Operation Cyan Rapier

By Stinger Six (Mike)

We’re on the topic of campaigns so I thought I’d post up about one I ran with Stephen last year that was a lot of fun. It was called Operation Cyan Rapier and I talked about it a bit on the podcast – about the mission where I had to fly my entire force in over a beach. I’m going to talk about how I came up with the idea, the missions and how you can set up a similar thing yourself.

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If you are interested in playing any of the missions we made for this campaign, you can grab this file! Operation Cyan Rapier

The doc includes a photo of each battlefield so you can see how they were set up. You can use any sort of terrain you like of course, so use these as a placement guide. Continue reading

The Leviathan Rises

Leviathan up Close

Want to skip all the conjecture and see the Leviathan rules? Scroll to the bottom!

Campaigns are a great way to band your local Dropzone Commander community together while creating new, interesting missions for everyone to play. They can add a strong sense of cohesion to each battle, and give players room to let their hair down and play non-competitive missions that are focused on fun and experimentation. Narrative, my favorite part of most tabletop games, helps wrap the whole thing up to create a beautiful wargaming package!

Continue reading

Episode 3 – The Leviathan Wakes

 

This episode, we’re getting our campaign on as we discuss the current Leviathan campaign, running at EndGame. We also have a more general discussion about campaigns, as well as a look at the new command units and another listener list review!

Intro – 00:25 – 01:49

List Review – 01:51 – 12:28

New Units – 13:24 – 39:07

Campaigns – 39:15 – 1:03:18

The Leviathan Campaign – 1:03:24 – 1:26:07

And here are some pics of the awesome scratch-built Leviathan model made by Chris Loomis! We’ll post up the rules we’re using for it later on.

Levi1 Levi2 Levi3 Levi4

 

 

Mobility and the Scorpion

Hades

After writing an apparently inflammatory post about waiting to drop my Hades, I got to thinking about mobility and its usefulness in this game of fast moving, mobile, space-dropped, tank buckets, called dropships.

Also, reading these articles:

http://greenstuffindustries.blogspot.com/2015/04/emulating-shaltari-shenanigans-sort-of.html

http://greenstuffindustries.blogspot.com/2015/04/emulating-shaltnanigans-part-second.html

A little background. The two armies I play most are Shaltari and PHR.

record scratch

What?

Yup. The slowest, heaviest, biggest gunned, most straightforward cyborgs ever seen, and the tricky, good-for-nothing-except-pissing-my-opponent-off space hedgehogs.

To be fair though, I have spent more than one game with a Zeus hiding up in his dropship (thankfully, few people take fastmovers) from some sort of anti-tank swarm, be it Hunters, Freeriders, or Prowlers. In short, my PHR commander has spent time in the Shaltari school of battle.

Anyway, back to my original point. Some forumites were talking about taking a Hades in a dropship or just walking it on. I thought this was odd, because the one time I walked my Hades on, it spent the entire game doing nothing except shooting at a building. It is pretty good at shooting at a building, but not great for 205 points. Ever since then I’ve always taken the Hades in a Poseidon, especially after the cost was dropped to a mere 70 points. The only time I regretted it was when I tried to relocate my Hades and my opponent had two Athenas. In a 1500 point game, my opponent took two Athenas. Even then, the Hades survived the near fireball in the sky.

Typically I drop the Hades pretty early. It’s got a 36” tail gun range, which is nothing to scoff at on the standard 4’x4’ table. This means that a turn one drop will allow the Hades to threaten nearly the entire depth of the board (line of sight not prohibiting). A turn 2 drop will allow the Hades to threaten almost to each corner of the board. Dropping the Hades on turn 3 means that, if it can see something on the table, the tail gun will be able to shoot it.

Now, what if I have flown the Hades on, and either convinced my opponent to relocate or he (I say he because we don’t have a non-gendered pronoun, and let’s face it, you’re probably a dude it you’re reading this. If you’re not, welcome to the game you rare female gamer!) has successfully baited me into sending my Hades up the wrong flank? This means that if I drop my Hades on turn two, I am going to have a whole lot of nothing to shoot at in turn 3.

What I suggest is this: while many players want that enormous conglomeration of tail guns to be spewing forth hot chunks of metal every turn, it seems counterproductive to insist on dropping the behemoth when there is nothing to shoot at.

Mobility versus Bang!

We often spend time looking at the stats of a unit, well at least I do. The stats on the page can tell us a lot, and often, we stop there.

“Wow, the Hades can kill a squad of main battle tanks each turn, still drop a template on somebody, and hit scouts with those chainguns!”

If only that were true. Yes, the Hades can do all of that. If it does, your opponent is an idiot, or you are playing some kind of gauntlet/tower defense dropzone scenario.  With the PHR, playing against anyone means that the other player is going to dictate where and when the engagement takes place. It doesn’t matter if the Hades can pump out eighteen E12 shots in a game if none of those eighteen shots go to the right targets.

When I use a Hades, my favorite place to drop it, is right next to a focal point. This forces my opponent to do one of a few things:

  1. Ignore the Hades and move on to an easier target, preferably one occupied by my Zeus or a Nemesis (when I finally get around to shelling out the cash for one).
  2. Sending a sneaky unit to contest the focal point while remaining out of sight of my Hades.
  3. Sending every gun possible to try to destroy the monstrosity before the end of turn 6.
  4. Shaltari.

The first option is my favorite, because I took my Hades in a dropship (remember) and I can move it and leave something smaller behind to hold the focal point and get those 205 points of Hades to another focal point.

The second option is my least favorite to deal with, because it means I actually have to do something about it. I don’t have many fast units in my PHR list, mostly because I don’t have enough points to fit a squad of Apollos in a dropship, and yes, I think that the Apollos really need a Neptune to shine. So it’s usually down to my (Januses?Jani?)…Janus scout walkers, or a run from my Athena, which probably has better things to do that don’t involve making a run at what probably is an AA capable scout unit.

The third option is lots of fun as well. Blowing things up is awesome, even if the Hades gets destroyed, this is what it was meant to do.

The fourth option involves setting up lots of AA to keep gates out. Helios jetskimmers the best squad at this because of their high volume of shots and a 6 inch move. Their E6 attack isn’t really a hindrance against the paper thin armor found on Shaltari gates. It is worth noting that most any dedicated AA squad can do this effectively, although Phobos walkers may have a tough time getting their sights on the gates.

In all four of these scenarios, I have given my opponent a problem that he needs deal with. Also worthy of note, is that only in option three does the Hades get to shoot at things in large quantities, and in all four options, the Hades has done what it needs to do, which is: forcing the opponent to react and change their plan.

Hold on a minute…

So, in short, sometimes it is worth it to wait a few turns before dropping a unit onto the table, even something as big and intimidating as a Hades. Killiness is not always the best measurement for how much a unit can contribute to your victory.

Y u no flame?! pt. 2

by chrisloomis13

Back to smudge the credibility of the Rolling Hot team some more, I’ll now get into the nitty gritty of those dust collects you probably don’t have.  If you didn’t catch the previous flame post, you can read it here:

https://dzcrollinghot.wordpress.com/2015/04/13/y-u-no-flame/

Some interesting responses came from the last post, which I will address briefly first.  I stated that Flame units trump other infantry, and some were skeptic.  To clarify, flame units are not going to single handedly win your infantry fights.  However, they will set up a CQB in your favor.  Against troops this isn’t a big issue, but against exotics it is.  Every DP off an exotic base is at least 3 attacks not swinging at you when they’re engaged.  Also, there is no dodge save, and against A4 you typically need 5’s to damage rather than 6’s.  Without flame units, the only other answers are bring more exotics or demo the building.   Continue reading

Y u no flame?!

k0e5f

by chrisloomis13

Since I started playing Dropzone Commander there have been units that see no play time.  Some of these are very specific, but there were two broad categories of units that have been dismissed.  These would be fast movers and flame units.  I will leave fast mover coverage to someone else, but I can’t help but wonder why I rarely see them.  Yeah, I know, I should’ve written this in arcs so you could read while rolling your eyes.

This will be the first of two articles on flame weapons.  The first will cover why they are unappreciated and basic tactics.  The second will discuss the specific flame units and how best to utilize them in their respective factions. Continue reading