Monday, 27 February 2017

Ed and Joe Drop into Warboar

We've selected Bettys new hair do.
Dropfleet has just had an official tournament in the dark grey area of London town known as Bromley. The tournament was held as a way of seeing how players were playing the latest work of the Hawk chaps, but it was also held to playtest the new command cards for Dropfleet.

So being the lover of Dropfleet that I am, I scabbed a lift off Joe and we went to have a day of playing with spaceships. I did some filming to give our impressions of the event and how the games were going. I also had a bit of a chat with Dave Lewis at the end of the day about his impressions of how the meta was developing and how the day went.

The Warboar venue was a really great place for the tournament, the staff were friendly and there was some lovely food available and they were happy to bring it to your table which was really nice. The shop itself is rather hilariously two doors down from the local Goat Whisperers shop, which I remember going to staff meetings in years and years ago. Hands down Warboar is a better shop.

Here is a map for it if you want to go along, a local NCP carpark had plenty of spaces to park and just nextdoor as well. Can't recommend the place enough, if you're in south east London get your bum down there and play some games, you should always support your FLGS!

Warboars site is here and Facebook page here

So how did the tournament go? It was a lot of fun for me, I do like floating around, I was a little disappointed with my results, two draws and a very minor win, but I feel that may have been down to just getting further into the games, none of my games went beyond turn five. I'm not naturally a very fast player and I'm still getting used to this game. Playing Dropzone I'm much faster at making my decisions but Dropfleet is naturally a game that requires precision of movement and also possessing a certain predictive ability of how this and the next few turns will play out slows me down a fair bit. But I'm getting quicker and the impressions I got from the Hawk team are that there will be a 'fast play' version of the rules system, streamlining some of the nittier grittier parts of the Dropfleet mechanics, with particular emphasis on the ground assault phase and a rejigging of how locations score.

Below are the tournament results I got sent afterward and the table makes for some interesting reading:
Player Faction Game 1 TPs Game 2 TPs Game 3 TPs VPs for Vps against VP diff Total TPs
Jon Chaddock Shaltari 20 20 20 117 14 103 60
Alex Barton UCM 12 13 18 65 34 31 43
Hawk Andrew PHR 11 10 15 77 60 17 36
Matt Duran UCM 9 16 10 89 63 26 35
Ed Scullion PHR 10 10 14 39 29 10 34
Hawk Liam UCM 8 10 15 53 47 6 33
Hawk Sean Shaltari 16 0 16 47 43 4 32
Hawk Dave UCM 10 12 10 62 61 1 32
Ian James Scourge 4 10 16 69 68 1 30
Chris Lubodzini Scourge 6 8 16 53 56 -3 30
Azad Nandoo Shaltari 14 16 0 30 58 -28 30
Neil Harris PHR 11 7 11 38 38 0 29
Xavier Lindsey PHR 10 8 9 42 53 -11 27
Daniel Brown Scourge 10 15 2 44 62 -18 27
Hawk Darren Scourge 7 12 6 36 48 -12 25
Chris Pratchett Scourge 9 10 5 45 59 -14 24
Joe Whiddet UCM 13 4 5 41 58 -17 22
Rob Wallace Scourge 10 5 4 24 48 -24 19
Tony Brown Scourge 10 4 4 43 83 -40 18
Mike Tamiolo Shaltari 0 10 4 56 98 -42 14

From this we can see that despite Scourge having the most players the highest they got was 9th, now part of that could be put down to players or maybe other reasons but it does still surprise me to see that many scourge in the bottom half. But much like the Scourge in DZC they are a very refined army to play as, both fragile and yet merciless on the attack so this could explain their rather poor placing. UCM had a very strong showing in the tournament having the largest faction presence in the top 10. PHR did pretty solidly considering their small numbers, and the Shaltari players had some of the largest points games under their belt. The final game top table game was between Jon Chaddock and Azad Nandoo, and Jon Chaddock battered the player who previously had had a very strong showing in the other two games. Showing Shaltari to be a very very good faction in the game, one of those factions much like the scourge that are tricky to master but once you know their advantages you can really push them hard to make up for their factional weaknesses. Also Jon Chaddock's list had 21 Glass in it which were throwing out 105 shots a turn which was clearly not to be sniffed at, and prompted some raised eyebrows in the Hawk team.

The new Dropfleet Command Cards were a lot of fun some very fluffy things in there and they all very much fitted within their respective factions play style and thematic background. Especially the scourge deck, which got a few grumbles just because of how much it messes with the opponent! The PHR deck had a strong showing and really pushed the toughness of the faction in a fun way, the decks bring in some of the rules that so far hadn't had a ship attached to them so that opens up some cool possibilities for the future. I'm really excited to get my hands on the full production decks when they come out.

Anyway I really enjoyed the event and I'm looking forward to seeing the deveolpments in the near future. (Fingers crossed PHR get all the linked guns in the world!)

Let me know what you think in the comments below about the tournament results. 
Any surprises  there? Or has this confirmed some suspicions of yours? 


  1. Thank you for your effort of filming and commenting. I wonder how many points were played?

  2. I saw Dave's list when he was painting it at LVO, and wondered if his low strike carrier count was a fluke or mistake. Hearing that other Hawk guys also play with such low, low, strike carrier count REALLY surprises me! I feel like you need at least 8+ because you're going to lose some, and if that happens then you just like... don't have any presence at a cluster? That seems so illogical to me when the victory conditions (and fluff!) are all about landing boots on the ground. When the Phoenix group brought to LVO 3-4 motherships (with enough gates to use them), or 8 Medea and 3 Troopships... we dominated because our opponents brought lists like Hawk makes and just couldn't keep up with the ground game where the VP comes from.

    I'm rambling, I guess my general wondering was something about if the game was played and balanced by Hawk with 4-5 strike carriers in mind? Were they assuming players wouldn't emphasize the part that generates VP? Are we breaking it by bringing so much ground game?

  3. Considering the Shaltari TP breaks so widely - either they get shut out or they essentially shut out their opponent - definitely suggests they need a closer balance pass, particularly when you see that none of the three other factions show the same trend to that extreme.

    1. It may just be the glass - the winning list seems to be mostly glass and troop deployment, and utterly obliterated all other lists.

    2. Keep in mind that the Glass list played all 3 of the other Shaltari players, leading to their associated "0" TP scores. Looking at their other games indicates that their scores were closer to average.

  4. I am headed to the UKGEXPO tournament in June with my UCM, can't wait! Thanks for the write-up.

    I'm not sure I would play against someone that bought a 'gamey' list like the glass more than once, I don't mind losing but I'm not a big fan of min/max spam that seeks to bend the rules.

    The lists I am working on are light on troop deployment - 1/2 troopships and between 2 and 4 strike carriers - but that's because I want to play a game involving spaceships shooting each other, not a glorified bus service.