So Invasion is over. I think we will all post reports and impressions very randomly during the coming weeks. I will post Mondays and Saturdays the next few weeks so check it out. This time around I will just post the tidbits I got from Dave, Simon, Luis and Patrice and the next three or four posts will be battle reports, feedback on the tournament and thoughts what’s going to happen next.
But we’ll start with the information I gathered.
First of all. Head over to Orbital bombardment and Beast of war for better information. They are far superior on that. Much of what I post here will be the same as you can find anywhere and might just be random bits. Secondly; I have interpreted information and so I will have misunderstood something here and there. So here goes;
Patrice is working along another person on the art directions and for a very short time Hawk have been planning on new infantry models based on Patrice’s biological artwork which seems to fit best into his preferences. He seems to be very happy working at Hawk and I can totally see the idea that an artist – and with such skills – that get to be included and land this type of job must be very satisfying. I imagine that freelancing means very unstable income and I really got the impression he get to do what he loves for a stable income. We all know how freaking much he have added to the books and DZC world.
Basically in the beginning Dave kind of gave him instructions on what to do but now as Patrice get to know the world he feels more confident working on the art as well. He seems to prefer working with the digital paints as it makes it much easier to modify and edit paintings. If I understood it correctly lots of his works goes into the Dropfleet project right now but still he works a lot of making sure Hawk get detailed drawings on current articles as he can make a better detailed drawing than what Dave initially could.
Will keep on going with the Forum. We had a small chat regarding Hawk joining at a convention at Sweden but we’ll see. Gothenburg should be fairly simple for Hawk to go to but all the conventions are basically already set – especially for shops. I know that with Simon and another rather recently hired person Hawk will aim to get a higher degree of presence on the internet with Facebook, newsletters and the forum than before. I think they will aim mostly at Facebook and the newsletters. Apparently they will keep doing their (in my mind) very large releases with much to everyone at one time – I would have divided the releases a bit more to enable people to long just a little bit longer and keep a steady release pace.
For the next Invasion Simon aims to have more special terrain, the Blotz buildings painted and done and perhaps some other new paper terrain. Hawk seems bent to have a new terrain pack and I think they will also aim at some contours on the tables as well.
A person in the background but very vital seems to be a good description of Luis. A lot of the ideas that Dave has are Luis work to make it happen. Procurement is one of the things. I have already confirmed Luis being way to nice when it comes to deals in the shop – I’m more of a hardcore “this is the price – idiot” – kind of guy. While chatting with both Luis and Dave at the same time I understood a bit more of their close cooperation in the company. We came into the topic of plastics and the plastics have two major concerns; (1) the tooling costs are very harsh and (2) the details are not just there enough to motivate more plastic miniatures except on the highest running items or as a strategic choice to get the starting cost of the players down to lure them in.
We all chatted about the difference of designing a game and bitching and whining about it as I do. Being a game designer is very hard indeed but I didn’t sense any hate towards me for posting what I feel is lots of whining. Perhaps they don’t read the blog? A most sensible decision to stay with only reading Orbital bombardment then.
Of course the main tidbits came from Dave. He felt hard pressed of shutting up and he seemed to have lots of things he wanted to talk about but couldn’t. I got the feeling that Hawk’s organisation is starting to set and catching up to the production. Dave said he imagined the DZC project to enable him to work at it full time and perhaps have a few extra people working for him. I think he have vastly gone past his expectations.
Among the Commanders the new Hades commander will have an infinite range tail attack. I think it also had the destroyer rule. I’m personally not sure of a new command tank for the PHR as it seems they have enough Hades but the model were very cool. The UCM gunship was a beast and will be a slow moving gunship with most likely armour 5 (fitting to the UCM) but many DP. I think it fits into the UCM army and then UCM players will have one cheap Kodiak as a commander or a more costly, can’t hold focal points, gunship-commander.
The resistance we know about. Dave seemed surprised no one used them yet but I might have mixed that with the large hovercraft at their disposal. The Shaltari I didn’t really hear that much about, sorry. the Scourge Oppressor is of course the main course of the event. Dave said he thought it was cool that the “design a unit”-competition was pretty close to this unit. Perhaps 5 DP most likely armour 10. Stalker’s gun, CC weapon attack (initially Dave said it was under evaluation but the second day he felt more sure it was going to get a CC attack), two plasma cannons. I think it was still under evaluation. Might be E12 or 11. Range 12 or fewer shots E18.
All in all the new commanders will have very few special rules which I really liked. DZC have lots of stats that you can use right now.
I didn’t get much. At Salute they will try to have some capability to show the basic (or talk about it) rules for the game. It is very hard to balance because it doesn’t use much terrain in space but there will be some cool things to consider. Dave confirmed some kind of alternate activation as in DZC but he also emphasized that the game will be playing different so it will not just be “The DZC rules in space”. Game felt around 80% ready and I suspect they will present models at Salute as well. Lots of new drawings are being made and there will be some surprises on how it is being played.
On another note I caught Dave checking the forum on his phone. I think it is very smart to have Dave staying away from the forum but it is very nice knowing it is being read. I imagine it is very hard to shut up.
Tweaking and new releases
The new command cards are out hopefully this weekend. PHR got a nerf, Shaltari a real boost which surprised me, UCM got the sensible greatest upgrade and Scourge were basically the same. I got a bit surprised that PHR got so much down and Shaltari up. PHR are not at the top all the time while Shaltari is. Weapon hack had a understandable nerf though.
There will be a new terrain pack coming. Card-terrain. I suspect different type of environment terrain and/or height (contours). I talked a bit with Dave and Simon regarding that I miss having the themed battles. We are getting to the point of having some real cool background now and DZC is still not being played with a logical setting in the timeline. Dave talked about having a campaign/tournament with the famous commanders and we’ll see what happens.
Units will be tweaked. Nothing confirmed but some improvements to the Kodiak (small blast so demolish against buildings as well), some changes to the Freeriders and tweaks of the Falcon and Thunderbird to get them onto the table. I heard something about a price reduction in points for the slayers as well and I think that means some changes to the Scimitar as well. The Seraphim will see changes as well.
I’m not sure but I suspect Shaltari will be tweaked. They won again and it is becoming very clear they are the most powerful army the game has to offer. Most likely because of the gate mechanic. There are some things Shaltary are special:
1. Any gate for any unit. I don’t think they will change that. They could add that a aircraft gate must always be activated together with a battlegroup until no more gates are left. That would affect the Shaltari at the end of the games.
2. infantry is not in the gates while jumping in and out of a medium dropship. I don’t think they will change that either.
3. Points for the gates are really low. Or the units in them.
4. Units can stay dematerialized without ending up in reserve. A very unique special rule.
5. They can select to have all dematerialized in the beginning of the game. Why? This is a place I feel they could be changed. The gates are not connected to any squad because they can transport all units. They should be considered connected to any unit and so no Shaltary unit should be able to walk on the table. You could argue that they can dematerialize off table before the table but if a condor can’t do that then heck if the Shaltary gates should be able to either.
It will be a very interesting time ahead…