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Monday, May 5, 2014

Dust Tactics: Task Force Joe/Stephan/Koshka Starter Sets

As many of you are aware, last year Battlefront took over distribution of Dust Tactics from Fantasy Flight Games.  A year later we finally have brand new starter sets for the three factions.  Each starter set comes with enough figures for a small starter force and all the pieces needed to play the game.  This includes dice, unit cards, game mats, rules, terrain tiles, and tank traps.

Task Force Joe

The allied task force is made up of a squad of Grim Reapers, Bazooka Joe, a Pounder, and Bot Hunters.

Bazooka Joe is by far one of my most favorite heros of the game.  This version of Joe is particularly awesome.

Grim Reapers and Joe

Bot Hunters


Other than minor warping of the soft plastic, which is an issue with all Dust figures, the Pounder was the only model between all three starter sets with any issues.  It wasn't a big issue, but the Pounder's barrel would not lock into place.  The barrel hung limp and needed to be glued in place.

I  know not all Dust players are thrilled with the new dice, but I don't mind them.  They have three symbols (a Hit, Shield, and National symbol).  I like these dice better than the old dice because they have six symbols instead of two hit symbols and four blanks.  I haven't noticed any problems or complications in game play with the new dice, if that counts for anything.

Here are the terrain tiles found in each Task Force.  The tiles are reversible and include a hanger, wall, tree, rubble, and two objectives.  They are typical of terrain tiles from the old Campaign sets and are well made and highly detailed.  I really like the objectives, which is a weapons cache and blue prints for a walker.

Like most of the previous Dust box sets, this one included one tank trap.  The tank trap is fairly simple and has good detail.  I have bought most of the Dust sets and have a ton of these.  I think it would be cool if they made some different looking tank traps to mix it up.  I get tired of the same traps over and over in each set.

Task Force Stephan
Task Force Stephan is the Axis task force.  It includes a Ludwig (the coolest walker in the game), Stephan, Heavy Laser Grenadiers, and Recon Grenadiers (as well as everything needed to play the game.)

Recon Grenadiers

Stephan and Heavy Laser Grenadiers


Stephan Conversion 
A lot of people have commented that Stephan is a pretty weak hero to include in the Axis starter set, especially since the SSU and Allied heros are awesome.  Stephan is nothing super and is essentially a hit sink and a flamethrower.   Stephan also is not that important of a hero in Dust lore.  Since I already have a Stephan I decided to swap the head of the leader of my Heavy Laser Grenadier with Stephan's head.  This gives me a unique looking leader for the Heavy Laser Grenadiers and an extra flame thrower.  The extra flamethrower will let me convert the Recon Grenadiers into a Sturmpioneer squad if I want to.


Task Force Koshka
Task Force Koshka consists of Koshka, Grandma, the Fakyeli, and Red Thunder (as well as everything you need to play the game).


Red Thunder

Koshka and Grandma

Koshka Conversion  
Like Stephan, I already own a Koshka and Grandma.  So I have decided to do a little conversion work on my new Grandma.  I popped Grandma's hatch open, reposed Grandma's feet, and put Koshka riding high and in command.  I will use this Grandma when it is loaded with Koshka.  Since I have another dismounted Koshka, when Grandma is killed I can place her on the table.

The last thing I should add it that the new unit cards are very nice.  They are smaller than the old unit cards, which were huge.  These cards are the size of playing cards and has unit special rules on the back of the card, which is very convenient.   Lastly you can use erasable pens to mark hits and make notes during game play.  All you need is a wet paper towel to clear them off when your done.

I really like the new starter sets.  I think they are a good buy, even for those who already have most the models and components.  You can easily do some head swaps or minor conversions to make some unique models or new squads.  If you haven't check out Dust, are a long time player, or want to get into a new game these starter sets are worth picking up.

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