There is a lot in this kickstarter, including a new reveal of a Scourge Frigate at the very end, which is also at the top of this article! As we get close to the launch of this kickstarter, Hawk Wargames is being very upfront about the goals of the kicstarter, reasons why, and where this is all going. Definitely take the time to dig into this, because it will set the stage for the big kickstarter that is getting closer to launch!!!

The latest Newsletter from Hawk Wargames!

Dropfleet Commander - Newsletter #3
Tuesday 20th October 2015
Having consulted the scanners and plotted a course, this week we’re answering some of your questions about how the Kickstarter will work, and giving a bit more detail about what we have planned for the campaign.
Below are also some answers to the many questions you have had about our plans, and some general points about the campaign.
Firstly, what will be on the Kickstarter from the beginning?
Following the great feedback from players about our 2 player starter set for Dropzone Commander, we are keen to produce a similar product for Dropfleet Commander. The 2 Player Starter Set for Dropfleet Commander will again contain our two main protagonists, The UCM and the Scourge, and will again include all the scenery you need to play a starter set game with. Visuals for the content of this 2 Player Starter Set will be coming on the Kickstarter. Our plan is that the set will include:
  • The Full Dropfleet Commander Rulebook, and Fast Play Sheets,
  • UCM and Scourge Frigate and Cruiser Sprues, (with construction guides),
  • Innovative Dropfleet Commander flight stands,
  • Double sided fold out map,
  • City markers,
  • Token sheet,
  • Tapemeasure and Dice
We will also have the rulebook along our choice either a UCM or Scourge Starter Fleet box, available as a pledge level.
Along with these two pledge level options, we will also have a few larger options including some limited pledge levels including a 1vs1 Player Starter Set level, with a further limited option with Kickstarter Exclusive content. We will also have an “everything unlocked” level, with everything you want and more...
More information will come soon for these pledge levels as the days get closer to the launch. But, in case you don't want to wait quite so long to find out more about a potential stretch goal...
The Shaltari
We’re hopeful that with your help the campaign will achieve its goal. If we do hit our target, we’ll be looking to add stretch goals as well. Among the first few thing that we would be looking to unlock is the Shaltari plastic starter Fleet! We will have renders and photos of some of the Shaltari ships coming next week, however in the mean time we thought we’d share a little about this high tech but secretive race.
While we are still fine tuning rules for the game and tactical balance, some things are liable to some change, however the Shaltari mechanics are close to finalisation. Initially they proved problematic – how would shields work with the other game mechanics? How would we include their manoeuvrability without unbalancing the game? Andy Chambers has come up with a brilliant way of taking all this on-board whilst keeping the Shaltari exciting and different.
A central game mechanic that sets Dropfleet apart from not just other space combat games, but also other wargames is a lack of fixed range on weapons. As mentioned in much of the previously released information about Dropfleet Commander, Range on weapons = theScan Range of a ship + the Signature of the target (+/- any Spike tokens or affect of Silent Running).
The Shaltari will have a much lower Signature than the ships of other factions, to the point where they are almost a class below in terms of signature (i.e. a cruiser has the signature value of a destroyer, a battleship has that of a cruiser etc). This will make them much harder to hit at longer ranges. They will also have much lower armour than ships of an equivalent class, to the point where they could be easily crippled when hit.
But Shaltari players shouldn’t fear getting into firefights. They have a special order, Raise Shields, which hugely increases the Armour of ships. However, energy shields of that size and power create a very large blip on scanners increasing the signature of those ships…
As always, we want players to make tactical choices and we like the way this rule makes the Shaltari different, whilst keeping them within established and tested game mechanics.
Shaltari aren’t lacking for firepower either. They have little by way of close ranged weaponry, but make up for it with punishing Ion batteries and particle lances – and we’ll be talking more about how they work if we unlock them in the Kickstarter Campaign.
Frequently Asked Questions
We’ve already been bombarded with questions about the Kickstarter, and we want to answer a few before the campaign kicks off so that backers know what’s going on. More will be added during the campaign, but here’s a few we have been asked a few times...

Will you be doing other races, like the Shaltari, the PHR and the Resistance, in starter boxes?
We do plan on doing other races; one of our initial stretch goal unlocks is (as above) the Shaltari, and the PHR hopefully might not be too far behind them... A Resistance faction is harder to create in terms of the background and character of the universe, however they will have some involvement in some form at a later date.
What are the stretch goals all about?
Stretch goals allow us to create even more units and elements to the game on launch, and pass the benefits and possibilities on to you. Ultimately, the more we achieve, the more we are able to put into plastic, and this is the key to this Kickstarter campaign. The Stretch goals also contain a range of things, from free add-ons for all backers to exclusive content that you can add to your pledge. A select number of these Add-ons are only (and will only ever be) available for backers on this Kickstarter, so you’ll be one of the few to have access to them, as well as getting some free things with your existing pledge!
How will this game interact with Dropzone Commander?
Dropfleet Commander is very much about the invasion of the Cradle Worlds on a planetary scale; each ground combat in the game is the equivalent of several ‘Clash’ and ‘Battle’ sized games of Dropzone Commander. However, the Dropfleet Commander rulebook will include directions and tips on combined campaigns, with a specific section including campaign structure, as well as information on how your Dropfleet Commander games could affect Dropzone Commander battles. We will be releasing future campaigns and curating campaign weekends as well, so that players who wish to can enjoy both games side by side.
How many ships will I need? How big is a ‘Standard’ game?
Dropfleet Commander is designed to be scalable, so that you can play from small skirmishes up to epic fleet games. The system uses alternate activation and the battlegroup system, much like in Dropzone Commander, and also has customisable force organisation in the same way. With this in place, the standard game size should be around 1500 points, with approximately 14-18 ships consisting of several groups of smaller craft, such as Frigates and Cruisers, and a few larger spaceships, such as Battleships and Dreadnoughts.
How does it differ from other space games, past and present?
With Dropfleet Commander we have been very keen to ensure that the gameplay is central to the concept. We don’t want to take an existing game and just add different looking models, nor do we want to produce a thinly veiled copy of an old game. By focusing on the interaction with planets and introducing a brand new mechanic in terms of ranges and weapons fire, we believe we have married incredible models with innovative gameplay to create something entirely new. Andy Chambers brings an experience of spaceship based games to this project that very few others can rival, and working alongside David J Lewis, we hope the game reflects the best of the old school and the new school of game design and development.
Hawk Wargames are an established company - Why are you Kickstarting this game?
Although we have covered this in a few places, it is important that we are clear about this point. Put simply, we want to bring this game to you in the most versatile, detailed and user friendly way possible, which we feel means plastic models. While we are a growing company, the capital outlay for moulds for everything we’d like to achieve is very high. We hope that Kickstarter will enable us to fund some of this cost and give fans of the Dropzone universe a chance to help be a part of the future of Hawk Wargames. We are also committed to manufacturing the tools and the models in the UK, to continue with our previous business ethics of supporting high quality UK manufacturers.
I’ve backed other Kickstarters and I’ve still yet to receive my goods, in some cases when the products are already in the shops to buy. What stops this happening with this Kickstarter?
We’re committed to this not happening. As far as is humanly possible we will confirm that each backer has received their pledge before the game and supporting products hits stores. We also aim to allow some time between the delivery of the pledges and the products being on general release. We are very near to completing the development of the rules system and are at the beta test stage. We have sprue layouts planned, and costings have been worked out – we have had experience in some of this through our previously created 2 Player Starter Set for Dropzone Commander. If the Kickstarter is successful, we will be able to commence manufacturing the plastic tools quickly, whilst also finalising design elements and expanding on background and artwork. Manufacturing in the UK also means that once manufacturing is complete, our delivery time is much shorter.
What happens next? When do I get the game?
We are preparing everything we’ll need to get the game to backers as soon as possible once the Kickstarter Campaign finishes in early December. The first step after the campaign is for each backer to fill out their survey, letting us know there delivery information and add-on preferences. If we are successful in our funding, this should go out a few weeks after the Kickstarter has completed.
From there we will begin with production. This stage requires the most time, and we have built in some buffer time to allow for any reworking that is required. Having manufactured a large volume of plastic starter sets before we are expecting to deliver rewards to backers around mid-June 2016. (If we can deliver before this, we will.) What we can promise is that we will keep backers regularly updated with news and visual information about the progress of the production and delivery.
I’m not pledging from the UK – is this ok?
Kickstarter takes pledges from anywhere in the world – see their FAQ for more information on this. All you will need is a Major credit card. While we would like to be able to take pledges by PayPal or Cheque, Kickstarter is currently unable to support this. Hawk Wargames has experience in shipping worldwide – we would ask that if you have any questions, that you do email us or use the comments section on the campaign to ask about delivery.
How much is the postage?
Postage will vary depending upon the region you are in. However, we are committed to getting this game out there and played, and giving a bit more for those who support this game at this stage, and as such are offering reduced shipping rates on postage (from our normal direct shipping rates). This means that the postage will be as follows:
  • UK: Free
  • EU: £5
  • ROW: £10

There will be more to come soon, but in the mean time, here's another sneak peek:
From the Scourge Fleet
Scourge Frigate

We look forward to sharing more in the next newsletter
 - The Hawk Wargames Team

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