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Warmahordes player on the fence with DW - Help me out please.

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Hi all.
After listening to the rave review from the D6 Generation got sucked into the hype that is Dust Warfare. As my gaming group has invested a lot of time and money to Warmachine/Hordes and there's not enough time to play all the games we have, I was wondering if you could give me an insight on if D:W is something we might enjoy.

I think Warmachine/Hordes is a great game, but there are two things that are turn off for me:

1. Our games seem to become a festival of trying to google if you can pull off a charge or have enough range for shooting. This results a really long, 3-4 hour long, brainburner of a game, which is not fun, just exhausting. The other things you have to remember during the game like different unique abilities of different units and activation order importance don't really help the speed/pondering factor either.

2. The scenarios are like sports. Both sides have matching objectives and both sides know what the other tries to do. Especially the low point games (we play 25 points) tend to ignore the scenario objectives completely as assasinating the warcaster is so much easier.

So the questions are: How long is a typical Dust Warfare game and how are the scenarios? Also is there any campaign in the book and if yes how is it? Is there any ex-Warmachine/Hordes players here who could give me an insight on how much lighter (and more fun) Dust Warfare is?


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Dust Warfare games typically last 1.5 - 3 hours, but it depends on how many points / units you end up playing with and the kind of people you're playing with, so it can range quite a bit.  But if you're looking for a small, quick, game, you can do it with Dust Warfare.

The book comes with 5 campaign scenarios, which are all interesting, and one even involves secret objectives where you don't know what your oppoenent is trying to do.  They are really well laid out and a lot of fun.

If you don't use the scenarios, it has a "Battle Builder", where each player bids scenario points to build a scenraio, with different objective, deployment, and field condition options.  This makes for a huge variety of scenarios, and another piece of strategy to the game where you try to pick your battlefiled to match your army, while your opponent tries to do the same thing for theirs.  This is a really neat mechanic, and works to iron out inbalances as well.

I don't know much about Warmachine/Hordes, but it looks like Dust Warfare does address the particular issues you have with it.


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I briefly got into Warmahordes after Mk II came out.  In fact, I just sold my two (small) armies and bought Dust minis with the proceeds.

My biggest problem with W/H was how heavily exception based it was.  I really feel that to be even a decent player, you really had to understand all the synergies of everyone else's units.  It seems like I played a number of games where I would make moves that, under normal circumstances, would make sense, only to have my opponent explain that his caster's particular spell, combined with a specific unit's ability, allows some other unit to destroy me in one swoop.

I also think it's quite obvious there are some faction balance issues.  Before I knew much about the game, I went with a Rhulic force, based on the look of the Jacks, only to find that they were underwhelming, and people would express their sympathies for me before we played.

I also think W/H suffers badly from the 'I go, you go' problem, where you make your moves, and then watch helplessly while your opponent does whatever.

Lastly, of course, is price.  I tried W/H because I like 28mm war games, but didn't want to pay $50 for a single squad (GW Terminators).  So PP turns around and gives me a single squad (Ogrum Assault Corps) for $70.  corazon_roto.gif


So in comparison:

D:W seems a lot less exception based.  There are a few (zombies and apes don't get suppressed, certain weapons ignore cover, etc), but it doesn't seem as dramatic as the exceptions in W/H.  I don't think any unit or character completely breaks the rules, whereas every caster / warlock intentionally breaks the rules.

The forces seem pretty even (though there are only two right now…).  Even within the forces, there don't seem to be any units that are absolutely worthless.  Just about any unit can be really effective in the right role (even the laser grenadiers happy.gif).  In play, if you know a unit can't damage any other unit, the suppression rules often make it so that they can still be useful.  The other thing is that there seems to be good balance between the infantry and walkers.  Unlike some other games, the walkers / vehicles / jacks / warbeasts don't completely dominate the game.  Most infantry uinits have a chance to damage if not outright destroy a walker in the right circumstances.

The reactions and command phase really do keep you involved and making important decisions the whole time.

And the price is great.  Infantry are $15 to $20, and the biggest vehicle in the game is $40.

The caveat is that the game is new.  There are effectively only two forces (though the SSU minis are in stores, and the rules should be out soon).  It's easy to understand all the units because there are so few of them right now, in comparison to other games.  But regardless, I feel like the game is much more balanced in it's design philosophy, and seems a lot more engaging to play.




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 I'm a current Warmachine/Hordes player and while I love that game system I find that I usually want to play something on the side that is fun without being the brain bender that you spoke about. Ergo I usually look for a good skirmish game to get into. 

Things to like:

1. It's cheap. For about $100 you can get a 150pt army or for $70 you can buy the revised core set and get 2 armies and add from there.

2. It's easy. No really the game just started and the special rules are subtle. The melee actions are simplified and moral rules involve counters you place on a unit not modifiers and dice rolls with multiple checks each round.

3. Theme. If you like building a theme and actually watching it do well on the table then Dust is for you. 

4. It plays fast. You can do 150pt games in a half hour and 300pt games in 45min. Don't argue about rules, just move forward and shoot the bad guys play style.

Things that might deter you:

1.  Heroes are not universally available and are often in expensive Dust Tactics expansion sets. It's true and you may pay as much as $45 just to get 2 heroes. That said you always get the pieces to play Dust Tactics should you wish from the boxes AND you get extra game terrain to boot in the form of tank traps and ammo crates. Sometimes you get a building.

2. The rule book is poorly edited. While the game is easy to play there are lots of print & layout errors in the book which makes it hard to digest. You literally have to read almost the whole book just to catch all the little rules left here and there in the rule book. There is however a commercially available PDF version of the rulebook which you can load onto a tablet or laptop and use a search function during the game instead of flipping pages. It's $20 for the digital and $40 for the hardback. And the first errata/FAQ is up in the support section of this website.

3. Theme is great but if you are looking for a competitive game this might not be it. There are balance issues and some broken shenanigans like sticking certain heroes and units together results in dennying your opponent either or both cover and armor saves. But so far both sides have access to some form of these shenanigans.

4. It's plays fast but for some the game will still bog down. The game has a strategy like 3rd Ed 40k where terrain placement can be like a game of chess and really dictates the flow of the game to be easier or harder for one player or the other. If you play zombies and put out a bunch of thin but wide & tall LOS blocking terrain you will have a far easier time than if you opponent breaks up your plan with interspaced fire corridors that leave your troops exposed. Where warmahordes had specific terrain placements for different scenarios this game has guidelines with not hard rules on terrain piece limitations. Which is why it's a fun type game and not really a hard core game.

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Ask yourself if your friends will abandon WH for another game, what's the point in buying into new game title if they allready want to play WH?

I would get a book, proxy some squads with what you have  and give it a go before you'll start shopping spree. see for yourself if it suits you. But from your description DW is what you are looking for.

Units have their special abillities and there are special weapons but they are not game breaking changes and few, despite  the fact that some units are geared toward one role on a battlefield (like gorillas are close combat only), most of them are well balanced but the game being only so long on the market there might be few issues with that, but its easy to rule it out (unless you are playing with rulelawyers), some units seems to be broken like heavy walkers are almost immune to enemy fire, and snipers are overpowered, also some heroes can be nasty if combined with a unit, hopefully they will balance it out properly in the future, I doub't it was well playtested. Anyway its still fun beer and pretzels game.

In this game weapon damage depends on what you try to hit, so a machinegun won't hurt a tank, and bazooka will have little effect on infantry etc, its like rock paper scissors, gorillas for example can tear thru infantry and tanks like a hot knife thru butter but it is useless against flying units, the exeptions are intuitive and easy to remember.

Where it come's to scenarios, I think you could create whatever you can imagine, the book encurages to create your own scenario and objectives, rules exceptions etc, and If you want to start from Core set you will have few scenarios in the Dust Tactics rule book, they are designed for Tactics but still can be a inspiration to create your own, I rather play narrative scenario than turnament dry one, but you can always use the battle builder where after you saw  your oponent army you then bid on 3 different categories: Objectives, Deployment, Conditions, to make it fair play whatever army you have depoloyed.

The game is fast and bloody, leave a unit in the open and his gone, thankfully the game rely on heavily on terrain, best would be a piece to block completly line of sight for tanks and infantry, something tall, because tanks in contrast to infantry have long ranges (artillery will shread everything to pieces if you will have open table). Designers recommend at least 25% of the table to be laid with terrain, also infantrys short ranges (16'') forces you to maneuver a lot.

The game uses You go I go, so it could be slowed down by someone who calculates his every move, and you can premeasure in this game, there is also a lot of tactical decisions to make so if your oponent suffers from paralysis analysis syndrome buy a **** chess clock. Don't be fooled, reaction is 12'' only and if you are wise you will lay suppression before you will atack or try to avoid reactions as much as you can, so probably they wont happen so often.

Typical lenght of a turnament size army 300-450 I would say is around hour and half of play. Its fairly easy to learn but still tactical, there is no campaign in the book but that doesn't mean you can create one. Dust tactics have a long campaigns if you could somehow transfer their scenarios into Warfare world.

I don't like few companys business decisions, like they still don't plan on releasing separate heroes from expansions making it a pain in the back side to create your dreamt of army, time will show if they will listen to their fan base, a lot of people are liking this game, for me its mediocre and could be something much better.

Whatever you will hear about the game, try it first… And happy gaming


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 I've been playing WM/Hordes for 6 years this summer. I've been a PG for a year and a half. I think you'll like Dust Warfare more based on what your WM/Hordes complaints are with one caveat…

Expect to look up a lot of the hero, unit and weapon special abilities in you first several games as you learn them. 

This can be mitigated by printing out fan-made cards as soon as possible. There are a number of threads here where community members have produced some first rate cards. 

I'm strongly considering stepping down from my PG status in WM/Hordes as power creep which was fixed in MKiI is creeping back in, and I prefer the Rock, Paper, Scissor choices in Dust Warfare to the ones in WM/Hordes. A balanced tourney list in DW stands a reasonable chance of winning every game. A balanced list in WM/Hordes will be tabled by 1-2 opponents in any 4-round tournament. The events I win in WM/Hordes (fair number), have been more based on which opponent and list I faced in which round than in my ability as a table-top tactician. I am far more satisfied with winning an event due to skill in every game, rather than luck of the draw in half the games. 

My favorite thing about DW is how the game mechanics actually swing the battle back and forth to where you rarely can tell for sure who's going to win until the last turn. In WM/Hordes, I can reasonably predict who'll win before dice are even thrown, and I'll predict 90% of the winners by turn 2, allowing a 10% chance for bad dice, or colossal error in judgement by the player who gains the early advantage. 

I still love WM/Hordes, and we have a strong player base of that game here. However, I'd rather play DW any day. Now my challenge is to convert other lovers of WM/Hordes. I'm facing a bigger battle getting a good DW community going than you are, as it sounds like your player-base could use a change. 

Strong selling points for you will be the pre-measuring and limited numbers of rules ignoring abilities. And most of those abilities are used by both factions. There is no "Legion of Everbroke" that ignores LOS as nearly an entire faction. gui%C3%B1o.gif

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Whoa. Thanks all for your very well thought and insightful answers. I'm sure we will continue to play WarmaHordes too, but as I'd love to have something a bit lighter DW sure seems to fit the bill. As a painter/modeler I'm loving the models and since we can use the same terrain for both games which is a big thing for me (as I'm the one who builds the terrain for our group). We're not tournament players and what I'm looking for is to have two armies which we can have fun with and play a bit less competetive, faster and fun games. The added bonus is that with the core set I can play Dust Tactics with the members our our gaming group who are not much into miniatures games. My only worry is that after dragging a couple of guys into WarmaHordes they will feel cheated after spending a lot of money into PP miniatures. But I guess if I present them a fun alternative game every now and then it won't be too bad.

I had already decided that I'll wait and see but you guys reeled me right back in… well done :)

Thanks once more, I really appreciate it.

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 Warmachine is M:TG in miniatures form.  It is all about "deck building" and pulling off combos.  It is geared to tornament style "sportsmachine" play.  The lack of quality scenario/campaign play is one of the things that eventually turned me away from Warmachine after playing it for about 7 years heavily.

You may find elements of this in Warfare, but not to the same degree, and the Battlebuilder system allows players to have more of a say in what each game will be like.

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