My name is Cameron, and I make Dropzone Commander battle reports (several of which have featured previously on this blog).
This battle report is a little bit different from the typical battle reports I post, so I wanted to add this explanation. In this report, I am trying out a spam list for the Ferrum.
If you’re someone who is a current or former 40k player, the words “spam list” may make you cringe. You might be wondering, is Dropzone Commander just turning into another game like 40k? Are spam lists beginning to dominate?
Let me assure you, they’re not. Dropzone Commander is an exceptionally well-designed game, and in general running spam lists is not effective at all. The game rewards balanced lists, intelligent play on the table, and combined arms tactics.
Unlike the Games Workshop design team, the creator of Dropzone Commander (Dave) listens to community feedback and makes changes to the game to respond to existing competitive balance issues. If a unit has thrown off the competitive balance, he is not afraid to make players go into the main rulebook with a pen and change unit stats or core game rules. Players are not left waiting for several years for fixes to basic, game-breaking problems.
Dropzone Commander also beta tests its units by issuing experimental rules, which can be refined several times before the actual release is printed. In other words, balance changes can be implemented at any time, and the creators care deeply about game balance.
This brings me to the UCM Ferrum. The Ferrum is by far the most contentious unit in the game. Unlike almost all Dropzone units, it is an all-rounder, capable of performing many different roles in on the battlefield. It fills a force org slot (support) that is relatively common in its army’s force org chart, which makes it easy to spam or fit into any list. Multiple forum threads over the past year have gone on for dozens of pages debating whether or not the Ferrum is broken.
For their part, Hawk have already nerfed the Ferrum once. A new version of the experimental rules was released in January. Even this nerf has not quieted the debate though. Simon (from the Hawk dev team) has posted that Hawk intends to nerf the Ferrum further, and has offered some vague details about what the changes that Hawk is considering.
However, there is still a sizable group in the Dropzone Community (myself included) that believes that these proposed nerfs still do not go far enough, and that the Ferrum is unbalancing the game.
Despite the pages and pages of conjecture on forum threads, one thing that has been largely missing from the debate is evidence. To date, only one battle report has been posted that utilized a spammed Ferrum list (using proxied models). Everything else has been theory.
In this vacuum of evidence, and inspired by Reece and Frankie’s 40k test videos for new 40k rules releases, I have taken it upon myself to assemble a Ferrum spam list and test it out. I want to add some data to the debate.
While this video tests the list out against Shaltari in a 999 point skirmish Targets of Opportunity mission, my plan is to test out the Ferrum spam list at different points levels, on different missions, and against different armies. This one test is by no means definitive, and you can expect to see more tests in the future.
And while I do have a hypothesis about the Ferrum (that it is overpowered), I don’t have a vendetta against the Ferrum or a wish to see it made useless. My goal is for the game to be fun and balanced, and if these videos show that the Ferrum is balanced and a spam list isn’t effective, I think that will be great!
Anyway, here is the battle report. I hope it’s helpful: