Since starting Dropzone Commander, I’ve managed to make it to a couple of game days and tournaments. I’ve learned a lot, still get confused by CQB, and commit my forces too soon.
The number one lesson, of course, is more models! A bunch of new infantry came out this summer, and I’m a sucker for new, so I figured they’d make a good next step.
I’m not quite sure how I feel about the mortar teams. I haven’t found their concussive blast to be useful at all, since I haven’t found people trying to shoot me from buildings too much, and I run out of reasonable targets for E6 weapons.
The Hazard Suits, though, I really love. E7 Focus-2 gets to high strength pretty quickly, and they’re pretty durable.
Dropzone Commander has intrigued me for a long time. The scale is interesting, and I really like the nesting models. I played a demo at the Hawk booth at Adepticon, and got a starter as swag. I kept waffling. I got a second demo at Endgame (thanks Kyle!) in May. Finally I decided to take the plunge.
I figured I should go ahead and sign up for the Bay Area Open, because everybody loves a newbie at a tournament. Right? I wanted to get at least one real game in first. Since I only play with painted models, that gave me a hard deadline for getting things painted: July 4.
I had the PHR starter army, but swapped it for UCM. The UCM aesthetic speaks to me, plus I could get a second set of some core models in the two-player starter. I picked up a semi-random collection of other interesting models: A Kodiak for command, Wolverines in Ravens, plus Falcon and Eagle gunships with Archangels to taste.
For the basic look, I liked the idea of doing arctic camouflage. The problem with camo is that it is designed to break up the shape of the object. A gaming model really needs its shape defined for it to work. Fortunately, a bit of edge highlighting can bring the shape back without ruining the look of the camo. Stippling the same off-white gives a frosted look. I also added some weathering powders around the wheels to give a bit of color, and help to provide some contrast with any board color. A few test models would prove the scheme.
That settled, I could go about painting up the rest of the ground forces.
Next up, the dropships. I had a bunch of Condors from the starter boxes, plus a set of Ravens to carry the Wolverines. I went for a similar scheme, with camo for the major body panels and exposed metal for the rest. I figured the clamps would get dirty like the ground vehicles, so hit them with weathering to match.
Finally, the gunships and fast movers. The UCM dropship and gunships look a lot alike, especially from a few feet away. They share a hull design, and the main difference is on the underside. I wanted to give the gunships a distinctive look. I settled on a solid blue, centered around the same color as the spots on the camo.
The army looks cohesive as a whole, although different components have their own appearance.
I had to rush a bit more than I would have liked, but I was able to get everything done in time. After a couple of games (and a bit of a break), I’ll see about expanding the force. And I’m already lusting after the Resistance models.