Kingdom of Britannia – A Review

Another Spartan Games review. This time it’s the turn of the plucky Brits.

Although by no means new models I figured the starter Naval Battle Group would be a good place to start. Hopefully I’ll be able to look at more of the range in time.

But on to the review. When I first stumbled across Dystopian Wars all those months ago there was only the 4 fleets to choose from. Federated States of America, Empire of the Blazing Sun, Prussian Empire and, of course, the Kingdom of Britannia.

At the time I didn’t pay much attention to the Britannians for no other reason than it would have been too obvious a choice. Plus I suspected my brother, and fellow Twitterer, @Chris_S_79 had his eye on them.

The Kingdom of Britannia isn’t all that different from British Empire during the same time. Both were global empires and both were industrial power houses. And as with the ‘real’ British Empire, the Kingdom of Britannia’s industry is crude, cheap and over priced.

The KoB ships are the epitome of that budget simplicity. Where the Covenant of the Antarctica’s vessels are sleek, the FSA practical and the Prussians are efficient. The Kingdom of Britannia are a slow, bludgeoning, smoke belching, monsters. All chimney stacks and iron girders and crudely hammered armour plates.

The Britannian Navy is like they ripped out the industrial heart of Victorian London, mounted it on some hulls and plonked it in the water. The chimney stacks on the battleship are remarkably like those of Battersea power station. But that’s the beauty of the Britannian Navy. It feels ramshackle and hardy at the same time. And more so than any other ships, the Britannian Navy looks like the same ship scaled down the further you go through the fleet listings. But, again, this isn’t a bad thing as it’s meant to feel like everything’s done on the cheap. But despite the mass production approach to war the models, even the frigates, are squat and stocky like a pack of bull dogs.

This improvised feel suits the history quite nicely. Big, thick, and heavy hulls that put practicality somewhere below speed and manoeuvrability. They sit low in the water with ballast tanks to keep the ships afloat as much to keep them steady, but that’s part of their appeal. The Britannian ships, like the empire they fight for, have a wonderfully indomitable feel about them. Like it’s going to take an awful lot of fire power to bring them down.

And as one would expect the opposite is true, the KoB ships being as flimsy, or flimsier, as the Prussians but without the speed. They also have crappy fire power too which, again, is what one would expect. However, like their navy, what the Britannians lack in quality they make up for in quantity.

The models themselves are nicely detailed to Spartan’s usual standard. Whereas the FSA is decking and windows form and function taken into account equally, the KoB has all its detail in the overtly industrial elements of the ships like the smoke stacks, the steel work  and associated machinery. Even the stunted turrets reflect the slightly weedier armament. I’ll be honest, of the models I’ve seen so far in Dystopian Wars, I think the Britannian design struggles the smaller it gets, the frigates looking especially cramped but it’s not a big enough gripe to spoil the overall look of the fleet or the enjoyment of fielding them.

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