Sunday, 9 August 2015

Dropzone Commander - First Impressions

I finally managed to get my first games with my Resistance force for Dropzone Commander last week against Pete's United Colonies of Mankind (U.C.M.) army. In the first game we used just the contents of the starter boxes, and in the second we each added a couple of other units, and a commander to enable us to make use of the command cards. In both games we played the starter scenario in which we were going after three objectives and would gain 1VP for holding each of them at the end of the game, and 2VP for getting them off the table.


Game 1 - Starter Boxes only

Resistance
Battlegroup 1 - Resistance Band
 - 2 bases of Resistance Fighters in a Jackson APC
 - 2 bases of Resistance Fighters in a Jackson APC
 - 2 bases of Resistance Fighters in a Jackson APC
 - Lifthawk Dropship with AA Cannon

Battlegroup 2 - Vehicle Detachment
 - 3 Gun Wagons
 - Kraken Hovercraft

Battlegroup 3 - Rusted Fist
 - 2 Hannibal Battle Tanks
 - Lifthawk Dropship with AA Cannon

U.C.M.
Battlegroup 1 - Colonial Legionnaire Corps
 - 3 bases of Legionnaires in a Bear APC
 - 3 bases of Legionnaires in a Bear APC
 - Condor Dropship with Missile Pods

Battlegroup 2 - Colonial Armoured Formation
 - 3 Sabre Main Battle Tanks
 - Condor Dropship with Missile Pods

Battlegroup 3 - Colonial Legionnaire Corps
 - 3 Rapier AA Tanks
 - Condor Dropship with Missile Pods

Turn 1 - Battle Tanks square off, Infantry make for the central building,
and AA waits to pounce.

Turn 2 - U.C.M. Legionnaire squad 1 are dropped off in the central buidling,
but squad two are caught in their Condor by the Gun Wagons and destroyed.

Turn 2 - Two Resistance Bands assault the central building whilst the third
makes off for a second objective aboard their Lifthawk.

Turn 2 - Hannibals take damage from the Sabres, but remove one Rapier.

Turn 3 - Resistance slaughter the Legionnaires, forcing the U.C.M. to vacate
the building and enabling them to begin looking for the objective.

Turn 3 - Hannibals take heavy fire from the Sabre, but Gun Wagons and a
Lifthawk redeploy to put pressure on the Condors.

Turn 3 - Resistance Band 3 locate an objective whilst their Lifthawk pays
hide and seek with the Rapier AA Tanks.

Turn 4 - Resistance Band 3 head for the table edge with their objective.

Turn 4 - With the loss of the last Hannibal, the Gun Wagons retreat from the
Sabres and cover the Infantry fleeing with their objective.
We called the game at that point, as Pete would not be able to stop me from scoring 2VPs with the objective in the Lifthawk and would struggle to get a draw as he had to race after my Jacksons with Sabres and find the third objective in two turns just to draw. We figured that getting a second game in would be a better idea.

Game 2 - 750 Points

For the second game we added the following units and upgrades to bring us up to 750 points.

Resistance

  • I swapped the Jackson's Grenade Lanchers for Spider Launchers to support building assaults
  • I added a CV2 Commander in the Kraken
  • I borrowed models to add a Marine Recon Force of 2 bases of Marines and a Raven Light Dropship


I later found out that the Marine Recon Force was technically not allowed in my force at this level and with the current organisation, but it allowed us to play a bigger game. It also meant that I'd be using the Allied Resistance cards in my deck, rather than the Feral cards.

U.C.M.

  • Pete added a Kodiak Command unit with a CV2 Commander
  • He also added 4 Wolverine AA scout vehicles


Pete's changes meant that I was less likely to be able to move my dropships as much as I had in the previous games, and the Kodiak would put me off clustering my forces. However, the addition of a fast moving infantry unit meant that I had much more flexibility in trying to grab objectives.

I didn't take photos in the second game as we had limited time, but the highlights were as follows:

  • My Gun Wagons once again got the drop on Pete's infantry Condor, but this time he didn't lose any of the Legionnaires,
  • I used an underground monorail card to get to an objective and evacuate it to a building nearer my table edge,
  • The Marine Recon Force managed to snag a second objective and, after braving fire from the Wolverines, get it off the board,
  • Pete's Kodiak and Sabres once again tore through my Hannibals as they tried to take out the AA units,
  • Pete's Legionnaire struggled to find their objective until late in the game and weren't able to get it off the table due to the loss of their Condor,
  • At the end of the game, Pete was faced with either destroying the building with my objective in (and losing 2-1) or assaulting two bases of Resistance Fighters supported by Spider Launchers with a single base of Legionnaires (and losing 3-1), and so we called the game there.
So with two wins under my belt, I'd had a jolly good time. To be fair to Pete, the nature of the starter scenario seemed to favour the Resistance more than the U.C.M. due to my infantry's greater tactical flexibility and the awesome AA support that the Gun Wagons on the Kraken provide. In both games I was losing the battle of attrition badly, and I'd suggest that if Pete had managed to even up the VP scores, he would have won on kill points.

Based on my first impressions, Dropzone Commander is an excellent game, packed with tactical decision making and tough choices, and both games were very close. I'm now planning my next purchases, which should see the arrival of the hulking M3 Alexander command tank and another Lifthawk to get the slow moving behemoth into position.

I'd definitely recommend this game. Loads of fun.

14 comments:

  1. Definitely a game that me and my gaming buddy Rob have looked at; so it is helpful to read the experiences of other gamers with it. Thanks for posting that Kieron. :)

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    1. I'd go so far as to say that this is the best new game that I've played in several years (including BMG, although it doesn't have Batman in it), and the starter armies are really well balanced. The miniatures are fantastically made and the background is properly engaging.

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  2. Hawk Wargames have some nice products i really like the terrain and board its itching for mecha stomping around on it

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    1. Have you seen the PHR (Post-Human Republic) models? They should scratch your mecha itch.

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  3. Great write up Keiron. Wish I could get more use out of my PHR army but games are far a few between near me.

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    1. Thanks Carl. I still think it's a growing game, we're only just getting into it. I'm sure you'll be able to convince somebody.

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  4. This looks wonderful, great report.

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    1. Thanks. The models are lovely to paint and the scenery really helps.

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  5. I do like the look of this game. Interesting read glad your enjoying it.

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    1. Thanks. It's definitely a different game from anything else I've played recently.

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  6. Replies
    1. It's only the card scenery Hawk Wargames sell and include in the starter set. But it does the job.

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