Friday, August 31, 2012

DW Fleet Analysis

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This post will highlight and analyze the pros and cons of each faction of Dystopian Wars.  There's currently 7 core nations to the game so I'll go over them first.  Each faction has their own unique thing going for them, so I'll try to touch upon their aesthetics as well as their playstyle in this review.

Federated States of America
  • If you love the look of Steam Boats, you're going to love the look of the FSA ships.  Almost all of their models makes you feel like you're in Industrial-age 'Murica.  They even have a John Henry robot!
  • The Space Marine faction of the game.  Solid stats on most of their ships for a very cost-effective price.  Easy to play, solid and forgiving durability, combined with powerful ranged weapons.  A good faction to start with to learn the game.
  • Arguably the most powerful Dreadnought in the game.  The Enterprise Dreadnought puts out obscene damage from all ranges and have the highest defenses in the game: DR/CR 8/13 with up to 2 Shield Generators!
  • A lot of their ships sports Sharpshooters take can take out enemy AP while in close distance or can be outfitted with Kinetic Generators that can turbo-boost their ships across the ocean.
  • Great Carriers, taking advantage of the unique Double Decker MAR and many of their ships are Maneuverable, which allows the FSA to rotate freely when All Stopped so they can continue their long range bombardment.
  • Overall, just a really strong faction with many strong naval and air elements with not much downsides. I guess their ground forces could need some work.

Kingdom of Britannia
  • KoB ships are literally floating castles with a ton of weapon turrets.  All of their heavier ships favor having multiple turrets that can fire in multiple directions.
  • A strong faction when it comes to playing the ranged game, but also pack a decent amount of Shield Generators.  One of the more unique things that the KoB have is their Guardian Generator and Experienced Engineers.  This unique Shield Generator allows the KoB to spread their shields to vessels within 8" of them, and Experienced Engineers can fix the effects of Critical damage better.
  • The plus side of having multiple turrets is that you can focus targets a lot better without sacrificing too much movement.  That way, most of your ships are able to generate a steady increase of firepower as you close Range Bands.  The bad thing about having so many turrets is that once your ship starts taking damage, all of your turrets will decrease in strength.
  • KoB also specializes in having a lot of torpedoes.  If you like being able to throw a ton of torpedoes into the water, then KoB might be the faction for you.  The fact that torps don't get nicked by sustained damage means you'll always have enough to go around.
  • A lot of interesting and awesome looking air models as well as one of the game's only true submarines.  Not just that, but it comes with Hull Ripper/Breaker that allows it to maul ships by moving through them.

Prussian Empire
  • These are your standard WWI and WWII looking ships.  This includes giant blimps that might remind you of Red Alert 2!  Maybe that's why the Prussians are among the more popular factions to pick up!
  • Don't worry though.  Despite having a large following on how the faction's models look, the Prussians are considered one of the more difficult factions to play.  This is largely due to the playstyle of the faction:  They are fast and brutal, but they can either win big, or lose big.
  • The main gimmick of the Prussians is that they're highly elite, have a lot of AP (assault marines), and are generally considered a boarding faction.  The Prussians enjoy rushing forward towards their enemies so they can do damage with their Teslas and powerful gunnery before boarding the enemy with superior AP numbers.
  • Another thing the Prussians have is that they utilize Tesla technology.  Teslas are one of the most common weapons found in the Prussian arsenal and most of these sport the Lethal Strike special rule.  Once a Tesla weapon does damage to an enemy ship, that ship automatically loses 1 AP.  This type of damage in turn, make the enemy easier to board once the PE marines come flying in.  Tesla Generators, on the other hand, can cause random Crit effects on enemy ships or give a model extra movement.
  • The entire fleet is fast.  Very fast.  Their Arminius Class Frigate moves 13", their Cruisers and Gunships move 10", and even their Emperor Class Battleship moves 7".  Obviously, the speed is there to secure successful boarding attempts.

Empire of the Blazing Sun
  • Most of the Japanese ships look like sea trains.  I don't know how else to put it, but if you can imagine a train that's floating in the water, that's what their ships look like.  If that doesn't do it for you, they have a giant mechanical squid.
  • The EotBS have a good amount of AP on their ships as well, but they're not considered a true boarding faction when compared to the Prussians.  This is largely due to the fact that many of their ships are armed with long-range Incendiary Rockets that can set enemy ships ablaze!
  • A lot of the EotBS ships have Fixed Channels on their weapon profiles.  This forces the Japanese fleet to engaged in narrow and focused channels of fire, but thanks for the fleet-wide Sharp Turn MAR, the EotBS can pull off maneuvers that are unheard of to other factions.
  • Although Japan has a weak Dreadnought, they more than make up for it with the ability to take the Mechanical Ika (Giant Squid).  It is DR/CR 5/10 7 HP with Ferocious, Sharp Turn, Rugged Construction and a whopping 9 AP each.  Once these guys get a hold of an enemy ship, it is almost sure to derelict it.  Two of these can comfortably kill everyone on an enemy Dreadnought without much problem.
  • Despite the Sharp Turn MAR and the universal +1 CR on all their ships, the EotBS is considered one of the more difficult fleets to play due to the bi-polar nature of their weapons and precision-based damage through Sharp Turn maneuvers.

Covenant of Antarctica
  • The CoA have the most technological looking ships; futuristic, pure science fiction and almost alien in design.  This is to reflect their almost post-human aesthetics taste.
  • As for the fleet, the CoA is made out of almost pure science.  They sport the most special rules of any faction and this can be a blessing and a curse.  This is a blessing when Target Painter and multiple Shield Generators increase the damage output and defensive capabilities of your fleet, but it's a curse when your ships rely on these technologies instead of their hull durability.  Good thing that they have Inventive Scientists to help with re-rolls.
  • The CoA is weak in terms of AP and defensive values because they rely on their technology to carry them through the day.  Energy Turrets can shoot with equal effectiveness at all ranges, Particle Accelerators that can travel through targets, Wave Lurker that can move an entire Battleship semi-submerged, and Sturginium Rounds that can punch through Shields.  Like I said, straight out of science fiction.
  • In terms of powerful selections, the CoA is definitely no slouch.  The Aristotle BB is considered one of the best, if not the best Battleship in the game, and the Plutarch Class Destroyers can put out an insane amount of damage while moving great distances.  The Callimachus Time Dilation Orb can literally teleport units across the board, or it can end up visiting the Bermuda Triangle for a turn.
  • The CoA doesn't use normal pilots for their Tiny Flyers, they use Drones instead!  This means that they don't have fuel, don't have to return to base after AD attacks, but they get destroyed a little bit easier than normal pilots.

Republique of France
  • Your ships can fly.  Not only do some of your ships have the ability to skim across the surface of the ocean, but some of your ships can literally take to the skies.  You have to see it to believe it.
  • The French has a paranoid amount of AA (Ack Ack) compared to other factions.  Since they have below average AP ratings on most of their ships, their supremely high AA is designed to stop boarders dead in their tracks.
  • A lot of interesting toys:  Field Generators can cancel other generator effects, Cloud Generators make French ships harder to hit, Heat Lances bore through the heaviest armor with ease, and Retardent Armor reduces the first exploding 6 to a normal hit.  All of these things keep French players happy and make their opponents frustrated and confused.
  • Definitely not the fastest fleet.  When you compare the RoF's speed against the other factions in the game, it's pretty clear that the French are in no hurry.  The majority of their fleet likes to take a slow and steady approach to battle, but this can be a major problem when facing superior ranged gunnery.  This is amplified some more when you consider the typically lower durability ratings and a heavier reliance on activating Cloud Generators.
  • It's pretty clear that the French currently own the skies.  Most of their air units are absolutely fantastic and they're the only faction in the game that have access to a flying Dreadnought-like Sky Fortress.  That thing tears apart most things land, air and sea.

Russian Coalition
  • If you like big ornate structures radiating with industry, manliness and big guns, the Russian Federation might be for you.  Keep in mind that the Russians are the newest core nation, so they don't have as many models just yet.
  • Ablative Armour on most of their ships makes them nigh immune to damage until they receive a Crit.  This keeps the Russians in the game as most of their guns are limited to RB2, with very limited options at RB3+.
  • This, however, is not a problem according to the Russians.  They remedy this with enough firepower that can level entire fleets and most of their turrets is focused directly in the facing that they're going in:  Forward.
  • Even though most of the Russian ships contain Conscripted Crew (meaning they suck in combat), low AA and CC values, many unique MARs allows the RF fleet to rush into combat without much issue.  Mimic Generators can copy enemy Shield Generators for free, Torpedo/Rocket Breakers allows the Russians to redirect enemy fire, and Glacier Generators can literally form blocks of ice onto the battlefield.
  • Unique to the Russians are Tiny Flyers who can use their last fuel to attack and counter-attack, and a flying mushroom-shaped medium class bomber who can literally charge into something and blow up.  If this doesn't make you believe in the great leader, I don't know what will.


Ian C. said...

Nice write-up! A good series of summaries on the core nations. Thanks!
One thing: should be Russian Coalition, not Russian Federation. Not a big deal of course.

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