In this post, I’m going to look at tactics for using zombies in Deadzone. The first thing to say is that the zombies got nerfed in the FAQ, so if your looking in the rulebook and using the stats from that, they have changed. They lost tough, their save was lowered to 6+ and that is the stat line I’ve taken while writing this.
One of the first things to think about when running a zombie list is to remember that they are worthless, not to you but to your opponent, they are worth 0 VP’s. This means that for you opponent to win the game he needs to clock up the VP,s via the VP points generated by the scenario. The list I like to run will only give out 2 VP for my stage 3 general. While this might make you think that you can just keep sending zombies into the mixer we will look later at why it’s best to look after each and every zombie.
Early on, you’re looking for the extra move die, this will allow you to control the VP squares as the movement of a zombie is only 1-2 and you can contest VP cubes when its the zombie turn. A Mantic splash is always good early on if you are going to boost the leaders shooting in the first turns and look to turn one of the opponents figures early on in the back field. In the later rounds the splash will allow you to bring more zombies to bear and take in mind simple little things like, if your opponent only has one figure in the VP cube then shooting it and turning it in the zombie turn will give you the VP’s. Always re-roll +1 model die as you don’t need them at all. Extra dice die is always handy and should be used when you have a Mantic splash to make sure that the attack hits home, or could be used to help keep your leader alive. With regards to the extra shot and combat die, each will be used when its needed. The extra shot is better as it will give you a second chance to hit something or put extra wounds on big things while the extra attack you wont really need due to the zombie turn as expanded later.
The Zombie Turn:
As you will probably out number your opponent, there will be times when all of their figures have moved and you still have a hat full of Zombies to go. This is called the Zombie turn, as you get the rest of the turn to yourself, its your time to shine. This is when you should start to make the moves to the VP cube’s or move into fire lanes without the fear of getting shot. The first few activation’s of the turn should really just be used to hide what you will do in this turn, I’ll get into combat later but this where the opponent has shown his hand and you get to set things up to take away as many VP’s from him as you can. This can be as simple as contesting a VP cube or turning one of his figures that are holding the VP’s. Also this part of the turn will be best to use your leader, try and pick a valuable target, one that denies VP from your opponent or will gain you VP’s. If none are available then look to knock over something that your Zombies can reach this turn for combat that will help a lot when the horde move in.
Now this will be when you can really make the most of your Zombie turn. The first thing you need to think about is getting the first figure you move in to combat to stick in that combat, if your opponent has a higher melee value than save value you might struggle to get that first zombie to stick. The opponent will use this and if you lose the combat then he will probably beat the zombie and your back to square one. Now this is the key to combat, when the first one is in and others follow the dice start to rack up. Horde states that, you gain the extra die for having friends in combat but also gain an extra die for each friendly figure also with horde, but not the figure in combat. This means you can really apply the heat into combat by swarming a cube with zombies. The chances of putting wounds on figures raises with each combat and with each zombie added to the combat. So looking in the book who might defend instead if using their fight value, most Forge Fathers have a higher save apart from their leaders, Enforcers across the board have a better save, Marauder commando’s have a better save but be careful as this isn’t with all of the entry in the army list and Mawbeasts will always fight. Reb’s save is quite low but is the same as the fight, but as they have so many different entrys it might be hard to bring down some. The same can be said about the Veer-Myn, as a Stalker has a better fight but the Crawler’s fight and save is the same.
Now you’d think, rocking around the board, maxing out cube sizes with four zombies is the way to go, and yes, if you think they might be charged this is a good way to protect them from combat, as horde will kick in and ramp up the combat dice for you. But, watch out for anything that affects everything in the cube. I’m looking at “Blast”, “Suppression”, “Indirect Fire” and “Frag”. All these will either knock everything down or out of the cube. The biggest one is “It burns”, now this is a killer as it can clear out whole cubes of zombies in one shot. But with a range of 2 it should be quite easy to control, the low range should give you time to spread out the zombies in that area and hopefully limit the affect of “It burns”. Also its worth noting that keeping your leader out of sight until he’s needed or in the zombie turn is best as this will limit the amount of fire coming his way. Maybe keep a move die spare if you have one so he can hide at the end of his activation.
The main thing here is not to throw your zombies away, yes you will have difficulty in placing them on the board due to the amount of them, but try not to be carefree about their placement in a cube, in that your opponent will get extra die for clear shots when you could of prevented it. Kill flamers at the first opportunity and quickly as this is the biggest killer for you, and remember that the denial of VP’s that your zombies gives your opponent means the VP’s the mission offers is his best way of winning, so also prevent that and then roll him over with horde.
Pictures taken from the Mantic website.