17 Sep 2011

Dystopian Wars Tactics: Blazing Glory

In today's article I'll be shining a light on the Empire of the Blazing Sun (EotBS) and how their naval battle groups perform.

The Empire was officially 'born' in 1822 when the Empress Maya was able to wrest back power from the weakened Shogunate.
The current ruler of the Empire, Empress Shizuna, inherited the smallest of the world's great nations which at its core, encompasses the home islands of the Japanese archipelago. However, despite its small size the EotBS controls territory in the East Indies, Korea, the Philippines and parts of Argentina.

The on-going global war has its origins with the Blazing Sun when Japanese merchants began to wrest trade from the East India Company in Singapore. The Company forcibly expelled the Japanese delegation as they viewed this as a threat to their dominance in the region. Shamed and humiliated, the Japanese envoy committed suicide and his name was struck off of Imperial records. His family demanded vengeance and sought permission from the Empress to strike back at the East India Company which, the Empress agreed to.
A Blazing Sun task force was dispatched to Singapore and after of month of heavy fighting, Singapore City was captured and razed to the ground.
This was seen as an act of war by the Kingdom of Britannia, which had close links to the Company, and soon the two nations were engaged in conflict. Japanese forces in Malaya crushed a Britannian expeditionary force, further escalating events.

Empress Shizuna realised that the Japanese could not stand alone against the full military might of Britain and quickly entered an alliance with the Prussian Empire. The Prussians mobilized their forces and launched attacks against Britannian colonies even being so bold as attack London itself. Both the Federated States of America and the Russian Coalition have shown strategic interest in the lands of the Blazing Sun. Fortunately for the Empire, the two nations are now engaged in conflict with one-another.

EotBS forces are divided into three organisations. The Shield defends the Japanese homeland, the Sword acts as the offensive arm of the realm whilst the Crucible acts as a reserve.

In our time-line, Japan emerged from a long period of self imposed isolation into a world that was rapidly changing. Again, the Japanese looked to European Empires, especially Britain, and wished to emulate their global dominance. Mahan's book was translated into Japanese and the concept of the 'decisive battle' at sea took hold.
However, it wasn't just the Japanese who wished to expand in the Pacific. Russia wanted access to a warm-water port that would be functional for the whole year as Vladivostok was only operational during the Summer months and wished to acquire Port Arthur.
Most of China and Korea had been occupied by the Japanese and when the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905) broke out many observers and strategists thought that the 'European' Russians would prevail over the 'Oriental' Japanese. The result was quite the opposite.
The War began when Japanese torpedo boats launched a surprise attack on the Russian fleet which seriously crippled the two largest battleships at Russia's disposal. The Japanese realised that if Russia was to fight a war in the Pacific then it would need control of the sea. This style of attack was to be copied in 1941 at Pearl Harbor.

The architect of Pearl Harbor, Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, opposed war with the United States but realised that Japan's only chance of success lay in a quick and decisive victory. By using fighter aircraft and torpedo bombers launched from carriers the Imperial Japanese Navy sunk or damaged twenty-one American ships and killed approximately 2,400 personnel. After the attack Yamamoto declared "I fear we have awoken a sleeping giant".
The Battle of Midway in 1942 turned out to be the decisive 'naval' battle of the Pacific despite neither fleet seeing one another throughout the battle. Japan lost four of its six aircraft carriers, a cruiser and three hundred and thirty two combat aircraft whilst the Americans lost one carrier, a destroyer and ninety eight aircraft out of three hundred and sixty committed.
The United States was able to quickly rebuild its losses whilst it took the Japanese three years to rebuild the carriers sunk at Midway.

The EotBS is the most versatile faction in Dystopian Wars. Their larger ships can launch both torpedoes and rockets whilst still maintaining good gunnery attacks. Blazing Sun ships also have a higher critical rating than other nations making them harder to destroy.
Rocket wielding ships have the incendiary rounds MAR meaning that any ship damaged by an attack with this ability results in a raging fire which can result in the loss of AP.

The Sokotsu class Battleship is equipped with two primary turrets which can fire-off these AD:

13 8 6 3
19 12 9 4 (linked)

The Sokotsu can also utilize port/starboard guns, fore firing torpedoes and rockets. It can make a slow forward approach firing off rockets at greater ranges and then bringing its high powered turrets to bear at closer ranges. This vessel is best used in range bands 1 or 2 and side on; where it can bring both primary turrets and its side guns to bear on the enemy fleet.
The Sokotsu also comes with either a built-in shield or disruption generator.
A disruption generator allows a commodore to de-activate all generators within an 8 inch radius of the firing model on a roll of a 4, 5 or 6. A roll of a 6 also results in the loss of 1 AP.

As mentioned earlier, the EotBS is quite a versatile nation. There are many options available to a Blazing Sun commander.

Japanese Nakatsu class Cruisers lack primary weapons systems which can make them hard to use. Instead, they are armed with port/starboard guns, fore torpedoes and rocket batteries. They are best used at the back of a formation where their linked rocket fire can pick off targets from afar. Once closed with the enemy, the Nakatsus can wheel into position and unleash a deadly broadside on the enemy in range band 1 where their secondary weapons system isn't hindered. Nakatsus differ from other Cruisers in another respect in that they can be deployed in squadrons of four instead of the three assigned to other factions.

If a Blazing Sun commander wishes to take to the skies then the Inari class scout gyro is an essential edition to their arsenal.
Inaris are armed with a primary turret, bombs and side-mounted rocket batteries which include the incendiary rounds MAR. If an all stop is called this enables the gyro to rotate ninety degrees with its manoeuvrable rule. However, if an all-stop is called whilst obscured an Inari can only be hit with a roll of a 6 which also reduces the effectiveness of AA rolls.

Similarly, the Tenkei Sky Fortress can launch death from the skies with its two primary turrets, rocket batteries and bombs not including the an addition squadron of aircraft that it can launch.

Finally, the Blazing Sun have access to mechanical squid. Yes that's right robotic squid. The Ika has an AP of 9 which poses a huge boarding threat. Combined with their ability to submerge (meaning that they can only be hit on sixes), rugged construction and armoured topside (the former resulting in a reduction of AD fired against it and the latter giving it a higher critical rating) means that the squid can approach a target with near immunity. If a robot wipes out the AP on a vessel that ship becomes derelict, essentially taking it out of the game.
The Ika also have fore-mounted guns and have the ability to drop mines, further increasing their threat level.

Thanks for taking the time to read these articles.

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