Monday, 26 November 2012

DUST (why play it + pictures of my allies)

Hello all,

As usual, a very late article with some very real life delays that prevents me from posting all I'd want to so I thought it would be a good idea to talk about Dust Warfare.
beware: it's going to be a LONG ARTICLE, if you find a part uninteresting, just skip it.

1.My Past with Dust

Dust Models, a line of models created from Paolo Parente's mind from mixing WW2 stuff with his imagination, conversion skills and Aliens.
Paolo did some of my favorite Magic: The Gathering artworks so I knew the art direction for the game could only be awesome (if not more).

At Gencon 2010, a big coffin box of Dust Tactics was for sale and there was demos of the game.
My friend Eric and I sat at a demo table and managed to wipe our two opponents on 1st turn, the demonstrator asked us politely to leave our seats so others could try the demo.
Despite a super small taste of the game with the allies, we both really liked the quality of the models (especially the walkers).
(Side note: I even met Paolo and took a picture with him! Man is he fun!)
Later that year, the box was available in store and I bought one.
Played a game or two of Tactics with my little brother...and that was it, as usual, I got distracted by other games.

At Gencon 2011, I got a taste of Warfare (and managed to destroy Eric on 1st turn, oups!) Didn't really like the feel of the vehicles damage chart...the worst of 40k in a promising game (but keep reading!).

Then came the ''Revised Core Set'', with it new units and new campaigns, I bought one, was so impressed with the models inside that I prompted a friend of mine to split another one so I could get more axis reinforcements...and that was it, again, I got distracted by other games and left Dust collecting (bad pun censured).

Then came these guys: Dust Tactics Quebec a group of players with one I already knew, that plays from time to time in many Montreal stores and more importantly form a community and have beautifully painted armies.
I didn't needed much more than pictures of their models on Facebook to motivate me picking up mine and start painting.

2.Dust Warfare vs Dust Tactics

Now I got the chance to play both games:

-They both use the same models

Dust Tactics:
-Tactics uses a grid for movement, this means a world of differences = the game plays way faster and LOS is easily determined.
-easy to remember rules and all additional rules available in free PDF
-Unit cards, making it easier to keep track of what's happening.
-A more dynamic system thanks to alternate activation of units.
-Tactics seems deadlier
-Benefits from campaign systems (!! This is a real plus!!)
-Perfect for a fast game: a 300pts game is played within an hour.

Dust Warfare:
-Has a rulebook and plays like a regular wargame (= measuring tape required)
-There's list building restrictions to limit powerplays...It also adds som fluff.
-slower, units seems to be tougher to kill
-Order system and use of suppression and reaction make for a more realistic game (and a fun one!)

3.Dust Warfare

I went with Dust Warfare because it plays more like a regular wargame, in fact, it reminds me A LOT of warhammer 40k...if WH40K was more dynamic and used a clever 2 activation phases system coupled with a really interesting use of suppression.
It would take me too long to explain all the rules (and their subtlety), lets just say that if you can try Dust Warfare, try it!!

Add to that a really nice rulebook and you have one of my favorite game system for that size.

4.Why play Dust?

Other than for the simple but effective game system, there is a lot of advantages to playing Dust:

-The Models. They are awesome...and cheap!! 15$/5-men unit, 30$/Walker/Tank 40$/Heaviest Walker/Armored thing

-Model Conversion Opportunities: the Dust universe is set in an alternate WWII era, this allows you to buy any WWII modelling kit and adapt it very easily to the universe (just make sure they are the same scale as your models!)
All Dust models are plastic. You can open walker hatches with a knife ;).
All models are on a 1/48 scale (which, while not only being a very common scale for tabletop, allows them to be mixed with some more conventional historical model kits.

-The Era: I always was fond of WWII (thankfully I didn't had to take part in it, I would probably hate it otherwise) and the beginning of mechanized modern warfare. Walkers are nicely designed to have that era's feel to them.

-The Distributor and the producer: Fantasy Flight Games is providing a nice support to the game so far, it isn't as good as the biggest wargame companies out there but above average, Dust benefits greatly from FFG's weight. As for Dust Studios, producer of the game, they've been churning out new models out of their factory like shermans during WWII and they keep having nice new model concepts.

To sum it up: Dust is Cheap, set in an interesting era, with really nice models offering lots of conversion possibilities and with good support of both its distributor and maker. Add to that a growing internet community (the best being Dust War Forums and Blog and of course, FFG's own forums, divided sadly between Warfare: FFG Dust Warfare Forums and Tactics: FFG Dust Tactics Forums

5.My Dust Warfare Armies:

Well, since I got a taste of Warfare and bought two books for it, all I can say is that I'm so sold to that game I even bought more models for it!

I'll share with you some pictures of my Dust armies and their (unofficial) fluff:

5.1 Allies:
The Allies are in the Wargaming Ninja Turtles' blog colors  Trollblood Base and Trollblood Highlight, they were painted in a low tabletop quality in a week and two days.
I played two games with them and lost both...but had so much fun and learned a lot!!

Here comes the 148th Airborne

-Captain Montreal:
What happens when an ex Montreal's biker gang member gets enlisted in the allied army?
This model is converted.
What happens when an ex Montreal's biker gang member gets enlisted in the allied army? He does what he does best: smashing skulls with a chain to punish the Axis and SSU soldiers from preventing him to eat poutine (the food! wiki that!) and being a biker.
He is ultra patriotic, quite though and uses a ''No turning on the right on red lights'' sign as a shield an souvenir from Montreal.
In game terms, he uses Rhino's stats and joins a unit of ''hammers''.

-Bazooka Joe (here with a squad of rangers)
He came in the starter, I hate using heroes in almost every game where I have a choice not to but he acts as a cheap HQ choice and allows a squad to survive a lot more than it would without his help.

-Heavy Assault Rangers (aka: Hammers):
These guys have a huge casualty rate in their ranks but its for a reason my opponents keep suppressing them and try to wipe them off the map: once in close combat, most tier 2 units are utterly unable to fight them.

-Assault Rangers:
The cannon-fodder, they are there to capture objectives. Always surprise me with the amount of bullets they can send flying into the enemies' face.
Flamers didn't impress me at all in Warfare. (they are quite hard to use)
Okay, I admit it, the paintjob on these 5 guys is far from my best...

-Grumpy Patriot and Liberty Prime (aka: Allied Medium Walker ''Mickey'' class)
Liberty Prime on the left and Grumpy Patriot on the right

these not only look beautiful but also do an excellent job
My two anti-infantry super-fast jumping medium walkers. They are insanely efficient at devastating infantry and very poor at dealing with any armored target. Extremely maneuverable, they make for a very interesting game experience.

-Dr.Manhattan (I know, I already used that name for my Earthborn Dire Troll)

What is blue and drops from the skies? An Allied Heavy Walker with the ''Airdrop'' platoon upgrade!! This tactic seems so strong and vicious that I've yet to use it against any of my opponents.
I had a lot of fun to paint this walker and even painted a turtle (this Blog's animal) in a freehand.

Thanks for Reading

I forgot to do a group shot but I'll try and fix that soon and will also try to add some of my Panzerjaeger Axis  Platoon on the blog.

If you're close to Montreal and want to get games of Dust going, join this group: Dust Tactics (and Warfare) Quebec.

Edit 1: Thanks to Stefan T. and Jean-Sebastien C for their comments, allowing me to better describe and differentiate Dust Tactics vs Dust Warfare.



  1. Nice article. I agree with just about everything you said... except that I prefer Tactics. This is probably because I usually only have time for quick games, but I do agree that Warfare is the best tabletop game this side of 40K.

    See you on the gaming table eventually,


  2. I just want to know what that turtle is doing to that bomb in the Dr. Manhattan pics... He seems to be enjoying himself way too much. ;)

  3. what a perverted mind you have Llew! That turtle is riding the bomb of course :).
    It's a way to represent the fact that this Fireball is meant to Airdrop (its part of my paratrooper platoon for my allies).