Over a year since I first backed the Kickstarter campaign, six months after the expected delivery date, and three months after they began shipping, I eventually received my Dropfleet Commander starter set. And it looks like it's been worth the wait.
The models are excellently detailed, multi-purpose plastic kits that are straightforward to assemble. The rulebook is a thing of beauty, with only a few charming typos - Traffic James, I'm looking at you. The gameplay seems simple but some difficult aspects to master. It is even a game of space combat which manages to provide a logical reason why the battle is taking place on a single plane (all the battles take place over the surface of a planet). All in all, its a good product.
Its also meant that I've been able to finish off my starter fleet that I began when Wes received his pledge.
|Note the detailed bases with battlegroup colours...snazzy!|
|One of the new ships - a Wyvern Cruiser|
|A Shenlong Heavy Cruiser - a veritable space shark.|
Obviously, getting a new game, means needing to play a new game, and so Matt brought his Shaltari fleet over for a game. Unfortunately for me, Matt had already played one game, and so had already learned what not to do.
|The Wyvern does a suicide rush at the Shaltari frigates.|
|After destroying the Obsidian Heavy Cruiser, my Ifrit is in trouble.|
|The Shenlong stirkes, but is crippled in the explosion.|
At the end of the game, an unfortunate spell of ground combat went against me, giving Matt the victory by a score of 15-11. Had I won the combat, the game would have finished 14-12. This basically pointed to it being very close. I had probably lost the Wyvern too cheaply and should have at least tried to do something about the Shaltari Voidgates, given that Matt was being cautious with his Emerald Mothership. Meanwhile, Matt had split his frigates from his cruisers, which had led to them being overpowered and allowed me to gang up on his cruisers towards the end of the game.
Overall, it was a fun and cagey game, and although we definitely got some stuff wrong, there was a general feeling that we didn't get as much wrong as we usually do with new games, which is a good sign.
There will be plenty more games of Dropfleet in the coming weeks.