So you're planning on playing Dystopian Wars, but don't know what faction to play as? This handy guide will explain the strengths, weaknesses and hidden tricks of each faction, as well as some concepts you might have missed.

Major NationsEdit

The seven major nations in Dystopian wars represent those with the largest investment in the great war- they are committing massive resources and manpower to accomplish their goals. Major nations have the greatest variety of models and have a full selection for all theatres.

Kingdom of BritanniaEdit

The Kingdom of Britannia is the quintessential victorian nation- The British Empire, and its dominions. The sun never sets, etc. etc.

Their forces are known for being rugged and dependable- almost all Britannian weapons suffer less from damage than other nation equivalents. Their main turrets are Redoubtable, suffering half the normal dice loss from damage, and their many torpedoes are not reduced at all. On many models, their torpedoes are Piercing, allowing them to inflict debilitating critical effects on their target without needing to reach the target's CR.

Although Britannian ships do not have more generators than most, they do have several Guardian Generators- Like Shield Generators, but they also supply a degree of protection to all their nearby models. A smart Britannian player can thus have a large part of their force covered by shields, despite their lack of generators. They also have access to Target Painter generators for their Torpedoes, which can give them a greater chance to hit.

Important Concepts Edit

  • Endure through taking damage- Britannian ships can still be effective, even until they sink.
  • Guardian Generators- Shelter the smaller models with a protective shield.
  • Multiple, lower AD turrets- can easily engage many targets.

Advantages Edit

  • Redoubtable and Tertiary weapons mean they'll keep kicking all game long.
  • Several generator synergy options.
  • Chainsaw submarines.

Disadvantages Edit

  • Torpedoes struggle against an undamaged enemy.
  • Poor boarding abilities.

Covenant of AntarcticaEdit

The Covenant of Antarctica is the most advanced nation in the world. Built around the first vault in Wells Chasm, this tiny nation commands power all out of proportion to its population. They are the elite faction, with more expensive models and fewer numbers than most other nations- but all of their equipment is of the highest quality and their personnel are trained veterans.

The Covenant makes use of many unique technologies, the most obvious of these being the Shield Generators that almost all their vessels are equipped with, and the long range Energy Weapons that can optionally replace their standard gunnery weapons. Shield Generators, along with the Inventive Scientist ability, allow Covenant vessels to resist significant firepower, while Energy Weapons are capable of strong firepower at extreme ranges. They also have abilities such as the Teleport Generator (Which does what it says on the tin), or the Particle Accelerator- a powerful weapon that hits all models in a line, and ignores almost all special defences.

A special mention must go to the Covenant's drones, robotic aeroplanes deployed by their carrier. Unlike other nations' support aircraft squadrons, drones can simply be re-launched by their carrier when lost.

Overall, the Covenant is a precision faction- unlike many factions, who use overwhelming gunnery or hordes of conscripts, the Covenant will generally have just enough of a given resource to win- if it is used correctly. They must apply what force they have with care, making sure to blunt the enemy's strength before it can be brought to bear. With many battlefield control abilities, a careful commander can use this to great advantage.

Important ConceptsEdit

  • Generators (Shields, Teleporters) on almost all models above small size.
  • Wide variety of options- even basic turrets get a choice of specialisation.
  • Advanced technology.
  • Battlefield control.
  • "Scalpel, not sledgehammer".


  • Shield Generators with Inventive Scientists re-roll make Covenant ships deceptively tough.
  • Energy Turrets provide excellent long range firepower.
  • Powerful specialist squadrons excel at their chosen task.
  • Many special rules such as the terrifying Particle Accelerator, or the tricksy Teleport Generator.
  • Almost all models feature Elite crews.
  • Covenant Drone flyer squadrons can respawn from their carrier when destroyed.


  • High point costs- The Covenant standard battleship rivals some nations' heavy battleships in cost.
  • Low AP count- although they are Elite, the Covenant have few personnel.
  • Few extreme power attacks.
  • Energy Turrets suffer at close range.

Play This Faction If...Edit

You want to take your opponent apart, piece by piece. You want a high degree of strategic options. You want all the best insane toys.

Empire of the Blazing SunEdit

Centred on the Japanese home islands, the Empire of the Blazing Sun comprises Japan, Korea, the Dutch East Indies, and the Philippines, as well as some overseas holdings. They are a faction based around fewer, larger guns, backed by rocket batteries and boarding abilities. They are a faction that has few weaknesses, and are generally the most "balanced" of the major factions.

The Blazing Sun vessels are almost universally harder to critically damage; their CR rating is one higher than the usual value for any given class of vessel. Both their long range rockets and primary gunnery are incendiary, allowing them to damage enemy resistance before boarding.

Important ConceptsEdit

  • Subtle strengths.
  • Few weaknesses.


  • Comparatively good boarding abilities.
  • Some of the most powerful individual turrets across all fleets.
  • Incendiary rounds on all Primary and Rocket weapons.
  • Sharp Turn on almost all models allows a high degree of manoeuvrability.


  • Many weapons with restrictive channels- torpedoes and broadsides are both fixed channel.
  • Has to consider an opponent's weakness and play to it.
  • Low generator proliferation- generators often replace turrets, or are only available on larger models.
  • Struggles with activations, will often get out activated.

Russian CoalitionEdit

Lead by the Tsar, the Russian Coalition comprises the largest land nation on earth, and are highly expansionist.

The Russian Coalition focuses on slow, heavily armoured vessels. Most of their ships have a layer of Ablative Armour, that increases their durability... while it lasts. Their primary weapons are extremely powerful, but short ranged. A Russian commander will be used to marching through a storm of hostile fire to deliver a heavy knock-out strike, shrugging off most gunfire without slowing. Russian fleets could be described as an advancing wall of iron. The crews of Russian ships are generally conscripts- poor in combat, but compensated for with sheer numbers. Russian Coalition has high AP numbers, but they're worse in quality.

Although they sound simple, do not underestimate their stolen technology. They have access to the tricky Iceberg Generator, which can create obstacles out of thin air, and the Target Jammer Generator, which turns away rockets or torpedoes before they come near a Russian ship or it's allies. The highlight of their generators, though, is the Mimic Generator, which can copy the capabilities of nearby generators- friend or foe!

Overall, the Russian Coalition is a blunt instrument, a brute force faction with a few tricks up their sleeves.

Important ConceptsEdit

  • Short range superiority.
  • Heavy armour.
  • Use of overwhelming force.
  • All turrets face forwards.
  • Lots and lots of mortars with opportunity to use indirect fire firing option and in some cases even area bombardment.
  • Opportunity to slightly alter the battlefield with Glaciers


  • Powerful weapons.
  • Bucketloads of troops- high AP numbers.
  • Heavily armoured.


  • Very short ranged.
  • AP is conscripts- individually rubbish.
  • Armour is reduced after sufficient damage.
  • Difficult to be flexible- an incautious Russian commodore can easily be outmanoeuvred.

Play This Faction If...Edit

You want to hit things with big guns. You want all those guns to face forwards. You want to advance an implacable wall of steel across the board. And if you can't be bothered with all that strategy nonsense and just want to blow stuff up. In Russia, ship sail you!

Republique of FranceEdit

The Republique is reeling from its recent history. After the defeat of the legendary Napoleon Bonaparte, it suddenly found itself unable to defend it's own borders. Currently, it only exerts influence over France itself, though the Kingdom of Belgium has effectively been a French military and economic satellite state since end of the 1830s. despite their recent battering, however, the spirit of the French has never broken, and they are ready to restore the glory of France in this new world war.

The Republique is best recognized by it's heat lances, widely regarded as a truly powerful weapon. The heat lance, combined with the fact that several of their weapons are corrosive, means that your opponent's models will have a lot of sustained damage effect markers. However, another thing worth noting is that the French have extensive anti-air power. All their Ack-Ack is redoubtable, and one of their commodore's abilities involves Ack-Ack.

When it comes to defence, the French are noticeably lacking. While their DR and CR are on-par with most, their lack of shielding and other defensive MARs means you will be taking your models off the table just as fast as your opponent. The French aren't totally undefended however. As mentioned before their AA is great, and they also have access to the Cloud Generator, which causes most enemy weapons to incur a -1 to hit modifier. A good few of their models also possess Retardant Armour.

Important Concepts Edit

  • Heat Lances
  • Corrosive weaponry
  • Good AA
  • Cloud Generators
  • Low survivability

Advantages Edit

  • Good manoeuvring (due to skimmers)
  • Lots of sustained effect potential
  • Air superiority
  • Hard to hit

Disadvantages Edit

  • Easy to damage
  • Easily overwhelmed in boarding combat
  • Effectiveness of army goes down quickly

Play This Faction If.... Edit

You enjoy playing the glass cannon. You enjoy high strategy and take delight in superior manoeuvring. You don't mind removing plenty of your own models from the table. You want your air vehicles to be the only surviving ones.

Minor/Alliance NationsEdit

The minor nations in Dystopian Wars have less fighting strength involved in the conflict. Sometimes this is because they are a smaller nation with less reach, or that their war aims are much less aggressive than the major nations, and thus lead them into fewer conflicts. For example, the Chinese Federation is by no means a small or weak nation, but is considered a minor nation in the conflict as their involvement is mainly to protect their own borders. They generally have a smaller selection of models, and may not always have forces in all theatres- The Kingdom of Denmark, for example, has no land forces available, as they are not involved in the conflict in any major capacity.

Dominion of Royal Australia and New ZealandEdit

Britannia loyalists who didn't support the rebellion in the early 1840s'. Today the dominion is made up of the states of Western and Southern Australia, as well as the entirety of New Zealand and the island state of Tasmania, with the fortified city of Adelaide and Wellington serving as dual capitals. Royal Australia and New Zealand are governed as one Dominion, with one Governor, but with two Prime Ministers and local governments.

The Dominion's navy's ships are, like their Free Australian counterparts, mostly refitted old Britannian vessels. Consequently, Australian weapons and war machines lack some of the sophistication of the current Britannian armed forces. But they are tough, hard-wearing and rarely malfunction. Moreover, Australian and New Zealand engineers are noted for some surprising innovations, especially in naval architecture.

Most Australians are adept close combatants, and many ships boast an anti-personnel capability that will give even the Prussians a run for their Gold Marks. The slow-yet feared Victoria-class Monitors and their Devastating Munitions will ruin anyone's day, while the strange-looking Tasmania-class Tenders carry Crocodile-class subs packed to the brims with angry Aussies, just waiting to get to grips with the enemy. Finally the Cerberus-class Battleships, fitted with experimental Convertible generators, possess ample Devastating gunnery, and make the Crocodile subs even more dangerous.

Overall, the Royals have an abundance of the scary Devastating Munitions, and some very good boarding potential. Defensive capabilities are lacking as the DR and CR and average, and Guardian and Shield generators aren't quite abundant amongst the naval forces.

Important Concepts Edit

  • Devastating Munitions
  • Devastating Munitions
  • More Devastating Munitions
  • Good Boarding
  • Slow medium vessels

Advantages Edit

  • Great gunnery at close range
  • Good boarding potential
  • Fast large vessels
  • 'Forced Compliance' National Doctrine allows you to use a captured enemy model against the erstwhile owner

Disadvantages Edit

  • A lack of Guardian and Shield generators makes them somewhat easy to damage
  • No secondary weapons and no Redoubtable MARs means gunnery can reduce sharply
  • No Naval carriers. Only carrier available is the much maligned Illustrious Sky Fortress.

Play This Faction If... Edit

You enjoy a faction that is simple to learn but hard to master. The great gunnery makes the faction a very forgiving one to start with, but there is a lot of strategy to learn. The slow mediums can often throw a wrench in a commodore's plans, and it will take careful planning to make use of the overall synergy. If everything goes according to plan, the Victoria monitors trudge in, blowing something up with their huge cannons while frying the AP on the enemy Commodore's vessel. Next the Battleship moves in, blowing something up with its two cannons while providing Combat Coordinator support for the Crocs. Then the Crocs move in and board the enemy Commodore's vessel, prizing it. Then next turn, you activate 'Forced Compliance' and use their scary, virtually undamaged model against them.

Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth Edit

Between the empires of Prussia to its west, and the Russian Coalition to its east, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth is a nation between a rock and a hard place. Disappearing from the world map several times in its history, the PLC has always found its way back. Allied with the Russian Coalition for survival, the people of the PLC wonder if their supposed allies will become an occupying force.

Using borrowed Russian landships and several locally designed tanks and airships, the PLC continues the legacy of the famous winged hussars, specialising in devastating charges and aggressive boarding attempts. All their Russian equipment has been modified for extra speed, and all their own designs are capable of reaching speeds that would be considered 'slightly excessive' by most other nations. In addition to their higher base movement, nearly every PLC vehicle, from bombard to sky fortress, has the Sturginium Boost rule, allowing them a chance to go even faster.

The largest indigenous design is the Zamiec Sky Fortress, a monstrous airship capable of speed to rival some nation's medium airships, and armed with heavy flamethrowers. The PLC is a nation with a focus on their air force, and any list should include a significant aerial contingent. In a naval game, it is also their only way to bring their terrifying heavy flamethrowers to bear.

Their weapons consist of flamethrowers and incendiary munitions- the PLC can be guaranteed to tear across the battlefield leaving nothing but burning hulks in their wake.

Important Concepts Edit

  • Incendiary everything
  • Going unreasonably fast
  • Awesome cavalry charges

Advantages Edit

  • Heavy Flamethrowers have the Terryfying MAR.
  • Strong commodore doctrines
  • Excellent movement
  • Strong air force
  • All naval units are skimmers

Disadvantages Edit

  • Only a few models capable of effective boarding, relying on burning opposing crews first
  • Lightly armed- low AD turrets and short ranged flamethrowers
  • Little access to large units- focused on medium models and lighter larges such as pocket battleships
  • Struggles to prize models- targets tend to be on fire.

Play This Faction If... Edit

You want to tear across the battlefield faster than should be allowed, setting everything on fire and boarding most of it. That's really the long and short of the PLC- they're a very focused faction. They do one thing, and they do it very well.


The world of Dystopian Wars is ripe for the picking by those with the resources and inclination- a great many mercenary companies exist to sell their services to the highest bidder. Some serve any side in the great war, while some align themselves with one of the power blocs.

The Black Wolf Mercenary Company Edit

Led by the Black Wolf himself, Vladimir Nikonov, the Black Wolf Company is an unscrupulous, some would say piratical, organisation. Backed by the Covenant of Antarctica, and operating out of one of their secret bases- Clavius Point, hidden on a remote island off the coast of Greenland- the Black Wolf strikes at any target that takes their fancy. Vladimir himself was originally a captain on the Russian White Navy, until he defected, taking with him the plans and only functional example of the Death Bringer submarine. Eventually supplying the plans to the Covenant, his fleet contains several of these as well as many custom mercenary vessels.

The Black Wolf fleet functions as a sort of hybrid between the Russian and Covenant fleets, with powerful short ranged guns, ablative armour, high AP numbers with excellent crew types and a proliferation of generator options. These strengths come with their own collection of weaknesses, however. None of their naval medium models operate in squadrons, meaning that although their models are individually strong, they lack support and struggle to reach the raw AD numbers that the Russian Coalition can bring to bear. They also lack the sheer number of options that the CoA can make use of.

Important Concepts Edit

  • Devastating Munitions on almost all weapons
  • Powerful single models
  • Very strong stats on paper, but lack the squadron size of other nations
  • Kinetic generators on almost all capital models, allowing fast movement

Advantages Edit

  • Incredibly powerful turrets and fore guns
  • High AP numbers and excellent crew types
  • Generators allow synergy options with other models

Disadvantages Edit

  • Almost exclusively single model squadrons
  • Short range guns
  • Low model count

Play This Faction If... Edit

You want to play something a little like the Russians, but with a greater degree of subtlety. The Black Wolf plays in less of a brute force manner, as they lack the sheer toughness of the RC. They can be a little tricksy, but not to the extent of the CoA. This results in a faction that uses tricks and synergy to ensure they can get in close and deliver a brutal knock out blow.