I would like to start this blog about Dropfleet Commander with how I got into the game. It is a long and windy road, so hang on tight…
For most of my adult, geek life I have not been a miniature gamer. Like so many others in my generation (in Denmark, at least) I started out with hero quest at the rather young age of 10-12 years and moved from there to other more complicated miniature games (of which I never properly understood the rules at the time, not being all that fluent in english) to proper roleplaying games.
When I started at the university in 2001, I was playing tabletop roleplaying games, Warhammer Fantasy Battle (WFB) and a sprinkle of board games. I had moved to Aalborg and slowly larping took over more and more of my time. This culminated in 2002 where I participated in WFB tournament in Aalborg and it was a horribly experience. I spend so much time bickering about rules interpretations with my opponents that I – more or less – packed away my miniatures when I came home and instead dedicated my time to larping. More fun, less frustration.
For the next 11 years, I mostly larped. There is only so much time in a persons life and university (and later work and girlfriends) took a big chunck, so I had to pick my hobby time carefully. On top of that, for the first 6 years of working after studying I had a job where I travelled a lot and that also gave me (at periods) rather long workweeks and a lot of time away from home.
But in January 2013 I changed jobs to something where I didn’t travel as much and suddenly I had a lot more of free time at home. At the same time a couple of people at my local gaming club wanted to rejuvenate WFB, and I jumped at the chance of painting and playing again – I had reason to suspect, that the rules bickering would be considerably less with these people in charge.
I was right and I had loads of fun. For 2-3 years the WFB community was being rejuvanted and it was fun playing and painting again. I was a miniature gamer again and I loved it.
Then Age of Sigmar came. I’ll spare you the gory details, but the WFB community suffered and other games took over. None of my friends continued to Age of Sigmar. Some continued playing 8th edition WFB. Some migrated to Warhammer 40K and some to Warmachine. Or other geek activites. I tried to kickstart The 9th Age but the frequent rule changes – and some decisions that took it away from the warhammer world – got me a little disinterested and combined with a busy period at work, I did less wargaming.
At the same time, most of my geek-energy was being invested in board games. As larp had been some 10 years ago, so was board games now the rising star in the roleplay-related community (or maybe more accurately, already risen and in zenith), and I had jumped the wagon. And so it was that in 2016, after having wanting to go for a couple of years, I finally booked a trip to go to Essen Spiel.
It is overwhelming. So many people all into games and so many different (and sometimes not-so-different) games and accessories. It was an amazing experience and I played a lot of interesting games and spend a lot of time thinking about, enjoying and discussing games. It is truly an experience to behold if you are into games.
Anyways, in all the chaos, Hawk Wargames had a booth. Me and my friend was drawn there. I can’t really clearly remember why anymore – I think it was the beautiful miniatures and the cityscape for Dropzone Commander. I always had a thing for small-scale stuff, and this was looking very cool. We got a demo-game for Dropzone Commander and it had a lot of interesting points. Fighting for objectives was integrated in a neat way. Landscape was cool to look at. Miniatures was awesome. And it had an integrated spaceship game.
I was never much of a sci-fi fan, but I was hooked. I talked it over with my friend and we decided to buy some to bring home and try to kickstart it. In the end, I bought Dropfleet and he bought Dropzone.
It was maybe the most stressfull time of my life that autumn, so the game lay unread on a shelf for a month or so, before I finally had time to dig in. That was where I was truly hooked. The rules were well-designed and the pacing seem good. The submarines-in-space feel where the objectives matter more than killing your opponent had me hooked after the first game.
And here I am. At the moment I have played around a dozen games and the more I play (and ponder and read) the more I love the game and I hope, with the use of this blog, to spread some of my enthusiasm and thoughts about the game.