måndag 7 maj 2012

From Dust to Dust...

Well, I have been oogling all the nice Dust: Tactics figures that Fantasy Flight Games have been releasing the last year. I mean, what can go wrong: World War II with giant walkers and laser guns? Apparently a UFO was found just before the outbreak of World War II, and technology gleaned from it enabled the germans to win the battle of Stalingrad. By 1947 the war is still not settled, with the soviet and allied forces falling out with eachother the conflict has escalated in a three-pronged affair with all sides having access to alien technology.

Dust Tactics is sort of a board game with miniatures, that is based on the comic by Paolo Parente. I have not read the comic, but judging by the pictures on the official site, the mix is further enhanced by adding bad-ass busty babes controlling the walkers.

Oh my, what a pair of great... guns.
Sadly -- or perhaps fortunately -- the game focuses on the combat between the walkers and their supporting infantry.

Rumours about a "real" miniatures game has been around for a while, and at GenCon 2011 it was revealed that Dust Warfare, written by none other than Andy Chambers would be released shortly. Well, "shortly" turned out to mean "more than half a year" but it's finally here. Naturally I couldn't resist picking up a copy of the book being curious of the game system. All the nice pictures inside the book did their work and the day after I bought a squad of Laser Grenadiers and a Medium Panzer Walker. Doh! I will leave the Walker for another blog post, but lets take a look at the figures.

Space Nazis... mmm... Wait, look at the national symbol...
Apparently the Nazis are out, Hitler having been assassinated in 1944. The Blutkreuz organisation that's researching all the alien tech thought he was a bloody nuisance and got rid of him and his followers. That doesn't stop the germans from wanting to dominate the world and eradicate the soviets however, so it's business as usual. The germans tried to negotiate a separate peace treaty with the allies, but when the soviets found out about the negotiations they went ape-shit and declared war on the allies as well. Then the deal went sour since there was this little problem with France. Like, the french wanted it back or something. The Dust: Warfare book contains all the stats you need for the germans and allies, and a campaign book with stats for the soviet forces will be out soon.

The stat card is for Dust Tactics, the Dust Warfare book contains all the stats for germans and allies.
Inside the box is a giant plastic insert, which holds the five figures and a stat card. The figures are pre-assembled and pre-primed, and each comes packed in a small zip-lock bag of their own. The plastic insert actually have cut-outs for where the figures' bases fit, so you can sort of use the packaging for display. I doubt however that the insert will be able to hold the figures steady enough during transportation.

The Mark I personal protective assault zip-lock bag, or Sturmdruckverschlussbeutel I. 
I was surprised to see that the five figures are all different, I expected for some of the poses to be duplicated in the box set. While other boxes seem to use the same poses as this set it's not a big problem since all figures in one squad will be different.

The whole squad. (The lightening on the left figure is actually sunlight, they are all the same colour.)
The figures are multipart, which is a clever way of reducing costs by Fantasy Flight I guess. All the torsos are the same, while the legs are all different. This creates five unique poses. The common grenadier arms are all the same, while the NCO has his arms raised into a firing position, while the heavy grenadier obviously has a different set of arms and a different weapons. All heads are the same. I suspect that in the other sets just the weapons and maybe the heads are changed. However, the torsos and heads swivel, and you can raise and lower the arms a little bit, since these bits are not glued. This enables you to make small alterations in the poses for even more variation between squads.

Close ups of a normal grenadier, a heavy and the squad leader. Notice the riding pants and boots on the NCO.

As I wrote the figures are pre-assembled and pre-primed. They are made of a slightly bendy plastic which seem to take detail but it's not brittle as the resin used in GW's "FailCast" models. The sculpting is good and the details are crisp. The primer is grey for the germans and green for the allies, while the soviets will be a sort of mustard colour. This makes it easy to get the units painted and onto the gaming table, all you have to do really is pick out the details and give the figures a wash. Of course, you can go to town with a complicated camoflague scheme if you want to.

"Do you feel lucky, punk? Well do ya? Go ahead, make my day!"
Although the figures are announced as 1/48 scale they are just a tad bit larger than standard GW figures. The proportions are slightly slimmer giving the models a more realistic feel, if you can say that about WW2 figures with laser weapons!

Scheisse, his friends turned up...
Price wise, the figures cost around 15 dollars for a standard five-man squad or a three-man specialist squad, while some powered armour squads or six-man squads costs 20 dollars. A walker costs around 25 dollars and comes with different weapons options. Compare that to GW where you pay around 25-30 dollars for a ten figure plastic set or five man specialist or command set, and you realise that Dust Tactics figures are actually cheaper!

"Hey Death Korps of Krieg! WW2 called and wanted the uniforms back...."
Now, here's what I'm thinking. Getting into Dust Warfare won't cost that much, since the figures are kinda cheaper than GW. I'm thinking of getting the Dust Tactics set and splitting off the allies, which would make it even cheaper. Sure, it's still a new game, but it's not really a new period per se, nor is it a new scale. This means that I can use the 40k terrain I already have for Dust Warfare, and if I do get some of the Dust terrain available, I can probably use that for 40k as well. Heck, I can even use my old 28mm WW2 figures to represent local militia and similar troops that still use older equipment. Also, maybe it's time I start to build those 1/48 scale Tamiya kits I have lying around. 

6 kommentarer:

  1. My suggestion is to take the figures apart at the waist, cut down the peg a little, thus reducing the gap and supergluing them back together. That way you can greenstuff any remaining gap at the waist and there will be no swivelling to grind paint off the connected parts. This also allows you to mix upper and lower bodies to create individual poses even when you buy more of the same kind of minis.

    1. I'm actually glueing and filling in the waist a bit when I paint them. But in the future I might follow your advice and take them apart and rejoining them again.

  2. I've been tempted by these before and the busty ladies, I've read some of the comic and it was quite inspiring!

  3. "Sturmdruckverschlussbeutel I":-) I'm still laughing.
    I'm tempted, so very tempted...

  4. Thanks for the comparison shots. I've been dying to see them next to GW. The only thing stopping me from starting this game was not wanting to have to do, yet another, set of terrain.

    1. Laffe, or rather the printer at his office, is working on a solution to that problem as we speak, AHunt, and I hope he will post pics of the finished results.


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