I finally got the chance to play Dust on Saturday during a day of gaming at Scott's house. We managed to get through the first four missions, but to be honest, we were playing at a very relaxed pace; not making any real attempt to plow through the mission book. We played five games in total, swapping out sides and not really keeping score in any way.
Having run the first mission for Jamie and Scott the week before, I was au fait with the rules and ready to tackle the scenarios from the book. We ran reconnaisance with Paul controlling the Axis army and me in charge of the American advance.
This was also Paul's first game and he opted for a Luther, laser grenadiers and recon grenadiers. I chose a pounder, BBQ squad and gunners.
It started fairly tentatively with both sides using their activations to set up angles of fire and arrange their battle lines. I had anticipated that it would run in much the same way as my earlier battle report, but I reckoned without the devastating power of charge and self repair. My pounder scored a potentially catastrophic hit on the Luther during its activation only to be charged and torn apart in response. To rub salt into the wound, the Luther then rolled 3 hits for self repair and was good as new in time for the next round when it killed 4 gunners taking cover behind a corner!
By this time, my deadly BBQ squad had either crispy fried or gunned down three of their opponents in the laser grenadier squad before losing most of their number to the Luther's flak cannon. The gunners' bazooka scored a hit on the Luther, (which it repaired) before the battle grenadiers bracketed him and unleashed a hail of automatic fire. The plucky ranger was not to be undone however, as he managed hits saves against the three scoring shots! The Luther managed a full repair AGAIN and the laser grenadiers scored hits on the BBQ squad
The next round saw all but two of the BBQ squad beamed into bloody chunks by their opposite number in the laser grenadiers. They took their opportunity to use fast and engaged the Luther with 2 Demo charges. The mighty German Leviathan reeled as internal explosions reverberated across the frozen wastes.
Then it stepped on the two remaining assault rangers, (The big, metal Cunt).
The last ranger opened up with his missile launcher and caused a hit point on the Luther. The battle grenadiers rewarded him with a veritable deluge of lead and that spelled the end for my allied advance.
All in all, a great game system. I'm throroughly impressed by its playability, atmosphere and aesthetic. If you need any further proof of its entertainment potential, then consider this:
Of the four people playing this campaign, I am the only wargamer.
Over the years, I've tried my best to get these three guys along to my gaming group. I've tried Warhammer, Warmachine, Firestorm Armada... nothing. The only other game that I've ever convinced them to play was the awesome Incursion. The more I play modern, miniature-based board games, the more I like them. I'm already e-baying my copy of Space Hulk as I write this, as I'll need the cash for more troops. LOTS more troops, (see the next post on 'Operation Cyclone').
Thanks for reading and try Dust. Price tag aside, you probably won't look back.