Monday, 18 April 2016

OB Podcast Episode 14: The Arms Race

Continuing on course with our happy outlook on Dropzone's meta, I present to you the latest installment of our podcast series! I may be taking a few liberties with the word 'happy' though. Dour, disappointed and frustrated are probably more appropriate words to describe our feelings on the current 'Arms Race' being competed over within DzC at the moment.

So strap in for one of our Discussionzone episodes, where we run through our thoughts and opinions on the alarming curve of energy within the system, and the affect it is having on the game.

It's not all sour, I promise. I even sing a little for you, and that's sure to brighten anyone's day!


  1. I have to say as a new player (UCM) I was quite surprised how everything just dies when it gets shot in this game. There are exceptions (Phoenix, Type 4 Walkers, some resistance stuff) because they have a ton of DP but anything 'normal' is pretty much removed as soon as someone can draw LOS to it. I actually don't take a Heavy Ordnance battle-group because I'd rather have 3 E10 shots, 3 DP split over 3 models than 4 E10 shots, 4 DP concentrated in two models that are going to die to single shots most of the time anyway. I think a reduction in high energy weapons would be a good thing. I suspect that perhaps high-tech warfare may well be a case of 'if you see it it dies' but that doesn't make for a great game and lessens the affect of 'armor'. At the moment it's all about speed and weaponry. Oh and rolling a natural 6 on turn two to be 2VP up just because you are luckier than your opponent.

    1. Welcome to the game! He removal of tanks per shot is partly to do with the high energy in the game, but also because of the scale. Tanks are less robust than other systems as there are more on the table, otherwise there would be a lot of book keeping.

      The Gladius (which I think you are referring too?) are a good example of a unit which used to be very useful, but are now a little redundant. I think they are E11, but still are unmanoeuvrable and vulnerable.

      In regards to objectives, I agree that a lucky 6 against you can be a kick in the balls, but I have no issue with that in the game. It can help add suspense, and other potential searching mechanics could be clunky.

    2. Obviously Dan's UCM knowledge is severely lacking, but his sentiment is right. The Gladius used to be a proper killer in UCM lists, but it's 2 E10 shots now are really lacking, also it's 2dp (as you pointed out) just seems to evaporate very quickly.

      I really like the search mechanic, I usually find that someone finding an objective on turn 2 doesn't swing the game. It's what happens on turns 3-5 that are the most important.
      In a game ot Military Complex/Targets or any other objective based mission, I normally bank on my opponent finding their 'home' objective and my plan revolves around winning the middle 3 or at the very least stopping my opponent winning the middle 3.

    3. My UCM-fu is weak. 4 E10 shots, and that used to worry me! Oh how naive we were.

    4. I happily bow to your superior knowledge and experience regarding the search mechanic. It is what it is and eventually you will be the 'lucky' player as many times as you are the 'unlucky' one. It just hurts in an important game to be 2-0 down on turn two without being able to do anything about it. Then not finding your own close objective for a couple of turns and seeing the building go down with your troops in it makes it worse.
      I would say however that it's the single most quoted thing I hear from players who have tried DZC and dropped it. Usually something along the lines of "I'm not playing that it's just luck based." I don't think it's that bad and there is far more to the game but if people are stopping playing before they realise that then it's a problem.
      Anyway, back to high energy weapons. I accept that there are a few tanks on the board and I seriously don't want a lot of 'book keeping' but as a noob I did expect my Sabre and Rapier (as the best armored tanks in the game) to bounce the odd incoming shot. As a 1 does no damage if you are armor 10 or 2 and of the most time an E12 is killing on a 3+ that means I only bounce 1 in 6 shots for being the 'best'. Also anyone not the 'best' but just 1 point down might as well be armor 2.
      Don't get me wrong I like the game it just takes a bit of getting used to.

    5. I think a good part of this feeling is that almost all rolls being 1d6 gives a very narrow range of values and a very coarse adjustment of probability while there is few things that allow you to modify your die rolls. On top of my head, most abilities that do introduce modifiers affect the enemy instead.

      Looking at other games, Warmachine has a ton of things throwing around buffs and debuffs as well as adding dice to your roll, Infinity has its great Face to Face Roll mechanic with plenty of possible modifiers and reactions. Things like these give you the feeling that you're in control even if the outcome still depends on a die roll. I would encourage anyone to give those two rulesets a look, since they're available for free and both have some great aspects to them.

      For armor and weapon effectiveness, pretty much anything beyond 1d6 would allow for a greater range of viable values.

      And lastly, dropzones strength have never been the rules in my opinion. They're solid but nothing more and i remember my first, short demo leaving me rather unimpressed. The really juicy part is the unit design, how it encourages combined arms and plays together with the transports. It's very important to preserves that on one hand and on the other it's also why i think that a second edition could well be used to introduce additional strengths in the form of more engaging mechanics

  2. It sort of touches on your vets and hazard suits discussion, but infantry which perform traditional armour dutys should be substantially more expensive than similarly capable armour units – or restricted more by slots. The ability to search, the difficulty to remove from the board, the manoeuvrability of their delivery system and things like ground control bonuses make them unquestionably better options. I'm not even sure high ground / double points in bunkers have a sensible place at tournaments anymore.
    That said, I don't think points rises is often the best solution, if things feel too cheap their probably too powerful. The Thunderstorm is probably the latest example with its minor points increase, but for what purpose? It’s really not going to make the Alex a sensible choice and it even makes it score better of focal points. I don’t really think points comparisons between armies serves much purpose, your only competing with the other units in your list when building (assuming a certain level of points makes viable armies for all the factions).
    I actually think combined fire is a much better rule than focus fire. I think focus would be "fixable" if you called what shots you want before rolling to hit though and divided your dice as chosen but worked it like combined fire. Not being able to double up on focus / combined shots may also help.
    I think pushing the armour of buildings up by 1 would be a sensible thing to make e10 have more merit over e9. Whilst it acknowledges the creep, it slows it down. I haven't thought much what this means to E6 units though.
    I think without doing the v2 dropzone, a lot of this is probably too difficult / expensive / unrealistic to expect of hawk. I do however think they could do things which you could get away with including in the official tournament packs, like limiting rares to 1, pushing up building armour, removing high scoring infantry benefits; capping searches per turn etc. You could probably do even more specific unit stuff in Tournament packs without disenfranchising people who have bought stuff and don’t really play competitively.
    Just my reactive thoughts

  3. I'd say a lot of your comments are spot on, and you ask if the community is feeling the same, I can't say, but I know the PHR are feeling forced out of walker lists, and that's certainly a downer. E11 is tough enough on A9, but E12 pretty much seals the deal.

  4. I also liked and agreed on basically on all accounts. To sum it;
    1. Weapons creep is real.
    2. Ed’s head is amazing as always.
    3. A general nerf wouldn’t damage the game – on the contrary.
    4. Scourge ar so weak that if you end up top 5 at Invasion you have morally won the whole thing.
    5. There are now more focus on killing in DZC than missions because things can more easily kill stuff now.

    Really nice one this time, boys. Thanks!

  5. I feel realy down after listening to you guys. I love to play the game and love the universe. But the sliding slope you picture is a real downer...

    Cheers, Thunder

    1. I wouldn't be too down Thunder. This is Hawk and I have every faith that they will act to preserve the balance. Maybe not straight away but they really do care about the game. Discussion like this is good and will be taken in the constructive way the OB boys mean it.

    2. It feels more like there is just a push to sell new models because the player base is not expanding much any more. Buy-in of new players seems to be dropping off (certainly everyone has moved on from the game at my club) and the only way to continue making money is to release new, even better units that the existing players will need to buy to keep up with the power creep. Dropfleet is going to generate a bit injection of cash now and is taking all their time and effort, fixing old units or rebalancing them won't make any money for them.

    3. I disagree, because if they fix what needs fixing it should encourage more people to not only try the game, but stick with it, and in doing so increase your player base, which increases the number of people buying more of what already exists to flesh out their armies after the starter sets + inevitable next buys, and more people overall buying new shiny stuff when it comes out.

      Increasing your player base is never a bad thing. Preserving your existing base while you grow it with new players at the same time, however, seems to be the real trick, the one that will provide you the best revenue stream...

    4. It's typically 5x more expensive to acquire new customers than it is to keep your established ones. Not sure if that stat translates to the game industry, but it holds true for other more main stream retail products like cell phones and cars.

      I don't think they are going to be able to avoid bringing in new special rules. Aside from power-creeping the Energy, Armor, and Move there's really not much else you can tweak in the game for significant changes of army feel and game play.

      I really like the cap on Focus Fire, BTW. A10 is really not special anymore and it needs to be.

  6. I think all these comments are great and spot on in most places.. Im looking at ypu egge. Only the trophie counts. I could probably vouch for all of ob, dont worry they will correct me. We are probably still hawks favourite fans and this is our most favourite game. It is still probably one of the most balanced table top games around. We just want to keep it that way. At least we give the hawk guys a bit of grilling too. We are just passionate about a game we love.

    I would try and do something about focus fire. I have never really like it. As previously said, I think that all the combined shots/focus fire should have a limit. Alot like the scourge warriors or occupation vets. Score x amount of hits creates an x energy shot. Would work very well for medusa, it would cap her damage output rather then random points increase. I think tim summed it up pritty well.

    Happy dropzone my lovlys.

  7. I think you guys are being somewhat.... pessimistic isn't really the right word here.... but it will do. The game has changed, new units have been released, and those units are generally better than what existed when the game was first released - but I'm not sure I see that as a bad thing.
    I play PHR, and I (personally) am now at a stage in the game where I feel I have far more viable options for list building then I used to (especially where mobility is concerned) and I love that fact. In some ways with the increase of High Energy weapons, manoeuvre and battlegroup management have become even more important than they used to be, and there is more of a trade-off for your actions. I also don't think the older units are no longer viable, but work quite well in complement with the newer stuff - For example using a Medusa as support/healer for a block of Odin’s - makes them fantastically hard to kill.
    I'm not a Tournament player any more (served my time in the 40K trenches and quit that when they released 6th), so maybe I see it differently - but I like what they are doing with the game right now personally. That said I would not object to a rebalance of all the existing stuff, I love the game and if everything gets a general nerf across the board I have no problem with that.... but I can’t say I see the "Need" for it?

    1. Really interesting comment, thanks. I like your perspective.
      As you know we are all self confessed tournament players, but it's not just about that.
      Dropzone is not in a bad place at all, it is still an amazing game. This pod was recorded before we all played at a recent tournament, that tournie has reignited the ucm in me and after salute and picking up some new units I feel refreshed and ready to do battle again

  8. Great podcast. I'd like to see a cap on focus fire.

    There is definitely an Energy creep and it's not good for the game. On the other hand, there is only so much wiggle room using the basic stats, isn't there? After a while, units will start to feel the same if all guns have to be E10 for a faction.

    Maybe this is a down side of Dave not wanting special rules in the game? So he only has a few stats to play with when making new units.

    Anyway, the game would be better if the energy creep is addressed and there are ways to make new units without breaking a faction theme.

    Good ideas in the podcast. The Scourge having E11 was balanced by some major weaknesses, like the Scourge short range. So that's an example of how to bring in a high energy weapon yet not have it dominate the game.

    Giving Resistance Scourge weapons with better stats is a mistake. It makes no sense in the game background. If Resistance scavengers can make plasma cannons E12 and range 18" then surely the Scourge would've done it by now, no? The Resistance doing that is a big part of the energy creep that's happened.

    I find a lot of the Resistance faction design to be bollocks actually. Trucks with 2 DP, Scout ATVs and FreeRiders are all bollocks in terms of the game background. Honestly, it's reduced my love for Dropzone Commander, but I still have fun with the game so I still play it.

    I personally like the Medusa and hope it stays as an impressive piece. Mainly due to the cyberpunk feel of the model. But I don't like Evasion getting handed out like lollipops in the game.

    Mind you, when I play Medusae, they do get slowly killed by all the secondary weapons in the enemy list so it's not like they don't die. Also, any flame weapon wipes them out. But as long as they are impressive on the tabletop, I wouldn't mind a change in their rules somehow. I want them to stay as an expensive model with some cool abilities because I like cyberpunk and I feel it fits with the PHR faction theme.

    It's totally the case that each faction is getting units that fill in gaps in their capability and as said in the podcast, the factions are losing their unique feel because of it. Some examples spring to mind. Shaltari now have flame and mega high firepower to make PHR green with envy. PHR got super manoueverable infantry that don't need dropships. UCM got high energy weapons and a unit that does everything except move around (the Ferrum).

    Don't be too hard on PHR though. Mobility counts a lot in this game, so the severe lack of it with PHR initially was not properly considered. So don't drag the PHR back to where they were.

    Now, it's the Scourge that need some help somehow. I find when I make lists for them that it's the constraints in their army list structure as much as anything that restricts what I can field and be effective. Is that the main cause of having trouble winning comps with them?

    The podcast mentioned that Stalkers are cheap but their dropships are expensive (and powerful). My friend recently said that what they need is a cheap dropship and then they'd be properly useful.

    1. Scourge list building suffers a little from the lack of a viable Air Wing.
      I always end up with at least one small, fragile Battlegroup because I can't spread my Support choices around enough. Other factions can condense their assets by taking a cheap, viable air wing... everything about the Corsair tells me that that would be a waste for Scourge.

  9. Hawk seem to overstretch themselves and to my eyes, they don't seem to engage much with the community to playtest proposed rule changes. I think they do talk with people at tournaments and read the forum, but then they just implement the ideas they come up with as solutions to any issues. I didn't see anything on the forum about the changes just made to Reconquest Phase One before going live with them. I think it would help to use the community more in testing their ideas.

    Hawk do some things extremely well, of course. So I'll take a moment to praise them and end on a positive note. They took player ideas and released new units based on those. Now that is extremely cool! They do attend tournaments and talk to players. They have finally made the Menchit useful in the latest release. They updated gunships and other units which were not being played and have adjusted units over time. This is all great stuff!

    Some very valid points in this podcast though and I hope Hawk listen to it.

  10. The continual power creep has really made me lose my love of the system. Pretty much most of the starter kits are worthless now and the almost total dominance of drive-on demo lists has runied the fun of the game for me.

    1. Interesting perspective, I'm not really familiar with demo dominating.

    2. I think it is a very different game where I come from. In Hawk's own tournament there are 3/5 missions where army demo is worse than normal. 1 Bunker assault. 1 mission with armour 8 builings and one mission where you hold ground and does not have to enter building at all until the last turn if even then.

      But if you only play missions without decreasing the demo-part then I understand your point. But I don't think that is how it is intended.


  11. To be honest just deleting the following would probably do wonders all round


    Sadness that just can't think of a scourge worth deleting:(

    1. I would argue that deleting the units is a really bad thing. A slight tuning would be more suitable.

      Make sure that all resistance plasma weapons either have a real downside, or are on par with the scourge equivalent. For example the thunderstorm has overcharged plasma cannons which increases output but at a risk. Perhaps a small tweak to the existing overheating rules are in order.

      Change focus fire to be capped or work more like the plasma guns.
      Change the drone missiles to having 2 profiles. One with AA one with focus, thus enhancing the skimmer bonus value.

      Tone down the shaltari e11+ weapons and make it more doomsday or e10. Nothing in between.

    2. You're right of course, I wouldn't actually suggest deleting any of them, I would suggest understanding what makes them on that list - and I think there's a pretty common theme - access to very reliable high energy shots.

  12. I wonder if getting rid of the double damage rule would help address the balance. I think survivablity comes in a combination of two parts . Armour and DP or armour and to hit modifier. If the double damage rule is removed then the effectiveness of high energy weapons is reduced. They will still easily do damage, just won't be able one turn kill units that are surposed to durable. High energy has made DP2 almost pointless. The devastating rule can then be used to give units the double damage ability if needed (and properly costed for).

    1. An interesting suggestion, but it would make some units far too good. All Resistance wagons for instance. Also Things like the Ferrum and Caimens

    2. I like the double damage rule. It is one of the basic premises of the game I think should very much stay. I think it has more that there are more high powered guns now. /Egge

    3. I think the double damage rule should stay for the conventional weapons but you could perhaps remove this rule for focus firing weapons only. This could perhaps better represent a lot of smaller/less-powerful weapons fire heading down range and eroding armour, or getting that lucky hit on a weak-point. It also helps to keep the rules relatively streamlined. /Jam800

    4. I'm torn on the double damage but perhaps a solution could be to have it as a special rule. This would even allow for different difficulties of achieving double damage.

      Perhaps something like this:
      Overkill[X]: When attacking with this weapon, if the damage roll is at least [X] higher than required, this weapon deals twice the normal amount of damage.

    5. we have that already with the Devastator rule.

      Someone mentioned it before, but removing the ability for Focus weapons to double damage and placing a cap on their energy would really help

    6. I do think a DF style rule for big tanks might be a good idea, like say the Alex can only ever take 1 dp per hit.

  13. I'm still not really so sure things need to change overly, or that their are major balance issues (there was one of each race in the top 5 at invasion) but its fair to say that the armies have evolved from their original silos - and I'm glad of that personally. If we were forced to play only one concept religiously that would get pretty boring. Especially when you consider the fact that the Shaltari Shenanigans were clearly superior (in terms of playing the mission’s / gameplay) than the focuses of the other races.

    UCM used to be jack of all trades, now they are the masters of the skies (Air Cav). PHR used to be incredibly slow and durable, now I see them as ambush specialists (lots of indirect fire, manoeuvrable units that can get the jump on you and hit hard). The scourge are the masters of CQB / Close the scourges case I think that's still a work in process, but it’s definitely the direction they are moving in and the new units will be a massive boost to them I think (especially when they start pumping Razorworm suppository's all over the place). The Shaltari have maintained their original focus for the most part (they have just become a bit harder hitting), but their original focus worked so well in game terms they didn't need to change overly.

    The Resistance is the only army that I am not so sure about, originally I saw it as a choice between feral (horde) and the UCM affiliated who were more specialist, however, I think it’s fair to say they have ended up taking the jack of all trades crown from the UCM (but perhaps at too high a level).

    1. I completely agree with you, I like that the armies have evolved too. Especially as the story has moved on within the timeline.
      Players would get incredibly bored if forced to play the same style over and over, I really like list building, and trying different things out

  14. Been busy w/ lifesense (it's similar to nonsense), so haven't played much. Not sure if my lukewarm feelings toward the game have anything to do w/ me not making room for the game.
    A month ago I played a story driven campaign game and took an appropriate list. A buddy figured I'd take a very hard list. The resulting game left me with familiar feelings after other gamesystems I've enjoyed. Playing with the feeling of "damn, if I had known I would of brought a list to compete," leaves me quite 'meh' (no worries as it made sense w/ the story; Feral Resistance moving into Foothill city to rally locals against the UCM were met by an elite PHR force).
    I still love the game, but waiting to make major updates until a point further down the road (whether it's until after the next book so they can combine, or when they run out and need to print more) is a questionable choice in my eyes. Hopefully their roaring success doesn't allow they'll miss what made it great.
    Forums are predictable, not much to discuss there.
    Don't necessarily agree exactly with all you said, but I agree with the sentiment.

  15. Like FF cap for different units, premium for high energy shots and nerfing some units.
    I'd like to see RARE units made skim=0, clash=1, battle=2 and then make some units that are not rare, rare. 1 Medusa/Ferrum/Dragon/Raider/Veterans unit is enough @ clash level. You can still get 4 vets in a single BB if you so desire.

    1. Love your podcasts you guys hit the nail on the head.

      If they caped all focus at 10 or changed it to be in line with the scourge plasma rifle rule it would be a great change.

      Many players feel it is going the way of 40k, with the my new toy makes everything before redundant.

      Resteting the armies with scourge as they are being the ‘base line’ would be a huge win. PHR and scourge need to dominate in the high energy weapon thing with the other factions having very limited access. PHR need to close the jetskimmer and walker speed gap. The Heavy slot for Scourge is underused and could be where multiple DP miniatures belong to help them with focal points and what not. Shaltari need to get back to their roots of being underguned for their ponts. UCM are as you guys say, they need to return to 1 unit=one thing. Resistance – where to begin...

      When the game becomes about list building rather than having a balanced list of any units that sounds like the Grim Dark...

    2. I really don't see how the new toys are making others "redundant", the ranges are expanding, and we have more choices about what we field now (and how we field them) - But I can’t see how those new additions have made things that were good before unplayable now.... If anything they complement the older units, and open up different ways of playing them.

      I like the changes they have brought to the game, I like the new possibilities in list building, I like the new options. Yes, some units ARE better than others, but this has been true since the game was first released (when was the last time you saw a PHR player fielding a Menchit?). It strikes me when you remove list building from the equation (with any wargame) what you end up with is something like AOS...And I am pretty sure none of us want that!

      What we have, is an expanded list of both options and list playstyles, which are for the most part fairly well balanced and enforced by a pretty rigid FOC (Battlegroups / Slots / Rares), in a gaming framework that encourages a combined arms selection to cover off your AA / AT and Infantry choices.

      It's fair to say that somethings might need changes (and Hawk have proved again and again that they do listen to the community and will make changes). It’s not fair to compare Dropzone to the "Grim Dark" however, it may not be "perfect" but it’s a Gazillion light years from the abortive mess GW have made of 40K.

    3. I like the listbuilding aspects of DzC, and find that it's one of those things that really sets it apart from other systems that employ a similar number of "Battlegroup" equivalents. The problem with 40K was NOT listbuilding, but net-lists, whereby everyone was running basically the same thing -- there was one size, and everyone had to fit into it in order to win. DzC is VERY different in that you really don't see net-lists. Sure, you see a bunch of units that everyone generally always takes, but not the sameness that helped push me away from the Grim Dark...

    4. I'd like to see certain units being made rarer too. I've never played with or against the Medusa so am not speaking from personal experience of their power, but as much as I like the model (and I love the model) it doesn't make sense that they are so common. One of them per army should be quite enough from a background point of view.

  16. Really interesting show. I really enjoyed invasion, but as a Scourge player found it frustrating playing Resistance over and over again and feeling that even if I was a better player I'd still really struggle to win.

    I think 1DP should be the default for most units - which is one of my issues with the resistance. Too many of their units have too many DP which makes a mockery of the believability of the setting (trucks being tougher than purpose-built tanks).

    I'd happily see a system-wide nerf to bring things back to a more similar power level. I like that armies evolve, and like that people can build different kinds of lists, but it may still be worth having a think about how the different armies do different list in different ways. So for example, it's cool that Scourge can take a slower, heavier list as well as a skimmer one. The way they do so is by taking lots of walkers, heavier transports, etc. So we've established a style of list that we want to work. Now we should work out how that list should be different to a UCM heavy list or a PHR heavy list. And look at unit profiles vs. how we expect this kind of list to play.

    Something else I think would benefit the game is more varied missions, with more varied list building restrictions. I know the game is called Dropzone Commander, but one a lot of stuff lands on the planet, it can't be flying about al over the place all the time. I'd like to see more missions which specify that 2/3 of your units can't have dropship transports and will start deployed on the battlefield. They could be defending a base for example. It would make ground transports more attractive and would make heavy ground units more attractive as they'd be compared with other ground units (that hopefully didn't all have lots of high energy weapons!).

    Hawk could also help by providing more support for non-tournament play. Both running non-'competitive' campaign events and selling campaign packs with scenarios, army lists, storylines, etc. This would give people more ways of using existing models.

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    1. So, what's the concept behind Armour and Damage Point values?

      A few people above have mentioned the silliness of having 2 DP Resistance trucks (and let's throw Battle Buses in there, with their 4 DP), versus the 2 DP of the usual Heavy options.
      I agree - with all the Focus Fire options and high energy weaponry around, it DOES make a mockery of your Hannibal if it gets one-shotted while the Battle Bus beside it takes the same hit and can keep on trucking.

      But do those clunky Resistance trucks and buses have such high DP because - in theory - they don't have many critical systems to hit? A shot can go through them without wrecking anything essential, whereas the same shot going through a high-tech UCM Gladius will gut out all the systems and make it explode?

      Just trying to get my head around it. I'm a little wary of Hawk's handling of the concepts of Armour and Damage (ie, "resilience") though, most obviously shown by Transitioning units changing their Armour values between Vehicle and Aircraft states. That doesn't make sense to me, and that's why the A v DP dynamic feels a bit woolly - a bit interchangeable.

      I know that Transitioning units aren't being debated here, but I'm just using them to illustrate my point - why the hell would the Armour suddenly become weaker or thinner as an Apollo takes to the air? (It's not about "weaker plates on the underside" or anything clever like that - the Annihilator shows more of it's belly when grounded than when flying.) If anything, the unit ought to be less resilient in the air (have fewer DP), rather than somehow shed it's Armour temporarily. Flying puts greater stress on the unit's systems, so any damage they sustain is more likely to be critical, and that should fall into the DP domain.

      The problem with that idea is that if an Apollo (for instance) kept it's Armour 8 while hopping through the air, hardly any of the current AA weapons could hurt it. That of course is how it should be - if the AA isn't high enough Energy to damage it on the ground, the same should apply while it's in the air.

      But it would create a real gameplay issue (AA-immune Aircraft?), so Hawk has had to bend the concepts a bit and make it a little weird. And it feels like this has probably happened a few times now, another example being the Medusa with her Armour of 1, but TEN DP!! What the hell is that supposed to mean, fluff-wise? It'll take 10x high energy shots hitting her despite her 3+ CM bonus (cause she can't be doubled out, due to her Dispersed Formation), to actually nail her. Orrrrr: oh look! Finally, a use for those E 3-4, high Sh value guns that were put on all the tanks from Day 1 and looked as though they'd be completely useless! Well - they STILL are, cause she has Evasion +3. Good luck hitting her. So your best bet becomes a unit of Flamers. Yes - somehow even a single Tormentor has an outside chance of killing a Medusa in one activation, while something epic-sounding like a Kodiak's ORBITAL BOMBARDMENT (yay!!!) at E 13 Area-S, can at best only do her one point of damage.

      So, what's my point? I've forgotten whether I had one, actually... Oh yeah! I reckon the ruleset could use a purging, giving us a streamlined Dropzone Commander v2.0. It's needed, it's time, and if it isn't done sooner, things will only get worse later, as more units and special abilities get bolted on that contradict the intentions of the core rules.

      TL;DR? Nevermind. It's just a huge rant.

    2. I think the armour and DP rules / representations work pretty well - they just haven't been consistently applied when it comes to the Resistance. It makes sense to me that transitioned units have less 'armour' while flying. It's not that they've shed armour they had on the ground, it's that it's less effective in the air. Rounds ricocheting off the flank of a tank don't matter too much, but the same shot could knock an aircraft into a stall.

      The Medusa makes sense too: it's lightly armoured (so has a light armour value) but it's mostly a swarm of nanobots, so that really is a target that a single, high energy shot isn't going to cause a lot of damage to. It's not that different to infantry bases having 5DP.

      DP to me are a bit of an abstraction, but basically, the bigger you are, the more DP you ought to have. But it shouldn't get silly. I think the justification for Resistance battlebuses having 4DP is indeed that there are less critical systems to hit, but this sounds like a cop out at best to me. Many resistance stats have clearly been designed to create game balance: to enable civilian vehicles to be able to compete with high tech military equipment on the battlefield. And it just doesn't feel right to me. Same with the vast Thunderstorm getting a skimmer dodge (but Prowlers or Wolverines don't?). I would prefer the Restance to use different tactics rather than operate on a different level or 'realism' to everyone else.