Saturday, September 26, 2015

Dropzone Commander league night

Last week I dropped in to Huzzah Hobbies for the Dropzone Commander league night being run by the erstwhile Scott of Itty Bitty Soldiers and other well-known hobby haunts.  I have played maybe 5 or 6 games of DZC, so I am not an expert and consider every game a learning experience.

I took a 1500 point Post-Human Republic Army consisting of the following:

Clash: 1498/1500 points
Standard Army
PHR Standard Roster [1498/1500 pts]
Hand of the Sphere [241 pts]
Command Squad: Zeus(Councillor), Odin, Neptune [241 pts]
Battle Pantheon [450 pts]
Battle Squad: 2x Ares, 2x Phobos, 2x Neptune [290 pts]
Helios Squad: 2x Helios, Neptune [160 pts]
Battle Pantheon [290 pts]
Battle Squad: 2x Ares, 2x Phobos, 2x Neptune [290 pts]
Immortals [312 pts]
Immortals: 2x Immortals, Triton A1(+Miniguns) [104 pts]
Immortals: 2x Immortals, Triton A1(+Miniguns) [104 pts]
Immortals: 2x Immortals, Triton A1(+Miniguns) [104 pts]
Heavy Pantheon [205 pts]
Hades: Hades [205 pts]

I played an opponent who was also new, and he had the Scourge.  I don't have his army list, but as I recall he had:

Desolator Command ship Level 5 Overlord
2x3 Anti-tank tanks w/transport
2x3 AA tanks w/transport
4x standard infantry w/ transports
4x big monster dudes w transports
2x gunships
1x fast-attack aircraft

We played a new scenario Scott was playtesting for Hawk.  In this 7-turn scenario, the player who controls the most of the three central focus points at the bottom of turn four gets 4 points, the loser gets 3.  Then, two focus points in the winner's deployment zone are removed and the two on the loser's side become live.  At the end of turn seven, final points are determined by counting who won the last two focal points, worth 2 each for the winner and 1 for a loser contesting.  Control is determined by most points of models within 6 inches of the point.  I don't have exacting notes so here is an overview recap as opposed to a full battle report.

The first turn sees a dash for the central buildings.  In the second turn I got initiative and the Helios down both transports carrying tanks on my left, but kill only one tank.  Two more are dealt with by the Hades and an Ares.  

On turn two infantry flood the buildings and we both pull fast ones, relocating all of my troops and the best of his to just two of the buildings.  I have a numerical, if not qualitative, advantage in the center.

Dropships fly everywhere as more vehicles unload.  I am winning the long-range firefights, especially as my opponent's dice rolls are generally awful.

My Immortals in the central building roll pretty badly, landing just two points of damage off 30 dice hitting on 5s.  They get smacked hard in return, and the Immortals on my left, although they did better, were wiped out!  I am losing walkers now to his gunships and other units as my luck starts to turn...

At the end of turn 4, my opponent claims 4 VPs to my 3, thanks to holding the central and right objectives.  My Hades and his friends hold the left objective.  A number of walkers I had placed to contest them were destroyed just as time ran out.

Now my opponent has to advance on two objectives in my deployment zone.  If he leaves me to hold them both I will win outright.  So, on he comes!

Even more Scourge infantry pile into the central building, where the Immortals actually manage to hold their own for quite some time after flubbing their first combat.  They would go on to kill off all the big monster dudes and a stand of regular dudes as well before being driven from the building and gunned down.

My last Helios shelters behind the Hades as they stand to defend the left focus point.  

The Hades manages to hold off all comers on my left flank, but on the right all my walkers are destroyed.  My transports are generally useless as the Scourge have only a little infantry left.  But the awesome Desolator commander can contest objectives and is worth a ton of points, so it will win contested objectives.  However, I have one chance not to lose!  I scarf my Helios up into a Neptun, where it cannot be hurt by anything but the fast mover.  My opponent sends the fast mover after the Neptune, but fails to damage it!  I am able to drop off the Helios to contest my right-side objective.  This means my opponent gets two points for the right objective and i get one, whilst I get two for the left side where the Hades sits unchallenged.  The final score, then, is 6-6 and we have a hard fought tie.  

Conclusion: This was a good game to polish off some rust and get back in tune with the flow of DZC. The new scenario was very interesting as it gives you a choice of blitzing the middle but having to take objectives far from you to win, or holding back and trying for the defense.  We both went for it in the middle and I came up short, but managed to stave off total defeat on my side of the board, just barely.  One quirk of DZC is all the dropships floating around, unable to hurt each other, at the end of the game.  Most dropships cannot fire on aircraft, making for an odd standoff when most of the ground units are gone.  I lost all ground units except the Hades and one Helios, as well as 3 Neptune transports.  My opponent lost all ground troops except 3 stands of regular infantry, as well as at least 4 transports and one gunship.  In the future, I think it is imperative in a focal point game to kill off the Desolator.  It is just too good to let float around claiming objectives!  MVP for me was probably the Hades, which killed at least 6 tanks and made one flank inviolable.

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