Monday, 29 June 2015

Playing Dropzone Commander

So you already saw my Dropzone Commander Forces. Now it's time they get some action!
The starter box provides you the basics you need. An unfoldable board (which has a poster on the other side!) and card buildings. So OK, it's not the same as a full 3D board and resin buildings, but they are the deal for a starter pack. Really cool stuff.

The cityscape
 Initiative is determined every turn by rolling dice (there can be changes depending on your commander). The player with the initative activates his first battlegroup (made up of several squads). Then the second player activates his own first battlegroup. And so on.

Those are supposed to be attached to the flyer's belly!
Incoming!
Second UCM battlegroup advances, the carrier deploying the vehicles on the ground and taking off once again.

'Wooosh' 'Vrromm, vrromm' (of course we made the noises!)
Scourge Marauders move way faster than human Condors
Then the inevitable clash takes place! A Marauder deploys a squad of AA Reapers...

...which immediately open fire on the UCM flyer
 Fire is quite straight in this game, very WH40K. Each weapon has a number of shots per round, you roll dice to check your accuracy at hitting the target and then you roll again to cause damage, checking a table where you compare weapon energy vs. target armour. Things can turn a little bit more complicated due to the weapons or the target countermeasures, but that is the essence.

Condor down! Condor down!
Not only that! When a flyer is taken down, you had to roll a die to see what happens to the units it is carrying. As I got a six, the Condor transport is blown up to shrapnel in the air and all the units transported are destroyed!! Gasp!

But on the other side of the board, the play just repeated itself, only that totally reverse!

Human Rapiers take down the Scourge Marauder, blowing the units it carried
Wow, it was just turn 2 and we had literally wiped out a third of the forces involved in the skirmish. This game is really devastating! :D

The Scourge deploy their infantry and destroy a Rapier
Humans deploy too
But their flyer is taken down
Scourge units begin to take hits (I could use some tokens or stuff instead of dice...)
Things were quite balanced, as both forces were inflicting damage at quite a terrifying rate. If one thing is to be said about this game is that it's quick to play, and your troops' life expectancy is not that high!

Humans take down the Marauder
Scourge infantry occupy the buildings
Humans do so, there is gonna be some ugly fight indoors
Close quarters is resolved in a quite easy way, You just move the units base to base, check how many (surviving) soldiers you have on each and roll a die for the participants, checking against the enemy armour value.
At this point I had to use some tokens from the game to represent wounds, we couldn't keep on using dice!

Lots of wounds everywhere!
Close quarters combat only takes place between infantry units while they both are inside a building. This is to represent the desperate room by room fight with handguns and that kind of stuff. Any other kind of outdoor combat is resolved using the regular shooting system, even if it consists of two infantry units touching each other bases.

The Scourge hold the building
While the rest of their infantry is wiped out by the UCM
This side of the battlefield is also under human control
Human infantry storm the central building and kill all the remaining Scourge units
Victory for the United Colonies of Mankind!

I enjoyed the game, though it took a while until we both grasped the mechanics (or more properly said, the tables and dice rolls). For me the game was fun, it is halfway between WH40K and Epic. Firepower is scaringly devastating, sometimes it's all about throwing tons of dice. Quick, but I think it takes a piece of fun out of the purpose of the game itself. My intuition is that a board with a few more buildings and stuff blocking view lines would make it much more interesting, forcing both players to think more about tactics and positioning their troops.

Anyway, it's a nice wargame, quick to deploy and quick to play. No much fuss and, more important, the models are cool. Scale here may be the main setback, as I cannot make models nor scenery compatible with any other thing I have.

Buuut what Dropzone Commander has made is spurring up my mood for Epic. I'm delving into my forgotten boxes, I need to find my tiny stuff of old...

2 comments:

  1. Oooooo ... that's an impressive battlefield. Most impressive. C8<]
    (Can you guess who that emoticon is suppose to be?)

    I'm sure the battlefield alone hiked up the enjoyment level up a few notches.

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    1. Hahahahaha, Obi-Wan taught me well! :D :D
      Oh, man, you just made me laugh!
      Yup, the game is fun indeed, buildings add a lot of depth, the only problem is... that now I want more!!!

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