Getting Started!

Ok, so after having a look at the Hawk site and been sucked in by all the shinies you’ve decided that you want to leap in and start playing Dropzone Commander.


Which brings us to what to do next? Well first thing you should do next is register on the Hawk Forums. This will let you connect with your fellow players and see who does play around your area. It’s also worth checking out the Facebook groups (If you use social media that is)

http://www.hawkforum.co.uk/hawkforum/index.php

Once you have found opponents in your area it’s on the fun part. Getting your army and playing with it.

There is a quick faction rundown on one of the links above but again it’s worth checking out the Hawk Wargames main site and having a look at the models for each faction.

http://www.hawkwargames.com/

Each faction does play differently so for a quick summary to get close to your playstyle

UCM: Currently can be the ‘Swarm’ army. Their strength lies with their air power and durable main vehicles


PHR: These guys are slower than the UCM but have stronger weapons and units but will usually be outnumbered


Scourge: Best summed up as everything or nothing. They’ll either do really well or will die horribly quickly (High strength, short range guns. Double layer of tinfoil armour)


Shaltari: Hyper advanced alien race, very weak armour but all have shields and teleport rapidly around the board


 Of course I always say go with whichever faction you like the look of the most. Once you have decided on your faction it’s on to what to buy first. This is assuming you are going to be using a ‘Slo-Gro’ method and spreading your costs out rather than buying one of the army bundles.


 *Note, all the prices are from the Hawk Website. If they’re cheaper at your friendly local gaming store do your part and support your local store by buying them from there.


Assuming you want to go with Scourge or UCM then that choice is actually pretty easy and straight forward.

Go with the two player starter set!

http://www.hawkwargames.com/products/2-player-starter-set

I’ve been known to go on for hours praising this box. But seriously, all the terrain you need! The FULL rulebook! Dice! Tape Measure! Templates! EVERYTHING to get started. Oh and starter forces for both UCM and Scourge and all for £60!

                       £60

Now for Shaltari or PHR players there is not as good a deal as above but don’t let that put you off. The starter boxes for both PHR and Shaltari are £68 each and give you the same forces as there are in the £60 box for each faction.

                        £68                                                  £68

Obviously there is also the rulebook that needs purchasing which comes in at £15

                  £15

So for the starter boxes Shaltari and PHR players are looking at £83 while Scourge/UCM are looking at £60 (Unless you go halves at which point it’s £30 each and an extra £15 for the one without the rulebook)

All the starter sets are designed to give you a good sampling of the game and let you experience all aspects of it. Points wise they come in at the following UCM: 527 Scourge: 541 PHR: 537 and Shaltari: 542. So they’re a good starting point

But where to go from there to get a 1500 point tournament ready force?

Commander units, each faction has a command unit which is needed to fill in the command battlegroup. Not really important for Skirmish level games but needed for tournament games. For each faction that is your next purchase. Also for the purposes of this article we are assuming the lowest level of commander that you can buy.

                     £11                                         £11.50

                   £17.50                                              £12

Points wise we’re now up to: UCM: 670 Scourge: 711 PHR: 729 Shaltari: 687

 

Once you have your commander the next step for all the forces is more infantry. This cannot be stressed enough. Infantry win you the scenario’s in this game.

                       £12                                                  £9

                         £12                                                  £9

Along with the infantry it’s worth getting their transports. But for this lot I would advise the light dropships to give you some really fast infantry (This will leave you a few bases space for UCM and Scourge but don’t worry)

                   £10.50                                           £10.50

                    £10.50                                            £12

Points will now look like this: UCM: 830 Scourge: 899 PHR: 937 Shaltari: 895

 

So to recap what we have so far.

We have a Command unit for our Command Battlegroup

We have a fast Infantry Battlegroup

We have a slower (And in some cases more numerous) Infantry Battlegroup

And we have an Armour group as well (Yes PHR players I do know you technically have two)

So we are four groups out of our six maximum.

 

So expanding on that lets get some extra meat on the table. Most of this is just fillers and utility vehicles so we won’t actually be making any new battlegroups. Now these are rather faction specific.

 

UCM

One word. Ferrum. Pricy but more than makes up for it

                       £25

Scourge

What has proved to be an incredibly effective killer unit. So much that I would recommend picking up two packs of is the Reaver Gunships

                      £12.50

PHR

Depends on your playstyle really but a Neptune for your Command battlegroup is highly recommended

                       £11

And a surprisingly useful unit the Helios AA Jetskimmer and while they are fast enough to get around without a dropship it’s worth getting them on with a Neptune

                      £10.50

Shaltari

Having been on the receiving end of these a Firedrake would be the next purchase. A gate and a gunship all rolled into one! 

                      £14.50

 

This will bump up our points a fair bit. But what do we have so far?

UCM: 990 Scourge: 1115 PHR: 1143 Shaltari: 1025

 

 

Ok, so we’ve filled out on some meat for our current battlegroups. It’s time to expand to the full six groups.

For each force I would STRONGLY recommend a scouting group (Apart from the Shaltari)

Again, pretty faction specific.

 

UCM

Wolverines. These guys have turned out to be incredibly useful. If you can magnetise the weapons as their most useful version is the A version (AA minigun) but the B can be useful if you are tight for points. I’d advise against getting their transports as they are much more useful driving on

                     £7.50

Scourge

For the Scourge the purchase is simple. Prowlers. These guys are incredibly scary. I’d recommend 2 packs and also their dropships 

                         £9                                                  £10.50

PHR

Janus Scout Walkers. You get four in a pack and I would recommend their dropship as well the Triton A2

                       £10                                                 £11

Shaltari

For the Shaltari I would not recommend a scout group. I would actually look at some of the Battle Striders. Namely the Tarantula.

                       £11.50

 Now those looking at the UCM will be noticing that compared to the others we’ve not been spending that many points. All will become clear rather soon though! But totals after adding our fifth group are below!

UCM: 1062 Scourge: 1235 PHR: 1279 Shaltari: 1135

 

For the last battlegroup some heavy hitters are needed to help deal with opposing vehicles and the like. Again it’s pretty faction specific.

 

UCM

The Premier UCM heavy hitter is the Gladius tank, this beast comes with two railguns and two damage points. For this list we’re going with four of them at £11 a pair and two Condor’s to transport them (This lets you use them as one big unit of 4 or two smaller units of 2)

                        £11                                                  £11 

Scourge

For the Scourge their big hitter comes in as the Slayer HGT. A very fast and hard hitting vehicle. We’re not going with a dropship for these as they can get to where they are needed themselves (If you really want to can give the Hunter’s dropship to these guys from the starter set)

                        £11

PHR

There is one unit for the PHR that makes everyone weep when they see it. The Hades. This beast will dominate whichever part of the board you decide to put it. No dropship but with its range it doesn’t really need one.

                        £25 

Shaltari

Time to fit in a few heavy striders. I’ve put a pair of Jaguars in the list as they can do a bit of everything (AA and Anti-tank) and come in at £23 for the pair

                   £11.50

Time to add up the points so far after filling all 6 battlegroups.

UCM: 1360 Scourge: 1343 PHR: 1484 Shaltari: 1335

 

As we can see here the PHR have just about reached the 1500 point goal. So no more can be added to the PHR. But looking at the others we still have some points left over to play with. With that in mind I added the following.

 

UCM

Having played many games with these guys I will go straight out and say that you do NOT want to leave home without them.

Fireblades.

One squad of 3 and one last Condor to round out the list

                        £11

Scourge

Scourge was a bit harder to decide but looking at the list there was only 1 AA unit. As such I decided that a unit of Ravager walkers was worth adding in. They give a nice durable rear end AA with 4 shots each at 18” range

                   £11.50

Shaltari

Finally for the Shaltari I decided that an extra gate was needed so went with the Gaia heavy gate and to add some utility and survivability to the Jaguars put a Dreamsnare in there to boost their shields

                    £18.50                                        £11.50

 

So with that the final points for all the armies are:

 

UCM: 1487

Scourge: 1478

PHR: 1484

Shaltari: 1476

 

This should give you a good tournament force to use and can be easily changed with some extra purchases. Though speaking of purchases how much does each one cost? Answer is below!

Note that this does not include a case. KR have branded cases for £34.99 that includes shipping and has lots of room to expand your force into. For the PHR and Shaltari ones the price includes a Rulebook as well

 

UCM: £151.50

Scourge: £137

PHR: £194.50

Shaltari: £193

 

All images in this article used are from the Hawk Wargames website and are in no way mine and are used for the sole purpose of promoting Dropzone Commander.