This weekend we had our second Dropzone Commander game in our three game campaign cycle. This time we were up to 1,250 points and were pushed beyond the smaller Skirmish army build options and into the full Clash-sized rules.
We also decided to run a new scenario from the latest book, Reconquest: Phase 2: Battle for the Olympus Shipyards – Hull Breach. This new scenario used a bucket list of new environmental rules that did everything from increasing movement and the power to all weapon systems to having orbital debris and unstable environment effect randomly occurring. With that in mind, I built a sort of old-school list:
I’ve gone back to the M3 Alex as a commander (cheaper in points and easier to move around with the new firing rules after getting dropped off from a transport) and with the speed and weapon upgrades, I spammed a bunch of Freeriders to harken back to their pre-nerfed glory. I also jumped back to a bunch of Cyclone helicopters because the scenario boosted Barrage, which suited them better. A Barrel Bomber and two sets of the ever annoying Gun Wagons rounded out the group.
As I try to do with all of these games, I try to make a list that forces me to paint up my backlog of units so this time I needed to complete the helicopter wings, allowing me to swap out the unit type (via the magic of magnets).
Running this many Freerider biker squads meant I needed to paint up a bunch of new stands. Likely overkill as I don’t see myself running eight of these ever again but good to have them done and painted.
Last, I needed to get another set of Gun Wagons up to snuff.
This round is a little wacky. My friend is pretty annoyed at these lame-ass trucks having better anti-air guns than most of his advanced weaponry. Add to it that they are pretty fast at 6″, take 2 damage points to kill, and have armor high enough that small weapons fire does work and you get a lot “wtf” throwing around. To add insult to injury, I decided to put two of them in bright “we don’t belong on the battlefield” colors. I think it makes them look like broke-down fruit stand trucks, which maybe makes for even more gnashing of teeth with they take down unsuspecting aircraft.
That other odd duck is a little pet project of mine that got roped into service. The poor guy is so confused, being a kit bash of two of the truck models and sporting the wrong weapon type, this is a flame weapon, not an anti-air. The only thing he really has going for him is a nice shout out to another favorite famous truck of mine.
Ok, enough about him. We’ll revisit him later.
It was another great game day at Funtastic Games and I drew our other PHR player as my opponent. This was great as I really don’t know much about this faction and it was a good learning experience.
I totally forgot I even had a camera until about halfway through the game but that was just a testament to how involved this one was. With all the environmental rules happening and the learning curve of figuring out what all those slightly different PHR walkers do, pictures were the last thing on my mind.
To start things off, we had massive debris chunks rain down on us over the first three rounds. Aside from wiping a particularly annoying AA walker in round three, all the debris ended up doing to smashing into buildings.
All this orbital debris funness did force a lot of use out of my random direction spinner I made for the last session.
The spinner proved easy to use and effective. I think I’ll finish it out by painting it up as well.
My opponent made great use of these open firing lanes with his AA walkers (at the top of the image on the road) and it started choking up my flight lanes so that I either had to go way out of my way to avoid them or risk some reaction-fire and some damage. Later on, I risked it and ended up losing things badly most of the time.
In those first three rounds, my bikers crashed into the closest building and picked up an objective right away and made it out of the building only to be the target of a fast-moving interceptor jet (the same model as what is on the spinner). Lucky for me my fruit truck AAs were wide awake and ended up taking it down early in its flightpath before it could take out the lone biker.
My ignorance of PHR really came to a head when I threw stands of infantry into the above building only two see two walkers dropdown. “What are those?” I asked casually. “Flame walkers” my opponent replied. Oh. Fun. Basically the bane of infantry squatting in buildings. I thought it should be ok, I used a lot of flame weapons on one of Beserker transports in the last couple of games and it was decent but ultimately weak. Apparently my faction’s flame capability is pretty weak as these PHR guys know what is up. Rocking 16 dice at my dudes, it could have gone much worse but the roll was weak and ate up only 8 of my 20 guys. With only needing 3+ to damage my guys, I got pretty lucky. My opponent followed up by dropping in a squad of Immortals. These are the stock troops for PHR so I still outnumbered him.
Those Immortals aren’t messing around though. Even down 10 to my 12 guys, they still through more dice than me and had better armor. They ended up knocking my 12 guys down to one lonely dude. Needless to say, he failed morale and fled the building. Good thing too because after I saw that, I made an attack run with my Barrel Bomber to go wipe out that building before those Immortals could find the objective. My opponent already skunked me in another building objective by finding it on the first try and playing a card to get his guys out of close combat to get the objective out of the building and off the map.
By the end of round three, we were tied at 2 VP each. My Barrel Bomber obliterated the Immortals in the building that wiped out most of my standard infantry and earlier work wiped out the PHR Valkyries. I had a bunch of my other bikers in the last objective building so I had a good amount of confidence this game would turn out alright. His squads seemed unable to do much damage to buildings so it was just a matter of finding that objective to seal the deal.
We went back and forth a bit trading units but I was able to overpower the PHR in raw damage so that by the end of it, there weren’t many of his units left. I went through 4 rounds of searching with two squads in that last building and they never found it. I suspect it was bad intel and it was never there so the game wrapped with 2 VP for each of us.
When we counted the tiebreaker (kill points), I ended up ahead 936 points to 431 points. Another Resistance victory!
The environmental rules were interesting but the random destruction didn’t end up doing much and really just slowed the game down. I think I liked the rules that altered the stat lines of the units as that meant you could be a little more creative in list building. I’m still not a big fan of the Resistance command card deck as I never get anything that really makes a big difference. I watched as the PHR did these cool things like take over some of my weapon systems and shoot my own guys or force my trucks to false start, etc. The coolest things I did was make the wrong infantry dodge close combat better and regain a few damage points on my transport. All the other useful cards are in the other faction decks. I’ve been playing the “Feral” side but for the next game, I’m going to mix it up and play with the Allied side.