Dropzone New Rules – Reduced

What’s changed? Let’s find out.

Over the next few days we’re going to be taking a look at some of the tweaks to the Dropzone rules in the new small format rulebook.

This new 2.1 edition of the book makes several small tweaks to help balance your games. Don’t expect massive shifts in rules – if you’ve bought Battle for Earth you’ll still be able to use that book for most of the game!

We thought we’d start at the back and work forward, so let’s look today at the Reduced rule.

One of the most controversial rules in Battle for Earth with the veteran players, reduced not only reduces the Shots you put out (the first half of the rule above), but it also allows small arms to combine their fire, focus shots on particular weak spots to make their weapons more powerful than the sum of their parts.

This was a deliberate change in version 2 of Dropzone to make infantry more important, and bring the game more in line with Dave’s original vision – embittered soldiers desperately fighting and actually managing to be a pivotal part of a larger scale conflict – something that other small-scale battle games have always struggled with.

However, the players told us loud and clear that we’d gone too far! While the “Energy” value on a weapon is an abstract statistic, it still didn’t make much sense for infantry units to become the most powerful attackers in the game!

So in 2.1 the Energy is capped at 9. That means you’ll still be able to pierce the thickest armour in the game if you combine enough firepower, but it’s really very unlikely to happen.

We still want infantry to feel dangerous, but now it’ll be a bit of a risky tactic using them to hunt tanks all the time. It’s best saved for a last-ditch effort, and infantry should definitely not be left out in the open because they won’t put out enough damage to make it worthwhile (we’re looking at you, Berserkers).

The second big change to the Reduced rule is a bit of a technicality. You can choose to make your combined fire an AA weapon, but it follows all the usual rules and restrictions for that! No more jumping your Valkyries out of a Triton and destroying an aircraft in the same turn!


That’s just the start – we’ll be back with more tweaks in the next week so keep an eye out here and let us know what you think and what you’re looking forward to in this new book (aside from getting rid of back problems carrying the epic Battle for Earth everywhere).

2 Replies to “Dropzone New Rules – Reduced”

  1. I think this is going in the right direction. I would revise the second part to say “although if doing so it reduces its R(F) and R(C) ranges to *up to* 6″.” The reason is you have Freeriders (and maybe other units) with the Reduced rule and a range (short) attack. That means their sticky mines can be confused as an AA weapon and gain a 6″ range (currently 1″ range).

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