May 16 2012

War-Game Wednesday Episode 9: More Dust Warfare and Second Opinions.

Were back with another episode of War-Game Wednesday. Instead of just posting a video this week we decided to also address some of the concerns we’ve received regarding the Dust Warfare Rules. As much as we here at TYG like Dust Warfare it is far from a perfect game and there are a few stumbling blocks that we should focus some attention on. Click the jump to read more and see the video of this weeks game.

We try to monitor video’s we post and respond to comments made by people who support our website. As I was going through some of the comments we received about Dust Warfare I got the feeling that some people were unhappy with the way the rules turned out. I took some time to talk about my thoughts on the game in a little more detail below in response to these comments.

1) The “You Go, I Go” Turn system.

As you can see from the videos so far, Dust Warfare (DW) ¬†operates similarly to GW’s 40K in that one player activates all his units and then the other player activates all his units once per turn. In recent years though this style of gaming has fallen out of style. And in my opinion for good reason. Usually when turns are structured this way one player is always sitting on the sidelines basically not participating for however long it takes with the exception of rolling defense dice. This is not fun and most people tune out completely. DW does add what I’d call a half-cocked reaction system that seems eloquent on paper but just feels clunky in practice.

Games like Infinity and Firestorm Armada (Through the cards.) do reactions better and with much more success than Dust Warfare in my opinion. Also the limited range of most guns mean due to reactions only occurring within 12 inches any gun that can shoot from more than 12 inches away is vastly improved over its counterparts. I can see the logic behind FFG’s choice to make gun ranges so small. Due to the nature of combat in Dust Warfare and the frequency in which death occurs having units reacting from across the board means your main line infantry will buy it starting from the beginning of the game. And in a I go, you go system. That means he’s able to focus fire on you while you can only react to one of his units.

This does not break the game all that much. Obviously people play 40K and it doesnt even let you react so if your going second anything your opponent has LOS to is probably going to die, yet people still love that game. Having played Infinity and AT-43 I just really don’t like this system all that much.

2) Robots in Dust Warfare are almost impossible to kill. 

As you can see in the video above I took a one-hundred point walker in our game this week. I did not read the stats before making this choice because I thought it would be amusing to see Lorenzo’s face when I showed up with this crazy list just for the lulz. Then this thing proceeded to weather all kinds of firepower. Panzerfaust’s, Panzershrecks, Ludwig and Lothar couldn’t even scratch the paint.

Obviously a tier seven walker should be hard to kill compared to a tier four. The issue though is if two walkers can’t team up and realistically do any damage in five turns to one heavy walker, there may be a bit of a problem. As you can see in the video there are times where Lorenzo would roll fairly well, but with 8 dice I was able to put a stop to all but one of his shots.

This also has the effect of forcing your opponent to take walkers of the same size that can compete against the one you took. This is great for selling model but it kind of has the effect of forcing similar list builds. Were not quite in 40K territory but I was hoping they would get the balance right in DW, because they got it so woefully wrong in Dust Tactics (DT). In Dust Tactics Medium Tier four walkers are a joke, they are not survivable at all. In Dust Tactics they become almost unkillable without the most spectacular of dice rolls.

Again this lack of balance is not game breaking, but if you want to remain friends with the people you play this game with. Maybe ensure there is an exchange of lists before the game. Because the video above shows what happens if you don’t.

3) The third thing I want to touch on is the ridiculous changes to how weapons work in Dust Tactics and Dust Warfare.

In Dust Tactics an Axis unit armed with Panzerfausts can only use them once. They can spread them around or use them all at once but once they are gone they are gone. You cannot reload a Panzerfaust while under enemy fire… True Story. This gets worse with the Allied Steel Rain. 4.2 rockets are massive. The rules in Dust Tactics are once you pop them off they are gone. The fluff even states that they are so unwieldy that even with the advances in the 1947 tech level battlefield operations does not allow for the rockets to be reloaded. For some reason though both the Panzerfaust and the 4.2 Rockets can be reloaded and fire repeatedly throughout the course of the game.

Maybe the developers thought it would be too much to keep track of in larger games or something but the fact is its annoying and takes away from the realism. Sure it’s not the end of the world and it does make units you pay points for more deadly over time as their strength never decreases unless from casualties. It just bothers me.

5) Overall

I still like Dust Warfare. It’s slightly better than 40K and has the added benefit of a lot of cool models and options. FFG produces terrain for the game and it is well supported. The 3 flaws above that I listed only matter to me because I’ve read a lot of rulesets and played a few different games. Lorenzo has yet to play infinity but once he does I’m sure Dust Warfare will drop to the bottom of the TYG rotation for War-game Wednesday.

A lot of the stuff that Dust Warfare does to distance itself from 40K are done way better in other games. I was looking for a large-scale game to replace 40k/AT-43 for the site and for my personal enjoyment. Unfortunately Dust Warfare will have to do for the time being.

That’s Yo “Unkillable Wallkers Kill all the Fun”

P.S: Lorenzo may comment on these at some point so stay tuned.

P.S.S:¬† Also who the hell uses Area Terrain… so garbage.

About the author


G has an overactive imagination and lives in a weird hybrid reality.

1 comment

  1. Tim

    Watched this and your first video, thanks for posting them up, and thought I’d add a few comments.

    First if you use the battle builder you are supposed to swap lists before doing anything else.

    Heavy walkers – I think the ballance point for Warfare is at 300 points so I can see you’d have a crazy time trying to take one down. Ideally once you know you’re facing one and dont have anything that can realistically take it down you should be using the battle builder to make sure the mission gives your opponent the least advantage from it but f you do need to take it down get in the back arc (back arc attacks ignore armour). Another thing to try is the walker damage table. You roll on this with the number of dice you hit with not the number that get through the armour so you can shoot a bunch of weak attacks at it to try and get a Blind result etc. without any real hope of causing damage. You dont get any points for that but anything to weaken the walker is a plus.
    Allied Phaser guns kinda kick vehicles ass cos they ignore armour all the time but that doesnt help the Axis, a flanking unit of zombies/gorillas here would have been amazing.

    What size board are you guys playing on BTW?

    Oh yeah and you can have a minimun of 1 order in the Command Phase (2 if youve got a unit with Command).

    Enough of my BS.

Comments have been disabled.