Monday, 2 October 2017

Goodbye DzC Version 1: The Long Kiss Goodnight

Check out my mad MS paint skillz!

The end of an era, the passing of an old friend......

September 24th 2017 will be forever marked as the last day of the last Invasion for Dropzone Commander version 1. I will certainly miss it, but out of the ashes will rise a new version. A better version? Who knows at this time.

I digress, I want to talk about Invasion, and why the hell not. I won. Again.

For those that have listened to the Orbital Bombardment podcast, I have been planning a ‘secret project’ for a couple of years now. This happened to be an L.A.P.D. themed Allied Resistance army.

As this was the last chance to play the original Dropzone Commander I wanted to finish them and take them, alas I did not finish painting the army.

My main reasoning for bringing unpainted model was that Resistance has never won an Invasion tournament before, the only faction without a major win, so I took it as an opportunity of a challenge to try and change that. 

So, my list. Mainly based on sound theory and 2 whole practice games, maybe 3...

I’ll start with the Command battle-group. This contained the trusty Thunderstorm and 2 Typhoons. Primarily used for urban renewal and a great way to deal with tough units. Ideally I would have liked 3 Typhoons, but you can’t have everything. The Typhoons with 3 E10 shots, Strafe and the ability to increase range by dropping shots made them my MVPs

Next my armour group, this contained 3 Gun Wagons in a Kraken and 3 Thunder Wagons. Although they don’t really synergise together, they keep a weak battle-group around all game. In my experience with playing against Resistance, if there is a battle-group containing just Gun Wagons and their Kraken, it is normally destroyed by turn 4, meaning you are a battle-group down. The Gun Wagons are extremely reliable AA, throwing out a decent amount of shots with high accuracy. 

On to Infantry. In Dropzone, I like to keep my Infantry to as few battle-groups as possible, for one main reason, to maximise activation efficiency. With Resistance, a standard army will have more infantry than any other faction. I have taken 6 squads but I’ve seen armies with 8-10 squads of infantry.  When activating one of my Infantry groups, I would normally have 3 squads to use, or search with. This really helps with objective finding missions. As you can see from the list, I relied quite heavily on the exotic choices like Sappers, Occupation Veterans and MFR, including only 1 squad of basic troops (the Resistance Fighters). The major weakness of the Resistance is their ability to move from building to building swiftly, and extracting the objectives off the table; this is why I included the MFR and Freeriders. 

My next battle-group is the Zhukovs, they are a formidable AA threat striking fear in the hearts of many UCM, Shaltari and Scourge generals. Although they won’t normally achieve their points back they make your opponent play around them. 

Lastly is the fleet group, sporting a single Archangel Pathfinder. As a UCM player, I don’t like fielding only 1 fast mover as it will normally lead to being down a battle-group activation more often than not, but how can you not have a Pathfinder? 2 E7 shots hitting on a 2+ anywhere on the battle-field. 

So that is my list covered, onto the games themselves. 

Invasion in all it's glory

Game 1
Opponent: Kanan
Faction: UCM
Mission: Bunker Assault
Score: 19-1

A perfect start for me with choice of mission. The Resistance's biggest selling point is their ability to hold Focal Points, and a slow roll to dominate them all. I came up against 2 broadswords though, a tough prospect. It took me 5 turns to remove one, and I didn't touch the other. In the end I got to all the places I needed to get to and got over 1100 kill points on the way. Kanan was a great opponent and a lovely guy. 

Game 2
Opponent: Phil H
Faction: Scourge
Mission: Crucible
Score: 18-2

Highlight of the weekend. Spot prize for Bethany, first player to lose their commander
Crucible is a tough mission. I went aggressive, and was rewarded for it. I think my opponent may have forgotten about the Critical Location in the centre, either that or he gave it up knowing that whatever was placed there would be annihilated. I lucked out in turn 2, by destroying a 30 point building in one turn. It just happened to have Evisceraters and Destroyers in. I managed to extract 2 objectives and hold the Critical Location for 4 turns, together with another 1100+ kill points for another big win.

Game 3
Opponent: Steve S
Faction: PHR
Mission: Ground Control
Score: 10-10

Not a great mission for Invasion. It's a bit bland. 4 turns of not much happening followed by 2 turns with a calculator. Steve was a great opponent, but I think I suffered from making a couple of mistakes and succumbing to a couple of clutch rolls that ultimately meant I didn't win the game. The worst of which was a Neptune shooting a Jackson, rolling the 6 to damage it, then it gets wrecked, followed by both bases of infantry being destroyed on a 4+. If any one of those had survived it would have been a whole different story. But a draw is a draw. I had a minor kill point advantage, but that doesn't matter if you don't win the game!

At the end of the day I had accumulated 47 points from 3 games. Joe had 49!!

Game 4
Opponent: Christian C
Faction: UCM
Mission: Surging Strike
Score: 19-1

Due to an unfortunate accident with Joe's wife (she's doing OK now), Joe could not attend on day 2. This was really bad luck for Joe, he was in a good position.

This was quite literally a game of 2 halves, mainly due to Christian's dice. To begin with the were hotter than a strip club in lava land, let me give you a couple of examples... One volley from 3 Katanas on the building with my Sappers in, good-bye Sappers to falling masonry. The whole squad gone. That was followed up by 8 shots at a Free-Riders base, needing 6's to hit he got 6 hits, and then with 5's to wound, he got 5 wounds!!

By the end of the game though, Christian couldn't hit a barn door with a banjo (what does that EVEN mean?). The game hinged on a couple of things that happened in the 6th turn. I had been keeping hold of a Brave Gamble from turn 3, I drew out an Espionage by trying field repairs, then used Brave Gamble to take out a Gladius with my Thunderstorm. I then blocked off a Focal Point from his Broadsword with it. The Broadsword then rolled a 1 to damage the Thunderstorm. It couldn't have gone better for me.

In the end I finished very well and got a large win, and a decent amount of kill points too (1000+).

Game 5
Opponent: Charlie H
Faction: Shaltari
Mission: Military Complex
Score: 10-10

So we get to the final game, due to the huge wins I've had, I have an 11 point lead over 2nd place, and a 13 point lead over my opponent.

This made the game a bit of a non-event. I knew a draw would more than suit my needs, and after turn 3 that was least the game would be as I had found 2 objectives. Charlie also found 2 and had no chance with the last as the building was getting pummelled by my Thunderstorm and Typhoons. We called the game on turn 5 with over an hour left of the round as there was nothing more to do than go through the motions.

Charlie is a great opponent - he knows what he is doing with his Shaltari and I hope next time we play it is a proper game. Don't get me wrong, I knew what I was doing. I played for a draw as that is what I needed. 

Say cheese!

After all the dice had been laid to rest (or unceremoniously burnt) I was crowned Champion, for the 4th time, and the last time for version 1. These were probably my last games of Dropzone Commander, until the new version comes out (insert sad face). Although I will be beta testing V2, so don't feel too sorry for me.

Maybe we at OB could do a last hurrah video of version 1.... Who knows.

Happy gaming everyone!

Invasion Roll of Honour
Feb '13 - Andrew Page - PHR (1 day, 3 game event)
Feb '14 - Dan Cates - Shaltari
Sep '14 - Dan Cates - Shaltari
Jan '15 - Mike Burch - Shaltari
Sep '15 - Leopold Stein - PHR
Jan '16 - Mike Burch - UCM
Sep '16 - Erik Robertson - Scourge
Jan '17 - Mike Burch - UCM
Sep '17 - Mike Burch - Allied Resistance


  1. Congrats Mike, very special to win it with so many different factions.

    Any ideas on whether we will have version 2 by Christmas?


    1. Before I knew they were moving warehouse this month I would have said yes, but now I'm not so sure...

    2. Thanks SB
      Personally, I hope it is not out by Xmas. I want to see a better product and I am happy to wait a little longer for that. I guess Salute would be the next best time to release, that would suit me fine.

  2. Congrats Mike.

    You winning time and again is the best prooft that Dropzone is no mere game of chance :).