Thursday, June 14, 2012

This summer's most exciting release isn't what you expect

While most of the gamers I know are pretty revved up for the release of the 6th edition Warhammer 40,000 or the game changing Colossals of Warhmachine I am excited about door number three.  A brand new 10mm game from the other side of the pond (England) is about to drop, and yes, the pun was intended. 

Dropzone Commander (DC)  is a new game by a new company, Hawk Wargames (HWG).  I first saw some of the models as they were posted up on Dakka a few months ago and have been following this game ever since.   Hawk Wargames has done an excellent job of keeping interest up by posting pictures of the units every day for the last few months.  Certain other companies could learn a lesson from Hawk Wargames. 

So why should you pick up this game?  I'll tell you why.

#1  It's the first small scale Sci Fi game to hit the scene in a long time. 

Yes, I know Heavy Gear is out there (and I have heard they've done wonders with the ruleset in it's last incarnation) as well as Battletech.  What separates this game from those two is those games is the scale of the game, as in the number of models and size of the battles.   10mm large battles have traditionally been almost exclusively a historical endeavor.  Games Workshop flirted with the scale for a while with Epic 40,000 and "maintains" the game as part of it's specialist range.  This means not much in the way of actual attention gets thrown Epic's way.

#2 The models.  If you haven't seen all of them, check them out now.  Stop reading and go look.  Seriously.

The above link is for the faction I am going to try out.  The Post Human Republic.   

#3 The story.  What has always been so compelling about Warhammer 40,000 has been the stories of evil space marines and epic aliens.  I might have that backwards, though in any case the story has keep me hooked since I was in High  School and first rolled dice in a friend's garage while he tried to explain 2nd edition to me.  The bits of story Hawk Wargames has released show Dropzone Commander to be just as engaging.  My favorite tidbit is the part about humanity getting its collective ass kicked on Earth and having to fall back to the stars. 

#4 The game.  This should be number one on this list though as a Games Workshop fan for many years I have learned that even a sub par game can be fun.   That wasn't meant as a slander on Games Workshop, it's just the reality of what playing their games for so long has done to me. The rules haven't been fully released yet though we do know a few things.  The game is an alternative activation which  leads to a more engaged gaming experience.  Most of the games we play now have a lot of down time when it's not your turn.  Games Workshop itself recognized this as a problem when it created Warhammer back in the eighties.  It's the reason why we have armor saves, it gives the opponent something to do on your turn.


Even though I am really excited about the game there are a few negatives.  It's a first edition of a gaming system and those typically have a lot of bumps you have to deal with.  I've heard that even though we are six weeks out from the release date the points aren't finalized for the factions, this could be an indicator of balance issues. 

Hawk Wargames has come out and said they are planning on regular rules updates so while I am concerned about the above it should actually create a more living game then other systems out there.  Time will only tell. 

I do know I can't wait to get these models in my hands. 


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