Deadzone: What’s New in 2nd Edition?

Deadzone 2nd Edition is now on pre-order and the rules have changed from 1st Edition. It was a long and difficult process to work out what needed to be altered and what should be left but we think that we’ve come out of it with a better game game as a result. So what’s new?

Force Selection


We’ve completely revamped how strike teams are built allowing for far more freedom and customisation (and conversions!) than ever. Now you can take a Marauder Sky Scraper with ripper claws or an Enforcer Engineer with a shotgun, or a Rebs Sorak with a pair of pistols. If a model doesn’t exist to represent your particular selection, then you can have fun with some hobby time and convert them to match!


In order to keep things balanced, your Strike teams are still subject to limitations. Most units have access to only basic weapons, with the more exotic firearms being reserved for specialists or leaders. The core of your force will be made up of troopers. You can only take as many specialists as you have troopers and you must have one (and only one) leader. You may also take one vehicle for every three troopers in your strike team. That’s it!

Dice and Cards 


It was a tough decision but we’ve chosen to replace the battle cards in the game with command dice and the stat cards with the rules in the book. There were two reasons that we did this. Firstly, it means that you need less extra items to play. The card decks were fine until new units were added at which point it became difficult to have the cards to field your models. Now, all of the stats you need can either be found in the main rulebook. If we want to add any more units then we will have the full rules and stats in an expansion, keeping things clear and simple.


The second reason is that the battle cards seemed to have an odd ‘cancelling effect’ wherein your opponent could counter most plays you would make, meaning that they had no actual effect on the game. The new dice avoid this effect, each one having a small but notable effect on your turn. Spend them wisely and and think ahead – you never know who’ll happen!

Leader Abilities


We thought that in the new edition, your strike force should be built around your leader and what they bring to the battlefield. With this in mind, each leader has a special ability that they can use during the game, to affect the rest of your strike team. This really allows you to add style to the way your force acts on the tabletop.


For example. The Forge Fathers Huscarl can help his team to ignore damage or injury. The Plague 3rd Gen Lieutenant turns one unfortunate dead opponent into a mindless zombie! The Marauder Warlord can drive his charges into a killing frenzy and the Rebs Yndij Infiltrator Commander lets the team sneak into the shadows.



With the new edition comes loads of amazing new models to back up your strike teams. The models in the starter set are all Hard Plastic, with multiple options to build specialists and leaders with a variety of weapons. We also have new faction starters and faction boosters which are great starting points for any Strike team or Campaign Army and a host of new metal Mercenaries to hire for your force.


Those of you with models from the previous edition, fear not! All of the models you have are still valid in the new rules and you’ll be able to field them alongside (or against) any of the new releases without problem. We’ve worked hard to make sure that almost every model from 1st edition has a place in 2nd edition.



The campaign rules have had a complete overhaul compared to the last edition. When playing in a new campaign, you will select an army – essentially a large strike team – from which strike teams for individual missions will be selected. Each model in an army is considered to be unique, although you don’t have to own every single one. For example, if I own two plague hounds, then I could purchase four in my army and only ever field two. I would need to track each hound on the roster separately in terms of damage and experience.


In between games, you need to track experience and resources as well as explore the immediate Deadzone. The exploration table in the back of the book provides some wonderful exposition, adding non-game story to your strike teams’ own narrative. These can be beneficial, such as finding items or strongholds, or detrimental, such as being the victim of an ambush or deadly contagion. Over time, your team member will gain experience and become more specialised in their fields, gaining stat boosts and new abilities. Those who face a Veteran strike team will have an extra bonus to even the plying field, as well as pick up more experience for surviving against them.

That covers just about everything. The game is still very much the same as it always was, as many people have found through playing the new edition. The rules are more streamlined, but not at the loss of any of the tactical choices (or fun!). So what are you waiting for? Recruit your Strike Team and enter the Deadzone!

The Deadzone Starter Set, Deadzone 2nd Edition Rulebook, Enforcer Faction Starter and Booster and the Forge Father Faction Starter and Booster are all available to pre-order from all good hobby stores and the Mantic webstore. These will be shipping in May.

Existing players will find everything they need for the new edition in the Deadzone Veteran Commander Bundle!



  1. M. Jared Swenson April 21, 2016 at 4:55 pm

    This edition is FAR superior to the previous for just about every reason you listed above. I think that abandoning the cards (of any type) was the best decision you could have made. We are hoping for a good faq/errata, but that’s being discussed already. Keep up the good work guys!

  2. I haven’t even gotten all my Kickstarter stuff for 1E yet.

    Sure hope this is at least a free download to kickstarter purchasers.

    • It will be. We’ll be sending a free pdf of the new rulebook out to backers of DZ1.

      what were you missing form the Kickstarter?

    • Great! Thanks Dave.

      Still haven’t gotten my warpath stuff, but do have my deadzone (not assembled yet though, need to find somebody to paint the great miniatures REALLY well first!).


  3. I know the back cover of most war game rule books has art and blurb and copyright and company stuff. But board games often use the back cover as a quick reference. For starting back into DZ we stopped playing cos we didn’t want to learn off new rules and modifiers burnt out by 40k. We would really love there to be on the back cover a list of situational modifiers and a few of the pertinent special rules. Cheers.

    • Deadzone is more of a skirmish game than board game and with the book being available separately, we have to have a more traditional back cover with a bar code. Ideally we would have had a ‘board game’ edition of the rulebook included in the starter set instead, but that plan was changed.

  4. Jason Hemstreet May 3, 2016 at 6:18 pm

    What about people who purchased DZ1 but did not back it?

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