Category Archives: Dropzone Commander

Games and Gears – A Warning


GandGBoardsHello dear readers. It’s been a long time with only a Gribblin to keep you so I thought I’d turn up and bring you all a warning about a company that some of you may be familiar with or may not be.

The company in question (no surprise I know as it’s in the title) is Games and Gears. I own a set of their Ichiban Pro brushes that I backed the Kickstarter for and I have to say they are excellent products and I enjoy using them. However, my next experience with them has been far from acceptable let alone good.

In late 2013 Games and Gears started up a Kickstarter for their “next generation battle boards” a 6′ x 4′ set of boards that you could get for a very reasonable price. As they were offering a 10mm scale Dropzone Commander board I leapt on board and pledged for a set, with the May 2014 delivery date being barely 6 months away this seemed like a great project to back and would get me some nice boards to share with friends for our games of DzC, a bit more stable than the card tiles we used from the cityscape set at the moment. So, I bit the bullet, sent off my money and even added to that by pledging for some dice trays and model trays to enhance the board and keep things tidy.

All was going well, people were excited about the boards and then China had a flood. Now, this isn’t really an issue, folks are understanding and these things happen. However, what happened thereafter has been a tale of misery and woe that any company could do well to learn from as G&G have just run their reputation into the ground among those who have backed and supported them.

Originally we were told that only some of the boards were damaged and things would carry on with a few boards being delayed slightly. This was quickly then changed that all the boards would be scrapped and remade and G&G were sticking with the company that had been flooded as a gesture of good will. I’ve got no problem with that either. What people did take issue with was the fact that this is pretty much the only information that was given until December 2014. Every single update mentioned that the flood had taken place, but that the boards we were getting are awesome and we’d be excited to get them in our hands. We were also updated that in December all the boards were in the UK for QC testing.

We delayed this Friday update hoping to get all the answers prior posting this. We will get the info next week.

– Once cleared customs on the the road to our warehouses.  In Jan 2015 final QC checks, insuring each board has arrived safely as well with trays. Recount of the 50000+ clips. Pretty much final preparations before we release these to you and that we have insured you get top quality. If anything Ichiban Kickstarter has shown us the slow process we take to insure every step is done properly pays off with great customer satisfaction.

Still on track:

-Dropzone Commander Battle Boards (10mm) Expected to be ship from Shenzhen port end of this coming week. Worst case beginning of the week after but it finally bound to get out of China :)!!

– Anima Wars Still Projected to be Shipped out on the 22nd.

– Anima Paint Job to be finished today. We going to allow one more working day which will be Monday just to be sure it is all completed. Then QC check and pack.

– Hellscape 5th final paint job still under way.

We were told that the QC testing involved them unpacking and checking every single board and then repacking it. Rather exhaustive and people were just asking when we could expect to see the boards if they were all in the UK?

We received updates saying that the Hawk Urban Wars (the boards that had been received by G&G and were undergoing QC in that December update quoted above) would be shipped to backers by April 15th. No-one received their boards by this date.

– Hawk Urban War Battle Board: Are turning up. Please allow till the 15th of April for your gears to get to you. When you do get them please post pictures of them and share them with us.

What if I don’t get my Hawk Wargames Urban War battle board by then?

Don’t panic. Some will slip past the delivery times as have done with our other kickstarters, or missed deliveries. Just pm us and give us a few days to sort it and get it back to you as we have to locate it, most times it is just on it’s way :).

When did these boards start arriving? Last month! People in Hong Kong and then Australia were the first to start receiving their boards, odd considering the boards were supposedly in the UK after having been held up in customs….

Unsurprisingly the backers of the Kickstarter asked questions of G&G as to where all these delays were coming from? All people wanted was honest answers. We even got a response from the head of the company saying that they’d messed up and would do better. So, what happened after that? Well, they actually cut off any and all communications with the backers.

Unless you PM them asking only about tracking numbers for packages or saying you’d got your boards you’d not get a response. We now have updates saying that the people that were responding to the comments no longer have the time to do so. Any questions that have been asked on their Facebook page have vanished as soon as they’ve appeared, leaving only positive things to be shown.

We still have no idea about when (or if) any of the other boards are going to be delivered because no-one is talking to those that put their money in to allow G&G to actually manufacture them. The backers have been fed the same recycled soundbites over and over again and all the community has asked for is a proper explanation of what is going on and where this project is. This is greeted by stone cold silence from the company.

People showed patience at the start, But over a year since the delivery date should have been (we know Kickstarters overrun but at least there is normally some communication and not out right lies from the people involved) and a lot of people are getting upset about things. G&G have even made accusations against some of their backers that they are determined to harm G&G by being slanderous about G&G. It’s untrue, all that has happened is that G&G have been called out for lying. They give one date and then change it. The boards were sold as “base painted” they are not, they are plain grey plastic, not the “two coats of grey” that we have been told. This has been confirmed by every single person that has received their boards.

The carry case that was supposed to be included has been cut from the final deliverable, this is apparently due to the weight of the boards and the expense of shipping. To keep the Kickstarter in the black, things that were promised to the backers have been cut, so we’re no longer getting everything we were told that we would be. We are basically getting a set of bare plastic boards with a few painted areas on them. For the £62 I pledged I’m not going to complain too hard about that, but if I was buying the £140 retail set I’d not be happy about what you get for the money.

I’m still waiting for my Dropzone boards, I have no idea when they are going to get here and G&G will not speak to anyone about that. So, we’re over a year late, a year in which everything that we have been told is happening, and every date we have been given has more or less been shot down and passed. Yes, some people finally have their boards, but they’re all saying that what they’ve got wasn’t what they were expecting. And, while the boards are OK, they’re certainly not the standard that the Kickstarter seemed to promise.

I’ve backed many Kickstarters by now and none of them have been this poorly managed. Completely cutting off communication with your customers is never a good thing to do, especially in as close a community as the wargaming fraternity.

So folks, if you fancy yourselves some “next generation battle boards” you’re better off buying the GW ones, yes you’ve got to paint those, but you get someone to carry them in, can get them easily enough and you’re going to put as much work into those as you can do for these ones that are just plain grey plastic too.

I’m really disappointed in G&G and the way they’ve handled this. Being honest with their customers would have stopped a lot of the vitriol. People can accept when things go wrong, what they don’t accept is misinformation, lies and being accused of slandering the company that is seemingly doing everything it can to cover up and ignore what’s going on.

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“I’m Back Baby!”


Well after an extended period of absence I’m back!  I’ve been looking at my history of blog posting for the floating citadel…and it’s been over a year since I last graced its battlements.  Why my disappearance?  Well it started with us going through a dry spell of gaming, then I kind of got board with GW stuff (do I really have to explain why?) and despite the odd gaming day along with plenty of evenings as both myself and Servitob have joined up with a local RPG & board gaming group I’ve realised it has been a while since I wrote here.  It’s not like I’ve been lazy and in a shameless plug I’ve been working on my own blog site; geogeek1726.wordpress.com, where I talk about none gaming stuff (yes I really do have a life beyond the tabletop); science & geography, the world, where I’ve been and some of my pictures that I feel like showing off.   So go check it out 😉

As for my gaming life I think it’s about time I started writing again.  So to start off with here’s a few pictures from Salute.  We went as a group (minus 1 who hadn’t earned enough points to get out of a wedding).  I thought I’d taken more than this, but I’ve noticed that all of them were around the Hawk Wargames stand…ooops lol.

Last year they had an almost finished model star ship that was totally done this year.

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They’ve also done some preview models for the new space-based game that should be released late 2015/early 2016.

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Sorry the picture isn’t up to my regular standards.  There were also examples of the concept art for some upcoming models – mostly new infantry models.

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Well that’s it for my return the Floating Citadel.  I shall endeavor to blog more often as I game regularly.

Dropzone Commander: Reconquest Phase 1


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Here at 6 Inch Move I think we’re known for two things; really irregular content and a great affection for Dropzone Commander. For our little gaming circle DzC has come to replace 40k as the go to mass battle tabletop game in the sci-fi genre and we think it does a bang up job too.

We may be a little late to the party but, as you are all probably aware, there has been much chatter about the first expansion to the game Reconquest: Phase 1.

This continues the story of the game whereby the UCM are finally now starting to strike back against the Scourge that administered a good kicking to humanity on Earth and all the lovely planets that the Shaltari had shown mankind. This has also opened up a new faction for play, while they’d been previewed for a long while I don’t think anyone was surprised to see the Resistance (men and women left behind after the Scourge opened their six-pack of whoop ass) added into the mix.

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So, the book itself. It follows the same format as the original rulebook, it’s a decent size for the price (RRP £15) and packed with a lot of new artwork. I happen to really like what they’ve done with it. There is background that expands on each faction, you find out what is going on on each of the planets and there’s a timeline for what is happening. This really does pull you in and make the universe come alive. While I’ve heard it said that, in terms of story, the Shaltari have been left out I have to say that I don’t see it. While we are left to ponder their motives, not only in the current battles raging across the Cradle Worlds, but also in why they were gifted to humanity in the first place, I don’t see them being a bit player at all. If one were to ask for this humble author’s ideas, I’d suggest that the Shaltari had effectively used humanity as a human shield (pun intended) to perhaps protect Shaltari space from the predation of the slimy parasites.

There’s a lot of intrigue as the PHR are up to shenanigans and the UCM discovering how tough some places are to shift out the occupying forces and that not all of the Resistance fighters are happy to see them.

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There’s also new scenarios in the book, many of these utilise the new terrain sets that Hawk are selling. I must say that I do like the bunkers and might grab a set of these when my shiny new boards turn up.

The main part of any expansion though, and the one we all look forward to, is the new models and new faction. Every faction in the game gets some new toys to play with. These were previewed and play tested through Hawk Wargames’ experimental rules programs and tweaked base on feedback. While not everything will be according to all players wishes I think they’ve done a good job in giving people more options with which to complete their lists. One of the things I’ve always enjoyed with DzC is the list building. Because of the Battlegroups you have to be careful in making sure that you take the right variety of units and what they activate alongside.

However, I suppose the main talking point is the Resistance new faction. These chaps come in two flavours, Allied and Feral. The Allied Resistance are backed by the UCM and have some tasty units and different card deck. Many UCM players would love to take the UCM units that the Resistance get access too, but that’s by the by. On the other hand you have the Feral resistance that can’t take some of the more high-tech units and have a different card deck to differentiate them. Most of their units lack countermeasures (for both sets of Resistance) but do introduce Evasion as a new way of changing how hard a unit is to hit in the first place.

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They have some cheap units and all kinds of interesting options, this is one of those times when you have to fight off the urge to start a new force and it certainly isn’t easy. There are plenty of options for how to transport your guys and varying levels of technology for an underground movement only coming out now to really fight off their oppressors. I really like the imagery they evoke and they’re certainly a welcome addition to the game.

There are also some named generals for each faction. These limit the units that you can take in an army but also have other impacts that tend to make some units cheaper. While not sanctioned for use in tournaments these can be used to add flavour to your forces.

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For what you pay there is a lot of stuff crammed into the book and I certainly enjoyed reading through it. I look forward to using these new units in the game too. I know that Gribblin has been building his own cityscape for it and I’m furiously painting away trying to get to a point where I’m not in the undercoated only brigade. I do enjoy painting the 10mm and it’s easy enough to make them look half decent.

As a first expansion they’ve done a bang up job and I look forward to seeing what else they come out with. This is only further cementing Dropzone’s place as our go to game when we want to throw down on a large table.

Floating Citadel Turns a Corner


It might seem tricky that a castle in the sky would be able to turn anything, yet, this bank holiday weekend saw the furious rattling of dice and page-flicking of rulebooks as once more we got to throw down with some toy soldiers.

While getting some games in is an event worthy enough of note for our little group it’s probably not something to make a blog post over. However, as happens whenever gamers get together, we spent some time discussing the hobby as a whole, what we are doing as individuals and what our desires are for the continuation and evolution of our hobby time. Even in the run up to yesterdays festivities I’d been talking to Gribblin over email about my feelings towards the gaming landscape and the orgy of models I have littered around the house.

Bearing in mind that we’d just been to Salute barely a month ago and seen everything on offer in today’s gaming market we really are treated to a cornucopia of miniatures goodness.

After looking at the way our gaming is developing and the larger factors at work I’d already decided to ditch Warhammer Fantasy. I have two armies for that games, over 3000pts each of Ogres and Dark Elves. However, with the Sherriff’s well publicised and much criticised issues on pricing I cannot justify these forces any more. I only play against one person and we’ve not played a game in at least 18 months and I don’t see that changing. Better to get rid, get money and reinvest in something I’m actually going to want to play and get use out of.

We’ve recently played more Dropzone Commander, which is a game I genuinely enjoy. It makes you think, not only about how to build your army but each and every turn about what battlegroup to activate when and trying to second guess what your opponent might be up to. Then there is also Dreadball and Deadzone that have graced the tables too. Both games are excellent and don’t take much time to set up and play. The fact you can run them in a limited space is also a big boost in their favour.

I gave Gribblin the option of playing some 40k this weekend as we’d done Dropzone the last time we got together, but as his reply was less than enthusiastic we went with DZC again. This, to me, as well as seeing a preview of White Dwarf with what the future of 40k holds, I’m pretty sure that I’m going to be ditching that too.

This is actually a very hard decision to reach. When I first started gaming over 20 years ago at the tender age of 12 GW was the only real entry into the hobby. Over the years that has kind of generated this perverse brand loyalty. I see it manifest in other gamers as well that go out of their way to seemingly justify that they’re not getting hosed by GW. To each their own and if folks enjoy things and are willing to pay then that’s their prerogative. I’m not going to tell them how to spend their money, it’s almost like WoW players who end up addicted to the game and can’t break free. However, finally, I think I’ve had my fill. I have fond memories of all the games I’ve played, but I’ve moved on. Other companies produce better games that are far better supported, not to mention costing less. Even the age-old argument of “GW’s models are better” is something that is so open to personal aestheticism as to be a moot point.

The consequence of this decision is not only that I’m going to have a ton of floor space again, but also I’ve actually got more chance of getting stuff painted. Rather than knowing I’ve got 20-30 dudes in a squad to paint I might have that number total for the whole army. That is one hell of a smaller hurdle to climb and having less around the house will mean a happier wife and a happier mental picture of just how much work I’ve got to do to field armies that actually look like they belong.

So, whatever you’re playing out there, I wish you all the best, may you roll plenty of 6’s, 1’s or 20’s, or whatever.

To the Sherriff, it’s been nice playing your games but I’ve finally had enough of what you are doing. Thanks for the memories but I’ve got a whole load of new ones to make that I look forward to.

Easter – The Time of Intergalactic Conflict and Sporting Rebirth


Among the denizens of the Floating Citadel being given days off work is heralded by an anticipation of the potential for staying indoors and hovering around little models of men in armour, or, possibly, really small tanks. Sacrifices are offered, supplications made and trips out with the family to he most horrifying of all places on Earth, the shopping mall, to placate the almighty deity known as “wife” in the hope we will be allowed out to play with a friends.

With a wave and a cheer I dispatched my significant other to her parents and had the delightful company of Gribblin and Servitob to share my gaming time with. While we don’t exactly have photos or a full feature battle report to bring you I thought it’d be at least worthwhile to show off what we played and how we felt about it. As gaming is so few and far between right now deciding what to play becomes a much larger concern than ye olde “buy everything” mentality that pervades our hobby.

So it was that we kicked the day off with Deadzone. It’s a cinch to set-up and plays pretty quickly too. I love the fact you don’t need a huge table full of terrain as the mat is a great thing to play off. We ran our second ever game using Rebs against the Plague. For the Plague I created a list with the 3A General, 2 Stage 2As, 3 Stage 3As, 2 3Ds and two 3As with HMGs. Up against them were an eclectic band or Rebs; Rebs Commander, 3 Humans, 1 Yndij, 1 Survey Drone, 1 Desolator Grogan, 1 Kraaw, 1 Zee Scavenger and 1 TK-Zero.

I drew Scour for my mission and Gribblin, armed with the Zombie like Plague drew Infiltrate. Eventually it was the Rebs who won. After turtling in their deployment zone and despatching their faster moving elements to go grab the loot tokens they did a pretty good job of destroying the enemy using the Grogan and TK-zero. Turn 1 the Grogan one shotted a 2A with a pretty awesome display of marksmanship. Gribblin did manage to get the second 2A off the board as well as a 3A. Unfortunately that was as far as his game went. TK-zero took a number of shots that put the pain into his Strike Team, despite the HMGs of the Plague doing their best to suppress the weapons team. The highlight of the game was a missed shot that left the 3A in the target cube undamaged but the resulting explosion catapulted the general into a cube occupied by a 3D. The resulting collision saw both fleshy sacks of alien mutagen expire and, with a follow-up headshot from the Commander sealed the game with a rather empathic win for the plucky Rebs.

Following on from that we dived into Dropzone Commander. Up against Gribblin’s totally cheesy Shaltari teleportation shenanigans were my UCM. We played 1500pts and it was a really tight game. I horribly misused both my Wolverines and Katanas, so much so that none of them had any real impact on the game at all. My 6 Gladius however were a total wrecking crew. A Battlegroup that costs over 400 points may be a little excessive in a game of this size but they certainly paid for themselves with the impact that they had. They killed a terra gate, stopping the moving of an objective off the table, dropped some bricks on the head of the Shaltari warsuits preventing them from finding an objective (after a pair of Raven B’s had already put the hurt on the same building killing off an earlier attempt to find the objective with a different squad) as well as nuking a Coyote. Not bad when they lost not a single one from their number over the course of the game.

My Legionnaires in the Raven As were brilliant. They went into buildings, found objectives and then de-bussed quickly. With the blistering pace and small landing zones the Ravens got away quickly securing two objectives that I managed to get off the table. Gribblin managed to down one with an attack run from his fast mover but all it did was ground the transport. A transport I quickly replaced with a “Call for Extraction” card. I never felt hampered by my lack of a Commander above CV3 although spending so much on the Gladius group meant I had far fewer AA units that I’d have liked.

When it came around to post-pizza Dreadball I took my Void Sirens for their inaugural run against Servitob’s more masculine looking dudes. The game was quick and brutal, my good dice from earlier in the day deserting me. I was happy to lose as I’d had pretty decent luck through the rest of the day and I still got to play a game that was a blast and has the benefits of, like Deadzone, being quick to set up, play and pack away. Always a bonus in my mind.

We had three great games, it was really nice to get to spend some gaming time among friends. I’ve now got more motivation to get the stuff I’m using painted so that it looks nicer and we’ll see when it is we can get around to doing it again. It certainly looks like we’re all in a good place with the games that we’ve got to play and not a GW mini in sight.

Dropzone Commander; My First Game


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Yesterday saw the get-together of us gamers here at the floating citadel and my first real game of the much talked about Dropzone Commander.  I had heard some good reports of DZC from my fellows; notably Zombiepirate and Cerebus and after playing a demo game at Salute last month I decided to dish out the cash and go with the Shaltari.  I’ve spent the past few weeks devouring the rules, assembling models and I have now started to paint a few.  Above are the ones I’ve finished.  Yesterday’s game was a bit of an eye-opener, as none of us have seen the Shaltari in action, so I’d like to share my thoughts on the game as a whole and the Shaltari in particular.

First off is my army list.  We had decided to play a 1500pts game (about average size).  For those who are unaware, DZC has a slightly different army selection to other games.  The army is divided into battlegroups (at 1500pts a maximum of 6), and each battlegroup is divided into units (at 1500pts between 1-3).  These battlegroups activate at the same time, though they don’t have to work together.  The battlegroups have different names and compositions depending on the army but are essentially; HQ, Armour, Infantry, Special (choice of heavy support or fast scout) and Air support (Fleet).  For my army I decided to max out on Battlegroups to give me some flexibility.  I also ended up with at least one unit of everything (part be chance, part because I wanted to see what they could all do).  I have not included the two new units.  So here is the list:

  • HQ Battlegroup; 1 Coyote Warstrider with a Shaltari Warchief upgrade
  • Armour Battlegroup; 1 unit of 5 Tomahawk tanks, 1 unit of 3 Kukri AA tanks
  • Infantry Battlegroup; 2 units of 2 bases of Braves, 1 unit of 2 Thunderbird Gunships
  • Special Battlegroup 1; 1 Jaguar Warstrider, 1 Ocelot Warstrider
  • Special Battlegroup 2; 1 unit of 2 bases of Firstborns, 1 unit of Yari light tanks with AA guns
  • Fleet Battlegroup; 1 Warspear Heavy Fighter
  • Gates; 1 Gaia Heavy Gate, 2 Eden Medium Gates, 2 Spirit Light Gates, 1 Haven Terragate

In one of those rarities in gaming the army actually comes to bang on 1500pts.  The Shaltari are different from the other armies in that their transports (the teleportation gates) are not attached to specific units, but instead form a pool from which you activate the chosen gate with any battlegroup you like as the game progresses.  Each one can only be activated once though.

So how did the battle go?  My opponent was Zombiepirate with his UCM army, and then came my first surprise.  In an event that almost led to a collapse in the space-time continuum and the end of the universe as we know it…Zombiepirate had more stuff painted than me!  To be fair to my long time friend and gaming opponent, he has been putting in some work on his DZC models.  We had decided on the basic scenario of a cityscape with 5 objectives to capture and take off the table (you get one victory point if you control an objective and 2 if you get it off the table).

The game began with me being lucky, getting both the initiative and having my reserve fighter turning up to perform strafing runs (more about this brave pilot later).  All of the units are kept in readiness off the table and arrive via transports when the battlegroup becomes available.  As units cannot shoot on a turn they disembark (or dematerialize in my case) the only shots came from my fighter who swooped in and took out a light transport carrying the Wolverine scouts.  Sadly both buggies survived the crash.  Zombiepirate advanced on the two objectives nearest to him on my right flank and also to the one in the centre.  I also went for the centre and an objective on my left.  This is I think, one of the biggest differences with DZC over other gaming systems; it is designed around objective grabs, not destruction of the enemy.  DZC is more like modern warfare’s surgical strikes and rapid insertion and extraction as opposed to a more World War I style annihilation found in other games such as 40K.  This I found to be a big difference in gaming style.  As a long time Tyranid player, I am use to just throwing my troops at stuff.  With this game I really had to think and there were moments where I took a few minutes to decide which battlegroup to activate, nevermind where & what they were going to do.

As the game progressed, there were units blowing up a plenty.  The first big casualty was my Coyote Command Warstrider, which got taken out by the UCM tanks and some excellent shooting on the part of Zombiepirate.  My shield rolls failed me, but luckily the escape module worked and my commander survived the game (unlike the UCM commander), allowing me to still use the command cards.  Casualties on my side were fairly light.  It may only be a 5+ save those shields give me, but I made some fantastic rolls.  My fighter pilot gained a promotion when he flew threw the entire UCM AA fire to strike the heavy dropship and come out the other end without so much as the paint being scratched.  The centre witnessed the biggest rumble of the game with opposing infantry fighting room-to-room for the objective and my Firstborns showing why they are elite infantry and cutting apart the UCM infantry.  The game eventually ended up with Zombiepirate scoring 4 VP to my 3.  So victory to the UCM.  This I put down mostly to lack of experience on my part.  As Cerebus can attest, I left an infantry unit out of most of the game instead of sending it to the final objective earlier in the game…I just thought too much about destroying my enemy instead of objectives… oh well learning curve.

Shaltari army thoughts and the things I learnt.  They make a very different army.  Not having dedicated transports means you can do what I did a few times and relocate units across the battlefield in seconds, so long as the gates are there.  Such shannigans can be really good when timed well.  The disadvantage to this, any unit that dematerializes cannot shoot that turn.  The fact that Shaltari gates continue to carry objectives when a unit passes through it, means that the gate can get the objective off the field whilst your unit searches for another.  The 30″ movement of the light gate is scarily fast in a game where most ground units move 4″ or less.  The tanks have some awesome firepower (though I do hate the armour 10 on the UCM…it makes them so hard to destroy).  I would recommend always moving 6″ to give the enemy the to hit penalty and help make the most of your armour 7 and 5+ save tanks.  AA vehicles are  a MUST in this game.  Having my fighter flying up and down the UCM lines, picking out targets was a great advantage…though after my game I’d recommend attack small-medium transports as they will carry the infantry & objectives off the table…and not the big transports which deliver the tanks (once they’ve dropped the armour they really don’t do much else).  Without a save aircraft go down easily to AA fire and having good flak cover means your enemy really has to think about where to put their air support and “do I risk it?” moments are common.  The warstriders…mixed feelings about these.  My commander was unlucky getting one-shotted in the second turn.  The Jaguar performed well, taking out tanks and coming with its own AA guns extends your flak shield.  The Ocelot however I’m not sure about.  It is one of my favorite looking Shaltari models, but I found that its one-shot particle cannon not much use.  The problem is that it cannot move & fire, which restricts it somewhat and although the gun is epic in its power, it’s still only 1 shot.  The best use I can see for it is when your enemy brings their own heavy armour which will have multiple hit points, then the high chance of doing double damage will really pay off.  The Thunderbird Gunships are my other favorite Shaltari model, but they need to be kept out of AA range as they are vulnerable to it.  I’d still keep them in the army as if there is no AA guns, these units can roam free around the table.  After playing the game, I have realised what my fellow gamers have; Infantry is key.  You really need to get as much Infantry as possible…somewhat a weakness of the Shaltari as their Infantry only come in units of 2 bases (opposed to 3 for most armies) and they only have 3 hit points (unlike the 5 of most armies).  This being said they are very dangerous in combat.  With an Armour of 4 they can only be wounded on 6s in close combat, so get them into a building and they will be almost impossible to take out.  The Firstborns are even tougher having 12 attacks per base and a 4+ save in combat.  It was they who won me the combat in the centre and killed 3 bases on UCM infantry in a single combat with only 1 hit in return.  Another unit that will be a must I think.

Conclusions of the Shaltari;  Use your speed as much as you can: your skimmers are harder to hit if they move 6″ or more, the ability to move your infantry from objective holding in a building, to gate, to inside another building to find another objective is fantastic.  The gates holding the objectives frees up your limited supply of infantry to look for another.  This is perhaps their biggest tactical advantage.  The 5+ save is good, but don’t rely on it all the time.  My fighter pilot go lucky, my commander less so.  As for the game itself, different and fantastic.  It is very different to anything else I have played and really makes you think about your army choices and how you are playing.  You can’t go into autopilot gaming mode, you need to think.  Great game, look forward to more.

6 Inch Move Review – Hawk Wargames Cityscape


Cityscape_website_1_mediumMore grist for the Dropzone mill today as we take a look at the Cityscape terrain set from Hawk Wargames. When Carabus and I took a trip to visit Hawk and playtest the game prior to release we got to use the display terrain that we’d seen at Salute and that was in all the artwork. Dave explained about the customisation of the tiles and that they were going to be a premium product not designed for general consumption. I don’t think anyone was expecting it to be quite as expensive as it was, but there we go. Hawk also did release a lot of their terrain as free downloads which is more than a lot of other companies do.

Still, with a 10mm scale game rather than the far more prevalent 28mm we’re used to dealing with getting the right terrain means getting something in fresh rather than reusing something bought years ago. I’d seen the cityscape on Hawk’s website but not really given it a thought, I mean, a 6′ x 4′ battlefield for £30, can’t be all that good can it? As we kind of experience a gaming drought post Salute last year things around the floating citadel just didn’t play out as we’d all hoped. This meant that we didn’t get to see our DzC stuff on the table, nor show it off to anyone else as we had planned to do.

So it was that when we went to Salute this year Dropzone Commander wasn’t really on our radar. We planned on stopping by and checking in with Dave but not much else other than that. Fate it seems like to give us a good nudge every now and again. Gribblin and nBreaker got to enjoy a demo game, suitably impressed they bought in, as we knew they would. However, we also got to see the Cityscape up close and personal. It may only be card but it’s of a very high quality and looked excellent. Free buildings from the kit were being handed out on the stand too so we got to have a quick look at what they were like. For £30 this seemed like a steal now that I’d clapped eyes on the things so I picked one up to give us a battlefield that would be compliant with the scale, the objective based nature of the game and friendly on the wallet.

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First up I need to tell you that the thing is heavy! We’ve actually got two of the things so I spent a lot of time with plastic bag handles trying to sever my fingers through the afternoon. This will also mean that we can have more than one game going at a time, or just use a really huge battlefield in a multiplayer game. When you open the box up everything is nice and securely padded with bubble wrap and it does feel like a meaty package. When you open it up you’re treated to all the flat packed buildings, pre-scored to make for easy assembly. I spent a couple of hours on Saturday putting the whole thing together. There’s a large stack of double-sided base tiles to use too. You may be better off choosing a layout and then gluing these to a board to give them some stability and stop them from moving on the table although obviously you’ll then have to store yet more terrain boards.

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That really is a wad of card you get. Each building just pops open, the roof is then glued down to make the structure rigid, each wall then has a fold on top where you fold down a small flap to “warp” over the top to give you a lip to stop stuff falling off as well as make things look prettier than just having bare white card. I used common, run of the mill PVA to glue mine together. Not watered down, just fresh out of the bottle. I applied this liberally to the roof tabs and also to the flaps. If you want to save yourself a lot of time sat still holding things then I’ll pass on a tip we got from Bex at the show, use bull-dog clips! I put forward exhibit A to show you how I did it;

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This works really well and I found that the glue stuck very quickly using this method. I only had the one pack of clips, which wasn’t a problem but I’d suggest people get two if they want to try assembly in this way as it would have just been a nicer experience if I wasn’t taking them off and using them again on the same walls of some of the larger buildings.

The only problem I see with the whole thing is that the buildings are probably going to easily be knocked about a little when gaming. Now this is nothing new but as this terrain is so light in individual pieces I can see this being more of an issue than with other, heavier terrain pieces, but for the price I’m not sure you can really argue against it.

We’re hoping to have a game using it very soon, if I’m feeling generous I might even take some piccies of it in use. However, from an assembly point of view and seeing it all together I must say that this really is a bargain and a very nice set, for the price you’d pay for a single kit from other manufacturers you have a full battlefield to play over. I am really looking forward to using it. Although I might let some of the other guys have a go at assembling the other set so I can get on with getting my army painted.