22 September 2014

Dystopian Wars 2.0 First Game

Z and I fumbled through our first game of version 2 Dystopian Wars Saturday evening. We put together almost 1000-point forces for a mixed naval and air game. I used a Prussian Air group and a French Surface group. Ziggy used his British as usual.

For those interested, the lists were:
     1 @ Big Honkin' Zeppelin Aircraft Carrier
     3 @ Bombers
     3 @ Small Lightning-throwing Airships
     1 @ Floating Battleship w/ Fury Generator
     3 @ Floating Light Cruisers
     4 @ Floating Frigates
     2 @ Subs

     1 @ Large Carrier w/ 3 Escorts
     3 @ Agincourt Cruisers
     3 @ Bombers
     4 @ Frigates
     2 @ Subs
     0 @ Paint

After figuring out the new deployment and table-setup rules, the table looked thus:
Z left his bombers off as a "flanking force." I engaged in no such shenanigans. I chose the "kill 70%" victory condition. Poor Zig had to kill 50% including my flagship (the carrier).

Early in, the French battleship got beaned for two damage and a weapons crit that wouldn't be repaired for a loooong time. Other units took hits here and there.

A turn later. The French battleship becomes quite manly, shrugging off hits left and right. It set fire to the submerged British vessel nearest it with its Fury Generator and took some shots at other targets, although 2 damage and a 1/2 AD crit takes a lot of the starch out of a battleship. There was much hand-wringing and gnashing of teeth from the British side of the table.

By this time, late in turn 2 I believe, we'd traded sub kills. My airship gets lined up on the enemy carrier. The bombers and Speerwurfs gave the frigates a send-off. Things were going rather well!

Turn 3, Ziggy wipes the drool from his chin and send the flanking Doncs after the big blue cigar. The torpedoes whiff in a cloud of disappointment. Hahahaha! The piece of shit Doncs strike again!

Showing them "how it's done," the Prussian bombers make a run at the big British cruisers. The British AA fire was pretty good.

A crit on one of the bombers causes it to explode killing all of the Speerwurfs and damaging the remaining two bombers. There was much hand-wringing and gnashing of teeth from the Prussian side of the table.

Later still, my battleship has been heavily damaged by torpedoes, etc and has but two HP remaining. Ziggy is determined to sink the thing. The remaining cruiser takes a shot doing one more point of damage.

And then this lone, lousy piece of junk torpedo bomber makes it past the AA and finishes off the mighty ship. There was much hand-wringing and gnashing of teeth from the French side of the table.

The Almas complete the harassment and humiliation of the cruiser squadron, eliminating the last of them them and avenging the loss of the battleship.

We called the game after four turns. Both fleets were wrecked pretty thoroughly, although the flagships were in great shape, mine with two damage done to it, and one to the British carrier. The final kill scores were pretty close between us, but neither of us were very close to completing our goals. A delicious draw! It was an enjoyable and hard-fought battle.

What are my initial thoughts on 2.0? Its as much of a mess as DW has always been. We're now on a 3rd iteration of tiny flier behavior. The 1.1 dice mechanics for combat where very straightforward and that has now been complicated by some dice not "exploding." The book's index sucks. Boarding actions are slightly more complicated now too, since boarding parties have different "skill" ratings now. Not a major issue, but just one more thing to verify before rolling dice. I haven't gotten my new book yet - it should arrive tomorrow and I'll give it a much deeper dive but right now I'm kind of disappointed by the changes. There were great promises of quicker game play, etc., but after one game I don't see it - we were at it for well over 3 hours. Granted, there was a bit of rules-digging, but not THAT much. The game speed issues revolve around 1) template-drive movement 2) multiple individually-firing weapons and 3) alternating actions. All of these elements define DW but are costly in terms of speed of play - it's just the way it is.

On the plus side, the British Navy is a whole lot better than before - lots of redoubtable guns and shields galore make them much better than they were. I enjoyed the hell out of the French and Prussians. As it turns out, generators not named "shield" and "guardian" are a lot of fun. I have more Frenchies on the way - I'll be ready to give them a go by themselves after I've given the new rules a thorough look.


  1. What in the world put 2 HP on the French BB? It has Retardant Armor (2). It Should never leave the hanger without having a Cloud Generator but it seems this one did. even so that must have been quite a shot!

    1. The Magenta only has Retardant Armor (1) and that shot was a crit if I remember correctly. I'm new to the French and to DW2. I didn't have a 2.0 rulebook when we played this game so I wasn't very familiar with how Cloud Generators worked. Either way, the Fury generator seemed like a fun toy and offensive generators are simply a lot more entertaining. Defensive generators are boring as hell.