Dust Storm, Outcast Enforcer


external image Ashes+and+Dust+-+Dust+Storm.jpgOverview

The Dust Storm is a byproduct of the death and rebirth cycle of Ashes and Dust. It comes from a table edge when Ashes and Dust dies, and mostly exists to reunite with the Ashen Core and turn back into Ashes and Dust.

If the Ashen Core dies, you won't get Ashes and Dust back, but the Dust Storm can still be a useful model. It's a fragile but fairly mobile hit-and-run unit with some resilience tricks. It's basically a consolation prize for failing to get your Ashes and Dust back, but it's a pretty nice consolation prize at that!

The Dust Storm is generally seen with Leveticus, since it synergizes with the Leveticus Crew.


Mobility

The Dust Storm can get around okay. It has a Wk 5 and no Charge.

The Dust Storm has one mobility trick that can help if it's tied up in combat. Its Choke attack has a trigger that requires an additional Crow, Pull to Core, which pushes the Dust Storm 5" toward the Ashen Core. Since that's the Dust Storm's Wk score anyway, it's often a good idea to take the extra hit if you can get it.


Offense

The Dust Storm has a very nice Melee attack, Choke. Choke has a very high Ml 7 crows, and does a very nice 3/4/6 damage spread - as much as the full Ashes and Dust! The Dust Storm is a lot more fragile than Ashes and Dust, though, so make sure you have a plan before you get into a fight. It's usually more important to get to the Ashen Core than it is to get an attack in.

The Dust Storm also has a reflective damage Trigger Dissolution built in to its Df and Wp that does 2 damage when the Dust Storm takes damage from a Ml attack. This isn't really a primary offensive tactic, but it can discourage wounded attackers from finishing off the Dust Storm. Or it can help you get a little bit of vindication when someone kills your Dust Storm.

The main thing that the Dust Storm wants to do is (0) Initiate Reformation. Use it after you've finished the rest of your turn, when you're in base contact with your Ashen Core. It sacrifices the Dust Storm, and gives the Ashen Core an extra Armor +1 (as an Ability, not a Condition, so it gets around Amalgamation.) Then you get your Ashes and Dust back at the end of the turn. This is the main use for Dust Storm. If you can use it, use it, preferably at the end of the Activation unless the enemy has a lot of off-turn tricks.


Resilience

The Dust Storm is resilient and fragile all at once. It has a lot of resilience tricks and a very high Df 7 crows (and a decent Wp 5 crows). The problem is, it only has Wd 4. And it's a very, very tempting target, since if the Dust Storm dies the Ashes and Dust is lost forever.

The Dust Storm is Hard to Wound +2, so it will usually take Weak damage. When it does, it also will do 2 damage to the attack with Dissolution if it was a Ml attack. The Dust Storm is immune to Conditions and being buried from Amalgamation.

The Dust Storm can heal its 1/2/3 with a Corpse or Scrap Marker within 6" as a (0) Reduce to Ashes action. Do not use this action unless something has gone horribly awry! You usually want to use your (0) action to bring back Ashes and Dust. Healing Dust Storm is a great way to extend its life a little if you lose the Ashen Core, and it can get rid of enemy Corpse Markers, but it's not as important as getting Ashes and Dust back.

Note that the Dust Storm's Reduce to Ashes is the only time a typical Leveticus Crew will use a Corpse Marker. It's so rare that you'll need it, though, that it's often not worth dropping the Corpse Markers.


Upgrades

The Dust Storm is an Enforcer, but there's no way for it to get any Upgrades. Ashes and Dust passes its activations along to the Ashen Core, so it's pretty rare to see any Upgrades on the Dust Storm.


Tactics and Tips

The Dust Storm gets a full 2 AP Activation even when Summoned, because it's immune to Slow.

Usually, the main thing you want to do with the Dust Storm is get it back to the Ashen Core to reform Ashes and Dust.

You may want to consider putting it near a low Wd, low Df enemy before you reunite with the Core, though, especially if you have a high Crow in hand. If the Dust Storm can kill a key enemy with its melee attack then return to the Core and still reform, it's basically a free attack. Be careful, though: if the Dust Storm doesn't get back to the Ashen Core by the end of the Turn, you'll be in for a bad time trying to keep both parts alive (well, undead) another turn.

If you're playing with the Outflank Scheme, you can split off the Dust Storm to the other side of the board to claim a surprise late-game full VP.

The Dust Storm can also act as an anchor for Hollow Waifs, since it has a Soulstone Cost of 6. That's pretty much the only reason for that Soulstone Cost, since you cannot hire the Dust Storm.


Playing Against Dust Storm

If you can trip up the Dust Storm before it gets back, all the better. It's probably a little easier to kill the Ashen Core than the Dust Storm. Use Pushes, Sh and Ca attacks, and defensive triggers to trip up the Dust Storm.


Ownership
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