Thursday, November 24, 2016

Diversification in List Building


No we are not talking about the meat in a can today. Today we are talking about what to look for in your lists to give you a more all around build.

Enjoy. . . oh and if someone can find me a great picture. . .I would be happy. Nothing quite fits the bill here.

Initial Thoughts:

From my experience in playing various systems, there are always pros and cons to using just a single type of unit. In this post I will talk about the need for diversity in Dropfleet.

Like every game out to date, there is the real possibility of “spamming” units. All games try to fix this in some way. No one wants to see the other side of the table lined up with 50 of the same tanks (looking at you IG). Now while it might feel that way with Dropfleet Commander since the cruisers all share the same hull type, it is to be expected but what you want to see is a variety of units.

Going over my last post you will see that I covered at the types of ships so I will use those names here.

The first thing you have to understand that the game is centered around an objective. While each mission is different and there are some that are all about the kill, this game actually want you to drop units and to take the ground war. Due to this you need some flexibility and some forms of consistency. Originally I thought that you needed roughly an amount of Strike Carriers and Troopships but I was taught differently through the mind of a smart tactician. This player uses a small duplicate battlegroups of Troopship and Strike Carriers to rush sectors. This is smart and is a valuable point on this topic.


Consistency is important in all forms. From having extra units to do the job, to having dice that are not imbalanced (how to check for imbalanced dice), being consistent increases your level of play and that is shown in dropfleet. Having an extra set of strike carriers, an extra set of troopships, an extra set of sniping ships all allow you to have not only tactical flexibility but more peace of mind. If you lose one you have the other.

Troop deployment:

This is a game all about taking ground based or station based objectives. Yes there is killing but taking an objective is worth far more. Now not every mission prioritizes taking an objective over others. For instance there is a mission called Erupting Battlefront in the rulebook that gives you points for controlling your clusters that are on your side of the table (closest to your board edge) and destroying sectors in clusters nearest your opponent's board edge. There are missions where there are no clusters to take but there are stations. So while taking troops is vital more than naught you will also want to have enough combat ships to keep you in the fight.

Combat Groups:

You will almost always have more combat units in your list than anything else. This is due to them providing the backbone you need in your lists to not only attract attention by being a big enough problem that they cannot be ignored but they are also strong enough to put pressure on your opponent in ways that forces him/her to react.

Bombardment Groups:

This group can fall under the specialty group but I find that they are needed to contain an opponent who is faster than you or can drop far more tokens than you. Think about these ships when you build a list and in those games you do not bring them, consider the differences even one of those might of brought about.

Specialty Groups:

Here is where your Sniper Groups go as well as a few others. One is the PHR Theseus-class Light Cruiser which is usually used as a specialty unit in the fact that it has a low enough Strategy Rating (SR) that it can hunt on its own for Troopship groups like I will show you later on.

Specialty groups are designed to get a job done and will not usually last long enough to enjoy the completion of that job. They force your opponent to react. They tend to be low SR but can be units like the Scourge Strix-class Light Cruiser, Shaltari Aquamarine-class Light Cruiser. Notice how Light Cruisers and Missile Ships like the UCM Taipei-class Frigate and Shaltari Amethyst-class Frigate fall under here. They have a job and they do it well.

The start of George's Jet and Amethyst's 

The healthy balance:

Now on my blog I have said that 2-4 strike carriers and 1 troopship ber 750 points is important to have, and while it is, I will say that having 4-6 Strike Carriers and 1 troopship per 500 points can be just as important. You will need a balance though of those Ground Launchers and combat able ships. This will all be based off your strategy.

Take this list I constructed;

Scourge D-Day over New Eden list- 981pts
Scourge - 10 launch assets

SR17 Vanguard battlegroup (394pts)
1 x Shenlong - 170pts - H
  + Fleet Champion (40pts, 3AV)
1 x Hydra - 140pts - M
2 x Harpy - 84pts - L

SR10 Line battlegroup (250pts)
1 x Hydra - 140pts - M
1 x Ifrit - 110pts - M

SR4 Pathfinder battlegroup (128pts)
2 x Gargoyle - 64pts - L
2 x Gargoyle - 64pts - L

SR7 Pathfinder battlegroup (169pts)
1 x Chimera - 105pts - M
2 x Gargoyle - 64pts - L


This list has a bit of everything. It has combat ships (Shenlong, Ifrit, and Harpy), Carrier’s (2x Hydra’s), a single troopship with the Chimera but 6x Gargoyle Strike Carriers. I would say this list is pretty balanced. It of course is unable bombard anything with any chance of success nor does it have a strong Close Action presence which is the Scourge mainstay but it covers the bases of Consistency, Troopships and Combat units and is spread out to maximize the usage of these assets. What this list does not have is a Specialty Group. That can be an issue but the Ifrit can sort of fill that role with its Burnthrough having Flash.

Finding a use:

Every ship has multiple uses. You can use missile ships as a combat ship for instance. This is more on tactics than anything else. Most of you know this but do not limit how you view a ship to just a single role. While it excels at that role they tend to be multi-role (especially the PHR). Use that and you will find success in many things.

The Ratio:

This is a theory on my part but while Hawk Wargames ground game Dropzone Commander forces you to have balance in a list (usually a 1/3rd Air, 1/3rd Anti-tank, and 1/3rd anti-air), Dropfleet Commander is very similar.

The ration I aim for is based on your points but it is;

Roughly ⅓ Ground Ships (Troopships, Motherships, and Strike Carriers)
Roughly ¼ Carriers
Roughly ⅛ Bombardment
Roughly ⅛ Specialty Units
Roughly ½ Combat units

You will see that this equals more than 1. Well this is because there are no hard numbers. You want each of these units to be the most effective and flexible but at the same time you will have to prioritize what is most important.


There is no right build, no “best” ship. Using a list to be the most effective of them on the field is something you will have to find. Entire lists can change just by rearranging the battlegroups (try it with the Recommended Starter Fleets and see what I mean) As always test everything! Do not just take my word for it, go out there and test it out!


As always folks, thank you for reading, make sure to subscribe by email, follow me via Facebook on my page the The HotLZ, remember to check out WarGaming Mats for their beautiful line of vinyl 4x4 and 6x4 mats for Dropfleet, Star Wars Armada, and X-Wing (and maybe a few other games!) and some new Cluster vinyl sets. If you like what you see make sure to check out the Patreon page we would love for you to support our work and take part in all the exciting bonuses it will offer.

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