KB Intelligence

KB Intelligence

LINE INFANTRY

“Every shot needs to count, my lads. Can’t go wasting Her Majesty’s ammunition now, can we?”

-Sergeant Albert Trieves, 33rd Regiment of Foot (Royal Berkshires)

Kingdom of Britannia Line Infantry

For centuries, the armies of Britannia have relied on a solid core of well-trained, professional Riflemen. Since the unification of the British Isles as the Kingdom of Britannia, its red-coated soldiers have fought on nearly every continent, and their battles have taken them to the very ends of the earth.

From tiny islands in bleak oceanic fastnesses to the searing deserts of Africa and the dense jungles of South Asia, Britannia’s soldiers have marched to battle in the name of monarch and country. Through all of this, the Britannians have maintained a reputation for battle skill and resolution that far outweighed their relatively small numbers.

Prime among these attributes is their sheer stubbornness and will to win. Many times Queen Victoria’s forces have emerged from campaigns in triumph through their sheer unwillingness to accept defeat. Dogged endurance has seen even small expeditionary forces overwhelm many foes that should have beaten them.

Kingdom of Britannia Line Infantry

The modern Britannian army is one of the most heavily mechanised forces in the world o, but large numbers of foot soldiers still form its beating heart. These days they are almost always furnished with specialist support weaponry and armoured units. However, there is still a tradition of rigorous – sometimes harsh – training that turns out hardy and resolute soldiers. This has ensured that Britannia’s infantry are still a formidable power in the field in their own right.

Although supported by soldiers from all over Britannia’s vast imperial territories, the core of the Kingdom’s forces are the English, Welsh, Scots and Irish regiments of the home army. The majority of them are well-trained professionals in the tradition of Wellington’s armies of the Prussian Wars. Often tied into twenty-five years or more of service, many are skilled veterans of battles all over the world to protect and expand Queen Victoria’s empire.

However the outbreak of the World War, especially the London Raid, has seen vast numbers of volunteers sign up for military service. Nicknamed ‘Short-Shrifters’ by the old professionals, what these new soldiers lack in experience they more than make up for in energy and patriotic fervour.

Rigorous musketry drill has always been the hallmark of Britannian regiments. Even now, all regular soldiers still use breach-loaders rather than repeating rifles, but thanks to their training they are able to put up walls of fire so ferocious that enemy troops assume they have additional machine-guns in support.

Although never quite as numerous as the conscript armies of other great nations, Britannia’s ‘thin red lines of heroes’, held firm by the bellowing exhortations of their sergeants are more than capable of holding their own against any opponent.

Kingdom of Britannia Line Infantry

The Britannians have a well-earned reputation for fighting on in the face of even the most impossible odds. This attitude is exemplified by actions such as the 3rd Northamptonshire Rifles, who defended the Falkland Islands almost to the last unwounded man against Blazing Sun forces who outnumbered them more than ten to one.

Just recently, Britannian regiments have been issued with the fearsome Mk III Ricardo portable flamethrower. These specialists use the fiery fury of their weapons to keep the enemy away from their comrades in the firing line, allowing the riflemen to keep up their deadly torrents of lead as long as possible. On the attack, they are even more formidable, burning enemy troops out of fortified positions as the riflemen advance in line.

Tactical Use:
A Britannian Line Infantry Section has a clear-cut and simple job; to take up a secure position, preferably in cover and then hurl volley after volley of shots into the enemy ranks.

Line Infantry Riflemen simply cannot be matched at range by any of the mainstay Sections of the other Great Powers. The Martini-Metford rifle and its users’ marksmanship skills means that a section of Redcoats can fire accurately out to a distance from which most enemy small arms cannot respond.

The Kingdom of Britannia Line Infantry show no remorse

The Britannian Line Infantry will never be lacking for able leadership either, as each Section may include a Sergeant for no additional cost. This gives them limited ability to function independently.

Furthermore, if a Section benefits from the Focus Fire Command Ability of the Britannian Lieutenant an opposing section in open ground could feasibly be wiped out by a single volley. If the Line Infantry use their “Volley Fire Present – Fire!” Game Card, you can expect to see the enemy stop dead in their tracks, unable to draw any closer.

Although your Riflemen are vulnerable if you get them involved in a Melee, a Britannian Line Infantry Section needn’t worry if the enemy draws near – a hosing from the Specialist’s Flamethrower will soon send them packing!

LIEUTENANT

“Prussian infantry advancing on the left? Splendid! I thought we wouldn’t get a chance to thrash them before sundown.”

-First Lieutenant Arthur Wickes, 28th Regiment of Foot (Suffolk), Her Majesty’s Army of Flanders

Kingdom of Britannia Lieutenant Artwork

The officer corps of Britannian regiments has traditionally been drawn from the nation’s upper class. Many old Britannian families have a long and honourable tradition of military service.

Britannian field officers are mostly still seen as a breed apart by the troops under their command. What comes as a surprise to outside observers is that this often serves to strengthen the bond between commissioned officers and the regular soldiers.

Britannian officers, aware of their reputation, go to great lengths to remain absolutely unflappable even in the face of the worst tribulations. As far as they are concerned, a panicking commander is of no use to anyone. In turn, the regular troops harbour great respect for their leaders that stems from more than mere status.

Trained in prestigious military colleges such as Sandhurst, Britannian officers command with a combination of easy confidence and unshakeable self-belief. Junior officers in particular, the lieutenants and captains are also noted for leading from the front, never hesitating to put themselves in the line of fire if their presence is needed.

However, as the war progresses a new breed of officer is beginning to appear in the Britannian army, especially the newer regiments. These men, hard-bitten veterans, have been ‘raised from the ranks’.

Kingdom of Britannia Lieutenant

At first, this was a controversial move. Some of the more traditional Britannian generals feared that the troops would not hold leaders who came from their own ‘sort’ in the same kind of respect as officers drawn from upper classes.

However, for the most part, these fears have not been borne out. Although they might lack some of the awe in which their upper-class peers are held by the soldiery, these rougher-edged leaders make up for it with sheer grit and battle experience. A slight lack of etiquette in the mess is now seen by even the stuffiest of military traditionalists as a fair price to pay for battles won for Queen and country!

Tactical Use:
The Kingdom of Britannia is famous for the quality of its officers, and their Lieutenants are no exception. In combat the main value of a Lieutenant is to influence their men with their powerful Command Abilities, Focus Fire and On My Mark.

The Focus Fire Command Ability represents an officer co-ordinating the musketry of a nearby Section, making them much more likely to hit their targets. This ability is incredibly important to any Ranged Attack-heavy Britannian force.

Kingdom of Britannia Lieutenant in action

The On My Mark Command Ability is a rather different tool, allowing a Section to react immediately if they come under attack from enemy fire. Beyond the obvious advantage of being able to hit back before having your firepower reduced by the incoming attack, this ability can have a terrible psychological effect on your opponent. Would you really want to fire on a section if you well know that you’ll be taking more punishment back in return?

A Britannian Lieutenant can do more than just shout orders. A lifestyle involving shooting, fencing and horse riding means every officer is fighting fit and handy with a sabre and a pistol. Additionally, most officers buy their own weapons before heading out on campaign, meaning Britannian commanders can rely on a good deal of personal firepower.

A common choice for officers heading out at the moment is the powerful Windshear Ray Projector, a weapon able to shred a man or machine in moments. This allows the Lieutenant to pack a surprisingly powerful punch at point-blank range – perfect for finishing off any dazed stragglers who escaped the wrath of rifle and flamethrower!

SKY HUSSARS

“It was a bit of a sticky wicket. The Suns had us on the ropes. If we broke, the road to Burma was open. But then we heard the bugles. The men of the 15th dropped into the enemy ranks behind a great sheet of flame and steam and scattered the Suns like wheat chaff in a gale. I knew then that we were saved.”

Sergeant Roger Coker, 6th Cumberland, describing the intervention of the 15th Hussars at the Second Battle of Taiping

Sky Hussars

Horse-mounted cavalry has all but vanished from the Britannian army’s order of battle since the flood of technology from the Covenant of Antarctica began to change the world in the late 1850s.

The cavalry regiments, however, did not disappear but instead radically altered their training regimes and equipment. Like the more heavily-armed garrison troops of the Land, Air and Naval Armadas, they are equipped with the sturdy Sturgicite-fuelled Brunel-Fosdyke Rocket Assisted Transit personal flying machine – nicknamed the ‘Ratpack’.

Britannia’s Hussar Regiments retain their role as daring, fast-moving assault troops. Many a hard-pressed regular platoon has had reason to thank a timely intervention by a Sky Hussar squadron at the key moment.

They are nicknamed ‘Flaming Angels’ by the Britannian press, thanks to their main armament – Ricardo MkII Flamebelchers, pistol-sized weapons capable of spewing great sheets of fire over opponents and sending them scrambling away in blind panic. These weapons are relatively new, being issued alongside more conventional arms and giving the Sky Hussars an exceptional edge in the shock assaults they favour.

The Sky Hussars have a much more glamorous reputation than the line infantry, second only to the pilots of the Air Armada’s fighter squadrons. Much of this stems from the risks that they are required to take in the execution of their duties. Their battlefield role is that much more rigorous, often involving fighting at perilously close quarters.

Hussar specialists, like the regular infantry, carry Ricardo flamethrowers to give them the edge over superior numbers of enemy troops. The combination of these weapons and the standard Flamebelchers make Hussar assaults even more terrifying for those on the receiving end of them, as well as acting as a great morale boost for other Britannian soldiers.

Sky Hussar Specialist

The Hussar squadrons prefer not to get involved in grinding combats of attrition if they can avoid it, specialising in fast and hard strikes at key points in the enemy line, before jetting back out of reach of retaliation and regrouping for their next assault.

Tactical Use:
The Sky Hussars can be a little tricky to use right, but once you know how to get the most from them they are a game-winning asset for any Britannian Commander.

Sky Hussars can put out a great deal of damage at close range, going to close quarters and burning the enemy down at point blank range. If it is totally essential, they can draw their sabres and go in with the old cold steel.

However, this comes at a cost in terms of protection. Sky Hussars go into battle in nothing more than their perfectly tailored uniforms and a pair of good riding boots. They most definitely cannot take as much punishment as they can dish out!

But to compensate, the Sky Hussars have their ‘Ratpacks‘, gifting them with the power to move like lightning across the table. Their skill makes them difficult to hit with gunfire at range.

The Sky Hussars look stunning on any Game Board

When paired up with a Line Infantry Section, Sky Hussars excel. Let the Line Infantry whittle the enemy down as they move forward, then let loose the Hussars to send whatever remains of them to oblivion.

Alternatively, they can advance with the line and play their Special Game Card, Firestorm, at the opportune moment. This will flush the enemy out of hiding just in time for the entire line to open up on them. This tactic can make for a fearsome outflanking gambit against a defended position.

CAPTAIN GILBERT SMETHINGTON II

“Fall back now? No, no, no! Look at them…on the verge of shattering like glass, I tell you! To me, lads! Let’s show ‘em how Britannians fight! Hurrah!”

Captain Gilbert Smethington II Artwork

Although the bulk of Britannia’s aerial strength falls under the remit of the Aerial Armada and the Navy’s Fleet Air Arm, the Kingdom’s regular army retains its own small integral aerial force, known as the Royal Flying Corps. Although they only operate conventional aeroplanes, as opposed to the great Sturginium Age flying engines of the Air Armada, the RFC is proud of its traditions.

These date back to Wellington’s great victory over the Prussians at Waterloo, when Royal Flying Corps’ pilots, manning perilously fragile Masaulle V biplanes contributed to the defeat of Emperor Heinrich Otto’s armies.

RFC officers are often attached to Britannian infantry formations. As well as being pilots and liaising with local air support, they are also fully-trained infantry officers in their own right.

Captain Gilbert ‘Bertie’ Smethington II, Distinguished Flying Cross, is undoubtedly the most famous of the RFC’s officer class. The scion of a noted aristocratic family – his father, Lieutenant-General Baronet Gilbert Smethington I, served with the army in southern Africa – Bertie saw action in the Far East before being transferred back to Britannia to take part in the Kingdom’s offensive operations against the Prussian Empire.

Captain Gilbert 'Bertie' Smethington II

Brash, loud and flamboyant, Smethington’s presence is always welcomed by infantry units on the ground, despite – or sometimes because of – his propensity to rub regular infantry officers up the wrong way. His mere presence can inspire ordinary troops to great feats of courage in battle no matter the odds. Apart from his undoubted charisma, the Captain is also noted for having a lucky streak that often seems to land him, and those he leads, on their feet.

Captain Smethington favours a customised automatic pistol as his personal arm, a piece of extraordinary quality and effectiveness made by the prestigious Egg gunmaking house in London. However, ‘Bertie’s Blazer’ as it has become known to troops serving alongside him, has far more significance to Gilbert than just its effectiveness as a weapon.

Bertie acquired the pistol from Captain Ian ‘Spinner’ Spencer, a long time friend and colleague of his from their days of service in India. Spinner lost his life during the first Blazing Sun attack on Burma, when the scout aircraft that he and Bertie were flying was shot down by enemy fighter aeroplanes.

Both men survived the landing, deep behind enemy lines, but despite hauling the badly wounded Spinner more than ten miles along with him, Bertie was unable to save his old friend’s life. Spinner’s last act was to bequeath his pistol to Gilbert, who eventually found his way back to the Britannian stronghold at Georgetown after a gruelling two-week hike. Bertie privately believes the weapon to be the source of his good luck, and has carried it into battle in honour of Spinner ever since.

Captain Smethington showing his class in battle

Tactical Use:
Captain ‘Bertie’ Smethington the Second DFC may not be the best shot or a boxing champ, but somehow he always appears to end up on top. Though he has fairly average stats for an officer of his rank, he is incredibly Lucky!

Smethington has a finite Pool of Luck Points that must last him the entire game. These can be spent at any time to re-roll dice – every commander’s dream come true when it comes to passing a vital Command Test, pulling off a key Ranged Attack or winning a Duel!

Although this makes the Captain very effective, remember that even Bertie’s good fortune has its limits – good management of your Luck Points is essential. Captain Smethington II is also a very competent leader. He provides plenty of Command Points to the Force’s Pool, and can be relied upon to keep your force in line with his unique Britannian Bulldog Command Ability, using his natural charisma to anchor the forces around him.

Finally, Bertie has his Special Game Card -ome on Chaps!”. This card allows any Sections near to ‘Smeth’ to make a special additional move at any time, perfect for escaping a dastardly Prussian charge!