Monday, 3 June 2013

In Defeat We Learn...

...But we could learn before and avoid losing!

On the 28th of May, I played in my game store's Regional Tournament of Dust Warfare. It went badly for me as I finished last place.

Now, I'm not the most competitive player, but I'm sure I could have done way better than last place (as I could have been in the top 3). So what happened???

Well, instead of just telling what happened, I'll write a little guide on 'How to Increase Your Chances of Winning Dust Warfare Tournaments''.


Before you make any list, read the zogdam Battle Builder! I cannot stress this enough: this is where some games can be lost stupidly because your army can't win certain scenarios or gets hosed by a certain condition.

I Don't know who made this cool Battle Builder, but it is awesome!
So let's analyse the Battle Builder:
VK Recovery: I never played this one, but my guess is that it favors fast armies (so you can grab objectives before your opponent does) Also read somewhere that Airdrop is good with this scenario.

Attrition: This one favors extremely resilient armies (I'm looking at you SSU list with two super-heavy tanks and two repair mechs!!). After talking on forums (Dust War), Oldhat, a forum member and veteran Dust player pointed out that Attrition also favors armies that can dish out a lot of damage extremely quickly or in an efficient manner. An example he gave was the Allies' ''Falling Skies'' list which can pop up and wreck an army in one turn.

Symbolic Victory: Another scenario that favors fast armies. The trick to this one is to try and threaten somuch your opponent's units (or simply divert them) that they're stuck in their deployment and can't get to the middle in time.

Key Position: A scenario that favors lists with lot of soldiers and slow resilient armies.

Long March: It favors fast armies and long-range armies.

Envelopment: It favors fast armies.

Advancing Lines: favors nobody specific.

Contested Drop: Helps aircraft lists, favors short range and close combat lists.

Snow: favors short-range and close combat lists, can be used to counter a sniper-heavy list if your opponent forget about putting a point here.

Fine Weather: favors long-range armies.

Dreary: used to counter slow camping lists (sadly you can't get that and Key Position at the same time)

Cold Snap: used to counter vehicle heavy lists (aka resilient armies or fast ground-vehicle armies)....But not aircraft!!

What do you think?
You might have noticed how fast and mobile lists can really easily use the battle builder, keep this in mind when building your list.

As an example of list done by building it around the battle builder, here is the List made by Montreal Dust Warfare Regional Tournament's 2nd place Richer S.
Faction: SSU ( 298 / 300 )

---  Political Platoon (216)
Command Section: "The Drakoni" Commissar Squad (25)
1st Section: "Fakyeli" SSU Close Combat Squad (21)
2nd Section: "Ohotniki" SSU Rifle Squad (20)
3rd Section: "Ohotniki" SSU Rifle Squad (20)
Support: MIL MI-47B "Burner" (50)
Support: MIL MI-45 Airborne Transport (40)
Support: MIL MI-45 Airborne Transport (40)

---  Defense Platoon (82)
Command Section: Yakov (21, Hero)
1st Section: "Fakyeli" SSU Close Combat Squad (21)
Support: MIL MI-45 Airborne Transport (40)

It is an extremely fast list with short range with 6 points in the battle-builder out of 12 that are good for it.

Which brings me to point 2 of my guide:


You might be like me and absolutely adore bringing crazy experimental lists for the pure fun they represent...But if you don't want to end up (like me) in last place, here's my advice: playtest your lists!! One game is usually enough to discover an inherent flaw.

I had played dozens of games before the regional and this allowed me to try lists that definitely were too clunky (ex: All Infantry German) but I thought I could try and 'surprise' everybody with a funky ''double Der Schwarm'' list.

I did surprise everybody. Everybody was surprised, especially myself by how little I had on the board and how bad it ended up to be.
(For the records: DO NOT put Der Schwarm or any upgrade that would eat an action on your Heavy Kommandotrupp: these guys are here to kick serious ass, not to try and ''maybe'' call in artillery).

My list also surprised me by how little I could get out of my deployment if I was under attack. Had I playtested, maybe I would have realized that ''Symbolic Victory'' is not the best thing for a slow list.

Playtesting will also give you experience with new models. It might seem silly, but some models play differently than they look on paper or have some small subtilities you can try and use to your advantage but will only find out after a couple of games with them.


A LOT of mistakes are done because of lack of sleep, its these little mistakes that can change the course of a game (like keeping your medic within 6'' of another unit when your opponent's list is based on Long-Tom Pin-Point Observation). A good night of sleep will creatly increase your chances to bring back a well-deserved (if you followed this guide) medal.


The amazing thing with our Dust competitive crowd in Montreal is that they're probably the most relaxed gamers I know, they play to have fun first and win second. While they're good, it makes finishing last place of a tournament still a whole lot of fun because you did get 3 amazing games in the process!!
Please, don't be ''that guy'' at the tournament, be as friendly as you can to your opponent in order to make the event you are attending truly a FUN one for everyone, including the opponent crushing you.

And that concludes my guide!!

1 comment:

  1. True enough : Montreal Dusters are a fun bunch!

    The only thing, with Warfare when compared to Tactics, is that it's a little frustrating to stop the match after 1½ hour just when the action is in full swing... The same lists we use might have a different success rate if we could manage to play the full turn length.