The Black Wolf Rises

Posted by on Dec 13, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

The Black Wolf Rises

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Captain Vladimir Nikonov had a reputation as a daring and unconventional officer even before joining the Russian White Navy’s submarine development programme in 1861.

He had honed his skills as a destroyer commander, running ‘unofficial’ covert missions in the Black Sea against the Ottoman navy, as part of the Stavka high command’s brief to assess the defences of the Dardanelles.

Nemesis Class Battle Cruiser

However, such skills also inflated Nikonov’s substantial ego. Wiry of build, dark-haired and charismatic, his subordinates nicknamed him ‘Black Wolf’ for both his appearance and hunting prowess. He came to think of himself as more of a corsair than a naval officer; styling himself upon such piratical legends as Blackbeard Teach and Sir Francis Drake.

Not surprisingly, he found regular naval convention suffocating and dull, and was particularly aggrieved by the navy’s perpetually subordinate position to the White Army. Nikonov was transferred to the submarine programme with the promise of additional status. His reputation as a maverick went before him, and his superiors believed that submarine duty would make best use of his skills, and keep him conveniently isolated.

Manticore Class Support Skimmer

Nikonov was given command of the powerful experimental submarine Death Bringer, the end product of Proyeckt Pobeda – ‘Victory Project’. At first, all seemed well. However, what the Black Sea Fleet Command did not know was that, only a year into his new commission, Nikonov had been compromised. Prussian and Ottoman agents had offered him a series of massive bribes to defect and undermine the Russian submarine project.

It did not take much to turn the disgruntled egomaniac. Nikonov had rapidly tired of his posting, seeing it as just more donkey work. He quickly turned his crew, aided by his personal charisma and the close-knit bond that develops between all submariners.

The disastrous consequences erupted in 1864. During the final live-armed sea trials of Death Bringer, Nikonov led the submarine’s crew in a mass mutiny. They overwhelmed their Oprichnina overseers, ejecting them bodily through Death Bringer’s torpedo tubes.

Nikonov then took the sub back to Kerch, easily eluding both sea and air patrols. Landing at night with a hand-picked shore party, he infiltrated the base and stole the master copies of Death Bringer’s blueprints. His party then fired the magazines and fuel reserves, destroying the submarine dock and crippling Proyeckt Pobeda.

Fury Class Corvette

In the carnage and confusion, the Black Wolf escaped with Death Bringer. The White Navy command sought him frantically, tracking him by the trail of destruction he left across the Black Sea. He pillaged and sank six Russian freighters before entering the Bosphorus, where his pursuers lost track of him.

But Nikonov did not deliver his prize to his secret benefactors as planned. Instead, he followed his dream of becoming a pirate. Operating as both corsair and mercenary, he became a scourge of the seas – hunted by many, but never captured.

1871 found Nikonov in the North Sea as the Storm of Steel gathered. Desiring to inflict yet more humiliation on the White Navy, the Black Wolf made a contract with the Prussians.

Reaper Class Attack Drone-Sun (left) and Tiny Flyer Token (right)

Nikonov blazed yet another path of devastation throughout the early part of the campaign; his most daring exploit being the sinking of the Russian battleship Irkutsk at anchor after infiltrating the heavily-guarded Thames Estuary in the Kingdom of Britannia.

Hs reign of terror was finally cut short during a bloody and chaotic night action in the southern North Sea. Determined to bring the infamous rogue to bay, the Britannians and their Russian allies had organised a decoy convoy packed with Q-ships.

Nikonov scored several more kills before Death Bringer was bracketed by enemy fire and forced to crash dive, jettisoning oil and debris. But the Black Wolf was not destined to perish in one minor skirmish.

When the action subsided Nikonov took his vessel north, making for the Arctic and a secret harbour where he knew he would find safety and profit. Though many believed him destroyed, he has merely been waiting to strike again. The world has not heard the last of the infamous Black Wolf…

The Black Wolf Naval Battle Group is now available to pre-order from the Spartan Games Online Store.