Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Laying the Smackdown on the grid

This is what happens to PHR on a Critical Location....

Well it's been a while since I have written about or even played Dropzone. I think I've had 1 game since Invasion, and with Warfare 2016 coming up this weekend thought I'd refresh my parasite and chuck him in at the deep end. My opponent on a wet Tuesday night was none other than TechBoy2000 and his PHR of Tronville.

I tweeked my list from Invasion by dropping the Oppressor (and Harbinger) and adding Slayers in a Marauder with a single Reaver. I also moved the Monitors (who had their own battlegroup) in with the Overseer to create the new Heavy group.

So with lists submitted, the final practice could ensue, we chose Careful Advance as we both wanted to play a mission from the new book that had Critical Locations. Mainly because:
                A) they are just better
                B) we are pretty sure it will come up in the tournament.

Ed's list was a bit of a bruiser
Hera (CV4), Guardian
Sirens, Triton

2 Phobos, Neptune

1 Phobos
2 Helios, Neptune

Immortal Longreach, Triton

Valkyries, Triton
Valkyries, Triton

4 Odin, Njord

That last battlegroup eeerrrgh yuk.

I go first, as Ed won the roll off. My "quarter" is bottom left in the picture below, Ed's is top right. As Ed doesn't have a great deal of building demo, I put Razorworms and 2 squads of Warriors into my home objective, followed up by the other Warriors. I want to do the Slayers or Hunters last to see where Ed deploys his AA, a turn 2 pounce is on the cards.
Ed places Sirens and Longreach into his home objective, one unit of Valkyries enters the building next to the top left critical location, the other hovers near the centre objective. The Hera squad and Njord bombard my objective building, doing 8 damage, and killing 4 warriors, 2 warriors and a worm!!
Odins are on board still, the Hunters are in a prime position for a Helios kill, Slayers have gone up to deal with the Valkyries in turn 2
My Destroyers zoom up my right flank heading straight for the building next to the CL.

End of Turn 1
Ed wins activation and is forced to "use or lose" his Helios. They scurry away behind the red building, well out of sight (and mind). I had a Jink and Weave Espionaged so my Hunters choose extra range and head round the corner, hoping to catch a Phobos, but being out of range they settle for the building housing the objective, I do 12 damage but only get 2 falling masonry which inflicts a couple of wounds on the Longreach team. The Reapers deploy up the left hand side. 
Ed's Sirens then find the objective with the first roll and hand it off to the Longreach, who extract it when they activate. The Sirens move up Eds right flank. The Hera and Guardian pop more rounds into my objective building and wipe out the worms. 
I fail all searches, and add some worms to the centre building to ensure I am the occupier. I also move a squad of warriors over. 
My Slayers round the corner and unload on the Valkyries building, coupled with the Reaver and Marauder I leave it on 5 dp left and kill a base of them. The Valkyries opt to abandon the building, but I can't remove the last base to stop Ed scoring.
Destroyers enter the building to hold the other CL with minders deploying near the middle, I failed to realise that Ed had a Phobos in range, 2 hits, destroyed Intruder crash landing and 2 dead Minders was a stark reminder of their power and range. 
My Overseer went towards the middle to make Ed think twice about sending troops there, but with half an eye on where the Odins would drop as that is a big expensive unit. 
The Odins move up and the Njord shoots at my home building not doing much to it. Odins still on board.
Sorry, forgot to take a picture at the end of the turn....

Score: Ed 3 (1CL + obj) Mike 1 (1CL)

I win activation and played Abandon all Hope, only got rid of one though. It was Weapon Hack, so can't be that bad. 
I want to remove the Valkyries in the open. In my impetuousness I activate the Overseer and Monitors, the Monitors rip the Valkyries to shreds, and I move the Overseer down to the CL in the bottom right, I had forgotten about the Helios hiding behind the building until I started moving the Overseer. I did a quick bit of maths in my head at came to the conclusion that 1 Phobos and 2 Helios shouldn't kill the Overseer, it would also lure out the Helios making my job easier. Although had I actually thought about it I would have sent the Hunters there first. 
The Helios obliged, but only after the single Phobos shot, he did 1 damage, the Helios came round and did another 2. 
I activated my troops and re-wormed my home objective building, still no luck, nor did I find the centre objective, the second warrior squad went to the middle building. The Warriors did however line the windows and remove a Helios for me.
Ed's Hera moved up to take a sneaky shot at my Slayers, the Guardian was cowering behind the edge of the building that the Valks were in. They opened fire and obliterated one of the Slayers. I returned fire onto the Guardian and did 2 damage with the Reaver taking a wound off the single Phobos. It was after I shot I realised that I should have shot the building as I would bring it down on top of the Guardian. 
Ed then activated his double Phobos squad and pulled out Counter-Measures hack, I knew I needed a better roll from Abandon all Hope!!
The Phobos shuffled over and got a bead on the Overseer, he rolled 4 hits, but only succeeded in getting a solitary wound...... phew.
My Destroyers lined the windows and took extra range, they unloaded on the Helios, but only did a solitary wound. 
Ed put his Valks and Sirens into the centre building, I had a search with my last warriors and failed 
The Odins move up and the Njord shoots at my Destroyers building doing 6 damage to it, the Odins deploy. 
Finally I activated my Hunters, double shots were chosen. 5 shot the Helios and 1 went for a pot-shot on the Phobos. Helios died but the damn Phobos survived. The Reapers changed their mind and came right, hoping for a shot at the Njord (I was holding a relentless advance) The Despoiler shot the building top left and turned it to rubble along with the Guardian. 
Ed's Longreach came out of reserve and came down his left flank.

Score: Ed 3 (1CL + obj) Mike 3 (3CL)

End of Turn 3 (score dice on the red building have not been updated, should be 3-3)
I win a crucial activation after 3 attempts (we both rolled 3's then 4's, finally I win). Ed field repairs his Phobos.
I play Relentless advance on the Reapers and move them 12" to crowd out my CL, it also puts me in Njord killing range. The Hunters go double shots again and hide from Odins move to engage the single Phobos, the Despoiler has a crack at a Phobos. I kill 2 Phobos and The Reapers inflict 4 wounds on the Njord (managing only a solitary 4+ in the 12 dice they rolled).
Ed jumps his Hera and guns for the last Slayer, only does 1 wound. The Slayer and Reaver return fire and only do 2 damage.
I activate the Destroyers, as I'm afraid to lose them to Odins and a Njord downing a building, they abandon the structure.
Eds final Phobos takes 4 wounds off of the Despoiler in one volley
My Overseer moves to engage the Njord, she hits with all 8 shots then spectacularly fails to kill it, getting 1 wound (5 ones were rolled to wound!)
My troops activate, so a fight will happen. I fail to find the objective in the centre building with Warriors and worms, and fail with worms in my home building. 1 squad of Warriors gets out of the centre building and retreats back to the home building. The rest of the Warriors and worms in the centre building get turned into a Jackson Pollack painting, but I did drag 2 Sirens and 2 Valkyries to Valhalla with me.
The Njord and Odins activate, the Reapers get a proper battering and all get blown to dust. The machine guns start pelting the Destroyers removing one.
My last squad of Warriors find the objective and extract it.
I fail in all attempts to inflict the final wound on the Hera, but the monitors close in for a dive bomb.

Score: Ed 4 (2CL + obj) Mike 6 (4CL + obj)

End of Turn 4
I win activation again (yay me) and play Underground Monorail from my home building to the centre. 
My Slayer and Reaver finish off the Hera so Ed has to discard down to 1 card. I wonder why he doesn't reaction fire my Reaver.
Ed plays Counter-measures hack AGAIN on his Phobos. This time though I'm ready and Espionage it, so he has a pop at the Slayer to try and take it's last wound which fails. 
My Hunters round the red building and unleash hell onto a solitary Odin, resulting in sweet Fanny Adams, the Despoiler also fails miserably in removing the Phobos. 
The Odins and very weary Njord open fire on the Hunters but only kill one, machine guns again on the Destroyers and another bites the dust. 
Ed fails his search rolls in the centre. We do our final moves of the turn, troops and non-essentials. 
Ed requires his beauty sleep so we call it as it's pretty safe to assume what will happen turn 6

Score: Ed 4 (2CL + obj) Mike 8 (6CL + obj)

End of turn 5
The theoretical turn 6 - Ed finds objective but can't extract.
Ed's Phobos dies
My Hunters die
I win both CLs as I have troops heading for each, just in case.

Final Score: Ed 5 (2CL + 2obj - 1 held) Mike 10 (8CL + obj)


All in all a very enjoyable game. I think the turning point was the Phobos with CM hack failing to kill the Overseer. It would have been a very different game had that happened.
I think the scoreline shows how important CL are in these games. Once you lose control it is an uphill task to claw it back.
I like my list, I really like the flexibility it offers. Even though the Slayers are very fragile, they are a lot easier to hide than an Oppressor. Also they are quicker (dropship and Mf). The lone Reaver is useful too.

We both made a few mistakes due to rustiness. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but I think Ed should have sent his Valkyries in earlier against me in the centre, then backed up with Sirens a turn later. Also I think when his Longreach came on, they should have gone to the top left CL.
Placement of any model within an inch of a building in tatters is a reoccurring thing with him.

I would make a couple of changes to Ed's list too. I would drop the Njord for 2 Neptunes (gain 30 points). Downgrade the Longreach to standard Immortals (gain 12 points) then give the Hera squad a Neptune.
This would greatly increase the speed of the army and allow the Odins to drop a turn earlier. Also it would give the Hera a huge amount of range and she can drop from a full speed Neptune.
It's too late now, lists have been submitted. Also I think Ed would never drop his Njord - sometimes he can be a bit stubborn.


  1. Hi there
    I have shared your blog post on 10mm Wargaming Facebook Page ( and 10mm Wargaming Facbook Group (

    Take care


  2. Awesome batrep, Mike, thank you!

    I haven't played many games of Dropzone since Invasion, either (obviously I didn't go, but it's a temporal stake in the ground), and the last one was with UCM on 15 Oct, so I'm kinda rusty with my PHR, as well, and that's what I plan on taking to the LVO the first week of February. That's the plan, anyway. I've been concentrating on work (new job), family stuff, and Dropfleet, but that's going to shift a bit. Also the lack of a FLGS within reasonable driving distance has put a damper on things. But my daughter's wedding is this Saturday, and we leave tomorrow (Thursday) for Salt Lake City and get back late Sunday. So no gaming or hobby time except maybe a little hobby time tomorrow (more UCM cruisers!) after I pack and before we head to the airport.

    Anyway, what I'm trying to get to is, we're going to be having a Campaign Day on 10 December, where two teams of three will play (in opposing pairs) one game of Dropfleet and two games of Dropzone each over the course of the day. I'm doing a Dropzone Demo Day on 3 December at the FLGS that should be open by then (that's their Grand Opening weekend), then after the 10th it's Holiday Time with my oldest daughter and her new husband, and my youngest daughter, all coming home (no Jake this year, very sad face, but he will be at the wedding). Somewhere in there the wife and I need to transform the guest bedroom from a twin bed into a queen bed for the newlyweds, and all that that entails, so the odds of me getting any sort of games in before after the New Year are slim to none. I should be able to play on the Campaign Day on the 10th, but I'm the ringer, so that could change (sad face again).

    Anyway, sorry for the stream of consciousness, was sorta thinking "out loud" there. Best of luck at Warfare! Looking forward to your review(s)!