Monday, 20 July 2015

Fast Ideas

You're only 2 turns too late, not to worry...
DzC is a game system which gives a lot to its players, and rarely allows the Lady of Luck to take away from it. The core mechanics are so balanced that they could have walked the tight rope between the Twin Towers which that hairy guy walked over. Or at least got half-way over; it did look super difficult. I have found though that on the few occasions when you solely really on luck rather than simple tactical majesty, the system can come up a little lacking sometimes. Take Recon for instance. I have seen at least five variants of this mission created by fans (us included), but hardly the rest of the rulebook games have been changed.

Something even more frustrating than being ground through the gears of the irritation machine that Recon can be though is Fast Movers. Even with the introduction of Forward Air Controllers they remain too random to count on, and jut awkwardly out of the roof of the very balanced DzC house like an ugly, wobbly chimney. We covered FM's a long while ago, and every now and then they seem to crop up within the community and split public opinion. A few people wouldn't leave home without one or two, whereas it is fair to say the majority of players leave them in the bunkers to gather dust.

For now I sit in the second party, and for a long while have done. Way back when I played Shaltari (the memories are tinged sepia now) Warspears were incredibly overpriced (although are great now), and far more recently with Scourge I could never stomach spending more than two hundred points on Corsairs to make them worth while.

What's my point I hear you ask? Well I want to take Fast Movers dammit! Thematically they are great, and the ability they have to turn games on a pinhead is something I want in my army. Sadly as things stand they are just too random for me to consider. Also I think all of the models are great, and I only own one (Foley's Hellhog) and only because I won it!

So, I've been thinking of a few changes, or rather additions, that could be added to the current format. These haven't had any kind of maths put into them, so take everything with a pinch of salt! I will also note that I like the reserves roll, although it should become automatic from the 4th roll rather than forever being 2+.

1) Abolish the Attack Run roll and make FM units more expensive:

Now, I am fully aware that this will 100% never happen. Dave is adamant on there being an attack run rule of some kind, due to it being more 'realistic' (although I'm not 100% convinced it is, but hey, his game his rules). Also FAC have been added, which means in order to remove the attack run roll this would also need to go. As I said, it's not going to happen.

But forget all that. Let us theorise, nay, let us imagine and dream of a world where an Archangel costs 90 points but never needed to make an attack run roll. FM's would then need to be much more expensive (90 points for instance probably being far too expensive, but as I mentioned no maths has gone into this post) but you get a unit which as soon as it comes out of reserve is 100% useful. If this was the case, I would definitely take FM!

See, they exist! Right now!
2) Tokens which let you auto pass a roll:

All modern armies have scout drones, advanced radars and satellites, and why is DzC any different? From my understanding fast movers don't always turn up because they don't know where the enemy is, or aren't able to plot in the most optimal attack runs and end up doing show routines like the Red Arrows outside of the warzone.

These satellites / scout drones would be a one use purchase pre-game as part of your army list selection, and would give you the ability to declare an attack run roll as an automatic success. You could purchase one or two at 25-30 points a pop, and have the ability to strike when and where it matters. FAC would still be a viable rule and would bring questions into list building. i.e. Do I need a scout drone, as I plan to be manning the walls with my FAC? There wouldn't really be any book keeping to manage either. Simply cross them of an army list, or flip a specified token over once declared. Easy peasy, FM squeezy.

3) Introduce FAC on a larger scale:

I point specifically towards vehicles, and multiples off them, or unit upgrades. Currently the role is limited to Infantry, and those of you who listened to our latest podcast will probably have gathered that being on the windows to spot for units can be very dangerous. Very dangerous indeed.

The creation of a vehicle, or group of vehicles, which could spot in addition to their regular duties would add a different choice to list building, spice up any existing units and add great potential for new ones. I am sure UCM players would like a brand spanking new radar dish scout unit, or perhaps a squad of Wolverine C's with the FAC rule built in. How about you PHR players? Your forever-promised gunship being able to call out targets to an approaching Athena?

There is of course the chance that these kind of units would be used as rarely as flame, but with a dash of creativity they could be assembled with enough utility to warrant taking them.

4) Units which don't require an attack run roll:

This is similar to the first point, but would only be for very specific air units. The best of the best; a Siren piloting an Athena for example. I'm not too keen on this idea personally, and prefer the all for one (one for all) ideas, but never the less it would be an interesting addition.

These are all thoughts that I'm throwing about loosely like moist clumps of jelly. They're not bound to stick to anything, but have a pleasing initial taste when you're hit in the maw by one. Some don't take into account how decimating a first turn can be if you lose one or two of your dropships, but perhaps this would encourage the use of APC's more.

If you have feelings about how to make better use of fast movers in general within the game, I'd love to hear them!


  1. I think it is vital Fast movers are a little bit on the random and on the weaker side. If they become to strong they will be game destroying very fast. We still see Fast movers in the game, albeit not that often. And not in the top armies but I think that is fine. The fast mover mechanic is such build that you many times doesn't have a chance to counter it barring keeping your entire army in a box. Making it to reliable would hurt basically everything else.

    If I would make a rule change I would either make sure that units in reserve can be used a s a dead activation or remove all armies chance for dead activations unless they enter or leave the table.

    I would however love to see a change to the mechanic making use the models are actually used. As now the model can be totally ignored.

  2. Difficult subject really. I don't think that points increase is the way to go. They are already heavily pointed for their armour/guns.
    I would like to see automatic entry from reserves from turn 4 and I'd like to see infantry, or scouts in the same battlegroup. This would mean you could tie in your FAC and not have to have less activations in the early game.

  3. I always try to take a FM for Sc/UCM/Res because it is cheap for a 6th BG. Sham/PHR are too expensive to warrant. It does suck when your FM or DRILL does not come until T4+ :(.
    For scourge just make it hit on 3+ vs 4+.

    Scout vehicle w/ FAC might work, or make FAC give +1 to reserve rolls too.


  4. 0) Buy a fast mover, take it out of the package and paint it. Add to list.

    FMs are great. DZC is lauded as a mobility game, and having something that can limit your opponent's mobility by striking anywhere is amazing. They're very opportunistic, but limiting the opponent's opportunities is a benefit.

    Is it the reserve roll that is too random? Attack runs are a 2+ w/o the FAC, so it has to be that reserve roll. I find it rare to have it on the first turn, but also to not have it on the 3rd. I like my FAC in the big CQB so they always have a LoS to the enemy, ensuring attack runs (and nearly intercepts if the opponent still has their FM).

    Not that I'm against making them better, but I've had an appreciation for my Warspear while it still had 1DP. The only exception I see is the Corsair. Poor lil guy could probably be 20pts cheaper and players would still leave him on the bench b/c of that 1sh at 4+Ac.

    Hopefully our last podcast is finished edits soon, it's all on FM.

    1. So the most bestist karmaric thing-amah-jig happened yesterday after posting this. My FM failed to come in until T5 and then didn't make the attack run roll on T6. hahaha. I stick by what I said, and see this as a rare fluke, but though tit was hilarious and I had to share

    2. The karma shark bitea hard, ehy fella?

      I kid off course, there are absolutely more subtle ways of making FM a little better than mine, the post was more to stimulate conversation and thought within our beauteous community. Looking forward to the next cast!

  5. I'd like to suggest burning command cards. Something like "For every two command cards the player discards at the beginning of the Roll For Reserves sub-phase, the player may add +1 to his Reserve Roll."

    Fluff wise it suggests higher rank equates to higher mission priority.

    1. Or, just change the roll needed: first turn needs a 6, second turn needs a 3+, and third turn is "auto on."

  6. How about just rolling a reserve D6 per aircraft in a battle group?
    The more planes you buy the better the chance of them showing up....


    1. Hey thunder, that's what you do anyway. You roll per squad, not battle group

    2. Yes I know, but that's not what I meant. You about per dp then?
      This = to how many points you pay a bit.

  7. I think FMs are fine as they are, and folks need to take advantage of all the new Troops choices, and any more that might crop up, and get an FAC squad into a building and at the windows ASAP. I do think, however, that something could be done to improve the designated FAC squad's abilities, such as allowing more than one squad of Troops to be FACs, or amending the FAC rules to allow them, and only the squad you've nominated as your FAC squad, to get to the windows on the turn that they enter a structure, but still not be able to shoot, so they can do their job and spot for their FM(s) ASAP that turn. Yes, they can then be shot at, but such is their sacrifice to ensure that the Flyboys and Flygirls turn up when they're supposed to/are needed...

    I'd also like to see FMs turn up out of Reserves automatically on Turn 4, or something better than what it is now...

    1. Correct me if i'm wrong. But you could go to the windows and just not shoot out. Then the enemey doens't know you are there?

    2. No, if you've gone to the window for the purposes of spotting an enemy unit, you can be shot at. You have to be at the wall/windows in order to see a ground unit out on the battlefield. The only way around this, which is OK, I guess, is if that FAC squad is in CQB, then they "see" an enemy unit but are not at a window/wall. But that has its own issues. :-P