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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Dust Warfare: Unit Review - SSU Close Combat Squad

Welcome to another Dust Warfare blog post here on Outpost Zero on the WWPD Network.  Today I want to kick off a new Dust Warfare segment called Unit Review.  Dust Warfare (and Tactics) currently has three armies available to be played, the Allies, the Axis, and the SSU.  Each has it's own unique play styles, weapons, and option.  Unit Review will introduce you to one unit at a time and will include pictures of what the models look like out of the box (when available), my version of what they look like painted up, and a brief description of the unit's armament and tactical uses.  Expect lots of SSU units to start with as that is the army I am currently working on.

Today I will be talking about the SSU Close Combat Squad, as seen below.  One of the nice things about Dust is that the models come assembled and primed for you and the primer takes paint very well.  At times I have found this a bit annoying, especially on Vehicles and Walkers, as I have wanted to do some small conversions here or there.  Thankfully with a little work you can usually disassemble the parts that you want to modify fairly easily.

Please excuse the green mini at the back of the group.  In testing how I wanted to approach painting my SSU I tried washing minis with various of the GW Shade colors to act as a starting point, but forgot to snap the photo for this unit before applying the shade wash to this mini. My bad.

Composition: I have found the SSU Close Combat squad to be very versatile in the few games of Dust Warfare I have played so far with SSU.  The unit is armed with 4 shotguns, a sulfur thrower (a SSU version of a flamethrower), and all models also have a knife and Molotov cocktails. Shotguns are a good short range anti infantry weapon that is effect against both Tier 2 and Tier 3 Infantry.  The sulfur thrower works well against both infantry and vehicles.  Add on the Molotov cocktails and you have a unit that is very effective vs both infantry and vehicles which is a dangerous combination.

Deployment & Tactics: SSU Close Combat Squads are available as a primary unit options in both Defense and Political platoons, and as a support choice in Red platoons (more on army building, platoons, and how they are organized in a future post).  There are a number of ways to use SSU Close Combat Squads in your army. SSU Close Combat Squads have a special rules called Assault. The Assault special rules prevents enemy unit from being able to react to the unit's movement when it is spending both of its actions in a turn to double move.  While you can not shoot, because you have use both actions to move, it does allow you to get close up and personal with an enemy unit and react to what they do during their activation. Using Assault to get several squads in close range with the enemy can be a good way to force your opponents hand if you went first, because in order to shoot one target they with have to take reactions from several enemy units in return.

Another viable option (and what I tend to do) is buy the unit a Transport Helicopter and give the platoon they are part of the Air Cavalry platoon upgrade.  Air Cavalry allows the unit to disembark after they helicopter has moved and if the helicopter is destroyed while they are inside, they immediately disembark and receive a reaction marker instead of being killed along with the transport.  The Transport Helicopter allows you to drop your squad behind enemy lines 36 inches from your deployment zone on turn one or anywhere on the table on turn two.  Or, you can head for whatever you think is your biggest threat and hit it hard on turn 1 or 2.  The down side is that the SSU Close Combat Squad has to spend their first action disembarking from the Transport Helicopter (enemies cannot react to disembark actions), but this allows you to get your unit nice and close to the enemy before unloading with their weapons into the threat of your choice.

No matter how you chose to use it, the SSU Close Combat Squad is a a very versatile squad for it's AP cost and a great addition to any platoon.

Jay Powell is a long time Hobbiest, Gamer, and occasional Podcaster that has over 20+ years of experience in the hobby. Jay has worked for Games Workshop and Hobbytown USA in the past, and has run many leagues, campaigns, and tournaments over the years as a Privateer Pressganger, GW Outrider, and game clubs member. Jay was the original co-host of The Gamers Lounge Podcast and has appeared on many podcasts as a guest host from around the world.  You can current find Jay, when not writing new articles for the WWPD Network, playing games at Huzzah Hobbies in Ashburn, VA or on his personal blog 24 Hour Gamer Geek.

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