Tuesday, August 7, 2012

DUST Warfare: An interview with Paolo Parente, Introducing DUST Chronicles

Old School here with a little something different. Since DUST Tactics first came out, I have had an eye for their crazy walking tanks and Pulp WWII background. When DUST Warfare came out and was being shown at Adepticon, I was skeptical, but very interested given the scale of the models and the opportunities I saw for painting great looking vehicles.

This Summer, I spent some time in Maryland and saw a lot of people playing DUST Warfare at Dropzone Games and finally, I decided to make this my next game system. I have been slowly getting involved with it since, but I found some folks at DUST Chronicles who have already taken it to the next level and created a magazine for the community. Here is an interview they featured in the first issue with Paolo Parente, which gives some great insight into the man who created the game and where the game may be heading.

 Thank you for taking the time to answer a few interview questions for us Mr. Parente.  Before we start, are there any confessions you want to make, anything you need to get off your chest?
Can you please refer to me as Paolo? Mr. Parente doesn`t sound like me….
I will confess to you that l am having a blast. DT is giving me the best time of my life, thank-you guys for welcoming it on your gaming tables and for dedicating so much passion to it. It`s so good.

Do you play Tactics and/or Warfare?  If so, which faction(s)?  
I play DT, and l tried warfare in January, played with Mack Martin, it was fun.
As you can expect I have all factions, right? And multiples of each model, plus some crazy conversions... I play both Axis and Allies, soon I`ll start playing SSU.

What is your favorite Dust creation so far?
 The Recon Mickey and the Axis Heavy Walker amonst those already released, and my favorite of all will be in the display cabinet at Gencon… cannot say more for now, but you`ll spot it immediately.

Now that we can see tanks on the horizon, what are the plans concerning armor 1 infantry?  
All categories that you can find on the cards will be present in the game one day. I have a concern about Type 1 infantry, in my opinion with the rules that we have today they don`t stand a chance on the battlefield, let`s say… in my opinion we need a second edition of the game to really be able to display infantry 1 units. Please note that infantry 1 does not necessarily mean “not wearing armor” it mostly means “Greens/Recruits” where inf.2 means “Battle-hardened Veterans”.

What are the future plans for the NNO?  Will they be a playable faction or will they remain in the background?
  OK… I cannot actually disclose what will be released in the future, but you need to know that at the beginning of the year the release plan is  discussed with FFG in detail, that`s the moment where l show my ideas from my sketchbook and we organize them into a release schedule . I am developing new armies as well as sub-factions for each major army with Special Characters. I think that this answers the next question too. Majestic 12 and Abenerbe, will we be seeing more/any characters and models  from these organizations?
[editor]: See above.

Vril.  Hollow-earth or outer space?  Can we expect to see them next year?

Vrill are both in my sketchbook, their release date has not been decided yet, next year a 4th army will be released for sure. What makes this decision tricky is that, as it seems, our audience is divided in two. One part of the gamers would like to stick to WW2 quite strictly while another more open minded part would go more “Pulp”. Pulp is totally the spirit of Dust…..

Any plans to do more comic books based in the Dust world?

I wish ! I wish that I had all the spare time to sit at my desk and draw comic book pages Preparing and following-up all the Dust Models and figurines actually absorbs all of my time, everyday. We have been talking about having a new story entirely drawn by Davide Fabbri, but he`s busy with Dark Horse and he has only drawn 3 pages so far.
On the other side, we have a trilogy of novels being written by our good friend Matt Forbeck, and we`re preparing an illustrated version of the first volume to be released early next year.

What about branching out into other media?  Like videogames or film.  

I hate non disclosure agreements !! no movies for now… one videogame under development.

What about a Dust RPG?

I would love the idea, one of our FB friends has started to work on it, hasn`t he proposed to publish on the fanzine yet?
[editor]: We are working with Christopher Barnhart, keep our eyes on these pages.

Are you happy with the level of success Dust has reached so far?

TOTALLY HAPPY, but we need more players…. Thanks to all of you guys who are spreading the word every day we will get those soon.
The company is healthy and self-sustaining, unlike Rackham we are very well financially managed, we are here to stay and to share more than Dust.

Will Anastyr be played on the table top or will it use the tiles and squares system of Tactics?

Anastyr is not a game for now, but is one of the 3 universes that we`re developing at the moment, being Barbaric Fantasy we can disclose the designs and start selling the minis as High Quality Resin Figurines without revealing much, we cannot do the same with other WIP that we make grow locked in the drawer everyday. Anastyr will be a game when we will have the technology to release hard plastic very detailed minis like those new beautiful plastic characters that GW is making for Warhammer Battle. For now we cannot reach that standard, so we will not have a game soon. Allow me to say that l refuse to battle with figurines armed with bending pvc swords….

Who do I need to talk to around here to get a Fallschirmjager platoon list for Warfare?  And when do we get our Raketentruppe?

Warfare is a licensed product of FFG, so u need to talk to Mack… but you might have noticed that DW and DT go at the same pace, those units that you are wishing for are in my plans.

What conventions and shows will you be at in the next 6 months or so?

Unfortunately l cannot travel much, my work keep me so uber-busy… I wish that I could leave the Factory/Monastery more often…. For the moment I have been invited to Sandiego Comicon but it`s not confirmed yet, as it`s not sure for GenCon, for sure at the moment is Tokyo Wonder Festival at the end of July and Vulcon next year..

There's been speculation about what the future of Dust might include based on previous works (like the Japanese walkers from the Dust Sourcebook, and the Vril Hecaton).  Are those previous works going to be part of the Dust canon, or should we expected changes and evolutions to the Dust universe?

Some of those creations still make sense in Dust today, others like the beautiful Hecaton remind me too much of the AT43 Therians, and l am looking for a much more Pulp take on the Vrill at the moment.

Since a lot of the traditional factions from the World War II era have been combined to form the Allies, Axis, and SSU, how much room is there for new factions to expand the range of the game?

Factions and thematic sub-factions is, in my opinion, a very interesting way of developing new armies.
British SAS units for example might play in any Allied Army, but a Full SAS army list might access to special exclusive SAS characters unavailable otherwise. This is just my take, nothing g has been decided yet.

The game stats for the Dust Warfare / Tactics minis have some unfilled holes (like Infantry 1 and 4, and  vehicles 1, 2, 5, and 6).  Do you see all those spots being filled with models at some point in the development of the game?

Absolutely yes, any category on the cards is meant to be in the game.

Are there any future plans for AT-43? Is there any chance that game would ever make a comeback in any form?

SAD, SAD and SAD…..  l have a lot of affection for AT43, but it does not belong to us. Besides, the actual owners don`t care for this game at all. And worse news is that all the molds for the figurines and vehicles will be melted by the end of the year since nobody has serious intentions to make use of them, so sad. I know this well, my bedroom at the Factory/Monastery is located exactly above the warehouse where they are stored….  

Do you want to give us any hints about what is coming our way in the future that hasn’t been addressed by other questions?  (Hint, yes you do.)

I really have nothing to disclose here besides a new faction at the beginning of next year

Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions, we look forward to seeing what the future of Dust has in store for us.

Many thanks to all of you, your enthusiasm for Dust gives me a better sense to my days.

That is it for now. Hopefully, there was something in this article to appeal to those already playing DUST or for those who were simply curious. Here is a link to the Magazine that Dust Chronicles has put out. Check it out and if you are already a DUST master, then check out their submission guidelines, they are looking for some fresh content for upcoming issues!

Also, many of these photos are the work of Lazuli Studios - check out their website and their 300pt army for $300 deal (fully commission painted)

Beyond that, while I always recommend buying from your local Store, DUST is super cheap at Miniature Market. 


  1. I got to talk with Mack Martin at WARGAMESCON and when we asked if he could give any information about the upcoming armies (after Vrill, which he said are next) he said "Oh, hold on I need to cough. *cough cough cough* JAPS AND INDIANS *cough cough cough*" Samurai walkers are a year and a half away... Makes me sad.

  2. And he talked a lot about the Superheroes. The Russian "Iron Man" (that's being released in Operation Hades); an American or British flying ave with dual pistols who can FLY; and he said that the Axis one is still on the drawing board, but might be the Totenmeister "reborn".

    1. I would love it if you had an interview you could point us to or some intimate details from your talk that we could turn into a post.

  3. I don't have an interview to point you too, sorry. I kept popping back to his demo table between games all weekend and asked him to help build my friend and i's armies.

    We talked about his approach to game design, he said that he wanted there to be a balance. He said that there is bound to be some nasty tricks, but they won't be game breaking, and they won't be because of broken rules. "There isn't a tournament winning list in our game, because of the battle builder. There's just tournament winning players. The balance in Dust is very focused, we don't have nearly as many armies as 40k, so everyone is familiar with everything."

    When I asked about how many armies were planned he said they want five or six, and afterwards they'd see if there was anyone else they wanted. When I asked who the sixth faction would be he said "I honestly don't know yet, we've just talked about adding to the the five. Africa has come up though..."

    When I brought up my love for the storytelling in FFG's RPGs he's helped write, he mentioned that he wants to write Dust Warfare narrative campaigns to flesh out the story better.

    He said that whoever wins the national championship in November for either system will be made into a hero for the faction of their choice(!!!!!!!) he said that every year they want to release a new faction, and that they'll add new units or heroes to all the previous factions throughout the year.

    That's all I got, thanks for the interest.