Dahshat First Impressions
It’s been a few weeks since Adepticon, and since then I’ve been playing Dahshat to see what they’re all about. As you know, I really (REALLY) like the mercenary armies, so far I have Ikari Company, Druze Bayram Security, StarCo, and now Dahshat… meanwhile I’m trying to resist Spiral Corps and Foreign Company, haha.
Who is the Dahshat Company?
The Dahshat Company is the security branch of a much larger business conglomerate owned by a Silk tycoon, who got started low in an organized crime syndicate, later acquiring a private island (under the promise of ecological preservation) to turn into a pleasure playground. They’re headquartered on what is ostensibly space Las Vegas, a city called Zumurroda, on Bourak. Pulling assets from Haqqislam troops, as well as Yu Jing mercenaries (though they are of a Muslim minority, sometimes used as intermediaries between Yu Jing and Haqqislam), as well as a smattering of bounty hunters and other space mercenaries, the Dahshat Company feels the most “Mercenary” of the various NA2 factions, even more so than the Ikari Company.
What Dashhat Brings
Like any mercenary army, Dahshat is a mixture of multiple factions troops, in a way that creates something totally unique. Dahshat has a solid core of Haqqislam troops, backed up by a few Yu Jing heavy infantry, Mercenaries, and a pile of remotes. Ghulam form their basic LI core option, while not AVA Total, 6 is plenty, allowing you to form a full core and still take a Doctor on the side. Keeping things inexpensive, Dahshat can take a whopping 3 flash pulse bots (Fanous), a pair of Libertos (which have improved profiles in Dahshat), a Dozer with Traktor Muls (3 more orders for 24 points), Bashi, Kum Bikers… plenty of inexpensive options to let you spend points on your big hitters.
Speaking of big hitters, Dahshat gets my favorite model in the game, the Maghariba Guard. Backing her up are Zuyong Invincibles, Al Fasid, Sforza, McMurrough, and Rui Shi, all more than capable of blasting holes in the opponent’s line, letting your cheaper troops move through gaps and take objectives and control the board.
Beyond just looking at the troops of the army, the way that Dahshat composes fireteams is really what makes them special. They have a high AVA of Authorized Bounty Hunters, which are all Wildcard, furthermore Father Lucien Sforza, Miranda Ashcroft, and Valerya Gromoz, are all also Wildcard, letting you mix any of these choices into the other links in the army. Zuyong fireteams (Core or Haris), are able to have a Rui Shi. Brawlers are able to form Core, Haris, or Duo’s, though they may get a bit overlooked because of how good the other options are.
Zuyong seem to be the Core that everyone gravitates towards, for good reason, mixing in ABH keeps their cost way down, while the potential of a linked Rui Shi can be devastating. That said, I’m not actually a fan of linking the Rui Shi, giving them an extra burst and +3 BS isn’t a terribly huge deal when they’re usually going to be attacking through smoke and ignoring cover mods (with supportware). Personally, I’m a huge fan of a simple 3-man core with TinBotB, Tac Awareness HMG, and a bounty hunter to fill it out… you can actually comfortably take two of that exact same link, with enough points to spare to get up over 16 orders (plus 3-4 Tactical Awareness orders).
So with all these great toys, what’s not to love? First of all, Dahshat can quickly get overloaded with Irregular orders. Hunzakut are amazing for accomplishing ITS objectives, while Libertos hold down the midfield, Kum are still the best biker warbands around, and I’m a huge fan of Bashi… Taking 4-5 irregular units can quickly diminish your order pools to fuel your order hungry face-beaters.
The other big issue I’ve had with Dahshat is their hacking game. Gromoz in a Zuyong Link can help quite a bit thanks to the TinBotB, but otherwise, Dahshat has a total lack of Killer Hacking Devices. Their AHD options are either the pricy (but good) Zhencha, or Brawlers, which probably aren’t going to be up the field. They can however get plenty of supportware from the Kameel EVO, Ghulam, or Gromoz, the later two are both WIP 14 too.
While I’m not a huge fan of list building in a vacuum, and even less of a fan of net-listing, I can show you some ideas I’ve had with Dahshat. Two of the lists have Zuyong cores, the other has a Ghulam core.
Double Zuyong. This is the list I haven’t had a chance to play with yet, but really want to. If you include Tactical Awareness this beefy build walks on the table with 17 regular orders, and 2 irregular, a pair of Zuyong HMGs both firing at B5, a Total Reaction bot, Engineer and Doctor with Nasmats, and a total of 4 specialists to push buttons with (which may be a little light). All in all, it feels incredibly powerful, and will certainly bully a few people around.
AC/2 DC. I had a ton of fun making this list, and playing it. It was tailored to play Looting and Sabotaging, which it has done with devastating effect. The Zuyong link is able to clear out any immediate threats and ARO pieces the opponent leaves out to cover the objective, while the Libertos can throw their clammy, fishy bodies at any mines that are in the way.
If you want to read a battle report with this list, check out Merc Recon.
What Dahshat? This was the first list that I put on the table with Dahshat. Despite having a 99 point TAG, I still had plenty of points to take other interesting choices like Sforza, a full link, and a total of 14 models on the table. The Maghariba did not disappoint, using it’s mines to slow down my opponents advance, while using it’s ARM11 in cover to take out all of my opponents ARO pieces (including multiple total reaction HMG bots). Sforza pretended to be a shotgun-armed Odalesque, which tricked my opponent into moving across his LOF at range they assumed was too long to reach with a shotgun.