Dystopian Wars 101


Surely you know about Dystopian Wars –  but if you don’t know…read on.

Let’s see.   Pop quiz time.

Do you like Land Warfare?  Naval Warfare?  Aerial Warfare?

How about alternative history, like say where steampunk science invents weaponry and defensive systems far beyond what really happened?

How about World Warfare with nearly a score of different nations or groups fighting for global dominance?

There surely you know about Dystopian Wars.

But if you don’t know…read on.

Dystopian Wars is set in an alternative history Earth, which deviated from our own world in the 1850s with the discovery of a very special element called Element 270 (or frequently called Sturginium, named for the man who unlocked its potential).  Now the winds of war blow everywhere – and collossal war machines clash in a game of epic World Warfare.



Let’s look at some of the factions.

First a few nations that you will recognize:

The Kingdom of Britannia –


The Federated States of America –


The Prussian Empire-


The Empire of the Blazing Sun-


The Covenant of Antarctica –



As you can see each nation has a strongly defined aesthetic, unique to their nation and each given fine care to look like a unified, themed force.


The mechanics of Dystopian Wars, like all of the Spartan Games game systems, are based on exploding D6 dice pools.  That’s a simplified way of saying that you roll a batch of dice, looking for certain numbers – typically 4, 5, and 6.   Dice that score a 4 or a 5 are successful, and 6s count as two successes and grant the player the ability to roll an addition die, which in turn gets successes on 4s and 5s, and two successes on a 6, granting the ability to roll another die…etc.

That means that particularly lucky shots can happy anywhere – theoretically the lowliest frigate in the game could one-shot the most powerful Dreadnought.  That isn’t something you can bet on, though.

One of the defining features of Dystopian Wars is that the gameplay really does span naval, ground and aerial warfare.  And most units in the game are not helpless against enemies of the other types – naval and ground units typically have “Ack Ack” (anti-air, flak, that sort of thing) to shoot at aerial attackers.  Aerial units can have typical guns as well as bombs or torpedos.

A further super-science addition to Dystopian Wars is the use of Generators.  These are mounted only on the larger ship/landship classes, as they tend an immense amount of power to operate.  Generators tend to be nation specific, per the doctrine of warfare for each nation – for example, the Republique of France, who sports amazing naval ships that can hover out of the water like an airship, have Generators that can create clouds – mobile aircover.



This is literally just skimming the surface of Dystopian Wars.  Join me again when we get into deeper detail about the state of the world in the Dystopian 1870s, as well as a look at some of the smaller nation-states that play a role in the world war that is coming.

  • Lee Brown

    Truly awesome game. Got three fleets on the go at the mo and looking at maybe a forth. The models are so detailed and the game play is brutal. The history isn’t as well fleshed out in my opinion as some other games but that is a minor quibble

  • Rattlernxt

    Love the aesthetic but haven’t played. Thanks!

  • xNickBaranx

    Big Red did a couple of battle reports a couple of years ago and seemed amped on the game. I think this is the first coverage I have seen since then.

    • StingrayP226

      Spartan Games has their own forums so many of the players go there to talk. Thus it seems less active on other sites like here.

  • I’m actually selling my Republique of France and Empire of the Blazing Sun fleets for over 40% off. Hit me up if you’re interested.

    • Sean Parker

      Sad to see you leaving the game Hero…

  • Brother_Alpharius

    If you’re trying to stimulate interest why not mention that all of the rulebooks and fleet lists are free pdf downloads and that when changes ae made they are made across the full range instead of force by force eliminating the 40k style rollercoaster of codex creep and lag.

  • Kako

    Awesome game, airbattles are faster than naval, but naval ones are the awesome ones.

    For land battle, i recoomend play with the armoured clash ruleset, pretty good ruleset, although artillery is overtuned.

  • Noveltyboy

    I love this game. It is expanding at my local group which is usually GW heavy. The game play is good and even when you lose you end up smiling after something like a frigate takes out a battle cruiser or your almost nuked ship boards a carrier and derelicts it before sinking beneath the waves next turn. Play it.