On Tuesday, Hawks lovely Talon, Ken travelled all the way up from Hartlepool to show me and Madison the ropes of Dropfleet Commander.

We played the starter scenario straight from the two player box set with those fleets, the UCM and the Scourge. My UCM fleet consisted of three battlegroups one with two Toulons and a Berlin, one with two New Orleans and a Moscow and the last one with just a Seattle. Madisons Scourge fleet also had thee battlegroups, one with two Harpys and an Ifrit, one with two Gargoyles and a Shenlong, and a final one with a Wyvern.

My strategy was to try and take out his cruisers with mine from a distance allowing my strike cruisers to take the ground clusters, well they say a battle plan rarely survives first contact with the enemy and in this case that was 100% accurate.

On the left hand side, I sent in my Berlin and two Toulons to try and stop his Shenlong and Gargoyles, but Madison ran his Shenlong under silent running the whole way, so by the time I had closed in on the centre of the board, I was just out of scan range, which allowed him to open fire on me and send my Berlin hurtling into oblivion, before picking off my Toulons as they pursued his escaping Gargoyles.

On the other side of the table I threw both my other two battlegroups to try and take the clusters on the far right, but Madison threw in both of his two remaining battlegroups. I easily picked off his Harpys, but the devastating close combat attacks of his Wyvern crippled both my Seattle and Moscow, before his Ifrit dealt the final blow to my Moscow which set off a series of explosions which took out my Seattle and his Wyvern.

My New Orleans were able to take the far right clusters and then turned to the centre cluster where Madison was also sending his ships after taking the far left clusters. The game ended with us destroying each other’s ground forces in the centre leaving us in control of one set of clusters each, so the game was decided on kill points, and sadly my ships went down easily and fast to his

The UCM were fun to play, but the key with them against the Scourge is to keep distance, the Scourge are fast and are very lethal up close, despite their lacking in long ranges attacks.

Overall I am really pleased with the game, and I am looking forward to getting some more in. It’s very much like submarine warfare in space with much of the tactics of the game dictated towards keeping your ships from developing spikes and marking them easier to kill.

Like Dropzone Commander it’s a game about combined arms and you can’t simply min/max your lists, they really do have to be balanced in order to win.