Monday, 24 June 2019

Totally Unofficial Dropzone Commander V2 Errata


When a new game is launched there's bound to be teething issues, right? A typo here, a clarification there, a Traffic James every so often, and the new Dropzone Commander rules found in Battle for Earth have proven to be no different. Well, I suppose you could say it's a little different, considering the development time, competent play test groups (meant sincerely, before salt gets ground out) and a great core rules set to build from.

Let's not beat around that busy, bustling bush though, there are issues with the new rules. Completely setting aside the differences to V1 and whether they are better or worse, as this is a point of opinion, there are substantial holes in the core rules, which if followed to the word (and not to 'having fun rules', as alluded to in the second paragraph of the book) would make V2 almost unplayable. That's not an exaggeration, on my first read through I had over a dozen questions regarding mostly core concepts!

So with that in mind I have set about using my experience of V1 and war gaming in general (which to those of you who aren't familiar with me, is plentiful) to fill in gaps and make V2 a, well, playable game, by issuing a completely unofficial, I'm sure soon to be shut down / made irrelevant, errata for those of who require RAW to play our games! This is a list of clarification, rules expansion, and some amendments to rules, but always made with what I have presumed to be the book's intention. I'll include examples and explanations by number below the changes.

If you give them a go let me know how it goes in the comments, so we can feedback any useful information to TTC. Also if there is something not addressed here let me know and I'll look into it. The goal is to make Zone as good as it can be after all!

Fore-note: Although I participated in very early Alpha testing for V2 I have not done any Beta testing, or spoken to Dave Lewis or TTC in any capacity regarding rules. This is done off my own back, using my own intuition.


OB Errata .2
1) Aircraft Landing - Aircraft may not land within 2" of non-friendly vehicles or landed aircraft, measured from the centre of the aircraft.

2) Activating transports with Squads - A player will choose which empty transports to activate with a Battlegroup as normal, but if they wish to use the transport to interact with a friendly squad (i.e. embark them) they will announce this on activating the squad. The transport will then move and activate with the squad, in regards to any moving and shooting actions. Transports with Squads embarked at the beginning of their activation share an activation with the embarked squad, in regards to movement and shooting. If a transport holds multiple squads it should treat them all as the same squad in regards to moving, allowing the transport to disembark all squads simultaneously (as it can only make one disembark a turn).

3) Embarking / Disembarking ownership - The transport of which a squad is embarked into / disembarked from counts as having made the 'action'. Units which have embarked / disembarked may not interact with any further embark / disembark 'actions' this turn.

4) Embarking / Disembarking range - Addition to the 2" rule "...or if the model does not allow for a unit to be within 2", touching the transport."

5) Units inside a transport and abilities - Any units embarked on a transport or in Holding do not count as being on the table and may not use or confer any abilities they posses (e.g. The Screamer's penalty to searching and fortitude, and all scout's influence range). As such a unit housing a commander does not count as being on the table if embarked or in holding, and the CV of the unit may not be used.

6) Move & Fire: 0" and Disembarking - A unit which has disembarked counts as having moved, for the purposes of shooting.

7) Failing fortitude and embarking directly into a transport - If a squad fails a fortitude test and wishes to embark directly into a transport, it must either be a ground transport or a landed aerial transport, following usual embarking restrictions.

8) Destroyed aerial transport containing units - Addition to Shooting at Aircraft rules using these damage rolls "If any embarked units survive the damage place them within 2" of the destroyed transport. If a unit containing other units is destroyed, roll for each of the units inside and any that survive are placed within 2" of the originally destroyed transport. Once all surviving units are placed remove the originally destroyed transport from the table. Any units destroyed in this way score kill points for your opponents. e.g. a Condor containing two bears, which in turn house 3 units of Legionaries each, is destroyed. Using the Shooting at Aircraft rules determine if the Bears survive. If any do not, then roll for each Legionnaire unit within it. Place all surviving units within 2" of the original destroyed transport.

9) Reaction fire and assigning shots - Units will perform reaction fire one at a time, one after the other, until the target is dead or the opponent decides to not perform any more reaction fire. The owner of any units able to reaction fire decides which order to perform the shots.

10) CQ outside of a garrison - Separate section, in addition to the current. "As with CQ inside a garrison the attacker must be in body/base to body/base contact with the target, and all attacks made with a CQ weapon hit automatically. Any successful damage is applied on a unit to unit basis however, and is not spread across a squad (i.e. a unit can only damage a unit it is in contact with). Units which suffer damage from CQ attacks outside of a garrison do not require a fortitude check.

11) CQ and using non-CQ weapons - If a friendly unit is touching any enemy units it may only target those enemies with CQ weapons. If the friendly unit has other, non-CQ profiles, it may use these on other targets (even from the same squad, they must just not be touching).

12) Reduced-X - Instead of adding 1 energy per remaining shot, the unit may add one energy per remaining DP. All other rules remain.

13) Battlegroup limit - The number of Battlegroups allowed in a roster is only limited by the allocation of the roster type. i.e. in a Clash size roster you may have up to 9 battlegroups.

14) Transports outside of Auxiliary and Transport Battlegroup - If a unit outside of Auxiliary and Transport Battlegroup has transport capacity it may only only carry squads from it's own Battlegroup.

Note: Where the term 'action' is used, this is to differentiate it from actual in turn actions, such as moving and shooting. I don't willingly use it but my literacy skills have failed in finding a different word. If you can think of an alternative, suitable term, please comment below!

Explanation
1) Aircraft Landing - The current rules don't allow for Aircraft to land within 2" of friendly vehicles, causing big issues when attempting to embark squads, a problem which this solves.

2) Activating transports with Squads - There is an unusual interaction between aircraft and embarking infantry squads now, where if the infantry squad is in a garrison and the aerial transport is not already landed they cannot deploy directly into the aircraft, as their activation's do not trigger simultaneously. The change to this rule will allow the aircraft to land, then the Infantry to embark, and then for the aircraft to move again.

3) Embarking / Disembarking ownership - The rules for this just simply aren't in the book, and it is too vague for it to be 'either or both the transport and squad' as it is currently. This puts the onus on the transport when rules are concerned, and seemed logical for it to be the transport performing the 'action' rather then the squad.

4) Embarking / Disembarking range - Yeh. Giant floating bouncy castles and rulers exist within our plane of reality. Just saying. I didn't want to give an extra 1" of movement to units, so this seems a fair compromise.

5) Units inside a transport and abilities - Another spot where rules aren't present, but are inferred through other rules; i.e. "a Unit is ignored for all game purposes". It makes aggressive commanders who don't want to be on the table turn 1 considerably worse, and attempting to redeploy any commander a hassle, but this is in the leaning into the way the rules are written.

6) Move & Fire: 0" and Disembarking - Clearly it's not the intention to allow Kodiak's to disembark and shoot! I hope... This marries in with the rules for move and fire from V1.

7) Failing fortitude and embarking directly into a transport - This is a clarification using the current RAW in the book, re aerial transports and landing to embark/disembark. If you fail fortitude out of activation you don't have the opportunity to land an aircraft. If you fail in activation, using errata rule "2" you can have the foresight to land the aircraft, make and fail the roll, and the embark directly into the transport, and then move it afterwards (because they move as a squad).

8) Destroyed aerial transport containing units - I can probably write this clearer (but I'm on lunch, so you'll get what you're given), but it gives guidance on how to deal with these situations.

9) Reaction Fire and assigning shots - There is a discrepancy in the Reaction Fire rules where it mentions it is performed squad by squad, and then later in the same paragraph unit by unit. I am erring on the side of V1 rules for this, which never proved to be a problem in my experience.

10) CQ outside of a garrison - It's clear that the rules for CQ are written with only Infantry in mind, and it makes no sense for multiple hits against 1 vehicle to be spread across the squad who could be many inches away from the target.

11) CQ and using non-CQ weapons - This is my interpretation of the RAW. It cannot be intention that if an Oppressor touches an enemy unit it can only use it's CQ weapon and nothing else? In my opinion you should be able to use all your weapons on an enemy you are touching, but I am sticking to the rules as much as possible.

12) Reduced-X - Now this is a rule change. When I first read this rule and realised that Eviscerators can deal a single E23 CQ hit per base I had to re-read it a few times, but that's RAW, and a Dragon Ball Z measuring of power! The current rule allows lots of different infantry units to amass outrageously powerful shots which can target vehicles, but more dangerously aircraft! Imagine a Pungari squad unleashing four E12 shots into your aircraft! This mitigates the abuse that this rule will receive (except from UCM Flakk teams as it turns out, but there's only so much a boy can do). #bringbacksmallarms

13) Battlegroup limit - This is more of a clarification for those of us with V1 hangover (which limited a roster to 6 Battlegroups), but I couldn't find a rule to say you can't take up to the max compliment allowed. Will your force be any good? Probably not at Clash or Skirmish, as each group will be to watered down, but it's worth mentioning.

14) Transports outside of Auxiliary and Transport Battlegroup - The rules are vague (that's a shocker) as how to handle transports within 'proper' BGs, and if they can interact with squads from other BGs. To simplify the confusion this will cause, I've drawn on similarities from V1, and limited them to only carrying squads within a BG, following all the other normal (and OB errata'd) transport rules.

10 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks chap, let me know how you get on with them!

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  2. Very sensible for the most part! Have you talked to Gary Connell (of Hotdrop Studios)? He's currently maintaining a Community Errata in the facebook group? https://www.facebook.com/groups/DZC.Community/permalink/2744379782242283/

    For yours, the only one i really disagree is 14). My best guess according to the rules and my own preferences is as follows:

    You got:
    a Unit in Battlegroup A
    a Ground Transport in Battlegroup B
    an Air Transport in Battlegroup C (currently in the air)

    they all have the correct transport icons and are in reasonable proximity to one another.

    When you activate BG A the Unit can enter or exit the Transport in BG B but not the one in BG C since it has not landed.
    When you activate BG B the Transport can move around with or without anything on board. It cannot actively load or unload units per Ground Transport rules.
    When you activate BG C the Air Transport can move around and load/unload units as per Air Transport rules.

    As far as my understanding goes the current rules could use clarification but there's no actual conflict.
    The BG split between transports and transported units makes it more difficult to effectively cover distance but that is something i'd consider a good thing. This way you are enouraged to use non-auxiliary transports for units in their own Battlegroup but you can load others in a pinch provided you manage to correctly juggle the activation order.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks chap, Gary and I chat and re the rules, and he used some of the above in that community errata. We don't always agree though, as for instance, it's my opinion that the transport should make the embark or disembark 'action', and he doesn't think it should. Not sure why, it's cleaner my way.

      Re 14, using a unit to be part of an embark/disembark which belongs to another BG is so messy and complicated depending on other aspects of the rules; even your example is complicated (as is frankly everything to do with transports in V2)! I'm not saying you're wrong, it's just very hard to plug the gaps as most will have different opinions on how things should work, it's the nature of the beast. The above is here to help people play the game with less questions, but of course don't use whichever bits you don't agree with.

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  3. #bringbacksmallarms indeed. I don't mind some of the weapon rule changes like the new strafe, but combining RW and SA into a weird anti-air focus was a horrible decision imo. Seems like it wasn't thought through at all past Legionnaires and Warriors, and the attempt at streamlining ends up being far more confusing and complex than the original two rules.

    Besides, Valks have been buffed more than enough already. They don't need to start belting out hyper-mobile E13s as well.

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  4. These are great. I mostly agree with them, though personally I would allow a commander to use CV when embarked and on table. We can picture advanced command systems that enable it to happen. Anyway, this is a great initiative. It's disappointing so many basic holes have been allowed into a new rulebook. Dan, you're being quite diplomatic and positive about it, but it falls well short of my expectation for a ruleset. Still, this can provide the seed for an official fix.

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    1. This errata is based on RAW where possible, and RAW in the book it states that units aren't considered on the board when in a transport, so you can blame TTC for that one.

      There's also a community errata on the FB community, but they've started diving into unit changes and I fear it's going to miss the point and try to change the rules completely, which although may not be a bad thing in some places, will quickly get confusing.

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  5. Agreed. There is a fan run forum now online. Hoping we can consolidate various discussions there. I find a forum a good solution for looking up and tracking information.

    The forum URL is: http://dropcommander.com

    There is a post pointing back to here as well: http://www.dropcommander.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=114&p=611#p611

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  6. Shame TTCombat don't want commanders in aerial transports acting as commanders. I personally like that image as I find it immersive. In gameplay terms, you could stop the commander playing command cards but still count his CV.

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