Future Warriors: Kill Zone
Wargame Rules Review
Future Warriors: Kill Zone was published in 1991 with a set of ten 25 mm Future Warriors metal miniatures, and it went out of production when Grenadier Models, Inc. was liquidated in 1996. The Kill Zone wargame rules have since returned as a free download. The game may be played with original »Future Warriors« miniatures and other modern, ultra-modern, or sci-fi miniatures armed with handguns, submachine guns, assault rifles, grenade launchers, light assault cannons, scatter guns, flamethrowers, and light lasers. Kill Zone’s fascinating gameplay revolves around hidden order counters »shoot«, »stay sharp«, »keep down«, »assault«, »snipe«, »run«, or »hit-and-run« which are revealed when an individual miniature, group, or gang has the initiative to move, shoot, or assault. The permissible orders are well explained, easy to remember, and quite realistic; their actual combat value depends strongly on the interplay with actions chosen by the enemy. The object of the game is to anticipate the enemy’s actions from turn to turn, and counter them successfully without changing one’s own group orders too often. In the worst case, a change of group orders may result in »suppression« which can lead to capture or elimination.
Kill Zone pits law enforcers and troopers against rebels, savages and scavenger, as well as cyborgs. Individually based miniatures may represent a single hero, members of a military/paramilitary squad, or irregular gang. A small 70–150 point scenario may involve a single law enforcement officer taking on a small gang of savages, or three to four soldiers about to encounter a similar number of rebels.
According to Kill Zone, the Future Warrior knows only three states of combat readiness and motivation: he is either actively engaged in the battle, suppressed, or captured; there is no retreat or rout. Such adverse combat results may have been factored into the »kill« result, in which case some of the casualties ought to be considered stragglers who may return to their unit after the fight, unless they are captured during a pursuit. Charles Grant’s The War Game has simple campaign rules for the return of stragglers and walking wounded which could be used with Kill Zone as well.
Machine Guns, Mortars, and Vehicles not included
While there are no vehicles or power-armoured troops in the original Kill Zone game, they were included in the Killzone Playtest Module No. 1 published by Grenadier Models.
The list of weapon stats in section »4.23 Action: Shooting« is incomplete: hand grenades, flamethrowers, and missile launchers are covered later in a section on area weapons. Machine guns and mortars are missing completely, even though they are very likely to play an important role in future wars. Stats for light machine guns may be created by combining the range of assault rifles with the fire effect of submachine guns. Light mortars with a range of 50 m (min.) to 500 m (max.) and the effect of a grenade launcher might be added as well, if the actual ground scale of the game were known. While Kill Zone does not mention any ground, time, or figure scale, the ground scale may be extrapolated from the effective combat ranges of some of the weapons covered in the manual. Hand grenades have an average range of 30–40 m, which Kill Zone translates to 6″ (1″ = 5–6 m), and a fragmentation radius of 15–20 m or 2″ (1″ = 7.5–10 m) in the game. Kill Zone provides range data for submachine guns (24″), assault rifles (30″), and shotguns (6″) which suggests that 1″ = 10 m is the ground scale we are looking for. Accordingly, light mortars might be given a range of 5″ to 50″ in Kill Zone. In addition, it may be a good idea to reduce hand grenade range to 4″.
Grenade launchers fill the gap between hand grenades and mortars; they typically have a range of 30 to 350 m. However, Kill Zone’s »explosive round launcher« only has a range of 0–6″, exactly like the hand grenade. Presumably, this is a typing error. For game purposes, the weapons mentioned above may be improved as follows:
|Weapon||Range||Damage Dice||Fragmentation Radius|
|Hand Grenade||4″||4D6 (hit) or 2D6 (miss)||2″|
|Panzerfaust 44 (»Lanze«)||1–20″||5D6||4″|
|FFV Carl Gustaf||1–70″||7D6||4″|
Missile launchers may only be operated and fired by a figure with »snipe« orders, which do not permit group movement in the turn when an aimed shot is taken. Other members of the RPG gunner’s squad may fire aimed shots as well, if a target is in range, but they cannot move. To improve tactical mobility, consider deploying RPG teams and rifle teams separately. Gangs have to live with limited tactical flexibility, because they have fewer leaders and sub-leaders. On the other hand, gangs move faster than regular troops; and scavengers excel at night movement.
- Title: Future Warriors: Kill Zone
- Period: Science Fiction
- Typ: tactical simulation
- Time Scale: 1 turn = seconds
- Ground Scale: 1:394 (1″ = 10 m)
- Troop Scale: 1 figure = 1 soldier/warrior
- Author: Nick Lund
- Format: 20-page booklet
- Language: English
- Publisher: Grenadier Models, Inc., Springfield, PA
- Published: 1991
- Group Orders
- Future Warriors Stats, Lists, Special Rules
- Additional Rules
- Setting Up an Engagement
- Raid and Capture
Nick Lund’s »Future Warriors: Kill Zone« wargame is a fast and furious infantry skirmish simulation game, offering drama and realism. The missing vehicle rules are included in the Killzone Playtest Module No. 1, or they may be scrounged from »Car Wars«, »Twilight 2000«, »Last Battle«, »Dark Future«, »Krash«, »Team Yankee«, and other compatible game systems. The venerable 25/28 mm Future Warriors metal miniatures are currently distributed by Mirliton.