Thursday, July 23, 2015

DZC Scenario Frontline Control

It has certainly been a while since I've posted here, mostly due to no longer taking commissions.  I'll save the whole story for another time, but this seems the best place for me to put out my ideas and what I've been working on.  If you are looking for the scenario scroll down, as what follows is my thought process and procedure.

I've been playing solely Dropzone Commander now for nearly 2 years, and have found myself a bit disappointed with the competitive scenarios allotted us.  It's not to say they are all bad, but it feels they can be a bit repetitive and favor particular factions and can feel a bit random.  I will most likely write a whole post on why the current scenario goals and objectives are lacking, but this isn't about that.  What it is about is looking at other systems that are regarded as having great competitive play, and seeing what they are doing that DZC is not.  Then translating it to DZC.

First look was at Privateer Press, as they are the 2nd largest game played around me competitively, and, unlike #1, is generally praised for it's extremely tight rules that produce a competitive game.  I played Hordes when it first released, and so have a loose understanding of the game system.  Going through their tournament pack, most of their scenarios would boil down to Focal Points in the center that are scored at the end of every turn.  This wasn't a new idea, as scoring Focal Points at the end of the game is one of the problems, as I see it, in competitive DZC.  So this solution was already on my radar, and there are plenty of Focal Point missions already.  I asked other local wargamers, and many said Privateer Press, but others mentioned Infinity.

Infinity is a game I have not played and know little about, other than a few batreps I've watched on youtube some time ago.  There were a few scenarios that peeked my interest, and some I could see easily translating to DZC, but the one named "Frontline" really struck me.  It would translate seamlessly and bore resemblance to Ground Control, which is a DZC scenario that some in the community find necessary in tournaments to offset all of the Focal Point and Objective missions.

I've play tested some other scenarios with Focal Points that score every turn.  The problem has been that faster armies take an early lead which is hard for the slower armies to catch up since they have to move into position and than remove the enemy.  By the time they do this, it is usually too late.  Starting to score on turn 4, stops this early lead and forces both players to begin scoring at the same time.  It also prevents either player from winning on the last activation.  Keeping scoring to the 24" in the middle prevents either player from scoring the corners, but the 48" width of the table still allows for some interesting play on the flanks by the quick and sneaky.

So far in play testing it has been met with enthusiasm, and so I am releasing it to the world to hopefully get more testing.  One thing that has been found is that in it's first iteration the score produced did not reflect properly in the Hawk Tournament system.  If one player scores 1 point ahead of his opponent at the end of the 3 turns scored it results in a victory by 3, which is a decent margin.  I have brought the bonus points scored down to help mitigate this possibility.  Another thought I had was to just half the margin before consulting the Hawk Tournament pack, but then there is the question of round up or down.  Both have some merit.  Lastly, there are other thoughts to make it more DZC, such as allowing infantry in buildings to be weighed at double their points, and/or allow aircraft to throw their points in also like they do in Ground Control.

There are a multitude of ways it could be tweaked, but the core premise of having the 3 8" band between the players being scored the last half of the game really helps level any current disadvantages that may exist between all factions, and produces a victor based less on silly tricks or lucky dice rolls; not to mention a bloody and vicious game between two armies.

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