Friday, 6 April 2012

Quick Review: Dystopian Wars Rulebook 1.1

I've just bought the revised Dystopian Wars rulebook so I though I'd do a quick review.

The book itself is 124 pages long and produced in full colour with lots of photos of the game's models. It also contains numerous drawings used to help explain the rules and also to provide examples of what should happen in various situations such as some of the more complex combats.

It starts with a general history of events leading to the current situation which sets the scene nicely. This is followed by a more detailed briefing on the political and military situation for each of the major players (CoA, KoB, FSA, EotBS, PE). These briefings flesh out the world well making it seem a living breathing entity rather than a sterile environment where random battles take place.

The rules themselves run to 66 pages and are fairly easy to read. While not as well written as the V3 FoW rulebook they seem fairly clear and proceed through the things you need to know in a logical fashion. Towards the end of the rules you start to encounter more 'walls of text' for such things as Generators and MAR's. However you will only need to read the parts of these sections which apply to your models which makes things easier.

The rules are supplemented with the stat cards for the main nation's forces, both land & sea. Although the stat cards for CoA & RoF are not included. You also get counters & turning templates which, I presume, are for copying rather than cutting out.

So what do I think of the rulebook? Well, I had no problem reading through the rules and explanations. Everything seemed clear, but I won't know for sure how well written they are until I actually try them out. There was nothing intimidating about the rules, in fact, having the 'fluff' at the start draws you into the rules nicely, making you want to read more and actually play a game. The rules look playable with different sizes of game or even multiple players which is a bonus if you are going to use these as a basis for a campaign, which I highly recommend.

Overall I give these rules 9/10 which I may increase to 10/10 once I've got a few games under my belt.

The last thing I want to comment on is the price of the rules. They can easily be found for £12-£13 which is a bargain, particularly when compared to the prices of other rulesets. For example the popular Saga rules are about half the size of the DW rules and cost about £10 more. When you combine this with the superb casting and sculpting of the models and the support you get from Spatan Games Dystopian Wars has to be one of the best game systems out there at the moment.

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