Monday, December 19, 2016

Dust 1947: Outpost Battle!

The Lord and I got together for a massive Dust 1947 battle using 250 points of forces.  My list was very heavy on Type 4 Steel Guards and I used the Steel Guard platoon structure, although I never made use of the platoon advantage.    We played scenario 104, Outpost.  The objective was to secure a central location by the end of turn 8.  Barring that, the winner would be the side which inflicted more casualties in terms of VPs.  

My list was:

Guai-Lo Moloi Type 4 Hero
Nikolai Pilot Hero
Red Ace-Pilot Hero
Steel Guard Command
Steel Guard Assault
Steel Guard Fire Support
Steel Guard Snipers
Steel Guard Anti-Tank
Steel Guard Tesla 
Spetsnaz Kill squad
Spetsnaz Saboteurs
Spetsnaz Command
KV-47 Nina walker
Matrioshka heavy walker
Matrioshka heavy
Alexandr Tesla Tank
Carrier Helo
Assaulter Helo
Striker Helo
Red Star Helo
Anti-tank tractor

The Lord's Axis list was:
Grenadier X
3 x Ubertoten
Heavy Assault Squad
Heavy Command Squad
Heavy AA Squad
Luther light AA walker
2x Lothar Arty walker
Sturm-Konig super-heavy AA walker
Prinzluther transport walker
Hermann light AT walker
2x sniper squads
2x observer squads
2x fully upgraded Laser Bunker(!)

Opening deployments on the Babylon-themed table.  We were not really sure what to do with the bunkers, so we set them up but they counted as "moving" in the first turn to represent the element of surprise. 
Guai-Lo and Fire Support squad hold the flank.

Squads take cover as they can on the deadly battlefield.  In Dust 1947, if you can see it, you can kill it,so it is very important to use cover and LOS-blocking terrain well.  
Axis artillery walkers hide behind the trees.

The armies start to square off in cover.

The AA Axis heavies destroy my Carrier, and kill all 3 Steel Guards inside!  Ouch!

The Axis chuckle an evil Germanic laugh as the heroic troops of the SSU fall from the sky.

A Matrioshka advances and fires on the Prinzluther...
...making short work of it!

My air-dropped Nina launches a missile run on a Lothar artillery walker, and completely misses!  In return the Luther destroys the Nina easily.

Red Ace joins the fray as the skies fill with aircraft and tracer fire!  The Sturmkonig damages, but does not kill, the Striker.

Red Ace and the Striker position for the next turn.

The Laser bunker makes short work on one Matrioshka!

Luckily SS have two of them.  my second puts a big hit on the Sturm-Konig.

Nikolai arrives on his tesla tank and destroy the Sturm-Konig!

Heavy wreckage obscures LOS from the central bunker. 
Turn 2 opens with more fire on the Striker from the Luther.  A critical hit disables targeting systems but Striker is still airborne.

Red Ace launches a massive volley of rockets, eliminating a Lothar and the AA Heavy Grenadiers!  Her MGs do nothing to the zombies, however.  

Concentrated AA fire from Lara, the Heavy Command and the Heavy Assault squad finally take down the Striker, before it ever fired a shot!

Tesla-armed Steel Guards hit the Hermann, lightly damaging it and stunning the pilot.

Snipers hide in the wreckage and plink away at the Assaulter helicopter, which has been spattering zombies with hot lead.

 Grenadier X is left friendless whilst trying to contest the central building. 

Wreckage litters the battlefield as the action heats up.  The SSU have troops at the building but fear to enter as it will give the bunker LOS to them!

Red Ace took heavy damage but manages to get a reactivation order to move her out of danger to the far end of the field away from Axis AA.

The Lord and I learn that artillery is much better in Dust 1947, as he repeatedly drops large template bombardments on me with his remaining Lothar.  I lose my AT tractor, my entire Steel Guards Command squad, and most of my Spetsnaz command to barrages.

 Nikolai gets a reactivation order and hunts down the Hermann!! 

Steel guards surround the objective building but are hesitant to get caught in the open.

Axis infantry mass in the woods, apparently intent on assaulting the objective.

Nikolai advances up the left flank as the battle rages...

...with a reactivation order he gets in position to flank the Axis, and fires on the Heavy Assault Grenadiers to minimal effect.
The Axis pour an inordinate amount of fire into the Assaulter.

Finally it comes down after every Axis assault rifle in range fires on it. 

A lone sniper spotter claims the kill on the Assaulter.

Steel Guards Tesla troops attack and destroy the Axis snipers.
Red Ace swoops back in the attack the massed Axis infantry, but causes only minimal damage this time.
The Axis respond and bring her down!

Nikolai finally gets a sustained fire action, however, and combined with the salvo ability which doubles his shots on the Tesla gun, he annihilates Lara's unit!  
Zombies with panzerfausts respond and damage his tank heavily.  Follow up fire from the Lothar destroys the tank but Nikolai makes it to safety behind the wreck,

More wreckage accumulates, but it seems the Axis cannot contest the objective building.

Red Ace takes fire from zombies and is wounded.
Guai-Lo and his unit trekked across the field to contest the objective.
Zombies finish off the lovely Red Ace!

Steel Guards occupy the building, obscured from the bunker by wreckage, and fire on the zombies.

A few zombies approach the objective.
Neither side has much left to contest the field 
Heavy Grenadiers eliminate the Tesla Steel Guards!  But time has run out!  Who is the victor??
An overview of the carnage.
3 Steel Guards hold the building while 4 more stand just outside.  3 zombies are approaching but no Axis are inside.

The VP tally shows 70 points of SSU troops still alive.  Only 50 points of Axis troops are on the table...but also 70 points of Axis bunkers!!

Result: A DRAW?  Well fans, we ran out of time after 4 hours of play the likes of which we had never seen before.  This was a slug-fest of Ward-Gatti proportions.  As we ran out of time after turn 5, it was not clear who was the victor: the side holding the building (SSU) or the side that had inflicted more casualties (AXIS). Perhaps we can leave it to the propagandists of the respective powers to answer that question.  Or you, our beloved audience?  Tell us below who you think won.

Conclusion: In the words of The Lord, this was one of the best games of Dust we ever played.  At 250 points there is a lot to keep track of, but the new rules are streamlined enough to keep play quick. The hard part is choosing what units to activate at what time.  It makes a huge difference.  I lost initiative every turn but the first, yet I was still very much in the game.  I probably erred in leaving the Axis bunkers alone.  Guai-lo had a flame thrower and could have been used to approach and attack them from out of LOS.  Having not dealt with them I was forced to curtail my maneuvers and left a large number of VPs on the table.  The Axis dealt well with my aircraft, and the Steel Guards, now much improved thanks to damage resilience, were still not immune to heavy Axis fire.  My MVP was either Nikolai, who downed the Sturm-Konig, Hermann, and Lara's unit, or the measly Assaulter which absorbed AA fire for 3 turns from all corners before finally succumbing.

It's probably no secret that I am a fan of the game, but I have to say I see very little issues with the newest rules.  The only issue we came across was whether wrecks, which block LOS, do so in a "True LOS" fashion or count as "infinite height".  We resolved to count them as True LOS for determining how they would block LOS in the future.  Drawing LOS to unit leaders and measuring range from them is now second nature.  If you love Dust, Weird War III and/or Dust miniatures, you should try the new rules!


Thel S said...

We actually had one other rules discussion.

Snipers and Bunkers.

The rules state that troops in bunkers re roll failed saves. Snipers that hit cancel infantry saves.

Unknown said...

The rules are as is. Thematic explanation is probably that the sniper has a high accuracy weapon, and there isn't a chance to go to ground or duck behind cover once you hear the gunshot.

Did you guys play the transport rules correctly?

An entire steel guard squad perishing is quite unlikely - that would require 3/3 target symbols and 0/3 damage resilience saves. While possible, it's rather improbable to lose an entire Steel Guard squad that way.

Black Knight said...

Yeah, it was terrible dice rolling, but we played the correct rules. I was not thrilled. Thanks for reading.