Fantasy Flight Games announced recently that beginning June 1st, 2013, the Dust Tactics and Dust Warfare games will be distributed by New Zealand-based Battlefront Miniatures, of WWII miniatures game Flames of War fame.
For someone who recently moved to New Zealand and who plays Dust Tactics—like, oh, me for example—this would seem a good thing. But what does it really mean for Dust fans worldwide?
Well, not that much as it happens. The move seems to be a very amicable one. Paolo Parente and his Dust Studio (who owns the IP and designs and manufactures the game and the figures) wanted to keep expanding and developing the game. Fantasy Flight Games, who handled the marketing and distribution tasks that Battlefront will now assume, wanted to focus on its core activities—presumably LCGs and boardgames. It does seem strange that FFG continues to dabble in miniatures games (AT-43, Confrontation, Dust Warfare) only to repeatedly retreat to its core games, but then again the two former Rackham games probably cost them a pretty penny in leftover stock when Rackham folded, and we can’t blame the company for directing their resources towards their most successful—and in the case of LCGs, cheap to produce—product lines.
There’s a short interview with Paolo on the Front Towards Enemy blog in which he clarifies the mutual nature of the change. And his partner Olivier Zamfirescu talks about the future of Dust in this post.
What’s next for Dust Tactics and Dust Warfare? Well, I can only assume that the Dust Studio has negotiated a new deal which gives them the freedom to expand the game and make sure it gets the attention it deserves. There’s definite talk of a new revised core set with second edition rules, an unavoidable price increase this year, and work on the (as yet unrevealed) miniatures that will be released in 2015. And there’s vague talk of a 15mm large-scale-battles version some way down the track. But for now the future of these two excellent games seems assured.
In the meantime, download v4.2 of my Dust Tactics rules summary and reference sheet. I’ve added some small reference cards that allow you to refer to the special rules for Command squads and NCO Command squads during the heat of combat.