Dropfleet Commander – Lee vs Scott

So after 2 failed attempts to complete a full game, Scott finally found time in his busy Rock Star schedule to give a proper play through.  It would be my Scourge against his PHR in a 999pt game, with the forces as follows:

Scourge

BG1 (SR10) – 1 x Basilisk Battlecruiser

BG 2 (SR12) – 1 x Hydra Fleet Carrier, 1 x Chimera Troopship, 2 x Gargoyle Strike Carrier

BG3 (SR12) – 1 x Hydra Fleet Carrier, 1 x Chimera Troopship, 2 x Gargoyle Strike Carrier

BG4 (SR4) – 4 x Djinn Frigate

PHR

BG1 (SR10) – 1 x Scipio Battlecruiser

BG2 (SR9) – 1 x Ikarus Vanguard Carrier, 4 x Andromeda Escort Carrier

BG3 (SR9) – 1 x Ganymede Assault Troopship, 4 x Medea Strike Carrier

BG4 (SR5) – 3 x Pandora Frigate, 2 x Echo Corvette

MISSION

The mission would be take and hold with 3 clusters and a column approach.

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Turn 1

I activated my BG2 first, moving my Troopship and Fleet support up the middle of the table and sending a strike carrier each to the edges (at this point I was worried about the Corvettes to which I had no counter so wanted to spread my risk).  The PHR moved on with their BG2, with the Andromedas pushing down the left flank and the Ikarus pushing right.

On the next flip the PHR went first, commiting his BG2 strike carriers and Ganymede.  I countered by full thrusting my BG4 Djinn up centre board, as I knew I would win initiative with them next turn.

Scott committed his bombers to my speeding Djinn, to which I responded with Escort fighters.

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Turn 2

I won the flip with my BG4 Djinn and took a standard order to bring me into firing range of his Strike Cruisers.  Through my close Assault attacks and crippling rolls, both Carrier Frigates were destroyed.  The PHR Bombers then activated, inflicting very minor damage to the Djinn as their defensive fire and fighters nullified most shots.

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Enter the Scipio… Moving up into the middle of my Djinn group, it opened fire and when the shooting stopped only 1 Djinn remained.

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The rest of the turn was spent jostling for positions and moving up to clusters.  My remaining Djinn was taken down by the Pandora frigates.  My Battlecruiser took a Full Thrust up the right flank, angling directly for his Ikarus.

In the launch phase, long range Bombers were committed and troops started to hit the surface.

Turn 3

My ‘big move’ this turn was for my Basilisk to take down Scott’s Ganymede on the right flank, so that BG went to the bottom of the deck.

I got my second wave of Gargoyles into Atmosphere and moved my Hydra and Chimera up, managing to take out one of the Pandora Frigates.  The PHR Bombers then activated, destroying my Hydra and severely damaging my Chimera.

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I committed my second Carrier group, moving up the centre board and taking pot shots at another Pandora, this time only inflicting 1 damage.  Scott responded with his Scipio, turning and broadsiding my Chimera taking it 1 hit from death.

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On the right, Scott’s Ganymede was able to avoid the tender mercies of my Basilisk by running silent.  I instead went weapons free on the Medea in Atmosphere scoring 4 hits (needing 6s!) resulting in 8 damage to be saved.  With Scald in effect and several 4+ saves failed, the Frigate was destroyed.

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In the launch phase, Scott went after my beleaguered Chimera, undamaged Chimera and Basilisk.  I placed all my defensive fighters on my undamaged Chimera.  As expected, the damaged Chimera was lost.

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Turn 4

On the right, the Echos took down my last gargoyle whilst my Basilisk took a Station Keeping order to broadside the Ganymede.  The PHR bombers activated, inflicting 3 damage.

In the middle, my 2nd Chimera was destroyed by the Scipio and friends.

The Basilisk took even more fire.  In the ground combat phase, my middle cluster fired defence weapons to down the last Pandora and the left and right clusters were dominated by the PHR.

In the launch assets phase, my Basilisk was finally crippled with a decaying orbit and my last Chimera destroyed.  Rolling a 1 to repair it’s drives, the Basilisk burned up unceremoniously in the lower atmosphere.

In the scoring phase, it was 10-6 to the PHR.

Turns 5 and 6

With me only having 1 Gargoyle on the board, the next 2 turns went quick!

The game ended 22-10 to the PHR.

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Conclusion

An enjoyable but frustrating game for me (I think Scott had a ‘whale’ of a time 😉 ).  A lot to ponder over!

 

 

Dropfleet Commander – First Run

So Jimmy took possession of his Kickstarter package a couple of days ago.  Scott has had his notification and picks his up on Monday, and I’m still waiting to be told when mine is coming.

Jimmy handed me the Scourge portion of his Starter yesterday and we set about assembling our starter fleets ready for a trial run today.

We had overlooked the inclusion of the starter scenario, so we set up a modified version of Scenario 1 with only 2 clusters and no Debris.

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Our forces were the Starter packs, but for those that haven’t got a hold of the game yet we fielded as follows:

Scourge : 3 Battlegroups

BG1 : Wyvern Cruiser (close combat specialist)

BG2 : Shenlock Heavy Cruiser (all rounder Heavy Cruiser with Stealth capabilities), 2 x Gargoyle Strike Carriers (troop carriers)

BG3 : Ifrit Cruiser (Ship to Ship vessel with Burnthrough Weapon), 2 x Harpy Frigates (All round small ships)

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UCM : 3 Battlegroups

BG1 : Moscow Heavy Cruiser (well armed all rounder), 2 x New Orleans Strike Carriers (Troops Carriers)

BG2 : Berlin Cruiser (Ship to Ship with Burnthrough Laser), 2 x Toulon Frigates (All round Gunships)

BG3 : Seattle Cruiser (All rounder with launchable Fighters and Bombers)

Turn 1

Turn 1 saw 2 Battlegroups move onto the table for each side, all in Silent Running.

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Turn 2

Jimmy Activated first, moving up his Berlin and going Weapons Free with his Toulons, managing to do no damage whatsoever.  I countered with my Shenlong, which fired upon his frigates inflicting 2 damage on 1 of them, and dropped my Gargoyles into the atmosphere ready to drop troops.

Jimmy then moved up his Seattle, firing on my Wyvern and launching Bombers.  After the firing had stopped, he had inflicted 4 points of Damage.

My Wyvern responded, moving up to point blank and unleashing my Occulus Beams and Plasma Tempest.  Through my good rolling and Jimmy’s failure to roll virtually any saves, the Seattle ended up with 2 HP left.  I rolled on the Critical chart – a 5 then a 6 – the Ship took another 3 pts of damage and exploded, inflicting 2 pts of radtiation damage in revenge.  My Wyvern crawled out of the encounter with 4HP left.

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Wrapping up, I dropped 2 Infantry onto the Cluster on the right.

Turn 3

Jimmy started the turn, winning the initiative with a roll-off to activate his Moscow and Toulons.  The Toulons piled into my Ifrit, bringing it down to 3 pts of damage, and the Moscow engaged my Shenlong Weapons Free, doing a moderate amount of damage.

My Ifrit and Harpys responded, the Harpys firing into the 2 Toulons and destroying them both.  The Ifrit fired at the Moscow with it’s single beam mode Burnthrough weapon, and inflicted 3 damage.

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The Wyvern activated, destroying one of the Strike Carriers.  Jimmy’s Berlin responded, destroying my Wyvern, whilst the surviving Strike Carrier prepared to drop troops.

The turn ended with both side’s carriers dropping ground groups onto their respective clusters.

Turn 4

With Jimmy owning the left side of the table and me owning the right, we jostled ship positions and scored, grabbing a VPs each.

Turn 5 and 6

Due to the UCM’s early losses, at this point it was a foregone conclusion.  The scourge swept across the board, taking down the Berlin and dropping armoured groups onto the left Cluster.  The ground fight was over quickly as the 2 Scourge armour units overpowered the 1 infantry and 1 Armour UCM units.

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The game ended 8 VPs to 3, with Jimmy’s chronically bad rolling handing me the game on a platter.

Thoughts on the game

Although it turned very 1 sided quite quickly due to some really dodgy dice rolling, we both enjoyed the game and went away thinking about fleet compositions and tactics.  The Order choices and movement restrictions really bite home when you get close in, and Close Action combat is extremely fierce.

We definitely did a few things wrong, but by the end of the game we had a good feel for the general rules.

The size of the demo table (2ft x 3ft) belies the scope of the whole game in my opinion, and we are really looking forward to moving to larger fleets and full scenarios.

The models are absolutely gorgeous, it has to be said, and are incredibly simple to assemble.  That said, I did find some items on the Scourge sprues to be damaged, and some of the wing tips cracked as I was de-spruing them.

The ship bases, whilst a good idea in theory, are far too fiddly to use in game, especially when you end up with a lot of ships near each other (and this will always happen at some point).  We are already investigating alternate solutions.

Overall, the game gets a big thumbs up from us, and we will be playing plenty of games in the near future.

Now where’s my Kickstarter….