Republique of France Dreadnought – A Review

A few days ago I reviewed the Republique of France starter fleet for Dystopian Wars. I’ve managed to get hold of the Charlemagne Class Dreadnought and see what the ‘Big Bertha’ of the French armada has to offer.

And big she is. Although almost and inch and a half shorter than the Covenant’s Prometheus Class Dreadnought, she is the husky matron of the fleet being wide, low in the water and hippier than a fat single chick at a wedding buffet. But as the saying goes; big is beautiful.

And beautiful she is in her own homely fashion. As with so many models, and an increasing number of Spartan models the little details are so impressive that I actually spent a few minutes just taking it all in. One of my favourite touches is the gears that steer the rudders at the ship’s aft. Exposed to the elements, it smacks of the crude corner cutting that I talked about in my last review. But by far the stand out detail is actually the ship itself. It’s a floating Bastille, complete with crenelated towers. It’s freaking awesome. Chunky, robust and utterly indomitable, it really is a cracking model.

As with all French ships it has bonkers amount ack ack and concussion charges, a hefty broadside and fore and aft main turrets. It also has a couple of thermal lances mounted on the port and starboard hard points. I’m not convinced about thermal lances. There’s no denying that they’re scary but limited to range band two and with the rest of its weapons severely hampered at range, the French not being the toughest kids on the block, it’s a risky business bringing them to range. Plus with turrets only fore and aft, assuming you don’t equip the thermal lance, it doesn’t have any more ranged turrets than a battleship. Obviously it’s a bit tougher and has two thermal lances included but it’s an extra 80 points. And for not a significant leap in fire power as head on your range is severely hampered and abeam you only get the benefit of a single thermal lance. Tactically it seems a little muddled, trying to be a bit of everything. Although the 360 degree rocket battery limits flanking actions against it. But as it’s most vulnerable at range head on and the rockets are only ranges 1-3, providing you can keep your distance it’ll be death by a thousand cuts.

It’ll take a pounding, like any dreadnought I’m just not sure how much damage it’ll do against the FSA who are far better at range and a little tougher too. For example, a unit of Princeton Class Gunships are cheaper, better at range and, overall will take as much to kill. In a straight up fight the Charlemagne Class at range band 4 would be firing 4 shots to the Gunships’ combined fire of 6. And they can fire 7 rockets apiece or, if you’re feeling timid, a combined volley of 10. Granted, if the dreadnought closes to range and gets abeam of the Gunship’s they’d suffer, but as they’re faster and get the Manoeuvrable MAR I don’t see it happening myself.

It’s an ace model and although formidable it’ll need to be heavily escorted to keep its vulnerabilities from being its down fall, but against certain fleet it’s going to struggle. All you can hope to dis close the gap and take advantage of the redoubtable MAR and bring the thermal lances to bear and then finish the target off by ramming them.

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