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Author Topic: Anyone get into Dropzone Commander? And Dropfleet Commander?  (Read 328 times)

Offline KTG17

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Anyone get into Dropzone Commander? And Dropfleet Commander?
« on: February 09, 2022, 04:04:21 PM »
I recently got this game.

https://ttcombat.com/collections/dropzone-commander

So this was originally released by a company called Hawk Games a number of years ago, but I think they had some issues and sold it to TT Combat. I am a sucker for starter sets and even though the version Hawk released is no longer supported, I hunted down an old set and picked up the corresponding army command cards and I am pretty impressed with it.


I don't really know much about the TT version of the game tho.

Since I am a longtime fan of Epic 40k, I was attracted to the scale of this. The premise of the game involves airlifting units around the board to duke it out to meet various objectives. I find it a little unrealistic that a flyer can pick up and fly off with several units and cover the ground they can in a turn while others barely move, but movement like this is a big part of the game so units deliberately move rather slow when not being transported. And the crazy thing is that the models being transported actually clip into the flyers that are transporting them.

The Hawk version comes with two sheets to use as a playing area and some rather large card buildings, so with the units that are included, you have a game ready to play right out of the box. In the TT version, you just get the models for two armies (more than the Hawk version) but have to buy the terrain and buildings separately. Lame so not interested.


The buildings are pretty important as the flyers need cover as they are pretty easy to shoot down.


I tend to judge games these days based on how far the starter will take me. If it involves me having to buy a lot of additional stuff to have a proper game then I am not a fan. If I don't have some cap set, and I really like it, I will just overspend. To my surprise, while I think Dropzone Commander is an interesting game I don't have much interest in expanding on what is already included in the starter, so its like a win-win to me.

I know I have a weird way of collecting now, but its for my own sanity. I really appreciate that this version of the starter really has all I need/want. The only thing I also tracked down were the Command Cards I mentioned above, which are basically cards you draw that you can use throughout the turn to use on your forces or your opponents. Kind of like Tactical Objective cards in 40k.

Of course, if I did want to expand, there are a ton of more models out there.

Edit: I did expand on the two armies a bit, buying a command unit each and some more of the units that come in the starter. I am a huge fan of the command units.



The vehicle on the left (the Kodiak) calls in orbital barrages! Command units are pretty important as you can buy various commanders who allow you to draw a certain number of cards each turn that allow you to do things like repair units, move further, etc. The cheaper commanders you can add to infantry stands but the more expensive ones have to be put in their own command vehicle. Another cool thing about the Kodiak is that is that the radar dish folds down and the whole unit can be clipped into the same Condor aircraft that comes in the starter.

Also, there was a limited release of resin civilian vehicles to add to the game which I just had to get. Basically adding some cars, trucks, buses around the board which does break up some line of sight. Nice touch.

As I have been a fan of Epic40k since I first got into wargaming, I pretty much considered those games to be the gold standard in games of this scale. Dropzone makes Epic really show its age. Actually, it kind of makes 40k in general show its age.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2022, 01:44:10 PM by KTG17 »

Offline KTG17

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Re: Anyone get into Dropzone Commander?
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2022, 09:03:18 PM »
Well it seems no one seems to care about this game but I am pretty impressed with it. I canít pry myself away from it. I started to assemble the models (which I feel really arenít in the right scale for the rules but cool anyway), and have decided to buy more, in particular the UCM Kodiak and the Scourge Desolator, two models I really liked for the get-go but was trying to resist buying anymore.  :icon_lol:

Offline GamesPoet

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Re: Anyone get into Dropzone Commander?
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2022, 03:35:09 AM »
I've heard it is a fun game.  Except I have lots of those I'm working on already. :icon_wink: :icon_lol:
"Not all who wander are lost ... " Tolkien

"... my old suggestion is forget it, take two aspirins and go paint" steveb

"The beauty of curiosity and creativity is so much more useful than the passion of fear." me

"Until death it is all life." Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

Offline KTG17

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Re: Anyone get into Dropzone Commander? And Dropfleet Commander?
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2022, 01:36:17 PM »
Well, I was so impressed with Dropzone Commander I got its sister game, Dropfleet Commander.


Whereas Dropzone Commander focuses on the local battle, Dropfleet Commander focuses on the orbital battle. Remember Andy Chambers? He co-wrote these rules.


So even though you are using space battle cruisers and all, the focus is not on destroying your opponent's fleet for example, but capturing objects on the surface of the planet. There are three layers of orbit that the ships can manoeuver in (high orbit, medium orbit, and low orbit), even though not all ships can go into low orbit. There are sectors on the surface that have to be captured by landing troops on the surface, so you have to position your troop carrying ships into position under the cover of your gunships. You track a lot of the information about the ships on their bases. These ships can also deploy fighters and bombers too and I bought an expansion set for the 3D models as opposed to using counters.


Anyway, really impressed so far with the quality of the games, the contents, and the models. I can't say that I love all the factions though, and that might be a thing that keeps the universe from expanding, but sticking close to what comes in both starters is really rewarding.

If Hawk Wargames had produced a third game before selling itself to TTCombat, I would buy it.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2022, 01:43:15 PM by KTG17 »

Offline KTG17

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Re: Anyone get into Dropzone Commander? And Dropfleet Commander?
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2022, 11:12:36 PM »
Adding a link here to an open box review of Dropfleet Commander with the game designer.

https://youtu.be/2u6lzTpwLxc

Itís really a flawless starter set.

This game and Dropzone have really ruined my other hobbies at the moment.


Offline KTG17

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Re: Anyone get into Dropzone Commander? And Dropfleet Commander?
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2022, 02:18:21 PM »
Well, here I am again posting about these games. I literally cannot get enough of them.

I was really in the dark about them when I first got into them, but it seems that the designer spent 2 years working on Dropzone Commander in his garage working on rules and models, working off his own money and loans from his dad, to come up with a really nice game involving combined arms.

His followup, Dropfleet, was started on Kickstarter and I guess there were issues getting all the promised products to backers so he sold the game to TTCombat and stayed on developing new rules and units for both games. The sets I have are from the Hawk Wargames era, as opposed to the new TTCombat versions.

I am not sure how well this game is doing these days. Even their online store has a lot of Sold Out of basic stuff. And TTCombat just released a third version of the rulebook. I feel like too many rulebooks in a certain amount of time can be a game killer, but I guess with all the new units that have been released, there was a need for updated rules. I don't know. I really have no interest in keeping up with the TT version, which I know hurts the game. But its manly because I am so blown away by the early version and the atmosphere they create. There are 5 factions in the game, but I am thinking the best thing they could have done when working on a 3rd rulebook was release a new faction, but maybe they can't afford it I dont know. There have been a lot of units released for the existing armies.

I wanted extras of the starters so tracked down 2 new copies of both games, which hasnt been easy to do, promising I would stop there. Well, you know how that goes.

But to show you how much these games have ruined things for me, I really have lost interest in Epic. I mean I do still like it, but I realize how 2 dimensional those games are, and how ridiculous some of the units are. Well, I always kind of felt that about a lot of 40k units, but even more so now. Actually, Dropzone and Dropfleet aren't just ruining Epic for me, but also 40k. Its not that I don't like the universe of 40k, but the concept of combat in 40k. I know its sort of meant to be absurd, but some stuff just defies logic. I don't feel that way with these games.

These games do have a cap tho. The 40k universe is so expansive, the miniatures are great, and there is so many ways to play the game or in the universe, but the rules are garbage and have been for some time. It feel so strange to be getting into a new game where the system is fluid and exciting.

Offline KTG17

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Re: Anyone get into Dropzone Commander? And Dropfleet Commander?
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2022, 03:46:16 PM »
FedEx just arrived  :::cheers:::.

I ordered 3 'mouse pad' matts from Deepcut Studios, who are in Lithuania. They made matts for both Dropzone and Dropfleet and decided to give them a shot. Hawk Wargames released a pack of 1 foot by 1 foot card tiles for Dropzone to make cities with, but as you can imagine, trying to keep so many cards in place while playing seems like a pain in the ass. But also having streets fixed in place all the time seems boring too, especially since streets play a big part in movement.



Its ok, and being 4x4 fits on my kitchen table nicely.

The one for Dropfleet is awesome tho.



I also picked up a third, called 'Meadow' to use for WFB.


Its a little dark than I hoped, but will do the job. I have been banging my head looking for a single reasonable sized matt to play on and I think this will do it for just about everything.

Offline GamesPoet

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Re: Anyone get into Dropzone Commander? And Dropfleet Commander?
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2022, 04:07:09 PM »
Good choices! :icon_biggrin: :::cheers:::
"Not all who wander are lost ... " Tolkien

"... my old suggestion is forget it, take two aspirins and go paint" steveb

"The beauty of curiosity and creativity is so much more useful than the passion of fear." me

"Until death it is all life." Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

Offline KTG17

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Re: Anyone get into Dropzone Commander? And Dropfleet Commander?
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2022, 04:17:38 PM »
I dont have any of the buildings assembled, but I have 20 of them. One of the really cool things Hawk Wargames did was release a set of civilian cars and trucks to scatter around and give some life into the city.



Yeah this matt was the way to go. I would like to get some more cars as they do a nice job of breaking up line of sight. For the record these are in 10mm scale.

Also, wanted to point out that each matt comes in its own case which is really nice for storing.



I am impressed with the matts. They are heavy, and with the backing, wont slide. I am tempted to get an ocean one for Man O' War, as the one I have is from Dreadfleet and while its gorgeous, its silk-like and kind of is easy to move around without weights. So if I do get the ocean one, I will probably get a couple more of these matts. They really are nice.

Offline KTG17

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Re: Anyone get into Dropzone Commander? And Dropfleet Commander?
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2022, 05:56:24 PM »
BTW you can hang the cases for the matts on hangers, so these fit perfectly away in a closet. Very very impressed with these.

Offline KTG17

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Re: Anyone get into Dropzone Commander? And Dropfleet Commander?
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2022, 02:52:19 PM »
I just bought three more Deepcut Studio mats. I am getting rid of what I previously bought for playing areas from other manufacturers except some kill team boards.

I bought:

https://www.deepcutstudio.com/product/wargames-terrain-mat-plains/

https://www.deepcutstudio.com/product/game-mat-prairie/

https://www.deepcutstudio.com/product/wargames-terrain-mat-waterworld/
 
I wish I had found these guys sooner.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2022, 11:02:37 PM by KTG17 »

Offline GamesPoet

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Re: Anyone get into Dropzone Commander? And Dropfleet Commander?
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2022, 01:06:50 PM »
I have the plains mat in cloth format.  However, the thicker almost rubber like mats are excellent.
"Not all who wander are lost ... " Tolkien

"... my old suggestion is forget it, take two aspirins and go paint" steveb

"The beauty of curiosity and creativity is so much more useful than the passion of fear." me

"Until death it is all life." Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

Offline KTG17

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Re: Anyone get into Dropzone Commander? And Dropfleet Commander?
« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2022, 01:09:46 PM »
Okay, I know no one seems to care about this game, but I just have to keep talking about it because my friends just don't care and dont want to hear about it.

So since I got into this game so late, its taken me a bit to figure out whats been going on with it and how it got to where it is today, which seems like its in a major mess, even though TTCombat is still producing stuff for it. And its pretty stunning how bad its being managed.

After the initial release of Dropzone, Hawk Wargames produced a couple of additional books called Reconquest Phase 1 and Reconquest Phase 2. I initially held off getting these but eventually folded and glad I did. They advance the story and include new units and scenarios and are both very well done. If Hawk Wargames did anything right, they really knew how to put together nice books. Especially the art. There is a ton of art in all their books.

Well, after the game was sold to TTCombat, they released another book called The Battle for Earth, which is a massive tome that includes updates to Dropfleet as well as revised rules for Dropzone, as well as advancing the story and introducing a new fleet for the Resistance faction. Its an odd book. While it covers Dropfleet, there are no basic rules included, just focuses on a new fleet and new ships for existing. If it included the basic rules for Dropfleet along with Dropzone, it would make sense that this book would serve as the new rule bible going forward.

I am not sure what came next, but TTCombat did release mini stand alone rulebooks for both Dropfleet and Dropzone, but I hate the layout and there is little backround info, nearly no art or pictures, and nothing on units. I assume these were meant to be included in box sets, but are also available online for free, as well as unit lists and so on.

Now here is the kicker: I was talking to a rep from a FLGS in another state about this game as they had a few of the Dropfleet Commander starters which seem very hard to find these days, and he mentioned that they were sent an entire shipment from TTCombat without the rulebooks - in this case The Battle For Earth as those are what TTCombat is sending out now, due to some printing error, so this store had to opened up the starters and add their own copies of The Battle of Earth that they had on hand.

Now here is the crazy thing: TTCombat is still using the old Hawk Wargames box, which specifies that the game includes the rulebook, which in this case means the original Dropfleet rulebook. However, including the Battle For Earth, it leaves out any mention of the ships that are included in the game, even though the game does include reference sheets for them. And of all the ships released for this game and available from TTCombat, very few are mentioned in Battle For Earth, since it itself is more than an expansion for Dropfleet. And in this book there is a note that says - rules for Dropfleet can be downloaded from their website.

So imagine this for a moment. You buy a game which comes with this massive book that does not include any rules on how to play, but points you to a website where you can download the rules. And then the book that does come with the game provides rules for a game you have no miniatures to play with. It really makes no sense.

Anyway, decisions like this I assume are going to put the nail in the coffin for this game, which is a shame as what David Lewis did with it was pretty epic. The guy is a legend in my book. I can't help but wonder how exciting it might have been had they been able to make a 28mm scale game within that universe.

« Last Edit: May 16, 2022, 01:55:45 PM by KTG17 »

Offline GamesPoet

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Re: Anyone get into Dropzone Commander? And Dropfleet Commander?
« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2022, 01:15:34 PM »
Saw a vendor at Huzzah! 2022 selling DropFleet.  I considered dropping some money, but didn't.  Not a priority, and my interest level is low.

However, I did recently pick up a starter box of Battletech, but that'd be the wrong topic for this thread :icon_wink: :icon_lol:
"Not all who wander are lost ... " Tolkien

"... my old suggestion is forget it, take two aspirins and go paint" steveb

"The beauty of curiosity and creativity is so much more useful than the passion of fear." me

"Until death it is all life." Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

Offline KTG17

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Re: Anyone get into Dropzone Commander? And Dropfleet Commander?
« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2022, 01:38:41 PM »
Ha I have a weird fascination with Battletech. I have the original FASA Battledroids set



as well as second edition, now called Battletech, and all of the 1/144 and 1/200 scale kits scenario packs sold by TCI.



All waiting to be assembled. I do like Battledroids because it includes rules for infantry and vehicles that Battletech 2nd ed drops out.

I grew up overseas so knew these robots by their original names as I was a fan of the shows, so naturally was initially interested in Battletech. But the game of Battletech is pretty lame. It is actually based on a pair of old Takara games called

Battle of Stanrey (aka Stanley) - https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/8780/battle-stanrey

Battle of Kalnock - https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/14165/battle-kalnock

I have both of these games and they are some of my most prized collector items. Took a great deal of effort to get two sets in great condition, because usually they are pretty beat up.

Both are based in the Dougram series and center around two major battles that take place in it. The majority of the rules are in japanese but some were translated by TCI for import for the US. Apparently the FASA guys saw these games and the kits at a convention and that is how Battletech got its start. When I got the sets I did, I got them from Japan, so they didnt include the english rules. I pinned down anyone who could read Japanese when I was in college to try and translate bits and pieces. It wasnt until I posted the games on an old website I ran did people reach out to me saying they could send me copies of the english rules. I was so thankful for those guys. But the english rules only cover a fraction of the japanese and I am not even sure they are 100% accurate.

It amazes me how popular Battletech got, given the terrible designs of many of the FASA non-anime robots, and the lack of any strategy in the game. I don't know where Battletech is today, but I have a fondness for old games and I do love having the original models the game was intended to use, as opposed to minis. The models are really too big for the task though. I gave some thought of hunting down the metal counterparts, but not sure I ever will.

I also know I will never play the game again.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2022, 01:48:26 PM by KTG17 »

Offline GamesPoet

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Re: Anyone get into Dropzone Commander? And Dropfleet Commander?
« Reply #15 on: May 16, 2022, 03:06:16 PM »
Going to start a new thread for it just in case, and will quote these last two posts so as to not clutter up your thread on Dropzone and Drop Fleet ...
"Not all who wander are lost ... " Tolkien

"... my old suggestion is forget it, take two aspirins and go paint" steveb

"The beauty of curiosity and creativity is so much more useful than the passion of fear." me

"Until death it is all life." Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra