Friday, October 12, 2012

Dropzone Commander Review

With about a dozen games under my belt I felt it was time to write up a review and some of my thoughts on the game.

The Rule Book:  When I first purchased the rule book I was impressed with the quality of the book and its layout.  Since then my first impression have changed.  There were some very important rules that required an errata to correct.  The rule book does not have an index or a glossary and should.  The quality of the book is still great but too many important corrections needed so that you can play the game.  I hope they can get these corrected in the next print rule or next edition.  For me these issues were frustrating and wasted a lot of my time correcting my rule book so I could play the game. 

The Rules:  So far my experiences playing this game has not been that much fun.  With any new game there is a learning curve that takes some time to get over.  I feel that I am over that learning curve however my dice have not caught up to me.  For some reason my dice have gone South and it is pissing me off.  It has been so bad my buddies and I can't tell if the UCM are a good army or not because of my dice rolling.   

I did find one of the rules to be a little over powered.  The Skimmer rule gives all Skimmers a +2 to hit when they move 6 inches or more.  All the Skimmer has to do is spin in a small 1 inch circle six times and they get the modifier.  Normally if someone would do that I would call it cheesy and the person was not playing with the intention of the rule however in this case the rule book says they can do that.  So I call this the "Sit and Spin" rule. 

Shooting allocation is a very important rule in this game and I like it.  This is tank to tank and not battle group to battle group.  This is important when tanks have multiple shots, they can only shoot at one tank and if they do two wounds it only goes to one tank.  So if tank A gets two shoots from its weapons at my tank company with tree tanks and gets two wounds.  I only remove one tank.  This comes up a lot when playing against the PHR.  Another shooting rule that is interesting is the fact that I can slit up different types of weapons on one vehicle.  So if I have AA and some type of other gun.  I can shoot each gun at different battle groups or units.  This comes up with the Shaltari.  Coming from the GW world of gaming these concepts took some time to remember.

The drop ships and their rules work fine in this game.  The drop ship moves half and the models disembark 3 inches.  Then the models can move up to half their movement value.  The one thing I have noticed playing at the Skirmish level once I drop my tanks the drop ship just goes into the background and does nothing else.  The UCM have to buy Missile Pods for all their transports.  They are not cheap and I need those points for other things.  I am optimistic that once we start playing larger games that the drop ships will become more important to the game.  For skirmish level games and the UCM, drop ships are not that exciting.  I am toying around with my next list not having any drop ships.  That would give me over a 100 points to play with.       

The Command Cards:  The cards do add some flavor to the game.  The decks all have a lot of the same cards however they do have some to make each deck unique.  In a few games that I played the cards were game changers.  I feel that the Scourge have the best deck in the game.  I like the card aspect and it will be interesting to see what is done with the cards in the future.

The Models:  The models and scale are what really got me interested in this game.  I like the way the models look and the amount of detail on them.  I am just not totally sold on the material being used to make them.  If you need to strip a model you have to use a Dawn product and is not that easy to find locally.  I went to 5 stores today looking for this Dawn Powerscrub.  I could not find it at any of the stores in my area.  I was told about some other stores to check out.  This is frustrating to me because I like to experiment with patterns and colors.  I already destroyed a model because I did not use the Dawn Powerscrub and the resin got soft.  Very disappointing and I will never purchased a painted used army.  I guess this is one way to keep people buying new stuff.  

The other concern I have with the models is specific to the UCM army.  The drop ships have these side pieces that go on the wings to represent thrusters.  They all have round pegs that go in holes on the wings.  You have to be real careful when assembling them to make sure they are straight.  I would have like to seen either two pegs per side piece or square pegs.  A few of my drop ships are not straight and with this soft resin you can't fix it once the glue has dried.

Over All:  Reading everything I have written so far you might thing I am not happy with the game.  You would be wrong.  Just like any new game that comes out it takes time to really learn how to play it.  I can learn how to adjust to the one rule I don't like and deal with the material the models are made out of.  My buddies and I have only been playing Skirmish games so we have not included Air yet.  I am sure once we start playing larger games I will get a better feel for how all the rules work.  My only real disappointment is with the rule book.  To many important rules needing to be corrected with an errata.  Once my dice start to roll average I am sure my army will play better on the table.  I must have done something to upset the Dice Gods and they are getting back at me.  That is my review of the game and below are some models I test painted to see if I liked the color pattern.