News for December 2011
Taking Command 1
A Dust Tactics Spotlight by guest writer Ron Cover
Dust Tactics | Published 07 December 2011

As the global conflict continues, the importance of strong leadership increases on all sides of the struggle. Responding to the need for competent commanders, the Axis and Allies are unleashing new command squads that consist of highly trained and experienced fighters who have been equipped with the best weapons and armor available. Soon, the Allied front lines will be strengthened by the Corps Officers, and simultaneously, the Axis releases the Heavy Kommandotrupp. With these two NCO Command squads hitting the Dust Tactics battle map in the near future, commanders are going to want some strategic advice.

A few weeks ago, we asked the Dust Tactics community for their feedback and ideas, and Dust Tactics player and frequent forum poster Ron Cover responded with some insights regarding the new NCO Command squads:

New skills, new strategies

NCO Command Squads bring an exciting new element to the battlefields of Dust Tactics. Rather than simply mirroring the original Command Squads, they give additional diversity to tempt any commander. The most noticeable shift is that none of the NCO Command Squad skills require a roll for success. While they don't hold the sheer power of the Command Squad's Get Moving You Bunch of Monkeys!, Field Repair, or Come on Guys; We're going back out There, their automatic nature offsets that shift.

The Field Officer has the Artillery Strike skill. While other units have this ability, it is an important tactical skill for forces using Indirect Fire capable units. Smoke Mortars is the Field Officer’s second skill, and it is an exciting addition to a commander's arsenal because it allows a force the ability to block line of sight during movement or to protect a unit that would otherwise be exposed. On the assault, it can prevent enemy units from firing on a friendly unit as it moves up to attack another enemy unit. The loss of supporting fire and the blocking of line of sight changes the way many forces can play.

Moving on to the Field Mechanic, we find a familiar skill with Makeshift Repair. Especially with the addition of the heavy walkers that are very hard to destroy with a single attack, the ability to repair a vehicle is something that can keep a vehicle in the battle for the extra time needed to help achieve victory. Ammo Dump is the other Field Mechanic skill, and it should be something the Allies fall in love with very quickly. While other units benefit, the Steel Rain becomes a much more frightening proposition with the possibility of four more 4.2” Rockets. The ability to use Ammo Dump with just line of sight from the Field Mechanic is a significant consideration, especially with the introduction of multi-story buildings in Operation “Cerberus.”

A stimulating new skill

The final member of the NCO Command Squad is the Field Medic. Again, we have a skill mirrored from the Command Squad with Get Up, It Ain't That Bad, so players should be comfortable with that. Adding a new twist, the second Field Medic skill is Stimulant Kit. While it can only be used on adjacent infantry, the skill gives a unit an incredible boost in capability for one round at the expense of their next turn. Used at the right time, it is a recipe for devastation. Two Sustained Attacks, two Charges, a six space move followed by an attack for Jump infantry, or any of a number of other options, can turn a unit into a whirling dervish of destruction just when it's needed. With the persistent effect of Smoke Mortars, it becomes a possible one-two punch aided by the NCO Command Squad that can eliminate the opposition without reprisal.

Thanks for the ideas, Ron! The new Corps Officers and Heavy Kommandotrupp give Dust Tactics players a plethora of choices to make in the heat of battle. Check out the rules for these squads in the Operation “Cerberus” rulebook which is available for online download (pdf 7.7MB), and devise your plan of attack. These elite command squads will be available in the coming weeks, so makes sure you stop by a retailer and pre-order your box.

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 (1)

Published: 12/7/2011 11:00:13 PM

 That´s one good analysis of how new skills operate with other new units of the game as well. Also, I agree that i´s a great thing that NCO doesn´t just replicate previous command group abilities with only a bit more of armor. Gives a promising expectation on future releases.

BTW congrats on Ron for being the first member of the community to contribute to the game!

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