Tabletop Games

Games I want to Try Again: Dystopian Wars

I only played a couple games of Spartan Games’ Dystopian Wars and would like to give it another spin.

Dystopian Wars is a 1:1200 scale wargame. 1:1200 scale means the minis are tiny, or at least that a very big ship is represented by a relatively small miniature. Most of the ships are 2-4 inches long and represent massive ships that would make real-world vessels look tiny. A neat feature is the game supports land, air, and sea combat at the same time: Most factions field massive aircraft of some sort, along with tanks the size of large buildings.

The factions are interesting, although the 1.1 rules suffered from some conditions where units weren’t necessarily good at their assigned schtick: for example, my Kingdom of Brittania forces were armed with tons of torpedos, but were’nt particualrly great with these, so the actual ‘meta’ to be successful was to concentrate elsewhere. I feel like Spartan as a company recognized this and used a series of ‘upgrade’ releases to give each faction a small boost to their core trait or traits.

The setting is a 19th century turned to endless war due to discoveries of weird science stuff in Antarctica. The uber-tech makes it easier to make gigantic guns, or mobile structures the size of buildings:

What I’ve got: I’ve got a bunch of Brits (The Kingdom of Brittania) and the starter box of Aussies. Lots of painting to do! I also have some terrain to build and assemvle: Spartan has done some neat terrain pieces including vacuum-formed islands/hills with pewter and resin ‘drop in’ pieces to dot them with buildings.

What I’d need to do to get back: There’s a 2nd edition rules out, although as of right now it’s available only in an expensive hardcover or as part of a starter set.

Update: After initially writing this, things got weird. Spartan did a Kickstarter (one of several) then went out of business. Another company bought the IP and some of it, but left a lot of KS backers high and dry. I’d accept this (they bought the IP and molds, not the ‘obligation’ as it were) but they have since proceeded to ‘reimagine’ the setting in a way that makes it somehow worse in my eyes. I haven’t heard if the new rules will be better or worse.