- The Prussian Empire
- The Empire of the Blazing Sun
- The Republique of France
- The Kingdom of Britannia
- The Federated States of America
The Republique of France has held some of the more extreme positions in the world stage. It has been an European power on the verge of annihilation and annexation. On the other hand, it has risen from its troubled times and become a major player in world politics once again, taking its place in the Imperial Bond alongside the Prussian Empire and the Empire of the Blazing Sun.
The Republique of France has several hallmarks that make it distinct from its peers. The Republique can employ ships equipped with Gravitation Nullification Engines which make possible tactical and strategic ploys that other nations are unable to match. In addition the French are currently the sole proprietors of Heat Lance weaponry, which easily ranks amongst the most terrifying weapons in the world of Dystopian Wars. The French employ generators that are capable of creating cloud cover from nothing and their redoubtable Ack-Ack is second to none.
The Republique of France employs a varied array of vessels. Their largest vessels have access to Cloud Generators, which makes them harder to hit from anywhere but Range Band 1. This, in combination with a good smattering of Retardant Armour across their larger vessels makes the French Large and Massive options some of the toughest in the game, tougher even than most Russian or Japanese vessels. However, the French medium and small vessels mostly lack these defenses and are widely regarded as vulnerable. You’ll often find that a canny opponent ignores French large or massive vessels and instead aims to destroy their accompanying medium and small vessels.
The signature weapon of the French is the Heat Lance and its variations. Heat Lances are Redoubtable Piercing weapons with the Pin-Point and Incendiary MARs, thus being strong contenders for the Weapons-With-Most-Special-Rule contest of 2016. The French have several vessels equipped with these weapons, with special mention going to the Cherbourg battlecruiser which carries three of these. This enables the Cherbourg to single handedly cripple an entire cruiser squadron in rangeband 2 in one go, a feat few battlecruisers will be able to match. As if the Heat Lance wasn’t enough, the French are unique as well in that most of their gun turrets are secondary weapons. The signifance of this is that their broadsides are secondary weapons as well, and thus a lot of French vessels can link turrets and broadsides for some very scary firepower. A good example of this is the Magenta which can kick out 15 AD on RB3 thanks to two turrets with a spread of 10/9/8/5 and broadsides of 10/8/6/4.
Where the Republique of France enjoys another (nearly) unique advantage is in the prevalence of skimmer vessels. As demonstrated when the French attacked the British homelands, the French enjoy the luxury of bringing their vessels on land, hopping over obstacles in the way. It’s quite possible to avoid enemy fire, then pop out over an island and take shots at offending units without much fear of reprisal.
-Good firepower at close quarters
-Very tough large/massive vessels
-Redoubtable Ack-Ack with high base values
-Easy access to lots of skimmers
-Fairly vulnerable mediums and smalls
-Fairly weak boarders
-Large/massive vessels vulnerable in RB1
A typical Republique of France fleet features a solid core of cloud generator-equipped vessels in combination with strong damage dealing units. It’s not uncommon to find skimming vessels in support, either attacking from unexpected angles or ambushing from where the enemy can barely strike back. Don’t expect to suffer little losses, as your smalls and mediums will start dropping rapidly if left exposed. Your large/massives can take some hits but you’ll need to make it count. The French are glass cannons, hitting hard and getting hit hard, with some fancy skimming tricks up their sleeve.
The Magenta is exemplary of several French peculiarities. It comes in two marks, with one mark being a skimmer and the other providing surrounding units with the Die Hard Attitude MAR. It comes with two turrets able to link with its broadsides, providing a torrent of firepower at any range. A Magenta can replace one turret with a Heat Lance providing additional menacing firepower up close. It comes with Retardant Armour (1) and the option to take a Cloud Generator for +15 pts. Honestly, you rarely see a Magenta without a Cloud Generator, turning it into a DR 6 CR 10 HP 8 vessel you’ll usually hit on 5+, where you don’t get any additional dice from your first 6. The Magenta’s a nasty piece of work.
The Cherbourg is the epynomous Heat Lance platform for the Republique of France. It carries three Heat Lancettes linking into a devastating 18 AD strike on RB2 or delivering up to three 9 AD Piercing Incendiary Pinpoint attacks out to RB2. Even on RB3 it can attack with a 12 AD attack. The Cherbourg is pretty fast as well, being able to advance up to 10” in a straight line. It’s main drawback is its lack of defenses apart from Retardant Armour (1) and the addition of the Vulnerable MAR, allowing opponents to reroll crits made against the Cherbourg. Keep the Cherbourg safe until it can strike, then carry the wrath of the Napoleonic forces to the enemy.
The Alma frigate is a reconnaissance frigate. It’s a small skimmer that’s annoying to hit thanks to the addition of the Elusive MAR. In addition it has hit and run so it can hide in between pieces of terrain. The Alma comes with reasonable firepower and has the Spotter (Regular) MAR, allowing French units equipped with corrosive bombards to assail the enemy from a safe distance.
This concludes the main factions of the Imperial Bond. We’ll take a look at the Kingdom of Brittania in the next post!