The Tectonic Shift – DUST Warfare Arrives
There is a new Deputy in town. DUST Warfare is the game you want to keep your eyes on. Here’s why:
First here’s the basics on DUST from FFG’s Jeremy and Anton at Adepticon:
Now onto what we’ve determined based on some test games, and initial unboxings and some painting of the miniatures.
1) The rule system is both tight and innovative. Andy Chambers and Mack Martin have created a slick, easy to learned interleaved-by-phase turn sequence that offers a lot of fun and skillful interaction for both players. The tedium and down time of I-GO-YOU-GO games are gone, but you also don’t have the constant tedious back and forth that unit by unit interleaved games will give you. In short you get a good balanced medium between both extremes, that keep both players constantly entertained and on their toes.
From a writing perspective, you get a core ruleset clocking in at 65 pages including missions and tournament rules (more on that later). They are written clearly with good illustrations and examples. It is a very tight ruleset, not as airtight as Privateer Press’ but close, and definitely much cleaner than typical Games Workshop fare.
2) Written for tournaments from the ground up. That’s right, DUST provides an entire set of rules for not only playing standard games, but was designed for efficient play in competitive events, and meant to be easy for tournament organizers to manage the gamesystem. Now that’s a welcome change! You will find an entire section on how to setup terrain, define deployment, missions, scoring, and how to determine victory, in both casual and competitive settings. Color me impressed!
3) Miniature range is innovative. Out of the gate you get 2 full factions, with a third arriving next month. These are presented in two flavors to appeal to everyone from gamers, to collectors, to players. You get the default and value-priced line which come pre-assembled (with all weapon options), and primed in thier faction’s default color. Players can just take these out of the box and get playing. Painters can either “go with” the default color and paint up the model with detail, and base them in short order, or entirely re-prime them and start from scratch. Finally for the collectors out there, FFG is offering a Premium line of top quality pre-painted minis that are seen in the rulebook. These are top quality works and provide an easy way out for those who want a beautiful army out of the box and have some extra money to burn.
4) Great pricing. Boxed sets for DUST Warfare run from $15-20 per squad to $25-40 per vehicle. You can easily get a full 300pt tournament suggested army for under $200 with careful choices, and the rulebook is $39.95
5) Good fluff and background. Its hard to put your finger on it, but the “Wierd War II” really works here, where it has faltered in so many other settings. The fine details, and the historical notes on the models really mesh well with the scale and the “advanced” walker, laser, and even zombie concepts. The original Paulo Parente artwork the game is based on is top notch, and immediately pulls you into the universe, while WWII simultaneously gives painters a massive source of inspiration for paint schemes and army concepts (for example one of our gamers is working on a desert yellow Afrika Korps Axis army).
In short I think FFG really hit this one out of the park. I’ve introduced DUST Warfare to a bunch of fellow bloggers, and wargames veterans of all stripes, and have yet to have one of them not get into it after careful study. Every year, lots of new companies and games hit the market. DUST Warfare is the first in a long time that looks like it has the legs to go far. Its running on all cylinders, and seems to have avoided so many of the potholes on the design, marketing, and miniatures sides that pull down other offerings. I would be surprised if DUST didn’t have strong showings at game stores and all the big Tournaments by this time next year.
REVIEW: 4.5 Stars (out of 5)
Check it out – it’s good!