Here are pictures from a game several weeks ago. It was a close affair, but the Scourge took the day with a 6 to 5 victory (I think). Both commanders were downed, and a massive infantry scrum happened over one objective. Good game!
Last week Seb and I got in a game of DZC, around 910 points each side, Feral Resistance versus UCM. We played the Encroachment mission, but both of us misunderstood the rules about scoring – it wasn’t until we were tallying up the final scores that we realized that infantry in buildings score triple points in the opposite table half, not just the opposite deployment zone. But because it was equally misunderstood, we decided to just go ahead with our…altered version of the mission (opposite deployment zone only). (NB: we did not use command cards in this game.)
The buildings were equally balanced (almost exactly) between table halves. We built army lists that were within 5 points of the other. The UCM army included:
1 Kodiak command with transport;
6 infantry bases in Bears (in Condors);
2 Longbows in Ravens;
2 Gladius HBTs in a Condor;
3 Rapiers, driving on;
3 Sabres, Condor;
missile pods on everything.
The Resistance force was pretty much my entire DZC model collection:
1 Alexander Command tank, with Lifthawk (AA upgrade);
4 Free rider bases;
3 two-base teams of fighters, in Jacksons (in a Lifthawk, with the AA upgrade);
3 Gun Wagons in a Kraken;
2 Hannibals, driving on;
Spider mine launchers on the Jacksons.
Fortunately, the game was a lot of fun – unfortunately, my picture taking was really spotty. It’s also been several days since the game itself, so I will summarize.
There was no shooting in turn 1. My command battlegroup deployed on the left side, initially in cover. This was in direct reaction to his Gladius HBT section, whose Condor dropped them off in the street ahead.
I initially thought this was a clever move – however, over the following several turns, the Alexander moved out of cover and proceeded to do NO DAMAGE AT ALL to anything, and was eventually blown away by the combined fire of the Gladii, Sabres, and even a few blasts from the Kodiak’s friend in space. I think that happened at the bottom of turn 4.
(The tape measure was exactly the same size as the small blast template, which here marks the final resting place of Resistance Commander “CV3.”)
At the time, I thought that would be the end of the game – destroying my most expensive unit and killing the commander within was a mighty chunk of kill points. However, with so much of the UCM forces concentrating on the exposed Alexander, it allowed for some substantial maneuvering by the rest of my force. In particular, the Freeriders rode hard down the table edge and found some juicy targets.
First, they found and destroyed both Longbows in short order. This had the unpredicted effect of removing the smart smoke on the Gladii. As a sidenote, Seb and I both had a chuckle out of our representation of the smart smoke:
A piece of trash on the ground! Part of an old straw wrapper one of us tracked in from the street. It did a good job hiding the heavy tanks from the then-extant Alexander. Despite the immediate cessation of the smart smoke, the Alexander and some Lifthawk missiles failed to hit and/or damage the Gladii. Dang.
Anyway, I had originally planned to use the Freeriders to put an end to the heavy UCM tanks, but the destruction of my commander gave me a better idea – go after the Kodiak. And they did.
Over the final two turns or so, almost the entire UCM army redirected their gatling guns, heavy machine guns, anti-air revolving cannon, and missile pods against the Freeriders. There were not many other targets, though, and also not enough mobility to get into my deployment zone before the end of turn 6. Literally thousands of rounds, bullets, and missiles later, Seb’s UCM force had – to their credit – managed to destroy two entire bases of the Resistance scouts. No easy feat! This attrition also kept the Freeriders from destroying their target and killing the enemy commander.
On the other side of the board, the UCM Legionnaires had swiftly deployed in a medium building towards the middle of the table – and my own infantry were just too far away to get in the building and engage them without first being subjected to a concerning amount of fire. Instead, the Lifthawk carrying all thirty Resistance fighters – no doubt airsick by the end of the game – re-positioned and flew across to the other side of the table. Meanwhile, my Gun Wagons made steady progress in their Kraken, all the way up the far right side of the board. In turn 6, the Gun Wagons and their Kraken made it into the enemy deployment zone, as did all thirty Resistance fighters, who took up shelter in a large building barely in the UCM deployment area (immediately next to the Kodiak!). The two Lifthawks also managed to do a little damage, but not enough to earn kill points. In the end, those infantry won me the game – that triple points bonus is huge.
My drive-on Hannibals did not end up achieving very much. Spending the first turn sheltering behind the large building in the Resistance deployment zone, they ended up driving out and unloading turn after turn on the building the Legionnaires garrisoned. By the end of the game, the MBTs had killed a base-and-a-half of the UCM infantry, in return losing one of their own to Sabre fire.
Seb and I both agreed after calculating kill points that we would have played the game very differently had either of us realized we had misread/misunderstood the victory conditions for the Encroachment mission. But it was still a lot of fun! Had I not thrown those fighters in the building on turn 6, I would have lost.
Besides the actual rules for Encroachment, I felt like I learned a lot in this game. The Alexander is not invincible, for example (although it did take a lot of pepper to bring it down) – nor are Freeriders (although, again, I love those evasion countermeasures). I really need a third Lifthawk to get the most out of my heavy armor (and then I could play at the ~1000 points level even). Lifthawks are not very dependable AA. Straw wrappers make good smart smoke.
Good game, Seb!
Had some more fun Dropzone Commander games last weekend. I am really loving this game! Here are some pictures from the two games.
(That last picture – photo credit Brian @ http://magnetizedtolead.blogspot.com/ )
Also this week I had my two DZC rulebooks bound together at FedEx with a nice spiral binding, to make gameplay easier:
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.
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).
My 800 point Resistance army included two stands of Freeriders and a level 3 commander.
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.
That Kleenex represents smart smoke fired by the Longbows.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!”).
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.
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.
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.
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.
(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!
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.
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).
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!
At 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.
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!
Over the past few weeks I have been expanding my Dropzone Commander Resistance army.
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.
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.
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!
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.)