Prussian & Britannian Carrier Review

A double whammy review this time because I liked the symmetry of reviewing both German and Britannian carriers. Specifically the Imperium class sky fortress and the Avenger class fleet carrier.

Let’s start with the Imperium class sky fortress. In short, it’s awesome. It’s one of my all time favourite models from Spartan. It’s just pure genius. It’s that perfect blend of World War II, Indiana Jones and Steampunk. It is one of the coolest Steampunk models going. Let’s be honest, what’s not to love about a fecking massive zeppelin with a landing strip bolted to the top?

The model is absolutely massive. I mean massive and that blimp is a single solid piece of resin. That’s a lot of model for your money. It’s also a doddle to build. The metal struts fit nicely into the slots on both the blimp and the flight deck. Although word to the wise, glue the struts to the flight deck first and then slot it into the couplings on the blimp.

The model needs some cleaning to be fair. Mine had some pretty nasty mould lines along the middle of the blimp but nothing an emery board didn’t sort. You’ll also have a lump of resin on the nose that you’ll have to clip away. If you have a modelling saw use that  and keep a metal file handy so you can chew off any excess. And the underside of the flight deck may have a few air bubbles so keep the liquid green stuff handy. Although it’s not an essential just me being fussy.

In game terms it lives up to its title. 7 Ack Ack is horrid and tesla coils coming out the wazoo is worse especially as the redoubtable special rule means that the bloody thing can be on fire and still fry anything that strays too close. Throw in 12 bombs at range band 1 and you start wondering why you’d bother with the fighters it carries. 12 bombs is just mental. That suck is going to be cleaving lumps out of just about anything. And it’s relatively tough too – almost as much as tough as the Emperor class battleship and tougher than the Rhine class fleet carrier. For 135 points it’s an absolute beast.

The Avenger class fleet carrier by comparison is a lumbering pig of a ship but has its charms in the same way a fat chick can still have a pretty face. And fat she is. The Avenger is basically two Ruler class battleships lashed together with a runway over the top.

Like the Imperium class sky fortress you are getting a lot of resin. Two battleships and a flight deck means it’s massive. Almost embarrassingly so. Like the Prussian sky fortress it has metal struts and the whole kit fits together very nicely. The towers are separate too and fit very snugly into the flight deck, just make sure all the edges are nice and smooth or you won’t get a nice fit.

In the game it’s just horrid. It’s bristling with torpedo tubes creating an exclusion zone around it which anything smaller than a battleship would be foolhardy to close within. It’s also got broadsides and a beam turret too. Unfortunately though it’s going to need them because it’s quite flimsy for its size. Although the carrier has one point higher hull points than a battle ship it has one less point of damage rating and two points lower for critical which means that if it does come under fire it’s going to get absolutely shredded. It’s Ack Ack is also a little low considering it’s a carrier. It occurs to me, like the Imperium class sky fortress, it’s a better torpedo boat than carrier. Which is just as well as you’ll be using its fighter complement to fly CAP over it.

It’s 155 points which makes it the most expensive carrier in the game and although heavily armed it’s vulnerable to the long-range guns of the FSA and even aerial attacks which is a bit comical considering it’s a carrier. The big plus, and I imagine it’s the reason for the high price, is that no matte how much of a pounding it takes it can still dish out those torpedo shots. Which makes me think the best way to use it is to get the fighters in the air and then close and use it as a torpedo boat.

Either way the Avenger class will be a headache. If you ignore it it’ll torpedo the living shit out of you. If you don’t you give the rest of the Britannian fleet to close. The name suddenly seems very apt.

Dystopian Wars Tactics

Following the game I had with Lee and ahead of the one I have with Ian both of The Chaps I’ve been thinking about tactics in Dystopian Wars both general and force specific.

So here’s what I’ve come up with.

Use Size to your Advantage

The rule surrounding line of sight can be a bit of a pain in Dystopian Wars. If you don’t pay attention to what you’re doing you can find your battleship blocking line of sight of your dreadnought. However, this works both ways. Depending on what you’re trying to achieve you can use ships to protect other elements of your force until such time as you’re ready to unleash them.

For example, a Dreadnought can screen cruisers. This is especially handy if your cruisers are a little on the soft side or, in the case of CoA armoured cruisers, expensive and specialist. Equally, a battleship is large enough to obstruct the view of a dreadnought. Having two, in larger games, means you can keep your dreadnought safe until such time as you’re ready to bring its might to bear.

Unit deployment

To a point this links to the previous comment as sensible placement of units can mean screening your smaller, vulnerable units from the big guns. However the distance between ships in that unit is important to consider. By keeping your ships relatively close together you are able to share Ack Ack and concussion charges. This can leave them vulnerable to mines etc but combined with the added bonus of it makes it harder for the enemy to get amongst you it’s worth it.

Escorts are Deadly

Granted the effectiveness of escorts varies from fleet to fleet, but they are designed primarily with Ack Ack and Concussion Charges. The obvious tactic is to assign them to your big ships. However, because escorts have solid Ack Ack, if sent off in packs they can hold up or even wipe out flanking tiny flyer squadrons. Coupled with the fact that they’re small and evasive makes them a bastard to sink.

Don’t Underestimate Corvettes and Frigates

Although cheap and easy to blow up, their speed and large unit sizes means that they can go screaming across the board and mob carriers, particularly a soft touch like the FSA’s. They’ll almost certainly be destroyed but at the cost of diverting enemy assets to deal with them. A CoA unit of 5 Corvettes will cost 100 points and at range band one can unleash 13 dice. That’s more than a CoA Dreadnought’s particle accelerator at the same distance. But for 175 points less. You don’t need to be a maths whizz to see the advantages of smaller vessels, especially when looking at mass fire power. The Prussian frigates are especially tasty on that front and, en masse, are a bigger pain in the arse than their cruisers.

Use the Psychology of Big Ships to your Advantage

It’s no surprise that battleships and dreadnoughts attract a lot of fire. They’re big and scary and have many many many guns. However, if you can get your deployment right and are able to hold your nerve you can use this to your advantage, holding back enough ships that when you sail your large/massive ship into the teeth of the enemy and they attempt to surround it, you have elements on station ready to counter attack. And providing you don’t leave the capitol ship on its own for too long it should be able to soak up the worst of the punishment whilst your ships get there.

Fleet Tactics

These are some tactics I’ve observed in the fleet lists I’ve had experience with.

FSA – Encircle and overwhelm. The FSA have the best ranged firepower in the game. They can afford to hover at range band 3 with a mixture of Battleships, Cruisers and Gunships and pound their enemy to splinters, with frigates and other support vessels watching flanks and running interference. More over a coordinated strike between rocket batteries and tiny flyers can overwhelm even the most concerted defences.

Prussians – Corral and Capture. The Prussians are fast but light on armour. But they are also devastating at boarding actions. Prussians can use their superior speed to isolate vessels and then use scissoring maneuvers with the larger vessels to weaken and ultimately board & capture the target vessels. But keep on the move. Withdraw out or range or make use of cover. Getting bogged down in prolonged exchanges of fire will not end well.

Covenant of Antarctica – Taking the Fight to the Enemy. The CoA ships are solid all rounders. They are the Space Marines of the Dystopian Wars universe. However, their particle accelerators are devastating when fired. However the 12inch range makes the opportunity difficult to exploit. The Covenant work best in a fighting wedge. Their armour isn’t thick enough to take a prolonged pounding but bringing enough force to bear on a thing point and the CoA can break through, before opening up with broadsides and laying mines.

Kingdom of Britannia – Hold Fast. The KoB are actually a bit shit at the shooting game. Their gunnery at range is incredibly poor and only average at the closer ranges. However they don’t lack for guns and they’re not short of torpedoes. They are by far their most effective at keeping their distance, using frigates and submarines to deter attackers, and softening the enemy up with relentless torpedo attacks. Once weakened or thinned out a bit close as quickly as possible to take advantage of the increased dice at range bands 1 & 2.

Empire of the Blazing Sun – Combined Arms. I’m not too experienced with the EotBS but from what I’ve observed they are all round pretty tough ships and work best in task forces of combined arms with a healthy blend of naval and air elements. This can make them vulnerable to attack but their high critical rating will mean that enemies can only chip away at them and making sure a healthy air presence will give them the edge.

Hopefully this has been helpful and as I dream up more I shall post them up.

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.

The Shell Case Short 4 – Winner 2

The second winner is David Bartley (@mephistonag ) for his outstanding piece on the history of the Falkland Island Squadron of the Britannian Navy from Dystopian Wars. Just to be clear David is not 2nd but an equal and worthy winner alongside Chris. David will be receiving his signed copy of Salamander by Nick Kyme very soon.

An extract from:-  A review of the Kingdom of Britannia Naval Armada, 1870 by Charles Aubrey.

The Falkland Island Squadron

HISTORY

Little did Her Majesty’s government realise how important the decision to colonise the remote and windswept Falkland Islands was to become in later years. The ever-growing need for resources highlighted the need for a deep water port in the South Atlantic, and the Falkland Islands were the perfect choice. Captain James Onslow and the cruiser Clio were ordered to restate the Britannia claim to the islands, and evict any illegal colonies they found. They soon displaced a settlement founded by the United Provinces of the River Plate and set about surveying the islands for both military and civilian use.

Onslow rapidly determined that the best military real estate would be the coasts either side of Falkland Sound. With the deep water of the sound allowing for even the largest of vessels a safe protected anchorage.  Turning San Carlos bay into a fully functional naval base would be a trivial taks for her majesties engineers. As more ships and workers began to arrive Onslow was ordered to oversee both the establishment of a base ashore, and to survey the islands in as much detail as he was able. By the middle of the year the first buildings had been erected and a functional port created at San Carlos.

Civilian prospectors were sent to survey the islands and they reported little of real importance on the islands itself, however as a hub of both fishing and seal hunting the islands would be of use. To this end they were directed to plan for the establishment of a colony on the islands and selected the Berkley Sound area as the most suitable. In 1831 they began initial work on the settlement of Port Stanley on the eastern most coast of the islands. By 1835 the town and port were established and the first Governor was able to take seat in Government House.

The military had not been idle during these years. Port San Carlos was now a fully developed permanent naval base, with a port capable of servicing ships as large as battleships. The permanent garrison was made up of a small contingent of the Land Armada, name Naval Party 8901, drawn from the contingents of ships docked for repair at the time. With most of Britannia’s military resources engaged in operations in other theatres, the threat to the islands was judged to be too low to require further resources.

When the then Federated States expanded its sphere of influence by annexing Mexico the Britannia government began to realise the true strategic nature of its colony in the South Atlantic. Bills were quickly passed in parliament and the admiralty ordered to raise a standing force in the Falkland Islands, formally named the Falkland Island Squadron (FIS). This force was to include a permanent company of soldiers from the 34th Sheffield (Sea) Regiment to form Naval Party 8901, a squadron of attack and fighter aircraft from the Air Armada, and a small force of frigates and cruisers from the Navy. This was in place by late 1839, under the command of Commodore Wynstanley, whose permanent headquarters were established at Port San Carlos.

Wynstanley saw that the current dispositions of forces on the island would never be sufficient should the US ever push further south and begin to harass British holdings to the south of the continent. Lacking both the resources, military and financial backing after the establishment of the permanent base, he set about the task of preparing the ground work for expansion of both San Carlos and potential bases on West Falkland. Using the cover of manoeuvres and exercises by both land and air armada large areas around Port Howard and Fox bay were bombed and assaulted repeatedly, leaving them suitably disrupted that the engineers had little trouble moving in and clearing the land ready for future exploitation.  By the time Wynstanley was recalled from his command in shame, he had done much to prepare the Islands for their future crucial role. However the admiralty considered his wanton use of valuable ordinance needed elsewhere on manoeuvres in a passive province to be both wasteful and underhand. He was never placed in a position of command again and retired a year later from the service.

When Lord Sturgeon arrived at Port Stanley in late 1844, to take on final provisions before embarking on his historic expedition, little was thought of the endeavour that would forever change our world. Backed by all nations no military escort of the ships was allowed and they passed beyond patrol boarders of the Falkland Island Squadrons into the frozen wastes of Antarctica. The few that had ventured onto that vast continent spoke of ice and rock as far as they could see, with little cover to the constant shifting weather. In truth no one on the Islands ever expected to see any of the explorers again when they left Port Stanley. How wrong they were.

The next 12 years were a prosperous time for the Falkland Islands. As the exploration and expansion of the frontier settlements took hold on Antarctica, more and more ships and people passed through the island. Port Stanley grew in size and stature as the money these travellers brought was invested in the Island. Despite its rugged and harsh environment, familiar at once to any inhabitant of Exmoor or the Scottish Highlands, the island was a green and fertile land compared to the harsh conditions of those early years of the expedition. Many workers came to the island to rest and recuperate, spending even more as they did. The FIS during this time did not enjoy such a similar rise to prominence. The posting as Officer commanding was never seen as a career enhancing one, and a string of competent, yet uninspiring, commanders followed in the wake of Wynstanley. Many times the ships and crews sent south were both on the verge of retirement, and many saw their tour as one that had to be endured, spending as much time as possible enduring it in the pleasures that Port Stanley had grown to provide.

The shockwave of Lord Sturgeon’s announcement of the formation of the Covenant of Antarctica was felt as keenly in Port Stanley as it was in the corridors of power back in London. Many feared that a war would be declared and they would become the focus of any reprisals by the newly created nation. The inhabitants of the Falklands knew full well that the innovations that had been released to the world were only the tip of the iceberg as to what could be lurking in the depths of the mythical Vault. While many of the rumours and tales that had escaped the frozen outpost sounded too fanciful even for the amazing modern world we live in some had more than a grain of truth in them. The Britannia government, after much bluster and rhetoric from the back benches, eventually came to realise that a military response was not an option, and dispatched an Ambassador to the Covenant, thereby formally recognising its legitimacy as an independent nation. To not do so was consider too large a risk, without the technological marvels that the scientist had let out into the world over the previous decase the Kingdom would run the risk of other nations gaining an unacceptable advantage.

While her majesty’s government was forced to accept this turn of events, the admiralty turned its thoughts to what would be required if war was ever declared on this new world power.  It was quickly realised that the prominence and capabilities of the FIS and its bases on the islands had to be reviewed and increased with all alacrity. To this end Admiral Shaftsbury was dispatched to assume command of the FIS, the first officer of flag rank ever to hold the post, and indicating to all in the service that the FIS was no longer to be viewed as a second-rate arm of the Naval Armada. Shaftsbury at first appeared as an odd choice to a public demanding the turncoat Sturgeon be taken to task. His commands at sea had been uninspiring. He had not been involved in any major actions, his career one of steady promotion without the headline catching prominence of more hawkish colleagues.

While Shaftsbury may not have been the ideal candidate to launch an invasion of the Antarctic, he was the perfect man to plan and organise the build up of forces in the FIS, and the infrastructure needed to support them. When his flag was raised at his HQ in San Carlos in 1858 he quickly came to realise what a god send the ground work that Wynstanley had covertly laid was. With two areas all ready cleared, effectively ready for the construction,  plans for 2 permanent bases could be put into action immediately. With a new commander came a new flagship, and for the first time ever a battleship was permanently part of the FIS. Its arrival was to highlight that even the naval base at San Carlos would require a massive overhaul to bring it up to the standard to maintain and support the modern fleet that the FIS would have to become.

Admiral Shaftsbury spent an unprecedented period of 10 years as the commander of the FIS. During this time the area either side of Falkland sound was changed beyond recognition. He oversaw the construction of permanent bases for the Air Armada and Land forces assigned to the FIS, with additional staging areas built and provisioned should either need to be enlarged for operations in the South Atlantic. The port facilities were also been massively upgraded in both size and capability. Capable of handling even the brutish Majesty class dreadnoughts and Avenger fleet carriers separate and secret facilities were constructed to support the Vanguard submarines coming into service with the fleet.

As the facilities grew so did the compliment of ships and personnel assigned to the FIS.  No longer were obsolete ships assigned with each new class of ship finding its way south early in their lives with the Navy. Shaftsbury’s insistence on this was founded that the conditions found in the seas around Antarctica were unlike any other, and ships designed and tested to operate in the North Atlantic may prove unserviceable in the endless southern ocean.  It is a great credit to the ingenuity and skill of the ship building engineers of Britannia that no class of ship has ever proven to be unsuited to deployment in the southern ocean.

During the 10 years of growth no major engagements between ships occurred despite the FIS beginning to actively patrol Britannia’s territorial waters around the Falklands, and further afield into international waters. It was not until 1865 that ships bearing the flag of the Covenant were encountered in international waters, and began making visits to Port Stanley. Tensions continued to rise as ships of both fleets encountered each other more frequently out in open waters.

It was not until November 1868 that ships from the FIS and Covenant exchanged fire. The cruiser Lion was on patrol with the frigates Undaunted and Endymoin in international waters off the coast of Antarctica. A ship roughly the size of a cruiser, but of an unknown design, was observed approaching rapidly. The ship hailed the FIS squadron and claimed they were sailing in Covenant waters and demand they depart North at full speed. Captain Bellows replied that he was sailing legally in international waters and the ship should change course or he would have no choice but to declare it as hostile, and take action as his orders dictated. The Covenant vessel refused to change course, and for reasons that are to this day hotly debated, Bellows gave the order to launch a full spread of torpedoes from his foreword tubes while he began to manoeuvre his ships into position to finish the task. The battle was brief and somewhat one-sided with the Covenant ship sunk after inflicting minor damage to Lion and Undaunted. Diplomatic exchanges following this incident were long and heated. After some months, where war seemed a distinct possibility a treaty was agreed and territorial waters surrounding both the Falkland Islands and Covenant of Antarctica were agreed. No warships of either side would enter the others waters without prior agreement and escort. Trade between the Covenant and Falkland Islands were resumed, much to the relief of the civilians on the island who had began to feel the financial pinch of the isolation.

The political fallout of this engagement was felt far and wide within both the government and admiralty. It became obvious that Captain Bellows felt he was operating under clear orders that he was able to defend his ship against any threat with deadly force. However no such standing orders could be found to cover the FIS. Indeed the existence of the Covenant was not acknowledged in the standing orders. While Shaftsbury was the perfect commander to oversee the building of the fleet, it quickly became apparent that his focus had remained on planning and logistics, and that the FIS was operating under the rules of engagement that had existed over a decade ago. It was time that a greater military mind was in command lest such encounters between ships become common and escalated out of control of either government.

The appointment of the current Commanding officer, Admiral Moorhouse, in March 1869 was to cause much muttering and disquiet within the admiralty. On paper he does indeed look to be an odd choice to command such a vital part of the naval armada. Many point to his limited experience in command of capital class vessels. Indeed, Moorhouse has only one command of such a ship, the battleship Resolution of the Mediterranean fleet. Moorhouse has spent most of his career working in the silent service, the submarine arm of the naval armada. His previous appointment was a commander of submarines for the Mediterranean fleet and many expected him to assume this post within the home fleet. He is widely acknowledged as the foremost expert in submersible operations. At the end of his first full year in command all those that have visited the Falklands and seen the men and ships of the FIS operate have reported favourable on them. Admiral Moorhouse has replaced the old rules of engagement with ones suitable to the conditions that now prevail in the South Atlantic. Not only is the growth of military prowess of the Covenant a concern, but the purchase of land in Argentina by the Empire of the blazing sun, and the resultant military build up have once again proved the worth of this small outpost of the empire to all in the home island.

THE FLEET

The modern FIS is, in truth, as powerful and capable as any of the other fleets in the Naval Armada. Many in the admiralty have lobbied to change the name to reflect the military power of the command, yet this has been resisted largely on political grounds. Many feel that to formally acknowledge the military build up in the Falkland Islands could cause protests from the Covenant’s government and whatever the military reality the ability to pass the formation off as a mere squadron is politically expedient.

Admiral Moorhouse’s flagship is currently the Majesty class dreadnought Howe. Though he spends more time ashore Moorhouse’s ship is rarely in port. It is often out in the ocean undergoing exercises at both ship and squadron level as command of Alpha squadron. The ruler class battleship Conqueror is the lead ship for Bravo squadron. While the two squadrons are permanent structures ships within the fleet are assigned as required, with ships moving between the two often. Such a flexible arrangement is a foreign concept to most commanders, but Admiral Moorhouse quickly came to realise that both the remote location, and harshness of conditions found in the South Atlantic required such measures. Ships require far more maintenance in these unforgiving conditions and as such spend more time in port, on average, than any others in the Britannia navy.

The surface compliment is made up of 6 Tribal class cruisers, 6 Orion class destroyers, 12 Attack class frigates and 12 Bastion class escorts. The avenger class fleet carrier Hermes is nominally attached to the fleet. However it rarely operates with the fleet in the waters between the islands and Antarctica. The sea conditions commonly found there have made flight operations off its deck impossible much of the time and it is normally found patrolling the area to the north, escorting ships being sold to the Socialist Union of South America into their ports.

The one real anomaly with the FIS is that a larger than expected number of Vanguard class submarines operate as part of the fleet. While the exact number was not revealed to the author it can be assumed that there are more than 10 available to Admiral Moorhouse at any given time. While at first it may seem ridiculous to have so many of these valuable ships assigned to one fleet further consideration makes their deployment a master stroke of planning on Moorhouse’s part. These ships can operate for long periods without the need to surface, and are therefore not subjected to the harsh sea conditions that the surface ships have to endure. There rugged hulls designed to smash opponents hulls in too are equally suitable for dealing with the ice flows found around the border waters between Britannia and Covenant territory.  One must also consider the potential for a submarine to go places undiscovered and undertake operations that other ships just could not. In these uncertain times we live in the author takes comfort that such ships are out in the South Atlantic, learning all they can of the abilities of the Covenant forces. Without their brave crews and commander the world would indeed be a much more dangerous place.

In summary the Falkland Island Squadron has grown rapidly in both power and prominence since its inception in 1839. It is impossible to believe that it will ever again be left to drift as it did in its early years. What threat to the sovereignty of Britannia the Covenant of Antarctica may ultimately prove will become known over the coming years. That there will be conflict between the fleets in the South Atlantic seems increasingly likely, and the appearance of Empire of the blazing suns fleet assets of the coast of Argentina will only further inflame the situation. This author is encouraged by what he saw of the FIS, and has total confidence that Admiral Moorhouse is the man to lead it.

Statistically Speaking…

Spartan Games have updated a few of their stat cards as well as the MARs for Dystopian Wars. Once again, as I’m all about providing a service I’ve robbed them and put them up here:

Updated Kingdom of Britannia Stat Cards:

Kingdom of Britannia Ruler Class Battleship [PDF, 500KB]
Kingdom of Britannia Tribal Class Cruiser [PDF, 500KB]
Kingdom of Britannia Orion Class Destroyer [PDF, 500KB]
Kingdom of Britannia Hawk Class Scout Rotor [PDF, 325KB]
Kingdom of Britannia Eagle Class War Rotor [PDF, 525KB]
Kingdom of Britannia Vanguard Class Submarine [PDF, 300KB]
Kingdom of Britannia Sovereign Class Land Ship [PDF, 550KB]
Kingdom of Britannia Illustrious Class Sky Fortress [PDF, 525KB]

Updated Prussian Empire Stat Cards:

Prussian Empire Stolz Class Destroyer [PDF, 475KB]
Prussian Empire Metzger Class Robot [PDF, 300KB]
Prussian Empire Gewitterwolke Airship [PDF, 525KB]
Prussian Empire Imperium Sky Fortress [PDF, 300KB]

Updated Federated States of America Stat Cards:

Federated States of America Independence Class Battleship [PDF, 500KB]
Federated States of America Guilford Class Destroyer [PDF, 500KB]
Federated States of America Saratoga Class Fleet Carrier [PDF, 500KB]
Federated States of America Washington Class Land Ship [PDF, 300KB]

Updated Empire of the Blazing Sun Stat Cards:

Empire of the Blazing Sun Ika Class Mechanical Squid [PDF, 325KB]
Empire of the Blazing Sun Inari Class Scout Gyro [PDF, 550KB]
Empire of the Blazing Sun Tenkei Class Sky Fortress [PDF, 550KB]

Updated Covenant of Antarctica Stat Cards:

Covenant of Antarctica Prometheus Class Dreadnought [PDF, 325KB]
Covenant of Antarctica Galen Class Escort [PDF, 300KB]
Covenant of Antarctica Callimachus Class Time Dilation Orb [PDF, 300KB]
Covenant of Antarctica Archimedes Class Heavy Walker [PDF, 300KB]

Updated Model Assigned Rules:

Model Assigned Rules [PDF, 325KB]

Not United Nations

Those lovely chaps at Spartan have been busy balancing out some of the MARs for Dystopian Wars in light of the mad as bat shit stuff that’s coming out over the coming weeks. And being the nice chap I am, I’ve robbed it and put it up here for your convenience…

With our latest releases hitting gaming tables around the world, some of the more eagle-eyed Commanders out there may have noticed that the scientists, both home and abroad, have been working overtime to improve their machinery of war. And while the boffins of the Federated States of America have been concentrating on fitting a huge artillery piece to their Gunship, the other Nations have been making more encompassing tweaks to their beloved moving arsenals. This blog details a couple of the improvements that are being made to Dystopian Wars.

Prussian Empire's FlagPrussian Empire’s Flag

The Prussian Empire has been making advancements with its Tesla Coil technology.

From this point onward ALL Prussian Empire Tesla and Tesla Coils weapons have the following Model Assigned Rule (MAR) associated with them (regardless of whether it is listed on the Stat Card owned by the player, or not):

REDOUBTABLE: Any weapon with the Redoubtable Model Assigned Rule only reduces its Attack Dice (AD) by 1 for every 2 Hull Points (HP) of damage taken.

Empire of the Blazing Sun's FlagEmpire of the Blazing Sun’s Flag

The Empire of the Blazing Sun have taken strides towards improving the mobility of their Naval vessels.

From this point onward ALL Empire of the Blazing Sun Naval models have the following Model Assigned Rule associated with them (regardless of whether it is listed on the Stat Card owned by the player, or not):

SHARP TURN: This model can Turn during the minimum move made at the beginning of its activation, rather than moving DIRECTLY ahead.

Kingdom of Britannia's FlagKingdom of Britannia’s Flag

The Kingdom of Britannia have put their faith in the invention of a new Generator that will be making an appearance on suitable vessels within their Fleets.

Classified information on the Guardian Generator is detailed below – don’t read it if your security level isn’t up to snuff:

Guardian Generator

Esteemed Britannian Physicist Eugene Parker is the creator of the Guardian Generator, an invention that many in the Kingdom of Britannia military believe will save thousands of lives during the world war. This enhanced generator, which has become nicknamed the Big Brother Generator by Britannian crews, allows a vessel to not only protect itself, but to cast out a 6″ diameter defensive veil of protection that other models can shelter under. Parker started work on the Generator the day he received news that his only son, Giles Parker, had been killed in action following a naval engagement with Prussian forces south of Greenland. The Frigate his son was serving on was shadowing the Battleship Selenga when a salvo intended for the larger vessel struck the Frigate, destroying it with no survivors. Eugene Parker vowed that day to create a Sturginium powered Generator that would save the crews of unprotected vessels during combat.

The Guardian Generator grants the model it is fitted to ALL of the effects of a single Shield Generator. Roll 2D6 Shield Dice for each Guardian Generator:

• Against Gunnery AttacksAA and CC, a roll of 4 or 5 results in a success which cancels one hit against this model.
• Against Rockets and Torpedoes, a roll of 5 results in a success which cancels one hit against this model.
• A roll of RED6 always results in a success which cancels two hits against this model.

The Guardian Generator also grants ALL nearby Friendly models WITHOUT Shield Generator a limited amount of protection. Roll 1d6 Shield Dice for any model, without a Shield Generator, that is hit with an attack, within 6″ of the centre of the vessel fitted with the Guardian Generator:

• Against Gunnery AttacksAA and CC, a roll of 4 or 5 results in a success which cancels one hit against this model.
• Against Rockets and Torpedoes, a roll of 5 results in a success which cancels one hit against this model.
• A roll of RED6 always results in a success which cancels two hits against this model.

A model can only gain the effect of ONE Guardian Generator at any one time.

In the lead up to Christmas we’ll be putting online all of the altered Stat Cards, along with an A4 crib sheet of the different enhancements we have made to Dystopian Wars. Please bear in mind that the amends you see here are part of batch of enhancements we will detail in full before Christmas.

To tie in with the arrival of the Large Class Flyers, the following Stat Cards have been modified:

The Kingdom of Britannia Eagle War Rotor
The Prussian Empire Gewitterwolke Airship

It’s Not Propaganda…

…it’s good advertising…

Spartan Games are working over time at the awesome factory at the moment. And not content with bombarding us with images of the up and coming ships and other contraptions for Firestorm Armada and Dystopian Wars, they’ve penned a few rather funky Propaganda posters.

I think the thing I like most about them, aside from some rather striking design and a great sense of humour, is that Spartan are really getting behind their backgrounds now. A rich universe to game in is a fun universe to game in and I think when the new iteration of Firestorm Armada comes out we’ll see even more fluff than before. I also suspect as fleets are re-released we’ll start to get booklets included in starter boxes like we’ve seen with the Covenant of Antarctica (review for that slice of awesome coming soon) which will dramatically enhance the background and therefore gaming experience. Not to mention the added benefit of not having small cards littering the board with all the handy, need to know, special rules on the back.

But my musings aside, scroll down for some Spartan awesomeness…