Curious about something in the game? Type in its name! -->  

Survival Guide - Dust Settles: Battle Overview

Table of Contents:

I. Purpose
II. Attack Order
III. Attack/Defense Modifiers
   A. Research
   B. Weapons, Vehicles, Aircraft, Mechs, and Defensive Structures
   C. Formations
   D. Rules of Engagement
   E. Army Competency
IV. Victory Score


Battle is another way you can increase your score and rank in this game. You will use battle to show your superiority over your opponents and to gain victory score. You cannot attack people in your alliance and you will only be able to attack people of a comparable size (score) to you. These people are considered within your "range." You will not be able to participate in any battles until you have left anonymity (gained over 1,000 units of land) and trained military. You cannot attack another camp in standard battle without having trained army (militia are only for home defense if your army is defeated).

Back to Top

Attack Order:

A battle will initially be set up through the Attack page. Here the attacker will decide who within their range they want to attack, what the rules of engagement will be, and what formation they want to use. They will also assign their troops weapons, vehicles, and aircraft to use in the attack. After all of this has been decided the attacking camp will have to end 3 turns for their army to reach the defending camp. The defending camp will already have a defense formation and any weapons set for defense.

When a battle occurs, the first thing that will come into play are the attack and defense formations. The officers assigned will lead the troops into battle. If there are too few officers for the number of troops, the army units will be confused and unable to perform well on the battlefield. If there are too many officers, the officers will bicker and argue leaving the troops scattered about with conflicting orders. Deficits associated with too many officers will only affect the attacking forces since they are the only ones able to assign a specific number, though either side can be affected by too few officers.

The battle will begin at the overall maximum weapons range. This means if the attacker only has rifles, but the defender has rail guns, the rail guns will begin firing as soon as the attacking troops are within range, while the attacking troops will have to run in under fire until they can begin returning fire. If ranges are equal, the defender will fire first.

Whatever formations are used will have an effect on how the rest of the battle plays out. There are two main parts, the initial ranged attacks and the Melee battle. The initial attacks are launched as the troops fire at each other as they move from maximum to minimum firing range. As soon as the close combat troops meet, the melee battle begins. All troops will stop at either their maximum or minimum firing ranges depending on the formation used and continue firing. During this time any anti-tank cannons built by the defending camp will be used. If the defending camp has no officers, the anti-tank cannons will not fire since officers are required to radio back the needed information for firing since the cannons are situated in the camp. Other land battle-related defensive structures will add their defense to the defending camp's overall defense.

The attacking army will continue attacking until they have either defeated the entire defending army, have reached the flee condition (percentage of lost troops) set by the rules of engagement, or have reached the point of exhaustion (25 rounds of standard fire). If the defending army is defeated, the attacker is declared the winner and the remaining troops will move forward to the wall surrounding the camp. At the wall, the army must destroy enough of the wall to get inside. When the camp is small in physical size, this means 1/4th of the wall will be destroyed. At a larger size, less than 1/4th will be destroyed. This is primarily because a small camp may have only 40 units of wall to completely surround their camp. The attacking army will need to take out more of this wall to get in than a camp with over 300 units on a single side.

Once the attacking army breaches the walls of the camp, the defending camp's militia and possibly some of the camp's special ops units will begin attacking the invading forces with every short range weapon available. Here the army will begin close range combat against the militia. The leftover army units with long-ranged weaponry will begin attacking with much weaker attacks since they are now having to fight short-range. This basically means that the attacking army units will be using bayonets and sheer force to take out the defending militia. During this battle the attacking army will kill the occasional stray person, but will primarily be destroying storage huts (and their contents) and guard posts and attacking the militia. If the attacking army defeats all of the militia, they will then be free to kill a certain portion of the defending camps remaining civilian population and destroy a few more buildings. More population may be killed in the fires. The longer the battle continues, the more buildings will be destroyed as the fire spreads from one storage hut to the next. During this point, the defending camp's Architecture research and the defense value of each building will come into play. They will then return home after another 3 turns. If at any point during this scenario, the ending criteria of the rules of engagement are reached, the remaining troops will return home in 3 days with the battle over.

If the attacking army is defeated by the defending army, the remainder of the troops will return home after 3 turns and the defending camp will be declared the winner.

Back to Top

Attack/Defense Modifiers:

There are many things that can improve, harm, or otherwise affect your battle statistics. Research will be very important to battle since it will open all weaponry, advanced formations, and give you other general bonuses. Weapons will improve your troops abilities in battle. Formations and Rules of Engagement will affect what happens during the battle and when the battle will end. Finally, army competency will have a major effect on how well your troops do in battle.

Back to Top


Research is a primary way to improve your battle abilities both in attacking and defending. Coercion will improve your attack values, while Recreation, Architecture, and Wall Strength will all boost your defenses in some form or fashion. Military Tactics will increase both attack and defense values as well as open other attack and defense formations for use. Weapon Design will improve your army units individual attack power, how well they can take out an opponent, and is also the only way you will be able to open weaponry to build yourself. Time Management will also be important for increasing your classroom efficiency for training army.

Back to Top

Weapons, Vehicles, Aircraft, Mechs, and Defensive Structures:

Weapons, vehicles, mechs, and aircraft will give your attackers and defenders special modifications to their ability to attack other troops as well as certain levels of armor style defenses. You will have three levels of both short and long-range weaponry, two types of heavy weapons, two vehicles, three mechs, and one aircraft that you can buy or build yourself. The only way to open even the first level of weapons is to research Weapon Design. Mechanical Engineering is also important for vehicles and aircraft. In order to even use mechs in a battle, you must be have a Military Focus. If you don't, you will not be able to send mechs into battle, even if you buy them off the Trade Market or a merchant camp.

Each of these weapons has a minimum and maximum firing range as well as a running speed associated with it. The firing ranges are just what they sound like. You will be able to begin firing at the maximum range as you are moving in and you will have to stop at the minimum range or you won't be able to effectively fire anymore. The running speed refers to how far the person carrying the weapon can run as the weapon (or the opponent's weapons) is being reloaded.

You will assign weapons in the Attack and Defense pages, depending on which role you are playing. You must assign weapons for defense for your army. If you do not manually assign them, your army units will fight unarmed during battle. Only your militia will ever grab weapons from storage. When your militia grab these weapons, they will grab them in order from best to worst, so shock pistols will be grabbed before regular pistols or swords.

Any weapons carried into battle will be lost if the army or militia units carrying them are killed. This means that if you send out 50 rail guns with your army and 45 rail gun units are killed, only 5 will be returned to your camp after the battle.

Defensive structures will improve the defender's abilities in two ways, first by adding to their overall defense and second by providing a little extra firepower during battle. All of the inactive defenses (trenches, pillboxes, etc) will just add an extra bit of armor to all of your troops when defending your camp. The anti-tank cannons will require militia to staff them and officers to give the orders on where to fire. If your camp doesn't have any officers when you're attacked, your anti-tank cannons will not fire. Also these structures will not be used if the attacking camp doesn't bring vehicles or mechs since they are not designed for firing on infantry or aircraft. You will need to research Ingenuity to open these structures and your militia will build them as assigned.

Back to Top


As you research Military Tactics, you will open new offensive and defensive formations. You will begin with Standard Assault and Forward Concentration. The different formations have different effects on one another, with some being more effective than others.

Standard Assault and Forward Concentration have no real advantage over any of the opposing formations and have no real disadvantage either. The Flanking Maneuver has an advantage over the Pro-Active Defense, yet is weak against a Distributed Defense. The Ranged Fire Primary has an advantage over Distributed Defense, but is disadvantaged against Pro-Active Defense.

Back to Top

Rules of Engagement:

The rules of engagement for a battle will determine when the battle will end by setting the flee conditions for the attacking camp. Under Standard Operating Procedures, the attacking army will continue advancing forward and attacking the defending camp according to the assigned formation until 75% of the sent troops have been killed. Under Skirmish orders, the attacking army will retreat after only 25% of the sent troops have been killed. If Mission Critical is assigned, the attacking army will continue fighting until they have won or all but a single person has been killed. This person will be sent back to the attacker's camp to reveal the results of the battle. You will have to have an army competency of Experienced or greater to use mission critical.

Unless the attacker used Mission Critical, the attacking army will probably retreat at some point, whether before or after defeating all of the defending army. Either way, when the army begins retreating, they will be doing so under fire from the defending camp and will not be returning that fire. This will mean several more casualties before the troops get out of firing range. If the defending army's attack on the retreating forces is large enough, the rest of the attacking army, save one soldier, could be killed. One person will always be able to return home.

Back to Top

Army Competency:

Your army's competency, whether you are attacking or defending will have a major effect on your battles. The better your army's competency is, the better they will perform in battle, whether attacking or defending. The levels of competency from lowest to highest are as follows: Disorganized, Unconfident, Green, Competent, Confident, Experienced, Decorated, Veteran, and Elite. There are multiple things that will affect their competency. Primarily longer length of time together and victories will increase their competency while excessive hiring/firing and losses will decrease it.

Back to Top

Victory Score:

Once of the main points to battle is the victory score. You will receive either a positive or negative victory score after a battle depending on whether you win or lose. Whether you are the attacker or defender, if you win the battle your victory score will be based on the size of the other camp as compared to yours. If the camp was much larger than you and you still beat them, you will get a large victory score. If the camp was smaller than you and you beat them, you will receive a much smaller victory score (beating up the little guy isn't that impressive of an event). By the same token if you lose to a smaller camp, you will have a much higher negative victory score (greater score loss). A larger camp defeating you will only decrease your score by a small margin. (Now what I'm referring to here as the size of the camp is the camp's score.)

Back to Top

 Game Overview +/-
 Getting Started +/-
 Units and Resources +/-
 The Main Game Screen +/-
 Camp Activities+/-
 Research +/-
 Economy +/-
 Attacking a Camp +/-
 Alliances +/-
 Focus Paths +/-
 Camp Information +/-
 In-Game Communications +/-
 Extras +/-

Newbie Guide!
Downloadable PDF Version