Fantasy Flight Games posts a preview article on army building in Dust Warfare.
From their site:
In the upcoming Dust Warfare, armies clash for supremacy on the battlefields of an alternate reality where World War II continues. However, before you command your forces in battle, you’ll need to assemble an army using the versatile army lists included in the Dust Warfare: Core Rulebook.
One of the many appeals of Dust Warfare is the amount of control and customization you have over your forces. This game features a dynamic army building system that uses platoons, small and flexible groups of units and support vehicles that can be customized to complete any mission. In this preview, we’ll look more closely at the process of creating and equipping an Allied army list. We’ll focus on an Axis army list in a future article.
Using the platoon list
Familiarize yourself with the structure of platoons by looking at the Allies Combat platoon list (pdf, 160KB). This document illustrates platoon composition and details the potent Fire for Effect! special order. As you’ll see, every platoon is composed of up to four sections and additional Support units. You can choose from several different squads for each section you add. All platoons are required to have a Command Section and a First Section, but sections after that are optional and may be taken in any order. For example, a platoon could be made up of the Command, First, and Fourth Sections. Now that you’ve seen the basics of platoon building, let’s go over a sample army comprised of two platoons to illustrate how easy the platoon lists are to use.
Allies Army example
Command Section: The Boss Ranger Command Squad, 25 AP
1st Section: The Gunners Combat Rangers Squad, 20 AP
Unit upgraded to carry two M9 Bazookas
2nd Section: Death Dealers Ranger Weapon Squad, 20 AP
3rd Section: Recon Boys Recon Ranger Squad, 16 AP
Support Unit:Crack Shots Ranger Sniper Team, 12 AP
Support Unit: Honey Light Assault Walker, 25 AP
Support Unit: Wildfire Light Assault Walker, 20 AP
Platoon Upgrade: Improved Command, 5 AP
Command Section: Johnny One-Eye, 17 AP
1st Section: BBQ Squad Assault Ranger Squad, 21 AP
2nd Section: Grim Reapers Heavy Ranger Attack Squad, 30 AP
Support Unit: Fireball Heavy Assault Walker, 85 AP
Total Army Points: 296
This force consists of two distinctly different platoons. With a healthy mix of special weapons and resourceful units, a Combat platoon is well balanced and adaptable to almost any role. On the other hand, the Assault platoon features aggressive squads that deal loads of damage, but at relatively short range. Working in concert, these platoons complement each other, resulting in an army with tactical flexibility, supported by fast-moving and deadly assault units!
Each platoon must select either a command unit or a hero as its Command Section. Selecting a command unit like The Boss gives the platoon a Medic, Mechanic, and Radioman, along with abilities like Additional Support, which allows the platoon to select an additional Support unit (snipers or spotters only). A The Boss unit leads the Combat platoon in this army list, providing a range of useful support abilities.
Choosing a hero as the Command Section generally results in fewer but more powerful special abilities. For instance, Johnny One-Eye’s Badass ability permits Johnny and any unit he joins to continue fighting even when they have reaction and suppression markers (we’ll discuss reaction and suppression in more depth in an upcoming preview). Leading the Assault platoon into combat, Johnny sets the tone for a platoon that will contain fast-moving, hard-hitting units.
Gathering the troops
For the First Section of a Combat platoon, generals can select from The Gunners, BBQ Squad, Recon Boys, and Grim Reapers. This list includes The Gunners, because they have the option to upgrade to two Bazookas, supplying additional firepower to the army.
Death Dealers and Recon Boys form the Second and Third Sections of the Combat platoon. These units are reliable in almost any situation, and wield versatile weapons like an M9 Bazooka, Victory machine guns, and UGLs, creating a strong backbone for the army.
In the Assault platoon, BBQ Squad, Recon Boys, or The Hammers are available in the First Section. With the Fast ability, brutal short-ranged shotguns, and a flamethrower, the BBQ Squad will make a fine pairing for Johnny One-Eye. Lending speed and vicious Dual Victory machine guns to this fast-moving, rugged platoon, the second choice in the Assault platoon is the Grim Reapers.
Getting the support you need
Support units consist of crafty specialists (snipers and spotter teams) and powerful walkers, bringing firepower or support abilities to fulfill vital battlefield roles. Each Support choice requires you to have already selected two sections on the platoon list, so you’ll want to make sure you include enough sections in each platoon to purchase all the Support units your army needs. For example, the Combat platoon has four sections and two light walkers in the Support unit slots. The Crack Shots are an upgrade granted by the Command Section’s Additional Support ability, hence a third Support slot.
In the Support slots of the Combat platoon, the Honey blasts enemy infantry and walkers with its energetic 120W Dual Phaser gun. The Wildfire excels at shredding enemy infantry and it also has strong anti-aircraft potential. Both of these light walkers fit nicely into the overall theme of tactical flexibility.
The fearsome Fireball fills the support choice for the Assault platoon. This massive walker not only delivers Napalm blasts to the frontlines, but it can also carry Johnny One-Eye and his BBQ Squad into battle as well!
To round out each platoon, you may select a platoon upgrade that gives your troops formidable advantages like additional heroes, better equipment, or even devastating artillery support. The Combat platoon has the Improved Command upgrade, giving the Command Section an additional Radioman to help issue Orders in the Command phase, which will be the topic of an upcoming preview.
Versatile and easy to use, the platoon lists in Dust Warfare give you freedom to build an army that suites your playstyle. With so many options for building your army, the possibilities are almost endless! Gather up your favorite units and prepare to organize them into an unstoppable force when Dust Warfare arrives next month. Until then, check back for our next preview, which will cover the innovative Battle Builder system and the important Initiative phase.