Build it and they will come…(pun intended!)

When I first thought about the Deadzone game, and what I wanted it to be, I had some very clear ideas shaping the vision. I hoped for a very cinematic game, where the rules, scenery and models came together to create an experience that felt like you were playing scenes from a movie. I knew we would need some support to tool all the requirements for that – including a good selection of scenery, models for a number of factions and a tight rules set. I’ll be honest, I hoped it’d be big – but WOW – that Kickstarter got really big. The success, combined with trying to deliver on time, set us many challenges – and on the whole I feel we did pretty well. Lots of people ended up with huge piles of very cool models, fantastic terrain and a great, but slightly complicated skirmish game.


However, there were things that we felt with a bit more time could have been better with the game.

  • Rules that were slicker and easier to pick up, with less things needing to be looked up,
  • A faster, more fun game experience that would welcome more gamers
  • We’d have liked more of the range in hard/sprued plastic – less restic
  • A lower in-store retail price for the base game to encourage new entrants (did people NEED the deluxe mat to get started?)
  • All the essential rules in one book, with better campaign rules.


I had a nagging feeling that those factors were holding Deadzone back from being the game it should have been. After Adepticon last year, where in spite of the areas for improvement, it was still the best attended Mantic tournament, I knew this was a game that needed to be refined and developed to allow it be what it should be. There was a great core rules set, but there was too much clutter in the way to allow it to shine, and bring in new people. We took it back to KS last year to add some of the hard plastics for the factions and a couple more sprues of terrain (they are ‘oh wow!!’) and a print run to platform the retail launch – and now we are just 6 weeks away from that happening! I worked with Jake (the game designer) and the DZ rules committee (the people who were playing the game regularly but knew it could be so much more) and we set about developing DZ 2.0.

  • The game now has a beautiful, hard cover book – with the rules and army lists for all the factions in 1 place!
  • There is a slick game system that keeps all the charm of the first edition, while adding some great new developments, based on a more refined, intuitive set of mechanics
  • A couple of new terrain sprues that take the Battlezones range on to another level (no pun intended!)
  • Lots of the core troops in hard plastic, and razor sharp detail throughout
  • The cards have been replaced with something that’s just as much fun, but a lot easier to manage, namely the new command dice
  • A full campaign system to allow you to play a series of linked games and develop your strike force
Deadzone Table

Deadzone Table

Skirmish games are the easiest journey from purchase to tabletop. They can be picked up quick and your force quickly assembled and gamed with. The Mantic gaming night started last week with 12 teams – unheard of numbers!!! When we designed this edition of the rules the plan was to have a little redundancy as possible, so the items you previously bought – via retail or Kickstarter – would still be useable. The hope is that this time you’ll finish off the faction and terrain you started a couple of years ago (like my Rebs – still only based and undercoated!!!), get your minis on the tabletop to playing the game. All the games we’ve played so far – both in testing and demos – have left the players player wanting to play again, and again… and again – Me included!


At Mantic I really want you to be enjoying your box of toys (yeah, I know you’ll never paint them ALL, but hey we need to get SOME of them on your tabletop!). This means the Deadzone 2.0 was probably a little early for a second edition – but I thought it was so close to being the game that lots and lots of people would love to play – and so many people already had the models and the scenery – that the best course of action was to get the rules out to allow them to use all that they had! Over the next 6 weeks we will be adding to the website background on each of the races you’ll find in the Warpath Universe, and collating all the great hobby content that has been generated for Deadzone over the past 3 years (please grab the free downloadable audio book – done by DZ fans ‘Coach’ and his friends – which you can find the first 2 parts of here..

And of course we will be making the basic rules and 2 starter lists available to download for free from the website – so you can give the rules a try before you have to spend anything.


Seriously, it is really important to me that you enjoy the games we make and want to tell lots of your friends about it, so they start playing too. They can buy their faction at their local store – and that’ll help to support our retailers, who give us all places to play, and provide a venue for us to release more factions and add-ons directly. Ultimately this keeps the game exciting and fresh, creating a supportive network that keeps reinforcing itself. It starts with us making games you want to play over and over – I really hope Deadzone is one of those!

Through the painting, collecting and gaming we will build a huge global community, that want to play great games with like-minded folks and collect armies. The bigger the community, the more chance we get to share the great hobby we all enjoy. And this IS what Mantic’s about. Making great games and models that people want to play!

Please enjoy all the great content we have for Deadzone over the next few days and please do give it a try.

Best wishes


Deadzone 2nd edition is available for pre-order now and will begin shipping at the end of May!


  1. Chris Richardson April 20, 2016 at 2:02 pm

    Typo says shipping end of March. When do KS pledges get shipped?

    • Kickstarter pledges are being shipped – present tense. Saw some of the Outbreaks going out the door this morning.

  2. As always nice to hear directly Form you Ronnie. I think the rules are ace and I’m so looking forward to my (little) pledge and to buy goodies from retail. I’m just a bit let down by balance issues and (again) many little buggers in proof-reading, which I saw by just reading it like an hour. I hope that this issue will stop as it is no good PR for mantic (dungeon saga? Incomplete, contradictory rules etc). I’m still a huge fanboy and always supporting you and dragging friend to the mantic madness, but these things don’t male it that easy 😉 (still 8 new kow/dz/DS) players. So keep the good work and intentions going, but don’t rush it too much. Best regards

    • when pointing out mistakes (even when you’re otherwise positive) you’ve noticed in someone else’s work, you should always double check and proofread what you’ve written in that particular comment yourself before posting. 😉

    • Maybe you should do an update on the KS then 😉

  3. Ah well I have to triple check my german phone auto correct. Busted 😀 Oh and really looking forward to infestation and the new leaders and their army options. 😉

  4. What is the deal for FAQ now – Jake @ Quirkworthy I don’t see anything post beta. The thread in the manticforum ( has a TON of questions and only 1 is answered.

    There are a lot of inconsistencies in the DZ 2 Rulebook.

    Are you leaving it to the rules committee to finalize and answer. No problem if that is the case, but this is again a scenario where you have literally _just_ delivered the rulebook, and there are so many inconsistencies it could easily be re-issued just to fix them. Will that ever happen or are we stuck trying to keep track of it all. It seems there was no QA as a number of these are basic items that a thorough proof-read should have caught. This is the exact reason I refuse to pledge for your hardback books – I would be profoundly disappointed to have received a book with the volume of issues that there are present in the PDF.

    • M. Jared Swenson April 20, 2016 at 4:29 pm

      Well even those who will be buying the hardback rulebook at retail will be getting the same exact rulebook as those from the kickstarter, errors and all. I don’t mind honestly, because I buy hardbacks for collectors purposes, as long as we get a running errata and faq. I appreciate having some printed sheets in between the pages of my hardback correcting the errors and clarifying the rules.

  5. I cant find the free DZ rules

  6. Jared, I can fully appreciate wanting to collect the rulebook.

    If it was a couple minor points – no biggie. Or if over time rules get updated for balance or other reasons – sure. But if you’ve seen the list at the FAQ I linked there’s already over a dozen things that should have been found/fixed. Things where range is not listed on weapons. Erroneous skills or weapons listed in the strike force list, etc. To me at launch that is pretty poor. I would expect to not need a bunch of errata within days after receiving the rulebook simply due to poor execution.

  7. A great article. Thanks.
    However… “did people NEED the deluxe mat to get started?”
    When I decided to pick a skirmish game, I’d narrowed it down to either Infinity or Deadzone starters. Infinity figures looked better, but the Deadzone scenery looked great. In the end, my decision was made by the deluxe Deadzone mat over a paper Infinity mat. I just can’t stand paper mats with fold lines in.
    Don’t justify dismissing the deluxe mats from a gamers point of view just because they cost the company more for things such as packing/weight.

  8. agreed : mat and scenery is what got me intereste in dz in the 1st place.
    i generally agree with what you said Except for the new rules.
    from a cinematic / immersive pov, the removal of overwatch and the absence of any reaction mechanics relegate the game rules to “just another classic minis game”. skirmish is supposed to be fast and deadly so i cannot understand how your models are just wainting to get butchered without being able to interact with any of your opponent actions…
    i was a great fan of dz 1, i am a much less fan of dz 2.0 core rules. i will probably pick scenery and play infinity instead.

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