Aug 15 2012

War-Game Wednesday- Episode 18: Dropzone Commander

Right it’s not Wednesday but since Dropzone Commander is new and we’ve been a bit late with the videos lately Lor and I decided what the hell. This weeks video we replay the scenario from the bonus video, however this time we added loads of PDF terrain (What we’ve determined to not be enough after this video.) We also incorporated a more detailed description of the rules for those of you who were on the fence. Click the jump to watch the video!

We also tried to explain force construction in the rules but it was so confusing and it came out a jumbled mess. Lorenzo has since written an explanation for those of you who are interested below:

Dropzone Commander Force Construction:

While most of the concepts in Dropzone Commander are very clear and straightforward, particularly for those familiar with several other wargames, there is one particular aspect of the way DzC works that is quite confusing at first: Building army lists.

DzC Army Rosters are organized at three separate levels that take a while to get used to: Battlegroups, Squadrons and Units.

A Battlegroup is a detachment in your army that activates together. It contains a certain number of squadrons based on the restriction for that battlegroup type in your factions army list section, and any transports taken for those squadrons. These squadrons are in turn made up of units (which always consist of individual models or bases in the case of infantry).

The Standard Army Roster chart tells you how many battlegroups of each type (HQ, Armour, Infantry, Special Forces, and Air Fleet) you can or must take, as well as the total maximum number of battlegroups you can have at in skirmish (500-999 points), clash (1000-1999 points) and battle (2000-3000 point) games.

Next, your army list section will have tables for each of the battlegroup types that list how many squadrons of each squadron type (such as troop squadrons and support squadrons in infantry battlegroups) that you can or must take.

Finally, the individual unit entry for each unit type has a section called “S + C” which tells you how many units can be in a squadron (as well as what coherency they have to remain in, but that is not relevant here). To take a simple example, UCM Sabre MBTs have in their s+c section “3/6/9”. This means that a squadron of Sabre’s can be composed of either 3, 6 or 9 Sabres (plus their air transports).

In practical terms this means that once you know what points value of army roster you are building, you consult the army roster chart to see how many of each type of battlegroup you may (or must) take. You then consult the individual tables for each battlegroup type to see how many of each type of squadron for that battlegroup you may (or must) take. Finally, you consult the individual unit entries to see how many units (models or bases) you can take in each squadron.

This sounds straightforward enough when you read it, but what makes this so confusing for people who have played other wargames is that virtually every other wargame I can think of that uses the term “units” uses it to refer to what DzC calls a squadron, and individual models are referred to as “models” rather than “units”. Other than the unusual use of terminology, the only difficult part about building lists in DzC is that the Army Roster -> Battlegroups -> Squadrons tables mean that if you try to build a list a certain way and find you don’t have the points, it is often not simply a matter of removing a squadron of one type of unit and replacing it with another, but can instead require you to rework your whole list.

 Link to Bonus Video

Thanks for taking the time to watch this video. More Dropzone Commander videos will be forthcoming in the near future.

About the author


G has an overactive imagination and lives in a weird hybrid reality.