Monday, 9 April 2012

Zone Mortalis 3 - Playing the Game

Right then. I actually got to play this over the weekend...

First up I took with me the scatter terrain - namely the stores on pallets. In the end I had seven of them put together. As mentioned previously I ran out of time in adding tarps - but I will add some to these just to try out a different method. The pallets will likely get scrapped eventually as I have plans for some new ones using new pallets and stores, using 3D prints as the masters (there will be an upcoming post regarding this in a couple of days).

I decided to make the game even more interesting by putting together a 750 point Ork force. They were put together very quickly and many will have to be taken apart again, cleaned up and properly assembled. I used the IA8 force list, hence two boyz mobs led by Meks. The five Nobs were stand ins for some Cybork Slashas.

I had to get some Kans and Grot Tanks in there. No idea how it would go, especially with the Grot Tanks counting the entire ZM board as difficult terrain. Having four Meks in the force I hoped would mean I could repair the many, many, immobilised results I would probably end up with.

I believe the appropriate term would be 'Waaaaagh'.

So the pillars and card walls were set up, I admit to being surprised how well it all went together. The big grey round thing was just a way to a. cut down on the number of pillars I had to cast and b. get something different onto the board, i.e. some curved surfaces and a closed off area.

At this point I decided the pallets would of been better slightly smaller as we were limited to where we could have them due to their size.

The Game Itself...

Both of us enjoyed playing the game, the rules were easy to pick up and seemed to fit very well. Reactionary rules and the random optional rules (those we had chance to play anyway) added to the game nicely without being too over the top. Overall the games were fast and brutal.

Template and blast weapons turned out as effective as I thought they would (hence having so many in the 750 point force). Re-rolling to wound and having blast markers which scatter explode when they hit a wall made them deadlier than before.


We could of done with some more terrain to give people some cover in the corridors - but I think that was more our fault for not providing it than a problem with the rule set itself. When people move round corners they can come face to face with a hail of shots, but then I'm not sure how much difference this is to normal 40k, after all a unit will often face at least one shooting phase without cover when they are trying to assault another unit.

What happens when eight deadly Genestealers come
face to face with three Burna Boys?

This, this is what happens.
Zone Mortalis has brought a whole new way of playing 40k, it is easy to pick up, enjoyable to play and brings new possibilities to terrain, army make up, playing styles etc. I for one look forward to seeing how FW support ZM and expand it.

I am already looking at expanding this experimental board so we can try the game again with a larger gaming area and expanding the armies to 1000 points. In the future I will be looking at doing a dedicated ZM force and of course doing a 'proper' gaming board...

This was the third of the layouts we tried out, as you can see we dumped
the big grey drum and instead used a more open area with all the stores in it.

We both agreed on it as being our favourite set up and
I doubt we'll bother with the drum again.
Expect more ZM from me in the future. In the short term this will mean expanding this set, so more pillars being cast and more scatter terrain. For a start I am looking to cast some 'consoles' which we can use as objectives in some games (and to just add some interest in other games). I am looking at a few other bits and pieces as well as start brainstorming on the new army and new board (though I starting to plan this a while ago).

As for how the Orks did they won 3 out of 5 games. The Burna Boyz and Grot Tanks were brilliant, even with all the breakdowns (the tanks sailed through the first game without a single immobilised result, however after that the 1's cropped up more and more). The Cybork Slashas were a big disappointment. To the point I am going to rethink having them in the army at all.

"What's this?"
he pondered before putting two las bolts into it.


  1. Grot tanks are awesome! Thanks for the review, ZM definitely sounds like a cool game. Like you, I have a background in playing Space Crusade and Space Hulk and ZM is intriguing.

    BTW, your cast corner blocks are brilliant! What an amazing concept to have walls or doors frame into the side of them. I seriously would buy a mold if you produced it so I could make my own out of plaster. You should think about developing the corner blocks for sale in resin. They could be used for SC, SH, ZM, or even dungeon crawl games.

    BTW, I think you are the first one in the blog-o-sphere to buy the new IA Masterclass 2 book. Would you do a quick review at some point?


    1. Grot tanks rule. Enough said.

      Well I never intentioned to do more than one mould for the pillars so the master is now all broken up. If the demand is serious I could do another one, it would still be this basic, plain shape and would be rough and ready but as shown it is perfect for trying out the game. Eventually I will develop a much better system for pillars and walls, but that is in the future sometime.

      As for the Masterclass II book, see the next blog post for a link to one (saves me the hassle of doing a review myself...)

  2. I was going to say the same thing - buying a few molds wouldn't be out of the question. I've been trying to figure out how to afford a ZM board for a while now as I really want to try it out.

    1. Well I can certainly be persuaded to do a new master and do moulds if people really want some pillars to try the game out.

  3. Very cool! Loving how the ZM board you've done has turned out, in fact I like your idea far better than the FW version (and not just because it's about 1/100th of the cost)!

    Keep up the great work!