9 April 2012 | Dust Warfare

Brilliant Leadership in the Heat of Battle

A preview of the Command phase in Dust Warfare


We slogged through the forest for days, freezing and hungry. The heavy snow slowed our pace to slightly faster than a crawl, but it was worth it. We had outmaneuvered the Germans and our assault would catch them completely off guard. Captain Miller's gambit paid dividends, and once the battle began, we captured the town in no time.       -Allied Private Dan Mellish

In Dust Warfare, Command Sections and heroes bravely lead powerful armies into battle. During the Command phase, they issue advance Orders, allowing squads to move, attack, or regroup. These unique Orders give players the tools they need to outfox and defeat even the most stalwart opponents. Today, we'll provide an overview and examine the unique Command phase of Dust Warfare.

Taking action

In the Command phase, the Initiating player performs all of his Orders, implementing strategies and developing his plan of attack. Next, the Responding player issues his Orders, giving him a chance to adapt to the changing battlefield conditions. Once both sides have completed their advance actions, the game progresses to the Unit phase.

Delve into the Command phase overview (pdf, 173KB) and familiarize yourself with more details of this innovative phase. As you'll see, Command Sections form a vital part of your army, especially when they are in close proximity to your other squads.

The Command phase overview also outlines the two basic Orders of the phase: Take Action and Regroup. Armed with these versatile Orders, you can preemptively move units, order lightning-fast attacks, or rally broken squads. Now that you know the fundamentals, let's explore the Command phase even further.

Strategic implications

Issuing Orders and performing actions in the Command phase has an enormous benefit for your army. Since your opponent cannot directly react to Orders, your troops can act freely and without fear of immediate enemy reaction. As the battle intensifies, use your Orders to seize vital objectives, bring down enemies in a hail of fire, or even set up a cunning ambush. All of these possibilities become real strategies in the dynamic Command phase.

Acting in the Command phase can also hamstring troops later in the turn. Units that take an action in the Command phase receive a Reaction marker, meaning they can only take one action in the Unit phase instead of two. Also, they can no longer make a reaction for the rest of the turn (we'll cover reactions in the next Dust Warfare preview). As the army's general, you'll have to weigh the options and determine the value of activating units in the Command phase. Choosing wisely could be the difference between victory and defeat.

Improving your Command

Beyond the basic Orders, there are even more ways to increase your strategic options in the Command phase. For example, every platoon type has access to a unique special Order. Fire for Effect! allows Allied Combat platoons to call in devastating Long Tom artillery strikes. Since every platoon has a different special Order, including multiple platoons in a force adds to your arsenal of Orders. Try out all the platoons, and find out which Orders best fit your playstyle.

Gain precious Orders in the Command phase by simply purchasing a Command Section unit with the Command Squad ability to lead your platoons. While heroes do not have this ability, each platoon has access to a Command Section unit that does (read more about Command Sections in the Assembling Your Force for the Tabletop preview). Potentially game changing, this useful ability gives you one extra Order every Command phase! This means you'll have a minimum of two Orders at your disposal every turn. Unfortunately, this bonus does not stack with multiple units with the Command Squad ability; however, redundancy can be good thing if catastrophe befalls one of your Command Sections.

Using strategies unseen in tabletop miniatures gaming, the Command phase of Dust Warfare allows you to preemptively attack enemy units and outmaneuver your opponent. This decisive phase of the game presents commanders with important decisions that can swing the tide of the battle, paving the way to success.

The Dust Warfare: Core Rulebook arrives on shelves next week! Complete your basic training with our final preview that covers the Unit phase and reactions. Then, assemble your forces and enter the fierce global conflict.

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