Well, the new owners of Dropzone Commander, TTCombat, held a live chat on the current state of the product line and that of it’s sister game, Dropfleet Commander.  One of the admins for the main Facebook group posted the summary for those that couldn’t attend:


So the bad news is no new edition until sometime next year.  I can see why as they want to get things right but it hurts. The game hasn’t had much in the way of official support or new product for months and months and anyone I knew that was waiting to jump in was waiting to get in fresh with the new edition.  Who knows if they’ll even care about this game in 2019.

The bright spot is they’ll open the 2nd edition up to a public beta so the diehards that are still around will have something formal to mess with until the official release.  It doesn’t help everyone because all too often, players are reluctant to try anything not official and final. I understand that mindset and it is a powerful one.  How many other games do I have on my shelf that are final and tested that I can play now without much fear of running into broken or clearly untested material? And do I really want to burn one of my precious game nights on testing potentially unbalanced mechanics? Personally, yes but I test a lot of games anyway and enjoy that aspect of the hobby. For others, that might not be as fun of a prospect.

At the end of the day, it sounds like we’ll finally get to see what they’ve been cooking and clubs can start putting the next edition through it’s paces.  I’m still excited to see that but I really hope the delay doesn’t kill off the game.

In a bizarre publishing choice, item 3 in that list seems ill-conceived.  They want to release a new expansion book for the current version later this year.  The book will combine elements of both games, Dropzone and Dropfleet, offering new elements to both and offer ways to combine both systems.  On the surface, this sounds great: new product, formal combining of the systems that was hinted at when Dropfleet started, and furthering the story lines of the game system overall.  Except that everyone knows version 2.0 is just around the corner. Edition changes tend to cause enough upheaval as is and now you’ll have a rulebook with new material coming out that will be modified (at best) or useless (at worst) in six to nine months.  I know players in my group that are already planning on skipping that book.  I’m on the fence.  I love Dropzone and want more as it comes but have almost zero stake in Dropfleet and don’t relish the idea of having a book that is half useless to me on day one and then really useless to me only a short while later.  That would turn around in a big way if they release a full faction of this “Remnant” Dropfleet faction they hinted at earlier.  The “Resistance Faction in Space” faction would pull me into Dropfleet pretty quick (since I already ordered the show-exclusive Remnant ships for fun earlier, before my “no new games!” moratorium).  I guess I’ll have to wait and see.

The rest of the items are just showing that they really didn’t have everything together when they launched the new webstore, are realizing that taking over another company’s main product line is no easy task, and they are just now realizing that their timelines need to be adjusted quite a bit.  Not a big deal but the culture at TTCombat seems a little young and naive.  I listen to their live chat and hear their responses and feel old. Concepts like believing they don’t need an official forum for their products because Facebook is “fine” reminds me of new hires thinking texting is an ok form of business to business sales communication.

TTCombat is hosting another live later today (17:30p GMT) so we’ll see what new info comes to light.

Ok, enough bitching and onto better topics: I received my first Dropzone product from TTCombat in the form of the first show exclusive Hawk Wargames ever made: the Shackleton Escape Pod:

Sorry for the crap image- scouring the ‘net for any of the original images for the model turned up with nil after TTCombat gutted the original Hawk website. In any case, this model is something I was always on the fence with but after playing the terrain specific scenario games, I like the idea of having more random scenario-based terrain elements and these really fit that bill.

The resin from the TTCombat models seems to have maintained the detail that I expect from the older Hawk line.

Though they aren’t as dedicated to cutting off the extra sprue material

All-in-all, this should be a fun piece to work up.

So fun, I made sure to get two.  The big question is just what the hell does this thing do.  Hawk never made much of a description for the piece so I have trouble figuring how the escape pod would actually function.  I assume it would launch from low orbit, fleeing a distressed or destroyed star ship.  It has “wings” that likely fold out after it hits atmo but then it just… slams into the dirt nose down?

Right into the main window assembly? Ouch. Good luck. Then, nose-down, how do the survivors get out?  The exit is at the back, right near the thrusters and, assuming the pod stayed upright, about 40-50 feet in the air. I bet people hated these “life-saving” escape pods.

I took to the internet to see if I could find anything else out on these pieces and came across a fantastic finished version from Full Spectrum Dominance:

Full Spectrum Dominance: Shackleton Escape Pod

Check out his site for more images of his escape pod.  I surely will when it comes time to start on mine.