Dropzone Commander – Unboxing the UCM

It finally happened! Almost a week ago the long-awaited and much-anticipated Dropzone Commander appeared in the wild. Those of us here at the 6 Inch Move floating citadel have been positively aquiver with excitement. After all, we’ve been waiting since Salute and while we’ve been treated to a few news items here and there, information has been a little sparse since we first stumbled across the stand at Salute.

Due to various issues of home finance I didn’t get to put in my pre-order until very late. I had it all planned by then a spanner was thrown in the proverbial works and I had to wait. I managed to put in my order on the last day of the pre-orders being set for shipping on July 27th, although it was rather late in the day when I managed to get to do it. I received my goodies on the Wednesday of last week, which was good news as I had the rest of the week off work. Unfortunately my wife is on her holidays at the moment and therefore I had to share my time and actually had to go out and do things rather than being allowed to play with my new toys. Nevertheless I’ve managed to get some good time with the rulebook and have read most of it other than some bits of the background in the army lists. However, I’ll be reviewing the rulebook separately in another post.

As I made mention of on multiple occasions now I am a big fan of the large and mega army deals. I personally went for the UCM Mega Premium, yes it’s pricey but it contains everything I think I’ll be needing for a good while. I actually first unveiled this to Carabus as he had already received his PHR Mega Premium the previous day. We had a good rummage through before I put everything back in the box to save for later. I’ve therefore included some photos in this post to show how things arrive. The Dropzone Commander case is your basic KR cardboard one but with the faction specific foam for your army, this is really good as it gives everything a home right off the bat. All your models are crammed into the various holes and the cutouts are there to safely cushion and transport your goodies as they are taken wherever they’re going to give someone a good drubbing. It’s really nicely put together. My only real criticism (and it really is very minor) is that it would be nice to have a paper sleeve around the case to show you what you get in it and to give you some references to work from later. As I said this is a very minor concern and I understand why there isn’t one considering these deals are not available in any stores, online or otherwise, outside of Hawk.

When you pop it open there really is a lot of stuff crammed in there. Mine all arrived in good order. I’ve had a chance to look through pretty much everything that came with it and am very happy with the standard of casting. There are a few tiny miscasts which will be irrelevant once the miniatures are painted. In fact the worst that I have to deal with is literally two or three tiny bubbles on the rear engine cowl of one of my Albatrosses. Other than that everything is the same quality as what I saw at Salute. I know Carabus has a few more issues but we’re expecting the odd thing here and there with a new product line and I’ve not seen anything on the same scale that puts this in the same basket as Finecast.

Each unit comes in its own little bag so as soon as you crack one open you’ve got a whole squad ready to use there and then. As mentioned in the “Working with Resin” download from the Hawk site the resin glues together VERY fast and I am not kidding you when I say you will not break that bond. I think the resin will actually decay first before the glue weakens so another voice adding to the caution you should take when putting stuff together. Make sure you’ve got stuff positioned right because once you press two things together you’ve only got a few seconds before it’s stuck for good!

I hope the pictures help show what you get for your money. I’m really happy with the stuff that I have, I’ve not heard anything from anyone outside of Carabus yet so I’m just putting my personal experience out there. I’m a happy customer and looking forward to getting this stuff on the table. I have a colour scheme in mind and things are already starting to be assembled. I’m already anticipating not being able to fit everything I want into my army so we’ll have to see how I go. What list I pick will also determine what stuff gets painted and done first.

4 thoughts on “Dropzone Commander – Unboxing the UCM”

  1. Well, just finished assembling and priming my PHR starter and I’d say overall I’m very pleased with the purchase. Now, there was a bit of clean up needed – flashing in the nooks and crannies, here and there, and some voids that had to be gap filled: nothing out of the ordinary for a “plastic” model kit. Detail on the models is just incredible. And the models are so incredibly light. Can’t wait to get started on painting them (just can’t decide what color scheme I’m going to use!).

    But, outside normal protocol, I and my Shaltari-laden friend, decided we play a skirmish with our assembled but unpainted figures. I never play unpainted…personal hang up, really. I’ll play against unpainted, no problem (it’s my hang up, not a judgment), but we couldn’t wait.

    Anyhoo, I’ve been gaming since 1977….and I can’t remember a game that was so easy to pick up and play after a couple of casual reads than DZC. Apart from some confusion over a CQB example typo, we cruised through six turns of the Encroachment scenario (I lost rather severely – not paying enough attention to the end game; more concerned with stomping mechs around the table) with nary a head scratch or coin toss. Straight forward and FUN to the bitter end (bitter for me, anyway). Even managed to pull a “global” command card and use it to link a building. Should have moved my infantry into the adjacent building to earn VP, insteading of standing toe-to-toe to keep fighting. Time ran out whilst I was in my bloodlust.

    But the game is fluid and fast, surprisingly so. And the mechanics are slick and the unit differentiation make for some great tactical options.

    Early on in Turn Two, my opponent ducked down a street, right out of LOS of my Ares Walkers. At 3″ movement, my first thought was “I wished I’d won initiative, because now I’ll never catch them.” But then I realized: bring in the Neptune for a quick pick up, next turn, zoom them up the block and dust ’em off. BANG, next turn I’m ready to slug it out with them, and they’ve got nowhere to run.

    So, immediately you can see there are all sorts of ways to think about how to use the tools in your army to get to the victory at the end of a scenario.

    Anyway, I’m going on and on and this ain’t my blog. Long story short, I’m impressed with this game and so very glad I hopped on board from the beginning. Already planning my next purchase and can’t wait to dig in deep, add air support and command.

    1. I think for most people (us included at the beginning) the fact we knew nothing but some vague allusions to how things worked was a real worry. Luckily for us we got to give things a test run and were impressed with what we saw and that allayed the fears we had. I’m glad that people can now see what got us so excited. Dave’s put a lot of work into this game and its universe, I think that’s evident for everyone now and I hope that everyone (again, us included) gets to enjoy the game for a long time.

    2. I enjoyed reading your reply as much as I enjoyed reading the article! Seems ZombiePirate and co ain’t the only people stoked about this product! Cheers!

      1. Thanks, servitob! I tend to type too much when I’m excited. But l love this site and the work you folks are doing here – and I’m very happy to be at the front-end of this game (glad I didn’t drop the cash on 6ED, despite the “coaxing” from the reviews here…:) – All my game-cash is heading to England, but not GW!!!!! Keep up the Great Work!

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