Officially we are as of now at T-minus 7 days until (we hope) Dropzone Commander is officially birthed into the world, hopefully not like John Hurt in the original Alien movie… you know the one Ridley Scott directed that wasn’t an incoherent mess.
The only concern here is that all is quiet on the Hawk HQ front. Ideally we’d be wanting something to let us know that everything is on track. This presents us with two possible options, either Dave has finally spontaneously combusted due to below WHO recommended sleep levels and a heavy workload, or, all hands are to the grindstone getting things ready for a week today when the website tells us to expect shipping to start.
For many of us I guess this is a most telling time for Hawk Wargames. We’ve seen the models, many of us have signed up to buy the product, now we need to get our greedy mitts on it. Speaking with Carabus today and he’s expecting another delay. We always thought that some of the deadlines were tight but sometimes that’s a good thing as it helps to focus the mind and ensure that things get done. I know that those of us here at 6 Inch Move are very eager to play some more and are hoping that everything is ticking along smoothly. Only time will tell.
Considering there isn’t much news right now in this arena I thought I’d do a bit of a lengthier post regarding just why it is that I’ve gone ahead and bought the Mega Premium army. After all, dropping £250 on something that I’ve played once probably seems a little nuts to a few people and even for those that understand the hobby it’s a lot of cash to drop in one go on something. For me, it all came out of the play test that we had recently down at Hawk HQ.
By now I hope that you’re all familiar with the various army deals so I’ll not be reposting them all here. I suppose the first thing to talk about really is the price and the saving. I’ll be the first to admit that £250 is a huge amount of money for me, it’s probably a good three of four months of “normal” gaming spend in one fell swoop. I looked at it like this; individually the units themselves cost a few silver pennies over £290 AND the premium version comes with the custom-cut foam to keep it all in. In my head the case is worth at least £30-40 for all the stuff that’ll fit in it so in total that brings us to about £330. If viewed like this the saving becomes really obvious, at least to me.
The next point is the variety of the units involved, in essence I get at least one of everything I want. What I did like about the Mega is the extra unit of AA tanks. During the play test I really wished that I had more AA and this set gives me that option. AA is very useful considering how much stuff is flying around in a game of DzC. It also presents some handy choices. You can either try to gun down something in your own turn or wait for your opponent and the react to him. With initiative perhaps changing every turn this then gives you a genuine choice to make before proactive or reactive fire. You’re more than likely not going to drop a heavy dropship with a single squad’s fire in one round. However, should you intercept an attack run by enemy aircraft you could potentially hit them both on the way in and the way out, depending on how you have deployed your forces.
While we didn’t get to customise how our forces were made up on the day I’m hoping I can cram in those extra bits I want as I can see me making a lot of use of the various AA vehicles. Sure they can’t target ground units but I have plenty of other stuff to try to deal with that anyway.
The heavy dropships are really what sold me on UCM. Their weapons aren’t going to win you any engagements on their own but the cargo they carry (bought and assigned at the army list stage) are. I look forward to packing these with vehicles. Obviously each dropship has a limit to what it can carry as well as how far it can move. I’ll be very studiously looking at my forces in terms of what I want to include in each one. Do I want a smaller squad of something but put it into a faster dropship so it can get to its target quicker, or do I take more vehicles knowing it’s going to take me longer to get them into position before they can start affecting the battle.
In terms of the tanks I’ve not seen the tank destroyers in action yet so will hold judgement. They look cool though and I’m looking forward to seeing what they can do. The MBTs though, I really like the Sabres and they did some damage to their Scourge counterparts when we played. As you might be able to guess from the Gladius the only real difference between the two is that the Gladius gets an extra shot per vehicle. This is another unit I’m keen to use. They’ve got good range on their guns so I can see me loading an Albatross with these tanks, possibly the other Albatross with all the Rapier AA vehicles and deploying accordingly. That allows me to then use the Condors to drop in Bear APCs further up the field to get my slow-moving infantry into position backed up by some Ravens packing either Praetorians or a couple of AA configured Wolverines.
I know I’ll probably not be able to fit it all into a standard sized army, after all the Mega really is a rather prodigious load of resin, but I’ll have plenty of options and I can already see me thinking around the various assault vectors of how I can deliver things into place and then extract them when the time comes.
I wasn’t sure about the Wolverine models when I first saw them but the AA versions look very cool and they pack a punch for how small they are. Their ability to act as spotters for the Kodiak’s orbital strike is also very useful as you try to peg an opposing APC that’s fleeing the scene of battle (we missed more often than not though). I can pretty much guarantee that I’ll always be taking the two Archangels due to their usefulness in at least intercepting any enemy craft (unless they start stacking AA too). I look over it and see stuff I know that I won’t leave at home (will probably have to paint those parts first) and enough other items to give me options to try to see how I do with them.
I’d love to talk more about how everything works but I’m really not supposed to. I guess people are just going to have to wait until next week when you can hopefully see it all for yourselves. I hope you all will have as much fun with your first game as we did!