The working week was greatly improved by an invitation to Mike's new pad for an evening's Drop Zoning. After the recent debacle at the Critical Engagement tourney, I needed to get my DZC mojo back.
Above: The game in full flow.
The mission was the Critical Engagement version of Military Complex. For those uninitiated, this differs from Hawk's version in that the central objective only scores points if you remove it from your opponents board edge. I took my Resistance army from our recent Birmingham Gamesexpo trip, and Mike (the self proclaimed current Drop Zone World Champion), took a balanced Scourge lists.
[An apology. It has been a number of weeks since we played this game, and unfortunately I managed to delete my pictures, apart from the one above, thinking that I had already published the post. Doh!]
In the initial game moves we both attempted to position our troops advantageously for objective removal. Mike fired some Razorworms into the central building to begin his searching.
Turn three, and I found the objective in the closest building on the righthand side of the table and I decide to drive it off in a Jackson. Mike viewed this as beyond the pale and pushed his two remaining Hunters to intercede with my Jackson. They both achieved hits on the transport, but on the damage roll........two ones appeared. Hooray.
The Jackson wasn't going to look a gift horse in the mouth and departed the board scoring me two points.
On the other side of the table a unit of Veterans had secured a second objective, but at considerable cost in troops (Two units of Destroyers don't take prisoners). I had tried to protect the Veterans' battle bus by putting it back in the Kraken. Unfortunately, this meant when their passengers left the building they couldn't get into their ride. Whoops. They were left looking rather embarrassed outside literally waiting for a bus.
A number of Scourge flyers decided to ruin the Veterans day, but luckily for me some nearby Freeriders came over to assist. 'Not to worry' they said 'we'll take it from here'.
The Freeriders scooted off with a cloud of Scourge flyers in hot pursuit throwing everything at the bikers, including, whatever the version of the Scourge kitchen sink looks like (even the Minders were trying to roll sixes to hit). With all this incoming fire even evasion 3 Freeriders couldn't hold, and eventually they fell to the massed firepower and sinks.
The objective was left on the ground unloved, with no way for the frustrated Scourge to pick it up. However, all was not lost for the Resistance. Up step my Alexander, which came to the rescue and collected the objective for himself - 'When a motorcyclist fails, a command tank will succeed'.
By this time Mike had recovered the objective from the building closest to the his board edge and flown it to safety leaving the score as 3 to 2 in my favour. The Alexander departed the board increasing my lead by another point.
Two objectives remained. The central building objective and another 'normal' objective. We had both been shoddy in getting over to the normal objective, and despite some late game searches by the Scourge, it remained unfound. However, Mike's Razorworms did find the central building objective, and the game now focused on Mike's attempts to fly it off.
But things were not going to be that easy. The Intruder with the objective was positioned behind the central building. It had the movement to leave from my board edge, but there were two AA Lifthawks and a poorly Gunwagon to make the flyer's life difficult.
Mike dealt with the Gunwagon, so my hopes now rested with the two Liftys. Both Mike and myself were seeing his problem as my opportunity fire. However, suddenly I realised that in my activation I could move one of the Lifthawks and get a clear shot on the target Intruder. Mike's face was a picture of concern as he realised that the game could be ripped from his grasp.
Dice rolled, and the cheer came from......the Scourge.
With time running out, Mike had to get the Intruder away, and had no option but run the gauntlet of the final Lifty and its opportunity fire. Dice rolled, but unfortunately, sixes were beyond me, and the precious cargo was taken back to Scourge HQ.
The final score was 5 to 4 in Mike's favour. A brilliantly close and exciting game. Thanks to Mike for the game, and apologise again for the lack of pictures.
Happy wargaming to you all.