FSA Intelligence

FSA Intelligence

FEDERAL INFANTRY

“HQ says another attack’s comin’ in from Hormigueros. Let’s give ‘em a real downhome welcome, boys! Lock an’ load!”

Sergeant E. Gary Williams, 9th Federal Infantry ‘Tallahassee Rangers’, at the Siege of Mayaguez, 1871

The armies of the FSA still employ large numbers of infantry regiments. Many of these are Territorial formations – units raised by state governments and ‘lent’ to the Federal government for large operations.

However, the Federal government also raises its own Federal Infantry regiments to form a core fighting force that can be quickly called together and deployed under central command in the event of war. Needless to say, when facing outside threats, both Federal and Territorial Regiments come under overall Federal command.

Regardless of their origins, the infantry of the FSA are well-trained to a high standard. A surprisingly high number of FSA soldiers are veterans of protracted combat – the nation’s Civil War is a relatively recent event, and skirmishes with bandits and rebels in the FSA’s wilder territories are still ongoing.

Federal Infantry

FSA infantry doctrine is markedly different from that of most other powers. This is a consequence of the Civil War, when the use of large amounts of modern weaponry necessitated a change in tactics in order to avoid excessive casualties.

Instead of adopting traditional line or column formations in battle, FSA infantry enter combat in dispersed formation. These loose lines are perhaps not as intimidating as closer formations, but they allow American units to react very quickly to changes in battlefield conditions, as well as being far more practical for advancing over rough ground or clearing out buildings and other refuges the enemy might employ.

FSA military philosophy emphasises run-and-gun tactics and the firepower and flexibility of the individual soldier over closely co-ordinated volley fire. The weaponry issued to American infantry units reflects this doctrine. These implements have been tried and tested on dozens of battlefields across North and South America. Combat-proven during the great clashes of the Civil War, now their power will be unleashed upon the wider world.

FSA infantry are armed with the sturdy Winchester-Hansard M66 carbine. This hardwearing weapon is famed for its ability to keep on working in even the most adverse conditions – an important point given that large areas of the continental FSA west of the Mississippi is still very much frontier territory. Fed from an underslung tubular magazine, it provides a good balance between accuracy and rate of fire. Experienced troopers can even fire and re-cock the weapon one-handed in emergencies.

Federal Infantry

Infantry sections are backed up by specialists carrying Orlington M69 light machine guns, a lightweight, water-cooled fully automatic weapon fed from a large drum magazine. This has a considerable rate of fire for man-portable firearm.

An FSA infantry section can pump out a frightening amount of firepower, before rapidly repositioning to avoid the worst effects of the enemy’s response. Most FSA commanders prefer to keep the enemy at arm’s length, and use their troops’ mobility to keep up a constant barrage with opposing forces at optimum firing range. They are also pragmatic enough to employ tactical withdrawals when necessary, retiring under the covering fire of their plentiful support weaponry.

Federal Infantry

Tactical Use:
A Federal Infantry Section can output more close range firepower than any other mainstay infantry Section. However, the Effective Range of their Carbines is more limited than their Britannian and Prussian Counterparts and they lack the extra armour of the Blazing Sun’s Ashigaru.

As such, the main challenge presented to an American Commander is getting his troops into their optimum firing range, and then keeping them there whilst the enemy advances toward them.

To this end, Federal Infantry Sections tend to advance to Open Formation, taking advantage of any available Cover and using their Double Time, Jody Call and Frontier Forefathers Game Cards.

Once in range, the F.I.s can maintain punishing firepower, all the while keeping distance from any opposing advances and avoiding any potential enemy Charges that could tie the Section down. The Commander then simply needs to pick the most important targets and let the Infantrys’ Carbine and Light Machine Guns take their toll.

LIEUTENANT

“The way to win a fight ain’t in gettin’ your men to die for their country. It’s to make sure the suckers on the other side die for theirs first.”

Attributed to Lieutenant Hubert G. Bragg, 25th Federal Infantry Regiment ‘Shooting Stars’

Many FSA officers are veterans, some of whom may even have fought on opposing sides during the recent Civil War. However, the advent of the New Federalist government and the beginning of the World War has induced the FSA to pull together as one great nation, establishing itself on the world stage.

The process of setting up academies to train the officer corps for the new Federated States army was begun shortly after the end of the Civil War. President Adams believed that the establishment of a new Federal military to be a crucial means of healing the divisions in a nation still suffering the wounds of internal strife.

FSA Lieutenant (Fourth from Left)

Although individual states also maintain training schools for their ‘Territorial’ units, the Federal institutions are seen as turning out the cream of the crop as far as field officers are concerned. At the heart of this system and undoubtedly the most prestigious of the academies is West Point, although many other Federal training institutions are scattered across the FSA’s vast territories, including its South American regions.

FSA junior officers are well-versed in the fire-and-manoeuvre principles of FSA infantry tactics. They are adept at setting up raids and ambushes, isolating parts of an opposing force and reducing them through the application of well co-ordinated firepower.

The FSA’s infantry doctrine lays particular emphasis upon the importance of small-unit tactics, even during massed engagements. The FSA’s military history is replete with examples of relatively small but determined bands of soldiers managing to make all the difference even in major conflicts – the defence of the Alamo, and the boarding and capture of a Mexican Land Ship by Texan veterans during the Mexican Wars of the 1830s and 40s being prime examples.

Thus, infantry officers are expected to exhibit a high degree of initiative – often, especially on the wild frontiers of the FSA, an infantry lieutenant or captain will be the highest ranking authority for many miles around. Skirmishes against Union guerrillas in the Pacific North-Western territories and, lately, Blazing Sun infiltration units on Cuba and in South American associated states have seen this attribute serve many American units very well.

Although wealthy individuals can still raise their own regiments under Federal remit and call themselves ‘Colonel’, in the egalitarian FSA military, wealth and social status take a back seat to leadership and tactical ability when it comes to field officers. As the Americans themselves say ‘money might talk, but it’s smarts and guts that walk’.

FSA Lieutenant

Tactical Use:
On the Game Board , the American Lieutenants are vital for keeping the rest of the Force alive and fighting. Individually, they are not powerful combat machines, although their Model 4 Revolvers can add a bit more punch to a Section’s firepower.

Instead, their real purpose is giving orders to their troops. The presence of an Officer supplies a large boost to the available Command Points, which can be used to play Game Cards, win the Initiative, and boost the Morale Checks of nearby Sections.

Additionally, they have the Go to Ground and Rally Command Abilities. These are used to keep a Section alive when it comes under heavy fire, and alleviate any negative morale effects that might otherwise reduce the Infantry’s effectiveness.

BUFFALO HUNTERS

“Caimanera was safe ground, or so we thought. Then Major Noto was shot in the throat as he made his dawn inspection on the walls. The casualties really began to pile up after that – corporals, sergeants, rocket-gunners. Of the snipers we could find no sign. My helmet never left my head while my unit was there. I was leading a whole company by the time we left.”

Ashigaru-Lieutenant Jin Kitano, 2nd Ashigaru Infantry Regiment, 1st Army, Sword Army 8th Division ‘Hariken’, recounting his experiences during the Cuban campaign, 1871

Buffalo Hunter Artwork

Although the core of the FSA’s armed strength is its conventional military, there are many opportunities for freelancers to serve alongside regular units as hired help. Often, these men are given great deal of freedom of action by the commanders they are working alongside. Regular officers realise that such fighters are at their best when allowed to do things their own way.

The most common of these freelancers are the Buffalo Hunters, often originating from the many Native American tribes of the Great Plains. Operating in small teams often made up of close friends or relatives, these men are superlative trackers and infiltrators. They most often act as scouts and spies for regular units, locating and tracking enemy forces.

Though the huntsmen frequently work together, they are by their very nature adept survivalists, eminently skilled at living off the land even when operating entirely alone. They quickly familiarise themselves with whatever terrain they are fighting in, working with only minimal support in order to master the most extreme conditions.

When operating alongside the Federated States armed forces, these skills can be used in a more aggressive and dangerous manner. They are experts in laying cunningly disguised traps to catch unwary foes trying to advance on American positions.

Buffalo Hunters are brilliant survivalists

It is the combination of highly independent, yet co-ordinated actions that makes hunters so aggravatingly difficult for the enemy to pin down. All the while, the scouts keep a constant watch on their quarry, always ready to strike at a key target when the enemy is least expecting trouble.

When communicating with each other, or with their specialist liaison officers in regular army units, the hunters use traditional tribal languages and signs to create a ready-made code for intelligence transmissions, which is extremely difficult for an enemy to crack.

This is exacerbated by the fact that they are experts in stealth, misdirection and concealment, and can happily lead substantial numbers of enemy troops on a wild goose chase as they desperately attempt to corner the elusive scouts.

The hunters are also superb marksmen. Although in the past relying upon the traditional bow and arrows, the modern hunter usually favours a lightweight but very high-powered hunting rifle.

Buffalo Hunters are also superb marksman

These are often highly customised pieces, made to order for each individual hunter, and fearsomely accurate. The whiplash crack as they fire is the only warning their target has of the patient stalker who has been marking their path for so long.

The hunters’ skill with these weapons makes attempting to hunt the scouts down a deadly as well as frustrating business. But conversely, leaving them to roam free creates just as much of a lethal problem – a competent group of Buffalo Hunters can pin down an entire platoon if they can manage to keep the enemy off-balance or spooked.

Opponents are confounded and thrown into a panic by hails of bullets from unseen attackers which gun down officers and nail weapons specialists with frightening ease. However, when pressed, the hunters will not hesitate to attack at close quarters, ruthlessly silencing enemies with deadly melee weaponry. They are truly the eyes, ears and, when necessary blades of the Federated States’ armed forces.

Tactical Use
The Scouts and Buffalo Hunters are a much more subtle weapon in an American Commanders arsenal than the Federal Infantry. Although they are capable of sustaining a reasonable amount of firepower, their real strength is the ability to split their fire amongst multiple targets, allowing them to threaten multiple opposing Sections at once.

The eyes and ears of the Federated States of America Armed Forces

This is particularly deadly when used in conjunction with the Expert Hunter Game Card, which allows a Hunter to pick off a vital Sergeant or Specialist at a crucial moment. When pressed, they can even turn their Hunting Rifles on enemy Ironclads, although they lack the firepower to threaten more than Tankettes and lightly armoured Transports.

Their other main utility is in controlling the Game Board. The ability to lay traps which restrict how you opponent can move is particularly useful for covering vulnerable flanks, or covering the Federal Infantry whilst they fall back to a firing position.

DOCTOR SAMUEL R. ORLINGTON

“Hey, quit your worrying, Captain. I put it together myself. That’s Orlington quality you’re looking at there – lifetime reliability guaranteed.”

– Doc Orlington displaying his typical brand of reassurance when exhibiting his newest inventions

Scattergun Sam Artwork

Doctor Samuel Rutherford Orlington isn’t a soldier officially, but every outfit in the entire Federated States army would be pleased to have him fighting alongside them. Doc Orlington is one of the foremost designers and inventors working in the weapons development division of the Orlington Precision Engineering Company.

As his name suggests, Doc Orlington’s connection with the company is more than just professional – he is the great-nephew of Maxwell Orlington III, the company’s illustrious founder. Sam grew up in the pounding heart of the Orlington engineering empire, dividing his time between the great factories, foundries and marshalling yards of Pittsburgh and Detroit. His heroes were his illustrious forebears in the Orlington family, and other engineering trailblazers like the legendary Brunel in Britannia.

He went to work in the family business as soon as he was able to, receiving his education between working shifts in the mills, machine-shops and production lines – for it has long been an Orlington tradition that family members must put in hard graft on the humblest of jobs in the massive concern before they are permitted access to the privileges of their heritage.

Samuel took to heavy labour as well as the finer academic points of engineering with equal gusto. Even as a youth, he was ever inquisitive and adventurous, sneaking cast-offs from the reject bins and designing bizarre devices in his spare time. He achieved his doctorate in record time, and by the age of twenty-five had re-entered the company as a designer, with a particular knack for weaponry. He did not see active service in the Civil War, but quickly found a way to satisfy his adventurous spirit in the new Federated States and place himself in the heart of military actions in the process.

Unlike most inventors, the flamboyant, cigar-chomping Samuel isn’t merely content with designing and creating revolutionary new devices – he likes to try out them personally too! He has travelled all over North and South America in doing so, always with some new device of devastation requiring field –testing.

The flamboyant and cigar-chomping Samuel R. Orlington

In the process, he has garnered quite a reputation in the American press, as a combination of engineering genius, showman and free-spirited military adventurer – all qualities which a great many Americans heartily approve of. The doctor also carries out observations of other weapons already in service, which he then transmits back to the Orlington Company with suggestions on how to further improve them. Sometimes he takes a personal hand in such proceedings on the spot.

His nickname ‘Scattergun Sam’ comes from his personal weapons of choice – a pair of triple-barrelled snub-nosed Gatling guns, secured one to each of his forearms. Electrically driven and fed by belts from ammunition canisters carried easily on the doctor’s back, these weapons make Orlington an absolute terror to enemy infantry.

The opening of the World War has seen Scattergun Sam Orlington preparing to travel even further afield. There will always be another battle-torn region that requires his presence, and his fame – and notoriety – is destined to grow far beyond the shores of the Federated States.

Scattergun Sam leads the charge

Tactical Use
As his name and title suggest, Doctor Orlington is not a particularly skilled leader, able to manage multiple Sections simultaneously. Instead, American Commanders like to put him exactly where he wants to be – right on the front line!

When working in close support with a full Section of Federal Infantry, Doc. Orlington receives ample protection from stray shots, or adventurous assassins. In return, the close range firepower he can supply to a Section is truly punishing. Any opposing Section foolish enough to stray within Range Band 1 of Scattergun Sam and a Section of F.I.s with LMG support will not survive long enough to regret it.

Additionally, his Snub Gatlings can benefit greatly from the Clockwork Drive Game Card, when the situation requires even more firepower. His personal Game Card, Orlington Special Reserve, can bolster the Attacks of a nearby Section to negate the advantage of any cover their target is cowering in, and make his own Weapons even more potent.