|Dust Tactics Lets You Take the Fight Indoors
A look at Dust Tactics and the new structure rules from Operation SeeLöwe
|Dust Tactics | Published 07 July 2011||Rating||12 votes|
Operation SeeLöwe shifts the war’s focus to the naval base of Scapa Flow in Scotland, where Axis forces invade to steal new, secret Allied technology. As battles rage in Scapa Flow, troops are able to take advantage of resources they couldn’t find during the fierce battles in barren Antarctica–buildings!
The eight new scenarios in Operation SeeLöwe all provide players the opportunity to incorporate buildings into their battles and campaign. As a result, this changing terrain places a newfound emphasis on squads, movement abilities, and attacks that ignore cover, like flamethrowers and UGLs.
Focused fire from a massive combat walker like the Luther can devastate any squad of soldiers, so it’s never been wise for squads to stand in the open as walkers marched forward, raining death on their positions. They can seek cover behind ammo crates and tank traps, but their limited range and firepower put them at a severe disadvantage on an open battlefield.
A squad like the Recon Boys provides an efficient means of dealing with enemy soldiers, but they’re just not equipped to deal with walkers, especially at range. A Luther’s driver, given enough time, could hold his walker out of range of infantry weapons until he destroyed the squad’s cover or forced it out of hiding. Even the Hell Boys’ devastating flamethrowers only frighten walker drivers if the Hell Boys can live long enough to rush next to the walkers they intend to torch.
With the new urban tactics encouraged by the structure rules in Operation SeeLöwe, squads like the Recon Boys and Hell Boys can work to accomplish mission objectives while hiding safely away from walker cannons. There are two types of structures, hangars and buildings. Hangars occupy a full terrain tile, while any structure that occupies less than a full terrain tile is a building. Walkers can not enter buildings, nor destroy their walls, so if your squad bunkers up within a building, in order to get them, your opponent has to send in squads of his own.
Sample Hangar: Two hangars side by side. Each measures a full three-by-three square grid. Walkers can enter these terrain tiles.
Sample Building: The building does not measure a full three-by-three square grid. Walkers may not enter this terrain tile.
Structures also allow your squads to claim new advantages as they attack walkers. Squads within structures gain hard cover against enemy units outside the structure and soft cover against enemy forces within the structure. That soft cover stacks with the cover provided by ammo crates and corners. This means your squad can get into position at a hangar bay door and fire at an approaching walker while benefitting from hard cover against returning fire. If your opponent manages to rush the walker into the hangar, your squads can maneuver and gain hard cover by ducking behind ammo crates or around a wall.
The Allied forces at Scapa Flow use the cover they find in structures to their advantage, living by the motto, “You can’t shoot what you can’t find.”
The Last Stand
All the scenarios in Operation SeeLöwe encourage players to make new strategic decisions during the assault or defense of buildings, but one of them, The Last Stand, tests the limits of players’ abilities to adjust their tactics for the new battlefields.
In this brutal scenario, the attacker launches an all-out assault against a defender with only half as many army points. To compensate for the loss of half an army, the defender gains control of the battlefield’s only building. The defender’s goal? Merely to survive!
The attacker may have a massive advantage in available troops, but the defender’s ability to control choke points and cover will decide this battle.
While Dust Tactics continues to shine when its fearsome combat walkers patrol large swaths of a battlefield, scenarios like The Last Stand give squads their moment in the spotlight and encourage players to try new army builds.
As World War II rages on in the world of Dust Tactics, generals need to adapt their strategies for the new urban warfare. No longer can walkers march directly to every enemy squad and annihilate it. Axis and Allied forces alike must prepare for sieges–to destroy enemy forces holed up in buildings and to secure those buildings vital to their missions.
Dust Tactics is a tactical miniatures game of brutal combat for 2-4 players. Based on the popular universe created by artist Paolo Parente, Dust Tactics presents an alternate 1940s reality in which alien technology fuels gigantic machines of war, and the world's superpowers clash over rare mineral deposits that could ultimately decide the outcome of WWII.