With my rules out there on BGG and in the Dropzone Commander Community Facebook page, I thought I’d go over my campaign rules a little bit. The DZC: Special Ops has the guidelines and a Company Roster so we’ll start there.

I only have the Resistance faction so I check out the TTCombat army builder and start getting things ready. The easiest option is if you have a starter set, you can just choose those options as the Company Roster should fit every faction’s Starter.

Starting with the Command Unit, Resistance has limited options. The guidelines require no Rare units or Command Units over 150 points so the M3 Alexander is our only choice at the moment. Moving to the Standard choices, we have Rocket Technicals and Gun Wagons. Gun Wagons are so ubiquitously good that it is another easy choice.

The next option actually lets us branch out a little bit if we don’t need to limit ourselves to a starter set. In the Heavies category we have the starter Hannibal tanks but also some interesting options like the building smashing Mehmeds. I like the Mehmed option but you trade long range for more damage.

The Support options are where things get more interesting though. The Cyclones or Typhoons are an obvious choice but Storm Wagons could be interesting as a cheap template weapon. The Barrel Bomber sounds too limited in its attack capabilities to really shine here.

The Troops offer little choice in the Resistance Faction so we last have the Auxiliary group. You get three choices here and they will likely be transports unless you can get away with using a single main transport and one APC option. With the M3 Alexander as our only choice in command units, that ties us to using Lifthawks. If you don’t want your Gun Wagons or Rocket Technicals to “walk on” a round late, you’re picking up a Kraken and finally the Jackson can fit in both Lifthawks and Krakens so that makes 3 choices pretty quick. It should go without saying but just because the Fauna units are in the army builder, doesn’t mean they are options for solo play.

With the Company Roster set, I can create my 800 point list.

  • HQ Battlegroup: M3 Alexander (CV2 commander)
  • Armor Battlegroup: Gun Wagons x3
  • Frontline 1 Battlegroup: Resistance Fighters x2 (2 units each)
  • Frontline 2 Battlegroup: Resistance Fighters x2 (2 units each)
  • Vanguard Battlegroup: Typhoon x2
  • Auxiliary: Lifthawk x2, Kraken x2, Jackson APC x4

Playing the first campaign scenario (more to follow), I decided to play with the Vampire Infestation variant. The board is set and I need to get the Search deck in order. The deck file has 26 cards but we’ll only need 24 so we pull out the two extra “Nothing Happens” cards and pull out the Mission Objective card as we’ll need to seed it in a minute.

Shuffle up the remaining 23 cards and the I pull the 5 bottom cards out. Adding the Mission Objective to that set, I shuffle those and put them back on the bottom of the deck, knowing that the Mission Objective is somewhere in the bottom 4th of the deck now (remaining 6 cards).

I roll out with my Frontline group supported by the Kraken and hop into the closest building. This building is Medium sized so it has 2 search tokens (I use d6 counting down the search tokens). The first infantry group goes in and finds nothing but the second squad is messing with things they don’t understand and trigger and unexploded munition. I get off light and one unit takes 2 casualties.

Determined to space out my search zone, I send Frontline 2 out in the faster Lifthawk and start their way to the other side of the board.

I know I’ll need to take down that Vampire Nest before the mission ends so I drop the Alex down and start bombarding it. I’ve been mainly playing with the Pizarro walker and didn’t realize what a demo machine the M3 is. With twelve E7 shots plus the main cannon, you’re looking at an average 7-9 damage on a building per turn not including any bonus collateral damage. I have to be a little careful because if I drop the building with any search tokens on it, those cards are pulled from the bottom and could pull the mission objective card, resulting in an immediate loss.

Hitting the building really stirs up the nest so 4 Feral Vampires stream out and head towards the site of the commotion. Luckily my Lifthawk is out of the way.

Anticipating this, my Armor group comes out and drops my Gun Wagons who shred two of the four vamps. The Typhoons don’t want to stir things up any more and don’t have any ground targets to engage so they work their way around the right flank, away from the crazy commander.

With those final activations, round one comes to a close. We did use the search action this round so no need if any new Fauna spawn. The Feral Vamps already went this round so they don’t activate. I’m ready to move to the next round and so on.

After dodging a few Dagger and Razorworm attacks (each cutting down my infantry forces a little each time), I stumble upon a Sole Survivor. This guy has survived out here in the Ruined City long enough he is able to tell us what is going on in the nest building (searching it completely with no ill effects).

This has the commander hammer the building to the ground in another 2 rounds (with some help from the Typhoons). The Gun Wagons and the Alexander’s range make sure the Vamps never get anywhere. If nothing else in the game, I’ll at least get the variant bonus for next game. I also get the Sole Survivor off the board so that bonus is complete as well.

Round after round of searching starts to take its toll as increasingly deadly encounters are pulled. I’m down to three infantry squads and two of them have less than a handful of their squad remaining. Encounters like the full Dagger wave above are wiping out whole squads now.

My luck starts to clear but begins to pose another problem. Instead of Dagger or Razorworm gangs, Maulers start to show up and right where I don’t want them. They start eating my APCs at an alarming rate, knocking me down to 2 APCs from four. While this might be ok since I’m also down a few squads, the APCs that keep going down are the ones the remaining squads are using, stranding my forces around the battlefield.

Luckily, Typhoons completely shred this type of Fauna so the damage is limited (but still painful).

By Round 13, I’m down to the remaining three cards in the deck, my Resistance Fighter squad with one soldier remaining finds an imbedded scout group of fighters just in time for them to reveal the Mission Objective.

This reveal brings the Magnum Apex into play which runs in and obliterates my Kraken. My commander takes aim and whiffs on the first round but starting the second round, crits the beast with the M3’s Devastator-2 weapon, bringing it down in one shot.

I’ve been holding onto the Call For Extraction command card most of the game for this moment and the double move for all the transports in the Frontline battlegroup I activate gets them clear of the building and off the map.

Altogether a very successful mission. I completed the scenario with the following objectives:

  • Mission Objective off the map within 3 rounds of finding it
  • Vampire Nest destroyed
  • Sole Survivor rescued
  • Commander killed an Apex

Looking back at the rewards, I can now add to my Company Roster and upgrade my commander. The scenario grants my commander a promotion to CV3 and I can add a Scout unit and a Rare unit to my roster. My superiors must be pleased and giving the company some additional support is much needed. In addition to the scenario rewards, I can also choose one commander perk and one card from the command deck to always have in my starting hand. I’ll work up all these rewards for the next scenario and add them to my Company Roster sheet.

In looking back, I also forgot the most important part of the campaign though: naming your commander and the company… I already have idea kicking around in my head so I’ll do a little write up on my Commander next time with my updated Roster.