Dropfleet Commander: First Impressions

While I was at Adepticon, Jon and I flirted with the idea of getting into Dropfleet Commander. I played Battlefleet Gothic heavily back when it was still in production, with several fleets, I absolutely loved the game. Jon also was a really into BFG, with sizable Chaos and Tau fleets.

After toying with the idea a bit, we decided to get a demo game in. Part of what makes Adepticon amazing is just the ability to demo any game you've ever wanted to try, and if you're like me who just loves exploring interesting game mechanics it can be dangerous... While the person running our demo wasn't the most familiar with the rules (he's admittedly more of a Dropzone player), it was immediately familiar to Jon and me. Thumbing through the rulebook, the reason was immediately apparent, it was written by the venerable Andy Chambers, the author of the original Battlefleet Gothic.

 My UCM ready for action.

My UCM ready for action.

If you know anything about Jon or me, it's that when we decide to play something, we go all in. We each picked up a Battle Fleet box (I got UCM, he got PHR), pair of Centurions each, Civilian ships, and rulebooks. While reading through the rulebooks, it really seems that Dropfleet is BFG 2.0, with Andy doing a fantastic job cleaning up the rules to make the game play quicker, and to make the battle seem more relevant, taking place in orbit over land-based objectives, instead of just blowing up space ships at some meaningless location in deep space.

 Erik is already getting paint on his!

Erik is already getting paint on his!

After getting each other excited reading the rules, we discovered that there is actually a healthy amount of players in the Portland area who are into the game. One player was offloading some PHR and Scourge, so we jumped on the opportunity, simultaneously expanding Jon's fleet, and getting some Scourge for a good deal to get another friend playing. We spent a week assembling models and decided to give playing the game a shot.

Guided by the sagely wisdom of Damion (from the Dropfleet Commander podcast, TheHotLZ, and a local player), Jon and I took turns firing lasers in space at each other. Gameplay was familiar from our previous BFG experience, though much like Infinity, paying close attention to the actual objectives of the game is far more important than blowing up space ships, no matter how fun that may be.

  "Oh god, what have I done?" — Jon

"Oh god, what have I done?" — Jon

Playing the game we got to see how important it was to have adequate drop ships to control the terrestrial objectives, as well as the importance of properly building out your Battlegroups. Overall, the game played quick and was a satisfying experience. Both of us are ready to play more, and looking forward to figuring out the right combination of big guns, and drop ships to play the game well.

We will be playing some more games soon, so maybe I'll make Jon write a battle report or two. :)