Teutonic Knights

Posted by on Oct 18, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments

Teutonic Knights

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“My brothers, steel yourselves. The enemy wishes to see us dead above all others on this field. But we are of the Order. We walk where lesser men fear to tread. We will not be stopped! March on! Fire at will!”

– Felix Ritter von Gerhardt to his comrades, during the relief of Grunwald

Teutonic Knight

The mysterious and powerful Teutonic Order is a shadowy but pervasive force within many aspects of Prussian political and military life. They answer only to their own hierarchy of leaders and ultimately to the Prussian Emperor himself. From their secluded strongholds in Prussian Scandinavia, the Order has been a strong driving force behind many aspects of Prussian scientific advancement over the decades.

As well as its other duties, the Order provides potent armed forces to serve alongside the regular Prussian military. Although few in number, their intimidating battle-prowess and awesome command of destructive technologies gives them a power out of all proportion to their numbers.

Regular imperial officers view the presence of Order forces as a mixed blessing. Although of extraordinary military value, the Order’s forces are outside of conventional command structures, and their role as watchdogs of the Emperor inspires trepidation as well as respect.

The Order’s land forces take the form of powerful manned war robots, but the foundation of their ground forces are the fighting knights themselves, often called Armsmen. They fight in small dedicated strike units called Blades. Although few in number, Knight-Armsmen are highly trained and dedicated warriors, to whom mastering the art of combat is a devotion as well as a profession.

These elite soldiers take to the field in hulking suits of Tesla energised battle-armour. Over ten feet tall, these awesome machines enhance the strength of their wearers by several orders of magnitude. Collectively, Knight-Armsmen can seriously damage even armoured vehicles, and cause terror amongst regular infantry. Each Armsman when fully equipped can take on a defeat several times his own number of regular soldiers.

Towering over the regular infantry, they march forward in an utterly implacable manner, guns blazing and electrical energy playing over them. Although slow-moving compared to regular infantry, they are nearly impervious to small arms fire, and can even stand up to light anti-armour weaponry.

Unlike many of their Blazing Sun Samurai peers, the pragmatic Teutonic Knights do not shun modern ranged weaponry. Each suit is fitted with a heavy calibre Spandau MG71 water-cooled machine-gun, a powerful infantry support weapon that the Knight Armsmen wield as easily as pistols. Their great size enables them to put these powerful weapons to good use even at long distances, laying down covering fire directly over the heads of the regular troops they are supporting.

The appearance of Teutonic Knight Armsmen in a Prussian force often inspires extremes of emotion. On the one hand, there is no doubting the power they lend to forces, especially those about to undertake difficult or dangerous missions. On the other, however, their intimidating presence – and reputation for keeping close watch on the activities of officers and ordinary soldiers alike – is sometimes a cause for disquiet in Prussian regular units.

Clearing the path ahead

Tactical Use:
Although small in number, the Teutonic Knight Armsmen are without doubt one of the most threatening Sections that can be placed on a Game Board. This factor alone, especially given their virtual invincibility compared to regular Infantry, makes them an invaluable asset to a Prussian Commander.

Their main drawback is their relatively slow speed, so many Commanders find it essential to keep a Lieutenant nearby, ready to Force March the Knights each Turn so that they can keep pace with the Grenadiers. Their stature does mitigate the drawback somewhat however, as their height allows them to fire over the heads of any infantry who race ahead of them.

Like the Prussian Grenadiers, the principle tactic is to advance steadily toward the enemy, laying down an ever-increasing barrage of fire as they close range. Then, when close enough, they Charge forward to deliver the killing blow. Given their extreme durability, Prussian Commanders can worry less about the threat of Long Range firepower, but remember, they are not invulnerable. If the enemy is given the opportunity to focus massed volleys in their direction they will begin to crumble – unless their Impervious Game Card is used of course!

When they eventually reach the enemy’s front line, a Charge supported by Teutonic Knights is particularly devastating. The Daunting rule can break the opposition before the Armsmen have even made contact, and failing that, their powerful attacks and thick armour allow them to outlast most foes at close quarters. Finally, they can even cripple tanks and heavy armour, if the enemy allows them to get close enough.