Very interesting to see that Hawk released some of the test rules a few days ago. Of course nothing is set but it gives a clear image of what they are testing out.
Check it out or read more on this blog:
Previously squads were only able to be carried by transports bought for them whilst building your army. This led to squads unable to be redeployed if their transport was shot down. Transports now operate flexibly and are able to activate and carry squads in a different battlegroup from their previous activation, provided they have not already activated and have the capacity to carry that squad.
This is fairly large change and for me I am kind of neutral. I like the restriction of having dedicated transports. I think I would hav loved to see command cards opening up for a change of a battlegroup for transports instead. Heck it could even be that you start with several cards on hand; Hot LZ, Change BG card and a Underground monorail card. Then you could draw cards as normal and these three cards are besides the normal you use but you may not replenish these three.
So I am neutral in the sense it will not change much for me. It is more work to keep track of transports as a Shaltari player today and it will mean more mistakes in what has been activated than today. So cards to change would be enough for me.
Disembarking and Shooting
Vehicles may now fire their weapons after disembarking from a transport with a +2 penalty to their accuracy. This encourages redeployment of squads during the game as they no longer lose out on a full turn of shooting. Certain weapons may not fire after disembarking such as AA weapons at aircraft.
This is just bad. It means another shooting phase, longer range on weapons and just makes the game focus more on killing instead of positioning. I’m sorry but this is just bad. I know there are many players who like the fast action from 40k but one of the reasons Dropzone commander is exciting until the end is because the slow start of positioning. Adding a shooting phase that is also heavily based on luck is not good. A normal odin can now reach 13″ on a road (12 without) instead of the normal 3″.
I just don’t like it. And I can’t see why they wanted to test this as I see it as a potential deal breaker. If I want Rhino-rush I play 40k. And this has one purpose alone and that is to get more killing faster. I have seen some arguments that it isn’t as bad with the +2 acc but damn you have that against skimmers normally and that kills. I would say it gives around 2-3 killed models (of tank size) per game per side and that, in Dropzone Commander, is huge. If we instead consider smaller units it is even worse.
Don’t like it.
All squads in a building may search for an objective whether they are the occupier or not, although the occupier receives a bonus to their roll. Nearby APCs also provide a bonus to the squad’s roll.
That attacker can search is kind of interesting. Being occupier is still important and a better search so that’s nice. APC adding to the roll must be their idea of increasing the effectiveness of the medium infantry transports. And I think it will succeed. I am a bit sceptical of attacker searching but still it is a change that I think I will get used to pretty fast.
Certain factors now affect a squad’s effectiveness in CQB, receiving more dice for being the occupier or losing dice for searching or shooting that turn. In addition, CQB dice may be distributed more freely to opposing squads of your choice.
The modifiers will be very interesting and it being affected by your tactical choices is fun. But distributing die more freely is a bit strange. But it depends on the details I think. If you have some destroyers at the forefront in your face, is it logical to freely attack the guy hiding in a closet in the back with a radio sixteen levels below? So totally freely is a bit much but more flexibility is something that would be nice.
It feels like cqb have had a large focus. Very nice.
The rolls to resolve Falling Masonry, now named Collateral Damage, have been simplified and reduced to Energy 5. In addition, buildings can no longer be dealt additional damage by weapons without the Demolisher keyword.
E5 is a nice change. Armour 3 will now have effect. A long lost wish has come true. And buildings getting basically DF is…well important but I wonder if it isn’t enough to do something about walk on. But still. It is a nice change. A 30 DP buildings would need 27 E9+ shots to be destroyed today. If they get DF it is now 43. Against armour 8 it would take 54 shots to take down a 30DP building today and test rules 71. So they would become much more survivable.
Overall I look forward knowing more and there are exciting times indeed ahead. Some interesting ideas. Several good ones and one just bad. It looks like Hawk wanted a new game and not just a modification of the old set of rules.