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...

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Dropzone Commander: The Scourge

Behind that intriguing name lies an army of relentless aliens which have proved themselves quite troublesome for mankind. The Scourge minis are absolutely different from the UCM ones, they have a heavy Giger-esque aspect that makes them quite unsettling.

Marauder dropships
Though I must confess they weren't my favourites at the beginning, I've become quite fond of their alien designs and shapes, they look strangely appealing to me.

Invader APC
Just like the UCM pack, the starter contains dropships, APCs, tanks and infantry.

Hunter Tanks
Reaper AA
Warrior horde
This is how they look like when they gather for war:

Ready to harvest another planet
I went on this dark grey scheme and I think it works, but on a second thought I believe I could have risked more. Don't know, a more fleshy, organic touch could be interesting, maybe some glossy effect... I may repaint or add some effects on these, but for the moment they're done.

Now they need some action! Battle report coming soon!

Monday, 22 June 2015

Dropzone Commander: UCM

Another jump, another project. You know how my mind works, I need the challenge of being constantly doing different things :P

I had these pending for quite a long time (I sometimes have the impression that this applies to every bit of stuff I post over here!), they belong to the starter pack of the game, which I got as a gift. Dropzone Commander is set in a future in which mankind has been expelled from Earth by hideous aliens. Torn apart between the former colonies (United Colonies of Mankind, UCM) and a faction that abandoned Earth on the eve of the invasion and now coming back again (Post-Human Republic), they both have to face each other, the evil alien invaders (the Scourge) and the misterious alien race that once enhanced human technology but required their service as fodder in their own wars in return (the Shaltari). Those are the four races that struggle in the game, each one with their distinctive style in warfare.

The minis are really cool, I desired them as soon as the game was released, but it's not been until now that I've been able to put my hands on them. The starter set brings two races, the United Colonies of Mankind and the Scourge. Both sides comprise a few air transports, ground transport units, infantry and tanks, so quite balanced starter. Today I'm bringing the humans.

Condor Dropship
Three of them
 The essence of this game is made up of transport flying carriers like these. There was something about their design that got my attention the minute I saw them. They carry these ones under their bellies:

Bear APC
Rapier AA
Sabre MBT
If coming into 10mm scale was not enough, there is some tiny infantry too!

Legionnaire Platoon
So this is how my new madness begins, I'm into a new scale! (Oh, dear, what am I doing...)

I simply couldn't resist, they are really nice and when put together they have this gorgeous look:

Weeeeeeee
The other half of the set is on its way, you'll see them all later on this week...

Thursday, 18 June 2015

The games within a game

Another long-time debt that can finally be paid. Hooray!

Let me tell you what debt I'm talking about. Long time ago, Mr. Whiskey Priest was generous enough to reward me with a mini on a contest over his blog; not only that, he also gave away these wonderful BOYL 14 tables:

This was last October. Here is the related blog post from then
Those tables provided me a crazy idea. An arcade room! Not that much later, it all settled in my mind. Amazing Cheetor provided me with all these additional tables! Wow!

Wonderful, jaw dropping gift.
Thank you, guys. Your generosity makes this possible.

OK, so there was no step back. I needed a place for this arcade. It took me some time. A shameful amout of time. But I finally found the solution thanks to LaserCutCard:

This time I've saved you all the cut & paste steps!
This building was just perfect for my purposes. Not only the shape and size were cool, but it also provided me these interior views:

It was asking for some stuff!
I've talked before about these buildings. Really nice choice, cool and unexpensive solution to any scenery requirements. Now it needed some colour...

Step by step, little by little
Technically I could have left the door open as well as the windows, but I liked the gloomy aspect and it would make everything easier later on for storage purposes.

You didn't expect it to be clean, did you?
I attacked then the gaming tables. Beautiful pieces, believe me, I'm amazed, they are gorgeous:

The sci-fi ones
WHFB 9th Ed., apparently :D
But I also crossed paths with some other beauties from Euphoria. It was necessary, you know...

Old, dirty, oldschool billiard pool
No dive is worh of the name without darts
Any memories?
Once again, it was necessary :D
One like this took a frakkin' amount of money from me back in the days...
Fortunately the pack only included two machines, I could have filled a whole arcade out of oldschool videogames :D

I finally found the pieces to build this simple table:

You may want to let the Wookie win...
So when all of them are put together you get something like this...

Arcade machines background sound
With some minis for scale
After weathering the outer part, you can see it fits perfectly:

Called it 'Flynn's' after the Tron 2 movie arcade
Ready to play?
The kit also provides a huge billboard. Still undecided of what ads could I use for this ambientation, but something will come to mind, for sure ;)
Besides, that open flat area is surely asking for scratchbuilt storeys or some stuff like that... Will have to take care of that...