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What do the objectives in Dropzone Commander represent?

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What do the objectives in Dropzone Commander represent?

PostFri May 26, 2017 10:06 pm

This might seem an obvious question, and part of it is that I don't have much knowledge about how a military campaign is actually waged (or one in the far future, for that matter), but I'm having trouble picturing what the objectives in a standard game of drop zone commander represent. CBlase, a player in my area, made the point that in any engagement there's always an attacker or defender. Meaning, one side is attacking a location for some assets controlled by the other side, and they're responding by sending a force to protect whatever they are (including entering and searching a building for their own assets, because maybe their people hid them before they evacuated and they don't have time for a lengthy chat).
So I get the impression that these objectives are most likely intelligence of some kind, maybe a server of some sort. Only a few game types in the game are oriented around taking and holding ground (encroachment and focal point missions), and most of them, I can assuming (a Targets of Opportunity, Search, Recon, ect.) are focused on intelligence gathering. Which makes sense considering how the UCM is less interested in taking and holding ground and more about breaking the Scourge "in a series of strategic hammer blows."
But how do those contribute to the UCM (or any of the armies, for that matter) long term war plan? Are these objectives (in targets of opportunity and search) intelligence assets? Or are do they represent something that would literally damage the scourge if they lost them (and thereby further the UCM's goal to chip away at their war machine), like some sort of resource? Simply put, what are we actually fighting over in these games?
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Re: What do the objectives in Dropzone Commander represent?

PostSat May 27, 2017 6:18 am

It's all in the imagination.

I've glued N scale civilians on top of my clear perspective objective markers. So these are people who need to be captured. They could be important Scourge administrators, UCM military captured by the Scourge; anything really. Capturing them would be to gain intelligence, disrupt the enemies plans, disrupt their ability to wage war, or to free prisoners.

You can make up ideas for why the Shaltari or PHR would want those people. Shaltari are presented as mysterious and capricious interferers in the game world IMO. PHR could want to disrupt the UCM vs Scourge war or also gather intelligence.

I also imagine objectives as computer files or maybe even key pieces of technology.

Focal points could be key points to capture territory as part of an overall push into enemy territory. In other words, if you hold this small area of the city then you are well positioned to make flanking attacks to support the rest of the battle line.
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Re: What do the objectives in Dropzone Commander represent?

PostSun Jun 04, 2017 4:42 am

I often joke about this during games, say, the objective is a crying baby, or a pile of random magazines, or just a book the commander wanted to read and it's been out of print since the Sourge invasion.

More serious options would include data storage (disk drives, data crystals, whatever), maps and blueprints (of a building's foundations, sewer connections, wiring, or local terrain for things that satellite mapping might miss), equipment (weapon or power system prototypes, science experiments), or more prosaic supplies (canned food, ammunition, a crate of backpacking equipment or rations, or the keys to another structure that they want to access without demolishing it).
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J.D. Welch

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Re: What do the objectives in Dropzone Commander represent?

PostSun Jun 04, 2017 8:33 am

I often look at it from the other direction, and imagine what the Objective is based on my ability to find it quickly, or not. For example, if I roll a 6 the first time I search (which I tend to do a bit more than I should, much to the annoyance of some of my regular opponents!), then I imagine that it was a VIP waiting patiently in the lobby, and we scooped him up and got him out of there. On the other hand, if I'm having a hard time finding it, I imagine it's the 27th Century equivalent of a thumb drive that's in a desk drawer somewhere in a building full off offices and cubicles, and my Infantry have to search every damned drawer in every damned desk on every damned floor! to find it.

To me, that's what makes the D6 "random" search results work in this game, although I know that the really randomness of it can frustrate some folks -- we lost more than a couple of players in the early days of Dropzone in my meta due to the feeling that the game could be "too random", but a lot of that stemmed from people playing the same missions over and over again, and the decided dirth of mission when there was only the Core Rulebook -- and some of those missions are very random, indeed!
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