Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Dust Elba Campagn: Enter the Allies!!! - Dust Tactics Battlefield Blog (Intro) - Part 1

Fellow Turtles,

For me 2015 will be the year of WWX, Mage Wars, Kings of War, Rum and Bones (assuming we don't get it late!) and Dust Battlefield!!!

Don't get me wrong, I'll still play me some Warmachine/Hordes...I'm just gonna make room in a busy schedule for all of these other GREAT games!

I've played some Warfare during the reign of FFG and I really enjoyed it...however I was very hesitant to jump on the bandwagon of the Dust Tactics Babylon Kickstarter, I followed the whole transition period between FFG and Battlefront but I was very indecisive about investing more money into this game not knowing where it would end up...

I really liked the fact that Dust's KS didn't necessarily bypass the retailers, after all what would happen to this great hobby if we didn't have our gaming after a bit of convincing from Guillaume Sartem, I pledged $150.

We recently got our hands on Wave 1 of this KS and Boy-O-Boy it didn't disappoint!!! The miniatures are great and the USMC (Marines) are typically what I would have went for from the Get-Go if they would have been around since the Beginning!

So we have these great miniatures, but what about the game...I know that Warfare is not Dead, but in my circle of gamers/friends players have moved on to Battlefield. So I managed to get in 2 games to get a feel for the Battlefield rules before the Campaign.

Here are my personal Pros & Cons between the 2 systems (point form):

1. NO BATTLE BUILDER - This for me is Huge! I understand how for some players it was a great tool and made this game special...but I really don't like having a tool that if used properly (mostly by Veteran Players) can win you the game even before dice have been rolled! We have so many great games out there, that use great scenarios to give the game a certain Fluff/Feel...we didn't need the Builder and good proof of that is the direction Dust/Battlefield is taking with the Babylon scenarios (Sandstorms are an example!)
2. Going to a "You go - I Go" Alternate Activation (is what it's called it seems!!! lol) system - This wasn't a seller for me at 1st, but after playing 2 games, I really like this mechanic with these rules! Lets face it, Battlefield rules are not the most complex rules out there, but they work! And this change totally adds fun & dynamic tactics...basically your activation is a response to your opponent's prior activation. It also takes out the Command Phase, which was interesting and unique, but I now realize it wasn't necessary and slowed down the game!
3. Shoot your Guns Before CC - Finally a game where you can shoot your guns as you move into Melee!!! Always thought that was kinda of funny in most games, we have these awesome guns, but either you shoot or you charge...if I had a SUPER GUN AND WAS FIGHTING FOR MY LIFE  I sure would shoot at my target as I run to charge it! Wouldn't you?!!!
4. Simple Rules - A lot of people mistakenly associate simple rules with less tactics/strategy and complex rules with more tactics/strategy...the more wargames I play, the more I realize this is not the case. Simple rules can allow for depth and tactics! And Dust Battlefield is part of this category! Plus it also means you're not spending time bogged down on rules & interpretations and more on killing, killing, KILLING!!! The simplified rules for Suppression & Reactions work also...I'm a little Ify on the Reactions being a risk (Rolling dice to see if you can react) + costing the activation of the unit even if you didn't get to react, but so far my experience shows it works!
5. Change of Setting - Plus I'm really happy for the change of scenery , although the cold of Winter was cool, this new Desert Feel and look works better for my taste!
6. Changes to Platoons - Yeah we had them in Warfare and they were fine, but in Battlefield you don't need to restrict yourself to a Platoon/formation!!! For some players that is huge as it allows you to field whatever you feel like...good or bad! It also increases re-playability especially if your player base is only a few players! Platoons do grant you certain advantages if you stick to them, which encourages players to field certain lists that play & feel how the game/world is meant to play & feel! This is the perfect mix according to me, super competitive players (min/maxers) can Spam what ever they want and others will find a Fluffy way of drawing up an army list! Great for both types of players!

1. No Armor Saves - I really miss my armor saves! I know and understand that they factored them into the amount of Dice rolled against the unit and it speeds up the Infantry get an Infantry save that makes them sooo much more viable and feel like infantry!!! But I still feel like something is missing! Personal preference that's all
2. Allied S3 Feel Different & Weaker - I knew this new system would come with changes as to how units behave...but this is a major one for Allied Players! 1st the Rocket Packs, everybody who didn't have any and who played against Allied S3 hated how you couldn't react to their movement!!! This was however in a game where Reactions were soooo much better and important!!! Now that they changed how reactions work, I don't think Rocket Packs would've been as strong! And another solution could've been Nerfing the ability or increasing the unit cost!!!
Yes faster, more mobile Troops are good...but it totally changed how these units (which were a Core of Allied Forces) play...on top of that they become the games most Fragile Unit!!!! Yes I Said That... Really!!! Axis S3 get Damage Resilient, and SSU Steel Guard get Steel Guard which are great abilities which help a unit survive taking damage...they do take less Dice when shot at then in comparison to S2 or S1, but there are only 3 models in the unit!!! So S2 have a better staying on the board  chance then S3! Maybe with more practice I will get a hang of them and find them much better...
3. Hard & Soft Cover - Feels a little weird that there is no difference between the's just a preference but it does speed up the game...either you have cover or you don't!
4. Flyers are Fragile - WOW, I don't know what they will do but they will have to change this, or come up with new models, flyers have their uses yes...but so fragile for the points investment, this also means lists don't need as much AA, so it will have an impact on the game!
5. Only 3 Factions - I still think this is a major problem with the appeal of the game. In the sea of Potential Wargames out there, having only 3 factions is a bit of a set back...more variety means more players identify to a type of army/play and would help expand this gaming community!!! But I guess before fixing that, they still have other issues to solve, like having models still with FFG

Ok so the whole point of this Blog is to act as an intro to a continuous series that I will post here throughout Guillaume's campaign, this will include my thoughts, my results, modifications to my list, etc.

...not rant about the game (if you are reading this, you probably know a lot about the differences between Warfare & Battlefield!)

Without further ado, here is the List I will start the Campaign with:

1st as I had a crush on the Medium Combat Walker Platoon, I chose a Mechanized/Tank Ace!

Meet 1st Sergeant Conrad S. Hauser (a.k.a. Duke)
I know, I know Duke is not a Tank Ace, but I have the Old Bazooka Joe model and I always wanted to paint him as Duke. So this gives me the excuse to get it done!

USMC Rifle Platoon  - 77 pts
(units & M3 opened topped Walkers gain Brave Skill)
Machete Mack - 9
The Saints - 5
Mavericks - 6
Steel Marines - 9
Devil Dogs - 6
Mickey (Light) - 11
Devastator - 31

Medium Combat Walker Platoon - 73 pts
(All M3 Walkers can use the Get Moving You Bunch of Monkeys Special Action)
Pounder - 14
Pounder - 14
Hotdog - 13
Rattler - 16
Jagdluther - 16 (14 +2)

So WHY did I make these choices...
Well I really wanted to use the some, if not most of the KS miniatures, they are the new toys everybody wants to play with! In order to play them I really hesitated between the USMC Rifle Platoon & the Heavy Assault Walker Platoon which would have been GREAT FUN to play...

Ever since I've read about the Medium Combat Walker Platoon (MCWP) I really wanted to play one...I can't get it out of my system...I know Armor 4 Walkers aren't the greatest thing since sliced Bread! I do however believe that in a Campaign where most players will play there new toys, most Soldiers will be Soldier 1 and the average of  a Vehicle's Armor will drop by 1-2...that's the great thing about this new KS, they changed the feel/meta of the game!

So the best way of Fitting a MCWP in my list was using the Rifle Platoon as the other half of my list. Out of the 2 games I played prior to this Campaign, in one I used a 100 pts of models we had prior to the KS (Soldiers 2 & 3) thoughts on these units are reflected earlier in this article so I will not go over them, but I was surprised as to how the Pounder plays a very different role then I originally intended...the second I used the KS Wave 1 miniatures (85 pts), my thoughts will also be reflected in further but I do admit, the Platoon Advantage is one that is a lot of FUN to have!

This is becoming a long Blog, so I will have a Part 2 to this intro where I will have my reflections on each of these selections prior to the start of the Campaign!

Hope You guys enjoy this series of Posts!!!

Dan Solo

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for interesting reading! Only just found your blog and I enjoy the Dust v2 stuff alot! This pro/con post was a very good read.