Wednesday, 29 January 2014

A Lesson in History

"Since the turn of the century, the mighty Prussian Empire has been the dominant military and economic power of Central and Western Europe. Constructed over the course of the course of the Eighteenth Century with a combination of patience, diplomacy and when necessary, calculated aggression, Prussia rose from a minor kingdom within a confederation of petty states to the major force it is now. The Empire leads the world in engineering and scientific research, and its industrial might is a match for even its greatest rivals."

The Prussian Empire is one of the original Core Nations of Dystopian Wars, and features some of the most recognisable and characterful models of the entire Spartan Games range, from the mighty Metzger to the always impressive Imperium Sky Fortress. 

The Prussian Starter Box
The Prussians were my first fleet, inherited from my Good Friend Ben as payment for a commission, if I recall correctly. At the time, I had little idea about Dystopian Wars; these were still the olden days where anything outside of a Games Workshop was a hushed rumour. 

The Imperium Sky Fortress - like many others, this model got me interested in Dystopian Wars
Initial impressions were... mixed. It takes a while to shift from a mindset that has never played a game outside of 28mm scale, and when it came to painting, I had very little idea where to start. The only painted examples at the time were the very stark Spartan studio scheme and a few barely undercoated fleets appearing on Google search. 

Metzger is Always Watching
It was Ben and another friend, Dr Alex, who convinced me to try harder with the game, around the time that Spartan Games were beginning to work on their first Dystopian Wars campaign book, Hurricane Season. They both attended a campaign day, and somehow, both ended up on the top table during the last round. Dr. Alex won this tournament, and as prize had his portrait painted by the Spartan team (please excuse the haziness of these stories... it was a few years ago). This portrait was featured on the inside cover of Hurricane Season. After this great achievement, I decided this might be game worth looking into. 

A Selection of Prussian Mediums

I may have started the Prussian Empire inadvertently, but they grew on me very quickly, not just thanks to the impressive Imperium and Metzger, but also the greater background and their technologies - Tesla weaponry! Luftlancers! The idea of fleet powering through an enemy fleet, lightning arcing across the enemy ships while their turrets destroy everything in sight was... well, just awesome. In the game itself, they proved a hard fleet at first. Short ranged guns and weak armour, but great at boarding and bloody fast! It took a long time, but soon enough I was winning more games than I lost, and having a heck of a lot of fun. 

Two Rhine-class Carriers
In the years since, but most especially in the past year, my enthusiasm for Dystopian Wars has grown exponentially. I now own six full fleets (currently heading towards 15,000pts), an entire Merchant Navy, enough terrain for a tournament and a worn out refresh button from checking the Spartan Pre-Orders for my next fleet. 

Stolz-class Destroyers
Though other fleets have appeared on my painting and gaming tables, the Prussian Empire will always be my first love.

The Painted Fleet - currently near 4750pts
That's all for now... a more in depth discussion on painting the Prussians and some gaming experiences to come soon. 

Thanks for reading, 

George

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