Friday, July 1, 2016

First Look: Dropfleet Commander

Greetings all!  SeerK here with another follow up to Origins 2016.  As some of you have probably seen already, Hawk Games gave people a chance to try out Dropfleet Commander at Origins 2016.  40kOrigins, the group I work with at Origins, had the exclusive rights to premiere Dropfleet Commander at Origins this year.  We ran some Leanr to play classes using the top secret Beta Rules book.  I was able to get some tidbits despite my busy schedule of running learn to play Firestorm Armada classes and Infinity Boot Camps.  Lets take a look

If we are going to compare Dropfleet to FSA, the only real cominality is that they are both games with Spaceships.  Firestorm is fleets of vessels battling it out in the depths of space.  Dropfleet Commander is combat in Orbit of a planet and it is a very different kind of game.  I think this will compete with FSA, but I really think the players who go for Dropfleet may still play both because of the differences. Lets talk about the game itself.

The Turn sequence is very very similar to those of you familiar with Dropzone Commander.  Ships are divided up into Battlgroups.  These Groups activate together.  Ships can be at different altitudes, basically space, near space and atmosphere.  This can effect the ships interactions with other vessels.  Ships all have a signature value.  This helps determine your to hit on the vessel and if your weapons actually have range. Yes wepaons have variable range.

This is the portion of the game I am at odds with.  Every game I have ever played has fixed  ranges for weapons.  Even if your to hit modifier is modified by range by being in a range band of some sort the range is fixed.  The signature value of your target determines how easy it is to hit and how far away you can see it.  Ships also have a sensor value.  The sensor value and Signature value are used for shooting,  The Signature value can change based on the ships actions, so you can have to determine range with each new activation.  Damage and miscellaneous actions modify a ships signature value.  Firing weapons even does it.  Although this does add a sense of simulation and realism I feel it slows down game play.  This kind of realism does appeal to some gamers though.  Telarion did make the comment though that this kind of system really makes Frigates and small vessels very viable.  They have small signature values and are hard to hit.  Frigates and such in FSA dont have a real grey area in terms of use.  Some are very hard to hit, but when you do they are usually obliterated.  Your tier 3 squadrons end up being an annoyance at best and being there purely for activation purposes and fulfilling your minimum fleet requirements.

I have never been a fan of Dropzone commander.  Its just not my cup of tea.  I need to really play a game or two of the final version of the rules of Dropfleet Commander to really make a judgement on it.  So far I am not really all that impressed by the game itself.  The models however are very nice.  One of the big turn offs with Dropzone Commander was the models for me.  They are over priced and bland to me.  Nothing is all that visually appealing.  The ships for Dropfleet Commander are plastics and have a bunch of detail.  Scale wise they are smaller than FSA ships but are not lacking.  The bases are specific to Dropfleet as they have a dial built into them to record signature.  We only had the UCM and Scourge fleets on hand to look at.  I am interested to see the other two factions in person.

Well that is all for now until next time crush the Alliance and as always.....

REMEMBER DRAMOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  1. Have to say its the models that have appearled to me for this game. Dont see myself buying into it after the disappointment of Dropzone Commander.

  2. Yeah the models are nice and I am a fan of plastics. The game itself seems like it is halfway between simulation and a fast lay system. It isn't embracing either and ends up being mediocre at best