Saturday, June 30, 2012

First Wave SSU Battle Report

The scenario used for this game was from the Operation Zverograd Dust Tactics Campaign Expansion, Mission #3 – The Hidden Lab. Axis are Attacking, and SSU are Defending. The Attacker must occupy 2 of the 3 objectives on the board at the end of Turn 8. Objective Tiles were marked with small red dice.

The battle report mainly highlights Attack actions and other significant actions. General movement actions, hits on units, and eliminated units are documented in the pictures.

  • Justin’s 197 point SSU Army:
    Grand’ma - Koshka - The Medvedi (SSU Command Squad) - Fakyeli (SSU Close Combat Squad) – Frontoviki (SSU Battle Squad) - Chinese Volunteers (SSU Auxiliary Attack Squad) – SSU Airborne Transport (MIL MI-45)
  • Christian’s 201 point Axis Army:
    Lara - Axis Zombies - Heavy Flak Grenadiers - Battle Grenadiers - Recon Grenadiers - Luther - Heinrich - Heinrich

Turn 1:
Initiative: Axis - Concedes first activation to SSU
  • Grand’ma Places and Attacks a Heinrich.
    • “VK-916” Howitzer rolls 2 Hits on the Heinrich.
  • SSU Airborne Transport uses Advanced Deployment.
  • Command Squad Places and Reactivates the SSU Airborne Transport.
    • SSU Airborne Transport targets the Axis Zombies and uses the Hover Skill to perform a Sustained Attack.
      • Quad DahK 12.7 mm rolls 6 Hits on the Axis Zombies. Damage Resilience fails to reduce any hits and the Axis Zombies are eliminated.

Turn 2:
Initiative: Axis
  • A Heinrich Moves and Attacks the SSU Airborne Transport.
    • 2 cm FlakVierling rolls 3 Hits on the SSU Airborne Transport.
  • SSU Airborne Transport Moves and Attacks the Recon Grenadiers.
    • Quad DahK 12.7 mm rolls 2 Hits on the Recon Grenadiers.
  • Chinese Volunteers Moves and Attacks the Recon Grenadiers.
    • The five PPSh-48’s rolls 7 hits to eliminate the Recon Grenadiers.
  • Luther targets the SSU Airborne Transport for a Sustained Attack.
    • The 5 cm FlaK 43 and MG 44 manage 3 hits to eliminate the SSU Airborne Transport.
  • The Medvedi Reactivate Grand’ma
    • Grand’ma targets the injured Heinrich for a Sustained Attack
      • “VK-916” Howitzer rolls 2 Hits on the Heinrich to eliminate the Light Panzer Walker.

Turn 3:
Initiative: Axis
  • Frontoviki Moves out of the structure and Attacks the Battle Grenadiers.
    • The two DPM MG’s roll 3 hits against the Battle Grenadiers.
  • Luther targets the Chinese Volunteers for a Sustained Attack.
    • 5 cm FlaK 43 rolls 3 Hits on the Chinese Volunteers. Hard Cover from the structure prevents 1 hit from getting through.
  • Grand’ma performs two Move Actions, and takes advantage of the Assault ability to close the distance on the Axis units.
  • Heinrich targets the Frontoviki for a Sustained Attack.
    • 2 cm FlakVierling rolls 6 Hits and eliminate the exposed Frontoviki.
  • Battle Grenadiers Move and Attack Grand’ma.
    • Panzerschrek nails Grand’ma for 3 hits!
    • Both Panzersfaust’s miss their target.
  • The Medvedi Reactivates Koshka and the Fakyeli.
    • Koshka and her Fakyeli muster up their Fighting Spirit and Assault Moves out of the structure to Attack the Heinrich and Battle Grenadiers.
      • All five Molotov Cocktails roll all misses, but the effect of the Fighting Spirit Skill reverses the misses so that they hit their target, incinerating the Heinrich with 10 Hits!
      • The Sulfur Thrower and Koshka’s Grenade Pistol roll 3 misses, which are once again reversed to hits thanks to the Fighting Spirit Skill, and eliminate the remaining Battle Grenadiers.

Turn 4:
Initiative: Axis
  • Lara and the Heavy Flak Grenadiers Attack Koshka and her Fakyeli
    • Lara’s two MG 44 zwei’s roll 6 hits.
    • The three Fliegerfaust’s Burst Weapon came into effect since Koshka and the Fakyeli haven’t moved this turn. 5 hits are rolled.
    • Koshka and her Fakyeli fall to the 11 hits.
    • Lara and the Heavy Flak Grenadiers Move towards the Luther with their Second Action.
  • Luther Attacks the Chinese Volunteers.
    • The 5 cm FlaK 43 and MG 44 score 5 hits on the Chinese Volunteers. Hard Cover from the structure save 2 of the hits, and the leftover hits are enough to eliminate the injured Chinese Volunteers.
    • Luther Moves with its remaining Action.
  • The Medvedi Moves and successfully revives the Fakyeli with the Come On Guys; We’re Going Back Out There skill.

Turn 5:
Initiative: Axis
  • Luther targets Grand’ma for a Sustained Attack.
    • 5 cm FlaK 43 misses!!
  • Grand’ma targets Lara and the Heavy Flak Grenadiers for a Sustained Attack.
    • “VK-916” Howitzer rolls 1 hit, but Damage Resilience saves Lara and the Heavy Flak Grenadiers form any damage.
  • Fakyeli use their Assault Skill to Move and Attack Lara and her Heavy Flak Grenadiers
    • Sulfur Thrower manages 1 hit.
    • The four Shotguns miss their targets!
    • The five Molotov Cocktails only score 1 hit.
    • Damage Resilience provides no effect and Lara suffers both hits.
    • The Knife & Grenade and Combat Knives each manage 2 hits on their respective targets. 2 of the Fakyeli fall and Damage Resilience save against one hit and Lara suffers the remaining hit.
  • The Medvedi Fails to reactivate the Fakyeli.

Turn 6:
Initiative: SSU
  • Fakyeli targets Lara and the Heavy Flak Grenadiers for a Sustained Attack
    • Sulfur Thrower rolls 3 hits.
    • The four Shotguns only manage 1 hit.
    • Damage Resilience saves against 1 hit and the remaining 3 hits eliminate the Heavy Flak Grenadiers.
  • Lara Attacks the Fakyeli.
    • Both MG 44 zweis roll 4 hits and eliminate the Fakyeli.
    • Lara Moves for her remaining Action.
  • Luther targets Grand’ma for a Sustained Attack.
    • 5 cm FlaK 43 manages a single hit against Grand’ma.
    • Luther Moves for its second Action.

At the end of Turn 6 the Axis did not have enough Infantry units remaining on the board to achieve their objective. The SSU are Victorious!!

Victory Points:
  • Christian - Axis: 145 Points
  • Justin - SSU: 130 Points

The first wave release of SSU units performed much better than I had anticipated. The only limitations the Axis player was faced with were the available miniatures on hand (No Zombie Heroes, or Heavy Recon Grenadiers, etc…). The Axis should have brought more infantry to the battle. 3 Vehicles were a bit much, but they definitely did their job and brought down the Helicopter early in the game.

One thing that I am noticing is the complete and utter lack of speed that the SSU were promoted to possess. Grand’ma and the Close Combat Squad (Fakyeli) are the only units with Assault in the first wave. The Helicopter provides a lot of options for the SSU, but can also be a giant target on the battlefield. It can be a little challenging to keep an aircraft alive since nothing blocks line of sight to and from aircraft and especially when there are upwards of 4 different anti-air units in your opponent’s army, three of which can start shooting at a range of 6. 40 points seems to be a bit much for the SSU Airborne Transport, but it has great anti-infantry capabilities, and the options a Carry Capacity of 8 brings to the table will help this unit shine in the future when the Commissars, SSU Heroes, and armor 3 infantry are released.

The Chinese Volunteers are a great inexpensive unit. They don’t look like much, but they’ll prove their worth when they throw 10 dice against armor 2 infantry and use their Agility skill to skillfully maneuver through the battlefield. 12 points is all that is needed for this small powerhouse.

The Battle Squad (Frontoviki) possesses a great amount of potential, but was a little disappointing. There are no extra skills or weapons associated with the unit (Assault, Fast, U.G.L., etc…). However, they are a great armor 1 and 2 anti-infantry unit at a range of 2. 19 points is too expensive for this unit with no usable vehicle killing power and minimal firepower against Aircraft… The Recon Boys are 4 points less yet have 2 U.G.L.’s (Ignore Cover) and better range (7 dice at a range of 4 versus 6 dice). The Recon Grenadiers are 3 points less and have a more powerful machine gun, roll more dice against armor 3 infantry (6 dice versus 5 dice), better range (8 dice at a range of 4 versus 6 dice), and have 3 Panzerfausts (Vehicle killing power). I feel that the cost of this unit should be 16 points, maybe 17 points at the most.

The Close Combat Squad (Fakyeli) was very impressive. While this unit emulates the Allied BBQ Squad, it has a couple significant differences.  First, the Fast Skill has been replaced with the one-time use Assault Skill (even the Axis equivalent has the Fast Skill). Second, the Molotov Cocktails can damage infantry and vehicles, but they are weaker against armor 5 thru 7 vehicles, where the BBQ Squads Demo Charges can only damage vechilces. An impressive unit made even more so when teamed up with a hero like Koshka. The Fighting Spirit Skill has great potential and aided the unit with some significant kills, such as reversing the Molotov Cocktail rolls against the Heinrich which turned 5 misses into 5 hits! The Badass Commissar would be great to use with this squad, since it will add another wound, PPSh-48 (range 2), the Badass skill (unlimited ammo as long as the Commissar is present in the unit), and possibly more. 28 points can make this squad seem a little too expensive for a Close Combat unit with no Fast Skill and it’s hard to find an opposing argument.

The Command Squad (The Medvedi) functions just the same as any other command squad. The main difference lies in the weaponry. Four range 2 PPSh-48’s, One range 4 DPM MG, and a Power Tool that allows the unit to damage any armor vehicle it comes across in battle. 44 points definitely accounts for the change in weaponry and I would say that the unit is unique and well balanced when compared to its counterparts in the Allies and Axis armies.

Koshka and Grand’ma were never paired up in this game. Koshka, like most Heroes, is very unimpressive on her own. Pairing her with a squad didn’t grant much survivability this time around, but she brought forth some devastation when her Fighting Spirit came to light. I can only imagine her Piloting Grand’ma and taking advantage of her Fighting Spirit with the Sulfur Thrower and VK enhanced Howitzer. Both of Grand’ma’s weapons ignore cover, giving her a great edge when targeting infantry (especially when used with the die reversal that the single use Fighting Spirit Skill adds when Piloted by Koshka). 18 points for Koshka is pretty much on par for the cost of Heroes. 36 points for Grand’ma is a good deal for a vehicle with limited range, 5 Health, and a single use Assault Skill.

The SSU are definitely made for close contact light infantry engagements (light meaning infantry armor 1 and 2). Effective kill ranges seem to be either 2 or 4, depending on the unit. The biggest challenge at the moment is that the SSU are a brand new faction. The First Wave is very akin to the original core set armies, so anybody expecting them to hold up well against heavier units is going to be disappointed. The SSU isn’t going to be up to speed with the other factions for at least another year. At the moment the SSU has a difficult time surviving against armor 3 infantry, massive amounts of anti-aircraft firepower, and the large variety of walkers available to the Axis and Allies. I would say to anyone discouraged towards playing the SSU to wait until the entire set of upcoming units drop before coming to any conclusions. Commissars are a huge unknown and will potentially add a great amount of diversity. I will say that the lack of Limited Ammo Weapons among the standard units kind of make the Badass Commissar inflexible since the Commissar can pretty much only be paired with the Fakyeli to make any use of his skill since they are the only unit with limited ammunition weapons other than The Drakoni themselves. However a player may have a full squad of Drakoni, and then add a single Commissar to double up on any one skill or special weapon, such as 2 Badass Skills, or 2 Assault Skills, or 2 Bazookas, or 2 Machine Guns, etc… A Fakyeli unit with unlimited Molotov Cocktails or a second Assault Skill to use (in a separate activation) is something to be feared, and will greatly improve their usefulness against Vehicles. Yakov will also add a great advantage to the SSU, since the unit he’s joined to, and each adjacent unit, get their cover value upgraded 1 step. Koshka and Red Yana both have the Fighting Spirit ability, and Grenade Weapons that will help blast through to enemies in hiding behind cover (this will be very useful in Dust Warfare and change the dynamic of the SSU completely). Nikolai will be able to move from walker to walker using his Take Aim Skill to reverse die rolls and cause even more devastation.

So many options await this faction. Helicopters will force the enemy to bring anti air units which then create an immediate vulnerability in their army. The SSU are limited but still a very fun faction to play, which held its own against some very effective Axis units. I look forward to the KV-47’s and the potential that they bring, though I fear the short weapon ranges will be more of a hindrance than a help when facing opposing walkers. The SSU Walker Transport and associated Air Lift KV’s will help to bring the Vehicle support that the SSU needs, though I feel the standard KV’s should have Assault over the Airlift KV’s. Perhaps there will be more Heroes in the future that will pilot vehicles and add abilities to increase their effectiveness, such as Self Repair, Assault, All In One, Berserk, etc... Another battle report with the SSU Specialists, Rifle Squad, and the first KV expansion will be finished shortly, so stay tuned for a future update! Good Gaming!!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Dust Tactics League Play! 06-24-2012

Red Castle Games saw the return of our league after a two week hiatus. A few games of Dust Warfare were played in between league nights, as well as a few games with the SSU for battle reports that will be featured in the DUST Fanzine! Today we continued our Operation Blue Thunder v2.0 League and finished up Scenarios 8 and 9. In addition we had a new player attend our league play, Jeffrey Durkauff! Nicholas played 2 small games with Jeffrey, one Axis v. Axis, the other SSU v. Axis. Jeffrey won the Axis v. Axis game, and Nicholas won the SSU v. Axis game (Nicholas played as the SSU in the second game). We will be returning to Red Castle next week to continue the league, which only has 6 games remaining before it’s finished!

Scenario 8: Evacuation

This is the last scenario of the original Operation Blue Thunder campaign book. The Attacker is trying to escape the installation and must have a single miniature in the Defenders deployment zone at the end of Turn 8 to gain a victory. Both armies start on opposite ends of the map, which is 3 tiles by 3 tiles.

John v. Justin
  • Attacker:
    John – Allies: 248 points
    Bazooka Joe – Rhino – 13 Foxtrot – BBQ Squad – Death Dealers – Grim Reapers – Recon Boys – Tank Busters – The Gunners – Mickey – Wildfire
  • Defender:
    Justin – Allies: 250 points
    Bazooka Joe – OZZ-177 – The Priest – BBQ Squad – Corps Officers – Grim Reapers – Hell Boys – Recon Boys – Recon Boys – Mickey
The action started in Turn 2 when John’s Allies took advantage of an opening and quickly eliminated a squad of Recon Boys. Justin’s Allies were able to get some revenge by eliminating the Death Dealers and Tank Busters. Ozz and his Grim Reapers tried to flank John’s army, but his Mickey made short work of the Hero and his squad at the end of the Turn. John’s Allies felt some more punishment in Turn 3 when Rhino and his Grim Reapers fell early in the round followed by Bazooka Joe and his BBQ Squad. Turn 4 saw the battle turn in favor of John’s Allied Army. Justin’s Bazooka Joe, BBQ Squad, and second group of Recon Boys fell in the Turn. More fire was exchanged in Turn 5 with Justin’s Allies losing the Corps Officers, The Priest, and Hell Boys. John lost the advantage of his Mickey, 13 Foxtrot, and his Gunner Rangers by the end of Turn 6. Turn 8 came down to Justin’s Mickey versus John’s Wildfire and Recon Boys. John positioned his units so that the Mickey had no chance of targeting both units, and could only focus fire on John’s Wildfire. The end of Turn 8 saw the destruction of John’s Wildfire, but his Recon Boys were alive and well in the objective space and the Victory went to John’s Allied army.

Victor: John – Allies

Victory Points:
  • John – Attacker: 215 points 
  • Justin – Defender: 233 points

Nicholas v. John
  • Attacker:
    Nicholas – Axis: 249 points
    Grenadier X – Lara – Manfred – Markus – Totenmeister – Axis Gorillas – Axis Zombies – Axis Zombies – Heavy Recon Grenadiers – Recon Grenadiers – Recon Grenadiers 
  • Defender:
    John – Allies: 248 points
    Bazooka Joe – Rhino – 13 Foxtrot – BBQ Squad – Death Dealers – Grim Reapers – Recon Boys – Tank Busters – The Gunners – Mickey – Wildfire
The carnage started in Turn 3 when the Axis and Allied forces clashed in the center of the map. The Axis lost Totenmeister, her Axis Zombies, and a squad of Recon Grenadiers while the Allies lost their Recon Boys, BBQ Squad, and Death Dealers. Turn 4 saw an immediate continuation of the bloody engagement when Lara and her Heavy Recon Grenadiers laid waste to the Grim Reapers and Bazooka Joe. Markus and his Gorillas did an effective job of closing distance on the Wildfire and Mickey, making short work of both walkers. The Allies did their fair share of damage by finishing off Lara and her Heavy Recon Grenadiers immediately after they wrought their devastation, and made great use of Reactive Fire by eliminating Grenadier X and his Axis Zombies in the middle of their activation before they had a chance to further hurt the Allied forces! By the end of Turn 6 the Axis lost Manfred and his Recon Grenadiers, while the Allies lost Rhino and his Tank Busters along with the Gunner Rangers. The beginning of turn 7 saw only 1 unit for each force remaining. The Allies had their 13 Foxtrot guarding the objective zone, while the Axis had an injured Markus and his remaining Axis Gorilla (Markus was down to a single wound). The Allies won the initiative of Turn 8 and 13 Foxtrot was able to score 2 hits on the Gorillas, but 1 hit was saved by corner cover, allowing Markus to survive the engagement and continue the fight! 13 Foxtrot was defenseless against the gravely injured Markus, who made short work of the unit and moved into the objective square to gain a victory for the Axis.

Victor: Nicholas – Axis

Victory Points:
  • Nicholas – Attacker: 248 points 
  • John – Defender: 229 points

Scenario 9: The Race To Victory

This is the first of 3 extra scenarios from the Operation Blue Thunder Campaign book that is a part of the Terrain Tile Set. The Attacker deploys on a bridge and must get to the objective squares, which are mixed in with the Defenders deployment zone at the opposite end of the map. The trick here is that the Defender also has 4 deployment zones along the edges in the middle of the map, which allow the Defender the option of surrounding the attacking force as they deploy off the bridge. Each unit that the Attacker successfully escapes off the map is worth double points for the Attacker’s VP total. Full unit kills are scored as normal for each player. The player with the most Victory Points at the end of Turn 8 is the winner of the scenario. A very difficult scenario for any Attacker to win, since the map tiles are 3 wide by 4 deep with little cover and terrain to block line of sight for the approaching force. Quite possibly the new “Kobayashi Maru” scenario (The “old” Kobayashi Maru was Scenario 4 from the original Operation Blue Thunder Campaign Book, which was nearly impossible for any attacker to win before the release of Operation Seelöwe and the associated Heavy Infantry Units and Light Walkers).

Justin v. John
  • Attacker:
    Justin – Allies: 300 points
    Bazooka Joe – Johnny One-Eye – OZZ-177 – Rhino – Crack Shots – Grim Reapers – Grim Reapers – The Gunners – The Gunners – Mickey – Mickey – Wildfire – Wildfire
  • Defender:
    John – Allies: 296 points
    Bazooka Joe – Rhino – BBQ Squad – Grim Reapers – Hell Boys – Tank Busters – The Boss – The Hammers – Mickey – Mickey
Once again the action began in Turn 2 between the two Allied forces. John deployed his Tank Busters near the Allied deployment zone and finished off the Wildfire at the beginning of the turn, while Ozz and his Grim Reapers made a dash for the objective, only to fall to the BBQ Rangers just short of their goal. Turn 3 saw Justin’s Rhino and Grim Reapers fall to fire from John’s Mickey. Justin also lost his Gunner Rangers to fire from John’s Grim Reapers, but Justin’s remaining Wildfire made short work of the heavy infantry unit. Turn 4 saw Johnny and his Gunner Rangers take a bold chance in an attempt to destroy a damaged Mickey, but missed entirely, and then fell to the Sustained Fire retaliation from the target Mickey. John’s second Mickey made short work of the remaining Wildfire. The 3 final turns were pretty much a lock for John’s Allied forces. John lost his damaged Mickey in Turn 6, but took both of Justin’s Mickey’s in Turns 7 and 8. One was lost to a revived Tank Buster squad, and the other fell to Rhino and the Hammers’ powerful Rocket Punches. In a final act of desperation Justin’s remaining unit (Bazooka Joe) was able to make a Sustained Attack to eliminate John’s severely hurt Bazooka Joe and Hell Boys. Justin’s Bazooka Joe then fell to the remaining Mickey and victory was secured for John’s Allied forces. In Turn 7 the Crack Shots were able to make use of their Agility and escape the map while avoiding reactive fire from Bazooka Joe and his BBQ Rangers.

Victor: John – Allies

Victory Points:
  • Justin – Attacker: 193 points
  • John – Defender: 290 points

John v. Nick
  • Attacker:
    John – Allies: 296 points
    Bazooka Joe – Rhino – BBQ Squad – Grim Reapers – Hell Boys – Tank Busters – The Boss – The Hammers – Mickey – Mickey
  • Defender:
    Nicholas – Axis: 299 points
    Grenadier X – Lara – Manfred – Markus – Totenmeister – Axis Gorillas – Axis Zombies – Axis Zombies – Beobachter – Heavy Kommandotrupp – Heavy Recon Grenadiers – Recon Grenadiers – Recon Grenadiers – Sniper Grenadiers
This engagement was quick and brutal. Turn 1 saw the Allied Mickey fall to a flanking attack by Grenadier X and his Zombies, while Markus and his Gorillas made a similar maneuver to eliminate the Tank Busters. Rhino and his Hammers fell early in Turn 2, while Lara and her Heavy Recon Grenadiers focused their attack on The Boss Squad to eliminate the Command Unit. By the end of Turn 2 the Allies also lost Bazooka Joe, Hell Boys, Grim Reapers, and the second Mickey. The only Axis troops to not be involved in the battle at this point were both squads of Recon Grenadiers, Manfred, and Beobachters who were holding the objective line. All the Allies had left for turn 3 was the BBQ Squad, but the undead units made short work of the Assault Rangers for an Axis victory!

Victor: Nicholas – Axis

Victory Points:
  • John – Attacker: 0 points
  • Nicholas – Defender: 296 points

A quick write up from Nicholas on the game he played with Jeffrey:

Jeffery - Axis:
Laser Grenadiers
Heavy Recon Grenadiers

Nicholas - Axis:
Sniper Grenadiers

This was Jeffrey’s first game with the group. We played on a 9 x 9 tile map. It was a king of the hill scenario with the objective inside a one story building. Nicholas’ Axis quickly captured the objective with his Sturmpioneers lead by Stefan. Jeffrey moved his Heavy Recon into the building but line of sight to the defending Sturmpioneers was blocked by an interior wall. Nicholas moved the Sniper Grenadiers lead by Angela outside of the building to strike Jeffrey’s Lothar with her powerful 20 mm sniper rifle. As the Lothar and Angela exchanged fire, Jeffrey moved his Laser Grenadiers lead by Sigrid flanking the Sturmpioneers. Jeffery’s win on turn 3 allowed the Laser Grendadiers to move and fire using Sigrid’s Berserk ability wiping out the Stumpioneers. The same turn also saw the Lothar move past the Sniper Grenadiers cover, wiping out Angela and the two man squad. The Heavy recon moved forward taking the objective square. During the next turn the Heinrich moved forward as the Laser Grenadiers found a firing position at one of the building doors. On turn 5 the Heinrich won the initiative causing the Laser Grenadiers to take a loss and damage Sigrid. The Laser Grenadiers and Sigrid returned fire taking down the Heinrich.

  • Jeffrey 108 points 
  • Nicholas 0 points

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Dust Warfare! June 2012

No league play this weekend, but Nicholas and I played a long game of Warfare. We decided on a single 200 point platoon for each player on a 4’ x 4’ table. We originally intended to play for 8 rounds, but called the game after round 5 due to how late the game was running (roughly an hour per round).

  • Objective: Eliminate the Enemy
  • Conditions: Secured Area
  • Deployment: Advancing Lines

Nicholas’ Axis Army:
  • Kommandotrupp
  • Laser Grenadiers
  • Axis Gorillas
  • Recon Grenadiers
  • Heavy Recon Grenadiers
  • Sniper Grenadiers
  • Hans LPW
  • Hans LPW
  • Anglea
Justin’s Allied Army:

  • Ranger Command Squad
  • Combat Ranger Squad
  • Heavy Ranger Assault Squad
  • Ranger Weapon Squad
  • Assault Ranger Squad
  • Observer Team
  • Sniper Team
  • Steel Rain MCW
  • The Priest

Superiority Points:
  • Nicholas: 5 Points
  • Justin: 4 Points
  • Nicholas with 5 superiority points
This game definitely took way too long to play. The Condition of Secured Area was new to both of us and definitely slowed things down. I also attribute the excessively long duration of play to lots of measuring, pre-measuring, re-measuring, trying to determine LOS, such a small paying surface, etc… These are some of my least favorite aspects of table top gaming, and a large contributing factor to why I left similar games in my past. The minefields were also a contributing factor in slowing the game down.

The Axis won the first two initiatives and made good use of the Blitzkrieg order to position the gorillas and the unlimited range indirect fire capabilities of the Hans LPW. Not to mention the indirect fire from a Granatwerfer ignores cover! The Allies took up position behind the main building, but a minefield located in the doorway of the opposite side limited its usefulness as a safe staging area. Angela’s 36” range also did much in covering the center of the map, damaging the Steel Rain to one-half health early in the game, and eliminating two out of three of the Heavy Ranger Assault Squad. The Allied Command Squad spent a majority of the game healing their units, and issuing regroup orders to keep a heavily suppressed and hurt Combat Ranger Squad from retreating off the board.

Turn 3 and 4 saw the initiative fall to the Allies. The Gorilla’s fell to the Combat Ranger Squad when they attempted to approach the Steel Rain from the roof of the main building. Angela and her Sniper Grenadiers traded some blows, and damage with Preist and his Assault Ranger Squad. In an attempt to finish off the hurt Priest and Assault Ranger Squad, she missed entirely!! The response from the Allied unit drew the same result!! Two major hitters with a chance to finish each other off with minimal damage, and one with an inverted die roll, came up empty!!

Eventually the Steel Rain fell to reactive fire from Angela, but the Steel Rain was able to finish off the Sniper Grenadiers. The Laser Grenadiers made a dash up the middle, through a dummy minefield, and took some fire from the Steel Rain before it fell, and was finished off by the Gunner Rangers, before they fell to the Heavy Recon Grenadiers. The Priest sacrificed himself for the sake of the Assault Ranger Squad, and a fully healed Heavy Ranger Assault Squad took the fight to the Axis in a last ditch attempt to eliminate a Hans and finish off the Recon Grenadiers. In the final turn, the Ranger Command Squad concentrated all of their fire onto Angela to at least get some revenge for their fallen brothers. Her hard cover and armor were not enough to keep the final hit from getting through to eliminate Angela from the battle.

It was a long game, but I did still have a lot of fun. There are many aspects of this game that I like very much. Tank Killer weapons, Artillery not ignoring cover, Armor 2 Zombies, Snipers ignoring cover, Blackhawk with a good range, and a few others. Both factions seem balanced with unique and exciting options.

After looking at the battle I realized we did a few things incorrectly, which greatly changed some decisions and the course of the game.

  • Reactions are limited to 12”. Angela’s reaction on the Steel Rain was from about 34” away, and ended up eliminating the unit with the help of the Spotter, who was eliminated in the Attack. Angela shouldn’t have been able to fire until her unit phase, where she would have been without the benefit of a Spotter!
  • Close Combat differs greatly from a standard attack. They cannot be done simultaneously. Either a unit uses its ranged weapons OR its Close Combat Weapons. Units cannot “move” react to a Close Combat Attack. Units may only react to a Close Combat attack with Close Combat Weapons.
  • The Steel Rain’s Petard Mortar is an indirect fire weapon, but still limited to 24”. Much strategy was planned around the weapon being unlimited range when fired indirectly, much like the Hans’ Granatwerfer.
  • There is no Command Pool die available for a Hero that is attached to a unit.
  • Block Line Of Sight versus Obscured Line Of Sight. Soldiers don’t actually block or obscure L.O.S. for Vehicles, and only obscure L.O.S. for Soldiers. It also seems that a Defender will always gain the benefit of cover as long as they are obscured by terrain in between an attacking unit and a defending unit’s base, regardless if they are actually in the terrain.

I look forward to future games and exploring different strategies. There are many different options and combinations to try before I can make a full review and fair assessment of Dust Warfare. I hope my satisfaction with the game will increase with each experience. Good Gaming!!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Dust Tactics League Play!! 06-03-2012 - PLUS: Unit Card update!!

This week our group decided to check out OtherWorlds Games. The staff members were very accommodating and helpful. They also showed a great interest in the game and a hope for some demand in the near future. In the near future we will have a few weekends of demos that will hopefully bring new players to the group.

Also, check out the unit card tab to see nearly every new card for the upcoming second wave of SSU units, as well as the new Axis and Allied medium walkers!!

Scenario 7, Destruction:

Justin v. John

  • Attacker:
    Justin - Allies: 250 points
    Action Jackson - OZZ-177 - The Chef - Bot Hunters - Corps Officers - Grim Reapers - Hell Boys - Red Devils - Mickey
  • Defender:
    John - Allies: 250
    Bazooka Joe - Rhino - BBQ Squad - Death Dealers - Grim Reapers - Tank Busters - The Boss - The Hammers - Mickey
Long story short on this battle. Justin made a gutsy move on Turn 2 and it didn't pay off. The Bot Hunters and Corps Officers were the only units Justin had left on the table at the beginning of Turn 4. John had only lost Bazooka Joe and his BBQ Squad by this point in the game. Very short and sweet.

Victor: John - Allies

Victory Points:
  • Attacker: 250 points 
  • Defender: 74 points

John v. Nicholas
  • Attacker:
    John - Allies: 250 points
    Bazooka Joe - Rhino - BBQ Squad - Death Dealers - Grim Reapers - Tank Busters - The Boss - The Hammers - Mickey
  • Defender:
    Nicholas - Axis: 249 points
    Grenadier X - Lara - Manfred - Markus - Totenmeister - Axis Gorillas - Axis Zombies - Axis Zombies - Heavy Recon Grenadiers - Recon Grenadiers - Recon Grenadiers
This game was very back and forth. Turn 2 saw the Axis loose a squad of Recon Grenadiers and Markus with his Axis Gorillas. The Allies lost Rhino and his Grim Reapers, while the Axis lost Manfred and his Recon Grenadiers in Turn 3. Turn 4 saw the favor swing to the Axis a bit when The Allies lost Joe and his BBQ Squad along with the Tank Busters. The Axis Zombies and the Mickey were very stubborn and hard to kill, but Turn 5 finally saw the end of both units, though Totenmeister would continue to be a nuisance all the way into Turn 7. The Death Dealers also fell in Turn 5, while a revived Grim Reaper unit and The Hammers were able to hold out until Turn 7. At this point the game was called as The Allies had no way to reach the objective tile and both players units were out of range and could not move into range of each other by the end of turn 8.

Victor: Nicholas - Axis

Victory Points:
  • Attacker: 147 points 
  • Defender: 236 points

The next two games were really supposed to be a single game to determine who would face John’s SSU forces for our battle report. We played the first mission out of Zverograd to ensure a quick game. It was on small map being 5 squares deep and 6 squares wide. We played the scenario twice due to Nicholas taking Totenmeister and Zombies in a 100 point army and some debates on placement rules.

  • Justin’s 100 point Allied Army:
    Hell Boys - Johnny One-Eye - Gunner Rangers - Recon Boys - Recon Boys
  • Nicholas’ 97 point Axis Army:
    Totenmeister - Axis Zombies - Sniper Grenadiers - Recon Grenadiers - Recon Grenadiers

In the first game Nicholas eliminated both squads of Recon Boys in the first turn. In Turn 3 Totenmeister finished off Johnny and his squad of Gunner Rangers, as well as the Hell Boys. Armor 3 and Damage Resilient Zombies are tough to kill

The second game saw a bit more balance. It really came down to initiative at the end of the game. Turn 2 saw Nicholas eliminate both units of Recon Boys, as well as the Hell Boys, however Justin was able to eliminate the Totenmeister and the Axis Zombies in the same turn. Turn 3 saw the Sniper Grenadiers fall and some serious damage dealt to both squads of Recon Grenadiers. Turn 4 saw the Axis pull the upper hand with winning initiative and finishing off Johnny and his Gunner Rangers. 

Nicholas won both games and would be taking on John’s SSU forces! We used scenario 3 from Operation Zverograd for this battle. There were 3 objectives of which the Attacker must hold 2 of by the end of turn 8. Nicholas’s Axis Army were attacking in this scenario. A full battle report will appear in the new Dust Fanzine! Stay tuned for more information!

  • John’s 197 point SSU Army:
    Grand’ma - Koshka - Command Squad - Close Combat Squad - Battle Squad - Chinese Volunteers - Airborne Transport
  • Nicholas’ 200 point Axis Army:Lara - Heavy Recon Grenadiers - Recon Grenadiers - Heinrich - Heinrich - Stefan - Sturmpioniere
At the end of turn 8 Nicholas had 2 objectives, and obtained the victory.

Victory Points:
  • Nicholas - Axis: 163 Points
  • John - SSU: 45 Points
We will be back at Other Worlds Games on Sunday the 17th of June then to Red Castle Games on the 24th of June. Good Gaming!!