As I write games for a living, you may imagine that I play all the time. Well I do some weeks, but aside from work games I seldom play as much as I’d like. This week, however, I’m doing pretty well with 3 (non-work) games in as many days. Tuesday was supposed to be Infinity, but ended up with me taking the Japanese navy out against the Antarctican fleet in Dystopian Wars instead. Wednesday I’ll tell you about tomorrow (it’s the subject of a long review), and this morning I played a game of 2mm Napoleonic. And no, that’s not a typo, I really do mean 2mm 🙂
Tiny scales like 2mm are great for the grand sweep of a battlefield, and can look far more credible as a pair of armies clashing than larger scales as you can have dozens of blocks of troops fighting. Naturally, they rather suffer in the detail front, and you will have trouble counting the buttons or checking to see if the medal ribbons and cuff turnbacks are correctly painted. Incidentally, that’s why they’re also very quick to paint. I used to play a lot of 6mm games, but haven’t for some time. These days my eyesight is so poor that I’ve sort of graduated to 10mm instead. However, when Bob offered to bring along his 2mm armies for a bash I thought it would be fun to try. We used a free set of rules he found on the net, and while we agreed they’d need some changes to play lots, they were a fun enough game, and a grand spectacle. All on a 2×2 foot space too.
The Dystopian Wars battle was interesting because it was the first time the Antarctic fleet had been on the table at the club (and only my second game too). Broken? Rubbish? Well it’s early days to comment, and I’m not sufficiently versed in the fine points of the system to really analyse it properly, but the initial assessment was that they were very good. We couldn’t see what their major weak points were, though their strong points were clear enough. There’s always an issue with new armies as people haven’t fought against them and don’t know how to take them apart. Usually this wears off after a month or two, and things return to normal. The slightly concerning thing about this lot of new kids on the block is that a look at their stats seems to show them being around the same as other fleets, but with extra wibbly rules on top to help them out. For the same points. Flexible too, which is another benefit that should be pointed in (though this is admittedly very hard to do). Note that I am not saying that they’re broken, merely that I’d love for someone to tell me how all the shiny toys they get balance out so they’re worth about the same as my fleet. And no, I didn’t lose either. Paul had to get back, so we called it a draw with less than half of each fleet left afloat and honours roughly even.
How do you rate Dystopian Wars overall? its something I’ve been seriously considering getting, I think the models are fantastic and I love the whole victorian sci-fi thing, but if one fleet is clearly better than the rest it could potentially ruin the game
Hi Keith. I don’t think that the fleets are hugely unbalanced from what little I’ve seen, but bear in mind that I’ve not played with or against half of them. I am told that from the original four fleets three of them were much on a par with only the British lagging behind. That’s hearsay rather than my own experience though. As I said above, I can’t really put my finger on how the Antarcticans are “paying” for their extra toys, of which they have quite a few. Another possibility is that all the new toys just happen to suit my style of play, which most of them seem to (so they look really good to me personally, but might look less clever to others).
In general Dystopian Wars is a fun game. It’s simple to start with though some subtleties appear on repeat play. It’s rules are quite traditional and as I played a lot of naval games in my youth I found it very easy to pick up. “Quite traditional” is not a criticism, by the way. It just means that they haven’t felt the need to unnecessarily reinvent the wheel. I am also told that they are basically the same rules as their fantasy and SF games, so if you’ve played either of them they should be very easy to pick up.
In summary – it ain’t broke 🙂
Thanks for the comprensive reply. I suppose that just leaves the question Prussians or Antarticans. Although If I start it will almost ineviably end up being both (I never seem to be able to stop with just one faction).
I’m trying to stick to just the Japanese, but like you I do have a habit of spreading into others…
Two factions is allowed though – just to be able to show my mates 🙂
Thats always the excuse I tell myself, I tend to buy into a game first and then convince my mates they should buy it too
Keep telling yourself that. I’ll back you up 🙂
Hi I’ll add my thoughts now I’ve played a few games. I think it was generally felt at first that the KoB fleet was slightly underpowered compared to the other 3 initial fleets. That belief has abated somewhat as people started to get a bit cleverer with their fleet composition and tactics. I’ve now seen some quite competitive KoB fleets that if played properly are quite hard to beat. There is however a growing consensus that the FSA are possibly the easiest of the fleets to use and what at first might have seemed like downsides to them aren’t actually all that bad as they’re uncomplicated to use and cheaper in points cost but just as affective as more expensive ships with nice toys and dohikeys on them. I too am a tad concerned about the CoA and I’m not too sure I see much of a downside to them and when I read through the rules for them my eyebrows did raise somewhat at the points… they seem cheap, very cheap. Still overall its a good little game and I enjoy playing it.
Yeah, a few raised eyebrows here too. We’ll see though. Spartan seem to have done a reasonable job of balance so far. Can’t remember whether my burblings on points have been published yet. Perhaps not. That’s a ramble for another time though. Still working on a borrowed iPad. May not be able to get on again this week,
I have yet to field my Antarctican fleet in anger but when I look at the fleet I have down on paper compared to my EotBS fleet, well I have to be truthful and say there was much head scratching going on. I’ve been told by others not to worry so much, but I can be a pretty sceptical Hector when it comes to things like this. Until I witnessthem for myself in anger I think I’ll reserve judgment… on a way more positive note though aren’t they lovely little miniatures?
I like some of the Antarctic models, but not all: just as with all the DW fleets. The only fleet I like in its entirety is the French one, and that’s probably because they’ve only shown one vessel so far 😛
Yeah in my review of the CoA miniatures I said I have mixed feelings about them. Mainly the cruisers tbh: