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LOU THE RAT DUST PLATOONS OVERVIEW – PART 2

Sieg Thaler, here is your one and only Lou The Rat! Today we will work with platoons from two more Axis factions – popular but controversial BlutKreuz and handsome, well equipped and hard as steel Luftwaffe soldiers. Achtung! Doors are open, lines are secure, light is green, Feldwebel yells in your face! Jump! Jump! Jump!

Grades reminder:

A: no-brainer, that is a start for 99% of army lists;

B good, but with certain drawbacks, or some crucial problems;

C: only for the guys that want to play a certain army, tell a story than focus on winning the game;

D: WTF….

IMPORTANT: Remember that abilities of certain platoon not only affects the required units – any unit or hero can be joined. Also many players forget that ONE required unit can be changed by a mercenary unit of the same type (infantry/walker) with the same or higher armor value than the replaced unit. Sometimes it helps by removing one of the weaker units, taking something certainly better and still retaining the platoon bonus.

BLUTKREUZ ZOMBIE SCHWARM PLATOON

Command unit: TOTENMEISTER

Combat unit 1: BLUTKREUZ KORPS ZOMBIE SQUAD

Combat unit 2: same as combat unit 1

Combat unit 3: same as combat unit 1

Combat unit 4: same as combat unit 1

Combat unit 5: same as combat unit 1

Combat unit 6: Surprise – same as combat unit 1

Minimal cost of deployment: 39 pt

Ability: All units with Mindless Zombie gain Charge ability. Additionally they can take over Objectives.

Advantages: In the old version, that platoon had an additional sad bonus – units that were part of it had to attack closest unit in range 3. While very climatic, it made it totally useless. If you cared for your troops you had to send a wave of zombies in one corner of battlefield, while other troops attacked from the other one. Seeing trough this plan was easy as checking your morning Facebook – dead horde quickly concentrated all long range and artillery units – and fun ended quickly. After errata it gained a lot luckily. Zombie hordes that benefit from cover everywhere can be supported by numerous, interesting and cheap heroes (Frank Von Stein, Grenadier X, Wolfgang), and Totenmeister can not only resurrect our troops but also increase their March range (so in fact Charge range) up to 4. If you don’t play on long maps, and enemy uses a lot of armored support, he can have a big problem with this undead wall of bodies. Braiiiiinnnssssss!!!

Disadvantages: Collecting 6 squads of Untertoten can be a tough day for your wallet. Also, you need to avoid raining death – any form of artillery is devastating for your troops, removing their built-in cover everywhere on the board.

Score: B

BLUTKREUZ KAMPFAFFEN MARKUS PLATOON

Command unit: MARKUS

Combat unit 1: BLUTKREUZ KORPS GORILLA SQUAD or BLUTKREUZ KORPS GORILLA PIONEER SQUAD

Combat unit 2: same as combat unit 1

Combat unit 3: same as combat unit 1

Combat unit 4: same as combat unit 1

Minimal cost of deployment: 39 pt

Ability: Gorillas being part of the platoon do not get Suppression tokens, when they are being shoot at as part of Reactive Attack. Additionally, Marcus can try to reactivate other monkey units on normal rules (so having line of sight and in range 2).

Advantages: None. If you like playing gorillas, you already have this platoon – you just don’t know it. Protection from Suppression is too situational, and Marcus always has his hands full charging enemy units and won’t have time to try risky re-activation.

Disadvantages: As above. It’s one of the platoons you have to spent long moments after reading trough them – guessing “What had the poet on his mind?”

Score: D

BLUTKREUZ KAMPFGRUPPE VON STEIN PLATOON

Command unit: FRANK VON STEIN

Combat unit 1: BLUTKREUZ KORPS ZOMBIE GRENADIER SQUAD

Combat unit 2: HEINRICH (Trop)

Minimal cost of deployment: 25 pt

Ability: As long as Frank Von Stein is alive, all zombie units being part of the platoon (both as combat or support units), become much more efficient in close combat. Enemy units attacked by these forces in close combat (range C) automatically receive Under Fire, even if they didn’t got damaged. If they were already Under Fire, they become Suppressed. Additionally, every enemy unit in Line of Sight to the unit being attacked (in range 3 or less) also becomes Under Fire or Suppressed accordingly.

Advantages: Suppression mechanics in Dust 1947 are not very effective in my opinion. And I don’t see the point of creating an army around that effect – let’s remember that Chance to roll at least 1 success on 2 dices removing suppression is 55%. So, it’s quite easy to remove Under Fire/Suppression. But! If we use this on mass scale, it can become a weapon of mass destruction – and Von Stein platoon allows for that, as even looking at his brave undead scares the hell out of enemies. We will need a higher amount of 5-point Mindless Zombies for that – they are hard to kill and even storming trough open terrain shouldn’t be a big problem for them. If their attack is properly supported by earlier Under Fire tokens on enemy and some smoke – we can count on some spectacular finishing touches.

Disadvantages: Although Frank Von Stein is a close combat beast (Expert with claws, Berserk, Charge), we must keep him behind the frontline. Losing him makes our platoon advantage go away like a cozy dream. Also, the requirement to use overpriced Zombie Grenadiers is not helping this platoon.

Score: C/B (if you Focus on using amassed zombie forces).

BLUTKREUZ KORPS PLATOON

Command unit: SIGRID or LASER GRENADIER COMMAND SQUAD

Combat unit 1: LASER GRENADIER SQUAD

Combat unit 2: LASER GRENADIER SQUAD or HEAVY LASER GRENADIER SQUAD or ZOMBIE GRENADIER SQUAD or ZOMBIE SUICIDE SQUAD

Combat unit 3: LASER GRENADIER SQUAD or HEAVY LASER GRENADIER SQUAD or ZOMBIE GRENADIER SQUAD or ZOMBIE SUICIDE SQUAD or LASER TANK-HUNTER SQUAD

Minimal cost of deployment: 26 pt

Ability: As long as the command unit is in the game, SIGRID and all LASER GRENADIER SQUAD, HEAVY LASER GRENADIER SQUAD, ZOMBIE GRENADIER SQUAD, ZOMBIE SUICIDE SQUAD and LASER TANK-HUNTER SQUAD that are part of the platoon – cannot be suppressed. They never gain Under Fire or Suppression tokens.

Advantages: As I already mentioned the Suppression system is not a great gamechanger in Dust 1947 – of course it’s always better to be immune than not – less luck dependent factors. The most economical viable option seems to be 26 pt.: LASER GRENADIER COMMAND SQUAD and three teams of LASER GRENADIERs SQUAD. If you have good day and dices like you, your grenadiers can pay back their cost quickly. And you won’t have to worry that due to bad suppression roll you are not stuck in the middle of nowhere. Those guys just get their job done.

Disadvantages: If you use this platoon with other units than LASER GRENADIER SQUAD, it means you have on your table one of the weakest (and most expensive) Axis units in the whole game – ZOMBIE SUICIDE SQUAD and HEAVY LASER GRENADIER SQUAD are better scrapping floors than fighting. Recommended only for fluff players.

Score: C/B (if you focus on the Laser Grenadiers).

LUFTWAFFE FALLSCHIRMJÄGER PLATOON

Command unit: KURT or FALLSCHIRMJÄGER COMMAND SQUAD

Combat unit 1: FALLSCHIRMJÄGER BATTLE SQUAD or FALLSCHIRMJÄGER TANK-HUNTER SQUAD or FALLSCHIRMJÄGER ANTI-AIRCRAFT SQUAD

Combat unit 2: same as combat unit 1

Combat unit 3: same as combat unit 1

Minimal cost of deployment: 31 pt

Ability: All Fallschirmjäger units and Airborne RSO units might land closer Objectives than normal – they can be placed in Range 1 instead of Range 2.

Advantages: Experienced Dust 1947 commanders say that fights against Luftwaffe are usually very fast – in turn 2 you usually know who will win this battle. All thanks to Airborne skill – allowing LW units to enter the battlefield even behind enemy lines. If we eliminate the chance for unsuccessful landing by adding a proper hero (like Rolf or Galeazzo), enemy will start saying goodbye to most important units starting turn 1. It’s also worth remembering that platoon ability works on all units with Airborne skill – Axis FJ apart from infantry and RSO have a wide range of support units (rockets, laser guns, recoilless guns etc.), that used well can be a thorn in the side of our enemy.

Disadvantages: I don’t have the holy grail here for you – the biggest problem with FJ troops is their 33% of failure upon landing – right onto bayonets and bullets of the enemy forces. Such units we can usually consider lost. Second issue – due to lightning speed and sheer power of these units, many tournament organizers develops additional rules to prevent them from airdropping anywhere on the boards. If you are a tournament animal, make sure your local community is not anti-airborne 😉

Score: B

LUFTWAFFE RAKETENTRUPPE ASSAULT PLATOON

Command unit: GOLIATH

Combat unit 1: RAKETENTRUPPE BATTLE SQUAD or RAKETENTRUPPE TANK-HUNTER SQUAD or RAKETENTRUPPE ANTI-AIRCRAFT SQUAD

Combat unit 2: same as combat unit 1

Minimal cost of deployment 23 pt

Ability: All Raketentruppe units that are part of this platoon gain the Brave ability – they throw three dice instead of two when trying to remove under Fire/Suppression.

Advantages: There is not much to explain here – it’s always better in life to be Brave than not to be, we will succeed on these rolls in 70% of tries thanks to this ability. If your enemy is using a range focused army, quick recovery from the effects of mass shooting can be a useful part of your battle plan.

Disadvantages: As I mentioned way too many times today – the suppression mechanic is a bit less effective in game than the creators would like to. Additionally, to field this platoon we must spent 9 army points on Goliath, whose is at least a misfit in a ranged RT army with his close combat focus. I bet he would be much better in BlutKreuz force, his brethren for sure miss him much.

Score: C

LUFTWAFFE RAKETENTRUPPE PLATOON

Command unit: RAKETENMANN lub RAKETENTRUPPE BATTLE SQUAD

Combat unit 1: RAKETENTRUPPE BATTLE SQUAD or RAKETENTRUPPE TANK-HUNTER SQUAD or RAKETENTRUPPE ANTI-AIRCRAFT SQUAD

Combat unit 2: same as combat unit 1

Combat unit 3: same as combat unit 1

Minimal cost of deployment: 30 pt

Ability: All Raketentruppe infantry units that have the Flying ability and are part of this platoon pass Infantry Save during first round both on shield as well on faction symbol.

Advantages: Small thing, but it makes you happy. Simply a platoon allowing you to be in cover first round – wherever you are. Taking into account that move range of these units is 3 and most weapons have range 4 (assault rifles) or 6 (machine guns, Fligerfausts) then we can go for a bold alpha strike in first turn without worrying about health of our soldiers too much. It’s also worth remembering that the great Raketenmann has the Move and Fire ability and 5 HP – which means he can attack almost any target in turn 1 and survive to fight another day (or round).

Disadvantages: Shame it only works on first turn!

Score: B/A (on small maps).

LUFTWAFFE RAKETENTRUPPE SHADOW PLATOON

Command unit: KAORI

Combat unit 1: RAKETENTRUPPE BATTLE SQUAD or RAKETENTRUPPE TANK-HUNTER SQUAD or RAKETENTRUPPE ANTI-AIRCRAFT SQUAD

Minimal cost of deployment: 12 pt

Ability: Raketentruppe infantry unit with the flying skill, that is joined to Kaori can share her Camouflage ability.

Advantages: The usefulness of Camouflage doesn’t need to be explained – these units cannot be shoot from afar unless with artillery. But even so – Kaori can still take most hits on herself. And when our camouflaged ninjas come closer to enemy (best range 2 or less so her SMG’s can do some work) usually there is no one standing. You can use this against infantry (we select RAKETENTRUPPE ANTI-AIRCRAFT SQUAD as her bodyguards), you can use it against armor (then we go for RAKETENTRUPPE TANK-HUNTER SQUAD). Choose and be happy!

Disadvantages: Sadly, only one squad can be camouflaged.

Disadvantages: Sadly, only one squad can be camouflaged.

LUFTWAFFE KAMPFGRUPPE PLATOON

Command unit: FLORENTINE

Combat unit 1: RAKETENTRUPPE BATTLE SQUAD

Combat unit 2: Fallschirm RSO/PaK 40

Minimal cost of deployment: 26 pt

Ability: Each unit in this platoon can perform an Ammo Drop officer action on itself. Roll one die – on faction all ammo is replenished.

Advantages: Quite useful platoon that allows Raketentruppe units (they all have 2 limited Panzerfausts) and some FJ paratroopers to self-reload used ordinance. It’s especially usefull when fielding dedicated AT squads (Raketentruppe Tank-Hunter Squad and Fallschirmjäger Tank-Hunter Squad), which only have Panzerschreck after using their one time Panzerfausts (God only knows why called bazooka on card..). One action, 66% chance of success – and BAM! We are back in the game.

Disadvantages: Sadly Fielding this platoon requires you to bring some of the worst LW units for 19 points – Florentine i RSO/PaK 40. But with the right army it might be worth it.

Score: B

In the next episode I will present you Allied platoons! Until then, safe jumps into enemy zone!

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