Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Dust Warfare Clarifications! Sept 2012

I had some questions building up over these past months that I have been recording in odd places in and around my DUST items and finally gathered them all up to be sent in and clarified. A special thank you to Zack Tewalthomas at Fantasy Flight games for the speedy response. If anyone wishes to view the original email(s) feel free to send your request to pdxdusttactics@yahoo.com and I will forward them your way as soon as possible.

1) I noticed that The SSU Hero Nikolai does not have the "- Pilot" associated with his Take Aim skill. He is promoted as being unparalleled in Walker combat, so I am wondering if this is just a misprint, or is he not allowed to use this skill as a Pilot?

  • First Answer: Nikolai is not allowed to use his Take Aim special ability while piloting a vehicle.
  • Second Answer: Quick clarification! Nikolai's Take Aim special ability CAN be used in conjunction with the Vehicle he is piloting. Take Aim is a shared ability, which means all miniatures in the unit benefit from the ability. When Pilot is associated with a special ability, that simply means that the special ability only carries over to the Vehicle being piloted. In terms of Nikolai and Take Aim, this ability works with the Vehicle he is piloting, and also with any squad of Soldier units he might be attached to. 
  • Third Answer:You are partially correct, and I can see where there can be confusion on this issue.

    Page 52 of the Core Rulebook states: "Some special abilities are noted as "shared." If at least one miniature in the unit (including Heroes) has a shared ability, the entire unit is considered to have the ability." This would seem to not apply solely to Soldier units, as a single Aircraft or Vehicle miniature constitutes a unit as well.

    However, a Hero piloting a Vehicle is not technically part of that unit, they are simply piloting another unit and must be activated as though riding in a Vehicle through the Carry Capacity special ability (a player may choose to have the pilot do nothing during his activation, of course).

    A Hero's ability with the Pilot keyword allows a piloted Vehicle to make use of that ability, even though they are not joined together as a single unit.

    So, you are correct. Nikolai's Take Aim special ability does not have the Pilot keyword, and therefore Nikolai cannot use the Take Aim ability while piloting a Vehicle.

2) A soldier unit decides to perform a move and attack action during it's activation. After it moves an enemy unit reacts and hits, giving the activated unit a suppression marker. Does the activated unit continue on with it's second action, or does it's activation immediately end after gaining the suppression marker from the enemy reaction?
  • The activated unit continues with its second action, even if it gains a suppression during its activation. 
3) Since a low flying Aircraft is considered a Vehicle when being targeted, do the units inside an Aircraft Transport survive and deploy with a reaction marker like with Vehicles when the Aircraft Transport is eliminated, or do they still die with the Aircraft?
  • Units inside an Aircraft transport are eliminated along with the Aircraft, even if it is flying low. The only exception to this rule are units with the Air Cavalry special ability, which disembark unharmed and gain a Reaction marker.
4) I noticed a difference in the number of dice rolled for Soldier units between the SSU and Allied U.G.L. Is this intentional or a mistake?
  • It's no mistake. Allied UGLs are superior to those of the SSU. :)

5) Does the Steel Rain have a total limit of Four 4.2" Rockets?
  • No. The 4.2" Rocket System has unlimited uses, but it is a Reload weapon.

6) If the 4.2" Rockets on the Steel rain are ready to fire, why is it a "Reload" Weapon? Is it to reload 4.2" Rockets that have already been fired?
  • The Reload weapon status of the 4.2" Rocket System is in place mainly for the purpose of game mechanics. In terms of what happens in the field, the reload time can be allotted to be the preparations that are needed to prepare the next rocket for firing after each attack.
7) Can the Steel Rain fire more than One 4.2" Rocket in an attack?
  • Since the Steel Rain is not a weapon with limited ammunition, such as the bombs carried by SSU helicopters, the number of rockets being fired is irrelevant to the attack. When an attack is made with the Steel Rain's 4.2" Rocket System, it simply rolls a 5/1 attack against its target. Whether one, two or four rockets are being fired is up to you, but a 5/1 attack will be resolved regardless. I prefer to imagine the rockets being fired one at a time, but that's just me. :)
8) Can the Steel Rain fire both of it's Indirect Weapons during the same Indirect Attack? I.E., I trace a line of sight from the Command Squad to a Walker at 19" from the Steel Rain for the Petard Mortar, and another line of sight from 13 Foxtrot to an enemy soldier unit for the 4.2" Rocket.
  • Yes.
9) Can Artillery Direct Fire be sustained for a re-roll on the attack dice?
  • Yes
10) From where is cover determined for Indirect Artillery Fire? Does it come from the Artillery Unit, the Artillery Strike unit, or does the target only benefit from cover that it is in base contact with?
  • Cover for Indirect Fire is determined from the unit with the Artillery Strike special ability.
11) Can The Chef hold a "Key Position Objective" without having to reveal himself.
  • Yes
12) The Compulsory Move Action for Aircraft; does this count towards the total number of actions for the unit, or is it a "free" action? So one could potentially do the Compulsory move and simultaneously drop a bomb, then perform a sustained attack for it's 2 actions? Or even compulsory move/drop bomb, regular move/drop bomb, and then perform an attack? Now matter how I look at it this totals up to 3 actions and the rules specifically state that Aircraft are limited to 2 actions, just like any other unit. Most people seem to think the compulsory move is free, but it is still listed as an action (hence Compulsory move ACTION, instead of just Compulsory move).
  • The Compulsory Move action of an Aircraft unit does not count towards the total number of actions a unit receives as part of its activation. It is possible for an Aircraft unit to drop a bomb during its Compulsory Move action, and then make a Sustained Attack action. It is also possible for an Aircraft unit to drop a bomb during its Compulsory Move action, drop another bomb during its declared Move action, and then perform a declared Attack action. It is important to keep in mind, however, that–unless the Aircraft unit has the Hover special ability–the Compulsory Move action must be resolved by moving forward in a straight line in directly from the center of its front arc, and it may not change its facing before or after the movement. Additionally, once a bomb has been used, it is removed from the game and cannot be used again.
    According to page 15 of the Zverograd rulebook: "Like other units, Aircraft activate in the Unit phase and declare two actions…However, they must maintain forward momentum by making a required Compulsory Move action during each activation." They are never explicitly "limited" to two actions. These lines in the rulebook are simply stressing that they must declare actions during their activation as does any other unit. Step 3 of an Aircraft activation, "Declare Actions" is where these two actions are declared. This occurs after step 2, "Resolve Compulsory Move Action."
    The Compulsory Move action is not a "free" action, so to speak. It is a required action that must be performed before declaring and resolving a unit's standard actions. This can be both a benefit or a detriment to an Aircraft unit. If an Aircraft unit is not positioned carefully, it may open itself up to attack Reactions from enemy units, since units may React to Compulsory Move actions.
13) The Charge ability; It sounds like that at GenCon there was a ruling that Charge does not trigger a reaction. There is nothing even remotely addressing this in the rulebook, so I am trying to put the pieces together. Is the entire action (Move March + Attack) immune to reaction, or just the Attack at the end? So Markus and his gorillas could move 12"/18"(w/ fast) every turn and, as long as they are within the 3" required for their close combat weapons, never trigger a reaction?
  • The judge made his ruling and it was upheld by the players, which made for an excellent and sportsmanlike tournament. However, the ruling at GenCon was incorrect. The issue regarding the Charge special ability will be addressed in the next FAQ update. 
  • The Charge special ability allows a unit to make a March Move action followed by a bonus Attack action. Charge provides a unit with an extra Attack action. It does not combine the actions into a single super-action. Therefore, a unit with no Reaction or Suppression markers could React to either the March Move action or the bonus Attack action.

Some of these make a lot of sense and others I am having a hard time with.
  •  The Allied 4.2" Rockets can fire 1, 2, 3, or 4 Rockets at a time and will only do 5/1 damage, period. That just makes no sense whatsoever... How can 4 times the fire power of 1 rocket have no additional attack die?
  • I'm still not a fan of the Aircraft triple action in the unit phase ruling. After looking at some strategies in the last Warfare game I can see how flying low spells a very good chance of death for any vehicle, so the triple actions aircraft have might not be so bad. And for those who have disagreed with me I say triple actions because of the Compulsory Move Action + 2 Actions in the unit phase (subject to vehicle damage and reaction markers from the command phase where an action was still used) always gives a maximum of 3 actions. Triple is a term to reflect a pattern of 3. Hence triple actions.
  • I am not too surprised by the UGL clarification. I guess there were different yields on grenades so it is very plausible. It's pretty obvious that the rules clearly show that Charge in no-way-shape-or-form prevents reactions, though I could understand if either the move OR the attack action were immune to reaction since it is a "Heroic" ability. But having a unit that could potentially move 18" and attack every turn without ever triggering a reaction is a bit much, even for the world of DUST.

Stay tuned for more updates soon! Good Gaming!

Monday, September 17, 2012

PDX Dust Leage Update!

We were able to play some more games on August 26th and September 16th. 4 Tactics games and 1 Warfare game in total. Each section is marked with it's appropriate logo, starting with the Tactics Games. Also be sure to check out the PDX Dust League standings. The Awards Section has also been updated with a picture of the First Place award package.

Nicholas and Justin continued their Operation Cyclone Campaign, playing missions 2 thru 5. All 4 games were pretty brutal and most of them finished with one side being completely eliminated. We only have pictures of the 5th mission since we are sometimes lazy bastards and/or too focused on the game at hand.

Mission 2: Counterattack
Date of Play: 08/26/2012
Justin v. Nicholas

Four Ammo Crate and 4 Tank Traps to be placed in the highlighted area. 8 Turns. 300 Points. Elimination.
  • Attacker:
    Justin - Allies: 300 points
    Bazooka Joe - Johnny One-Eye - Rhino - 13 Foxtrot - 13 Foxtrot - Corps Officers - Grim Reapers - Red Devils - The Boss - The Gunners - Steel Rain - Cobra
  • Defender:
    Nicholas - Axis: 299 points
    Grenadier X - Lara - Markus - Totenmeister - Axis Gorillas - Axis Zombies - Axis Zombies - Beobachter - Heavy Recon Grenadiers - Recon Grenadiers - Heinrich - Flamm-Luther
Both of the Allied units with Phaser weapons managed to live up to their standards of drastic under performance. Each faction lost a unit of Observer Teams in Turn 3, while Markus and his Gorillas made short work of the Allied Cobra. The Allied did gain a little revenge in Turn 4 when the Steel Rain was able to concentrate Direct Fire onto Markus and his Gorillas to eliminate the Blutkreuz Ape unit. The Red Devils were also able to score 2 hits, which lead to exactly 3 damage points on 12 dice (21.20%, where there is a 60.69% chance of rolling 4 or more hits). However, the Allies lost one of their strongest units, Rhino and his Grim Reapers to Markus and his Gorillas before they were dealt with. In Turn 5 Lara and her Heavy Recon Grenadiers were able to get in range of The Boss Squad and eliminated the Allied command unit with ease. The Red Devils also fell to Grenadier X and his Zombies. The Steel Rain feel to Grenadier X and his Zombies early in the Turn 6. The Corps Officers were able to successfully eliminate the Heavy Recon Grenadiers, but Lara survived the attack. She took the opportunity to eliminate Bazooka Joe and his Observer Team. In Turn 7 the Allies only had their Corps Officers and Johnny with his Gunner Rangers left in the fight, however the Axis took the initiative and a well placed charge from Grenadier X and his Zombies saw the destruction of both unit. 
  • Victor: Nicholas - Axis

Mission 3: Close The Window
Date of Play: 08/26/2012
Justin v. Nicholas

No cover available. 8 Turns. The Attacker wins as soon as they have a unit in the red objective square.  The Defender wins in any other outcome. The Attacker has 160 units to deploy in Turn 1, and 140 points to deploy in Turn 2. The Defender has 40 points each Turn to bring units onto the board (we played is as a cumulative amount).
  • Attacker:
    Justin - Allies: 300 points
    Bazooka Joe - Johnny One-Eye - Rhino - 13 Foxtrot - 13 Foxtrot - Corps Officers - Grim Reapers - Red Devils - The Boss - The Gunners - Steel Rain - Cobra
  • Defender:
    Nicholas - Axis: 185 points
    Turn 1: Axis Zombies
    Turn 2: Markus - Axis Gorillas
    Turn 3: Recon Grenadiers - Recon Grenadiers
    Turn 4: Lara - Heavy Recon Grenadiers
    Turn 5: Axis Zombies
The Allied cockiness definitely contributed the their loss in this game. While the mission appeared very difficult for an Allied Attacker to screw up, the Defender found a great way to impede the Attackers progress. He place the zombies into the game on the First Turn very close to the objective then moved them into the objective square immediately in the Second Turn. This came immediately after the Allies foolishly Stim-Packed Rhino and his Reapers could move directly into the objective square and secure the victory. So with that strategy in the mud the Steel Rain decided to focus fire onto the Axis Zombies, but were unable to fully eliminate the Damage Resilient unit at any point in the game. The Red Devils fell to Markus and his Gorillas in Turn 2, but were immediately attacked by Rhino and his Grim Reapers after the Stim-Pack was used to move towards the objective, and still able to sustain fire for 8 hits and the kill on the Gorillas, with Markus barely clinging to life. Both units of Recon Grenadiers focused fire on Rhino and his Grim Reapers in the Third Turn. Markus was finished off by the Corps Officers. Turn 4 was primarily in the Axis favor with Lara and her Heavy Recon Grenadiers eliminating Johnny and his Gunner Rangers, while The Recon Grenadiers finished off Bazooka Joe and his 13 Foxtrot unit. The Corps Officers scored another kill in Turn 5 on the Recon Grenadiers, but Lara and her Heavies were quick to retaliate and eliminate the Allied command unit. A second Recon Grenadier unit was finished off by the solo 13 Foxtrot Team. Turn 6 saw the game come to its close when Axis Zombies attacked the Cobra to eliminate the Allied Walker, and the only chance for the Allies to reach the objective square by Turn 8. Lara and her Heavies kept their onslaught and eliminated both The Boss Squad and the solo 13 Foxtrot Team.
  • Victor: Nicholas - Axis

Mission 4:  The Crossroads
Date of Play: 08/26/2012
Justin v. Nicholas 

4 Ammo Crates and 4 Tank Traps in highlighted area. If one player has a unit on either of the objective squares, and the other player does not, they immediately win the scenario. If the game lasts until the end of Turn 8, then calculate victory points as normal. 300 points each.
  • Attacker:
    Justin - Allies: 300 points
    Bazooka Joe - OZZ-177 - The Chef - 13 Foxtrot - BBQ Squad - Corps Officers - Grim Reapers - Hell Boys - Steel Rain - Rattler - Rattler
  • Defender:
    Nicholas - Axis: 298 points
    Grenadier X - Lara - Manfred - Markus - Stefan - Totenmeister - Axis Gorillas - Axis Zombies - Axis Zombies - Beobacther - Beobachter - Heavy Recon Grenadiers - Recon Grenadiers - Sniper Grenadiers - Sturmpioniere
Three rounds was all it took to finish up this Mission. The First Turn brought no action, and the bloodshed began at the beginning of Turn 2. The Steel Rain took an opportunity to eliminate Grenadier X's Axis Zombies, thought he Zombie Hero did not fall. A Rattler scored an elimination when it was able to concentrate it's fire on a wounded Totenmeister and Axis Zombies to finish off the Bluetkreuz Zombies combination. Lara and her Heavy Recon Grenadiers scored heavy damage on Chef and his Hell Boys, to eliminate the Ranger unit. Markus and his Gorillas were quick to followup and finish off The Chef. A wounded Joe was eliminated by a well placed Sniper shot. The Rattler advanced a little too far and was eliminated by Panzerfaust's from the Sturmpioniere unit while they also focused their other weapons onto the BBQ Squad to score two elimination in one single attack. The Allies used Turn 3 to finish off Grenadier X, while the Steel Rain focused it's fire on Markus and his Gorillas to eliminate the unit. The Corps Officers fell to Manfred and his Recon Grenadiers, 13 Foxtrot and OZZ were simultaneously eliminated by Lara and her Heavies, and Stefan and his Sturmpioniere's did an excellent job eliminating the Steel Rain. At the end of the Turn the Axis had a unit on an objective square while the Allies did not, and thus won the Mission.
  • Victory: Nicholas - Axis

Mission 5: They're Here!
Date of Play: 09-16-2012
Justin v. Nicholas 

No cover. 8 Turns. If either player has a unit on the objective square at the end of a round, they gain 20 victory points. The player with the most points at the end of the 8 Turns is declared the winner. 240 points each.
  • Attacker:
    Justin - Allies: 239 points
    OZZ-177 - Rhino - The Priest - Crack Shots - Crack Shots - Grim Reapers - Grim Reapers - Hell Boys - Mickey - Rattler
  • Defender:
    Nicholas - Axis: 246 points
    Grenadier X - Lara - Markus - Stefan - Totenmeister - Axis Gorillas - Axis Zombies - Axis Zombies - Heavy Recon Grenadiers - Sturmpioniere
The action began early when the Allied Mickey deployed, then fired on Stefan and his Sturmpioniere's hiding behind a corner. Markus and his Gorillas were quick to respond with a deploy-Charge combo to successfully eliminate the Allied Walker. Rhino then immediately placed with his Grim Reapers and eliminated the Blutkreuz Apes with a Berserk Attack. OZZ and his Grim Reapers were on the objective square at the end of the Turn and scored 20 points for the Allies. The Allies won initiative and took the opportunity to do a Heroic Stand sustained attack on Lara and her Heavy Recon Grenadiers to successfully eliminate the heavy unit, but Lara was left standing. The Priest and his Hell Boys moved in on Grenadier X and his Zombies, but eventually they fell to the undead unit. The Rattler was successful in finishing off the wounded Stefan and Sturmpioniere unit. Rhino and his Grim Reapers were also successful in finishing off a wounded Totenmeister and her Axis zombies. The Second Turn ended with OZZ and his Grim Reapers still on the objective tile for 20 more points. Turn 3 was the end of the Axis threat as Lara was finished off by OZZ and his Grim Reapers, still safely on the objective square, while Rhino and his Grim Reapers finished off Grenadier X and his Zombies. With a unit safely on the square, with no opposition, until the end of round 8, the Allies racked up a total of 406 victory points.
  • Victor: Justin - Allies

1st Platoon
Command Section:SSU Command SquadRanger Command Squad
1st SectionSSU Rifle SquadHeavy Ranger Attack Squad
2nd SectionSSU Battle SquadCombat Ranger Squad
3rd Section---Combat Ranger Squad
4th Section---Ranger Weapon Squad
HeroKoshkaJohnny One-Eye
Support Units
-Observer Team
-Steel Rain
Platoon UpgradePolitical ImportanceAdditional Resources
2nd Platoon
Command Section:SSU Command SquadHeavy Ranger Command Squad
1st SectionSSU Close Combat SquadHeavy Ranger Assault Squad
2nd SectionSSU Close Combat Squad---
3rd Section------
4th Section------
Hero---Bazooka Joe
Support Units-Natasha
-Observer Team
Platoon UpgradePolitical ImportanceAir Drop
  • Objective: Key Positions
    • Allies: Ruined Corner Building & Light Green Tree Hill
    • SSU: Small Cottage near deployment zone & Large Dark Green Tree Hill
  • Deployment: Advancing Lines
  • Condition: Off Target Shelling

The Allies consistently rolled 2 orders each Turn, except Turn 5 when 4 orders were rolled. The SSU only won the initiative on the Third Turn. The SSU Howitzer's 24" range and ability to ignore cover was a great advantage to the SSU in this battle. An early elimination happened in the Second Turn when the Allied Heavy Ranger Attack Squad jumped into take a brutally unsuccessful shot at a SSU Command Squad and were eliminated off by the SSU Rifle Squad.. Turn 3 brought SSU losses after the Ranger Weapon Squad was finally able to score some hits to finish off an injured SSU Battle Squad, with Commissar. Both Natasha's were able to score kills with their Howitzer's on Joe and his Combat Ranger Squad along with Johnny and his Combat Ranger Squad. The Ranger Weapon Squad took cover in the destroyed corner structure, but eventually fell in Turn 4 to the mighty Howitzer's, and left the Allied Key Position empty. Turn 5 saw some of the Allied efforts pay off when they finally scored enough hits on the Grand'ma to eliminate the Rare Unit. The SSU Rifle Squad fell to the fire of the Heavy Ranger Command Squad. SSU units were successful in eliminating the Allied Observer Unit and injured Heavy Ranger Assault Squad, clearing the Allied Key Position. Thankfully both the Ranger Command Squad and the Steel Rain were close enough to move into each objective and hold them through the SSU unit phase. In the end, both factions occupied their objectives for 2 Superiority Points each for a Draw.
  • Victor: Draw

Stay in touch for more updates coming soon!! Good Gaming!!