A fair while after its come out, I thought it was prime time for me to actually get a review of this supplement up and on the website.
Never heard of Deadzone? Check out the full review here!
More after the jump....
Nexus Psi is a very reasonably priced supplement coming in at £9.99.
For this price you are picking up a complete set of rules for a full campaign, if you are happy enough to think up your own campaign scenarios then this may not appeal to you at first, but for the price I would still strongly recommend you pick it up (it does also have details around specific abilities that means you will need it).
If like me, you have loads of ideas bouncing around your head but sometimes struggle to make the time to voicalize or write them down, then this is a really good book to get you into campaign thinking, and to help flesh your ideas out.
If you prefer the idea of a prewritten rulebook that requires you to do nothing to get a campaign up and running then this will be perfect for you as it really does provide you everything that you need.
So where to start?
Well here is a quick breakdown of the contents:
- Background - Some details around Nexus Psi.
- Abilites - lists the new abilities that you need to be aware of.
- The Campaign
- The Factions
- The Champions
This covers off the history of Nexus Psi and the problems that befell it. Not the longest section in the world, but gives you some nice back ground to the campaign and a bit more of an insight to the Warpath universe.
Left me hoping for that little more detail, but that's just my inquisitive nature I guess.
Always useful, additional abilities for newer models, does make the book a requirement for people using all of the newer models that comes out.
Its a pity these rules aren't available outside this book, but on the plus side unlike some companies at least the price of the book itself is not prohibitive.
A more in depth look at each of the four factions that were around at the time of this release, a few pages on each with lots of text, which gives that greater insight into each one.
Lists the Mercenaries that were present for the original Nexus Psi incident, with some history and motives for them, more interesting information for those of you that like background and fluff.
So not in order, but that's mainly because this is the largest section, and I thought it would make sense at the end of the article.
The Strikeforce building, experience and expanding your strike force are the same as they are laid out in the main rulebook.
The main change is around the the Campaign's 9 new scenarios, they each include different win conditions and
One standard mission (Intelligence Run) which is basically your bread and butter of the campaign, you will potentially be playing this one a lot, but its a nice quick game.
Five Strategic Missions (S1-5), where you are actually playing a game to claim a territory and its associated bonus.
Three bonus missions (X-Z), these are missions that can be called by each side, two for the attacking factions, and one for the defending faction. These are weighted towards a win for the faction that calls it and are aimed at giving them a once per campaign boost to get lots of points to spend on their strike force in case things have gone horribly wrong.
To begin with one factions (in the case of the original Nexus Psi, the Plague) control all 5 Strategic locations, which provide them with a load of bonuses, while some of these bonuses increase their strike team size, and may seem quite powerful, for the most part they actually only equalize the playing field as the defending faction in each of the strategic missions always starts with less points to pick their team from.
The aim of the campaign is for the attacker to kick the defender off all the strategic locations, or for the defender to stop the attacker from taking all of the strategic locations.
You start out playing the Intelligence run, and the winner then picks the next mission. Since the defender cannot elect to 'attack' one of its own strategic locations if they win the first game then you end up playing Intelligence Run a few times.
Winning the campaign can only be done after the sixth battle, and each battle thereafter. In essence if one person is controlling all 5 strategic locations they will win, so the Attacker has to be aggressive otherwise the defender will win by default, which can lead to the attacker being a bit reckless with their troops to begin.
Well it wouldn't be a review if I didn't tell you some negatives (or that I found none).
I think that this is an excellent step into how to build a Deadzone campaign, and even has a few hints and tips around how to modify it if you want to play shorter campaigns.
My brother and I have played it through a few times, and found that as the defender it is very difficult to get that first strategic location.
Here is our problem, as the Plague player I found it pretty easy to shut down my opponent in the Intelligence Run scenario, which meant we played it through 3 times before he got a win, at which point he played a Strategic location, and lost this, so we were back to an Intelligence run (game 5), which I then won.
We only played 5 games but my brother had actually only had one attempt to get the Strategic objective.
I would suggest everyone tries it in the original format, but remember it is your campaign (and Jake does say this several times on his blog and in the rules), if you don't like something change it.
So in our case I am thinking about making the first game Intelligence run, but then allowing the Attackers to chose the next mission regardless of the previous ones outcome whenever they don't control a strategic objective. This will mean the mission is more about the attacker choosing to try and take the locations away from the defender, with this minor change I think it would be perfect, but not having tried it against many opponents it could be that it works perfectly fine as is.
There are also a couple of bits that could do with some clarification, i.e do the bonuses apply in the Intelligence run mission, if they do then the plague start that mission with 75 points to the attackers 50, which makes it even harder for the attacker to claim a victory, and risks hanging up the mission even more.
I would give this 8/10.
Dropping two points for a couple of minor clarifications that you feel you need around the campaign itself (do the bonuses apply in the Intelligence run mission?), and the fact that you have to buy it if you want the rules for the abilities so it becomes less of a supplement and more of a requirement.