The If Only List… Dust

With only a few hours left to vote it looks like the underdog Dust will win by a landslide. After the success of the last Poll I thought that this week’s would be a complete bust, so thanks for voting. The result was not a surprise to me, Dust has been on my radar as a Risk replacement for almost a year now.

To put this all into perspective, I own 4 copies of Risk. I have regular risk (the one with real missions like Conquer Europe, Australia and and a third Continent of your choice, Conquer 24 territories, Destroy the Black player, that kind of thing) I recently bought Risk Balance of Power for a better 2 player experience, I own Risk Clone Wars and Lord of the Rings too, enabling me to player both Fantasy and Sci Fi.

Back in the great summer of 2001 I was sweet sixteen and for an entire summer three of us would meet up and play wargames. We played Warhammer, Lord of the Rings, a Warhammer RPG hybrid I designed, a WWIII game also designed by me, but at the end of the night we would always play Risk.

We used to play a variant game which allowed for territories to be traded, which eventually led to a game we called “One Turn Risk” in which whoever went first won. After six games turned out like this in a row, we stopped trading.

So… I’ve played a lot of the Risk, but when I saw Dust I wanted it. Now that I’ve read the rules I want it even more. So without further ado, lets look at the list:

  1. Dust would replace Risk and Clone Wars Risk, swapping two large boxes for one box seems fair enough to me.
  2. Dust is beautiful… I mean really really nice. It’s also Fantasy Flight, which means as well as looking awesome all the fiddly chits will be top quality along with the box, cards and board.
  3. Dust is simple enough to teach quickly, all the information you need for the game round is on the card you play. Everything from turn order to movement and combat. However, it is also deeper than Risk, adding extra levels of strategy and, in my mind, fun.
  4. Different units have different abilities and are not just representative of having multiple troops. Yes, this makes it more complex and you have to remember a couple of stats, but doesn’t it also make it more realistic? (as realistic as a post apocalypse sci-fi world can be!)
  5. Different sites have different abilities. In the game particular locations such as power centres and factories affect game play, which adds another layer of strategy that Risk just doesn't have.
  6. What other game lets you control 800 tanks, mechs, planes and subs? You know that’s cool!

All good so far then… but why didn’t I buy it?

  1. Dust costs around £40, that is a sizeable chunk of my gaming budget for a game I don’t think the family will play. Basically, like Twilight Imperium, Battlestar Galactica and Tide of Iron, Dust failed to make the cut for one very good reason and that is simply that the amount of times it will hit the table just don’t currently equal the price tag.

And that’s it folks, I have no other qualms with Dust, it is on the “to buy” list the moment that it becomes a more playable game, hopefully within the next two years but as it stands Dust remains on the shelf at my Local, Friendly, Internet Gaming Store. *sob*

Again I would like to thank everyone who voted in the poll. I will try and run one every two weeks and then talk about the results in the fortnightly rambles. Some will be just for fun others will actually be serious questions about what games I should add to my collection.

Until next week, keep on gaming!