Picture Gallery: Three-player DZC Game

Last Saturday three of us got together and got a couple of games of DZC in at the Hobby Bunker.  I took a fair number of pictures and wanted to post them here to continue coverage of my foray into Dropzone Commander.

Prequel: UCM vs PHR

First up, Seb and Brian played a quick 800 point game, UCM versus PHR.  I only took a few pictures but it is a nice lead in to our three-player battle.

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Main Battle: PHR vs Resistance-UCM force, 1300 points

The main show was the largest DZC game any of us had played.  We united my 800 point Resistance force – finished painted the night before (they do still need touch ups and sealing) – with a small 450-500ish points UCM detachment, and faced off against a sizable 1300ish point PHR army (using some Scourge Destroyers to represent Sirens).  We adopted some simple rules to make the three-player format seem more fair: first, all Resistance units had to deploy/activate before any UCM ones could; second, the allied forces could not use command cards or commander values on each other’s forces; third, play fast (we wanted to get in as much of the game as we could before the store closed for the day).

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My 800 point Resistance army included two stands of Freeriders and a level 3 commander.

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The game revolved around three objectives and two focal points.  It was a fun match up that involved a lot of maneuver – followed by a lot of combat.  PHR lived up to their reputation.

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That Kleenex represents smart smoke fired by the Longbows.

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One of the more memorably moments was a successful use of Weapon Hack to do….no damage (at point blank range!).  Those Hannibals are tough!

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The main show was definitely the huge exotics combat for the central objective.  Two bases of sirens (they might look like Destroyers in the pictures) versus two bases of Praetorians…. then two bases of Legionnaires, then four bases of Resistance fighters!  In the end, we had to wrap up the game before the objective could get off the board with either side – but it was a lot of dice rolling.

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It was a lot of fun.  The main takeaway for me, however, was that I really need another Lifthawk for the Alexander!  It did very little this entire game thanks to its movement value.  The Freeriders performed well, and used their sticky mines to good effect.  Looking forward to the next game!

DZC Battle Report and DW Playtest Game (Pictures)

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Seb and I got together and rehashed our DZC match up from last weekend, Scourge vs Resistance.  We did not end up with access to much terrain however…. so we made some out of Lego.  It worked ok!  It was a small game, using the same armies as the weekend before (700 points, level 2 commanders).  We chose not to use cards in this game.  

We made sure to spread the terrain around, placing objectives in two large structures and three medium in a fairly symmetrical pattern.  Seb’s FAT mat added a lot to the game once again, and is a good material for moving miniatures around.  This battle may have been a precursor to a reconquest campaign on the strategic world of Olympus Prime…

Olympus Prime: Factory World

Olympus Prime is the Cradle World richest in natural resources.  Prior to the Scourge invasion, it was expected to surpass Earth in space/naval construction.  Since the launch of the Reconquest, the Olympus system has been home to the fiercest fleet actions as both the UCM and the Scourge bring in more and more naval assets.  On the surface of the planet, no sizable UCM force has been able to land, but reports of PHR activity have been confirmed.  Contact with human resistance forces planetside has also been recorded, although little information has made its way to UCM command…

The Olympian Resistance

For the past century and a half, the Scourge have been busy exploiting the Olympus system’s immense mineral wealth.  When the EAA command structure collapsed during the initial invasion, Olympus prime was host to underground depots and storage facilities for the multitudinous EAA vehicles being produced on the factory planet.  Buried under the earth, these depots were largely untouched during the rapid defeat of the EAA military at the hands of the Scourge.  Weatherized and sealed, these complex, powerful military machines survived the drastic upheaval on the surface.

By the time of the first wave of the UCM’s Reconquest, Olympus Prime’s surviving human population was split into various tribes, warbands, and resistance societies across the planet’s surface cities, underground storage networks, and mountainous mines.  Although surviving the predations of the increasingly complacent Scourge, these resistance groups were not capable of truly defeating the Enemy in any substantial way.  However, this did not stop the most violent or martial of groups from trying.

The Triumvirate of Latver – really a petty autocracy led by the feared/loved “Viktor” – is one such military- (and revenge-) minded resistance force.  Displaying a strong preference for the preserved EAA weaponry over more easily maintained weaponized civilian vehicles, the “Triumvirate” has established a sizable military presence in the Latverean Depression – an area between Olympus Prime’s second city and a major EAA storage depot.  Perhaps emboldened by the discovery of the United Colonies of Mankind, Viktor seems to be escalating the assaults on any and all Scourge in the area near the Latverean Depression.  How (s)he would react to contact with the UCM, PHR, or Shaltari – potential enemies and potential allies all – is unknown.

One piece of intel about Viktor: (s)he seems to have a mild obsession with fresh coats of hand-painted camouflage.  This indulgence is possible undoubtedly because of the large stores of old EAA tri-tone passive-stealth countermeasure applique left in the thousands of gallons in Olympus’ storage depots.

The Previous Battle

In the last battle, a Triumvirate recon-in-force clashed with a similarly sized Scourge force, both expending significant ammunition before exiting the field.  This battle was fought in a relatively intact sector of the city, but ended without a clear victor.  Still, for the Triumvirate’s forces such battle experience is important for Viktor’s plans.

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Locate and Exfiltrate the Objectives

In a nearby city sector, several square blocks of ruined industrial park surrounding an old monument, whispers of valuable electronic components abound.  Furthermore, Triumvirate scouts discovered a couple of dens of human survivors.  Not one to broker compromise, Viktor sent an identical recon-in-force to locate and retrieve all these objectives.  Unsurprisingly, a significant Scourge presence was also closing in.

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In Deployment, the Scourge won the roll off and chose to deploy second.  First on the board were the Jackson Park Express, rolling up to a large objective-holding building near the table edge.  The squad of 20 Resistance Fighters kept driving down the board, intending to head to a second objective, while the smaller squad of 10 went directly to the large black factory.  

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While the Scourge rushed to a large, cavernous rock formation to search for prey, the Triumvirate recon group’s command element was dropped in by Lifthawk.  Lines of fire for its powerful munitions included possibly Scourge air defense artillery and electronic component workshops (“Viktor requires no compromises!”).

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In a surprise move, the Scourge deployed a large number of the hated Prowlers on the western edge of the board.  Reacting swiftly, the Triumvirate Gun Wagons moved in onboard their Kraken hovercraft.  Dismounting with earnest, their veteran crews blew apart half of the Prowlers immediately.  While every true child of the Resistance loves destroying Prowlers, this did leave the rest of the force without much air defense.

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Seizing on the overplayed hand, the Scourge brought in their main battle tanks to threaten the gun wagons.  Although backing up and causing more damage from their anti-aircraft guns, eventually the Gun Wagons were entirely wrecked.  The Kraken, however, would survive the entire battle.

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The M9 Hannibals deployed near the Alexander, while the Scourge ADA moved into the central square – prime real estate for their anti-aircraft weapons, but (luckily for the Resistance) blocked on one side by a large building.

In the second turn, the small Resistance squad got incredibly lucky, located the human survivors, and escaped off the board in their Jackson.  One victory point for the Resistance.  The larger squad raced toward the other large building, hoping to get their fighters inside and capable of threatening Scourge vehicles with their tube launchers.  

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Before they could dismount, however, the Scourge Reapers swept around out of the square and dangerously close to the Jacksons and Alexander – but just out of range of the nearby Lifthawks.  In reaction, the Alexander unleashed the Maelstrom grenade launcher and destroyed two of the enemy ADA (although one survived the grenades, chain guns, and main gun assault).  Although caught in the large blast, the Maelstrom grenades did no damage to the Jackson Halftracks.

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(During turns two and three,) On the other side of the large building the Hunter MBTs swept in and, alongside their transport, destroyed the Gun Wagons and damaged the Kraken.  However, their attack was blunted by the Lifthawks, Kraken, Gun Wagons (before they were completely melted), and only the Scourge commander survived.  A Lifthawk even managed to take out a Prowler with its nose-mounted heavy machine guns!

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On turn 4, some drastic transport movement bunched the Scourge transports on the eastern side of the board, while their commander escaped the firing lanes of the Resistance armor.

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A lone Prowler also survived, despite the pilot of the Kraken trying for turn after turn to smack it down with the 90mm cannon (on the final try, the Prowler was hit – but the Kraken rolled a ‘1’ to damage).

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Resistance fighters streamed out of the Jacksons (which then scooted out of the way) and into the central large buildings.  They would then use their tube launchers to take out the Scourge commander (not before he killed four of them with falling masonry, however!).  Meanwhile, though, the Scourge infantry finally found their own objective and made it off the board.  One victory point to the Scourge.  Poor humans!

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DropzoneLego24At this point, we called the game.  A lot of destruction had been caused – mostly against the Scourge, I admit – but no battlegroups had been totally removed, and each side had only one objective recovered.  Furthermore, neither side was in a position to go after any other objectives or even really damage the other side before the end of Turn 6.  

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It was a fun, fast, and furious game.  I look forward to trying higher points levels!  I need another Lifthawk for sure, but I also feel some calling from the new Salakhan miniature…


After the Dropzone Commander game, we flipped the board over and played a full turn of Dystopian Wars (my first using the 2.0 ruleset!).  We ran out of time to continue, but it was clear in that first term that my Merc faction (the Jack-o-Lantern company / Canon de Zibilene) was overcosted.  We were played at 710 points per side, and the Russians bested the mercs in every way – number of ships, size of ships, range band 4 firepower… I’ll need to look at the points values again, and get more playtesting in!

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DZC Progress Gallery: Finished Jackson Halftracks

Over the past few weeks I have been expanding my Dropzone Commander Resistance army.

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The main additions were the starter army set and a blister of Freeriders, bought on the cheap from Dicehead Games in Cleveland, Tennessee.  I also picked up the Resistance Command Cards set.

Last night I finally sat down and set about washing, cleaning, and building the many units of the starter army.  All came in excellent condition.

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I know it is oft said, but the detail on these models is really spectacular.  The Lifthawks are even bigger than I expected, and I really love that the Gun Wagons actually fit inside the Kraken hovercraft.  Well-executed, Hawk. (NB: Pictures above do not include the infantry or Freeriders.  I’m saving them for another date.)

Today I finished painting the Jackson Halftrack APCs (unit name: the Jackson Park Express).  I also settled on a marking scheme for my force, and added it to the Alexander Command tank featured in the last post.

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Make sure you take a look at those undercarriages – very detailed!

I am enjoying the rapid painting progress with this color scheme.  I have not sealed any of the models yet, and may revisit them if I decide to change something, but I am still feeling satisfied with the messily applied camo scheme, offset by almost-subtle detail work.

I am looking forward to getting some games in before too long, too!

DZC: Resistance Alexander Photos from Blister to Finish

After playing a demo game of Dropzone Commander with my regular Firestorm: Armada opponents, I was hooked.  I love the look of old EAA units – now part of the human resistance – and I started with a command tank: the massive M3 Alexander.  It is very large for a 10mm system, and quick and fun to paint up.  I made use of a NATO aircraft camouflage scheme I have long wanted to paint, and I think it turned out very well.  Now, as Brian put it, “all it needs js a few friends!” Here are pictures of the M3 Alexander from its arrival in-blister to some shots of the finished paintjob.  (I also include some comparison shots for size: a 1 dollar bill, a piece of gum, and 2 Sorylian Frigates from FS:A.)

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FSA Game Picture Gallery

A few weekends ago I had a great time playing with some other local FS:A guys.  I was completely savaged by a dastardly Directorate biohazard heavy fleet, but had a blast.  The scenario conditions really didn’t suit the fleet I had picked, either, but I will say the following:

• I LOVED using Pack Hunters on my two squadrons of Scythe frigates – I will definitely spring for this again.  (I borrowed a squadron of nice looking frigates from Andy at the event.  By themselves they put on some serious hurt!)

• A full squadron of Skyhammer cruisers is a terror indeed – especially when heavily upgraded.  (This was the first game I got to use my Defense Monitor stand-in for the fourth cruiser, which looked great.)

I’ll need to pick up some more Scythes!

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We played a 1200 point game – the largest I’ve played so far – and so I got to use all my Sorylians (not my unpainted heavy cruisers, though), and had to borrow a squadron of frigates, but it was a strong fleet.  I ran one Scythe as an escort (love that PD of 4) but then we rolled an escalating engagement, and my reserve rolls were awful.  My Swordbreaker battleship didn’t even show up until Turn 6!

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Starting deployment, trying to make use of some cover.

 

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The full enemy fleet – a mean list.  This was not deployment, as the battlecruisers and carrier group stayed off board as dictated by the scenario rules.

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Let battle commence!

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I did occasionally get some great dice rolls.

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I also grabbed some pictures of a parallel game, Directorate vs. Terrans.

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I am looking forward to playing even bigger games in the future!