Melting souls with cuteness since 2007
The Dust Warfare campaign books.
What are they?
The campaign books are extensions of the Dust Warfare: Core Rulebook. Dust warfare using the same miniatures as Dust Tactics, they have to update the core rules periodically to include new units released and the new abilities and weapons that go along with them.
Each campaign book also include several new rules and options that adds to the core Dust Warfare experience. Think of them as rules expansions that also include the statistics for new units. Each of them also comes with a bit of storytelling explaining the Dust Universe a little more each time.
What's great about the campaign books?
They provide a way to get the statistics and new rules associated with new units for a relatively low cost (around 20$ MSRP) without having to buy a new edition of the core rulebook.
They also provide a way for FFG to release new rules and scenarios periodically to keep the game fresh.
What's bad about the campaign books
With now 3 campaign books and the core rulebook, the stats for units and the rules are all over the place and it becomes a reference chore.
- "I'm firing my Tesla gun. How do they work again? It's been a long time since i played those."
- "They were released during Hades i believe."
*flips in the Hades campaign book*
- "Ok, here they are... i need to roll this and that"
- "I'm going to react to your attack before you roll by attacking you"
- "Ok, wait a bit, this unit can also be entrenched. I can't find the entrenched rule in Hades"
- "It's in Icarus"
*switch book to Icarus*
FFG's going to need to release an updated version of the core ruleset that will include all the rules from their various campaign books at some point. I know i'd buy it just to prevent having to carry 4 books everywhere...
Campaign book Hades:
Campaign book Hades is the second campaign book released after the core rulebook. It includes the stats of all miniatures that were released during the Hades "wave" of Dust Tactics. These are mainly the SSU tanks, the allies british/french power armour units and the axis armoured transport.
If you play the SSU, the Hades campaign expansion includes the third platoon you can play. It's a platoon based mainly on the units included in the Hades wave and focuses a lot on armoured vehicles (more than any other platoon to date).
- The book include some background material about the Sverograd campaign in the Dust Universe.
- You'll have rules for campaign play. These are rules for a bunch of friends (4 or more - ideally 6) taking sides in the battle of Sverograd. Each play session, one of the players from a faction will launch an attack on an opposing side in a location taken from the campaign map of the city Sverograd. All other players not defending or attacking will play "patrol" games, where no consequences to your units can occur. You won't risk loosing units in these games.
The campaign starts with players having small platoons of about 150 points. Each game played gives you a few more AP to boost your platoon and increase the scales of the battles. When playing attack or defense, there's the possibility you might lose an entire unit completely if it doesn't retreat fast enough. Retreats can be done as an action. Wherever they are on the map, they can be removed from the battle safely to fight another day... even if they are in the middle of a skirmish.
- You'll also have the obligatory rules for the various new abilities and SSU weapons brought in with the new units, such as the Tesla weapons, etc.
What's good about Hades:
The new rules and stats for the new units are of course welcome if you plan on purchasing those.
There's also the new SSU platoon that's very unique with it's heavy focus on tanks. Unfortunately, it's an expansive one to field. You have to buy several tanks and units that are going to work only for this platoon structure.
What's bad about Hades:
- The campaign rules. You have to be really dedicated to this game to play a complete campaign. Some players are going to get hammered, lose lots of units and are going to lose game, after game, after game because the sides are not balanced anymore. Not sure it's interesting to play when you have 2 infantry squads trying to duke it out against a full platoon. What's going to happen is those players setting up the terrain, and in turn one, the disadvantaged player will pull out to save his units for another fight... next week or group meet-up.
The idea for campaign rules is great. The execution... meh.
- The background fluff about the battle of Sverograd. It doesn't tell a lot about the Dust universe as a whole. A little bit about "Winter Child" (that you got anyway in the Dust Tactics: Operation Hades box if you actually have this miniature since it came in that box) and tons about the Sverograd campaign. The problem is that battle campaigns are not the most interesting stuff to read. Learning that the xth panzer division raided the airfield at zero-four-hundred-hour on the 4th of july and routed the xxnd allied infantry into hiding inside metro B station for 2 hours before the air support came in does not make for the most interesting thing because it doesn't advance the Dust "story" at all. It's inconsequential and it's dry. It's like trying to pass the Dust universe as historical facts when it's a sci-fi universe.
I don't want the dryness of historical books when purchasing a game meant for entertainment thank you...
In short, Hades is an "ok" book. You get the unit stats for new units and that's great, but take those out and what's left is really not interesting in the least.
Thank you for taking the time to post these reviews. They are very helpful!