Dystopian Wars Team Game

Last weekend I met several of the regional DW players at a game store in Richmond.  Technically, we all met at a Red Robin in a local mall because the game store didn’t open until noon (what’s the deal with a game store not opening until noon on a Sunday–I’ve been ready to game all morning, and since going to play at the Game Vault at 10 am on any given Sunday is like going to church for me… well, I don’t go to church).  I enjoyed a pint on an empty stomach, and it certainly put me in a good mood to lose the game for my team in the afternoon.

We didn’t have any special plans, and six of us showed up at FTW by noon–we talked about facing off in three different games, but it became clear soon enough that we could play a big game by splitting into respective alliances:  we had 2 Imperial players with a Prussian (well, he also had his Russian fleet as well but admitted a preference for playing his Prussian fleet) against the Grand Alliance composed of Russian, American, and Canadian forces on both land and sea.


Before I could take a picture of the set up, we were away and gaming the first turn. I really like this shot of Eric pointing out something on the middle of the table while John takes a careful measurement. Most game reports feature shots of the miniatures on the table… flanked by bellies behind t-shirts while I prefer to capture a bit of the dyamic of the gamers actually playing these games.

We set up on two adjacent tables, each 4×6 feet, for a total playing space of 48 square feet!  I was entirely on the land side of things, setting up my Japanese tank platoons near a forest and approaching a small city; my Japanese team-mate was on the other end of the table with a naval force, and between us was John and his Prussians, half his force on the naval side and the other half on the land supporting my tank battalion.


Yes, that’s a paper model of the Brooklyn Bridge linking the lighthouse on the edge of the sea table with the railroad on the land table.

Everything commenced in fine form and then, as should be expected, degenerated into complete chaos.  My tank battalion faced off against Dave’s Canadians, only a forest between them.


Although the trees seem to be few and far between, we declared that any tank shooting between trees would suffer a penalty in the attack, hitting only on rolled sixes rather than 4+.

I consider myself a relatively slow player, especially when I take time to whip out the camera for war correspondent pictures.  But Dave and I activated and moved all of our units while the rest of the guys were still pondering moves for the first turn, so I took advantage of the time to take even more pictures.


Here is a shot of the full table setup from the seaward perspective, the Russian fleet moving into firing position against the Japanese fleet. And, yes, at the far end is the profile of a female figure–I don’t want to misrepresent miniature game stores as appealing to women, but every picture I took from this angle caught some part of this woman checking out our game.

While I was on the other side of the table I realized my respective opponent was bracing himself against the table and ready for more.  So we encouraged our team-mates to finish their final activations so we could roll for initiative and start the second turn.


Eric’s flying robots looked great on the table, forging ahead in front of their Russian comrades. On one John Henry robot you can actually see the thrusters blasting into full speed ahead.

The Imperial Bond (my team) started the second turn with high hopes.  I think we even had secured the initiative and moved our first units into action!


My Japanese Skyship moves into position to launch rocket salvos at the Canadian tanks, but the enemy landship has our flagship within range of the heavy mortors!

My Blazing Sun skyship launched plenty of rockets, almost all of them missing their targets, while the bombers executed their bombing runs.  Unfortunately, even the bomber pilots drank too much sake in celebration of the assured victory, and most of the ordnance fell into the town.


Meanwhile, to seaward, a John Henry class flying robot launches into an assault against the Prussian fleet.


The bombers fly off into the distance after completing their relatively ineffective bombing runs, and in the foreground a large walker prepares to defend its position behind the warehouse from an approaching platoon of medium Canadian landships rolling up main street.


On my left flank, the Prussians move into close combat with the American enemy, and the Prussian land carrier moves to support my Japanese landships.


A lone Canadian walking robot views the battle from the safety of the forest.

But the battle began to turn sour for the Imperial Bond during the third turn.  My Japanese command skyship suffered a critical hit which put all of the main weapons out of commission by the third turn and then crashed and burned in the fourth.  The large walker managed to defend itself, and the tanks in the forest on the right flank steamed ahead against the enemy.  Unfortunately, the Prussian carrier also suffered a critical hit which left it unable to lend any real support, and the Japanese walker was worn down while unable to inflict any appreciable damage against the large Canadian landships.Image

At the other end of the table the Japanese fleet lost some capital ships, and although the Prussian player managed to hold his own against the Americans, his flanks were clearly shot to pieces, and at the end of the day a decisive victory was declared for the Grand Alliance.




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