Dropfleet Commander: Schlachtkreuzer Update
TTCombat haben weitere Previews zu den Schlachtkreuzern veröffentlicht.
Happy Friday everyone! The UCM are approaching, it’s time to get out our binoculars and see what they have to offer.
Today(!) sees the release of 10 new Battlecruisers (2 variants per pack) for Dropfleet Commander, and it’s the UCM’s turn in the spotlight. Although they had to wait until last, they don’t have to share!
So let’s not delay and get stuck into it.
On the more offensive side of the Battlecruiser, we have the Rome.
Straight away you can see the main inspiration behind the Rome’s design: the Kiev Destroyer. A fan favourite, the Kiev’s triple prow hasn’t been seen outside of the Destroyer hull until now! The Rome isn’t just inspired by the one Destroyer though, as Dave took inspiration from the Havana as well.
The Rome’s primary armament are two massive torpedoes. Although limited in their availability, they’re definitely deadly!
These are new Heavy Torpedoes, exclusive to the Rome (at the moment anyway, who knows what the future may bring). With double the Damage of the standard UCM Torpedoes (remember: Torpedoes have seen a recent update in the 1.2 digital rulebook), these things pack a big punch! A potential 16 damage on one Torpedo, that’s enough to take down anything smaller than a Battleship in one go. And that’s ignoring the extra Mass Drivers and Shark Missile Bays. Ouch!
The alternate build from the UCM’s new Battlecruiser set is the Venice.
The Venice is extremely sparsely armed, with only the traditional Mass Drivers and Close Action weapons. But the Venice is a dedicated command ship. It’s pretty pricey, but it is a ship that you can build your fleet around.
Visually Dave wanted to bring in a slightly different aesthetic. By leaning heavily into the antennas of the UCM ships and closing up the front to combined the top and bottom prows, you have a ship that’s very obviously UCM, but also very obviously slightly different and less offensive than their usual fare.
The Venice very much lacks in offensive power, but more than makes up for it by supporting the rest of the fleet in a way we’ve never seen before.
The Venice has 2 key rules. Command Deck means that you’ll be drawing even more Command Cards, which will keep the UCM fighting harder than anyone else, and give you plenty of tricks up your sleeve to counteract the naughty Shaltari and some of the other weird weapons you’ll be facing.
It’s a good thing you’ll be drawing more Command Cards, because the UCM Battlenet rule makes great use of them. If you have a card you might not want to use, you can discard it to get bonuses. This represents the your admiral dedicating time and resources to directing the fleet, using their martial prowess to get the most out of their battle-hardened navy.
When you discard a Command Card you get access to 1 of 3 bonuses which apply to a whole Battlegroup – whichever ships are using Special Orders for the turn. Note that any ships in that group on Standard Orders don’t get the bonus, so make sure to setup your plays properly otherwise you’ll be burning through Command Cards for very little benefit.
This skill is a real game-changer! A careful player will be able to get loads of bonuses, but you’ll be broadcasting to everyone where your commander is, and to get the most out of it you’ll want a high level commander too, which will be a lot of points in quite a vulnerable chassis. Keep the Venice at the back of the board and try a group of Destroyers or Monitors to protect it.
We’re back with some more Dropfleet rules. Buckle your seatbelts (or whatever Scourge use for seatbelts).
Friday sees the release of brand new Battlecruisers for Dropfleet Commander (the first since the rulebook came out!), so we’re taking a little time to look at exactly what they bring to your fleets.
Scourge players and Resistance players: bitter rivals, and both who will want to pay attention to this article!
Starting off with the jellies, they get two new Battlecruisers, just like everyone else!
Our first Battlecruiser under the microscope is the Scourge Shadow. Armed will aaaaaall sorts of weapons, this one favours all-out-attack vs the more subtle Akuma and Banshee.
With this design, Dave wanted to take the opportunity to right some wrongs of the original sculpt. A solid hull and a different cut for the prow means that there will be no cursing and dunking in hot water to get them to fit together, which is always nice! These changes will be retroactively applied to the Akuma and Banshee as well, but we’ll talk about that more tomorrow.
Dave wanted to up-gun these new Battlecruisers, so you’ll see that the prow contains all of the weapons you’d find on the Banshee. With a deep chin, it looks pretty scary already! Both the Shadow and the Umbra (see below!) have Launch bays on their wings too, which means these ships are much more varied than their cousins, making them great all-rounders. Of course, both have lost their stealth crest, meaning they’re also a lot more vulnerable. But they replace them with something a bit scarier…
The Shadow is armed with the deadly Magnetron Lash, the Scourge’s first Mauler weapon. With a decent stopping power, the Magnetron Lash has a Lock value equal to the target’s Armour, so go after high priority targets! Mauler weapons are always Close Action, so the Shadow does have to get rather close, but paired with Scald means that this weapon will always have a +1 modifier to the opponent’s save (note that this comes into play after rolling to hit!). Of course, setting up the Shadow to get all of its weapons firing is going to be tough, but if you manage it, that’s a lot of firepower with not much chance for opponents to save.
Fancy sounding and dangerous beyond compare, let’s see the Senator!
This extremely dangerous looking ship takes the Resistance Battlecruiser hull and goes wild! The whole front of these Battlecruisers are new, doing away with the typical broadside arrangement in favour of a more front-heavy weapons system.
The Senator’s secondary weapon system is just a whole load of missiles. Like… so many missiles. These Close Action weapons will deal a bunch of potential (if unreliable) damage to enemies who get too close, while the VX Bombs deal with everything else. The scanners along the underside of the Senator give it Detector, which is always nice for Resistance with their low Scan ranges. But you want to hear about VX Bombs, right?
The VX Bomb is like nothing we’ve ever seen in Dropfleet. Massive warheads filled with a deadly nerve agent, these weapons were “secretly developed by Earth Fleet Command’s shadowy Section Green, without civilian government knowledge.” Too controversial for the EAA and for the modern UCM, the more ruthless Kalium admirals have no issues, and independent Resistance fleets have seen enough carnage planetside to know that sometimes wiping out all organic matter is the best option. While these weapons do limited damage to the Sectors they target, wiping out all Ground Assets in the Sector and Cluster is a very scary prospect! Of course in practice it means you lose all your own Assets too, so is best saved for a Hail Mary. Don’t want too long though – this ship is sure to be a high priority target!
We’ve covered the more straightforward ships, and now it’s time to get weird.
The Umbra is the alternate build for this new Battlecruiser set. It trades its Magnetron Lash for the weird-looking Oculus Booster, which… well it does exactly what it says on the tin:
Although not a weapon as such, this crazy device is a real force multiplier, granting a limited bonus to a friendly group’s Oculus weapons. If you thought Scourge were only deadly up close, then think again!
Although the Umbra is a big, expensive chassis to house a supporting ability, when combined with the right fleet, the Oculus Booster can prove to be extremely effective. Take a group of 3 Yokai and light that target up! Extra points for taking down a Dreadnought.
Finally today, we have something weird but in a completely different role: it’s a repair ship!
The whole front of the Triumvir is filled with this giant structure of armatures. Although quite large at this scale, in “reality” they are complicated, finely tuned instruments, able to make complicated repairs remotely, extending out over a much longer distance. While the more in-depth repairs can take weeks, the Triumvir’s armatures are also equipped with an expanding, rapid-cure polymer foam. This can help fix hull breaches and even weld on new armour plates and modules to a crippled ship with quick battlefield repairs.
In-game these abilities are represented by a couple of rules! The Repair Bay allows the Triumvir to project a bubble to friendly ships, helping them to fix their Crippling damage mid-game. Meanwhile the Box of Scraps rule relies on close-by wrecked ships to help patch up holes in others. Stick the Triumvir in the centre of a larger group and you’ll be set. It’s worth keeping a group of cheap Frigates close (maybe take a couple of Detector Frigates) to provide parts for other ships. Keeping other Battlecruisers or Grand Cruisers nearby means your opponent will struggle to remove them from the game before taking out the Triumvir, which – considering it only has a token Close Action weapon and some Fighters & Bombers – might be a bit of a waste of firepower.
So there we have it! Some of the weirdest ships you’ve seen in Dropfleet so far.
Now, we know what you’re thinking: “These are so OP!”
But don’t forget that we’re just looking at rules in a vacuum here (rather than playing rules in the vacuum of space). Each of these ships is competing with other Heavy options and has to be used properly in order to make the most out of them. You’re not going to be getting the full benefit of the Oculus Booster every turn – not if your opponent has anything to say about it! It’s also worth remembering that our digital rules are always open to change. It’s the beauty of a living ruleset! We’ll have the full rules available for free on Friday, with a little 1.0 next to them!
We know that there are new Battlecruisers coming this week, but we want to know more!
Welcome to the first Battlecruiser Breakdown! This week we’ll be looking a little more in depth at the different Battlecruisers heading your way this Friday.
Today we’re starting off with Shaltari and PHR. So if you’re an Abandonist or a space hedgehog, you’re in the right place to find out exactly what reinforcements are coming to a fleet near you.
First of all, let’s start with the divisive Pompeius. It’s a sunfish sort of thing. Love it or hate it?
Before you judge this big ol’ fish by its cover, we should really talk rules.
The Pompeius and Agrippa (we’ll get to that in a minute) both share a brand new type of hull. Since the Agamemnon and Priam are so fully loaded with broadsides and cover pretty much all the bases, we knew that the next Battlecruisers would need to do something different. Focusing on forward-facing weaponry (mostly) meant that those long broadsides were redundant. So a new hull was designed! The bonus of this new hull is that the Pompeius and Agrippa have even bigger engines, which boost their Thrust to a whopping 12″ – the fastest Battlecruisers around!
But we’re ignoring the elephant in the room. You want to talk firepower.
The Pompeius is armed with a heavy version of the Castor’s Quad Battery (very fitting considering the Monitor design was Dave’s main inspiration for the ship). The Heavy Quad Battery mostly matches the Castor’s weapons, but bumps up the Damage stat to 2. In addition, the weapons have Calibre for Heavy and Super-Heavy ships, increasing its Lock value.
Coupled with Fusillade (4), the Pompeius can put out a ghastly 8 shots on Weapons Free orders. Target an enemy Heavy Cruiser or larger and you’re hitting on 3s. That means a whole load of Criticals and a potential 16 Damage in one volley! All this together puts the Pompeius in a unique position for PHR Battlecruisers: a giant-killer!
Speaking of firepower, it’s time to look at one of my favourites in this new batch. The Hematite is all about firepower.
The new Shaltari Battlecruiser has also got a redesigned hull. Shaltari ships are tricky-looking at the best of times! The Ruby/Sapphire build has the four fins sitting equally, but on this new hull Dave has shuffled the top fins backwards, giving an offset look that nicely echoes the smaller Cruisers.
Unusually for Shaltari, the Hematite has 4 identical weapons. It’s not going to win any awards for versatility but… well, take a look:
Stat-wise the Hematite matched the Ruby and Sapphire, but weapon-wise it’s pretty unique! You may have seen Thermal Lance Cannons on the Chromium – the Shaltari’s preimiere annoyance unit, and – up until now – the only ship with a dedicated Burnthrough weapon.
Well, the Hematite takes that idea and puts 4 of them together! This beastly weapon is literally the Chromium’s weapon profile times four, and it’s all the more deadly for it. The Shaltari may have been a little slow in bringing Burnthrough tech to the battlefield, but now they have, they’re determined to have the best Burnthrough weapons possible. Classic space hedgehogs.
We’re keeping with the Shaltari for now, and introducing the Goethite – the alternate build for this new set!
The Goethite is a bit more of an every-man (every-hog?) ship than the Hematite. And yes, it’s “G-O-E-thite” not “G-E-O-thite”, I checked with Dave.
The Goethite trades in all-out stopping power for a mixed approach. Joining some of the other factions, the Goethite has a Launch bay, which allows it some extra versatility. It also has two weird new weapons that look weirdly familiar…
Those, fellow Fleeters, are Twin Hyperwave Cannons. A brand new weapon type, the Hyperwave Cannon is (checks notes) “a gigantic offshoot of the microwave-based weapons dreaded by infantry.” Although we’ve seen something similar on the Amethyst, the Hyperwave Cannon is something very different. It superheats enemy ships, causing untold continuous damage to a ship while simultaneously killing off most of its crew. Ouch! With the new Corruptor rules in version 1.2 of the digital rulebook, you can pile on Corruptor tokens, increasing the ongoing damage each time!
Okay, we’re saving the weirdest until last.
The PHR Agrippa is something unlike we’ve ever seen before. Although the long shape is reminiscent of many other PHR ships. It looks most like the Pollux, although is very different in practice.
Dave’s idea for this was to make something weird that shows the constant evolution of PHR’s advanced technology. They’re fighting in many new ways since allying with the UCM and Kalium in the Battle for Earth, and one of the things they’ve needed to do is more closely mask their activities. Thus the Agrippa. Let’s just peel the bandage off and look at the rules.
Those long fins house layers of drones within drones, each equipped with EM projectors, which – when all together – create a web of EM interference, mimicking that of debris fields. The drones are also self-detonating, meaning any admiral brave enough to fly through the ruse will find smaller ships often damaged beyond repair. In game terms these Holographic Drones manifest in two ways:
- As Close Action weapons. The Agrippa can eject its payload straight into enemy ships, causing a fair amount of shots. Although not super accurate, these weapons also have the Swarmer special rule, which means enemy ships must use 1 more Point Defence save than normal to protect against each hit.
- To create a Holo-Debris Field. This basically amounts to a Dense Debris Field appearing wherever you want it (that 12″ Thrust is particularly useful here), and it only works against your opponent! So you can block off areas of the board or simply lay down a cover screen while you’re lining up your broadside volleys. The field only lasts until the end of the following round (so it could be almost 2 full rounds if you activate the Agrippa early), but it can do this every round, so there will be plenty of interference!
And that’s all we’re talking about today!