DzC – Hawk Wargames Interview

David over at Hawk Wargames has given the 6 Inch Move team permission to share with you an interview with a fellow blogger from Germany, Patrick Landerfeld. Please take into consideration that Patrick’s first language is not English.

David at Hawk Wargames - Salute 2012
David at Hawk Wargames - Salute 2012

Here goes:

I found some questions which haven’t been answered yet. It would be nice if you could answer them although some questions might be too soon for you to answer.

I’m jumping a bit between topics because I wrote the questions down as they came to my mind. Also excuse my English, it’s a bit rusty….

1. The game combines aerial combat with ground combat in an unique and unseen way. Will there be possibilities to focus on airplanes or tanks without losing combat strength. Or are certain units necessary?(Like a minimum of 1 Dropship in an all-tank-list?)

Like most games, your force composition will be governed by certain restraints, designed to prevent overly unbalanced armies (you won’t be able to take an entire army of fighter aircraft for example!). There will be a fair amount of freedom though, allowing plenty of different tactical combinations. Generally, a healthy mix of unit types will work best, since they all have their own (often essential) specialties

2. I know the game is totally new and the rules are still in play testing. Is there a timeline which includes a rulebook in other languages? I know it’s a cost-factor and many German hobbyists own the English originals of other games. But for many players a mother tongue-rulebook is essential.

There’s been a lot of interest from German gamers, as well as those from other nations. Although there’s no official timeline at this early stage, we’ve started looking into the various paths, costs etc. for translation and I’m certainly not ruling it out! Obviously we’re concentrating on the English version right now, but if we can at least break even with foreign language translations we’ll strongly consider it!

3. When your preorders go up, will the rules be available and already printed?

We’re still finalizing the rulebook at this stage, but we are planning to have it ready to ship on the 16th of July along with the models. There will be Q&A’s, example armies, lists and army deals available, so you can be sure of having a usable army from day one!

4. Foreign shipping can be quite expensive for small parcels. Do you already have contracts with foreign distributors to cover their home-market? If so, don’t go with Ulisses in Germany… they do a poor job with their Indie-Tabletops under contract. It’s only because of the popularity of Infinity and the PP-Games that there is a decent gamer-base. It’s always frustrating for players like me, when you want to really get started and then have to wait for a month till your orders arrive….

Probably a little early to comment in detail, but we are in the process of organizing this. Since the models are almost exclusively resin, extremely tough and lightweight, we should be doing shipping deals from the start, keeping the shipping costs down for everyone. This will all be officially announced when the site goes fully live on the 1st June.

Hawk Wargames - Salute 2012
Hawk Wargames - Salute 2012

5/6. Concerning the finances… Can you approximate what a standard-battlegroup would cost? When thinking of 40k you need something around 400-600 Euros, with Infinity you are set with just about 100 Euros, what about Dropzone Commander? What would be the standard Battlegroup-Size to play decent games? I know you said that the rules also cover small games, but to be honest most of the games start totally functioning at a certain point-level. I can play 300 points 40k games ruleswise… but that has nothing to do with fun anymore.

Dropzone Commander is a full battle game, designed with fairly large engagements in mind. However, you can also play with small armies. The rules are specifically designed to support this, where the size of your individual battlegroups (around 4-6 of which make up an army) will change in relation to game size. The main upshot of which is that the ‘feel’ of gameplay isn’t spoilt by having very large/ very small forces. I can’t comment categorically on prices at this stage since we’re still finalizing them, but you certainly won’t need to spend 400 Euros just to be able to play!

7. How long do the normal game sizes last when playing? Do I have to think more in skirmish-length (30-120 min.) or bigger like 40k (3-6h)

Assuming the players have got to the stage where they know the rules well and only need to refer to unit stats occasionally, a normal game is designed to run around the 1:30/ 3hr mark. This is only a VERY rough estimate, since this depends so much on players, scenarios and the aforementioned variations in army size. All I can say for sure is that the rules are designed with flowing gameplay in mind, with minimal record keeping.

8. We all are hoping for a good start with Dropzone Commander. Are you planning on including fan” work” which helps players? (It sounds a bit strange when I write it like that, but I’ll explain: Often list-building, which is a keypoint in tabletop-gaming, can be quite complicated when you are new to a game or a faction. Tools like the Armybuilder for Infinity really help when you are trying out some concepts for your army list. Companies like GW consider tools like this as an IP-Infringement…. )

The Armybuilder for Infinity is more or less official and included in the Infinity-Homepage and supported by Corvus Belli staff. Could you imagine treating fan based work like that similar?

It’s something we’ve been thinking about, but to be honest at this stage we need to concentrate on getting the core product just right. However, will certainly be thinking of such things after the main release! The army deals will also be complete armies, with downloadable lists to go with them to get you started straight away.

9. Obviously for the start the rulebook is essential and includes the rules. But can we await faction-own books (Codices, Army books,…) which include the faction army lists and fluff, or will you update the game with core-rulebooks which include all factions? (Like Infinity does with their Rulebook and Human Sphere)

The main rulebook will include full lists, painting guides and plenty of fluff for all 4 starting races. We’re working on a 150 page framework, and it’s proving a job to squeeze it all in! Future races and new units for the existing ones will be featured in expansions. These won’t simply cover new models, but will also advance the timeline of the story and will introduce more scenarios, settings and narratives to fight your battles around.

10. Can you give us a bit more detail concerning the basic game mechanics? I know it will be more of a “You Go, I Go”-System with the alternate activation of battlegroups. Are there more unique game mechanics like that? (For Example in Infinity a key game-mechanic is the reactive System, where you can react with every unit which has a line of sight to an active enemy…)

There are a few interrupts you can play. For example, individual anti-air units can be specially activated to fire on passing enemy aircraft, and interceptor fighters can also act in a similar manner (I can’t be more specific for the moment, since we’re still playtesting!) There will also be certain interrupt abilities available, with the aim of keeping all players engaged as much as possible. Since you’ll only be activating around 1/5th of your army at any one time though, players are seldom left with nothing to do for long!

Hope this has been helpful, and has answered a few more questions people may have had. When the full site goes live a lot more will be revealed in specific detail. For now, I’m back to the Studio looking forward to another wonderful 2am – thank the lord for FX and late night Family Guy/ American Dad!

Hope this gives you more to chew on before June 1st!

Well there you have it folks some more information about this exciting game, I wish it was June 🙂


Hawk Wargames - Salute 2012
Hawk Wargames - Salute 2012

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