Spartan Games have released a rather cool battle report show casing the immanent Dystopian Legions. Should give people a an indication of how it plays. I, for one, am very excited. Enjoy…
Dystopian Legions will be shipping on the 31st October. Initially just the Prussians, Empire of the Blazing Sun, FSA and Britannians but fear not the Covenant won’t be far behind (hooray!). IT’s all very exciting and finally I have something to put on my Christmas list. Starter sets will be going for around the £40 mark which and will include a quick play version of the rules. Not indications yet how much the rule book will be but I suspect £20. Unit boxes will be £15 for 6 and musicians £7 for 2 so not bad really. It’ll be interesting to see how much the tanks go for. I suspect around the £30 mark a they’re solid resin. And massive.
Full release info for each faction can be found via the links below.
This is a huge progression from Spartan moving into the 28mm wargaming market. And judging by the snaps below it’s going to be a little bit tasty. And I can say, hand on heart, my wife is gonna absolutely kill me…
Here’s the announcement from the Spartan website:
DYSTOPIAN LEGIONS is a fast-paced, action-packed 28mm scale tabletop game set in the exciting world of Dystopian Wars, where Victorian super science fiction has created a fascinating and brutal arena for a deadly world war.
Having brought carnage to the Dystopian battlefields with giant tanks, massive airships and technologically advanced naval vessels it is now time to get up close and personal with your warfare. It is up to your platoons of infantry to storm enemy positions, capture towns, secure strategic objectives and devastate rival nations.
Infantry sections are the building block of Dystopian Legions, but we’ve created so much more for gamers to build their armies with. Also available for battlefield commanders will be elite infantry units, section upgrades, mechanised walkers, tankettes, armoured personnel carriers and special characters, such as leaders and scientists who can inspire your men and cause fear in the enemy.
And if that isn’t enough we’ve created full-scale battle tanks, stoked full of detail and delivered in glorious high quality resin. Marvel at these giant behemoths of the battlefield…
The game is scalable from a small number of models right the way up to a full-blown company of men with armoured support. A modular approach to army building guarantees the game embraces further new releases and game expansions.
Welcome to DYSTOPIAN LEGIONS… warfare just got so much more personal! Check out the nation links to the right for more information.
And because I’m so damn nice to you all, I’ve also robbed the faction fluff too. So far only 4 factions have been announced but you know my beloved Covenant will be getting an outing. And I have two words for you. Iron. Men. Take a good look at some of the snaps, the models look awesome. This game is going to be massive.
Empire of the Blazing Sun
Although the smallest of the great powers, the Empire of the Blazing Sun have carved out an influence far greater than their modest territories would suggest.
This is largely due to their formidable strength in arms. The core of this nation’s force are the elite Ashigaru Sections, better trained and equipped than the infantry of any other nation. The Ashigaru are armed with the infamous ‘Dragon’s Breath’; firing cartridges filled with mysterious compounds that ignite on contact with the air, fired from a rapid-repeating shotgun. These horrifying weapons are truly devastating once the Ashigaru have closed to within range.
The Ashigaru are trained to make the best of their equipment, using fluid manoeuvre and aggressive shock assaults. These are supported with short range rockets, along with the nations unique and highly recognisable Ke-Ho tanks. Further, all infantry in the Blazing Sun’s armies are equipped with gas grenades to suppress and disorient the enemy before launching their assaults.
Additionally, the Empire of the Blazing Sun armies make use of various specialist troops. They range from the subtle and deadly Shinobi, who employ stealth and speed in place of cumbersome armour to dissect vital targets, to the renowned Rocket Corps Samurai, who descend upon the Empress’ foes from the clouds and sunder their formations with ferocity and matchless skill at arms.
Considered amongst the greatest of the Imperial Alchemical Institute’s achievements are the flying Steambikes piloted by their boldest Samurai in crushing charges.
Knowing that they have the world’s best trained soldiers under their command, Officers in the Blazing Sun’s armies demand peerless discipline and execution from their troops. This they use to direct the fast moving, hard hitting assaults their forces are famous for, and they can always be assured loyalty and obedience from their men. Of course, martial prowess is a matter of honour amongst the Blazing Sun’s upper classes, and the majority of their Officers exemplify this trait, able to best any opponent with their matchless swordsmanship.
Federated States of America
Eschewing the rigid formations employed by the majority of European forces in favour of a more flexible and responsive military, the core units of the Federated States’ Armies are the Federal Infantry.
Operating in fluid skirmish formations they manoeuvre into position, then bringing to bear an overwhelming volume of fire from massed ranks of Winchester Repeating Carbines supported by Orlington 1869 Light Machine Guns. The Federal Infantry are drilled extensively to keep their weapons at optimal firing range at all times, coordinating their movements to deny the enemy advance and crush the foe under sheer weight of fire.
The specialists who operate the supporting Light Machine Guns and larger field Gatlings know well how to push their weapons to maximum effect. In turn the crews of the imposing Pioneer tanks and Revolving Cannon gun teams are experts at cracking enemy armour.
Embracing their pioneer traditions, the Federal Armies employ a range of patriotic freelance soldiers as scouts. These hunters are expert marksmen and can use their Buffalo Rifles to pick off high priority targets from great distances, whilst using their matchless skills to remain hidden from return fire.
The fine traditions of the American Cavalry regiments also retain their place in the Federated States military, both in the forms of the valiant Air Cavalry and the elite Treadbike riders. Both use the principles of mobile firepower to great effect; able to use their great speed and manoeuvrability to encircle the foe and strike at vulnerable targets.
The officers of the Federal Armies are expert at employing efficient fire-and-retire tactics. They keep their troops fighting at maximum effectiveness at all times, knowing when to push them forward to harass the enemy, and when to pull them back in good order so that they can reform and keep firing.
Kingdom of Britannia
The Kingdom of Britannia holds dominion over an empire upon which the sun will never set, and as one would expect, the defence and policing of these lands has long required The Crown to uphold a tremendous body of professional Solders.
The Britannian army is structured around a solid core of Line Infantry Platoons, who by virtue of their training and able aristocratic leadership are able to keep the enemy at bay with well-coordinated volleys of rifle fire, before advancing and overwhelming whatever remains with the time-honoured combination of savage flamethrowers and the cold steel of the bayonet.
These platoons benefit from a great deal of support from the other Admiralties of the Britannian military, at any one time able to draw upon the support of the machine-guns and field batteries of the Royal Artillery, and the Tanks, Tankettes and Armoured Transports of the Royal Armoured Corps.
Like all modern warring nations, the scientific men of the Kingdom have been called upon in recent times to produce new and ever more astounding machines and weapons of war. These efforts take form on the battlefield in the form of the soaring Sky Hussars and the redoubtable Knights Templar.
The Sky Hussars utilise the very pinnacle of personal flying-machine technology to roar at incredible speed across the skies above the battlefield, descending to cremate their enemies wherever they stand with their Flame-Projecting weaponry.
The machines of the Knights Templar are no less an incredible sight to behold. Their great, hulking, humanoid forms are able to wade into the thickest of enemy fire with little fear of injury, before bringing their awesome might to bear.
These forces have never been left wanting for competent leadership. The Britannian Officer Corps is comprised, as it has been for centuries, almost entirely from the men of the Upper Classes. These individuals are born and raised knowing they are destined for great things, and can be expected to excel at the front by virtue of their ample training and self-confidence.
The great Prussian Reichswehr has proven itself throughout its history to be one of the finest fighting forces ever to have devastated the surface of the Earth.
The hammer-blow of any Prussian offensive comes in the form of the Grenadiers. These fine infantry are drilled to their cores and well equipped with some of the finest personal equipment. First and foremost is the Mauser-Tesla M69 Breach-Loading Rifle, a weapon made to the highest standards. At the end of this weapon is a violent ‘Tesla Bayonet’, a two-pronged electrical device that gives every Prussian Infantryman the upper hand against their opponents. In battle the Grenadiers favour highly offensive tactics, close range firepower followed by a stern charge to rout their enemies.
Prussian attacks are generally combined arms affairs, their infantry supported by various incarnations of the deadly Prussian Panzer tanks and transports, supported further by Machine Guns and Tesla Artillery batteries.
Perhaps more than any other nation, Prussia has drawn the new sciences of the modern age and applied them to its armed forces. Wherever and whenever they are deployed, a Prussian force can be expected to be accompanied by the fearsome aerial Luftlancers or elements of the mysterious Teutonic Knights.
The Luftlancers are a fearsome sight in battle, balancing high above the battlefield on tesla-powered plumes of smoke, they wait until the moment comes for them to strike like the knights of old, plunging down and charging into the enemy ranks, decimating them with their Tesla Lances.
The Teutonic Knights are little less than Ironclads in human form. They take up the foremost positions in any Prussian force, slowly but surely wading through the fire towards enemy positions, fearless and indefatigable. Each armed with a Maschinengewehr 71 Machine Gun and strength augmented far beyond the greatest human potential, many enemy lives have been lost to these great machines.
The Prussian Reichswehr has never to fear that their elite military units are being squandered as they are led by only the finest of the Prussian Nobility. These Junkers take to the field with their men. Raised on a steady diet of Clausewitz and Jomini, trained in the finest military academies and hardened by years of Mensur, Prussian leadership is the envy of the world. In battle they can be expected to be seen at the front amongst their men, lending their martial skills into the fray.
Following the game I had with Lee and ahead of the one I have with Ian both of The Chaps I’ve been thinking about tactics in Dystopian Wars both general and force specific.
So here’s what I’ve come up with.
Use Size to your Advantage
The rule surrounding line of sight can be a bit of a pain in Dystopian Wars. If you don’t pay attention to what you’re doing you can find your battleship blocking line of sight of your dreadnought. However, this works both ways. Depending on what you’re trying to achieve you can use ships to protect other elements of your force until such time as you’re ready to unleash them.
For example, a Dreadnought can screen cruisers. This is especially handy if your cruisers are a little on the soft side or, in the case of CoA armoured cruisers, expensive and specialist. Equally, a battleship is large enough to obstruct the view of a dreadnought. Having two, in larger games, means you can keep your dreadnought safe until such time as you’re ready to bring its might to bear.
To a point this links to the previous comment as sensible placement of units can mean screening your smaller, vulnerable units from the big guns. However the distance between ships in that unit is important to consider. By keeping your ships relatively close together you are able to share Ack Ack and concussion charges. This can leave them vulnerable to mines etc but combined with the added bonus of it makes it harder for the enemy to get amongst you it’s worth it.
Escorts are Deadly
Granted the effectiveness of escorts varies from fleet to fleet, but they are designed primarily with Ack Ack and Concussion Charges. The obvious tactic is to assign them to your big ships. However, because escorts have solid Ack Ack, if sent off in packs they can hold up or even wipe out flanking tiny flyer squadrons. Coupled with the fact that they’re small and evasive makes them a bastard to sink.
Don’t Underestimate Corvettes and Frigates
Although cheap and easy to blow up, their speed and large unit sizes means that they can go screaming across the board and mob carriers, particularly a soft touch like the FSA’s. They’ll almost certainly be destroyed but at the cost of diverting enemy assets to deal with them. A CoA unit of 5 Corvettes will cost 100 points and at range band one can unleash 13 dice. That’s more than a CoA Dreadnought’s particle accelerator at the same distance. But for 175 points less. You don’t need to be a maths whizz to see the advantages of smaller vessels, especially when looking at mass fire power. The Prussian frigates are especially tasty on that front and, en masse, are a bigger pain in the arse than their cruisers.
Use the Psychology of Big Ships to your Advantage
It’s no surprise that battleships and dreadnoughts attract a lot of fire. They’re big and scary and have many many many guns. However, if you can get your deployment right and are able to hold your nerve you can use this to your advantage, holding back enough ships that when you sail your large/massive ship into the teeth of the enemy and they attempt to surround it, you have elements on station ready to counter attack. And providing you don’t leave the capitol ship on its own for too long it should be able to soak up the worst of the punishment whilst your ships get there.
These are some tactics I’ve observed in the fleet lists I’ve had experience with.
FSA – Encircle and overwhelm. The FSA have the best ranged firepower in the game. They can afford to hover at range band 3 with a mixture of Battleships, Cruisers and Gunships and pound their enemy to splinters, with frigates and other support vessels watching flanks and running interference. More over a coordinated strike between rocket batteries and tiny flyers can overwhelm even the most concerted defences.
Prussians – Corral and Capture. The Prussians are fast but light on armour. But they are also devastating at boarding actions. Prussians can use their superior speed to isolate vessels and then use scissoring maneuvers with the larger vessels to weaken and ultimately board & capture the target vessels. But keep on the move. Withdraw out or range or make use of cover. Getting bogged down in prolonged exchanges of fire will not end well.
Covenant of Antarctica – Taking the Fight to the Enemy. The CoA ships are solid all rounders. They are the Space Marines of the Dystopian Wars universe. However, their particle accelerators are devastating when fired. However the 12inch range makes the opportunity difficult to exploit. The Covenant work best in a fighting wedge. Their armour isn’t thick enough to take a prolonged pounding but bringing enough force to bear on a thing point and the CoA can break through, before opening up with broadsides and laying mines.
Kingdom of Britannia – Hold Fast. The KoB are actually a bit shit at the shooting game. Their gunnery at range is incredibly poor and only average at the closer ranges. However they don’t lack for guns and they’re not short of torpedoes. They are by far their most effective at keeping their distance, using frigates and submarines to deter attackers, and softening the enemy up with relentless torpedo attacks. Once weakened or thinned out a bit close as quickly as possible to take advantage of the increased dice at range bands 1 & 2.
Empire of the Blazing Sun – Combined Arms. I’m not too experienced with the EotBS but from what I’ve observed they are all round pretty tough ships and work best in task forces of combined arms with a healthy blend of naval and air elements. This can make them vulnerable to attack but their high critical rating will mean that enemies can only chip away at them and making sure a healthy air presence will give them the edge.
Hopefully this has been helpful and as I dream up more I shall post them up.
M’comrade @DocBungle has written a tip top review of the Prussian Empire start fleet over at his blog; Miniature Musings of a Bear. If you’re not following it you really should. Or I’ll come after you…
If seafaring Steampunk craziness is your bag see below for a couple of my posts:
Spartan Games have updated a few of their stat cards as well as the MARs for Dystopian Wars. Once again, as I’m all about providing a service I’ve robbed them and put them up here:
Updated Kingdom of Britannia Stat Cards:
Kingdom of Britannia Ruler Class Battleship [PDF, 500KB]
Kingdom of Britannia Tribal Class Cruiser [PDF, 500KB]
Kingdom of Britannia Orion Class Destroyer [PDF, 500KB]
Kingdom of Britannia Hawk Class Scout Rotor [PDF, 325KB]
Kingdom of Britannia Eagle Class War Rotor [PDF, 525KB]
Kingdom of Britannia Vanguard Class Submarine [PDF, 300KB]
Kingdom of Britannia Sovereign Class Land Ship [PDF, 550KB]
Kingdom of Britannia Illustrious Class Sky Fortress [PDF, 525KB]
Updated Prussian Empire Stat Cards:
Prussian Empire Stolz Class Destroyer [PDF, 475KB]
Prussian Empire Metzger Class Robot [PDF, 300KB]
Prussian Empire Gewitterwolke Airship [PDF, 525KB]
Prussian Empire Imperium Sky Fortress [PDF, 300KB]
Updated Federated States of America Stat Cards:
Federated States of America Independence Class Battleship [PDF, 500KB]
Federated States of America Guilford Class Destroyer [PDF, 500KB]
Federated States of America Saratoga Class Fleet Carrier [PDF, 500KB]
Federated States of America Washington Class Land Ship [PDF, 300KB]
Updated Empire of the Blazing Sun Stat Cards:
Empire of the Blazing Sun Ika Class Mechanical Squid [PDF, 325KB]
Empire of the Blazing Sun Inari Class Scout Gyro [PDF, 550KB]
Empire of the Blazing Sun Tenkei Class Sky Fortress [PDF, 550KB]
Updated Covenant of Antarctica Stat Cards:
Covenant of Antarctica Prometheus Class Dreadnought [PDF, 325KB]
Covenant of Antarctica Galen Class Escort [PDF, 300KB]
Covenant of Antarctica Callimachus Class Time Dilation Orb [PDF, 300KB]
Covenant of Antarctica Archimedes Class Heavy Walker [PDF, 300KB]
Updated Model Assigned Rules:
Model Assigned Rules [PDF, 325KB]