I finally got to test out Dust Warfare today and I'm quite pleased with the result. The game was very brief for 150 points on both sides and it gave me a pretty good idea of how the game functions.
Here are my thoughts:
- The game runs very smooth. The dice rolling is very straight forward, the model rules are very straight forward and the weapon rules are... very straight forward. There's special rules to remember, but the easy rolling keeps everything moving at a good pace.
- With that said, we were able to play a 150 point game in a short amount of time. There were 4 units on each side with 1 Light walker for each player. We were both pretty familiar with the rules from reading them over, but we were still new at playing. I think more experienced players can play a 300-point tournament game in ~2 hours without a problem.
- To go with the above, the ~2 hours of playing will be highly interactive, engaging and will not be boring for either player. The reason this is so is because of the reactions (and therefore, decisions) the opposing player gets to make when you do something. E.g. There was one time a unit of allied close combat troops (flamers and shotguns) got too close and I reacted by moving away. Even though that's one less action for me, it prevents them from tearing me up damage wise.
- Another time that keeps the game moving is lethality and damage. Damage in this game is no joke. If your infantry is marching out in the open and you get lit up by a unit with multiple machine guns, you're done. Lethality is similar to that of Infinity (and therefore realistic damage) where you best be jumping from cover to cover if you're planning to live. Using LoS blockers such as buildings and wide flanking attacks will serve you much better if you don't want your units being shot up. You should only lose infantry if you're charging in heroically and giving your other units a chance. Things really get busy once you hit the 16" range. Weapons start opening up, units start dying and the battle really starts moving forward.
- Suppression is also super important and love the idea of it. By shooting your opponent's units, you are limiting his options in the next few phases. You are putting a strain on his troops and forcing him to make decisions to keep his units combat effective. Since this game is reactionary, each and every action you make as a player is important, even the ones that inflict no "real" damage.
- Now that I've seen 150 points, I want to see 300 points immediately. I want to start buying models, I really do. I'm almost begging FFG to take my money, but the muffins don't know how to properly release a full-fledged miniatures game. I want to buy Markus, plain and simple. The same reason I want Heavy Laser Grens and just Totenmeister by herself. Why don't I have the option to do this? I'm practically begging FFG to take my money but they're not giving me the option to do so. I find that to be utterly, and I mean utterly ridiculous.