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"Dropzone Commander weekend games pics" Topic


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Action Log

30 Aug 2012 5:16 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Removed from SF Discussion board
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802 hits since 29 Aug 2012
©1994-2014 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo Pictors Studio Sponsoring Member of TMP30 Aug 2012 4:31 p.m. PST

Here are some pics from the games that we played on Sunday. As mentioned the Shaltari force wasn't street legal but it was a good opportunity to get the rules down better. Hopefully more models will arrive shortly so we can get some real games in.

link

Chief Lackey Rich Supporting Member of TMP Fezian30 Aug 2012 5:30 p.m. PST

How'd the Scourge do? I've fiddled with some proxy games using them but I'm curious how they did in a real matchup.

Personal logo Pictors Studio Sponsoring Member of TMP30 Aug 2012 5:40 p.m. PST

These are the pictures of the games we played last weekend that I posted the battle reports about here:

TMP link

The Scourge got their asses kicked by a superior Shaltari force every turn.

I think the Scourge are going to have trouble on tables that aren't packed with terrain. Their weapons are good but short range, they move quickly but can't re-up into their drop ships.

So it will be a matter of quick ambushes from behind buildings or cover. They do have some of the best AA assets in the game and with a second unit of these they would probably fare significantly better.

The AA tanks really kept the Shaltari honest with their gates.

Looking at the Desolator I'm not sure how it will be useful other than just as a command vehicle because to use its command characteristic you pretty much have to also be in range of its weapons which hurt you as much as the enemy.

Chief Lackey Rich Supporting Member of TMP Fezian30 Aug 2012 7:09 p.m. PST

Oh, it was that matchup yes, very uneven, but for good reason. Aside from my comments on the thread, I'm pretty sure the Shaltari was also violating the "no more than 50% of points in one battlegroup at skirmish (33% in bigger games)" rule.

I think the Scourge are going to have trouble on tables that aren't packed with terrain. Their weapons are good but short range, they move quickly but can't re-up into their drop ships.

Well, they could in theory but you're right, their high speed means the only things that are ever likely to call for pickup are infantry with an objective and even then, just driving off in an APC might be better. OTOH, they do have the speed to let them operate independently once they're on the ground, especially since their blindingly fast dropships should have them in position by turn 2 at the latest, maybe turn 1 even.

The AA tanks really kept the Shaltari honest with their gates.

I'm not sure they're that strong a defensive unit. The short range on the AA zappers won't keep a determined enemy from getting very close if they want they could drop (or teleport) at just beyond 9" range and deploy units to just beyond 6" if desired. That and the half-move after landing will let even short-ranged rocket buggies get set up for shots next turn, and a terragate could even get those Firstborn with their fool energy swords in on you. At that point it comes down to who activates first.

Of course, the dropship (or gate) that pulls that stunt had better pray all the AAGTs die before they activate, because if they don't those E8 zappers will tear them out of the sky in short order. It might even be better to stay landed instead of dusting off after deploying when facing Scourge AA usually that's a death trap, but unless there are a lot of ground shooters around staying down is a lot better than being airborne against AAGTs with a mobile threat range of 18".

Looking at the Desolator I'm not sure how it will be useful other than just as a command vehicle because to use its command characteristic you pretty much have to also be in range of its weapons which hurt you as much as the enemy.

I don't think they're a feasible command platform in skirmish, but in larger games where you maybe afford a Command 4, 5, or 6 leader they might be okay the radius on the high end guys exceeds the stormcloud's. Scourge does really, really like winning initiative so they can exploit those potent plasma guns, so springing for a big leader is maybe worth trading a few units. OTOH, you don't have to put anybody in the Desolator at all the halved command zone is limiting but not fatal, and it makes the big squid much less of a fire magnet.

To be honest, I'm not sure it's ever worth 140 points, but it does draw some fire away from your dropships, which I'd tend to operate aggressively as a "flying circus" once they drop their cargo. There's only so much AA on the table after all and if the enemy clumps up even a bit a rolling 12" circle of doom might pay for itself in short order.

Personal logo Pictors Studio Sponsoring Member of TMP30 Aug 2012 7:38 p.m. PST

The drop ships, except maybe the big one with the plasma cannon upgrade, kind of suck after they drop their stuff off. They are good at getting stuff in position but the plasma hoses are not useful at anything really. They can take out light armoured vehicles but honestly what can't?

In the four games we played they only managed to inflict one point of damage on the warstriders. On the wide setting they managed to inflict a very minimum amount of damage on infantry in the open.

If I were the enemy I would probably just ignore them when their stuff was dropped off.

You're right, the desolator would draw an inordinant amount of fire with a commander. Without, it might be a good unit to draw fire while your drop ships moved into position to drop the cargo.

In a skirmish game I would never take one. I'm sure I'll get one eventually because I'm like that.

"The short range on the AA zappers won't keep a determined enemy from getting very close if they want they could drop (or teleport) at just beyond 9" range and deploy units to just beyond 6" if desired. "

The trouble with that is that if you can get your AA stuff on the drop ship if you are dealing with anyone other than the Shaltari the stuff is pretty much imobile.

In one of the very first games we played we saw a PHR drop ship get shot down and the battle shifted to the other side of the table. The walkers it was transporting survived unharmed but had to move, at 3" a turn, all the way to the other side of the table. Once they got their it was all over.

The Scourge and Shaltari can kill those ships and then get away possibly and moving at 9" vs. 3" or less a turn they are going to really be able to strand ground troops.

For UCM and PHR keeping those birds alive is going to be priority one in a lot of situations, unless they are dropping off stuff to hold an essential objective but as the attacker mobility is absolutely key and even as the defender it will be very important.

Ultimately I think the Scourge will be the best army for new players. They are pretty forgiving with their dropship troop disposition because you can still move around pretty quickly without them. There aren't clever combinations like with the Shaltari that you need to use to be successful.

They are pretty straight forward.

I am very much looking forward to getting enough stuff to play some decent sized games. 500ish points is nice for learning the rules but I bet the game doesn't really come into its own until at least 1000.

Chief Lackey Rich Supporting Member of TMP Fezian30 Aug 2012 8:15 p.m. PST

The drop ships, except maybe the big one with the plasma cannon upgrade, kind of suck after they drop their stuff off. They are good at getting stuff in position but the plasma hoses are not useful at anything really. They can take out light armoured vehicles but honestly what can't?

The plasma hoses on the lighter dropships are E9. Their range stinks but their movement gives them a threat range of 30+" and there isn't a vehicle in the game they can't potentially hurt. Against medium-soft stuff they're better than the ubiquitous shaped-charge missiles – and medium-soft as a category includes all the grav tanks and all the APCs in the game. Striders are a terrible matchup for them, sure – only ground unit in the game that incorporates serious AA and antitank guns, and with unmatched durability to boot. Your opponent skipped on fielding the stuff they work well on – notably his mandatory-by-the-army-lists grav tanks and terragates.

Which reminds me, how was your Shaltari player even deploying his infantry? If all he had for gates were a pair of mediums, he's got nothing that can teleport an F1 Mass infantry squad. Either he had a light or a terragate "APC" along or he really misplayed things.

Personal logo Pictors Studio Sponsoring Member of TMP31 Aug 2012 3:13 a.m. PST

We allowed him to deploy infantry through the gates he had. It didn't seem fair to not allow infantry and it really limited the scenarios we could try.

It is tough to disallow things like that when the models just aren't available yet.

Skipper31 Aug 2012 4:54 a.m. PST

We are really likeing the sound of this game so far. I'm enjoying the rulebook too. However, I'd love to have the models in had to start playing.

I'm tempted to order direct, and still might do so.

Has anyone ordered directly yet?

Skipper

Personal logo Pictors Studio Sponsoring Member of TMP31 Aug 2012 5:44 a.m. PST

I have been buying mine from my FLGS, so no. I will probably continue to do so unless I don't get what I want to play before October.

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