Dropzone Commander – AA Unit Analysis I

Unfortunately I’ve been sick all week so there’s been no painting. Next week is also going to be lousy for painting as works sending me to NZ. However, I’ve been doing some more playing with Dropzone Commander unit statistics. This time, I’ve compared the core AA units for each faction: the UCM Rapier, the PHR Phobos, the Scourge Reaper and the Shaltari Kukri.

First let’s discuss range, not surprisingly the Scourge are the weakest here with 9″, however their 9″ move-fire gives them an 18″ threat bubble – which is not too bad. Next is the Rapier with 22″ (18″ range + 4″ move-fire). Second best is the Kukri with a 24″ bubble (18″ range + 6″ move-fire). The best of all is the Phobos with a 27″ bubble (24″ range and 3″ move-fire). One thing to note here is an additional disadvantage for the Scourge: because their range is so low they typically have to move into range and then fire; this leaves them exposed to retaliatory shots. The other units all have 18″ and more range so it’s likely they’ll be able to take a shot and then run to hide behind something. In particular the Kukri which has a 6″ move. In terms of just their range/versatility I would put them Kukri, Phobos, Rapier and Reaper last.

Before looking at the tables, I’ll juste briefly describe the configurations: the Kukri fires 4* E-6 shots hitting on 3+, the Phobos and Rapier are the same with 3* E-7 hitting on 3+ and the Reaper 2* E-8 hitting on 2+.

Now let’s start looking at their offensive capability. First, what’s the chance of them causing 1DP (i.e. destroy a light dropship/gunship). The key rows here are Armour 4,5 and 6 where the current crop sit. As you can see from the following table, this is the domain of the Reaper; it wins all the relevant categories and even goes to higher armour than any of the others. The Phobos/Rapier does split A-4, but aside from that it’s the Reaper on its own.

Probability of causing a single DP (unmodified to-hit)

Probability of causing a single DP (unmodified to-hit)

If we’re looking at scoring 2DP (finishing off a damaged medium dropship, or some of the gunships) then it’s a similar storey. Armour 4,5 and 6 is again where things are interesting and again it’s the Reaper dominant here. One thing to note is that the other two are both better at A-4, however it’s only 1-2% and the only A-4 at the moment are Shaltari gates. So, again, you want the Reaper.

Probability of causing a 2DP (unmodified to-hit)

Probability of causing a 2DP (unmodified to-hit)

The next table is probably the most useful: 3DP. You do this many and you’re destroying a medium dropship. It’s a very similar storey here as with 2DP. The Reaper dominates most of the important armours (A-4 and above), but the Rapier pinches A-4. This time it’s actually by a decent amount over the Reaper. But, it’s only the Shaltari at this armour. The thing to note is that the Reaper has a 41% chance of single shotting a UCM dropship and a 23% against the PHR. That’s a lot of points that could be lost there.

Probability of causing a 3DP (unmodified to-hit)

Probability of causing a 3DP (unmodified to-hit)

The last table I’ve included is 4DP. The Kukri, Rapier and Phobos can all do more damage, but it’s very unlikely against anything with interesting enough armour. The Resistance might bring in some units with low armour and high DP, but at the moment I don’t have their state. The Reaper’s benefit has mostly disappeared here. It still wins, but everything is so unlikely that you’re only looking at differences of a few percent. The morale is if you’re are trying to destroy a large dropship or a desolator you’ll probably want more than one AA tank.

Probability of causing a 4DP (unmodified to-hit)

Probability of causing a 4DP (unmodified to-hit)

So offensively, the Reaper is the strongest while also the least flexible. Which is good balancing by Hawk – congratulations. However, all said and done I think I’d rather the Reaper: 18″ isn’t that far and with how much damage they throw you have a good chance of being able to target 2 dropships with a squad of 3: one you’re very likely to destroy and the other you’ll probably damage, but might get lucky and drop it. Did I mention they’re 39 points each, while the Kukri and Rapier are 45? While the Phobos is a whopping 63. Now the Reaper is the easiest to destroy, but it’s the most deadly and cheapest. I also think the Phobos is just too expensive – it will outlast everything else, and probably damage some aircraft, but I don’t think a pair of them will destroy as much as 3 of any of the others.

My overall ranking would be:

Reaper – Kukri – Rapier – Phobos

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2 thoughts on “Dropzone Commander – AA Unit Analysis I

    • To be honest it’s not much worse than a lot of the others. Sure it only hits on 6s, but it damages on better rolls. Most of the other AA weapons can’t hurt the same targets or only damage on 6s. For building demo it’s also better due to the higher damage and chance of doubles. All in all its not a huge difference either way, and if that’s what you’re doing with them then you have either won the air war, or should have brought something else.

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