Monday, 3 August 2015

GenCon 2015D round up and other news

Up-scaled UCM Bejing class Battleship
So, we were expecting to be able to bring you all a thorough and well thought out review on all the wave 2 unit rules. Sadly, a combination of laziness and inefficiency- Sorry, I mean hard work and jet lag have prevented Hawk providing them to their eager and incredibly impatient public.

As such we have nothing else prepared, so have decided to bring you a round up of all the news from Gen Con, and also some other news too!

Firstly we are happy to announce that Tech Boy 2000 has finally forged terms with Skynet... I mean Apple, and we are now on iTunes! Just search Orbital Bombardment for all your ear treats. Secondly for those who aren't podcast listeners (and why the hell aren't you?), Team OB will be having a no holds bar Famous Commander Battle Royal to celebrate the final wave of fabulous commanders! This will be recorded on the 22nd Aug, so I would expect to see it in September.

On to the news everyone really wants though, Gen Con! This weekend was packed with more news than a Sunday paper stuffed with a dozen of those smaller, annoying newspapers. There were many contributors to the info, but the main one was a committed Hawk Talon called JD Welch who managed to squeeze Hawk Dave like a ripe grapefruit for information. I have edited the info liberally to make it easier to digest. 
Note: If we have used any of your pictures please message us, and I will credit or remove as requested. 

Dropfleet Commander:
  • Dropfleet Commander will be on Kick Starter. This is an unexpected announcement, but due to plastic moulding costs I presume Hawk deemed the release to risky to sink the tens of thousands of pounds they will require up front. Fair game. It will be hitting Kick Starter around October and is due to be only for the 2 player starter sets, so as not to deprive stores from extra unit sales. Due for shipping in April-May.
  • Starter set due to be in plastics.
  • Shaltari not due to have teleport mechanics like in DzC, although their shields will have some shenanigans to them.
  • PHR and Shaltari ships are not on paper yet, and are stored in the mind vault of Dave.
  • Dave reports that all of the Cruiser class ships in DfC will have 2 sprues which make 1 Cruiser each, and each sprue will be able to make one of the four variants. The same will apply to the Frigate class kits, but not to the other class categories. This will enable retailers to have fewer SKUs, and give the customer the greatest amount of variety with the kits purchased.
Dropzone Commenter/Gamerati have published a short example of the combat, which can be found here,

On another note, I still think Dropfleet Commander is a cop out name. This is just my humble opinion though, not actual news (Chambers In Space is still a possibility Hawk, just saying…).

Dropzone Commander:
  • No changes to Rocket Technicals
  • The Storm Wagon will get a points decrease, and possibly an alternative fire option.
  • The Leviathan will be changed to be more efficient at carrying squads.
  • New previously unannounced Sappers unit, with models already designed.

  • The Type 3 Manslayer weapon will almost certainly be getting a second, Alt-1 profile. Same E, but will be long range (48"?), and gain Flame. It will, however, hit on a 6+. 
  • Type 3 walker's squad size to change to 1-6.
  • Type 3 walkers to remain as Support choices.
  • Apollo's will not be getting an armour or other survivability boost.
  • Mercury Drones to not have their squad size changed.
  • The Nemesis may gain a change or alt fire to its tail gun.

  • The Annihilator will not be getting a side arc or Mf 1". Instead, it will be getting a second weapon profile for its gun: (possibly) E11, Range 24", Area-S, and Devastator-2! Also a points reduction of around 15 points.
  • Razorworms to have a new delivery system to 'inject' them into structures.
  • Fluff-wise, Scourge are not running from a greater evil, and simply want to grow, thrive and expand.

  • The Eden will get a points increase of around 10 points.
  • The Gaia will get a points increase of around 10 points.
  • The Caiman will get a points increase of around 15 points, but gun is to remain the same.
  • The Firedrake will get a points increase of around 5 points.
  • The Birdeater will get a points decrease, and possibly an alternative fire option.
  • Tarantuals and Birdeaters to remain at 6” movement.
  • Ronin will be changed to 4” movement, and Alpha Strike to incur a +1 Accuracy penalty on the unit when used.
  • New Ocelot variant to sport a E7, 2 shot and unlimited range AA gun.

  • The Katana will get a points increase of around 3 points.
  • No changes to the Ferrum. Changes were discussed but none fit the units theme.
  • Albatrosses will be able to share a mixture of different squads, but as an upgrade to the dropship. Expected rules in Reconquest Phase 2.

  • Rulebook App's for iOS and Android to be released in the near future. Will not be free, but fairly priced.
  • Units which leave the table during a game will have their reserves roll changed to a 4+ the following turn, rather than 6+.
  • Flame weapons to not change.

All in there are changes which I agree, and those that I don't. Caimans and Firedrakes increasing in points is a must, but the change to Alpha Strike (or rather the continued inclusion of the rule) isn't enough in my opinion. Also news of that new Ocelot variant is a little worrying, although it is likely going to cost around 100 points which would balance it. It is looking like heavy dropships will be being tweaked to more efficiently carry multiple squads as standard or with a unit upgrade, which is great!

The biggest news is that we will have a rulebook app in the near future. With Reconquest Phase 2 due out for Christmas this was a must; my bag is already weighed down by the two current books! Also the changes to reserves is a good change worth noting.

I will leave you with pictures of the new shinies (all from various sources). Enjoy!

Dropfleet Commander Scourge Cruisers


  1. Thx for the JD report CLiff notes Sir.


  2. Infinite range AA sounds like a terrible game mechanic to add. Why is that necessary?

    1. I completely agree. You can walk on in first activation and wait for light dropships to appear!!

    2. Yeah, I can't really understand it...

    3. The only way I can think it might be balanced is if it can't reaction fire. Other than that... ya I don't know.

  3. I'm still not feeling the Alphastrike fits in a random initiative game. There is a reason why there is only a single quick thinking card.

    The long range AA seems strange. I'm perhaps the only one but doesn't it feels like DZC is going a bit 40k now with newer stuff having inflation in DP, DF, special rules, ranges and Evasive?

    One thing I initially liked with DZC is that the units played very different with very small difference. Now we must have turn-breaking mechanics to make any sort of change.

    Interesting times though. /Egge

    1. Not sure we are anywhere near 40k levels of stupidness. I don't like Alpha-strike, as you say it breaks the random initiative. I think it will change when Reconquest: Phase 2 comes out. I really hope it does.
      The problem with Shaltari, is that Dave doesn't seem to think they are broken. He obviously is a little blind towards them. Maybe we can double-team him at Invasion!!!

    2. I think that a "problem" is that on several places the best players doesn't play Shaltari and DZC is still balanced enough that Shaltari isn't an autowin. A better player will win regularly against a mediocre Shaltari player. My opinion is that if the same good player start to play Shaltari they will notice a significant improvement on their wins.

      But we will see what happens. Hawk is doing something and while I as a competitive bastard don't fully agree they are listening and doing changes in small steps according to a plan.

      And we love them for doing that.

      And yes. 40k is light years a head in stupid things :-)

  4. It's definitely not anywhere near a 40k level, but it does seem like ideas are running low, or have just not been implemented in a 'DzC' fashion.

    The evident Shaltari creep is beginning to really frustrate me to be honest!

    1. The evident "Shaltari Hate" is beginning to really frustrate me to be honest!

      Just sayin... i don't see a creep here... beeing nerfed 2 times in 6 months in my books don't equal a power creep. But that is another topic altogether. I tend to agree with Dave as in "they are not broken"

    2. There isn't a creep per se, rather that the issues which exist are not being dealt with correctly, and then new units which break the 5 race 'formalities' are being released. Shaltari don't have any drawbacks right now, it's just a fact.

      I do feel though that perhaps this is emphasised by certain core rules. For instance, falling masonry and drive on rules are weighed in their favour. I would like to see changes to these, and then how it affects the Spacehogs.

  5. Wades tank is growing on me... I think I kind of like it. It would be cool if the main chassis could be alive if the tank is destroyed and Wade could still command with his SoI. Just like a Shaltari walker commander...

  6. Great synopsis, Zombie Dan. Good editing, well done, and thanks for the shout out!

    It really was a pleasure and a privilege to hang out with Dave, Simon and Louis, and to get so much FaceTime/eavesdropping time in with Dave. A lot of what I reported on the forum I picked up just by hanging around that part of the booth where Dave was camped all day, every day, telling people about the new models on display, DzC in general, DfC, and answering questions. Then there were times when I could riddle Dave with specific questions that I knew were on people's minds from the discussions on the forum (and back home), and he never hesitated to spill forth with heaps of great info and insight. I made sure to ask regularly if it was OK if I repeated what he was telling me, and only once did he say, "Some...", so I felt comfortable disgorging everything I'd heard and learned onto the forum (save that "Some"). Sorry if it was all higgledy-piggly and scattered, but I had to get it down onto the forum as fast as I could before I forgot something key, but only had late at night or brief periods during the day to get on my iPad and one-finger hunt-&-peck out what I could.

    As far as Shaltari go, I think Dave & Simon are on the right track with points increases, rather than specific nerfs to rules. When you add up all the points increases and that there are on units that you're likely to take multiples of (at least in the case of Eden gates, but also Caimans from what I've been hearing), it starts to add up fast, and pretty soon a Shaltari general finds himself not being able to take a key unit that he'd relied on in the past because he no longer has the points for it.

    I think we'll find that Alpha Strike isn't as bad as it sounds, as we fear it is. Ronin are actually rather fragile, based on a trial game two of my guys had. No Active Countermeasures and only a P6 save really makes them vulnerable. Also, there's new stuff afoot, like the Medusa, the rules for which I can't discuss yet, but she will be, as Dave said, "a beast!", and a big threat to Ronin, technicals, Prowlers, etc, as well as regular armor. I don't care for Alpha Strike, either, but I don't think it will be as painful as it looks on paper. It also fits with Shaltari's shtick, if you think about it, in terms of being a totally alien race with really awesome tech and many more centuries of refining the art of war.

    Likewise, the AA Ocelot is scary, especially given the walk on capability as it exists today, but it is also likely to be very costly in terms of points, and points are becoming harder for the Shaltari generals to work with, as I mentioned.

    On a completely different note, I highly recommend picking up a copy of the Special Edition Rulebook when you get to Fall Invasion. Most of the content is the same, but corrected (spelling and copy-paste errors fixed), but it's a really nice tome, and there's a ton of new artwork, and even the regular pictures of units and their stat lines have been redone, quite nicely. It's definitely a collector's piece, but I'm really glad I got mine, and so are the two guys I picked a copy up for. And with regard to new artwork, I'm going to give you something to whet your appetite (SPOILER ALERT!)

    There are pictures/artwork of Scourge parasites!

    Yes, we finally get to see what the Jellies look like, and their nickname is certainly fitting!

    Anyway, nuff said. Thanks again for the excellent compilation, and have fun at Invasion! Someday we'll have Team 'Murica there! 8^D

  7. And, because I want to be notified of new comments here, but forgot to check the box on my long epistle, there's this... Nothing more to say, move along, don't mind me, just forgetful about these things... :-P

  8. I should also mention that my top Shaltari player, who has placed First twice and Second once in the three tournaments that he's played in of mine, has decided to run an Apollo-heavy PHR list at this Saturday's tourny. It will be interesting to see how well he does with this PHR list in his hands, and whether the army makes the general, or it's the general who makes the victory, regardless of which army he's running...