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Thursday, November 15, 2012

DZC - A Faction Overview

In my ongoing posts about Dropzone Commander, I wanted to give a brief overview of each of the four factions and how they play. In my previous post, you can get a quick overview of the fluff and story behind each faction; here we'll talk about how the play on the table.

The United Colonies of Mankind
The UCM (sometimes called the Terrans!) are your basic human grunts with guns in the far future. Their vehicles are relatively slow and highly armored, in fact, their tanks have the highest armor rating in the game. While many of their units cannot move very fast, they frequently can still fire effectively when moving their full amount.

Many of the UCM tanks have a special rule called "articulated". This represents the mobile arm attached their their guns, and allows the gun to shoot from an elevation 1" above the model. This means the tank can hide behind cover, or even out of LOS, and shoot over the top. Think Greek hoplites stabbing their spear over their shield!

The articulated rule in action - Sabres using their own dropship as cover!

The Kodiak can call in orbital strikes. The orbital strike hits with the strongest possible power level in the game, and does not require the Kodiak to be in line of sight - he can use other unit in the army as a spotter, and if the unit is a scout, he doesn't even take a "to-hit" penalty!

The Kodiak command vehicle calling in an orbital strike through the use of scout buggies, staying out of harms way....for now!
When infantry want to storm a building, they usually first need to make sure their entrance isn't covered by opposing infantry - your numbers are too small to go charging into a door through a torrent of machine gun fire! The UCM elite infantry, the Praetorians, can rope drop on to the tops of buildings and demo charge their way in through the roof, creating an overly dramatic and cinematic entrance!

Praetorians airdropping on to the roof of the building, preparing to enter by blasting a hole on the roof!
The Scourge
The Scourge (also frequently called the Zerg by yours truly) are your typical alien race. Their units are among the fastest in the game, and they use speed to make up for what they lack in armor. Most of their tanks are grav tanks, and in DZC, if grav tanks maintain a speed of at least 6", they count as concealed. They also have remarkably strong guns on the main battle tanks, but they also have the shortest ranges, so they must use their speed to close the gaps quickly.

Starting from far away, the Hunter MGTs must use their speed to close the gap...

...and unleash fire at point blank range!
The Scourge do not have an exotic, elite infantry choice they can buy, but they do have access to Razorworms. Razorworms are not purchased in squads like most infantry - they are upgrades to certain vehicles. When the time is right, they unleash the Razorworms to go feast upon opposing infantry.

OK, so these specific tanks can't actually drop Razorworms, but you get the idea.

The Scourge command unit, the Desolator, is a beastly six wound flyer. It's weapon can be a potent high strength, single shot attack, or it can generate an AOE pulse hitting everything (friend or foe!) within 12-inches!

Outnumbered? Eat this!
The Shaltari
The Shaltari (also known as the Protoss in some circles) are play pretty different than the other factions. Stat-wise, they have the lowest armor across the board, but like the Scourge, have grav tanks that can move quickly to gain a concealment bonus. Also, pretty much every Shaltari unit gets a Passive Countermeasure of 5+, meaning that they get a 5+ save against almost every type of attack. Saves are pretty rare in this game, and the Shaltari get more saves than anyone else!

Railguns can't penetrate those 5+ shields, baby!
Shaltari also have a different dropship system than everyone else. Instead of being physically transported in the dropships, the Shaltari dropships, called gates,  dematerialize the unit, which can then re-materialize from any other gate. This gives them superb mobility, as they can dematerialize on one side of the battlefield and materialize on a different side. It also means that if a Shaltari gate is destroyed, their are no passengers on board that will die in a horrible fire!

Sitting point blank in front of those Scourge Hunters is not where the Shaltari Kikri AA Grav tanks want to be...

So they pop out behind a nice, juicy flyer to shoot down!
The Post-Human Republic
The PHR (or Zel'Naga around these parts) are a race of slightly more evolved humans, having splintered off from the UCM after a brief civil war. Their main units consist of walkers, which can walk over small obstacles. The walkers also have two wounds each, which makes them fairly tough and survivable.

The walkers are purchased in squads of 2, 4, and 6, and you can pick and choose how you want them. So if you purchased 6 walkers, you can take 2 AT walkers, 2 AA walkers, and 2 anti-infantry walkers. This also allows PHR to get the ever important AA vehicles as a standard option, rather than a support option.

It's worth noting that the PHR also have the best (and most expensive) flyer support with the sleek Athena Air Superiority Fighter.

Having only taken a single point of damage, the two-wound Ares walker can shoot back at full effectiveness!

Who doesn't like giant stompy robots smashing cars. Monster Rally DZC Edition!

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