Friday 6 March 2020

Dropzone: First Contact

Our 'Battle For Earth' campaign continues...

After a failed attempt to seize the orbital defence network as a precursor for invasion, Pete's UCM land a small insertion force in what was once Nairobi with the aim of accessing key Intel about the Scourge defences.

The force dispatched was led by a Wolf command vehicle and was supported by 3 Katana assault tanks. Three units of Legionnaires were dispatched in Raven light dropships to seize the objectives quickly, and a sizeable contingent of air cover was provided in the form of 3 Rapiers and 4 Wolverines. 2 Condors provided fast transport for the slow moving tanks.

As soon as the incursion was detected, the Scourge diverted a rapid reaction force led by an experienced Despot command walker, carried by an Intruder light dropships. Three Marauders carried the standard compliment of 3 Hunter assault skimmers, 3 Reaper AA skimmers and 2 Invader transports each carrying a squad of Scourge Warriors.

Early maneuvers saw both forces deploying their infantry to grab objectives quickly. The UCM grabbed the two closest to them, whilst the Scourge infantry, limited to a single dropship, secured two objectives on the right flank, whilst deploying their skimmers to defend the unclaimed objectives on the left with the aim of switching across later before the UCM could strike that far.

First blood went to the Scourge when deepstriking Hunters displayed incredibly precise and powerful plasma to incinerate the entire Kantana squad. This was followed up when a squad of Warriors obliterated the UCM commander with focused plasma rifle fire.

The UCM infantry moved quickly and secured a third objective, however a wall of Scourge stood between them and their final target. The Marauders and Intruder poured plasma fire into the building in an attempt to repel them to no avail.

The Hunter squad continued to rampage forwards, pushing back the Reapers away from the Scourge transports. The Despot scuttled out to ambush the Wolverines, but failed to harm them in spectacular fashion.

This ineptitude didn't last, though, and the Wolverines and the Reapers were all destroyed shortly afterwards. Squads of Legionnaires tried to retaliate from nearby buildings with limited success, taking out a single Hunter.

Meanwhile, a single squad of Warriors had vacated a building, which had almost been brought down by Reaper fire, boarded their Invader and embarked on a Marauder. Their mission: to get across to the remaining objective before the UCM could get to the target.

With the Reapers pushed back, the only things that could stop them were a single Falcon gunship and the possibility of Pete rolling a 6 for initiative on the following turn (by this time I had a massive Command advantage).

Needless to say, a 6 wasn't rolled, and the slim chance of the Falcon's AA reaction fire failed to bring down the Marauder, and so the Warriors seized the final objective.

To add injury to insult, the final objective turned out to be a critical location.

With the Scourge handily already grouped around the area, the UCM not having a real chance of damaging Scourge vehicles and any attempt to strike at the objective likely to result in light dropships succumbing to AA fire, Pete decided to withdraw, leaving the final score at 4-3 to me.

A successful first outing for my Scourge was characterised by a little bit of tactical thinking backed up with a healthy dose of good fortune:
  • Pete losing his two hardest hitting units to frankly offensively good dice at the start of the game put him on the back foot straight away. To be fair, neither of us knew that Scourge units hit that hard.
  • My strategy of defending an objective to be collected later offset the disadvantage my infantry had in mobility, but was massively aided by the fact that the final objective turned out to be the only critical location (we rolled each time an objective was taken).
  • I had a CV4 commander due to not painting enough models, and this gave me a tactical advantage in the end game when rolling for initiative became crucial.
After two surprising victories, I now take a 4-0 lead into the next game, which will be a Dropfleet battle with both fleets arriving piecemeal.

Apparently we will need to bombard ground targets, and I don't have any ships that do that. Fortunately I have a single sprue of Frigates left unassembled that are making their way to the shipyard as I type.


  1. I'm not really a small-scale player, but that's a very nice city and set of models you've got there. Nice report!

    1. Thanks, the board is Pete's, but I have something similar too.