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)

Peacekeeper_b
Published: 1/21/2012 5:33:16 AM
#19

You know it may be te name Nazi that people associate with all the big evil of WWII, but there is another name that is also involved. Its AXIS! And the AXIS are still in this game as well. It may not be a "historical" Historical game, but it is up until 1939. If they have to color coat and PC everything then before you know it the allies ae called UNA, the SSU becomes teh Red Blok and earth becomes Ava.

My biggest dislike so far in the NEW Dust is the whitewashing of the evil sumbit-ches that the Nazis/German High Command/Axis Powers truly were. And with the assassination of Hitler, its not like the lands under German control are all the sudden made of rainbows and sugar coated licorice, its still a totalitarian rascist regime ruled over by the Thalers and their kin and allies. Playing a quasi WW2 seting without Nazis and evil Russian agencies would be like playing a espionage game without the KGB, or a wild west game without Native Americans, or a zombie holocaust game without zombies or a American Civil War game without slavery! For all we know the NKVD in this setting are completely different from real world counterparts.

 

(@Chaosmarine) Chances are some pious, heroic, liberal, bleeding heart member of the politburo had the NKVD assassinate Stalin and white washed the SSU (USSR/China) to be FFG PC and the NKVD was purged of all the "bad guys" and replaced by partisan leaders and members and then became the blanket term to all the military of the former USSR now SSU.

Maybe Im just an insensitive bastard, but I like by terrorists terrible, my Nazis evil, my Russians eviler, my Choas Space Marines chaotic, and so forth....

 

Gothik
Published: 1/21/2012 3:29:03 AM
#18

@Peacekeeper_b:

I do not play computer games.

Its your choice to play or not play, but dont play the ethical card on everyone who does.

I don`t play the ethical card on everyone who does. I`m just saying, that I PERSONALLY feel offended with this situation and I will not be buying products, which I would probably been buying otherwise.

Playing any historical game and you are bound to wind up playing some historical person, side or faction that did utterly evil things to another side or person or faction.

This is NOT a historical game. Hitler was killed, SS and extermination camps were disbanded, remember? Why do You think Paolo and co. decided to alter the history in this manner? They could leave Hitler alive in this universe and let him use the alien technology to continue holocaust, couldn`t they? I think they did it because of a simple decency - nazis are widely rocognized as evil men responsible for the biggest atrocities in the history of the world any many people could be offended with such version of this history (and, in effect, would not buy these products). And that`s my point  - assumimg that I`m right, of course - if they decided to erase SS and other most explicit pieces of dark history, why they decided to leave NKVD, who also have blood of millions innocent people on their hands?

Peacekeeper_b
Published: 1/20/2012 9:42:47 PM
#17

Gothik, do you play Call of Duty, any of the versions in Iraq/Afghanistan or WW2? I lost many friends in Afgahnistan and some in Iraq.

You ever play Axis and Allies?

Its your choice to play or not play, but dont play the ethical card on everyone who does. I am not glorifying the NKVD or the Nazis. Playing any historical game and you are bound to wind up playing some historical person, side or faction that did utterly evil things to another side or person or faction.

Ulrike Meinhof
Published: 1/20/2012 4:54:08 PM
#16

@Gothik:

Many of my family died in the second world war as partisans, fighting with crap weapons in the woods/mountains, against germans forces. I can appreciate your point of view and understand that you are reluctant to play the forces that are even named after the organization that killed your relative(s) and plenty of others.

I'm not writing this to get some polemics going on in here as it would be better done in the official DT forum. What could be argued though is that the very nature of the game - an _alternative_ WWII story - suggests plenty of possibilities where the NKVD in the game doesn't really have to be the identic one that shot your grandfather. After all, he was part of the real world and a real tragedy in contrast to the make-up-world Dust Tactics gives us. This is also directly related to the Axis _not_ being fascist in the game, even though they were in real life.

Thus, to answer your question: No, just as I suggested in my first reply, I don't imagine most people with direct ties to the holocaust etc to play the Axis. On the other hand, I'm sure there are plenty of jews that can watch movies, play games, read books etc where ficitonal Axis are mentioned/used and that won't have a problem with it and won't deem it "wrong" to enjoy that work in some way, be it as entertainment, aesthetical or educational. That doesn't mean they are approving of what fascist germany did during WWII, not would me buying the Sino Soviet faction in Dust Tactics mean that I approve of what the real NKVD did.

As a consumer you are entitled to (not) purchase a product. If the NKVD in the DT universe offends you as much as you suggest I think you are doing the right by not buying it. At the same time I suggest that you re-evaluate your position if you feel like it, as the NKVD in the game is still fictional. Supporting a product where they are mentioned in an alternate fictional history setting and taking offense is your right. For most people there is however a huge difference between what FFG/DT is doing here and releasing some material that would glorify the actions of the real NKVD.

 

 

 

Gothik
Published: 1/20/2012 4:04:46 PM
#15

@Ulrike Meinhof

I'd agree with you that a person that still is traumatized by the SS/NKVD etc would in many cases not enjoy playing a game where these troops are used, in the same manner that he/she would maybe not like to read a book about them or watch a movie. Then again, nobody forces that person to do so, and I'm sure that DS & FFG would understand that that particular group of people won't throw heaps of money on them. Then again, survivors of the holocaust and NKVD are really not the target group for the game.

Well, what a surprise - my grandfather, captain of the Polish border guard forces (KOP) was murdered by NKVD in Kharkov in 1943. I`ve been a hardcore fan of DT (a "completionist", some would say) - I spent sick amounts of money on this game, I own two sets of almost every unit available up to date for BOTH sides. But I am not going to spent a single penny on NKVD units... Games - including DT - are supposed to be FUN, and I just couldn`t get all of it playing with guys, who changed the history of my family in a kinda brutal manner (a shot in the back of the head). Sorry. I imagine that wargamers of Jewish heritage usually don`t play Waffen-SS units because of the similar reasons. Or do they? Over and out.

   

Ulrike Meinhof
Published: 1/20/2012 1:40:16 PM
#14

"...is obvious for me that if playing with SS troops is something unappropriate, so is playing with NKVD models." ~ Gothik

 

Gothik, what is the ethical dilemma here? How do you justify that playing a board game with SS and/or NKVD-troops is unethical, if that is even what you are claiming? What do you mean with "unappropriate"?  

(And by the way, as far as the game story goes, nobody is playing with SS troops since SS was disbanded or converted away from it's fascist background. Hitler was assassinated in the Dust story. The germans around on the battle field are not even fascists anymore.)

It's a game. Playing the role of a faction or specific units in a faction that have a questionable ethical background in history could be compared with theater where somebody plays the role of a criminal or whatever. You don't alter history or do the victims of the NKVD/SS etc a favor by never mentioning the brutalities or censoring the very existence of the unethical organizations/dept. 

I'd agree with you that a person that still is traumatized by the SS/NKVD etc would in many cases not enjoy playing a game where these troops are used, in the same manner that he/she would maybe not like to read a book about them or watch a movie. Then again, nobody forces that person to do so, and I'm sure that DS & FFG would understand that that particular group of people won't throw heaps of money on them. Then again, survivors of the holocaust and NKVD are really not the target group for the game. 

(Personally I find the Allied forces to be the most brutal and unappropriate given what they are still doing to the world up to this day and the track record that the US has with it's history where there are almost no years of peace, ever, despite the fact that we're talking about a country that sits in the middle of an ocean and almost lack borders to other countries. That's just my perspective and political view, yet it doesn't hinder me from enjoying the game - I even like playing it more now that I can "fight them" on the board ;) ....with your logic it should also be wrong to play Allies since they dropped the bomb on Japan even though the war was already won, as a sheer demonstration of power to the Soviet and the rest of the world... go ask the survivors of that if they think it's "appropriate" to play Allies... )

When you play as x you change nothing in the world. Just face it, and think it through before making moral statements(?). Reality is this is a game about war, death and action. It uses a semi-real setting. Truth will always be that there are no winners in war, and that it is a sad affair. 

 

 

Chaosmarine
Published: 1/20/2012 1:33:43 PM
#13

Awesome minis! Very stylish, and I like it very much.

But the the background of these troops is NKVD, it's not  make much sense. NKVD was a military police + police + political police, and was more like Gestapo (Geheime Staatspolizei in nazi Germany), but some units from NKVD take parts in some battles during the WW2.  I'm from Russia and for me it's very strange, the elite battle units from "police"...  NKVD was feared inside the country, it was the repressive machine.

In Red Amy was elite units, like "Gvardejskij" Battalion (Guards Battalion, Guards Division)...

The chopper is ok.

Gothik
Published: 1/20/2012 8:53:21 AM
#12

Well, I am really surprised with the background of these troops - NKVD?!?... Stalin`s Soviet Union still has some good PR in Western Europe and USA as they helped to defeat nazi Germany and they ended as one of the victors... However, in the countries of Eastern Europe, directly affected by the war and post-war events, Soviets are sometimes perceived as even more mean bastards than Hitlers` boys. I was kinda shocked when I saw that SSU units are called NKVD troops, as these guys - and their organization - are widely recognized as forces of evil and war criminals with a long record of crimes against humanity. Examples? Just a few of a long list, not mentioning running GULAG forced labor camps:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katyn_massacre

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NKVD_prisoner_massacres

Well, for me it is unacceptable and is obvious for me that if playing with SS troops is something unappropriate, so is playing with NKVD models.

volnon
Published: 1/20/2012 6:24:31 AM
#11

That chopper is getting a lot of flak (pun intended.)

Personally, I kind of like it.

To each their own, I guess.

And yes, I hop there will be a "starter set" of Soviets,  but I will take what is offered.

Winter79
Published: 1/20/2012 5:22:09 AM
#10

FFG - We really need to see a starter box and hope we see improvements in the SSU.

I have played all the campaigns up to Cerberus. I have premium models for all prior expansions and core sets. I really enjoyed playing through the campaigns - great job moving the game system forward - each campiagn brings something new.

I think DT is a under rated game. For such a simple game mechanic its actually got quite a lot of depth (and it could be a lot better with an advanced set of rules that uses D6 or at least more than 1 type of conflict resolution dice).

But I am really disappointed with the SSU. I understand the helipcopter is the NEW in this campiagn and the rest is padding to start to bring the SSU up to speed with the other forces (we will proxi the helicopter and get arounds its terrible design, but keep this ability) 

However currently there is just no way I'm buying into these as seperate unit boxes. We need at least 250 pts of SSU. 

A start box with

2 Hero's

1 KV-47

1 Fury of Ivan (or a medium heavy tank with about the same stats)

1 Heavy troops

2x Basic troops 

You could then sell

Command squads as seperate as people will buy this. 

Some may even buy the helipcopter  

Then once you have the core padding - I hope to see some new innovative units.

 

Peacekeeper_b
Published: 1/20/2012 4:59:30 AM
#9

The starter set is simple, Tiles plus free down load of books and then spend what money you save from not buying core set on minis. Course you odnt get dice or terrain pieces, but hey, you take you chances, you pay your prices.

The SSU are coming out as Campaign Box and five "unit" boxes. So you can drop roughly $150 and buy them all at once, or buy them piece by piece over time. Im sure many stores/online retailers will have standard discounts or even special deals for making the purchasing of several sets at once cheaper. Buy them all from miniature market and you will likely save upwards to $30 and have free shipping. Thats my plan.

Gian
Published: 1/20/2012 2:05:27 AM
#8

They should create starter boxes for all the factions, would be easier for people to get into the game without the need of buying a faction they dont want.

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