One of the strengths of the Dystopian Age setting is that it allows us to expand and develop concepts in ways where it simply wouldn’t be necessary for a single game. To illustrate this, let’s take a look at the mighty Imperium, one of the eight Great Powers of the era.
The Imperium is a relatively young power in the Dystopian Age, having been formed in the early nineteenth century by the political and economic unification of Prussia with Austria, Bavaria, Bohemia, Croatia-Slavonia, Denmark, Hungary, the Netherlands, Norway, Serbia and Sweden. This, in turn, caused conflict with both French Republique over the Alsace region and the Russian Commonwealth over Finland.
The Imperium is often referred to by outsiders as the Prussian Imperium due to the dominant influence Prussia has in the group of nations, however, it is never referred to as such by member states (with the exception of the Prussians in private of course). In the eyes of their rivals, the people of the Imperium have a reputation for hard work and industry. They are seen as pragmatic, though somewhat arrogant and favouring austerity over artistry. Of course, although the Imperium itself is newly founded as an institution, the nations that comprise it have centuries of history and culture to draw upon. An individual is no more humourless, austere and artless than a Frenchman, Turk or an Irishman. But as the Imperium strives to establish a single identity for the world stage, the individual nation’s cultural richness is beginning to be eroded by the dominant Prussian-centric propaganda. It is too early to say whether this strategy will unify or divide this Great Power in the coming decades.
In Wild West Exodus, because the narrative and game take place within the Badlands of the Union of Federated States, the reach of the Imperium is limited mainly to the pernicious Kaufmann brothers. The chisel-jawed Bavarian twins Dieter and Shultz are allies of the Enlightened Peer, Burson Carpathian. Along with their older and perpetually put upon brother Siegfried, the Kaufmann brothers are a lesson in how the industrious and pragmatic traits that built the Imperium can be subverted into selfish and arrogant agents of chaos. For more reputable examples of the Imperium, you need to look at the forces leading expeditions to the Lost World…
The Scions of the Reich Detachment for Lost World Exodus really capture that pragmatic and determined nature in the Imperium. The proud history of Prussia can be seen in the stylings of the armour and uniforms, while small details like the helmet plumes, eye pieces and facial hair add to that national identity. The iconography using both the Prussian eagle and the Teutonic Cross helps tie the Detachment into the wider faction. The Scions of the Reich are designed to lead units of Grenadiers into battle supported by Vierling fire teams. If you then compliment those with Totenkopf Huntsmen and Junker Luftlancers, you have a potent force indeed to claim the Lost World for the Imperium. There will be much more revealed for the faction in the lead up to Lost World Exodus’ launch in the coming year.
The Teutonic Cross is displayed on the flank of the mighty Stark-Imperium Skyfortress. A powerful symbol of the ascendancy of the Imperium in the Dystopian Age, this vessel calls on classic imagery from the original range. The prow of the ship visually ties into the lines of Dystopian Wars’ Elector class battleship as well as the forthcoming Teutonic Knight Armigers from Lost World Exodus. The tiny fighters that launch from the underslung bays below the airship are not only to be seen here…
As you can see below, the Messer class fighter will be realised in superb details for Armoured Clash. Though this game is not due for release until sometime after next year, the gift of having such a rich world to develop means that we can explore these corners of the Faction’s design space, so that when we do launch Armoured Clash, the range will feel a natural and integral part of the Dystopian Age. Coming full circle, it also is within the realm of possibility for a re-fuelling Messer or crashed Messer to be an objective or terrain piece for a future Lost World Exodus Adventure. One setting with countless possibilities.
I hope this short example demonstrates the exciting potential that the Dystopian Age offers to players. If it is of interest, please let us know and we’ll try to show more in future Warcradle Studio Diaries!
Until next time!