Zona Alfa is a set of simple, fast-play skirmish rules for scavenging, exploring, and surviving in a near-future, post-apocalyptic Eastern European setting. Players take on the role of bandits, mercenaries, and military units fighting over the blasted Exclusion Zone and its abandoned artifacts. Customize your fighters with a variety of weapons and specialisms to create your ideal Zone crew.

With extended rules for campaigns, character progression, terrain, and environmental hazards, Zona Alfa contains all the tools required to engaging in blistering firefights within the Exclusion Zone.

35 thoughts on “ZONA ALFA

  1. I just took a look at your rules and was very intrigued. I was wondering if you could include a section on play balance since there is no “point system”. I think it would be fairly easy to make balanced forces of comparable abilities. All of your pictured teams / crews appear to be balanced. Do you have any suggestions for elites versus rabble (i.e. 40K Marines versus Genestealer Cult) ?

    1. Hi Scott,
      My games tend to be story-driven, so ‘points’ don’t factor in much. As far as an elite v. rabble, I’d ratio 3:1 rabble to elites and set up the scenario so that both sides stand a chance of winning if they play smart.

  2. Hey Patrick, my club is going to be trying out CtE in a week. We share your gaming philosophy and are excited to set up some story-driven narrative scenarios. Any tips for our first game?

  3. Gosh, I’m flattered you like CtE enough to try it, let alone ask for tips. IMO, try an Escort VIP mission or Sabotage Terrain Item. Set a Turn Limit. Have straightforward, measurable objectives.

    For forces, give each a distinct flavor/fighting style, i.e. light & fast or armored/heavy firepower, or tech reliant. Spice up a couple character leader/specialists backed by a squad of redshirt grunts to generate some story tension.

    That’s pretty general, but I don’t know your club or fig collection, so…

    Just do do me a favor and send pictures, would you?

    Thanks again.

      1. Sorry but the best place to ask is the Pulp Alley forums. They’re very nice over there. The CtE mechanics are very different and I wouldn’t presume to speak for the Pulp Alley game.

      2. A big hello from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil! This weekend my kid, nephew and I tried out Zona Alfa, and its loads of fun!
        There’s a thing I quite didnt get right, though, and that is multiples enemies on the board: the rules say we treat the enemies as a single unit that activates last on initiative. So player A activates one unit, then B activates another… and here is the doubt:
        1) do the enemies activate all at once right after B activates his unit, then passing to the next unit aa has, then B etc, or
        2) A activates a unit, then B, then A, then B etc until they have activated all their units, and only then the enemy units go, or
        3) do we treat the enemies as a player, activating after B ONE UNIT, then passing to A, then B, then another from the enemy’s etc?

      3. Hello,
        Thanks for contacting me.
        I apologize if the wording isn’t clear. On P 43 of the rule book: “Zone Hostiles all activate LAST – AFTER all players have finished activating.”
        So someone triggers a Hot Spot and Hostiles are spawned. (either player A or B. ) A and B continue to alternate activation until both sides have gone. If the Hostiles aren’t dead by the time A and B have finished, then they go. (all of them, one after the other, if there are multiples)
        So Number 2 is correct.
        Zona Alfa is a traditional PvP war game. The real opponent is the other player. Hot Spots and Hostiles are more “dangerous terrain” than an active threat. Look into the Kontraband supplement if you’re interested in Zone Hostiles and Hazards as a more deliberate, active adversary.
        Have a good day,
        patrick t.

  4. Just wondering if you can help me out with a copy of these rules and/or notes on converting Pulp Alley stuff to Post Apocalypse? That’d be awesome as I’m struggling with rulesets right now.

  5. Hi and thanks for this great game. Could you please upload PDFs with all the required tables for the game. I don’t want to tear my rulebook apart.

    1. Hi. Thanks for stopping by.
      I recommend contacting Osprey for any PDFs or other information. It’s their game, after all. I’m just the guy who wrote it.

  6. I came across this game by chance on Instagram.
    And watching some videos, I loved it.
    I bought the regulation and I am very excited.
    Wonderful job. It’s just what i need
    Sorry for my English, and I don’t speak very well, greetings from Chile

  7. Coming soon, Planet Alfa! No, but seriously I love these rules but I’m daunted at the prospect of painting/buying a lot of new minis so I thought maybe I could play it with scifi minis I already have. That got me started thinking of rules modifications to suit the change in aesthetics and generally thinking what a cool idea that might be. Any chance we might see a supplement or expansion moving the basic idea into a interstellar or intergalactic setting? Sort of like if Zona Alfa and the Expanse had a baby? On a side note, how do the mechanics (I’m a rules nerd) of Insurgent Earth compare to Zona Alfa?

    1. Hey there.
      Thanks for stopping by.
      A Sci Fi mod for ZA sounds cool and should be easy enough. Thing is, Zona Alfa is owned by Osprey. They’re in charge of expansions and supplements, not me. I needed their permission to write/release Kontraband and even then, I couldn’t use the official ZA logo or Osprey Wargames imprint.
      Regarding Insurgent Earth – it’s built on the Exploit Zero engine. (ZA is different) Very simple. Fast play, character customization, cooperative or solo. It has a low model count and is more modern resistance/partisan themed. Again, pretty easy to tweak for a different setting.
      Hope that helps. Have an excellent weekend.

  8. Hello Patrick! Zona Alfa really scratches an itch for me. My first game was a solo match and your lone wolves update made it awesome and tense! I do have a few questions. Each of these would be easy enough to make a call on my own, but I wanted to see what you had intended for game balance. 1. How many equipment slots are your stalkers allotted initially(unclear if starting equipment allotments are the maximum slots for the team members)? 2. What HP ranges would you recommend for mutants and very large mutants? 3. When salvaging a hot spot yields an anomaly, does this anomaly spawn with a d10 roll like zone hostiles?

    Thanks for any help and sorry for the barrage!

    1. Hi Brian,
      Thanks for contacting me.
      1. E-slots are related to the character’s experience level: Green have 1, Hardened have 2, Veterans have 3. See text box top of page 32.
      2. In higher threat level areas, I give large mutants/very large mutants 2 to 3 respectively. High-wound creatures are rare however. I prefer to increase the hostiles’ available actions to represent increased danger.
      3. Section 8.3, page 41 is a D6 table. In the core ZA rules, Anomalies are automatically present with the appropriate D6 result. In Kontraband, Anomalies are separate phenomena/locations, and don’t require a die roll.
      Hope that helps.

      1. Thank you! To clarify for the third question about anamolies, my confusion is about the salvage table on page 45 in the core rules of ZA. On high rolls, you can yield an anamoly when salvaging a hot spot. Does this mean you just get an artifact from the salvage, or does this spawn an anamoly at the hotspot that you have to subsequently roll will checks for and search again?

      2. Hi Brian,
        If the Hot Spot roll results in an anomaly, the anomaly is treated as an additional phenomena in the same location. Resolve any Hot Spot hostiles and salvage, then make a Will check neg. modified by the TL of the area. Pass, you’ve snagged an artifact. (table on p. 46) Fail, take generic AOE damage. (similar to a grenade.)
        Good hunting.

  9. Hi,
    Thanks for the great game.

    I would have a question about campaign style of games.
    If I run more than just a short streak of games, difference between gangs becomes more present. Would you think it advisable to let the group roster grow beyond starting Khrabrost, and then select a team for the mission at hand, with agreed number of the actions?
    Say I started with 12 (3+3+2+2+1+1) and opponent is there with 4×3. After a few games I promote one of the greens to a hardened. How would you approach the rest of the campaign?

    1. Hi.
      Thanks for contacting me. Glad you like ZA.
      12K is the starting line. Promotions are a huge part of an extended campaign and yes, you end up going beyond the initial 12 K pool. (if crew members survive) I presume your opponents are promoting/improving their crew members and hiring reinforcements too?
      Long-term crew composition and load-outs are up to the individual players.
      My only suggestion is that if you get up to 20 – 24K per team, you bump the size of the mission area 4 x 6. Otherwise, it’s a dog fight in a closet.
      Let me know how it turns out. Good hunting.
      – patrick t.

      1. Thanks for the reply and the great game that enables us to emerse into the world of Metro and Stalker (Tarkovski’s for me)!

  10. Greatings from Zimbabwe.
    as i was typing in my email address i bumped the submit button. i don’t know if it sent.
    The rules on starting crews aren’t that clear to do with weopons and equipment.(1) Do you start with them for free? or (2) do you have to pay for them?(if so with what money) If number 1 is correct what is stopping you from starting with the most expensive weopon on 9 rookies selling for a cheaper weopon and earn 18000 zs of which a fraction of could be spent on other weopons.

    1. Hello.
      Thank you for reaching out.
      To answer your questions:
      1. the initial load out per tier/trooper quality is FREE. The recruitment is a package deal, soldier and equipment.
      2. Technically, nothing is stopping you from using that loophole/gaming the economy that way – after the first mission. (aside from the fact it goes against the spirit of the game and narrative play)
      One of the play testers intentionally went that route. The up-gunned rookies weren’t nearly as effective as he expected, AND he ended up with so many casualties that it wasn’t cost-effective either. First game a bunch of tactical circus clowns bumbling around, playing ‘pray-n-spray’ while the other players picked them off in between salvaging gear, searching anomalies, getting things done.
      That said, ‘Your Zone- Your call.’ IT might be different for you. Let me know how it works out .
      Good hunting.

      1. Thank you for your reply, i don’t own any post apocalyptic miniatures so i have modified the rule for ww2 Germany and soviet union.

    1. Night Optic Devices?
      No. They help you see better in the dark, but not through walls.
      Modifiers for physical terrain remain, regardless of day time or night/low-light conditions.

  11. Sorry to ask another question but when shooting does each each action spent on shooting count as a round of shooting.E.G. in a game i played my independent leader used two action to shoot a veteran military model using a rifle. this gave him one wound from the first and two from the second action. Would this mean the veteran is dead or out of action (also a veteran using three action to fire a smg is quite catastrophic. )

    1. Not sure I understand your question. Maybe this will help, though:
      1. Combat is lethal in Zona Alfa. Bullets are not your friend. Use cover and smoke grenades.
      2. For 1 action, a character may attack with their weapon. Ranged weapons have a Firepower rating which represents a number of projectiles/bullets heading downrange per attack. The AK has a FP of 3. Shooting it once represents a ’round’ of fire (three dice/bullets) and the target may in fact be hit by all three bullets and need to make three armor saves. Armor failures = wounds. Wounds = Out-of-Action.
      3. Dead v Out-of-Action is a player’s choice. I apologize for the unclear wording. In a multi-game campaign, any model wounded beyond its health capacity goes ‘Out-of-Action’. Perma-death is totally optional and reserved for one-time pick up games.
      If a downed model is not healed by an ally by the end of the game, they must roll on the Battle Scars table, and are subject to the consequent flaw/quirk. A character with one or two of those generally gets retired quickly, as their quirk tend to cause more trouble than they’re worth.
      Does that help?

  12. yes thank you but i was also asking can multiple actions be spent on attacks because there would be no point in aiming. But what you said answered most of my question.

Leave a Reply to ccglazier Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.