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!


  1. Great post, covered off several questions we ran into in our first games of Dust we played yesterday.

  2. Great job, thanks for the answers to these questions.