Wednesday, 25 October 2017

TTCombat Acquires Hawk Wargames

It's been a while since I have penned anything Hawk related. Penned anything really, actually, I've been a bit slack of late. Sos 'bout dat. I assumed my next post on a subject associated with our favourite bird of prey studio would be related with Dropzone Commander V2, and although this article is a little about that, it's mostly about the ground breaking news (as of yesterday, that's still pretty quick for us at OB) that has left the best of us gobsmacked, shell shocked, and 'in all of a tizz'.

TTCombat, the wargaming wing of Troll Trader, have acquired Hawk Wargames.

I've always loved the word 'acquired'. It's just a fancy word for 'I've taken this, and it was yours but now it's mine. Hah.' I associate it with the Resident Evil franchise, where you basically either steal or loot gubbins by 'acquiring' it. Lucky that punk Leon didn't get shot, no good looting punk. I'm not suggesting that TTCombat looted Hawk, this is just an observation of the word...

Anyway, enough of that, have a goosey gander at the statement;

Today we have an extremely exciting announcement here at TTCombat. We have completed a deal with Hawk Wargames to purchase both the incredible Dropzone Commander and Dropfleet Commander.
For the past few months we have been talking to Hawk about handling their logistics. The difficulty of off-site production combined with fulfilling one of the most successful UK wargaming Kickstarters of all time was putting strain on their business.

David Lewis is one of the most talented designers in the industry; he’s made two amazing games and a beautiful range of miniatures to support them. However, as time went on, David found himself spending most of his time running a company and dealing with the fall-out from the Dropfleet Commander Kickstarter.

After discussions on how to best move the business forward into 2018 and beyond, we both came to the conclusion that it would be better for Hawk Wargames to become a part of the TTCombat family.

David is of course staying on as lead designer and will now have his time freed up to do what he does best: design breath-taking miniatures. The TTCombat team have been working on a range of buildings and accessories which will launch alongside Dropzone Commander 2.0 at Salute in April, and there will be plenty more before then!

We have a lot of moulds that require remaking, so some supplies may be a bit short while we facilitate the transition, so we please ask all the DZC and DFC fans to be patient with us during this time. If you’ve followed TTCombat in the past, you’ll know that it won’t be long before everything is up and running.

The Dropfleet Commander Battle Fleet box deals will finally see release at the end of November and we are already building a good quantity of stock to ensure we can meet demand. David has already begun work on the destroyers for Dropfleet and they are looking fantastic!

The Dropfleet Commander Kickstarter still has some items outstanding, and we at TTCombat will be ensuring that all backers will receive all of their rewards promptly. If we have to make your toys from scratch then we will get pouring resin! There are also some outstanding vouchers, which of course we will be honouring via the TTCombat webstore. Once we have organised the stock we have collected from Hawk and got it all listed, you’ll be able to choose from any Dropzone Commander or Dropfleet Commander products, or the full range of TTCombat games, scenery, and accessories!

The next couple of months will be a little hectic as we get everything back on track, but once we do, hold on tight! We have some exciting years ahead... a third Commander game in 2018 anyone?


I think the biggest question being asked by the community is; "I don't think I'm sexist, but I probably am or have been at least a little by accident?". Now focussing a little more specifically on Hawk's clientele; "Err... WTF LOL? Dis Gud?!?". I've met a lot of you, that's how you talk, trust me.

With this 'merge' literally just happening it's definitely too early to 'acquire' some hand guns and ink ribbons and run into the forums to shout about the apocalypse, shooting your DessertPuddingMagnumIceCreamGun in the air and getting the other hand all mucky and blue with ink from that ribbon you grabbed but don't know why but looked like it needed saving? On the other hand it's of course natural to have concerns. Late last week we met up with Hawk to discuss V2, and when they broke this news to us I raised an eyebrow all the way to the ceiling. The current IPs that TTC own aren't exactly noteworthy, with Carnevale probably being the biggest due to the recently successful KickStarter and the others (Rumbleslam and Relic, amongst other less known titles) being much smaller games in market share, player base, and scope of future development, making Hawk Wargames somewhat a coup for TTC. Dropzone and Dropfleet Commander are certainly going to be their main game, that is unless of course they are crazy and under finance Project DropEverything Commander.

TTC are also associated with scenery, cheap but decent by public standards, and I was pleasantly surprised to find out that they are vertically integrated; they own all their own casting and production machines and all Hawk products will be manufactured in house as is my understanding. This is a bonus and bound to help with distribution of both game systems in UK and Europe, with US distribution still reliant on their distro partners across the pond. This is, of course, if Hawk's resin can be copied to an acceptable level. With Dave behind QC though I'm sure it will be more than adequate, he is the world's premier resin snob.

We're all optimistic for what this merge represents for the future of Hawk's game systems. Although TTCombat remain a largely unknown factor when handling a property this large it can only be good that the management side of affairs, which Dave freely admits he has never liked, is now handled by a company which can produce their own gear. With this in mind it means Dave can focus on his two games, and with as much potential as Zone has (I'm sorry Fleet fans, Zone has more legs to it in my sure to be controversial opinion) maybe we can see it become fulfilled, rather than loiter in the shadows of giants, eating the scraps of malcontent gamers left in their wake.

It's fair to say I am still underwhelmed by what Dropzone Commander Version 2 has to offer right now (an opinion not necessarily shared by the other OB buoys), but I am still so fond of the game and company, and hope that this merge works for all parties involved; including all the boys and girls who have already invested in the games.


  1. I hope so too. Only time will tell of course, but more staff to help out with some of the things Hawk was struggling with appears, at least on paper, to be a good thing.

  2. "It's fair to say I am still underwhelmed by what Dropzone Commander Version 2"

    You can't just drop a statement like that without context... :S

    The wait for my stuff has depleted my enthusiam for Commander games. I do hope that I can finally get everything and get my groove back.

    1. I'm Snoop Doggy Dan, and I'll drop it like it's hot! Nothing I haven't said on the forums, biggest sticking point for me is Drop and Shoot, but there are other bits too that hopefully our chat with Hawk helped 'round off' a bit.

    2. Dans always underwhelmed, for him every silver lining has a cloud.

  3. And then they immediately sacked half the team. I'm glad they at least shot my optimism early on.

    It's all rather bittersweet. I fully expect massive improvements to logistics since TT has the expertise and resources to do that, but I also expect long term quality to suffer unless Dave can get some good TT employees to play the game regularly and deal with Talon suggestions.

    1. That was a surprise to all, especially the poor guys that got booted! It seems a strange decision to kick out a team who were prepped to playtest V2, but apparently a number of TTC staff play the game so I guess they feel they have it covered.

      I'll remain hopeful but cautious for now.