Dystopian Wars

Last Monday I had the privilege of my first demonstration game of Dystopian Wars, laid out for me by the incomparable Adie! Dystopian Wars is a range that’s been sitting in the back of my mind as a ‘game I should really investigate’ for a while now, and so, when Adie volunteered to introduce the game to the Peterborough Wargames Club I leapt at the opportunity!

 Adie stands ready to sink my Battleship... (Not affiliated with the Hasbro game of a similar name... or the awful Liam Neeson film...)
Adie stands ready to sink my Battleship… (Not affiliated with the Hasbro game of a similar name… or the awful Liam Neeson film…)

Dystopian Wars is a naval action battle game set in a parallel dystopian world, where 19th century ethics and styles permeate, and the nations of the world do battle with vast Gothic battleships.

Adie laid out what I understand to be the components of Spartan Games Dystopian Wars starter box, complete with two fleets, dice, range rulers, rulebook and car islands.


I took the mantle of the Empire of the Blazing Sun, based on an interpretation of a 19th century Japanese Empire, whilst Adie used the Federated States of America – a re-imagining of the United States Naval Forces.

The mechanics of the game seemed fluid and intuitive – and I found that I had a fair grasp of them by turn two. From that point on it became a matter of turning arcs and strategy, as I attempted to outmaneuver Adie’s oncoming ships.

Overall, I found the game much to my liking. The models are charming, and the drop-in and drop-out nature of the weapons meant that even as a novice I could still have some input into the way I was going to play with the demo fleet. I can see this as being a great feature for long running campaigns and tournaments.

The Admiral assesses the conflict at hand.
The Admiral assesses the conflict at hand.

I think I would like to see more of the other nations fleets in play before I commit to a faction, although at the price, the starter box seems like a great and promising starting point regardless of which fleet I eventually choose to play.

All in all a great game – very satisfying to be playing ship-to-ship combat again!

For those interested, Adie is very enthusiastic about running demo station games for Dystopian Wars and the other Spartan Games ranges – and is always eager to run games for new players, or take on more grizzled vets with his figures!

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