The following are the current rules I’m playtesting for Deathzap 3, any questions don’t hesitate to ask!
SETUP AND SCENARIO
The game is played on a 60”’x30” board and the figures I use are 1/72 or 20mm. The board should be fairly dense with terrain, with a mix of soft and hard cover. You could easily use figures of different sizes though with few if any changes to the rules.
Forces in the games of Deathzap I’ve been playing are made up of two platoons and a single support choice. Around 9 units feels about right, so I would stick to near that number. I’ve also recently worked out a points system which the first version of will be explained below, this means you can produce statlines for your own miniatures and play Deathzap with any figures you have in any universe you want. Just have fun!
Deployment Edges and Objectives
Players move squads on from opposite sides of the long edges of the battlefield. Roll off, the player that scores the highest decides which side they move their squads on from. No unit begins the game on the table.
Each game uses 5 objective markers. A single objective is set up in the centre of the battlefield and then players place two objectives each. Each objective must be at least 6” from each other objective.
A player wins a game of Deathzap 3 by scoring the most points. You earn 3 points for destroying an enemy unit and you earn one point for each 6” (rounded up) from your deployment edge the objective is when you activate it. So if an objective is 21” from your deployment edge and you activate it you gain 4 points.
PLAYING THE GAME
At the start of the game decide which player is the red player and which player is the black player. Then shuffle a deck of standard playing cards including the jokers and place it face down. Then flip the top card. If it is a number card the corresponding player (red or black) can activate a unit. If it is a face card the corresponding player can activate 2 units, if it is an ace the corresponding player can activate 3 units. If the joker is drawn all units have their activation tokens removed (see ‘finishing activations’).
When a unit activates it can do any one of the following:
- Advance – Move and Shoot.
- Charge – Move and Melee Attack.
- Cover Ground – Move+D6”.
- Signal – Shoot and Activate an Objective, provided there are no enemies within 3” of the same objective, and that objective has not been previously activated in the same turn.
- Protect – Recharge Shields.
When a unit activates for the first time it comes on from its controlling player’s deployment edge. When a unit moves on for the first time it cannot move into base to base contact with an enemy unit.
When a unit makes a normal move it must move around objects that it wouldn’t naturally be able to move through (people don’t walk through walls). Obstacles at lower than head height (the head height of the unit) can be climbed over at the cost of 1” of movement. A unit can sacrifice its entire move to climb a high obstacle or building. Intervening enemy units must be moved around but friendly units can be moved through.
The rule of thumb for movement is use common sense.
If a unit uses its move to disengage from melee combat that squad cannot move into contact with any enemy figures or shoot.
When moving all members of a unit should finish as close together as is possible.
Here is an example weapons table so you get the idea, a force’s specific weapons table may vary:
|Small Arms||1 Light|
|Destroyer||1 Heavy, Strike or 2 Light|
|Grenades||6 Light, Short Range|
Each weapon has its number of shots and then its power listed followed by any special rules. Some weapons like the Destroyer have two profiles, pick which one to use before rolling any dice.
When a unit shoots first check the line of sight, and then check the weapons stats for the number of shots each weapon has (the only number listed) and gather your dice. Weapons with the ‘Short Range’ rule can only target enemy squads within 12”.
Roll a die for each shot to see if you hit the target depending upon their cover (whether they are in the open, in soft cover or in hard cover) and your own unit’s skill level:
|Open||Soft Cover||Hard Cover|
If a unit is split between two types of cover use the majority cover type. If the target unit is split evenly between two types of cover use the worst form of cover the target has. Each successful hit is rolled again against the target’s shields, this time comparing the Power of the weapon and the Shield Strength of the target unit:
|Light Shields||Med Shields||Hvy Shields|
Each die that beats the shields of the target unit causes 1 point of damage. Each point of damage removes 1 shield from the target unit and when shields are reduced to 0, each point of damage causes a saving throw. Weapons with the Strike rule reduce the shields of the target if they beat them and also cause a saving throw even if the targets shields have not dropped to 0!
Basic – Save 6+, Regular – Save 5+, Elite – Save 4+
Each failed save results in a casualty remove a figure. Saving throws in this instance represent the awareness and training of the target squad to avoid taking casualties once their shields have failed.
If it makes a difference as to what order figures within a squad fire their weapons then you can roll for any figures separately in whichever order you chose applying their hits and the effects of their weapons before moving on to other figures in the squad.
Squads can split their fire between different targets, in this case all targets and how the squad will divide up its fire must be declared before any dice are rolled.
When a squad makes a melee attack against another they must be in base to base contact. You cannot split a squad’s melee attacks between targets. Roll a number of dice per figure in the attacking unit according to that unit’s MA (Melee attacks stat), so a unit of 6 figures with 2 Melee Attacks will roll 12 dice. A hit on the enemy unit is caused according to the attacking unit’s skill vs the target unit’s skill:
|Basic Def||Regular Def||Elite Def|
Each successful hit reduces the target’s shields, you do not roll to beat the shields as with shooting, and each hit once a target’s shields are drained causes a saving throw.
When a unit recharges its shields it goes back up to its full number as shown on its profile.
When a vehicle is reduced to 0 shields, or is hit by a strike weapon and then fails a saving throw instead of being removed from the table like a normal figure you roll on the damage table below to see the effect of the hit:
|1||No effect – The vehicle continues as normal.|
|2||Immobilised – The vehicle can no longer move.|
|3||Gun Crippled – The vehicle can now only hit with shots on a roll of 6.|
|4||Weapon crippled – The vehicle can now only hit with melee attacks on a roll of 6.|
|5||Killed – Remove the vehicle from play.|
|6||Explodes – Each squad within 3” of the vehicle takes D6 damage, drain shields and then make saving throws as with shooting. Remove the vehicle from play.|
Place a counter next to a unit or objective to show it has activated, it cannot activate again until its activation counter is removed. Once all units in play on one side have activation tokens all activation tokens on all units on both sides and objectives are removed. All tokens are also removed if a joker is drawn from the deck.
When a unit suffers a casualty immediately make a morale check for the unit. Roll a die for each figure remaining, and provided at least one figure succeeds the morale check is passed. If no figures succeed the unit breaks and flees the battlefield, for objective purposes they count as being destroyed.
Figures pass morale checks based on their skill rating:
Basic – 6+, Regular – 5+, Elite – 4+
Each force should also have a couple of figures modelled as leaders. When a unit makes a morale check they get +1 to their die rolls if they are within 6” of a friendly leader. Leaders also have command ratings. The command rating of a leader allows them to make units have additional activations during the game. When a card is drawn that allows a player to activate a unit they can spend one of the command points of their leader to activate an additional unit that is within 6” of the leader. You can only ever perform 1 additional activation per card drawn.
DEATHZAP 3.2.1: POINTS SYSTEM
So here’s an example of how to use the points system to build your own force for Deathzap. I’ve listed below the basic stats of the units and their weapons and what the figures in the units are specifically armed with. To keep things simple for my primitive chimp brain ‘small arms’ covers pretty much anything that isn’t a squad support weapon, you don’t have to do that. Repeaters are basically machine guns and Destroyers are missile launchers. Grenades aren’t additional items figures carry in my own games of Deathzap this is dictated entirely by the cheap figures I use. There’s always that army man with no rifle and festooned with grenades, that weapon profile is for him.
Mortan’s Men – Cultists
|Skill||Move||Melee Attacks||Shield Strength||Shields|
|1 Light||5 Light||1 Heavy, Strike or 2 Light||6 Light, Short Range|
|Squad 1||Squad 2||Squad 3||Squad 4|
|Platoon Leader (6) – Grenades|
5x Cultists – Small Arms
Cultist – Destroyer
|6x Cultists – Small Arms|
Cultist – Repeater
|6x Cultists – Small Arms|
Cultist – Repeater
|6x Cultists – Small Arms|
Cultist – Repeater
First total the points value of the figures, they cost 1 point per inch of movement plus the number of melee attacks they have multiplied by their skill (Basic 1, Regular 2, Elite 3). So the Cultists above cost 7 points each – 6+(1×1).
Each weapon costs the users skill (Basic 1, Regular 2, Elite 3) multiplied by its number of shots multiplied by the power of the weapon (Light 1, Medium 2, Heavy 3). If the weapon has the strike rule you double its cost, if the weapon has the short range rule you half its cost (round up any halves). If the weapon has two profiles you only pay the cost of the more expensive profile. So the Destroyer above costs 6 points – 1x1x3x2.
Total up the figures in the squad and then add their weapons and finally add the shields. Multiply the number of shields by their strength (Light 1, Medium 2, Heavy 3). So the Cultists Shields above cost 6 points – 6×1.
So take Squad 1 above – 7 figures that cost 7 points each are 49 points.
5 figures with Small Arms at 1 point each, 1 figure with Grenades at 3 points and 1 figure with a Destroyer at 6 points. For a total weapons cost of 14.
Finally the shields cost 6 points. So the squad in total costs 69 points.
Each other unit costs 60 points so all the squads above total 249 points.
I put the command rating of the platoon leader in brackets next to his entry on the profiles above, I’m currently debating costs of command ratings, but for now I’ll say 10 points per command, so an extra 60 points. You can have a maximum of 12 command per force.
Units that are vehicles can only ever be 1 model, and the unit costs and additional 10% after you total its cost as above (round up or down any fractions as appropriate).
Some loose limits for now to stop things getting out of hand, but feel free to ignore them –
Units can be between 1 and 10 figures. Movement can be a maximum of 12″. A unit’s total melee attacks can be a maximum of 24. A unit’s total shots can be a maximum of 24. A unit’s shields can be 12 maximum. If a unit is a vehicle it can have a maximum of 24 shields. Try to stick to around 9 units, and 1000 points total.