Deathzap 2 Play Testing and Campaigns

Men of the League of Zandor were seen today engagning in a bloody firefight with Mortan’s Men on the edge of District Anzo in En Sikkar the capital colony city on Kannis’ moon Oltra.

The fighting was brutal and swift, as Zandor utilised their advanced weaponry and shield technology to devastating effect. Mortan’s Men suffered heavy casualties.

The power of Zandorian firepower is nothing to take lightly and this was something I wrestled with for a while rules wise. My initial games of Deathzap 2 were over in minutes as sides traded killer blows. When each unit fired it would destroy another. It was all about shooting first and not entirely satisfying to play. The issue was my activation mechanic (previously mentioned) of each unit activating twice in a turn and the order of those activations being random. If one side got lucky and got all their activaions first they could win the game with no skill involved. What I had forgotten was one of the central tennents of Deathzap was simultaneous fire, meaning although you don’t roll the dice at the same time (that would be way too confusing) casualties are not removed from units until the end of the Shooting Phase when all units have had the opportunity to shoot. So no unit gets wiped out before it can at least do something. Once I put that back into Deathzap 2 everything felt right again!

I think I’ve got a good starting point with the rules for Deathzap 2, I’ve added a little more to it so forces now are able to have a bit more personality and there should be a less generic feel to games. I’m currently pondering a mechanic that should be simple and can add even more personailty to the forces so your Allegiance of Gnossos troops should behave rather differently from your Solar Raiders. At the start of each turn you will roll a die per unit you have in play, those dice can then be attributed to units (one per unit only!) to either allow them to perform special actions or boost the actions they would normally carry out. For example a 6 attributed to a Gnossian unit may allow them to teleport 6″ from their current position, whereas a wargang of Solar Raiders might fire twice that turn.

Additionally I’ve been thinking how I’m going to run this solo campaign. I’ve come up with a flowchart style system at least for the initial stages of the war on Oltra:

deathzap campaign When one side wins you follow its arrow to the next battle. I figured this was slightly easier and allows for a little more drama than map movement. I’ve attempted to include consequences for certain victories or defeats to give the feel that these battles are actually connected.

You might be thinking how I’m going to simulate a war with a few infantry platoons, but my plan is rather simple, my little 2’x2′ board is going to represent the place where the decisive action that swings the larger battle takes place. I don’t need to worry about what happens beyond the edges of the board, just that my little game is what swings the outcome further a field.

By the way the title image for this post is my recently designed flag for The Hegemony of Synthos. The blue triangle pointing upwards represents their uprising from the Legion of Kharthion, the blue band their expanse across the Xolar System and the six stars represent their Warships.

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