It’s time for some more Dropzone Commander as the Shaltari faces UCM in a jungle city during a stormy night of Reconquest Phase 2 in this BatRep.
We’re letting much time slip in the cracks between our games, so we push to get in a game of Dropzone Commander before we forget it all. Mr. Easter was also eager to field his freshly painted up force of UCM, and he has thus achieved something spectacular – having all his minis for a particular game for a particular game at a point of time. To me it sounds like he’s showing off, but in case its true kudos to him. Plus, he needn’t worry, for he has a shipment of reinforcements expected to arrive sooner or later. 😉
This time it was 700 points of Domination, as in Reconquest Phase 2. This translates to “control table quarters” at Turn 3 and Turn 6, as 2 VP for dominating and 1 VP for contesting. To make things interesting we decided to add some Reconquest 2 environmentals – rolling off for odd gravity: 1 being low, 2-5 being normal and 6 being high gravity. High gravity was the case. Proceeding, we got a storm taking place (dangerous to fly), and then just for the heck of it we added some Vampires nesting in our top towers. The rules effectively means -2″ max Mv on the ground (not affecting MF), aircraft crashing on snake eyes at their activation and to the deck being 4 and below. Vamps attack a random aircraft within 8″ of their building in the environmental phase and proceed to hunt it until it dies.
♥♥♥ The Shaltari force (Iceni tribe)♥♥♥
I would like to get another infantry squad in here, but at these points it seems just to hard. Some more anti-air would be welcome too.
♤♤♤ The UCM force ♤♤♤
Here’s Mr. Easter’s UCM, just getting started he’s already pumping up steel in the sky and trying to keep it flying. Getting him stuck on the ground is a strong tactic, but its not too easy. Especially as he has a thick hide to get through…
↑ Bottom of Turn 1. The forces move in from each corner – 12″ and 12″ from the home corner and 6″ in. Vamps are marked by green dice in the skyscrapers.
The Shaltari drop some Pungari into the large building. (This was too early, but the UCM began putting shots into it so the move was causing some distraction at least.) The Commander deployed to be able to use command cards straight on. Kukri materialize from a gate. From a Spirit gate Braves disembark to counter the UCM troopers in the top-left scraper. An Eden is preparing to cover the bottom right table quarter.
The UCM moved up to a large building in their table quarter, waiting for an underground to be built. They are apparently more optimistic in this regard than people living in Helsinki.
↑ Bottom of Turn 2. Boudicca (Jaguar commander) takes a gate a few inches up the board to be able to pick a quarter easily come scoring time. Kukri are covering the mid-lane cross the board, just behind the Kukri. The Tomahawks are holding the bottom right quarter and are ready to hop around the corner to take a few shots at the Rapiers (left lane) or the Sabres (right lane). Falcons are guarding the infantry top-left, but are feeling the pressure provided by the Shaltari AA support given by the Kukri and take it slow (in the snow).
Here the storm takes it first victim, as a Raven falls, effectively stranding a squad of infantry.
↑ Bottom of Turn 3. The Kukri manage to take down a Falcon, although all were not in range to shoot. The Tomahawks get a Rapier. The Braves fighting in Close Quarter defeat the marines, albeit at a rather dire cost, and the Spirit then takes them out with a convenient Eldritch Fire command. The Pungari are also getting crushed left and right as the UCM are really trying to bury them in the rubble. No worries yet, though!
Now, the two
Gondors, sorry Condors and the Falcons are trying to lure out the vampires. The Vamps DO take out a Condor, effectively stranding the Sabres.
↑ First scoring. The Shaltari dominate top-left, bottom-left and bottom-right. The UCM dominates top-right, and contests top-left as well as bottom-right.
Shaltari 6 – UCM 4
(Also, check out Mr. Easters decals project, with each squad having a designated, and appropriately marked transport. The insane part is that these have been applied before most of the airbrushing, and thus have been covered in liquid mask.)
↑ Bottom of Turn 4. The Falcons threaten the Tomahawks, luckily moving too fast to be able to shoot this turn. Of the assailants, the Sabres are now contesting the Tomahawks table quarter. The Kukri (now right behind the large tower) are taking heavy fire after trying to drop a
Gondor, Condor. The Pungari evacuate the building, as they already have lost half of their number. Boudicca is moving up the battlefield.
The UCM do get a Underground working, and are now ready to move to the
Trump Vampire Tower.
↑ Bottom of Turn 5. The Falcons and the Rapiers pepper the Tomahawks and only one remains.The Kukri are retreating, with the mission in mind. Also, the UCM move their infantry to the large scraper by monorail. The storm takes another UCM flyer.
↑ Bottom of Turn 6. Where the Shaltari dominated with their Shaltarigans, managing to drop a few units here and there, the UCM countered hard in the end. The Falcons take out he last Tomahawk. The Marines return to their original HQ building to secure their home quarter. Boudicca commands the Kukri to move flat out, reaching the UCM table quarter. This successfully baits the Rapier commander into her firing arc, but she, alas, cannot destroy the impromptly designated commander. The Rapier tank, instead manages to remove the Shaltari impostor. The Pungari hop into a building in Shaltari corner. Then, as a final trick, the Spirit gate moves fully up the side of the board to the UCM corner and Boudicca calls for the insertion of the remaining Braves within her spehere of influence – in this case in the UCM quarter. While excessive, the UCM home position is then firmly contested.
↑ The final score. 9 to the UCM and 12 to Shaltari, it was a very tight game, but the benefit of speed and UCM loosing 2 fliers in the storm helped turn it to the favour of the UFO hedgehogs. We also got the vampire rules wrong in the beginning, which caused us both to play more carefully around them – this cost the UCM a bit more than the Shaltari.
The forces seem decently balanced, both have strengths that the other force needs to counter or avoid. This I think could be seen where the Shaltari could jump around and poke at some tanks sticking their heads out without taking damage in return. The, when pressing forward into the UCM firing zone they got to hit back and did so rather hard.
Going through the game as I am writing I can also see and/or recall some mistakes from my part in choosing firing arcs. Boudicca was unfortunately placed in terms of shooting. I was getting frustrated with the damage output from her but I can only blame myself. Also, the substitute – a Gharial – while slightly faster and more heavily armed, it also has a much shorter range of 12″ on its weaponry. I look forward to adding scouts to the force to be able to spread out the Sphere of Influence, while being able to pick better spots for shooting. Also, with less weaponry on the Coyote you loose less when gate-hopping to use the cards… Hmm. Food for thought.
I am also happy that I am grasping the rules better than before, now to the level that I can more readily self-scrutinize and weigh on choices both tactically and in list building. Yay! 🙂