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Monday, 9 February 2015

Becoming a Dropzone Commander

Monday, February 09, 2015

Share it Please

I've mentioned Dropzone Commander here on Fire Broadside before, and the time to finally jump into the game is near! I have been following Dropzone Commander and Hawk Wargames since the launch in 2012 and was very tempted even back then. Nice looking models with (seemingly) decent rules and a very interesting concept. I think the reason I didn't buy it from the start was the scale, as I didn't want to split my miniature gaming terrain more than absolutely necessary, and that no one in my immediate vicinity seemed interested. Then I came across the Games and Gears Battleboard kickstarter in 2013 and after a lot of thinking decided to go for the DzC board as it still was a game I wanted to play and even though it's the wrong scale it should actually work decently for Infinity in a pinch. Of course, this being kickstarter, there's been a bunch of delays and it now looks like the board might arrive some time during the spring.

A Scourge army moving through a long abandoned city.
With that in mind I've again focused a little extra on Dropzone Commander the last couple of months and everything I liked about it when I first saw it is still there. In fact, it has actually improved in my eyes as the new Resistance faction and many of the newer releases are gorgeous! Oh, and then there's the two player starter set and the plastic starter sets for the four original armies that has made the game so much cheaper to buy into. There's that thing about terrain, but in this case it's kind of the other way around as you get a bunch of paper terrain in the starter box (and I'll get a bunch of extra buildings with my battle board) and even in a non-enhanced state this paper terrain really makes the game look great! When most miniature wargame battlefields are made up of a hill and a couple of small ruins on a grass plain it's very refreshing to see this great city with lots of buildings that dropships can zip around to deliver their cargo. It simply looks good! Of course it can be made to look even better with the resin buildings, or MDF ones from Blotz or 4Ground, but even just the paper terrain from the starter box makes for an excellent looking battlefield.

Of course, the two player starter is the place to... well, start. I've been flagging a little bit about getting into the game in my regular gaming group, to see if anyone would be interested in either of the factions in the starter. But there hasn't been much response, and to be honest I quite like the idea of having two armies for myself! Originally I wasn't very keen on the Scourge but the more I've seen and read about them the better I like them. I mean... they're basically the Reapers from Mass Effect! Who wouldn't like that?! Sure, the details are different (Scourge are basically parasites that attach to a host and control it) but the visual cues are similar and both assimilate species it comes across and make them into biomechanical soldiers. Oh, and take a look at the Desolater... remind you of anything? Right now the Scourge is actually the faction that I'm most interested in and I'm looking forward to putting together an army of alien horrors to rip human faces off!

UCM army on parade.
The United Colonies of Mankind, UCM, also seem to have a pretty clear source of inspiration and this time it's the Colonial Marines from Aliens. While the units definitely have their own style you certainly get that Aliens vibe from them and really... who could complain about Colonial Marines vs Reapers?! Hehe! UCM was probably the army I felt most drawn to when I first saw DzC, and while I still really like them I think I prefer the Scourge. The two other original factions have a more unique feel to them - the Post Human Republic with their slow but heavily armed and armoured walkers and the alien Shaltari with their gate technology. Then there's the new Resistance faction that consists of the people and soldiers that were left behind on the cradle worlds after the Scourge invasion. All good stuff, but right now I'm focusing on the Scourge and UCM in the starter.

Of course the forces in the starter are quite spartan and provide pretty much the bare minimum needed to play. I think the most common game size is 1500 points and while I'm not aiming for that size quite yet I would like to up the 500 or so points in the starter to 1000. The basic idea is to add commanders, elite infantry (got to love those Destroyers!), some scouts and then something fun for th leftover points. I think this would make for two small but fun armies that could show off most of what DzC has to offer. What's missing are fast movers (fighters and bombers) but I feel they are not really a core part of the game so are ok to add later (although the models are spectacular).

Hawk Wargames have just revealed some new Command models and although I quite like the Desolater I think there might be a giant robo-crab in my future. Muahahaa! The UCM Phoenix looks great, but I have a feeling it'll be quite a bit more expensive than the more modest Kodiak so probably not something to fit into a 1000 point army. Then there'll be Praetorians and Destroyers, Wolverines and Prowlers and, for some extra spice, a couple of Longbow Howitzers and a Ravager or two.

Prowlers. I love these little guys! There will be lots... and lots... and lots... 
So yeah, them's the plans! For terrain I'll simply go with the paper buildings and Games and Gears battle board for starters and then add some neat stuff later on. I've always liked the look of a hundred blown out N-scale car wrecks on a DzC battlefield so that's on the list, as well as some buildings from Blotz and 4Ground. Not to mention the special terrain pieces Hawk Wargames has - don't know if I'll go for the monorail or the defence laser first. Hmm...

This has been a kind of non-post as there isn't really much info in here apart from my regular ramblings of what I like. Hehe! When I actually get my hands on the game there'll be some proper reviews and stuff.

Oh, and I almost forgot! Hawk Wargames are coming out with a spaceship miniatures game (hopefully) later this year that is also a part of the DzC setting. It will focus on planetary invasions and be closely connected with the ground based game. The rules are being written by Andy Chambers who, among other stuff, made Battlefleet Gothic and Epic 40,000 - my two favourite GW games - as well as Dust Warfare, that i also really like. I've decided to hold off on Star Wars Armada until I know more about Dropfleet Commander (working name) and it seems like there will be a lot more info and perhaps a proper reveal at Salute. Yepp...

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