Dropzone Commander – A Follow Up

Following on from my previous post about the up coming Dropzone Commander by Hawk Wargames there has been a few questions both on Twitter and the comments section of The Shell Case regarding the size of games, the length of games etc so I thought rather than field every question I’d write a follow-up post, so here we go…

First off the size and duration of the game. This is tricky because the version of the rules I saw didn’t have points values in it but I’m assured all the points values are locked in. However, the game we played was roughly the equivalent of the large army starter set. That’ll give you a good-sized game and access to all the cool shit.

As for game duration, both us and the fine fellows from 6 inch Move were asking lots of questions and throwing around the usual banter that comes with playing a game with your mates so everything took far longer than needed. We also came to the game cold so he could gauge the learning curve of the game. I estimate for a game the size we played to be a good two or three hours, again assuming the usual levels of banter and piss taking that comes with mates playing toys against one another. Because of the way the factions play few games will ever be a complete trouncing and will go to the last turn. All very good signs for the excitement levels.

Individual units have profiles which include their movement, their accuracy and the like. It also includes their weapon profiles, including any weapon options that the various units can take, and their special rules. Weapons range from the usual primary weapons one can expect to find on any tank to the desolator’s big scary energy weapon of mega destruction scary deathness.

The forces themselves are carefully balanced so it’ll be very difficult to create particularly wanky armies but each faction has distinct advantages that if you don’t exploit you’ll get utterly destroyed. Unless you roll like I did on Saturday then it won’t make the blindest bit of difference. But they’re all nicely balanced so you’ll never have an overwhelming advantage, which is as it should be.

Scenery is almost as important as your army choices as different types have different effects and equally some units can navigate them better than others. Buildings have varying levels of durability and big buildings will take an absolute hammering before they come crashing down. Infantry in those buildings will get gradually flattened by falling masonry although they can get picked off by weapons fire. However it’s much harder and dropping the ceiling on them is far funnier. But it really does take a lot to bring a building down and none of us really tried. We were far more intent on squishing the blokes inside.

The scenery itself will be made available and will probably come in packs of 100 tiles. However Dave is determined to make the scenery, which is pant tighteningly gorgeous, available to all so wood and printable versions will be made available so you don’t have to spend a fortune on filling your board with buildings if you don’t want to. But if you’re feeling flush they’ll even be accessory packs to cover your rooftops with skylights and aircon units. Which is way cool.

I can’t comment on specific rules as I didn’t get a chance to flick through the rule book as comprehensively as I’d have liked but rest assured as soon as I get my hands on the finished article I will be writing a more comprehensive post. But fear not, the rules are buttoned up and solid down the middle and will be out on time. I will try to answer any questions you have but Dave is the best man to ask.

There’s also been a comment or two about Dave with holding the details about the rules. I can’t comment on how a business runs but I will say this – whenever Games Workshop does anything the community is flooded with speculation. We decide what we like and then sit tight and hope it becomes a reality. And when it doesn’t happen we unleash the fan rage. And it gets us nowhere. All will be revealed in due course but if you have a question then I’m sure Dave will answer it if you drop him a line. Just remember that he starts work at 8am and goes to bed at 1am the following morning all to get this game finished on time for the community. So forgive him if he’s not quick to give away information about a project that’s entirely his and been his sole obsession for the last 2 and a half years.

Dave has created a great game. A very tactical game that requires a lot more consideration than many other games I’ve played. In many ways it’s like chess of the wargaming world which is actually pretty special.

8 thoughts on “Dropzone Commander – A Follow Up

  1. What size table did you use? Do you think the moblity of dropships would maker larger tables more desirable?

    1. We played on a 4×4 but larger boards are better. And because of the varying building heights you can have very open or enclosed games if you want to.

  2. Thanks for the follow up! Cool to know that you can crush buildings and their occupants; hopefully it isn’t an aspect of the game that is ignored like in many other miniature games.

    As far as units go: do we get unit cards like Spartan Games, or do we have to refer to the rulebook for that?

    1. No destroying buildings is definitely a viable tactic as some weapons get bonuses for firing a them, but it will take a lot to bring them down. As it would in real life.

      No profile cards that I’m aware of. It’ll be rule book and army lists all the way. Although it would’t surprise me if a roster sheet is made available.

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