Dust Tactics Second Edition v1

Dust Tactics 2nd Edition

I reckon the folks’d be a sight happier if I died like a soldier. Can’t say I would.

Dust to Dust—second edition that is! Battlefront brings it all together in the new edition of Dust Tactics.

For anyone waiting until the dust settled before getting into Dust Tactics, it’s been a confusing ride over the last few years. First there was the original ‘big box’ Dust Tactics (with normal and premium pre-painted versions); then Fantasy Flight revised the core set into a smaller box and called it the Revised edition. Then a tabletop version called Dust Warfare was released. Finally, the licence was passed to Battlefront Miniatures, and here we are with Dust Tactics Second Edition (or sometimes, Dust Tactics 2.0).

The confusion doesn’t end there though. Dust Warfare seems to be floating in limbo while this new version of Dust Tactics is a 112-page rulebook that includes both the original ‘boardgame’ rules, plus a very similar version designed for the tabletop called Dust Tactics Battlefield.

I only played Warfare once, and while it had its own charms, I definitely think it was a smart move to make the tabletop version almost the same as the boardgame version. Now you have one set of cards (for gamers there at the start like me, this is the second time I’ll be replacing my unit cards) and pretty much one set of rules. Even better, the myriad special rules and abilities are virtually the same. Things were far more confusing when we had two different rules systems. Kudos to Battlefront for simplifying matters, though I’m relieved I only ever forked out for the PDF versions of the Warfare rules.

As for the second edition rules, I have yet to try them out. Unit stats have apparently changed quite a bit and there are other rules changes to things like cover, line of sight, reactive fire, weapon range and effectiveness, but how this all affects the ‘feel’ of Dust Tactics, I have yet to discover.

I’m not as satisfied with the new dice. The original dice had a wonderful simplicity to them—just hit or blank sides—that was iconic for the game, and now results vary between three symbols (one of which changes depending on the faction-themed dice you use). I just find it hard to get used to the faction symbol—rather than the hit symbol—being a hit in most circumstances. I’m sure I’ll get used to it eventually and no doubt the increased flexibility was required, but it does seem a shame to lose something that made the game so distinctive.

In any case, hopefully it’s a new era for Dust Tactics and all this confusion will fade away. Throughout everything, the great vehicle models have kept coming out, though I would like to see more variation and dynamism in the infantry models. And I’d love to field an alien race to spice things up a bit…

After the link you’ll find rules summaries and reference sheets for both Dust Tactics and Dust Tactics Battlefront; despite the repetition I’ve kept these separate so you can use the right sheets for the right game. To avoid confusion!


  • Tom says:

    Thanks for the new edition write up. I was initially skeptical of purchasing another set of rules and a third value system for the cards, but I think it streamlines everything; particularly helpful are the special action rules defined on the backs. Also, there are rules for using the old dice with the new ruleset, but I haven’t tried them yet.

    • I’ll try and get some games in and do some form of report. I heard some griping about the new rules, but that may just be from people emotionally invested in the old system. I definitely want to decide for myself!

What do you think?