Airstrikes & Intercepts for Dropzone v2.x

2021-10-27 rules / Dropzone /

Adapted from the DZC Beta 2.5.7 rules in 2018.

Airstrike Rules

Unlike normal units, you do not pay points for the strikecraft themselves, they do not take up Battlegroup slots and they are not, strictly speaking, part of your army. However, they act in conjunction with HQ Battlegroups, which they usually activate with during the turn sequence.

Instead of paying points for individual units, you pay for Attack Runs, representing the resources allocated to your mission in the way of air support. You may not purchase Attack Runs in Skirmish sized games (they are too insignificant to warrant air support).

Although you may purchase as many Attack Runs as you like, you may only use 1 per turn per HQ Battlegroup in your army. You may not use any Attack Runs if you have no Commanders on the table.

Strikecraft Unit Profiles

Strikecraft have a modified core stat sheet, very similar to other units in DZC. An example of which is shown below:

Unit CM A DP Type Category Sq Pts Special
UCM Archangel Interceptor A, E+5 10 1 Aircraft Airstrike 2 25(150)
Weapons M&F Arc R(F) R(C) Sh Acc E Special
UM-50 'Retribution' Autocannons n/a F 12" 2 3+ 7 AA-3

Key points:

  1. Strikecraft have no MV value as they’re capable of zipping across the whole battlefield in a single turn!

  2. The core stat sheet includes a pts/run column, expressed as 2 values. Firstly, the points you pay for the Attack Run, which is for the entire squad. Secondly, a points cost in square brackets. You do not actually pay these points. However, each strikecraft is worth this many Kill Points to your opponent if destroyed, representing the military value of these units.

  3. All strikecraft are represented by a special category (Airstrike)

  4. You never have a choice for the squad size for strikecraft. Remember, the points you pay for each Attack Run is for a full squad of this size.

Destroyed strikecraft

As has been noted, strikecraft are usually worth a lot of kill points, so they are well worth shooting down for this reason alone, in addition of their obvious threat to your forces! If any are destroyed, you should make a note of it for the end of the game. However, a full squad will still be available for the next Attack Run. You’ve paid points for air support, not the actual units themselves - each Attack Run is not necessarily conducted by the exact same aircraft, merely the same type. If a strikecraft was damaged in a previous Attack Run but not destroyed, the strikecraft entering the table for the next Attack Run will have full DP.

Calling an airstrike

An airstrike may be called on the activation of an HQ Battlegroup when there is an Attack Run available. You may only call 1 airstrike per HQ Battlegroup activation.

Calling an airstrike uses up 1 available Attack Run. You may not call an airstrike on turn 1.

If a friendly strikecraft was destroyed in the previous turn, you must pass a test of 3+ on 1D6 to successfully call an airstrike. If the test is failed, an Attack Run is not used up.

Resolving Airstrikes

Strikecraft units complete their actions before anything else in the battlegroup activates. Strikecraft actions proceed as follows:

  1. Set entry point(s) - Strikecraft may enter the battlefield from any table edge. Simply place the model/s anywhere on the chosen table edge, facing in the direction they will be flying and in coherency.

  2. Move to firing position(s) - The squad must now be moved in a straight line towards a firing position anywhere else on the table. This move must be a minimum of 9”. The strikecraft must always face in the direction of travel. The squad must end this move in coherency. Apart from the speed and linear nature of it, this movement is handled in the same way as for normal aircraft. This includes the avoidance of scenery over 8” high and allows for AA units to reaction fire against them at any point along their movement corridor (as with other aircraft).

  3. Call for and complete intercepts - If any opponent wishes to call an intercept with one or more of their own strikecraft squads (see ‘calling an intercept’) they may do so now. If there are multiple opponents, they resolve their intercept/s in order of initiative. All intercepts are completed before the Attack Run continues.

  4. Fire weapons - Units in the strikecraft squad may fire their weapons in the same way as normal aircraft.

  5. Move off - Units must now continue moving in the same straight line until they leave the table. They may be reaction fired against on the way. Squads do not need to leave the table in coherency.

Calling an intercept

An intercept is conducted by a strikecraft squad in response to an opponent’s airstrike or intercept when prompted. Calling an intercept uses up 1 available Attack Run. For a squad to be able to intercept it must include strikecraft with AA weapons and be available for an Attack Run (remember, you may only use 1 Attack Run per HQ Battlegroup per turn).

If the squad may intercept, roll a d6. On a roll of 3+, it activates now and completes its intercept. If this roll is failed, an Attack Run is not used up and may be used later in the turn. You may only complete 1 intercept per enemy Attack Run, but may attempt the roll multiple times if you have multiple Attack Runs available. An intercept is completed in exactly the same way as an airstrike, with the following changes:

Only AA weapons may be fired by the intercepting strikecraft and they must be fired at the enemy strikecraft that have been interrupted by the intercept. If the firing strikecraft is behind the target (use the rear firing arc to determine this), then it gains a -1 modifier to its weapon’s AC values.

Note that it’s perfectly possible to intercept an intercept! You may do this when prompted to in the strikecraft actions sequence.

Strikecraft Unit Profiles

DZC Airstrike Units