YLVA Escalation Campaign – Planning

As November is here I and another member of the YLVA gaming association, Westman, in Gothenburg have been arranging an escalation campaign to introduce new players to Dropzone Commander. At the moment there are, including us, 13 participants with all factions represented. We have been playing since September and in November we play the third round and it is to much fun to not share. If you are interested to read about the ongoing storyline and my thoughts on co-running an escalation campaign I am happy to share my experience.

The Beginning

During April 2015 Westman contacted me via Facebook and asked if I and a friend of mine, Daniel, would be interested to visit YLVA and have a showcase game of Dropzone Commander. You could read more about it here: YLVA Showcase. Soon after the showcase game Westman suggested that it would be interesting to run an escalation campaign and let players build up their Dropzone Commander collections, I had not heard about the concept before and found it really interesting. We decided that Westman were going to be in charge of scheduling and spreading the word and I responsible for story and choice of missions. During the summer a lot of thought was put into it and we decided that it would best to start in September when YLVA members were back from vacation.

The Setting

I started thinking about a suitable setting and decided that it would interesting to explore Eden Prime and how some Pre-Invasion operations could have gone down. Starting small at 600 points the games would escalate to 1500 points by the end of April 2016. Since DzC official storyline is quite open I imagined to have a good amount of freedom to write a background, draw up some characters and surroundings. Also since the idea was that one game should be played each month and that all would play the same mission the story would be more framing than driving. Since we were 10 players from the outset I decided to do short faction stories and than individual mission briefings and debriefs to connect all the games. This will be clearer in my next post on the subject.

The Purpose

Since the purpose of the Escalation campaign was and still is to introduce new players and challenge experienced players to play with less then 1500 points. The intention was and is that every month introduces some new rules so that players piece by piece could get a good grip on the game and if wanting to be able to participate in two one-day tournaments. The tournaments themselves are set outside of the storyline but will allow players to bring the same army list to three successive missions with different victory goals. An invitation was posted on YLVA’s forum which can be seen below if you are interested. The game was on!

The Invitation

The Pre-Invasion Operations of the Eden Theatre
YLVA Escalation Campaign 2015 September – 2016 April

D-day is coming. Preperations are being made by all sides with the exception of Scourge conducting operations as normal. The planets and moons of the Eden system will be the theater of operations for this campaign. The missions will be loosely linked as we conduct battle in the Eden theater that will provide months of learning and fun in the universe of Dropzone Commander.

Players choose their faction and the campaign may contain internal conflicts of the different factions. There will be no rule-set for experience or persistent units. Players are encouraged to build and experiment their army lists with some recommendations in mind depending on the mission played presented ahead of time.

The idea is to provide a format for new and experienced players to build up their armies from a starter pack to a tournament sized army. The opportunity to play tournaments will be presented during the campaign, and as part of the campaign. If you are not interested in tournaments you should not feel discouraged as the main goal is to provide a good time where we could nurture a Dropzone Commander interest at YLVA.

Each month a scenario will be announced together with some recommendations of what you might want to include to succeed with your mission. Westman will pair you with an opponent ahead of each round/month and Nimthar(this is the author of this post) will present you with the background story of your engagement.

How to join?
Respond in the thread with your chosen faction or several factions if you like.

Please post your results in Victory Points in the thread after each campaign game. If the result in VPs is a draw, also post the difference in Kill points.

The campaign leaders will then award campaign points after each round. The player with the most campaign points after the last round is the winner (although hopefully everyone who plays has a lot of fun and is therefore a winner..). The winner of each match gets 3p, a draw gives both players 1p each. In the case of a draw another point goes to the player with more kill points. You can therefore get 0-3p each round.

Feel free to mention if something cool happened during your game and/or post some pictures and make a small battle report out of the reporting too if you want.

Painting bonus
As this is an opportunity to build and paint an army, players are encouraged to paint their miniatures. For each round, if you have fully painted at least one new model or infantry base (or if you army is already fully painted) you may choose ONE of the two possible bonuses below:

1 Once in the game, when drawing new command cards, you may immediately discard one card you just drew, and draw a new card instead.


2 Once in the game, when flying low (on the deck) you may re-roll a Crash result. The second result stands, even if it is also a Crash.

You do not have to choose which one you will use before the battle.

Since the campaign is planned to be a learning experience a mission may come with restrictions. If you feel experienced enough you can ask your opponent to disregard some of these restrictions.

Restriction: Famous Commanders
Famous commanders can only be used with the permission of your opponent, it is also best if you both field Famous commanders in that case. This restrictions is in place because the Famous commanders might be a bit unbalanced at low point games, especially if the command cards they gain are used. If you want to field a Famous commander please wait until we play 1500+ points armies as this seem to be when they become less powerful.

Restriction: Command Cards
It is recommended to use command cards from October and forward. The first game in September is supposed to be an introductory game and therefore do not use Command cards nor Commanders.

The Timeline
A continuous timeline will be presented to keep track of events in the campaign and the story will drive it forward. In the next post we will announce the background and mission for Septembers mission.

The Schedule

September – 600 points Skirmish
October – 800 points Skirmish
November – 1000 points Clash
December – One-day Tournament (3 Games) 1000 points Clash
January – No game
February – Faction vs Faction with 2500 points, 1250 points Clash per player, 2 vs 2
Mars – 1500 points Clash
April – One-day Tournament (3 Games) 1500 points Clash
End of the Escalation Campaign
—END of Invitation—

I will do a couple of these but not on a regular basis as the campaign progresses so keep checking back for a follow up. Next up will be the background story and mission debrief of September.

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