Friday, 6 March 2015

Just the FAQs mam, just the FAQs...

Brucey Dubyah is obviously a UCM player, just look at that grin
Aren't Hawk kind to us. Not only have they given us four new commanders, and the rumour of new units to come, we now have a new set of updates for both current rules and units! What is even better about these changes is that I can't spy a single bad one! That isn't to say that some aren't going to frustrate people, but hey, some good things had to end. Anyway, let's get down to what team OB think (and I will be speaking on behalf of all us chaps).

This post will be an overview as we have a podcast being recorded tomorrow, and due for release next week (aren't you all lucky). However before we get going, first go to the >errata< page and open them up. Done it? Good. Now lets journey together, into the Mines of Hawria. Pack plenty of torches, food and keen steel, and watch out for Trolls, this could get hairy.

Out of all the races, PHR came out on top this time round. They have been in much need of a little bit of love for a while now, and Hawk have taken taken them bed (but only for cuddles like in the movies; even killer robot cyborgs need a hug every now and then).

The changes mostly consist of points drops across the board for transports, which is great. DzC is a game where speed and manoeuvrability are king, and PHR have neither of these traits. Instead they pay through the nose for armour and survivability, which although on paper seems fair, it just truly isn't. Yes a Triton is A6, but four Minders will destroy it as easily as a Raven. The difference is that the Raven can zip about and hide and the Triton can't... 2” is the difference between being snug against a building, or being stuck out in the open. The points dip will allow people to fit in maybe another Ares, or upgrade to a second squad of Sirens, or something similar at least.

Other changes include a decrease in points for the Juno's and Angelos (I doubt we will see more of these, both units are very underwhelming even with the points decrease), and also the upgrading of the Menchit. Or the Type-1 Walker formally known as the Menshit... Well no more! It's now got a big tasty flame with a great range, instead of a weedy piddly one. Will we see more? Well, that depends on the meta of flame weapons in general. Sadly, probably not, but they are no longer a non-choice.

Oh, and Marcus Baros (famous commander) had a typo fixed for the amount of shots on his guns. I'm not sure anyone knew it was wrong anyway, but good stuff nether the less...

The marvellous French Resistance probably came in just behind the UCM for position. They have had price tweaks across the exotic infantry, which means we are likely to see more Berserkers and Veterans, which is great! I mean great in the sense that our tables will be filled with more flavour and unit types, rather than “Yippee, all my Sabres were just annihilated by Occupation Vet fire. Yay for the errata. Yay...”.

Storm Wagons and Rocket technicals also saw a marginal points change, which is common with Hawk's view on units which aren't commonly used. I'm still not sure I would take either unit, but as with other units the change means you may now be able to squeeze them in when before you couldn't.

I've saved the biggest change until last... Freeriders are now E9! They no longer carry a unit of Sabres in their back-pockets! This is really big news people. They are still a complete pain in the arse, but I don't think their survivability was ever peoples issue. It was the secret railguns in their pants. That sounds like the name of a DzC porno.

They are still a blight on Resistance, Shaltari and Scourge; instead of an almost 100% chance of a kill on a Scourge Hunter (taking two full bases into account), it is less. You do the math, I can't. I just know it's less, alright!?! It is now much easier on UCM and PHR players, who only have to worry about magic sixes.

There will be much mumbling and grumbling with Scourge players, but at least we didn't get hit like the Shaltari. Destroyers were too cheap. Yes they are 'okay' in CQB, but you cannot understate their survivability and psychological impact on a battlefield. Also their guns are superb. A fair update.

The Corsair dropped in points so we may see more of those, although they are still the most unreliable FM as they only hit on a 4+. Too fifty/fifty for me, but it will good to see more.

One of my only critiques with the changes is that I strongly feel the Slayers and Tormentor should be A9, instead of cheaper. They can still die to one E10 shot, which frankly isn't good enough from a heavy still-not-cheap tank. I will try the Slayers out and if I am wrong will gladly eat a large slice of humble pie, but I'm pretty sure I'm not wrong... Arrogant yes, but hey, it's not my fault I'm awesome.

Oh space hedgehogs. My Oh My. I would say I was sorry, but I just wouldn't mean it. You got it the worst. I estimate the average 1500 point army is now over points by roughly 40/50 points! The main staples of most Shaltari armies went up; Jaguars, Dreamsnares, Havens and Braves, and let's all face it, it was necessary. There is a reason that Shaltari are dominating the tournament scene at the moment, and this will probably help even out the playing field. Sure they can teleport everywhere on battlefield still, but that 40 or 50 points could be that one extra Eden that you needed for your Coyote to claim that focal point. Or possibly you won't bother with the Dreamsnare any more, making the Brick a little easier to smash. Or maybe you'll just drop a CV level instead...

These are all now issues when building lists, and the slight increase in points helps keep the Shaltari 'elite', as I believe Dave originally intended them. I know some will feel these increases are too harsh, but they're really not! There is no other unit which can shoot down two tanks and an AA unit in one turn, and even with the extra ten points the Jaguar is still the best utility unit in the game. As for the Dreamsnare, a walker which increases the survivability of everything around it from 33% to 50%? Well worth 85 points!

The other changes are good too. The Thunderbird isn't completely useless any more! I would now not rather have a tramp spit in my eye than take one, which is great! E2 makes it a bucket load more survivable, although it's uses may still be limited simply by its mediocre gun. Also in the air is the Warspear, and that got some sugar too. It is now DP2 which means it is definitely worth taking, and worth it's points value. It is odds on to kill any light dropship in one pass, and doesn't need the overkill like the Athena.

Lastly is the Ocelot change, which I am on the fence over. I am a little worried about Shaltari armies rolling on with two of these and two/three Caimens and felling a building in the first turn, but perhaps that is a knee jerk reaction on my part, and it will be okay.

New command cards and updates to previously redundant units? UCM players, you should feel blessed. The Falcon is now a good choice and brings some hard fire power to the table. Also talking about fire power, the Kodiak has certainly called in some better reinforcements from the UCM fleet. The change to small template is incredibly good, and I am sure we will now see them even with the Phoenix on the horizon. 

Arguably the most important change is the Scimitar, which can now move and fire. One of the things I love about dropzone is that there are very few units which are never chosen. Until today the Scimitar was one of them. It was practically useless, but now it can shuffle about proud and dangerously, boasting it's boosted E11 shot. Dangerous.

Lastly a couple of minor changes; The Sniper Team now has Evade, which has been added to limit the amount of 'special' rules in the game and keep things cleaner- this is a Hawk trait which I love. I'm also classing the Seraphim change as a minor change because, well, it's still just the Seraphim. An expensive FM which specialises in 'hurting buildings a bit', and only a bit better than before.

Core Rules
This is where the big change is, and we'll get to that last. First up the Storm Wagon disembark/shoot argument has finally been settled, and they have also made bringing on large models a little less faffy. Them much anticipated 'flames ignore evasion' rule is live, although will we see much use of it after all the rigour? Probably not.

Lastly and most importantly- when I say important, I mean this is an enormous change, a colossal change, a gargantuan change- flying command units with a CV value can now claim focal points. This has absolutely been introduced so the Phoenix is actually used, but it benefits the Scourge to no end. They have always been hard done by in regards to focal point missions, and this is really going to change things up. They are hard to kill and will typically cost more than a Coyote. This was a necessary rule to change to make it a viable option in the future, especially with the Oppressor looking so awesome.

This change will force people to adapt not only their play styles, but their lists too. Armies will be forced to deal with 200+ points of UCM and Scourge commanders floating about, being nuisances and claiming objectives.

We will be discussing these changes in greater depth on our next cast and how we feel it will influence the game and the current meta. If you have any immediate thoughts let us know through the medium of comments!


  1. Completely agree on most items.
    Rules: Flying commande units scoring +, Flame weapons useful instead of junk.

    UCM-Needed adjustments to make useless units useful

    Shaltari again , not SHAME tari. Agree on all points. I was glad to see the gate mechanic stay as designed despite all the "whinning".

    Scourge-I can live with the Destroyer price adjustment. Still think Corsairs should have E1 or 2, scourge are supposed to be FAST and shifty. Heavy tanks still suck vs E10 double out 5+. A9 is a good suggestion, or can move a full 6" and disimbark those Razor worms.

    Resistance; I have no personal experiance playing or vs (soon once my are painted).

    PHR-Nice to see point decrease on everything. Maybe we will see their APCs. What faction has a APC that is Steller? At least one of them has an E7 gun (best in class).


  2. Thanks for the write up, Dan. All in all, a very fine day, indeed. I like most of it, but the Ocelot and Warspear changes have me a bit concerned. Guys in my meta regularly use both, and they just got a lot more dangerous. On the other hand, the points increases for the other Shaltari units I'm very pleased about.

    And, then, when I look at the huge points reductions that both PHR and Resistance got, well, I tend to forget about the little buffs that the Ocelot and Warspear received. No complaints at all. And I'm glad I didn't glue the guns onto my Type 1 chassis from the one plastic PHR starter box that I picked up, as I'll be tempted to try out a couple of Menchits in the future... But, honestly, only in higher points games, and there are other units waiting in the foam to be taken out to show their stuff, like Apollos, Erebos, a Hades and 4 Angelos. Speaking of which, I'm pleased with the points drop on the Angelos, too, very nice.

    What blew me away, however, was the huge points drops on the PHR dropships (and, yes, Junos, which I like very much and have 8 of)! I guess the "dropship tax" whine tasted bitter enough to get these very healthy and generous points drops. I mean, 70 points for a Poseidon??? No complaints at all!

    And the Resistance love is much appreciated, too. I was expecting Freeriders to get L-2 on their Sticky Mines, which I understood but wasn't very enthusiastic about. What was actually implemented, making the Sticky Mines E9 instead of E10, but unlimited, well, I'm a happy Warlord!

    Good stuff for the UCM, too! I've been trying to order Falcons online for weeks, but Miniature Market is always out of stock. I reckon the situation won't get much better anytime soon. Definitely going to be picking up at least one blister of Scimitars, too. And it's going to be an even higher priority to kill the other guy's Kodiak now that it's orbital zot is Area-S. Hopefully these and the other changes will allow UCM players to hold their heads up a bit higher...

    Making commanders in aircraft able to score on focal points was absolutely something that was very much needed. I know of at least three other Scourge players, besides myself, who are gonna jump with joy over that one! Cheaper Slayers is good, too, unless you have to face them, because you're likely to face more of them, and as someone who already faces a lot of them, well, it's a good thing my PHR and Resistance stuff got cheaper, cuz I expect to see even more Slayers coming at me next time I face a certain DarkNite again. With that in mind, my own Slayers will be ordered up from MM soon! Ha!

    As I said, all in all, a very fine day indeed for the Dropzone Commander community. Hats off to Dave, Simon, Louis, and the rest of the Hawk Wargames crew!...

    1. Regarding the Menchit. Remember that you can always only have one in a squad (the rest could be phobos for instance) so the Menchit can also act as a cheap bodyguard that will fry infantry if given the chance.

  3. Wait, are they going to release the new commanders next week?

    1. I have no idea, where did I say that?! Hawk have said late March.

  4. No, I misread... :P It is the podcast that are released next week. :D

  5. I am a little sad that the Destroyers went up in price, but it is not such an increase that I won't take them, still have no desire to use Corsairs, except maybe as jewelry...a pair would make nice earrings I think.

    But oh man, the amount of whinging from by Shaltari playing boyfriend filled me with utter glee, it was a good moment seeing the look of pain on his face.

    1. There will be cc-destroyers in the near future and I think they will be cheaper so just hold on. :)

    2. Corsair earrings is a stroke of genius! I'm off to get a belly bar done right now!

  6. Yes, their complaints are like music to my cybernetic ears! LOL