The Fearsome Aggressors

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

The Fearsome Aggressors

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Republique of France Alma Class Frigate

The most famous technological achievement of French industry and weapons design is undoubtedly the Gravity Nullification Engine or GNE for short. This amazing device, developed with the assistance of ‘liberated’ Antarctican technology, has seen France’s naval forces develop not only a line of strikingly unique ship designs, but also a wholly new battle doctrine.

The relatively small size of French fighting formations on the ground is easily offset by their access to the crushing power of naval gunfire support even when many miles from the nearest coastline. The sleek lines of the Magenta II battleships and Marseille Class Cruisers cast long shadows over the Republique’s enemies in every sense of the word.

Just recently, these mighty vessels have been joined by another ship class, one that represents a major step forward in the development of GNE technology. The swift and streamlined Alma Class Frigate mounts the sophisticated Mark VI, the first production GNE powerplant small enough to mount in a vessel of its size.

Republique of France Alma Class Frigate

The Alma is designed to provide fast-moving fire support and scouting capability to France’s flying navy. The frigate is swift and agile enough to take the fight to true aircraft, always a point of vulnerability for the larger GNE craft in service. When operating alone, squadrons of Almas also make superb commerce raiders, as well as mounting lightning strikes on enemy ports through their ability to bypass many conventional defences.

Republique of France Alma Class Frigate

The personnel of the French light naval forces refer to the Alma as the ‘flying barracuda’. It is finding favour with particularly aggressive captains, and roving packs of these ships will surely savage unwary enemy craft wherever they might be found. No corner of any battlefield is now beyond the reach of the navy of France.

Republique of France Alma Class Frigate

A Word From The Designer

The Republique of France made their big splash with the Magenta Battleship long before they became a fully developed faction and that one model set an impressive benchmark for the following ships. We’d made the decision not to focus the French too much on their surface skimming ships, giving them a plethora of tanks, fixed-wing aircraft and airships to keep the players amused, but in the end the sheer fun of skimming ships dragged us back; after all we only needed one more to have an entire basic battle group for players to utilise. When the time came to give the French a pair of upgrades the Alma Class Frigate was first on the list.

Republique of France Alma Class Frigate

Much like one of my personal favourites – the Geier Class Bomber – the Alma uses it’s supposed hydrodynamic form as an aerodynamic form, giving the model a lovely sense of contrast and appeal. The appeal here is the classic tumblehome hull so synonymous with our French ships, streamlining the rest of the superstructure and hull features to emphasize those lines. What’s left is almost a dart or more of a classic airship shape that stands out vividly on the table. The Alma also boasts a nifty 360 degree turret, unlike the restricted arcs of the naval Lyon Class Frigate.

Republique of France L’Arman ‘Char 1C’ Class Medium Tank

French industry has over the years become world-renowned for its engineering expertise, and the products of the great weapon shops of Belville and Clermont-Ferrand are rapidly gaining a fearsome fighting reputation in the hands of their highly-trained crews.

The Char 1C is a product of the latest wave of revolutionary new French war engine designs. It utilises technology ‘liberated’ from Markov’s private files during his enforced ‘holiday’ in the Republique, combined with highly refined precision engineering developed by the finest minds in French weapons design.

The 1C was designed from the outset to be what the French military calls a ‘char de rupture’, or breakthrough tank. It is larger and tougher than the standard R-6 Focault. The first units were issued to the Heavy Assault Command, and are often used in conjunction with the mighty Bastille Class Land Ships. They are well capable of blasting a hole in enemy lines, which the faster medium and light tanks can then exploit.

Republique of France L'Arman 'Char 1C' Class Medium Tank

Heavy Tank Squadrons also add more bite to the Republique’s Armoured Regiments when they operate without the support of the Heavy Assault Command’s Land Ships. The 1C mounts a large central turret which fits a pair of massive heavy guns similar in scale to the main armament of the Bastille.

However, like many French designs, versatility is a core requirement. The 1C has been designed to accept one of the fearsome ‘Eyes of the Sun’ – a Heat Lancette which provides ferocious firepower at close quarters, reducing enemy armour to glowing wreckage and exposed infantry to ashes. Lancette-armed 1Cs are highly prized by attacking units required to crack open strong enemy positions.

Republique of France L'Arman 'Char 1C' Class Medium Tank

These powerful new vehicles are going into production alongside the proven R-6, and those already issued are becoming very popular. The 1C is sure to become a key asset for the French ground forces, ensuring that the soldiers of Bonaparte’s Legions can back up their legendary élan with steel, fire and thunder!

A Word From The Designer

Model designers should always be on the lookout for size-creep – an unconscious desire to make each consecutive model bigger and better than the last till two factions just don’t look right next to each other on the table. We have avoided this, and aside from individual differences in aesthetics all our models are analogous to those of the same class.

Republique of France L'Arman 'Char 1C' Class Medium Tank

The workaround for that is new classes; intermediaries between those that already exist that provide new game niches, more opportunities for commanders and newer shinier toys for the hobbyist. The Char 1C is one of the first examples that fits this description. Though technically a medium model, it’s just about as big as a medium tank can be while still fitting on the base – it has to be to contain the vast array of machinery and power plants required to mount the deadly heat lancette onto such a small chassis.

Models like this are among the easiest to make: since such a large chunk of the space is already occupied by the massive weapon system, all the available space is geared towards fulfilling the same aesthetic promise (e.g. wider tracks for distributing more weight, chunkier smoke-stacks to imply a bigger engine). The eye is always drawn up to the menacing array of fantastic machinery that’s ready to blast the opposition with searing fury.

Republique of France L'Arman 'Char 1C' Class Medium Tank