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"First game of Dropzone Commander report and questions" Topic

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1,838 hits since 9 Aug 2012
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Personal logo Pictors Studio Sponsoring Member of TMP09 Aug 2012 10:26 p.m. PST

I played my first game of this tonight. The forces engaged were about 320 pts of PHR vs. 170 pts of UCM. At least I think that was the point value, see below.

The game was played on a 4x4 urban board with several roads running through it and a power station on one end with a forest bordering the one corner. Most of the blocks were made up of small buildings, which counted as Tiny buildings for game purposes.

The two forces had no actual dropships as we were just trying the rules out. I will add them in for the next game.

Each side had four units of infantry, the PHR having one unit of the elite Sirens, which are basically a corp of cybernetically enhanced Tomb Raiders as far as I can tell.

The PHR also had 4 medium anti-tank walkers and two APCs for the infantry. The UMC had a squad of three MBTs and two APCs also.

I hadn't figured the points out before the game so when the two forces came into contact it was somewhat of a surprise when the UMC infantry, even backed up by the tanks, were getting their butts handed to them by the PHR infantry with their walkers far away. Now it is true that it became two units vs. four units but even when it was two on two the Sirens were wasting UMC guys like nothing.

Even dropping a building on those chicks did nothing to them.

It took a lot of concentrated fire to take down a stand of them.

One unit of the walkers was sent after the APC with the other two units of UMC troops which led them on a merry chase. Until they realized that the infantry had nothing that could hurt the UMC tanks and decided to come back.

This left the UMC forces with a small advantage in heavy guns locally and they were able to eliminate the one unit of walkers while only losing two of their own tanks, so a trade of four points of damage vs. two.

The last tank played cat and mouse with the other two walkers taking them away from the regrouped infantry fight for a number of turns. Eventually the walkers did eliminate the tank without suffering damage in return.

The PHR walkers and tanks then turned on the remaining infantry. One of the stands of Sirens did get eliminated as did both of the APCs and another walker was taken out by the Colonial Marines missile launcher but ultimately the marines were gunned down by the superior PHR firepower.

Comments and questions follow.

Personal logo Pictors Studio Sponsoring Member of TMP09 Aug 2012 10:33 p.m. PST

Now the questions:

When it says the point value, is that for a standard unit or per vehicle/base?

For infantry how many stands in a unit? It says there are 2/3 in the section on that. Is that 2 units in a skirmish game for a selection or 2 bases in a selection or is that 2 bases per unit in a skirmish game 3 bases a selection in a clash game?

For tanks I see it usually says something like 3/6/9 which means that units are 3 tanks in a skirmish, 6 stands in a clash and 9 stands in a battle.

I am assuming from this that the points cost is per vehicle/base.

I don't really think there was much in the way of questions about the actual game play. Everything pretty much made sense by the end of the game.

Personal logo Pictors Studio Sponsoring Member of TMP09 Aug 2012 10:42 p.m. PST


The Sirens are a little over the top. Okay they are a LOT over the top. We probably won't be using them around these parts. It looks like the other elite infantry is pretty tough too but none seem quite as bad as these ladies.

The game flowed pretty well. You could really see how the different parts of the armies played their part in the strategy and you needed to use it all effectively to win. Even though the PHR forces heavily out classed the UMC forces the UMC forces were able to use combined arms to gain a local advantage over the PHR forces and were able to destroy 150 pts of PHR forces and inflict severe damage on all but one stand of the PHR infantry.

You NEED drop ships in this game and transports. Infantry only move 2" so they are good for being dropped off and holding buildings and that is about it. In the open they get chewed up pretty badly.

This was a pretty infantry-heavy game as that is most of what I had painted up so far. Having 3-5 hits per infantry stand was a little clunky, especially since it affected their firepower too but with more other stuff on the table you could get away with the same amount of infantry in a much bigger game and it wouldn't be so bad. I will have to come up with some better system for marking them though.

Which does bring up a further question:

How is damage allocated to infantry units in shooting? Do you shoot one stand in a unit until it is all dead or do you split damage among them? It seemed like the latter was correct.

Overall there didn't seem to be anything really new in the rules at first reading. It was only when I started looking at weapons ranges and movement rates alongside the rules that I really saw the potential in it.

Can't wait to add the drop ships for tomorrow's game.

Personal logo PzGeneral Supporting Member of TMP10 Aug 2012 1:50 a.m. PST

I stopped by the local brick and mortor store yeterday and to my suprise they actually had this game and the "human" army boxed sets…..

They tried to push me hard into getting the game ($23 rule book, $125 USD army set) and warned me to expect a 50% price increase in 5-6 months. "That's the usual game business model, low price point to get people interested, then raise the price when you have them hooked…."

Did I mention that this store lives on GW sales….?


Personal logo PzGeneral Supporting Member of TMP10 Aug 2012 1:50 a.m. PST

Oh and Scott, if I had played in your game, you know you would have had pictures….. wink

Mako1110 Aug 2012 1:52 a.m. PST

Sounds interesting.

Looking forward to the report on how the dropships work, and fare in the scenario.

Only Warlock Inactive Member10 Aug 2012 4:57 a.m. PST

Pictors, I was thinking of using Minibits dice frames to track damage.

Samulus Inactive Member10 Aug 2012 5:12 a.m. PST

If they raise the prices by 50% after 6 month I'll sell anything I've bought from this game and move on. Seriously, Bleeped text that business model. If the 15mm companies I buy from did this I'd just stop buying their stuff. Lets hope he doesn't get greedy and go the GW route, tbh the models are already towards the higher end of what I'd pay. Maybe I'm just a tight wad.

Personal logo Pictors Studio Sponsoring Member of TMP10 Aug 2012 5:21 a.m. PST

To be fair the game was played with about $30 USD worth of 6mm GW epic figures on each side. The buildings were by FAR the most expensive element on the table.

The dice frames are an idea. I looked at those yesterday. I was hoping to eliminate dice or tokens though. What I might do is leave a little space on the infantry bases themselves for a very small marker of some sort or make some casualty bases to go with the units.

Another option would be to have some sort of magnet on the bottom with different colours representing different levels of damage.

That would be difficult with the infantry bases though and the tanks in the game aren't based.

AndrewGPaul Inactive Member10 Aug 2012 6:24 a.m. PST

Pictors, the points value given is for a single vehicle or stand.

You are correct that when it says you can have 3/6/9 vehicles in a squad you can choose the number, but it's not linked to the size of battle you play, to my knowledge. The Shaltari for instance can field tanks in any unit size from 3 to 9, unlike the more restricted human force lists.

By my count, the starter boxes come in at about 540 points (527 for UCM, 559 for PHR, 541 for Shaltari and 542 for Scourge).

Technically, none of those are "legal " forces; no single battlegroup can consist of more than one third of your total army points value. The starter sets only include two battlegroups, so by definition you can't meet that limit. grin

When conducting shooting attacks, each model or stand is targeted separately – you allocate shots before rolling to hit. In a CQB, the damage is applied to the most damaged infantry base until it dies, then to the next, and so on.

You should really have included the dropships from the start – they're the point of the game. Without them, PHR walkers are cripplingly slow compared to Scourge or Shaltari hovertanks.

You can see our first game, including pictures, here:


( is an unofficial fan forum that seems to be getting some decent traffic)

For tracking damage, I would recommend the tiny dice included with Epic 40,000, Battlefleet Gothic or the Pirates of the Spanish Main/Crimson Coast/Revolution/etc collectible game – 2mm or 3mm size.

PzGeneral, Samulus, I've never heard that rumour – especially not as "standard practice" as PzGeneral's store owner seems to imply.

ThorLongus Inactive Member10 Aug 2012 7:06 a.m. PST

well, i have close to a million mechwarrior clix 10mm infantry to paint up, now

Mr Elmo10 Aug 2012 7:36 a.m. PST

You NEED drop ships in this game

Well, it IS called Dropzone Commander.

Personal logo Pictors Studio Sponsoring Member of TMP10 Aug 2012 12:54 p.m. PST

"Without them, PHR walkers are cripplingly slow compared to Scourge or Shaltari hovertanks."

That is why I went with UMC and PHR, all the stuff was about the same speed.

So how do you know about the infantry. How many stands in a unit of infantry is it 2 or 3 for the UMC troops and 2 only in the PHR forces?

Also when it says for infantry that two units each can go in a drop ship is that two units of two stands or two stands?

skinkmasterreturns10 Aug 2012 1:59 p.m. PST

I think I've gone from "meh" to "nah" with this game.

MatthewTyson Inactive Member12 Aug 2012 5:51 p.m. PST

UCM, Shaltari, and Scourge battlebox armies can be constructed using 3 battlegroups (1 infantry, 1 armor, and 1 special). Because PHR Type-1 walkers are all standard, they cannot.

AndrewGPaul Inactive Member13 Aug 2012 3:56 p.m. PST

A "unit" is a single model or infantry base. UCM Legionary Squads consist of either 2 or 3 bases (your choice). If the Squad consists of 2 bases, you can mount them in a Raven-A* dropship. If it has 3 bases, they can ride in a Bear APC. Two such squads, each mounted in their own Bear APC, can then be transported by a Condor medium dropship.

*Yes, the rulebook says the -B carries infantry. However, the errata changes this. Also, the Raven-A is clearly the one with a bog troop-carrying pod built in.

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