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Monday, December 24, 2012

How to get started in Dust Warfare

By Jason

To follow up on caanaan's article on why you should be playing Dust Warfare, I thought I would talk a bit about what you actually need to have in order to play the game.

Dust Warfare is a set of rules that allow you to play a tabletop wargame using your miniatures from the Dust Tactics board game.  So, first off, you'll need the Dust Warfare Core Rulebook.

This will provide you with all the rules you need to play the game, as well as army lists for both the Axis and Allies factions.

The later campaign books, Campaign Book Zverograd and Campaign Book Hades, contain the rules for the SSU.  If you want to play the SSU, you will want to pick up both of these books, in addition to the Core Rulebook.

All of these books are available in both physical form and as digital downloads.  The digital versions are available at half the cost of the physical copies.  This is nice for new players who want to get all the books and save a little money.

If you play Axis or Allies, these books are still nice to have.  Each one contains rules for new units for every faction.  Zverograd alsocontains a whole section of 3-player missions.  Hades contains unit upgrades for every faction, as well as a map-based campaign system.

Starting You Army:

After you decide which faction you want to play, you're going to need some models.  If you want to play either Axis or Allies, the best place to start is the Dust Tactics Revised Core Set.

It comes with around 150 points for each of the two factions, and all of the models in the set are unique to the set.  You can't get them anywhere else (except the second-hand market, that is).  Each of the forces is a legal force in Dust Warfare and is perfectly playable for your first few games.

It's nice to have a small force from a different faction in order to teach the game to a friend.  If you have a friend that wants to get started in the game with you, this box is great to split between two people.

If you want to get started with the SSU, there is no starter set for you.  You'll need to start with a command section from one of the platoons available. 

This can either be a command squad, or a hero with the ability to lead one of these platoons.

After your command section, you will have to include a unit from your platoon's "mandatory choice" section.  This will typically be one of your basic troop units. 

I recommend the either the Fakyeli or the Ohotniki.  These units are pretty easy to use (one is close range, the other is long range), and they are both pretty good at what they do.

The next thing you will want is a support unit.  This will depend on your platoon, but you will probably be able to choose from either a walker, a helicopter, or a heavy tank. 

From there, you can play a few games and get a feel of how the units work together, and get an idea of how you want to expand the force.

Hopefully, this has given you a better idea of what is necessary to play Dust Warfare.  You can get started without spending a lot of money relative to other miniatures games, and the game is still fun to play at smaller point levels.

*All pictures were used without permission from the Fantasy Flight Games website.


  1. Nice article. I've focused more on the Allies and Axis, so I appreciate getting a sense of how to approach adding the SSU.

    I think it's worthwhile for newcomers to be told that the Dust Tactics and Dust Warfare worlds are essentially two different "ways of playing" with the same miniature models.

    DT is a board game that uses the miniatures along with the stat cards and rules that come with them in the package; while DW is set of tabletop game books with their own rules and different stats that happen to use the same miniatures.

    Don't try to reconcile the two sets of rules into one game! The Dust Warfare book and related Campaign books govern the tabletop version of the game, and the the "packaged products" (minis/statcards/terrain/rules) allow you to play the board game version.

    Together, you can play either way.

  2. Excellent point, yojimbo. Thank you.

  3. Wish I'd been able to read an article like yours when I got started. It's definitely great reading.

    Thank you for helping make DT/DW even better through your blog!