Archive for the ‘Dust Warfare’ Category

300pt Dust Warfare Recap

Yes it did.

I played a 300pt game of Dust Warfare on Tuesday and it was quite enjoyable.  As most of my BRs are more self-reflection and bullet point analysis these days, this will be short and to the point.  I'll talk about some of the stuff I found interesting and tactical mistakes and good plays that happened during the game.


First, the army lists–

My 300pt Axis force had..
PU: Implacable = 15

C: Heavy Kommandotrupp + Lara = 64
1: Axis Gorillas + Markus = 48
2: Heavy Recon Grenadiers = 30
3: Battle Grenadiers (+Pzshrek) = 20
4: Battle Grenadiers (+Pzshrek) = 20
S1: Sniper Team = 12
S2: Medium Pz Walker-B “Ludwig” = 40
S3: Medium Pz Walker-B “Ludwig” = 40

My opponent (Chris) had:

Combat Platoon
C: Ranger Command Squad
1: Ranger Combat Squad
2: Ranger Recon Squad
3: Ranger Weapon Squad
S: “Pounder” Medium Walker
S: “Steel Rain” Medium Walker
S: Observer Team

Elite Platoon
C: Ozz 177
1: Heavy Ranger Assault Squad
2: Heavy Ranger Attack Squad
3: Heavy Ranger Tank Hunter Squad
S: Sniper Team

Ozz 177 attached to the Heavy Ranger Assault Squad.

Game Summary:

  • Some key notes to point out here about faction playstyles:  Axis likes to entrench and play defensive, utilizing their long range firepower to whittle down and destroy the enemy.  The Allies like mobility in the form of jumping tanks and infantry while using close-ranged tactics to lay on the hurt.
  • We went with the competitive mission builder to select our mission and my opponent, Chris, got to go first when picking.  The mission eventually turned into Eliminate the Enemy (Kill Points), which I forced and he went for Close Engagement (for 2 scenario points).  Close Engagement means I wouldn't be able to bring my long range advantage to bear.. or did it?
  • After terrain was setup, I noticed that the center of the board was literally a kill zone.  There was hardly any cover, maybe 2 pieces of hard cover, and the rest of the map had ranges of soft/hard cover as well as LoS blockers from ruined buildings.  I chose to setup most of my units in close proximity to each other while Markus and his battle monkeys took shelter out in hard cover and out of LoS from his Sniper unit.
  • Initiative went to me in the first round of combat because I rolled “low” and had fewer dice to roll initiative because of my smaller pool of units.  The first thing I did was use one of my orders in the Command phase to shoot my Ludwig at his Pounder.  I managed to do 3 solid points of damage to it as he was unable to save any with his armor value of 4.  He only has 1 more health left but he has his Ranger Command Squad next to it.  That squad also had a mechanic in it.  My second course of action was to use my Sniper team to counter-snipe his Sniper.  I put a wound disallowing cover or armor saves onto his Sniper team and he was forced to pull the spotter.  Without the spotter, his Sniper will be needing 5s to deal damage instead of 1-4.
  • This round was absolutely brutal as the true sense of unit lethality was brought into the light.  Since the deployment was relatively in short distance, I was able to move my heavy MG units (Lara and the HQ unit and Heavy Recon Grens) into firing rang of two of his units deployed in buildings.  With tons of dice to throw down from 16″, Soldiers 2s just can't take much firepower even in hard cover.  After Lara and her unit fired, the Ranger Command Squad loses 3 guys out of 5 and the Heavy Recon Grens mow down another Ranger squad.  With Suppression markers on both squads, Markus and his unit of battle-frenzied apes charged across the battlefield and ripped the RCS into pieces.
  • Winning the initiative seemed huge at first, but the more I realize it, I think it was a deployment error that caused such losses.  One of the things that kept coming up during the game was the lack of a valid target via LoS.  If you can't see a model in the unit, if that unit gets shot at and killed via forced wounds or something, the model that can't be seen can't be pulled as a casualty.  In a mission like this kill point mission, players might be able to constantly hide the last remaining model to deny the enemy victory points.
  • Another thing that's huge is not allowing your enemy any reactions from giving them suppression.  If you shoot something first and give them a suppression marker, your assaulty units just get so much better.  Think of it like covering fire, as long as enemy units are keeping their heads down, they don't have time to react to something like steroid-driven super apes.
  • Speaking of the apes, I think I'll be taking them in every game that I can.  Markus has 6 wounds and with Soldier3 and cannot be suppressed, he can literally soak up enough damage to cover the squad twice over. Markus had something like 4 wounds towards the end of the game and he just kept on trucking.  His Charge ability also gave his apes insane coverage of the battlefield.  In close quarters fighting, he was able to jump from place to place (literally) and rip limbs off of his victims and beat them with it.
  • Reactions are huge in this game.  I think Chris used his reactions quite well in some circumstances where he was able to evade damage and deal damage decisively.  Once, he Jumped in with his AT Ranger squad and put some serious damage on the rear of one of my Ludwigs.  On my unit phase, I declared Sustained Fire from one of my Battle Grenadier squads onto his ATR squad and he just jumped away!  I wasted my turn with them basically and because they were just standing there, they were susceptible to damage from other, shorter ranged units that were closing in on the flank.
  • Another good reaction that Chris pulled off was when I left hard cover with my Heavy Recon Grenadiers.  He simply shot them to oblivion with his Heavy Ranger Attack Squad (2x 30cal MGs each) as a reaction after I ended my movement.  Since I left cover, the damage was greatly amplified and I took serious damage (losing 2 out of 3 dudes).  I got him back with Markus and his apes though, since his reaction marker means that he couldn't react again on my unit phase.  Later in the game, one of his Soldier2 Ranger squads left cover to shoot at Lara's HQ unit and she just lit them the fudgemuffins up on reaction.  Four twin MG44s shooting back at Soldier2 units with Burst activated is just all kinds of hurt.
  • Burst weapons are insanely ridiculous.  Denying cover in a game with high lethality is a great way kill units like crazy.  Those Allied UGLs are insane.. I gotta watch out for that.
  • Indirect fire from artillery pieces from an Observer Team is pretty cool.  It basically allowed Chris' tank to fire unopposed the entire game because I was unable to get to him and draw LoS.  I might need to look into some Nebelwerfer options of my own.
  • Marching is a great way to save some units from that's taken severe damage.  Since when you march, you basically ignore terrain, 12″ goes a long way to hide your units behind buildings and out of LoS.  For each model you save, that's an entire unit your opponent gets no points for.  I think in this case, shooting a unit with multiple units would be better than trying to annihilate it because you'll probably force a good number of wounds, plus the fact you'll give it multiple suppression markers.  The more markers a unit has, the higher the chances he'll break once his unit dwindles in size.
  • Snipers definitely make up their points with good placement.  Winning initiative on the first turn allowed me to take down his spotter and render his Sniper battle ineffective.  Not only was I able to neutralize his Sniper unit, I was also able to take down a Heavy Assault Ranger with them before they got mowed down by MG fire from his jumpy 30cal dudes.  Still a great use of points imo, as it allows the player who has the Snipers to control shooting lanes and take down more, heavily-armored troops.
  • Even though I killed a bunch of models in the first turn, I lost initiative for the rest of the game.  I think clever use of cover, reactions, forcing suppression markers and unit preservation is more important in this particular mission.  This of course means that target priority is really important and you can never be too gracious on the amount of firepower you want to poor into a unit.  I think shooting it till it dies or is combat ineffective (in games other than KP) is king.


Placed an order for Dust Warfare

The shiz just got real.

I was so impressed with my last game of Dust Warfare that I placed an order for an army today.  I decided to go with the Axis because I have a long standing fascination with the Wehrmacht.  As for the actual design of the army itself, it's only fair that I take you guys through my thought process and why I chose the units I did.  Before I do that though, I'll show you guys what I ordered exact:
Core Set Revised – Gets me Lara, Sturmpionieres, Heavy Laser Grenadiers, Heavy Flak Grenadiers, “Hans” Light Walker.
Axis Gorillas box + Operation Seelowe for Markus
Axis Observer Squad + Sniper Squad box
Axis Heavy Kommandotrupp box
Axis Heavy Recon Grenadiers box
2x Axis Battle Grenadiers box
2x Axis Medium Panzer Walker box
All this costs ~182 with free shipping from Miniatures Market.  I'm planning to split the Core Revised box with someone so -25 for me there and I'll probably sell the Allied Hero from Seelowe for another 12.  This equates to the entire Axis army worth just shy of 400 or so points for a price of 145 dollars.  Considering how the competitive level to play Dust Warfare is 300 points, I just bought myself a full army for less than 2 GW Land Raiders.  I think that's enough said right there.
As for the army itself, I decided that the Heavy Kommandotrupp will be my Command Section.  They're tough, well-armed and look awesome.  Lara will join them to give them another fat body to put wounds on as well as providing the unit with 2x more MG44s for anti-infantry power.  My 2nd Section also brings in anti-infantry firepower in the form of Heavy Recon Grenadiers.  Their heavy armor in combination with their 3 MG44s will tear up the house for any infantry without cover.
My 1st Section features Markus and his pack of Kampfaffe while my 3rd and 4th Section consists of Battle Grenadiers.  Markus and the Gorillas will be my fast, dedicated CC element that I can use to pounce on people while my Battle Grenadiers are fitted for anti-tank duty.  I gave both squads extra Panzershreks just for enough AT coverage since I feel confident I have enough MGs for infantry.  If any infantry do manage to survive the barrage of MG fire, they'll hopefully get their shit pushed in by gorillas.
Lastly, I have a Sniper Team and 2x “Ludwig” pattern Pz walkers for my support.  Four sections buys me 2 support and the Sniper Team is from my additional support choice.  The Ludwigs will preform long-range AT duty where the Pz-totting BGs will fulfill a more medium-range AT role.  My Sniper Team will hopefully work on enemy heavy infantry and or playing cat and mouse with the opponent's snipers.
Overall, I think I got a pretty decent force here.  Very balanced and it looks like it'll be a lot of fun.  My total number of units is 8 and I'm a few points shy of 300 so I took the Platoon Upgrade: Nebelwerfer Barrage.  It's either that or Implacable but I'm willing to experiment as I get more games in.  Interestingly enough, I can also switch out my Heavy Recon unit for Heavy Laser Grens to spice things up.
Welp, that's it folks.  Looks like I'll be playing Dust Warfare in the near future!

Played some Dust Warfare

I finally got to test out Dust Warfare today and I'm quite pleased with the result.  The game was very brief for 150 points on both sides and it gave me a pretty good idea of how the game functions.

Here are my thoughts:

  • The game runs very smooth.  The dice rolling is very straight forward, the model rules are very straight forward and the weapon rules are… very straight forward.  There's special rules to remember, but the easy rolling keeps everything moving at a good pace.
  • With that said, we were able to play a 150 point game in a short amount of time.  There were 4 units on each side with 1 Light walker for each player.  We were both pretty familiar with the rules from reading them over, but we were still new at playing.  I think more experienced players can play a 300-point tournament game in ~2 hours without a problem.
  • To go with the above, the ~2 hours of playing will be highly interactive, engaging and will not be boring for either player.  The reason this is so is because of the reactions (and therefore, decisions) the opposing player gets to make when you do something.  E.g. There was one time a unit of allied close combat troops (flamers and shotguns) got too close and I reacted by moving away.  Even though that's one less action for me, it prevents them from tearing me up damage wise.
  • Another time that keeps the game moving is lethality and damage.  Damage in this game is no joke.  If your infantry is marching out in the open and you get lit up by a unit with multiple machine guns, you're done.  Lethality is similar to that of Infinity (and therefore realistic damage) where you best be jumping from cover to cover if you're planning to live.  Using LoS blockers such as buildings and wide flanking attacks will serve you much better if you don't want your units being shot up.  You should only lose infantry if you're charging in heroically and giving your other units a chance.  Things really get busy once you hit the 16″ range.  Weapons start opening up, units start dying and the battle really starts moving forward.
  • Suppression is also super important and love the idea of it.  By shooting your opponent's units, you are limiting his options in the next few phases.  You are putting a strain on his troops and forcing him to make decisions to keep his units combat effective.  Since this game is reactionary, each and every action you make as a player is important, even the ones that inflict no “real” damage.
  • Now that I've seen 150 points, I want to see 300 points immediately.  I want to start buying models, I really do.  I'm almost begging FFG to take my money, but the muffins don't know how to properly release a full-fledged miniatures game.  I want to buy Markus, plain and simple.  The same reason I want Heavy Laser Grens and just Totenmeister by herself.  Why don't I have the option to do this?  I'm practically begging FFG to take my money but they're not giving me the option to do so.  I find that to be utterly, and I mean utterly ridiculous.

I'll add some more thoughts tomorrow if I come up with any, but overall I want to play again.  Now.

Some thoughts on Dust Warfare

Let's do this.

I was reading through my Dust Warfare rulebook today and I just wanted to share some thoughts on the book.  I will talk about the gameplay design, the units, initial thoughts on unit design/balance, some theorycrafting and some random shit that'll probably pop up in my head as I write this review.  Keep in mind this is not a gameplay review.  I have not played the game yet but I'm hoping that I'll be able to this coming Tuesday because my friend's got an assload of minis.  This review will primarily capture what I think of the rules.  Alright, let's begin.

I read the background fluff on this once and I was decently impressed.  Historically, it's got all the right pieces in place with some major alterations done to fit the theme of this alternate reality WWII world.  I'm not a huge fluff fan, but I'm a huge historical buff.  In terms of connecting major historical events with the storyline, kudos to FFG for not screwing it up too badly.
Now that my review of the fluff is done, let's talk about the gameplay.  From what I gather, the game looks pretty easy to play.  By easy, I'm strictly talking about playability.  It's not a shitstorm to read through like Infinity and a lot of the combat system is streamlined.  For example, everyone gets dice that says you hit (or rather, Combat, or “do shit”) or you don't.  If you don't use their Dust Warfare dice, you will just use 5+ on a standard D6.  Pretty easy right?  Yes it is.  When you get into some other features, you'll notice that some weapons or special abilities will let you count the misses as hits instead (for damage purposes, or something else), so if you needed 5+ to hit, now you need 1-4.  That makes for a very easy system to wrap your head around, but I'm not too impressed with the statistical flexibility of the game system itself.  Since I'm a old-time GW fan, 2+, 3+ and the like up to and including bullshit Pendant of Kaleth Inverse Ward saves are all too familiar.  From a dice standpoint, that's just one thing I noticed.
Sorry, I ranted a bit on the 5+ to hit system (I'll go back to this later), but back to game playability.  When I said easy, I actually mean what I say.  I rarely had to read rules over and I understood most of the rules perfectly.  There's Initiative where the player with the fewest models normally has the chance to go first in a turn.  This is done by rolling Hits (5+, just going to say Hits for now) for the # of units he has left on the table.  The fewest goes first.  Second, there's a Command Phase, and most importantly, the # of Orders he can issue during this phase.  Keep in mind that this game is an “interactive” minis game; meaning, you go, I go kind of thing.  One player starts it off and then players trade Command Phases, followed by Unit phases, in combination to opposing players being able to react during the active player's turn.  This makes for a very enjoyable and interactive playing environment.  No more of the you go, watch me get my shit blown to pieces and I go with nothing left on the table kind of deal that you see in 40K sometimes.
Anyways, the Initiative phase is when the player with the lowest # of orders rolls Hits.  Lowest # of hits means he goes first, but the Hits also represent the amount of Orders he has to issue in his Command Phase.  Command Phase happens with the player that has Initiative and he pays these “Orders” to make his units do stuff that the opponent can't react to.  I may move, I may shoot, but which ever of these I choose, I must spend a Order.  In addition to this, if I do something in this Command Phase, it takes up one of my actions in my Unit phase.  Every normal unit gets 2 actions during his Unit phase.  These actions can be.. move and then shoot, shoot and then move, or spend 2 actions to Sustained Attack (re-roll hits) or march (double move).  Simple right?
The big thing here is that when you do something in the Command Phase, your opponents can't react.  Player reaction is very important because once something you control gets within 12″ of an enemy unit, they can pay an action to do something (considering this is the normal unit phase).  You can choose to fire at an enemy coming close to you and pay an action point on your unit on his turn, or you can choose not to fire at the enemy and on your turn, you can Sustained Attack him for more damage.  This also means you can choose to move away and gain some ground, or you can stand close to draw him into more fire.  What is this?  Both players have to think on the same game turn?  This makes for some great mindgames, tricks, bluffs, and a general asston of gameplay-related tactics.  Another thing to note about the Command Phase is that whoever is barking these Orders have to be in-range of a unit to give them.  This actually makes unit formation important as certain strategies can only be executed within the right range.  Another reason to bait various units out of formation ho ho ho.
I guess the next big thing to talk about is Suppression.  So let's say one of your units gets shot.  Which by the way, is an incredibly easy system in this game.  Everyone hits on 5s right?  So let's say you have a gun that has 1/1 vs. Soldier types 1 and 2 but not 3 or 4.  That means he shoots once, (and if he hits) for one damage, and it only works on Soldiers with an armor grade of 1 and 2.  He can't hurt 3 and 4.  Pretty easy to understand.  So if that number reads 2/1 on Soldier 3, it means he can shoot twice at Soldier 3 for damage purposes.  Yeah, that's basically how combat is done in a nutshell.  Back to Suppression:  If any unit gets hit (doesn't even matter if he's doing damage), he gets a Suppression counter on his unit.  He can get more Suppression markers if say, 3 units shot (and hit) his unit, but for the purposes of actual suppression, nothing really changes.  A unit with one or more suppression markers cannot make reactions and get 1 less action during the Unit phase.  That means if I Command Phased shooting at one of your units, and you can't react to it, I can pin one unit down completely if I shot it with 2 units.  Likewise, if you only have 1 Suppression marker on the unit and you chose to do something with that unit on your Command Phase, you have no more moves with that unit during your Unit phase.  What really matters is that a unit with more Suppression markers than it has remaining dudes in the unit has to fall back.  Suppression makers can be removed though so its not the end of the world.  When a unit is activated, the controlling player can roll a combat die for each Suppression marker on the unit.  For each hit (5+), a marker is removed.  Also, at the end of the turn, each unit that has a marker on it removes one.  To really get a unit's shit back together, you can Order them to “get it together”, also known as a Regroup Order.
Sorry, I know I'm jumping around with this, but they're all connected.  Back to combat really quick:  Say a Soldier 2 gets hit by that rifle that did 1 point of damage to it.  Being Soldier 2, that means you have 2 chances to save for your squad.  Roll 2 dice, if any are 5+, the damage is resolved.  If it goes through, one of your dudes take a damage.  There are units in the game that can take multiple hits (beefier units and Heroes for example), but the vast majority only has 1 wound.  The combat system works the same for vehicles and their bigger guns, as do the range of their weapons measured in inches.  The only difference for vehicles is that there's a vehicle damage chart that you roll on depending on how much damage your vehicle has already taken.  Much better from the 5th Ed. 40K rules where a LR can get stunned 40 times (note that I said 5th Ed :o).  There's also cover in the game denoted by Soft and Hard Cover where Soft Cover automatically saves one of your wounds.  Take 2 wounds cause from failed armor saves but is in Hard Cover?  No problem, no damage.
There's a bunch of other shit in here that has to do with special rules on units, weapons and Heroes, but I'm not going to spoil too much.  The books cheap as chips for a BRB, so IF alternate reality WWII is for you, I'd suggest picking it up.  However, I must say I do have some suggestions/complaints.  First, checking out the units and trying to decide why you want to take them must be the biggest pain in the ass I have ever seen in a minis book.  For example, I want to take a Heavy Laser Grenadier squad and I'm looking at the unit entry..  I see a special rule that takes me back 50 pages so I can read WTF it does.  Not only this, but did you know the weapons they're carrying also have a special rule associated with them but is NOT listed under the unit's Special Abilities?  Now I have to go back to see what Laser does (in some other section of the book, “USRs” are all spread out).  There's tons of examples of this throughout the book, but it makes army construction a pain because I have to skip around all the time.
Second, some of the things here doesn't make sense necessarily.  This is kinda hard for me to explain, but the best example would be:  When you roll the Combat dice for results, you don't actually “hit” your target despite the giant crosshair, it just means Combat.  Otherwise, it doesn't makes sense that your MG fires more times at a lesser armored target than a heavily armored one, or why your 17 Pounder gun would shoot 7 times at a Armored 1 vehicle.  Think of the Combat dice strictly as a possibility generator and use your imagination to derive everything else.  I mean, it's confusing because even the combat system: hitting first, then armor saves modified by cover saves, denotes the concept of “hit” when it actually doesn't.  I don't know, it's just something my GW-spoiled brain hasn't wrapped around fully yet.  Whatever, 5+ equals Good.
Third, the concept of Fearless troops vs. merely “confident” troops.  You know, something like Flames of War.  I want the concept of morale and motivation to actually mean a little more in this game.  Imagine a Space Marine wearing a suit of Terminator Armor being “suppressed” the same way as a Guardsman in Flak armor.  Is that outrageous or what?  Well you know what?  It's this game.  Units only need to be “hit” to be forced the Suppression marker regardless of what they got going on.  To make matters worse, because more elite units are smaller in unit size, they actually have a greater chance of running away from being overly suppressed.  Talk about nonsense!  Take this into consideration fluff where the Axis troops are supposed to be borderline fanatical and have the best veteran troops in the world (seeing nearly a decade of war) and I find this prospect highly ludicrous.  I might need to houserule some shizzle in for this, because this is just something that needs fixing, or is overlooked due to time, or Andy Chambers never heard of Flames of War, in which case I question this entire book.
Last, and this is strictly from a theory standpoint, but what if you purposely take smaller units to gain Initiative advantage while playing within 16″ of the enemy units?  You get to go first, maybe inflict serious damage and if you keep your distance outside of 12″, your opponents will never get to react.  You could potentially devastate your opponent's army before he can do anything and all of a sudden, you'll be playing a GW game.  I don't know, but it seems like something good players can accomplish with pre-measuring and a good army list.
Overall, just from reading the book and not having played a game, I'm really excited to test this game out.  I love the setting and environment, the idea of interactive turns, and facets of deep-decision making on a simple to use game system.  Sure, there's some kinks, but I think the game is well worth a try.  I've heard a thing or two about the miniatures being kinda rubbery and prone to bent gun barrels, but honestly, in a time where a Land Raider costs 80 bucks because GW has nothing better to do, I don't give a rats rear.  When you can buy the biggest thing in this game for less than half that cost, I think it's time to experiment.  The most your going to lose is a few bucks and a couple of hours of your time because this game plays fast, keeps you engaged and you know you're not going to be bored.  Here's to hoping the SSU will be out soon (3rd faction) and continued product support will be on its way.
TLDR: MUST TRY, even if it's just for the game mechanics.

Dust Warfare Interview

FFG

I’m here with Mack from Fantasy Flight Games, lead designer of the new tabletop mini game Dust Warfare! This interview will aim to shed some light on what Dust Warfare is all about, how it plays, how the design process was implemented and how you can start playing! It's not too in-depth, just sort of a teaser for what Dust Warefare is since we haven't really done much on the system at all! If you're looking for more info you can ask in the comments or check out the links provided. You may have seen Mack in the chatbawks and he also plugs his blog which you should check out. So let’s get down to it.

Me: First things first – what is Dust Warfare? What’s the background and why would gamers be interested in it?

Mack: Dust Warfare is a squad based miniatures game set in Paolo Parente's Dust universe. It's a sci-fi take on WWII. So think Harry Turtledove with a lot more pen-up girls. The aesthetic is this fantastic combination of gritty war and pop culture. So walking tanks and power armor, meets zombies and machine guns.

Me: I know one of the big things you were concerned about during designing was play testing and ensuring you got as much feedback about every aspect of the game as possible. How did you go about this and why?

Mack: It's a tricky thing. I'm actually talking a lot about play testing on my personal blog, dicelikethunder.com. Basically, it's a mixed bag. For miniatures games there are a lot of tricky things to overcome to get the same level of testing that a computer based strategy game can get. The approach I took was to just play a lot, and watch people play a lot. Lots of notes. I sent it out to playtesters as well, but because I couldn't view the entire game, I had to rely on them for fun-factor and rules clarity questions. If a remote playtester had balance issues, I looked into them, but I had to make that call by actually watching games be played.

So if a remote tester told me “Angela is to strong” (which happened), I had to observe Angela in a minimum of 10 games myself, taking extensive notes. It turned out, that Angela could be countered with proper strategy (not just by taking the right units) so we ended up not making much of a change (she did end up going up a few points in cost).

Me: And was it successful?

Mack: I think so. The Battle Builder really helped balance the game once players got used to things. A three or four month testing cycle really isn't long, when you consider how much time it takes a metagame to shake out in a miniatures game, players were still finding new strategies near the end. I learned a lot from it. Nothings ever “razors edge” perfect, but I feel pretty happy with the variety of armies and tactics we have. The Battle Builder really helps by letting players capitalise on a concept called “lead position disadvantage”.

Me: Do you believe this makes your game almost uniquely more competitively designed and was that one of the major design keys during the design process?

Mack: Uniquely? I don't think so, there are a lot of really good tournament games out there. We definitely made sure it was as easy to run a Dust Warfare event as possible. There was a large focus by the team to make it more approachable both for players and organisers. I believe that it really shows in the system.

Me: So Dust Warfare has been out for a while now and you’ve hopefully gained some traction in the market. For those interested where could they check out some games to start learning?

Mack: Fantasyflightgames.com is a great place to start, as is the official Dust Warfare Facebook group. Lots of really helpful fans there. FFG has several videos on the website, that really help new players get a handle on what to expect.

Me: What are the rough costs involved in starting up as well? How does this equate to a full, recommended points-size army?

Mack: In the core rulebook we tell the players that 200-400 points is “tournament size”, 300 being a good middle ground. Expect a 300 point army to run from $150 to $250 American. That's assuming you don't split a Dust Tactics box set with a friend, and don't get any of the big tanks. They actually SAVE you money, at around 90 points, they only cost $40… so that's a third of your army! If you want to spend a bit more, you can even get them pre-painted.

Me: And for the more serious of gamers are there any Fantasy Flight sponsored groups or tournaments in the future?

Mack: I'm not certain, keep an eye on the FFG website!

Me: Anything else you’d like to talk about or add?

Mack: I think you've covered most of it. It's a miniatures game designed for competitive and narrative play. The miniatures also come assembled and primed, so you can take them out of the box and start playing right away!

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