Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Dust Warfare: A Review

This is the description directly from the Fantasy Flight Games website:

"Another Earth. A different 1947. The Second World War has raged for nearly a decade and its grip has spread to every continent on the planet. Entire nations have been stamped out, whole peoples subjugated, and great cities beaten flat by the titanic conflicts unleashed across the globe. Three monolithic power blocs have emerged from the threats, machinations, diplomacy, and outright conquests perpetrated by the major nations’ strife. For some, that victory means conquest, glory, and world domination; for others, freedom – but few now talk of simple peace. This is the world of Dust."

 Light Assault Walker ''Honey''
Dust Warfare is a full on miniature wargame, set in the world of Paolo Parente's world of Dust.  Designed by Andy Chambers and Mack Martin, this alternate World War II game adds in a touch of the science fiction element.  With various sized walkers that replace traditional tanks, Laser Grenadiers, Zombies and phaser weapons, this game steps froward from the Dust Tactics board game in so many ways!  

Going Off the Grid

 “Ryu” schwer Panzer KampfLaĆ¼fer III-A (j)
While some were never upset with the idea of it being a miniatures board game, I know many who were waiting for this version of the game, as they didn't have the satisfaction brought about from the hobby elements of a true wargame.  The cards used in games of Tactics are not used in Warfare.  Instead, each unit has an entry in the book that has all its relevant information at your finger tips.  The stats are also slightly different for some weapons, but that is out of a need to make them more playable in this new system.  The addition of ranges to the weapons and movement for units enhances the game play in many ways.  It allows for more tactical play and also allows for creative and stunning terrain elements to be added to your table.  The terrain rules are quite unique in the fact that one piece of terrain may cause issues for a walker, but still be cause a troop to have no restrictions at all and vice-versa.  It also means that scenarios can be flexible and story driven without sacrificing fun or smooth game play.  These new rules were designed with organized play in mind as well.  The tournament and campaign systems are set up to help organizers and players make each event a unique and rewarding series of games for the players involved.  The Battle Builder for tournament play is a great addition to the system and something that as a playtester for Dust, I did not get to see until the rules came out.  It is an awesome way for you to be able to look at your opponents list and them bid Scenario points towards the upcoming game to try and give themselves some advantage in terrain, objectives, or battlefield conditions.  Each player has a limited amount of Scenario Points [2] to spend on these and a roll of 5 dice determines who has to start allocating their points first.  These will be used in tournaments and can be used for pick up games as well.

Changes To the Tactics Rules

Axis Zombies
Dust Warfare uses the same core mechanics for "hitting" and "damage", as well as actions, but that is about where they similarities end.  Cover, saves, and reaction all work very different in this game.  It is all a smooth transition and after a game or 2 you will not notice the changes that much [to be honest, I like these rules much better].  The rules are simple and easier to use and make the play move faster than in Tactics.  Reaction, for example, you do not have to roll to try and react, you just get a reaction marker that removes an action from the unit.  So, you can not react if you have already received a reaction marker this turn.   They have also added rules for Suppression, this can affect your units actions as well as being a way of keeping track of if a unit is in retreat or not.

Army Points [AP]

Fury of Ivan
Each unit is worth a set number of AP and players agree upon a number of AP to play before selection their forces.  The game has three different point ranges; Small [200 AP or less], Medium, also called a Tournament Engagement [between 201-400 AP] and Large [401 AP or more].  Players must choose at least one platoon, but may opt to add an additional platoon structure for each 150 AP [or part there of].  So in a 200 point game a player may opt to make one platoon or can have 2, keeping in mind that each platoon mush have at least a Command section and a mandatory 1st Section choice for each one.  Each platoon may also take up to 1 Hero for each 150 AP [or part there of] allowed.  Some Heroes also have a Special ability called Leadership that allows them to be the Command Section of your platoon.  If you use them in this manner, they count as the Command Section, but also count toward the number of Heroes you can take. 

Wrap Up

The dynamic way you build a force and the scenarios you can play with these rules make the system and exciting and fresh new game.  I for one can not wait to face an opponent with an all Zombie and Axis Ape army just to see what they can do!!!

1 comment:

  1. This is a great review thanks Ill share this with our yahoo group we gearing up for this big time! Cheers Gordon