Dropzone Tactics: Enter the PHR

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Today we shine some light on the enigmatic PHR. Step up and volunteer for the Sphere!

Since I’m starting with a new faction in Dropzone Commander, it seems like a good time to share the lessons I pick up from the faction as I work my own way through understanding them and their way of warfare. My first two games have been a ton of fun, and I feel like I’ve learned a lot already. Today, I plan to cover the basics of the PHR, and how they fight on the tabletop.

The PHR – Not My Typical Shaltari!

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The first thing I realized about the PHR was that they play nothing at all like my Shaltari Tribes forces. They are incredibly slow, and this lack of speed carries over even to their Dropships. The tradeoff, however, is that they bring heavy armor, high Damage Points, and an absolute storm of firepower. Whereas my Shaltari seek to fight the enemy from the periphery, the PHR plunge headlong into the fray and determine where they want engagements to take place. Their Dropships are also much more survivable than my Shaltari Gates, and they bring a more sustained use in terms of offensive firepower to the table.

The Battle Plan

With my Shaltari, I always take a reactive approach to the battlefield. I’m looking to enforce my will upon the opponent, but it is done in a very subtle method. The Shaltari are constantly exploiting gaps and weaknesses, looking for an opening to use against the foe. There is always a general idea of where to move next, but it is fluid.

The PHR are looking for something much more solid. I spent my first game playing like a Shaltari general, and ended up spending a good portion of my time simply moving around the table. The UCM had no problem with picking up and changing their locale, just to keep my superior firepower off when they had little chance of winning an engagement.

The PHR benefit from a concrete plan that changes little over the course of the game. You will obviously be responding to the locations and threats of enemy units, but this cannot be the primary motivator behind the dropzones you choose for your forces. Those big guns need to be on the table as often as possible, which means developing a solid initial plan and backing it up with the firepower at your disposal.

Knowing when and where to drop is therefore essential to playing the Post-Human Republic effectively. Sometimes it is worth sacrificing the first two turns for good mid-field advantage. Other times, it is worth it simply to drop on turn one, ready to open fire on aggressive lead elements in turn two. It is also worth considering that some of your units may not actually shoot that often. A Hades brings a ton of firepower, and the opponent will be doing everything in their power to either avoid him completely or engage with enough elements to bring him down all at once. As a result, the Hades can be used to drop in wide open areas, projecting a serious zone of denial. If the enemy does decide to come and get him, it allows you to focus all of your firepower on this area, tearing them apart as they break from cover to do their thing.

This is just one example of how the PHR can use their forces to project areas of influence, even though they may be slower than the opposition. The point is that the PHR need to have definite goals and points they plan to control before their very first models enter the table. If the scenario involves Objectives, determine which structures you plan to capture, and then move your pieces to accomplish those ends. Seek to cordon them off from enemy encroachment, and use your biggest advantage to insure that they spend the game wondering if entering their own Buildings is a good idea.

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The biggest influence the PHR have on the course of a game is Building demolition. Speed and Countered range mean little here, and the sheer number of Demolisher rounds an Enyo squad can unleash is frightening. They serve as a fantastic psychological weapon, and your opponent will do everything in their power to insure that the Enyos are on the table before they ever set up their infantry formations.

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The Enyos aren’t alone, with the Angelos Jetskimmers and Taranis MLRS bringing more Demolisher to the table. There are therefore several ways to accomplish this Building demo, and including multiples only makes the potential damage that much higher. Use this demolition presence to crumple Buildings furthest from your intended zones of denial. This will help to bring the enemy in closer, as they have no option but to get those Objectives off the table.

The PHR’s strength only grows in Focal Points, where the mission forces the enemy into tighter kill boxes. The trick here is to watch for their approaches, as they won’t necessarily move on the Focal Points until the end of the game.

What about it, PHR fans? Share your travails in the comments below!

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  • Jason Roberts

    Don’t forget that every dropship comes stock with stealth missiles (except the Triton – which I always upgrade with missiles anyways). The RC is only 12″ but the RF is 36″, so these missiles should be fired every turn at buildings if there are no other viable targets. The steady barrage of stealth missiles will help the other demolisher units bring down the key buildings. It also helps you get the most out of your comparatively expensive dropships.

    PS- the Athena also has excellent Demolisher capability with its’ Stealth-Cruise Missiles 😉

    All praise the white sphere!!

    • Randall Madden

      Yessir! With Shape Charge on those Stealth Missiles, they can always find something worth hurting.