included in starter sets.

Deadzone 2nd Edition Rulebook Front

The cover pretty much matches the packaging on the box, with the reverse of the rulebook gives some info on the game.

Deadzone 2nd Edition Rulebook Back

What’s inside the Deadzone 2nd Edition Hardback Rulebook?

The book starts off with a nice foreword from the game designer Jake Thornton who discusses his hope that Deadzone fans enjoy the new smoother and slicker gameplay that still embodies the essence of what made Deadzone a fun game to play.

The book is then nicely split out into sections starting off with the core rules of the game including how to set it all up (choose a mission, select your strike team, setup the battlefield and placing objective items).

The book includes pre-generated strike teams based on the minis that are in the box which I suggest you give a try if this is your first game, as well as details on actions you can take on your turn (move, sprint, shoot, fight etc).

There’s then details of advanced rules and descriptions of special abilities some of your troop may have to make the game more varied and interesting.

One cool thing in the book is that it has details of all the factions, so in the future if you’re interested in playing Veer-myn for example, the Deadzone 2nd Edition book gives you background on that race plus stats on the leaders, specialist troops and grunts in that army.

Deadzone 2nd Edition Rulebook Inside

Lastly, the book covers some campaigns so you can link your games into “a larger narrative”.

Deadzone 2nd Edition - The Miniatures

In the starter set you get two factions to choose from, The Forge Fathers and the Enforcers.

The Forge Fathers

To start you off you get ten miniatures that make up your Forge Fathers Strike Team. You get 10 Steel Warriors that can be put together as Huscarls or Stormrage Veterans. Luckily, the rulebook tells you the difference between these units, so you can decide what units you want in your strike force.

Weapon options are available for you to further customise your forge Father faction.

I’ve mentioned before how much I hated the Restic material of the old Deadzone minis material (some awful resin plastic concoction). The minis in the starter set are made out of plain vanilla hard plastic on sprues.

The Enforcers Strike Team

For your Enforcers Strike Team you get eleven miniatures with plenty of customisation options with the weaponry such as pistols, snipers and incinerators!

Your strike team comes with five Pathfinders who can be modded as Specialists or Seargeants, as well as five Enforcers who can be modded as Assault units, Specialists or Sergeants.

Again, the excellent Deadzone 2.0 rulebook gives details into what each units strengths are, so have a read of that before you hit your miniatures up with super glue!

Finally the Enforcer Strike Team gets 1 D.O.G. drone (a robotic dog type unit).

The Battlefield Mat

Where the hardback rulebook is a great addition to the boxset and really is a nice item, the Battlefield Mat is a slight let down. The design of the Deadzone 2nd Edition mat is exactly the same as the one in the old boxset.

Deadzone 2nd Edition Battle Mat

It’s 2ft x 2ft making a great compact playing area and is splattered with battle scars and remnants of deceased foes.

The difference is the Deadzone 2.0 mat is paper… The old mat was some stretchy mouse mat material that could take a hell of a beating.

I understand why its paper, it keeps the weight and price down of the core-set as well as lets Mantic sell the item separately, but the mat won’t take much of a pounding.

Eventually you’ll want to buy the Battlemat I’ve got no doubt.

Battlefield Scenery in Deadzone 2nd Edition

I enjoyed painting the scenery in Deadzone 1, the building were easy to do even for a novice painter like myself. You get seven sprues of buildings, cannisters, gangways rocks and other bits in the box. I’m sure it’s less than Deadzone 1, but this set is much cheaper.

Deadzone 2nd Edition Scenery

Again this is hard plastic sprues and makes the Battlefield interesting and varied. Look on the internet for some cool ideas on grunging up the scenery, its worth the effort.

Deadzone 2nd Edition Dice

Where would we be without dice… In the box you get a set of white eight siders, not a lot to say there. In addition there’s six command dice with symbols such as shoot, fight and mantic splat (all explained on page 11).

Deadzone 2nd Edition Dice

Lastly… Counters

As with Deadzone 1, you get a stash of in-game tokens and items but there’s less in here. Symbols include ammo and medi-pacs you can collect among other things.
These are made of fairly sturdy cardboard, but if you like a more upmarket feel you can buy replacement tokens.

Deadzone 2nd Edition Starter Set Opinion

I think it can be summed up as follows. The book is great, nice and clear and hardback. The miniatures in Deadzone are nice plastic and come with customisation options. It’s good to see the Battlefield scenery but the mat is going to need replacing.

All in all, this is a good value boxset but you’ll need to get a mat if you play this a few times.

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  • Ian Walsh
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