This post will go over some highlights of my 3 games from the BAO and some additional thoughts on the event.
My first match was against UCM on the rural monorail board. Check out his UCM if you haven’t seen them, they’re pretty http://paintedguys.com/blog/2015/07/14/starting-dropzone-commander/
- Field Command: Kodiak(Lt.), Eagle
- Armored Formation: 3x Sabre in Condor w/ Missile Pods, 3x Rapier
- Armored Formation: 3x Sabre in Condor w/ Missile Pods, 3x Rapier in Condor
- Legionnaire Corps: 3x Legionnaires with 3x Legionnaires in 2x Bear in Condor, 4x Falcon
- Expeditionary Group: 4x Wolverine A in 2x Raven B
- Air Wing: Archangel, Archangel
This was my opponent’s 2nd game at this point level I believe, and the terrain setup was anything but typical. The forests and plateau across the center under the rail prevented us from seeing each other. Also, we rule that aircraft flying at 6” could shoot down on the monorail while it was in a forest. In turn 1 and 2 I took some shots at the Monorail, but didn’t knock any cars off, and the two of us just set up on respective sides of the wall. Turn 3 saw Lucas deploy some Rapiers on the central plateau, as well as Falcons coming across and Wolverines. The Falcons did not cause much lasting damage. The monorail was over the plateau and only needed 3 DP removed to drop a FP in the middle on top of his Rapiers. Despite shooting nearly all his weapons at the monorail, it was not meant to be and it moved away with 1 DP remaining. In turn 4 that DP was removed and a focal point dropped into a central forest. We both had infantry get into the forest, but I was also able to get other ground assets close to the FP due to gates. It was fairly hard to find a clear LZ due to some stump clutter around the center of the board. The game was called here due to time; I found out later that the tournament had started late and this was not due to playing slow. Bit of a heart breaker for my opponent, as had that FP dropped in the center on Turn 3 (as the odds dictated it should), it would of been a much better scramble to claim it. I believe it was a 13-7 victory (assuming I remember correctly).
Next was a Scourge list on the most urban board which was Targets of Opportunity, but with 7 objectives in a different arrangement.
- Oppressors: Desolator(Overlord), 3x Reaper
- Vanguard: 6x Hunter, 3x Hunter
- Warriors: 3x Warriors with 3x Warriors in 2x Invader in Marauder
- Invasion Host: 2x Tormentor in Marauder, 3x Reaper
- Occupation Patrol: 2x Destroyers in Intruder, 2x Reaver, 4x Minder in Intruder
So there was 1 objective in a central medium building, and then 3 more in each player’s half all in large buildings. The two towers part of a superstructure created an interesting problem I didn’t immediately recognize. A small LZ could land on the ledge and deploy directly into the towers where the objectives were. This was useful for his Marauder with Invaders, but caused me some problems as it meant only my Spirits could directly access the towers. Turn one we both deploy infantry into the closest tower. I put 2 Braves squads in mine, he puts 1 warrior in his, 1 advances towards the 2nd tower, and his destroyers go in the 3rd building, which is a typical paper stock tower. I deploy centrally and he drives his force on. The next turn I zip my Spirits across to his super structure to prevent that 2nd warrior squad from finding the objective. I don’t know if it was his first or second search roll, but his 1st warrior squad and destroyers each found an objective and were off the board, putting me at a huge deficit. Meanwhile, my 2 braves were unable to locate their objective. Even if I had, with my Spirits elsewhere, they would have to move to the bottom section of the building, and then to the awaiting Havens. Austin used a pair of Tormentors on that flank to burn down my Braves and only one squad made it out alive without the objective. My Firstborn were killing his other warriors while I had sent my 2nd Firstborn into my tower on that flank to search. They were joined by the surviving Braves, and after 11 search rolls, I found an objective. Unfortunately I was a bit bummed already realizing the game was lost and did not position my Spirit properly for an extraction, so the game ended 7-13 defeat. My opponent played a great game and deserved the win.
For my last game I played against a really new player and was borrowing the TO’s Shaltari. We played the bridgehead mission.
With only one building per side, this was a shooting gallery. The Shaltari player was new and after some early casualties I decided I’d better tone it back. I chased his Braves out of his building with my Firstborn. These Braves would get trapped as Nicholas only had a couple Spirits and no Havens. I drove my Caiman and Gharial forward so he could shoot and extract some revenge. I spent time trying to lay out all the options for him and explaining different consequences. I think the score was another 13-7 victory. Could of been more brutal, but didn’t want to destroy a potential new player, and after the loss to Austin I figured I wasn’t in the running anyways.
Turns out I was mistaken and took 2nd. There should be an asterix next to this. The Shaltari player played 3 games. First against the TO, than the PHR player who placed first, and lastly me, who took second. I was bummed I didn’t get 3 hard games, but hopefully more start playing DZC. Another bummer was that with the exception of the aforementioned Shaltari player, every other participant was local to Endgame. I know there is a NorCal DZC FB group and was really hoping to meet and play some people I had never met before. Hopefully, the game only continues to grow.
The terrain was interesting. The rural monorail map really highlighted how forests need to be placed carefully, as they can quickly form a wall where the two players aren’t interacting much. Also, they are impassible to vehicles and skimmers, and walkers and infantry lose half their Mv. Since neither side knew exactly where the FP were going to land neither wanted to commit any earlier than they had to. I liked the multi structure, even if it caught me off guard it fouls up traditional thinking. That game also has had me thinking on objective games in general as this isn’t the first game I’ve played where either my opponent’s or my infantry seems completely incompetent of finding the objective while the other grabs some quickly and takes the lead. There is no good way to come back from this other than hoping you find some objectives fast. Also, DZC with minimal to no cover like in the bridgehead map isn’t much fun, in case anyone was curious. A10 is really hard, so I’m not sure how I feel about structures being A10. A6 and A8 seems to work fine, and if a structure needs to be durable, give it more DP.
I really enjoy playing a mix of traditional and nontraditional scenarios. There is something enjoyable about having both players on unfamiliar ground. I also don’t mind that everyone is playing a different table with different scenarios, though I can see how some might not care for this as everyone played 3 of the 4 tables, so if 1 table is harder than the others it could slant the results, not that I think that happened in this case. I can also see how this would be nice from the TO’s point of view.
Lastly, I was really happy to have those Tormentors kick my butt so good.