New Standard Units?! It’s a Dropzone Post-Christmas Miracle!

We have some exciting new releases for Dropzone players this week, and with new releases come new rules!

The first Battlegroup boxes are on their way to pre-order this Friday, and it’s an exciting time for Dropzone players both new and old.

New players will find the new Armour Battlegroups the perfect expansion to their burgeoning army. If you already have a Starter Army, these new sets give you a whole new Battlegroup. All of them offer some different and unusual units for your battles.

For existing players, these Battlegroups contain brand new Standard choices! Other than the ocassional one here and there, this is the first big Standard release since Reconquest! Standard choices are the most populous in a Dropzone army, so you can use these new units to make up the centre of your fighting force. Oh and don’t worry – they’ll be available online separately too.

Of course, you’re here to see what they do, and we’re definitely going to tell you!

UCM

First of all, the angels in green, the UCM have not one but two new options this week. The Polecat Buggy is a new Standard choice, and can be carried in the new Vulture Dropship.

As you can see by its stats, the Polecat is very fast! This chonky boi is as quick as a Wolverine, and better armoured to boot. It’s a little more expensive in points, but that extra point of armour makes it a fair bit more survivable.

You get a choice of weapons on the Polecat: a Twin Nemesis Minigun or an Aggressor Cannon.

The Minigun might lack stopping power, but with 6 shots it sure puts out a lot of attacks! Energy 4 isn’t super strong, but ignoring Body and Soft cover means that this thing will shred any infantry bold enough to go to the edge of a Garrison. The Miniguns also have Focus-1 as well, which means with enough shots you can bring down anything if you really need to.

The Aggressor Cannon trades the cover bonuses for a higher starting Energy, which means it can easily deal with light vehicles or scenery. The big bonus here is 3 Shots with Focus-2, which put it right up to dealing with medium vehicles. Get particularly lucky (or use some Command Cards at the right time) and you can take on heavy tanks if necessary.

Both options are very versatile, which is a nice contrast to the traditional Sabre with its 1 Shot high Energy weapon.

The Vulture is pretty much what you’d expect from a dropship! It’s twice the size of a Raven, so can carry twice as much stuff. In a feat of UCM engineering brilliance, the Polecats actually take up the same space as Wolverines, so a Vulture can carry 4.

You can also build the Vulture as a Troopship, which gives you the option of flying 4 units of Infantry in at speed without the need for a Bear or Panda.

And for a little more versatility you can arm your Vulture with an AA Battery! This is the same type found on a Phoenix, and the only way to get AA weapons on your transports. Nice!

Scourge

The Scourge have one new Standard unit to add to their ranks. It’s a little smaller than they’re used to.

The Spectre Skimtank is closer to a bike than a full tank. In fact it’s a very similar size to a Wolverine! It’s small and has pretty low armour, but wow is it fast! With a Move of 12″ and Evasion +3, this nippy little thing can get around the board mostly on its own. You might not even need to put it in a Harbinger Troopship!

Like the Polecat, the Spectre also gets a choice of weapons.

A Plasma Lance will be familiar to Scourge players using Reavers. It’s literally the same thing, just one of them! Spectres are too small for turrets meaning they’re a bit more limited in their aiming, but are usually fast enough to target what they want. Plasma Lances are longer ranged than the Cannons on Hunters, but a little weaker. Still, Energy 10 will do most jobs!

Alternatively you could go for the much weirder option with the Photon Blaster. This short ranged weapon has double the shots, but only Energy 6. Luckily enough it has the Penetrative rule on overdrive, always damaging on a 5 or 6. The biggest draw for the Photo Blaster though is that it’s Indirect! This weird weapon shoots straight through walls, allowing your Spectres to target opponents with no chance of them returning fire. Although less accurate when you can’t see, you can always pair some Spectres with Minders or Emeritus Drones to provide up to date targeting information. A deadly combo that keeps your Spectres out of harm’s way.

PHR

The Abandonists aren’t going without new units either, adding a new Standard choice to their already bumper selection. You can also build this new one as a Support choice if you like!

The Diana Jetskimmer is a little quicker than an Angelos, and as a hybrid jet/anti-grav skimmer it’s even better at evading fire. However these tanks simply don’t have the bulk of the Angelos, coming in with only 1 Damage point.

But tanks are all about the guns, right? And the Diana has a crazy one. While little can match the simple stopping power of an Ares’ Railgun, the Diana takes a stranger approach. due to their Molecular Absorbers, Dianas can shoot into each other to overcharge their weapons. Energy 8 may not look like much, but Focus-3 quickly increases that number when they can combine shots together. In fact, they come in squads of up to 4, which means you can potentially get a single Energy 17 shot! That’s rather crazy, and probably overkill. With Devastator-3 against all Vehicles, the Diana is a big target hunter the likes of which we may not have seen before!

You could instead make your tank as the Aurora Jetskimmer. A Support choice, the Aurora trades firepower for shield assistance while keeping the same hull. The Shield Beamer increases or decreases Passive Countermeasures saves. It can even give units without a Passive save of their own! Target a friendly unit and watch them last the whole battle. Combine with some Odins or Zeus and you’ve got some incredibly survivable walkers. Alternatively you could target your opponents to strip them of their Passive saves. Take that Shaltari, the PHR are the new tricksy faction! Not many people know that PHR stands for Pranks Horseplay and Ruses.

Shaltari

Shaltari aren’t happy with all that silly PHR nonsense, so they’re here with two new units to put them back in their place.

The Atlatl and Arrowhead Gravtanks share the same hull. It’ll look familiar but different to Shaltari players. Slower than a Tomahawk, they instead focus on defence, upping their Passive saves to a massive 4+. That’s sure to be annoying!

And the Atlatl doesn’t stop there for annoyance! When it comes to weapons, this Gravtank doesn’t actually do any damage. But what it does is frustrate your opponent so much. Worth it.

The Atlatl is armed with a Teleport Beamer, which does exactly what it sounds like! In what has been called a “cruder, brute-force” appliance of their teleport technology, this weird weapon can teleport any unit, whether they’re ready for it or not! You can teleport friendly units a bit distance, or enemy units a shorter distance (while the traditional teleport web and Gate aren’t necessary, they do help). Great for getting a good sightline on your opponent or escaping from the retaliatory fire.

The Arrowhead is also a Standard choice, but goes in for AA fire instead. AA weapons on Standard choices are rather rare, and this one is kind of weird. The Energy Storm weapon uses the same interference as active Gates, but weaponises it! While this weapon can only Reaction Fire with a limited range, it has a couple of shots each, ignores Reaction Fire Accuracy penalties, and adds +1 Energy for every friendly unit in the squad, creating a – wait for it – storm of energy that will knock out any aircraft foolish enough to get close. Park a big squad of these in the middle of the board and watch your opponent sweat. Shaltnanigans are still strong!

Resistance

Last of all, the Resistance get a new Standard choice as well. It’s chunky and awesome.

The Patton AFV is the heaviest Standard choice available to Resistance commanders. If you’re looking to play a Kalium army or just want to trade up from scrappy Technicals, look no further! With Armour 13 and 2 Damage, this thing can survive longer than most battle tanks. It’s also rather fast on its wheels, nice! Put it in a Kraken or a Lifthawk – the choice is yours (which is a really rare thing for Resistance – for all the different transport types, the ability to go in more than one thing is quite rare).

As with most other Standard choices though, the Patton is all about the guns. It has a Grenade Launcher as standard, which fits the Resistance’s versatility. Then you have a choice of two guns.

The standard load-out is the Autocannon. It has 2 barrels, a decent range, and Energy 8. It also ignores all cover, which means you’re rarely getting many modifiers. At Energy 8 it can’t deal with the heaviest tanks in the game, but anything lower than that it can take on. Light vehicles are its main enemy, and scenery pieces don’t stand much luck either.

You can choose to upgrade the Autocannon to a Liberator Railgun, which will definitely help with your heavy vehicle troubles! This heavy prototype of the UCM railgun is expensive to manufacture but packs such a punch! Energy 10 is a welcome addition to Resistance Standard choices, and it does srits on 1 more than the damage roll, rather than 2. That means you can do crits to Armour 15! :O

Rules Updates

With these new Standard units, we’ve also taken the opportunity to update a couple other units that needed tweaks. These will all go live on Friday. Just a quick list:

  • Scourge walkers have been changed a bit! Less tough, but more resilient. Scourge armour isn’t all that strong, but it’s not like you can kill the crew!
  • The Eradicator’s Bio-Mortar has a new weapon mode!
  • The Harbinger Troopship can carry an extra Screamer (and plenty of Spectres).
  • PHR Jetskimmers have been made a little less agile.
  • Shaltari Gates now ignore the Reaction Fire penalties.
  • Firstborns have turned their Energy Swords down a bit.
  • Pungari have had some changes to reflect just how useless they are on their own, but fantastic as a horde!
  • Ronin now have a really good reason to upgrade their weapons.
  • Resistance Jacksons are cheaper, but a little easier to hurt.

UCM escaped the nerf-hammer this time! If you have feedback on any units, you can always let us know by filling out the feedback form on the Dropzone army builder!

Phew! That’s a big post with lots to go through. Have a look and let us know if you’re excited about new Standard choices! The Battlegroup Boxes (and individual units) are up for pre-order on Friday, so check back then for all the juicy details. In the meantime, there are already loads of Dropzone Commander kits on the TTCombat webstore, so head over there to check them out. And if you’ve painted some, make sure to email info@ttcombat.com – we’d love to see them and share them right here.

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