Raining Fire

Posted by on Dec 19, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

Raining Fire

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First Look

While it does not yet possess the august historical heritage of many other academies or groups of scientific thinkers elsewhere in the world, such as the Britannian Royal Society, the Imperial Alchemical Institute of the Empire of the Blazing Sun has consistently proven itself to be a world leader in extraordinary design and the application of revolutionary new technologies to practical purposes.

The Empire’s technical and scientific advancement and great leap to the status of major world power owes a truly enormous amount to the dedicated and imaginative researchers and technicians of the IAI. Using a blend of technologies both home-grown and imported from around the world, and manipulated with a mindset all of its own, the IAI continues to generate unique devices in the field of military technology.

Flanking the enemy through an industrial complex, the Bansans prepare formations to rain down rockets on the unsuspecting targets...

Flanking the enemy through an industrial complex, the Bansans prepare formations to rain down rockets on the unsuspecting targets…

However, even by the IAI’s standards, the Bansan Class Small Walker, now coming into service as a support unit for both Ashigaru and Armoured Cavalry regiments alike, is a startling machine. Its chassis is a scaled-down version of the sophisticated multi-legged system used by some of the Empire’s largest war engines, giving the Bansan a high degree of agility in tight terrain.

Unlike the Prussian Metzger and the Canadian Steele classes, the Bansan is more akin to a walking tank than a true combat armature. A complex system of hydraulics holds the machine up and drives its strides. The machine is controlled by a system of levers and pedals that require considerable skill and training to work.

The Bansan has two pilots, almost always army officers seconded for special training as IAI Combat Mechanauts. The pilots are assisted by several gunners to operate the Bansan’s primary weapon: a unique ring-shaped rotary rocket launcher. With the tubes reloaded from a compartment in the centre of the machine, the launcher operates like a huge Catherine wheel, with the blast of each rocket pushing the next tube into its firing position.

Bansan Class Small Walker

Bansan Class Small Walker

These piercing rockets carry a payload of the Institutes refined Incendiary formula, able to turn enemy vessels into a raging inferno in seconds. A single barrage from a distant Bansan Squadron can wreak chaos aboard even the largest targets.

The launcher fires very rapidly, and reloading it in action requires a highly disciplined crew with an acute sense of timing. However, it allows the Bansan provide agile and powerful fire support to other Blazing Sun units on the attack, as well as being able to function as a highly effective mobile emplacement on the defensive.

Bansan Class Small Walker

Bansan Class Small Walker

A Word From The Designer
The Empire of the Blazing Sun’s Taka-Ashi Walker was one of my highlights when developing the land forces for Dystopian Wars. While it was important to ground the land forces in the super science fiction setting with track driven tanks, there is always room for a few more extravagant concepts like walkers. Having a striding monstrosity for the Blazing Sun’s Land Ship also suited the nation’s background: having a mobile land force capable of traversing not only the thick jungles but the treacherous topography of Southeast Asia would be a tremendous advantage for the Empire’s dominion, which plays into the greater theatre of war.

The Bansan is an extension of that logic, with the Prussian Faust setting the precedent for small scale mechanicals for the other nations. In line with the Taka-Ashi, the Bansan is less of a humanoid walker than the Prussian examples and more of a stilt-legged fighting platform, it’s quadruped design allowing for maximum stability when firing off it’s great salvo of rockets on the unsuspecting enemy. The design borrows a little from the overall shape of the Ke-Ho small tank; the large walker uses the Blazing Sun’s traditional cylinder design in a vertical arrangement, but the Bansan favours an horizontal arrangement, giving it a wider, squat profile that sets it apart from Faust. This arrangement also allows for the centre of the model to be given over entirely to the rotating rocket battery at its core, lending the focus of the model to its weapons, as should always be the case.