Today we have part two of our three part series on Dust Tactics Weapons.
Weapon Reliability and Special Weapon Rules
We have talked a lot about average damage. But as someone said to me: “You still have to roll dice!” Words of wisdom. With bad luck even 10 dice might miss the broad side of a barn. But that’s very unlikely. To find out the different characteristics of weapons I calculated a lot of probability distributions, but I don’t want to bore you with unnecessary details. Instead I will give you some guidelines which weapon might be useful in a given situation.
Slow and steady
Let’s say you have to choose between a 3/1 weapon or a 1/3. We know in the long run they deal the same amount of damage. But the 3/1 is more reliable because you throw more real dice. This I call the “slow and steady” category. If you have a lot of dice chances are high that you hit at least something. With a normal attack 4 dice should result into 1 hit with a high reliability of 80%. But don’t expect that every dice is a hit, that’s very, very unlikely. Sustained attack is your best friend here as it increases your chances tremendously. Expect here that 2 dice result into 1 hit.
“Slow and steady” is best at putting away the enemy left overs. In cases there are only 2 soldiers left, or you need only some hitpoints to kill this tank prefer the more reliable weapon. Or if you’ve got the time and don’t need to take a higher risk, weapons with a lot of 1-damage-dice are a good choice.
All or nothing
On the other side there are these weapons you roll only 1 die for, and if you hit you do a lot of damage. The Panzerschreck with 1/3 belongs into this category. It’s hit or miss. Kill the enemy tank with 1 shot or get nothing. Whereas it is near impossible for a “slow and steady” weapon to realize their full potential in 1 turn, the 1 dice weapon can do it!
This is a higher risk you take. It’s the weapon of choice if you want to kill your enemy NOW. Not in two or three turns, but now. If your unlucky you roll three times and still got nothing while a “slow and steady” weapon would have put a significant dent into the enemy armor. But it is not as important to damage vehicles partially than it is to reduce a group of enemy soldiers. A damaged walker is still full functional, so it doesn’t matter as much. Just make sure to not attack with this unreliable weapon if only 1 point of damage is needed if you’ve got the choice.
AP incendiary blast (death skull weapon)
We’ve not discussed armor piercing weapons so far because you can’t determine the average damage here. AP weapons kill in one shot regardless of hit-points left. See the following table to see how likely a hit is:
Number of dice kind of attack probability to hit
1 normal 33,33%
1 sustained 55,56%
2 normal 55,56%
2 sustained 80,25%
Characteristics of laser weapons
Laser weapons are improved a bit if you compare them to normal weapons with the same amount of dice. Damage and reliability is a bit higher. But don’t expect any series of successful rolls that increases your output significantly. The chance to roll 3 hits in a row is measly under 4%. See it more like a bonus, don’t rely on the laser effect too much. 2 dices with laser are comparable to 3 normal dice.
Characteristics of phaser weapons
Phaser weapons are not very reliable in Dust Tactics because you have to throw the dice two times. The chance to miss with a 2/3 phaser weapon is 59%. On the other hand the chances to realize more than one third of the potential damage output is very slim. But a phaser weapon still hits from time to time, that’s the good news. As always use sustained attack if possible. The real advantage of a phaser is that it ignores cover.
There are some special rules you have to take into consideration besides raw damage output. The most important is the special rule of ignoring cover. Close combat, flamethrowers, artillery, phasers and (most) grenade weapons ignore cover.
I won’t go into detail about cover in this article. But it’s enough to say that against hard cover a weapon that ignores cover is three times more effective than a normal weapon!
Burst or reload are also rules you have to take into account.
Sustained attack or not?
Sustained attack is almost always useful. You want to deal damage as fast, reliable and often as possible. But there are some cases in which a sustained attack is unnecessary overkill. For example if you’ve got 6 or more dice for every enemy hit-point a normal attack is more than enough. With 6 dice the chance to achieve at least one hit is 91%. Why waste one action to increase this chance to 99% if there are more important things to do?
Or let’s say you’ve got a situation where you have to move two spaces in two turns. What to do? Sustained attack, then move-move? Or would it be better to shoot-move, shoot move? In the second case with two single attacks your damage output would be indeed a bit higher (about 20%). But I would treat both possibilities as equal. In the second turn you could already have lost some troops, so there is no real advantage.
If you can use sustained attack. In the end it’s nearly as good as two single attacks.
This brings our article to an end. I hope it was helpful so that you can make the best use of your weapons of choice. Next time I will discuss soft and hard cover and if it’s useful to attack tank traps.
See you next Wednesday for part three looking at cover in Dust Tactics.