Shock Assault

Posted by on Aug 14, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

Shock Assault

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The Teutonic Order is a mysterious and powerful organisation within the Prussian Empire, which serves in a number of roles within the Imperial political and military hierarchies, as well as being the Prussian Emperor’s most trusted bodyguards. It is fair to say they also serve the Emperor as his primary secret service agents, serving as a strong defence against infiltration by enemy spies. A final role is to act as the ‘watchers’ of the regular military command and other institutions for any signs of internal dissention or subversive plots.

Despite having so many roles to cater for, the Order also has powerful military forces under its command, with units consisting of some of the most elite soldiers and revolutionary war machines in the Prussian Imperial arsenal. However, these units do not come under the authority of the regular Imperial military; something that occasionally causes disquiet amongst regular military officers, especially those who lead units from the non-Prussian regions of the Empire.

The Teutonic Order commands extensive research and development facilities, housed within fortresses and commanderies in its primary dominion of Prussian Scandinavia. This region of the Empire is also rich in the natural resources needed to realise such projects, including extensive Sturginium deposits.

Many of the most radical technological developments of the age first emerged from the laboratories and workshops of the Teutonic Order, including Tesla technology. Some rumours whisper that the Order was already aware of the existence and potential of Element 270 long before the founding of the Covenant of Antarctica. Whether or not this is true, the Order does not say, for it is protective in the extreme of its secrets. Even details of its most famous scientific innovator, Tesla, are shrouded in mystery to this day.

The Order has long been known as a developer of extraordinary new military technology. This reputation first sealed in 1860 with the advent of the mighty Metzger Class War Robots. However, the Order’s scientists were clearly not content to rest upon their laurels, for shortly after the outbreak of the World War, it unveiled an extraordinary new concept: the Aufseher Class Assault Airship.

Aufseher Class Assault Airship (Top)

Aufseher Class Assault Airship (Top)

The Aufseher is based on the design of the sturdy and reliable Gewitterwolke Class zeppelins of the Imperial Luftflotten. However, its function is radically different. Where the Gewitterwolke is a powerful flying battleship, the Aufseher takes the Teutonic Order’s favoured battle tactics of shock assaults to quite literally a whole new level.

Aufseher Class Assault Airship (Front)

Aufseher Class Assault Airship (Front)

The Aufseher is designed to allow the air landing of Prussian armoured units directly in the heart of enemy strong points, either to provide support for larger attacks or in surprise raids on key objectives. However, even the armoured unit it most often deploys is revolutionary: the Faust.

Fausts on their base beside an A6-V Class Medium Tank

Fausts on their base beside an A6-V Class Medium Tank

Aufseher Class Assault Airship (Top)

Aufseher Class Assault Airship (Top)

Faust is a new type of manned combat robot resembling a very much scaled down Metzger, although still large enough to dwarf terrified enemy infantry and toss aside light tanks like cardboard boxes.

Aufseher Class Assault Airship (Side)

Aufseher Class Assault Airship (Side)

Now, whenever the huge shadow of a Prussian zeppelin falls over the battlefield and the dirge-like drone of its Tesla motors fills the air, enemy soldiers shudder, for they have yet another reason to fear the might of the Prussian Empire.

A Word from the Designer

The Prussian Empire zeppelin’s are at the heart of Dystopian Wars; the original Imperium Class Sky Fortress is a model that gets everyone talking and the Gewitterwolke Class Large Airship features proudly on the rulebook front cover. I was eager, as ever, to make more when the idea of an Assault Airship came up.

Aufseher Class Assault Airship (Underside)

Aufseher Class Assault Airship (Underside)

The Prussians were always very utilitarian in their aesthetic. All the madness in their design was collected and expressed through the medium of electric weaponry, leaving the hull design rather pragmatic. The Assault Airship is longer than the Gewitterwolke, and the underside has been stripped of its weapons. The underside of the Assault Airship has huge sliding bay doors and a lowering cradle to deploy men and machines to the frontlines of the battlefield with lightning speed. Much of the crew complement is given over to the infamous Luftlancers, ready to rain down from the Assault Airship and bring the emperor’s might to his foes.

Aufseher Class Assault Airship (Rear)

Aufseher Class Assault Airship (Rear)

The only issue with this approach is that the new detail is mainly concentrated on the underside of the model, which on the tabletop is not ideal, so the decision was made to move the gondola from the underside to the top. A heavy spine was added filled with hatches so high flying enemy sky craft cannot be immune to the deadly Luftlancer boarding strikes.