Sunday, May 4, 2014

Dust Warfare

Dust Warfare

So I had bought a few Dust models on sale for a Savage Worlds idea. A number of guys at the local store have started to play Dust Warfare. We've chosen Warfare since it is a full miniature game unlike Tactics grid based game.

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.

 The Germans in Dust found alien technology and eventually the allies would too. Think Captain America versus Hydra going on for years and expanding the technology. Three factions currently exist. The allies seem to like Phasers and jump packs. Focus on heroes and heroic units. The axis have killed off Hitler and his Nazis, but still have some evil experiments going on. The Blutkreuz have taken over and have made zombie troops, gorillas, etc. They believe they are the "good guys". Similar to Thrawn in Star Wars the Axis needs to conquer the world and unite it before the Aliens return. The third faction is the Sino Soviet Union, relying on size and numbers. I imagine if the game goes long enough the aliens will be introduced as a fourth faction.

The game itself has an extra command phase that units can be given early orders, but lose the ability to do reactions. Reactions allow units to go out of order to respond to an enemy action during the normal turn. Units also receive suppression markers if they are hit in combat. Reaction tokens and suppression markers can effectively prevent a unit from activating during its turn. All of this makes some interesting tactical decisions.

Originally this was a Fantasy Flight product, but is now being distributed by Battlefront. This has caused some delays and problems. Warfare seems to be having the greatest delay, partially due to the deal with FFG. This has been made worst by Battlefront releasing a grid-less version of Tactics called Dust Battlefield. The current site effectively ignores that warfare exists, saying Dust in general when they mean Dust tactics. Even having
Technically there are three ways to play. However, it seems warfare is a secondary at best. Since I like the models and I see playing Dust with a small group anyway this doesn't bug me that much. It does make me like Battlefront a little less, but with the amount of books I've need to re-buy from them for FOW this isn't new.

Having said that I have had a lot of fun playing Dust Warfare and I'm starting to paint up the minis. Last week I played a four-player battle. We took the three player battle and modified the rules slightly. Our mission was to kill a set enemy commander. This insured that teaming up on one opponent would cost you the game. Considering most of us were learning the rules and one player kept having to leave the table the game went smoothly and was a lot of fun.
So my task was to kill the leader of the SSU army directly across from me, while the German opponent to my right was trying to take my leader Stefan down. The German took simply two walkers with a hero pilot. He brought a Lothar and Konigsluther. These walkers would take a lot to take down, so I had to hope whoever was hunting him would slow him down enough.

Myself I sent my Apes forward with some recon support after my SSU target. The apes took out his walker and a chunk of his command unit. However, the SSU command unit can heal itself in the command phase. 
However, the German aiming for me got a break when his opponent regrouped and pulled back. This meant the giant walker came for me all out. With Blitzkrieg special command he was making good time.
Which left me in a rough situation. So I took a risk and ran with my leader Stefan and whats left of his unit. This left my SSU opponent in an odd position. If he went all out to kill Stefan he would lose like me to the German player. However, Stefan with a Flamethrower could kill his command squad.
His command squad choose surviving over completing their mission. Stefan was killed. Leading to both of us losing (and lets be honest the command squad will be executed for failure).

The game was a lot of fun, and easily dealt with all of us fighting one another. The command phase, reactions and suppression added a lot of thought to the game. The weapon chart changing due to your opponent also made some neat variety. I'm looking forward to more games. 

Oh and on the painting front for this game

Round 2 - Market Garden Firestorm

Firestorm Market Garden Round Two into Round Three

So this round took a little longer to get in. A number of sad events happened with group members families. So we decided to do two week rounds. My game was delayed as well. Unfortunately before we played he rage quit the game store. So I played the allies commander instead. 

Great guy and great game (of course I played pretty poorly). Since I grew a beard (for no shave November) the group has referred to me as Scott Baratheon (we have a number of Scotts). The Germans were winning until General Baratheon went hunting....

Now, I would like to claim I made some of these decisions because I wanted a longer game after the drive to the store. In reality I didn't really focus on the mission. I could have had some of my tanks double move and with my opponent rolling average reserves I would have taken the second objective. However, after playing tin can tanks for so long (Shermans) I wanted to see how tough Tigers are. I think one of the other German players head nearly exploded.
So my tigers would attempt to dig out the american airborne hiding in the buildings of the first objective. Granted it might have work if I didn't fail almost every single penetration roll I made. My rockets hit every time, and on a 4+ would almost never break the cover. My Tigers 3+ almost never did. I also forgot to reroll motivations just about every time.  This would give his reinforcements enough time to get in and secure the second objective.
So Round 2 ended with 3 ally wins and 3 axis wins. Which seems a tie but probably left the allies in a slight advantage due to how attacks work on the map. You really should never attack from a territory worth points. Since you lose it if you lose the battle. However the allies still only have three more rounds to take enough victory points to win.

So round 3 attacks look like this

My battle should be interesting defending the Son Bridge. The opponent will have 2 Firestorm Sherman and I know he likes the heavy guns so the Tigers might be in trouble. However, since the battle is a lost cause hopefully I can lose only 4-3. Either way the campaign has been a lot of fun.