Recently I stumbled across a pdf file of the rules for the Dust Tactics board game online. I duly printed it out and read it in snatches on the bus over the next few weeks.
A point of caution I would make is that I’m fairly sure that the rules I read are the first edition of the rules, not the rules from the recently released Revised Core Set. But I don’t imagine that there would be such a huge difference between the old and new sets.
I was struck by how clear and simple the rules are. Of course it is a board game rather than a full fledged wargame so it’s inevitable that things would be streamlined compared to more full scale games. Everything in the game rotates around the use of special dice that are marked hit and miss, and different situations result more or less dice being rolled. It’s surprising how versatile a system that work only in 2/6 and 4/6 chances can be when applied with a bit of imagination. Shooting, armour cover and all other mechanics function based on rolling hits or misses (as appropriate).
Clearly this would be a fast paced game and I can anticipate that there could be a lot of carnage, with units potentially being wiped out in a single round of firing. With a simple fast paced game like this it’s also good that you can include additional forces to what you get in the box. Each unit has it’s own stat card so keeping track of what they can do should be fairly easy and intuitive.
The special rules for different kinds of units and weapons helps differentiate the units without over-complicating anything and I like that units have a nice mix of weapons, including limited use kit like one use anti-tank grenades. I also like that this game has rules for ‘hero’ models which can join units and enhance them as well as use their own considerable abilities.
The Dust universe, with its sci-fi alternative universe take on World War 2 is an intriguing one. And I think this board game could be a very enjoyable introduction to this universe, and indeed to miniatures gaming in general, as players can buy any combination of the additional unit boxes and then potentially branch out to play the full-on wargame version Dust Warfare.
Hope this brief review was interesting. Anyone with actual experience of playing Dust, might like to give us the benefit of their insight.
Until next time.