It seems a tad ironic that an expansion for Dust Tactics based around the invasion of England should arrive here roughly three months after it’s worldwide release. Still, as it’s finally with us this seems like as good a time as any to take a look at what’s inside the box.
Unlike the previous expansions, Cerberus doesn’t come with any extra map tiles. Instead, as well as the usual two new heroes, you get the parts to add 3D buildings to your previously 2D games. (I’ve added a series of photos which will hopefully give you a good idea of what to expect – click on the thumbnails to see the full versions.)
The rulebook is a typical Fantasy Flight affair – nicely printed, with legible text and plenty of illustrations and photos. The book contains an assortment of new rules, strategy tips, instructions for putting your buildings together and 7 new missions, including a couple designed for four players. All of these make use of buildings, and are designed to set up on the paper maps which came in the revised starter set. That said, you could just as easily use the cardboard tiles from the original starter (also available separately). There’s no real linked narrative this time, but there’s still plenty of background material to help set the scene. As ever, the full rulebook is available as a free download from Fantasy Flight’s website.
The two new heroes are made from the same slightly soft plastic as the other figures in the line (it’ll be familiar to fans of Heroclix), but pleasingly there is little evidence of warping which is particularly surprising in Angela’s sniper rifle. There are still a few small mould lines, but they’ll clean up easily enough although at the expense of the pre-sprayed undercoat.
Of course it’s the building which is the star of the show here – as you can see, it comes as a fair collection of hard plastic parts which are designed to slip together. Longer wall sections push down into corner or divider pieces, and lock into place with the small built-in peg at the top. As you might expect, the joints vary between stiff and slack and I’d take care when assembling so as not to end up snapping anything – they don’t feel particularly frail, but I can see how they might get damaged fairly easily. You could always glue them, but then you’d lose the modular nature – one of the selling points.
I followed the instructions in the book to assemble one floor of a building (the pieces also stack) to give you an idea of size and scale, as well as a look at how many parts were left over. Given the size of the average Dust Tactics battle, one of these sets will give you enough for a large centre piece or a couple of smaller bunkers.
As a keen miniatures gamer, I’ve noticed a lack of cheap generic modern city terrain in 28mm scale (hell, even in 15mm). Looking at comparable plastics, Games Workshop tends unsurprisingly towards futuristic ruins and skulls (the latter not really being a feature of East London architecture) and Pegasus Hobbies have a similar aesthetic. Amera‘s vacuum-formed plastic buildings are decent, but made from a softer plastic. Urban Construct make some amazing modern resin buildings, but they do come at a premium price. There is a lot of excellent print & play terrain available (particularly from WorldWorks), but that still relies on a decent colour printer, plenty of card and an equal amount of patience.
I’m not particularly surprised to see that Fantasy Flight have added a modular building to their forthcoming releases list, as it really is a nice piece for the price (even given that you currently have to buy Operation Cerberus to get it). I can’t wait to put it to use playing 7ombieTV, or one of the many other modern-era skirmish games.