Saturday, 15 November 2014

CQB Squad Analysis Part 1: The easy bit

This is how I imagine Destroyers in CQB
(I may have used this before, but I can't find where, so screw it. you can have it again!)

CQB is like Marmite, some people love it and actively seek it out, some hate it and avoid at all costs! 
In Dropzone Commander CQB is quite a unique part of the game; DzC is a game of few dice rolls, but when a CQB happens you need large hands for the hoards of dice needed. It also does away with the standard roll to hit and roll to wound. It is streamlined for efficiency and I must say, I really like how it works. 

CQB is covered quite well in the rulebook (1.1), it has clear steps and is easy to follow. Saying that players still make mistakes (me included), so below is my quick and easy CQB fight process:

  • 1st squad in the building (owning player becomes occupier)
  • Enemy squad enters building (owning player becomes aggressor) 
  • You are officially locked in combat at the clean-up stage of the Initiation.
  • When the Occupier activates any battle-group  in which one locked squad are in CQB, the fight ensues at the end of the activation (searching for objectives and rolling for intel happens at the beginning of the activation and can still be done, all other actions are lost if the squad fights.)
  • The occupier allocates squads to repel. If the Occupier has more squads than the aggressor, the occupier can select squads to fight in CQB, the non selected squads may do other things. 
  • When allocating to repel, you must match the amount of squads the aggressor has in CQB (if you can), also any unit with the Bloodthirsty special rule must always allocate to repel.
  • Pool up all the dice from all your squads (plus any cards played)
  • Distribute the dice evenly to each base in the CQB. (As an example; 1 squad of Sirens (2 bases - 30 dice) fights 1 squad of Praetorians (2 bases - 30 dice) and 1 squad of Legionnaires (3 bases - 15 dice). There are 5 UCM bases and 2 PHR bases, therefore 30 PHR dice spread over 5 bases is 6 dice per base, 45 UCM dice over 2 bases is 22 and 23 dice on the PHR bases.)
  • Group together the dice per squad and roll against armour. (From previous example; The PHR player will roll 12 dice against the Praetorians, and 18 dice against the Legionnaires. The UCM player will roll 45 dice against the Sirens.)
  • After rolls have been made, make any dodges or Passive saves, then mark the dead and remove bases.
  • If any squad is reduced to under half roll Fortitude.
  • If you fail Fortitude you bug out, if not carry on next turn and repeat the same process. 

Actually writing this, it may seem a little complex - especially if it's one squad against one squad, but if you learn this way, it helps for multiple squad CQB and also carries through to 3 and 4 player games where CQB can get real messy, real quick.

The nuances of when to enter buildings and when to activate your Infantry is a whole other blog post and has also been covered by DzC Sweden here. So I won't be covering that here. 

Once in CQB how will you fare? That is the ultimate question. 
The answer is down to two things. 
1. How many dice you can roll
2. How resilient you are

Obviously the more dice you roll, the better your chances of winning any CQB. 
I find that the more dice you roll, the more that they conform to "averages", so I think you can look into probability and have some confidence in the result. Below is a table of an amount of attacks against all the different infantry types, and factoring in any dodge or save they may have. The result being the number of wound you should get (on average). 

Using the example I mentioned earlier (Sirens vs Praetorians & Legionnaires) we can assume that the UCM would kill 5 Sirens and the PHR would kill 3 Praetorians and 9 Legionnaires. This would force the Sirens and Legionnaires to take a Fortitude test.

I find the table quite interesting. From it you can see that the most resilient squads in CQB are Destroyers and Firstborns. Followed closely by Sirens. After that we have Marine Force Recon (MFR) and Braves! Yes you heard it right You have exactly the same chance of killing a Brave in combat as you have of killing an MFR. That's insane - especially for bulk standard troops. 

So what happens if you destroy your opponent? 
Whether you are the occupier or the aggressor, after CQB you can do absolutely nothing until next turn. 
A canny player will see this as an opportunity to finish off or soften up the remaining squad/s in the building. In fact it is a very useful trick for UCM and Scourge players to lure opponents Exotics into a building to wipe out some Legionnaires or Warriors, then after their cheap infantry are dead, they drop the building. This is where activation is key.

The table below shows the chance to damage a unit with falling masonry. Again Destroyers top the chart with Sirens and their special 3+ falling masonry dodge 2nd. Following them is Braves and Firstborns then everyone else. 

Chance of damaging a squad per 1 building damage
(5+ FM then passive/FM dodge followed by roll to wound)

So in conclusion to part 1, we can see that Destroyers are easily the most resilient squad when in a building, whether it's facing other squads in CQB or falling masonry, but they lack much destructive output with only a CQB value of 3 and 3dp per base. 
If you were looking for a resilient specialist CQB squad then Sirens and Firstborns are the best choice. Great output and will stay alive.

Come back for the next part where I will go more in depth and start ranking the different squads.

Any questions or comments you know where to leave them


  1. Hmmm... I really like the list. I will use that and study it a bit more. No chance of doing a list showing which units that are the cheapest when it comes to survivability and which when it comes to aggressive force?

    It was a really cool link you inserted there as well :-)

    1. Hello anonymous, part 2 will be perfect for you if that's the kind of list you are looking for. It will be published on Wed (19th) evening.
      I think the list is really good for seeing how many attacks are needed to wipe out your squad in CQB. There are certain squads that really don't fare well.

    2. BTW it was Egge :-) The anonymous is much easier to post with as I'm not sure of my log in now that egges40k is dead. Look forward to part 2!