This weekend saw the conclusion of our Dropzone Commander Winter Campaign.
BEGIN TRANSMISSION…COMMAND EYES ONLY…
PROJECT: ARTHUR MILLER
INTELLIGENCE REPORTS LOCATION OF FUNCTIONAL ORBITAL LASER IN ABANDONED CITY CENTER, NEW LONDON.
PRIMARY OBJECTIVE IS TO CONTROL THE LASER TO ASSIST IN ORBITAL BATTLE.
SECONDARY OBJECTIVE IS TO LOCATE AND RETRIEVE PLANS FOR ORBITAL LASER AND POWER SUPPLY, HIDDEN IN VARIOUS LOCATIONS IN NEW LONDON.
DETAILED MAPS TO FOLLOW…
The campaign coordinator had us bring our Aegis Orbital Defense Laser so I was glad to finish mine up for the game. I’ll have final pictures of that up later this week but for now, on with the game!
This finale featured the largest game I’ve played at 2,000 points and the biggest “tier” of the game, the Battle sized game. We also encouraged the use of the Famous Commanders as well. These are narrative units that aren’t tournament legal and designed to break a lot of rules in the spirit of narrative play. With that in mind, I built my list to take advantage of a couple of things, use a Famous Commander and play as the other side of Resistance, the “Allied” version.
We were playing the Crucible scenario from Reconquest Phase 1 so it had a critical location in the center (the Orbital Laser) and 4 objective buildings in a diamond around the center.
My opponent was running a UCM list with standard units (no Famous Commander). Lots of Anti-Air which was going to make my life rough as I was heavily invested in aerial units, even adding my expensive Famous Commander as an aerial command unit.
By the end of round one, we had both deployed from our respective edges and ran with a marching line formation that spread across the entire front of each side. We each set Anti-Air (AA) units in a 3 pronged action, left flank, middle, and right flank. The critical location (laser) gives out points at the end of every round depending on who has the most points in units nearby. Neither of us had anything fast enough to get up to it so that didn’t play a roll.
We both had infantry in our side’s objective buildings, my MFR in the close red-ish tower and were both making plays to the middle towers. I had my full Resistance Fighters coming in on the left side while my second set of MFR was heading to the right. His Praetorians (the UCM equivalent of MFR) was also going in on the right side tower and a sniper team was heading towards the left.
I snuck in a mean sniper shot in this first round that caught my opponent by surprise. I ran my big-ass (technical term) Alexander up to the middle and dropped him into the dirt quick-like. Using our house rules (v2.0 beta rules), my Alex could then fire the same turn and it had a beautiful line on my opponent’s main AA and super annoying Ferrum unit across the map. The Ferrum has the annoying habit of spitting out endless hordes of Drone fighter craft that will eat you alive if left unchecked. Determined to definitely check that sucker off the list, decide to fire my main gun down the line. To do so sacrifices energy but the armor on the Ferrum isn’t to good so I can theoretically put some damage on it.
The way in must have been a little rough as I whiff the shot but the look on my opponent’s face when he saw me able to even shoot at his precious Ferrum was worth it.
I win initiative and decide that my big Alexander’s shot was just a calibration shot. I inch forward and that gets me into even better range (not forcing me to lower the shot energy as much) and I nail that Ferrum hard. The Alexander’s big gun deals double damage when it hits and I rolled high enough to double it again so I drop the Ferrum to within one damage point left.
Since I was using Karl Foley, the Famous Commander in his Hellhog jet, he has a great ability to automatically come in from reserves on turn 2 (something my opponent’s intereceptor jet had to roll, and fail, at). Since he is in the same battlegroup as my Alex, I run that Hellhog down the line and waste what is left of the Ferrum before its AA guns can reaction fire. Foley’s job is done and he jets on off the map.
In another stroke of luck, my MFR find their objective first turn and get off the map. With no AA on that right side, I shift a lot of my gunships that way to start eating through the UCM anti-tank units.
I decide I don’t want to risk the upcoming Praetorian vs MFR battle for the right side building even though my MFR are better on paper. Instead, I go douche-mode and launch a volley of chem grenades into the building figuring I’ll smoke them out before they find the objective and then go in once the smoke has cleared. The Chems do their work and shred a whole base of infantry. The remaining Praetorians stand fast and stay in.
I like the odds of my 30 soldiers going up against a group of 9 elite snipers so we all pile into the left building. The UCM keep every armor unit on a beeline to the center. These groups include a nasty AA unit and it is enough to keep pushing my gunship helicopters out of the way and yielding ground. My AA does take down his gunships as they try to sneak around the right side.
Round three kicks in and I win initiative again. Foley’s Hellhog comes in again and wastes some of his anti-tank units that have decided to pick on my Alex big tank. This time Foley feels safe enough to transition into hover mode and stick around to be even more of a pain. I still don’t have an answer to the UCM anti-air tanks making a larger no-fly zone in the center but I’ll think of something.
So that awesome 30 fighters vs 9 snipers went as expected though the snipers put up a bigger fight than I thought they would wiping out two bases of infantry. I cleaned them out so the building was mine. But was it a ruse? The UCM play just strolled up casually and sent his Fireblade light tanks at the enemy-filled high-rise and lit the sucker up. What was a nice little victory turned into me losing 3 more full infantry bases, leaving me with one little stand left. I really don’t have an answer for them (well I did, they just all got immolated before they could respond with a barrage of RPGs). Those that somehow survived the death blaze are basically dead next round unless I win initiative.
The another round of chem rounds and constant barrage of shelling on the right side building wipes out the occupying Praetorians. Now all I have to do is let the chem grenades dissipate and that building is mine. Except it never does. Those chemicals just keep on going throughout the rest of the game, eating at everything.
Round four kicks in and I don’t win initiative. The Fireblades finish off my remaining Resistance fighters and the building is silent. MFRs that left earlier are back in the game and hovering around the left building. I can’t get in there with those Fireblades sitting outside so I have to wait.
The UCM central anti-air group overextends and comes out to fire at one of my Lifthawks but doesn’t bring it down. It is still early in the round so I run all my air units to swam the anti-air tanks and wipe them out. I now control two-thirds of the board with nothing to stop my air supremacy. I’ve also solidly controlled the central Laser and with the UCMs dwindling assets, the board is more and more mine.
Round five has me run over to the left flank tower as the right is still smoking with my noxious chem rounds. I take out the rest of his tanks in the central zone and pile into the left tower with three different infantry units to help find the objective. The MFR on the right have been waiting all game to get into the right side tower so they say screw it and jump into the chem bath. It knocks a few of them down but doesn’t try to force them to evacuate.
With the writing on the wall, my opponent doesn’t concede outright but starts withdrawing his remaining units off the board. I chase downs the ones I can get to but they are mainly dropships which can outpace my anti-air units. Victory is mine.
So that concluded our escalating Dropzone Commander Winter Campaign. It kind of went out on a whimper but my dice were obnoxiously hot while my UCM opponent’s dice were brutally bad. I blame my lucky Deadpool socks. Sorry guys, I’ll put those away for championship games and not use their abusive power for casual campaign day. My bad.