Bushido!

Dropzone Commander 2.0 : Lightning Raid redux

It's back to Lightning Raid again, PHR vs Scourge, 500 points. Find 3 objectives on the board and at game end, receive 1VP is in possession of the objective, and 2VPs if a side manages to get it off the table.


TURN 1


Scourge got initiative. Forced PHR to go first. PHR moved a Neptune dropship up to max. Both Junos disembarked on their activation. One moved to the center building. The other moved to the building on the PHR right. That ended their activation. The Immortal squads in the Junos now activated and disembarked. They were both just barely in 2” range of the building entrances (more so for the one on the right flank) and so got a free move into the building. They then used their 2nd action to search for the objectives. Since it was turn 1 and their target number was 7, only a 6 would succeed. What a tease! Both rolled 5’s. 


The Scourge activated a Marauder drop ship. Moved half way, dropped both Invaders for free and skedaddled out of the way. The Invaders moved towards the central and right buildings containing the objectives. Both Warrior squads disembarked on their turn but because they were within 2” of the respective building entrances entered for “free”. Warrior B squad on the right did a search roll. Nada. Warrior A squad in the center entered and immediately shot up Immortal A squad inside. Due to re-rolls of successes, they only wiped out one unit in the squad (5 troops). The Immortals managed to pass their Fortitude test. 


Then the PHR went in with their armoured battle group. The Neptune PHR carrying the Ares walkers moved to the max. Then the Ares’ disembarked on their activation. They targeted the tempting Scourge Invader AFVs laying right in front of them ... and discovered that even though they would hit on a 2+, disembarking gave them a -2 penalty ... and the Scourge units had Evasion +2... which meant a further -2 penalty to hit! All in all... they could only hit on rolls of 6’s!!! Gah!!! 


Of course they missed. 


The other Neptune dropship carrying the Phobos walkers moved up next to the empty Neptune AFV carrier and sat there. The walkers did not disembark as they wanted to be sure where the enemy lay before doing so as their movement was a pathetic 3” compared to the Scourge 9”. That proved to be a mistake. 


The Scourge armour battle group moved in. The Hunters got dropped for free then moved up to their max (9”) while their dropship skedaddled out of harm’s way. The Hunters then fired on the Ares walkers. Since they had just disembarked they would only hit on a 4+. Only one hit landed and did damage to an Ares. Phew!


The Reapers fared better. Their Marauder dropship moved to its max and the Reapers disembarked on their activation, right within range of TWO juicy PHR dropships! The Reapers would only also hit on 4+. They targeted the juiciest target: the dropship carrying the Phobos walkers! Two shots hit and thanks to a critical hit, succeeded in inflicting 3 DAM on the Neptune, sending it crashing down in flames... along with its contents of the Phobos walkers! Luckily no other PHR unit was in 1” range of the downed Neptune, but a Phobos did take 1 DAM. 

That was a poor start for the PHR! One dropship down. Immortal A squad got half casualties. A Phobos and Ares got 1 DAM each. The Scourge escaped scot free. 


Now the PHR are in a tactical quandary. Activate the armoured battle group first next turn... or the Frontline battle group?


Lesson learned from the previous battle : objective first, everything else later?


TURN 2


Things get worse for the PHR. 


PHR has initiative. The Immortal squad in  the center building searches for the objective, backed by a scan token from a Neptune so it needs a 5+ to find it. Nada. So it bails out, enters its Juno IFV and a waiting Neptune dropship picks up the Juno then drops it off at the building on the right. The Juno takes a shot at a Reaper in passing and doesn’t hit. The dropship then flies off and lands behind a building, hoping to get out of sight and range of the Reapers. 


The Immortal squad on the right finally finds its butt (I mean objective) after TWO tries. OK, can it get off the board? Its Juno also takes a shot at a Reaper. Nada. 


(Discovered later it’s not the dropships that can scan but the IFVs). 


The Scourge armoured battlegroup activates. The Hunters blow up the damaged Ares then run off to hide from its fellow walker. The Reapers manage to get LOS and range to the landed Neptune dropship... and even though only 2 can fire, blow it up on the ground! A repeat of the previous battle where the PHR lost 2 dropships.

The Marauders all activate (since they are auxiliaries) and hide behind the tallest building. 


The PHR armoured battlegroup goes next and the surviving Ares manages to blow up an Invader AFV. It stays next to the Neptune because it can’t do diddly squat with a 3” move. 


The Phobos walkers try to take out the Reapers. Nada!

The Scourge Frontline battlegroup goes last. Both Warrior squads can’t find their butts with both hands tied behind their backs! 


The surviving Invader IFV scoots behind a building, trying to hide from the Ares. 


(Now I realise the IFV transports are also auxiliaries and can activate with ANY battlegroup. Oy vey.)

AAR: a massive blow to the PHR! They are now down a walker and TWO dropships! Can they even pull a draw out of this mess?!


TURN 3 


Scourge initiative. 


They activate their armoured battlegroup. The Hunters move to target the Junos and blow one up, spewing the Immortal squad on the sidewalks but thankfully without any damage. The Reapers target the second Juno and blow it up too! They then scoot away to hide from the PHR walkers but hopefully in range to take a potshot at the surviving Neptune if possible. 


The PHR gets a modicum of revenge as the Phoboses (Phobi?) move to target the Reapers. Only one can make it. The other targets a Hunter. They miss the Hunter but get a Reaper. 

The Neptune dropship picks up the Ares then makes a max move. The Ares disembarks and takes a shot at a Hunter. It needs a 6 to hit... and finally a die roll goes the PHR’s way. The Hunter blows up. 


The Warriors try to find the objectives on a search roll of 4+. The squad on the flank succeeds. The squad in the middle STILL can’t find its butt... etc. etc. A Marauder dropship flies out of cover, picks up the cowering Invader AFV and flies it back again. The Invader disembarks on it’s activation and scoots around to cower next to a building but still within 2” of a dropship. 


Immortal A (the half squad) takes a shot at a Hunter with its single Longreach sniper weapon. Doesn’t hit. The squad then runs for cover inside the building, moving to the center. The squad already inside (Immortal B) moves to the building’s edge and takes a shot with its Longreach at a Reaper. It hits but doesn’t do any damage (needing a 6). 


AAR: even though the potential score is now 1-1 things are grim for the PHR. To even get a chance at winning they have to transfer the objective to one of the walker squads (probably the Phobi, if they can survive the coming encounter with the Hunters and Reapers) who can hopefully fly off with the objective for 2 VPs while at the same time taking out the remaining Invader AFV with the Ares. One can dream. 


TURN 4


Scourge initiative. 


The Scourge armoured battlegroup targets the Phobos walkers in their crosshairs. 2 Hunters and 2 Reapers. Both squads miss or hit but don’t do damage! The Phobi lead a charmed life! Finally some dice rolls favour the PHR!


The Scourge commander belatedly realises the Invader is safer in a dropship than on the ground! The Phobi are out of range (cursed 3” move) and nothing else the PHR have can target a dropship!


The PHR armoured battlegroup does its move and the Ares gets picked up by the Neptune, then disembarks on its activation in the rear of the Hunters. Both Neptune and Ares make sure they are out of the threat range of both the Reapers and Hunters. however, with the Ares needing a 6 to hit, it’s not likely and sure enough nada.


Surprisingly the Neptune actually managed a hit against the Warrior squad in the center building. It fired at the squad because it was at the edge and scored a hit. 


The Phobi more than make up for it though! They both fire 3 shots apiece at the 2 Reapers and manage to destroy BOTH of them! Finally some good dice rolls! (Scourge are fast and hard hitting but very squishy). 


The Phobi try to put some distance between themselves and the Hunters but with 3” movement that’s a laughable effort at best. 


In a revolting turn of affairs... apparently the Scourge Warriors have deadly plasma rifles. Warrior A squad in the center building finally managed to find their butts. The took aim at the Ares down below them. 14 shots with Focus 3 hitting on 3+ ... it wasn’t pretty. The Ares never stood a chance! 

Then Warrior B squad in the other building fired at the Phobi sitting in plain sight beneath them. They managed 2 DAM with 15 shots. 1 Phobos went down. The other was damaged!

What the -?!!!


AAR : quite an interesting turn of events. 


Infantry aren’t as useless as I first thought, good only to search for and grab objectives in buildings. 


Lesson learnt. That building in the center is deadly in Scourge hands. A Warrior squad can usually take out a walker with one salvo of 15 (max) dice. An Immortal squad can take out one Scourge tank with one shot... but needs a 4+ to hit and a kill on a 6. 


An expensive lesson for the PHR commander. 


What’s next?


TURN 5


With so few units left it was a quick turn. 


PHR initiative. 


The Neptune moved to the Phobos. On the Phobos activation, it embarked. 


A Marauder B moved over to the flank and the Invader AFV disembarked next to the building. Warrior B squad exited the building and embarked on the Invader. Looks like 3 clear VPs for the Scourge. 


Warrior A took shots at the Immortals in the other building. But needing 6’s to hit ... only killed one: the Immortal A squad, now down to 4 troops. It still passed its Fortitude test.  


The Immortals now went into action. The Longreaches managed to blow up a Hunter! (Yay). The rest returned the favour by firing at Warrior A squad, killing 2 troopers. 


TURN 6


PHR initiative. 


Having no chance now to escape with the objective for 2 points, the Neptune embarked the Phobos then flew across the board to the Scourge right flank. The Phobos disembarked on its activation and took a shot at the Marauder B dropship, needing 4+ to hit with 3 dice. All 3 hit, and all 3 did damage! So the Marauder went down (and I forgot to test for wreckage that could potentially damage the Invader IFV) ensuring the Scourge would not be able to make it off the table by the end of the turn for 2 VPs.

Not much more to do here, as any more combat would not affect the outcome (and it's 2.30am). So the game ends at a Scourge victory, 2-1.


AAR: A very different game from the previous game. Several surprises popped up, thanks to me not paying attention to the Scourge Warrior weapon focus rule. 


The Scourge are fast and hit hard but are glass cannons. One hit and they are usually out (that's the tanks, the dropships are the standard 3HP and the IFVs 2HP). So the tactic there is to throw them in and hit hard and fast. Usually 1-2 will go down, but they can still hit hard for at least 2 turns. Enough to turn enemy tanks and dropships to scrap. 


The PHR are trickier to play. They hit hard... defend hard... but are so hard to manoeuvre! The dropships are incredibly important to them... but how to help them survive in the face of the enemy anti-air? 


Infantry tactics also need more thought. Rushing inside the buildings first (especially when contested) may not be such a good idea as there's a chance the squad will be shot up in the following phases. 


I like DZC 2.0. A lot of thought has gone into revising the rules. So now infantry can reach buildings in the center of the table... but what to do when they get there?


This is also where I come up against the limits of the force mix provided in the 2-player starter. It does the job, giving you a taste of the game and leaves you wanting more. Ha.


So it's off to the TTCombat site I go to look over each unit of the PHR, Scourge and UCM to see how best to add on to the core forces.



 



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