Zona Alfa: Salvage and Survival in the Exclusion Zone: 25 (Osprey Wargames)

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Zona Alfa: Salvage and Survival in the Exclusion Zone: 25 (Osprey Wargames)

Zona Alfa: Salvage and Survival in the Exclusion Zone: 25 (Osprey Wargames)

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the following is an edited version of my recent interview in Miniature Wargames magazine. It offers an overview on ZONA ALFA development and game play. Kontraband is the first expansion for Zona Alfa, and leans fully into the co-op/solo play. Instead of starting out with a starter band, you get 4 vets that either belong to the scientist or stalker faction. Each faction has its own types like smuggler, bounty hunter, field agent that have their own skills and specialisations. The reason you enter the Zone with a bit of a head start is that like Zona Alfa, Kontraband is just as deadly, and in some cases, very hard. Rookies have no place in the heart of the Zone. Equipment. Kontraband not only changes some details on existing pieces of equipment, it introduces several new ones. It also adds a new category of gear, Weapon Accessories, which are separate from items that fill Equipment Slots. Details on Weapon Accessories can be found further in.

There’s plenty of activity on the Stalker 7 and Zona Alfa Facebook groups as well, and nice ideas and scenery to look at. It may not be the next Necromunda, but it’s got a fun and dedicated following. The author is also a regular contributor and there’s plenty of stuff to find on his other games as well (which may get a review later). Next, you need the standard fare for a table top war game: miniatures, terrain, dice (D10 and D6), a ruler/measuring tape in inches, blast and teardrop templates, a few tokens to mark a model’s in-game status, and printed character sheets for your models. When you do hit, there are armor saves. Depending on what you pulled from a dead stalker or bought in the stalls, this will drastically improve your chances of survival. Some weapons or ammunition are also better at penetrating armor. If you fail this save, you’re down unless you have a med kit. If you do make the save, you have to take a Will test to see if you have to change your underwear after getting plugged with a 7.62. Zona Alfa has optional Point Of Interest cards to spice up your game, and Kontraband expands on this to drive your game forward. You mark points on the board that generate events, and when searching the marker for loot, you flip the first card over. There are many effects this can have, some good, some bad, some weird, and mostly there’s loot to find. And you’ll want to salvage loot. Deep in the Zone you can’t trade at the stalls or with passing stalkers, and you’ll have to make sure you’ll scrounge enough food, water and batteries together, or else your stalkers will starve and their detectors and other equipment won’t work. You always have a chance to react to the events happening though, if you reveal a card you can shoot or run away (provided you get a good roll).A 2 v 2 game, Other Pat and I faced off against Matt and John. Each player was allowed 12K to form their crews. In typical authoritarian fashion, Matt’s Evil Landlord and a Property Manager Henchman rousted the Serfs, kitted them with AKs and E-Juice (Amphetamines and Vodka) gave them a rousing speech and sent them into battle. The rest of us opted for more balanced forces with a mix of Veterans and Hardened Zone dogs. Tags 28mm 40k army battle report caluphel campaign chaos club death guard dragon rampant dwarves fantasy game night grimdark hobby miniatures narrative nurgle painting post-apoc project saga sci-fi skaven skirmish terrain warbands wargames warhammer workshop What was the biggest challenge in designing Zone Alfa? Were there any scrapped features you’d have wished could have been included?

Had the incident card been a bandit ambush, it’s likely that one or more crew members would have been out of action on turn one, unless crew members are on alert to take pre-emptive action. That’s basically all the math you have to do, and usually it comes down to common sense. It should be clear that this is not a game intended to be played in a tournament setting or mindset; the mechanics here need at least some agreement between you and your opponent about what “makes sense.”


Rookies have one action per activation, no special abilities and a limited amount of gear. Hardened soldiers have two actions per activation, have learned a skill, and can use more equipment. Veterans can perform three actions per activation, have two vital skills, and can equip themselves with useful items for themselves and their weapons.

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