News for January 2012
Seeing Red 31
Preview the upcoming Dust Tactics releases for the SSU faction
Dust Tactics | Published 19 January 2012

With five new units and a campaign expansion being released simultaneously for the newest Dust Tactics faction, the Sino-Soviet Union, players anxiously await the arrival of the second quarter release date. Since this army will be immediately playable, players will want to know the strengths of each squad, so they can build their ideal SSU army instantly. With this in mind, here is a closer look at each of the forthcoming SSU releases.

Operation Zverograd

 The Operation “Zverograd” campaign expansion introduces the SSU to the game of Dust Tactics. Beyond adding new rules (including rules for aircraft), scenarios, and background information regarding the SSU forces, this campaign also includes another level of the modular building set that was featured in Operation “Cerberus.”

Koshka and "Grand'ma"
Click to enlarge

Operation “Zverograd” includes the first SSU hero, Koshka Rudinova, and her customized walker “Grand’ma.” This walker is armed with a devastating long-ranged Howitzer cannon and a Sulfur Thrower for close-up engagements. Moreover, this is the first hero that enters the battle piloting a walker. If “Grand’ma” is destroyed during the game, the expert combatant Koshka continues the fight on foot.

SSU Airborne Transport

The first flying unit in Dust Tactics is the SSU Airborne Transport. It soars onto the battlefield with reinforcements in tow thanks to its Carry Capacity ability. SSU generals will welcome the speed the Airbore Transport offers and the new strategies it creates on the battlefield.

SSU Airborne Transport and Chinese Volunteers
Click to enlarge

With its quad machine guns, this transport vehicle is able to provide additional firepower to supplement its other roles. Also included in this already exciting expansion is a squad of Chinese Volunteers. These soldiers disembark from the Airborne Transport and support their comrades with short range machine gun fire.

SSU KV47 Walker

Arriving on the field of battle in three different variants, the KV47 Walker represents the most advanced SSU military technology. This machine has been rapidly developed using stolen technology, and it is on level footing with the Medium Walkers of the Axis and Allies.

KV47 Walker Natalya variant
Click to enlarge

Commanders who favor close assaults prefer the Nadya and Natalya variants. Nadya spews incendiary chemicals from its dual Sulfur Throwers, while Natalya cuts foes apart with twin Combat Saws. Natasha fulfills long-range support functions with its two cannons. Clearly, with these options, the KV47 Walker meets the SSU’s need for a robust and tactically flexible machine.

SSU Close Combat Squad

Comprised of some of the toughest soldiers in the world, the SSU Close Combat Squads are ready to fight in any setting. The soldiers of the SSU have fought on many fronts, and they are used to receiving only the minimum in supplies.

SSU Close Combat Squad
Click to enlarge

The SSU Close Combat Squad throws Molotov Cocktails that are capable of damaging enemy troops and vehicles alike. What is more, armed with Shotguns, this unit is potent at short ranges, and the squad also carries a Flamethrower to inflict even more damage in close quarters. If the situation calls for assault specialists, the SSU Close Combat Squad is the perfect fit.

SSU Battle Squad

The SSU Battle Squad comprises the bulk of the SSU fighting forces. Grizzled and resourceful, these soldiers form the main line of any SSU fighting front, supporting their allies with a hail of machine gun fire.

SSU Battle Squad
Click to enlarge

While the majority of the squad is equipped with light machine guns, they are capable of providing anti-infantry and anti-air support with the two DPM machine guns that are included in every squad. No SSU commander would enter a conflict without the backing of these invaluable squads.

SSU Command Squad

Like the other factions, the SSU employs Command Squads in order to provide leadership in the thick of battle, and this squad has the same potentially game-changing abilities.

SSU Command Squad
Click to enlarge

Where they differ from their rivals, however, is that the SSU Command Squad is slightly better equipped. For example, one member of the squad carries a Power Tool, which gives them a potent anti-armor weapon. Charged with leading the forces of the SSU to victory, these officers are well-prepared for the task.

Altogether, the initial SSU forces form a potent army with new strategies that have not been seen in Dust Tactics. With airborne units, pilot heroes, and more, this is sure to be an exciting faction to field. Read our SSU minisite for more information, and prepare yourself, comrade, for the invasion begins in the second quarter of 2012!

Dust Tactics is a tactical miniatures game of brutal combat for 2-4 players. Based on the popular universe created by artist Paolo Parente, Dust Tactics presents an alternate 1940s reality in which alien technology fuels gigantic machines of war, and the world's superpowers clash over rare mineral deposits that could ultimately decide the outcome of WWII.

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Comments (31)

Published: 2/1/2012 12:45:56 AM

 I don't care what you all say, these models look rad. I'll be buying them too. I think they'll probably sell out quick at first. 

Published: 1/31/2012 5:58:51 AM

You are right Dogged. Thank You FFG for Your respect and sensibillity and being aware of Your customers opinion, That`s right - if some wants to paint his SSU units as NKVD and play them as NKVD, it is his/her choice and his/her game. But it was really no need to market these models as war criminals.


One again - thank You. It is a bold and decent decision. 

Published: 1/31/2012 12:52:44 AM

Curious, but fact is they really are sensible to fans comments. A sensible decision even if it could be just a matter of points of view (or not). Better to evade any possible ethical consideration by individuals and so not alienating anybody. I guess some people who got offended should now thank FFG for its sensibility and respect.

I for one can't but praise them for their attention, even as I was (am) one considering it was not necessary in any way. Keep up people!

Published: 1/30/2012 7:56:17 PM

Seems the removed the NKVD and are now just SSU!

Published: 1/27/2012 3:07:31 AM

It should  be noted that in an organization as the SSU (and the former USSR and PRC which seems to be subservient to the first), such an elite, potentially unbalancing and certainly powerful technology as VK would be undoubtedly under the sole control of the NKVD, answering only to Stalin (and Beria).

In the Axis, the Blukreuz was created to investigate and develop the VK tech and possibilities and when it did it had become powerful enough as to make its own bid for power (a twist credible enough; in fact Hitler only very narrowly scaped at least three attempts at his life, two of them staged with a full conspiration to overtake power in the aftermath).

The formation of such elite units in the SSU would by all logics belong to the NKVD (you can check an example with the OMSBON:

Although it is perfectly understandable that someone could have problems with NKVD units featuring in a board/tabletop and definitely not want to game them (would be it nice to play against them then?), one can not blame Parente/FFG for incorporating them in a move that is really much more historically correct that giving them to shock units as Guards (which can't be as politically reliable). In fact (a lot of) certain NKVD units were elite ones (as you can see in the aforementioned link).

Fnally I can't but subscribe the comments by Ulrike Meinhof, who has made sound contributions in these comments. I agree that this is a matter for the DT forum, but I can not end without a final statement.

I am Catalan, for now I am a member of the Spanish state. Spain endured an almost 40 year long fascist dictatorship after the legally established republican democracy (which was by the way the lesser evil, but one which could have become better with time) was overrun because mainly of the Allies choosing to ignore the illegality of the uprising and permitting its supplying by both American and British companies and fascist states. After the war, and willfully ignoring the contribution of Spanish republicans, the Allies negotiated with and helped to keep the fascists in power. The republicans contributed with excellent troops and operatives. The main play in the fake which permitted the D Day to be successful was performed by a Spanish (Catalan in fact) spy. In Norway, North Africa and Europe, Spanish fighters took on extraordinary feats of valour, examples of which are desperate bayonet charges in Narvik or anti tank fighting at Bir Hakeim, continued partisan warfare in France or the liberation of Paris. Not much peopple know that the first vehicles to enter the French capital were named after Spanish civil war battles or places and had their Spanish names painted onto them; the troopers all had the Spanish republican flag sewn in their jackets; a few uncensored photos show them (check the history of "La Nueve" and others here:

After all this, Spain was left to rot under the fascist boot by the same allies who drop the A bombs killing undreds of thousands of people, the same ones who considered the Japanese as lesser beings or who rithlessly bombed Hamburg or Dresden. Now we can not let themselves be dragged into dubious political considerations regarding the game because you see, every one can have an axe to grind at someone other. DUST Axis is not the historical one, just as the SSU is not the historical USSR or the Allies are not the historical USA/UK crowds. Let's keep the real world as an inspiration but not a liability and enjoy DUST ass what it is: a nice and cool alternate "weird" world war two game.

And by the way let's keep that beer meeting for when all of you come to enjoy the Catalan summer, mountain and beach; and better still after a DUST game.


Published: 1/22/2012 7:30:41 PM

Because, the game designers, much like 70% of the fan base are not historians who have mastered the details of real history, real warfare and real weaponry. Its a work of fiction. NKVD sounds cool. And if the NKVD tookover the USSR and then merged with China and so forth, there woudl be no reason why they wouldnt call their elite units after thier lead party members former agency/force.

These are not your typical red army, the same as your Rangers and Grenadiers are not your typical US Troops or German Wermacht. They are the secret elite involved in the secret war for Vrill technology and VK.

Course, once the Axis invaded England, it would make sense for some normal British troops to get involved. But sigh, no Armor 1 Infantry for us LOL.

Sami K
Published: 1/22/2012 6:35:25 PM

Even if I'm not personally offended by the NKVD, I honestly don't understand why they named them as such.

The Red Army Guards / Shock units would be a lot more thematic and cooler than political police force (even if it's a "whitewashed" NKVD),

It just baffles me why they would go out of their way to name them as a non-military police force with a potential backlash like this instead of proper Red Army elite forces.

I suppose they are usable as "counts as" Red Army but this makes zero marketing sense.

Published: 1/21/2012 8:51:41 PM

Sometimes, when I read these comments, I wonder if anyone has read the background (specificly the comics) on wich this game is based.  NKVD troops are one of the milder aspects of the background. 

Ulrike Meinhof
Published: 1/21/2012 12:03:16 PM


Well written. :)  ...and I'll take you up on the invite sooner or later, albeit a distanced one as I'm Sweden myself.






Published: 1/21/2012 9:04:11 AM

Ulrike Meinhof we would have words, nay a huge argument and massive disagreement about your misconceptions on the modern world and the US in general, but you know what, a gaming forum is not the place for that. Otherwise, if it were possible, I would love to chat it over a beer and hear how you have your "knowledge and information" that I do not supposedly have because of the "news" and despite my personal war experiences over the past 10 years as a US Soldier.

And we would depart said beer as who we both are, but both friendly on terms of no one knows everything, no one is 100% right, 100% of the time and that we play a game, not real world, not appeasement or glorification or worship or idolization of the forces/sides we play. I play Axis currently, and I play them with a Nazi slant, because, god damn it, Nazis make great villains! And my NKVD will be ruthless, violent, angry and barbaric in the act of replling those damn Axis invaders. This is Dust Tactics and Dust Warfare, not Dust Teatime!

Ulrike Meinhof
Published: 1/21/2012 8:37:56 AM

"I agree that releasing units specifically marked as NKVD wasn't a good idea (hopefully they're the first and the last)." ~ Swiftpaw



With what argument do you agree and why should it be the last time they release something called NKVD? As you write yourself later on everyone has the liberty to do whatever they want with the game, including being offended by x, where x can seemingly be anything. Personally I find all of this discussion more and more ridiculous given there have been a million fictional works about the WWII where nobody reacted, and suddenly all hell breaks lose because plastic miniatures that have NKVD in their name are released on the market. Put things in perspective guys.
(Sidenote: The movie you recommend is laughable from a documentary standard: While most of what they suggest seems to be true and based on facts the makers angle it in ways where the "good guys" - the allies - have zero responsibility and involvement for what happened, which is far from the truth. What the movie does even better is withhold plenty of well known information, further giving a very one-sided  and subjective western narrative. Please don't read this as if I would defend what some of the Soviet leader(s) approved of - I'm just suggesting that the movie is blatantly un-journalistic and subjective. However wrong it all was I would still argue that what is currently being done by "the allies" is far worse off no matter how you count lives and suffering. Oh, I forgot - it's the contemporary paradigm and most people out there still think Saddam have weapons of mass destructions and that the EU/US didn't finance and equip his army and ethnical cleansing... yay for propaganda called  "news"... )
Published: 1/21/2012 8:21:32 AM

I agree that releasing units specifically marked as NKVD wasn't a good idea (hopefully they're the first and the last).

That being said...  Just as you can paint your minis however you like, you can change the unit type as well. If you don't want them being NKVD, the minis can be noted as Soviet regulars or a special ops unit. It's *your* game, guys. For an alternate-Dust scenario/campaign, you can even go post WWII and pit Allied vs. SSU.

Lastly, I encourage people to take a look at "The Soviet Story" (snippets from it can be found on YouTube). It shows how bad this regime really was.

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