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Dropzone Commander 2.0 : Lightning Raid

After spending the previous night priming and assembling my forces, I finally managed to get them to the table. I love the DZC terrain from the old 2-player starter. Straight away there's such a table presence. I first set up the mission objectives: Lightning Raid. 3 pieces of info vital to the coming large scale battle for Earth. Both sides are seeking to acquire it. If manage to take off the table, each objective is worth 2 VPs. If a side holds an objective at the end of the game (Turn 6) it's worth 1 VP.

Then I randomised the deployment of the PHR (Post-human Republic or Space Elves 😝) and Scourge (Alien conquerors of Earth) and off we go!

TURN 1


Scourge got initiative but forced the PHR to go first. 


Both sides moved to Center. Scourge disembarked all units thanks to superior movement. PHR still stuck on their Neptune dropships except for one Juno that disembarked. Had to be cautious of lurking Scourge Hunter anti-tank tanks.



TURN 2


PHR initiative. 


PHR disembarked the armour battle group. Neptune fired at a Hunter and an Invader AFV. Missed the Hunter. Hit the Invader for 1 DAM. The Phobos walkers hid. The Ares took 2 shots at the Invader AFV and missed!


The Scourge disembarked troops into 2 buildings with objectives. (Note: I think I could've disembarked them directly into the buildings the previous trn after much re-reading of the 2.1 rules).


The PHR disembarked 2 squads as well. One Immortal squad in the central building vs one Warrior squad. 


Then the Scourge Reapers moved up and downed a Neptune and damaged another. The Scourge Hunters downed a Phobos and damaged another Phobos and a Juno. 


Things are looking BAD for the PHR!


TURN 3


PHR initiative. 


The PHR get their revenge, activating the armour battle group and knocking out 2 Reapers and a Hunter. 


The Scourge Hunters missed both the surviving Phobos and a Juno! The Reaper downed another Neptune before scooting out of sight of the Ares walkers. 


The Immortals in the central building managed to find the objective. But used 2 actions to do so. The other Immortal squad couldn’t find their butts with both hands tied behind their backs. 

The Juno AFVs moved up and managed to down an Invader. 


The Warrior squads fared much better. One squad actually managed to find an objective at first try. They then embarked onto a waiting Invader. Which moved off before being picked up by a Marauder. Which then proceeded to run for the map edge!


The other Warrior squad in the central building blasted the Immortal squad to shreds in CQB (Close Quarter Combat), leaving only ONE Immortal standing out of 10. Yikes! (Note: Forgot to take a Fortitude test as the Immortals lost more than 50% of their troops).


Then the Marauders moved up and targeted the sole surviving Phobos. One missed but the other was out of range. Just barely! Phew!


TURN 4


PHR initiative. 


The Phobos managed to shoot down the fleeing Marauder from 24" away. Whee! But the Invader unit inside did NOT take any damage! Boo! Then the 2 Ares walkers attempted to take out the fleeing Invader AFV... and knocked out the Invader, causing one DAM to each unit of the Warrior squad inside. Who then deployed 2" away from the burning vehicle. They were so close to the map edge!

The Scourge activated their Frontline battlesquads. The fleeing Warriors activated and ran to within 1" of the edge of the table! Thus triggering the mission's escape clause and that's 2VPs in the bag for the Scourge. What a cinematic moment!


(Ugh. This is NOT good for the PHR. Tactical error. Brain fart. 


Now the Scourge have 3 VPs to a potential 1-2 for the PHR. 


Poor tactical choices on the part of the PHR. Including which side to move the Phobos’ to. Gah. Should actually have evacuated the Immortal squad in the central building as it already had the objective, then embarked onto the waiting Juno. Then run for the Neptune dropship and it's off to the map edge. Lesson learned: an objective in hand is worth 2 VPs from a fleeing enemy.)


The Warriors in the central building wiped out the remaining Immortals and grabbed the objective. Not being able to evacuate in time, they moved into the Center of the building, prevent them from being shot at from the outside. Gah!


The remaining two Marauders moved in to finish off the Phobos... and got a rude shock when all shots missed!!!


The Immortal squad found the objective in their building (finally!!!) and moved to the building edge. It’s pretty risky embarking onto their Juno APC when 2 Scourge Hunters are lurking around the corner. 

The Neptune ran to hide behind another building out of the way of the sole remaining Reaper. 


The Scourge armour battle group activated. The Reaper moved around the building. With nothing left in its sights it attempted to take down the Phobos. No luck!


But the Phobos’ luck is running out as the Hunters will go next. Aaaaaand... the Phobos finally goes down under combined plasma cannon fire!

Good grief. The only way now for the PHR to win is to destroy the central building (if possible) and hope the squad inside takes enough casualties to lose the objective, then make off with their own objective. 


Not likely. 


TURN 5


PHR get initiative. 


The remaning Immortal squad embarks onto the Juno AFV. The Juno moves as far and fast as possible. It's picked up by a Neptune dropship which then runs away as far as possible. Let’s see if the Scourge can take down the Neptune or not. 

As it turns out... no. The Reaper was out of range of the Neptune. So the PHR got away but lost the game 2-3. 



AAR: a bit vague here about embarking/disembarking. Can I search or do other stuff after I disembark into a building? What happens when I enter an occupied building?


And that brain fart ensured that the PHR (which could've won 3-2 or drew 2-2) in fact LOST 2-3. What was I thinking?!


Other than that, the few rules questions I had were probably answered after reading the rules again. I think. 


Overall, the game's fast and furious. Many exciting moments to be had with the failed PHR brain fart at least providing a cinematic moment when the fleeing Scourge Warriors made it all the way to their base, running under fire, away from a crashed dropship and a burning AFV. Awesome!


DZC 2.0 is definitely more streamlined than 1.0. I think landing templates were done away with. CQB in buildings was greatly simplified, thank the RNG deities!  Unit stats are more streamlined and clearer. Everything just feels more streamlined and cleaner with less cruft to wade through. A lot of minutaie was discarded (this might be a con to some gamers who like that sort of thing but I'm at a place in my gaming career now where clean, fast rules are preferred).


After this, I think a skirmish game of up to 999 points is the way to go. The basic starter plus a commander and some exotic units for flavour. All on a 3'x4' table


All in all 2 thumbs way up for DZC 2.0!

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