3 Apr 2012

Vive la Republique

Bonjour and welcome to this article on initial Republique of France (RoF) sightings. Intelligence sources have gathered a brief dossier of French units, statistics and Model Assigned Rules (MARs).

"Liberty, Equality, Fraternity... and Resurgence."
The RoF has invested in Gravity Nullification Engines (GNE) which, currently, no other nation possesses. This technology has been installed on some French vessels giving them the Surface Skimmer MAR; allowing ships to launch out of the water and gain flight capability. That's correct gamers, the French have flying battleships! 
Surface Skimming allows a ship to ignore treacherous terrain, move over land or water, travel over a model at least one size smaller than itself but counts as one size larger for determining line of sight, fly over mines without detonating them (unless the model ends its turn over mines) and can only be affected by torpedoes on a roll of a 5 or 6.
This rule provides French fleets with added flexibility on the battlefield. It allows them to access areas of a map inaccessible to other nations and could potentially create excellent flanking opportunities.
As of yet I'm uncertain as to whether or not Surface Skimming units can be fielded as part of an armoured battle group. If this is permitted then ground battles just became much more interesting.  

Mk I Magenta: this model has the Surface Skimming MAR
The second piece of technology available to French commanders is the heat lance. This new weapon can only be activated in range band 1 or 2 and does not have a set amount of Attack Dice (AD). Instead; the heat lance works by assessing the targets Damage Rating (DR) and then doubling it to provide the number of AD required. For example; a French ship with a heat lance targets a British battleship with a DR of six which provides 12 AD. Basically, the bigger the ship the bigger the dice pool.
Heat lances also have the new redoubtable MAR resulting in only 1 AD being lost per two Hull Points (HP) of damage sustained. This allows the French to advance into range bands 1 and 2 and not suffer as much damage to this potentially devastating weapon. 
Smaller French vessels come equipped with heat lancettes which operate along the same principle as the larger heat lance without the x 2 multiplier. To compensate for this however; lance and lancettes use combined fire as opposed to linked fire which means that you do not halve the AD for each 'linking' model. For example; a squadron of two Toulon Class armoured cruisers engage a British battleship. The battleship has a DR of six allowing the cruisers to combine fire for twelve AD.
Heat lances are also classed as a secondary weapons system and, therefore, do not suffer a minus penalty when firing in range band 1.

Toulon Class Cruisers: Note the heat lancette at the fore of each model
Another breakthrough accessible to the Republique is Retardant Armour. Models possessing this MAR can have further longevity as the first 6 rolled against the model does not trigger the exploding six mechanic.

Finally; some French units come equipped with Cloud Generators. This new generator functions like other generators in the game and when activated, the model can only be hit on a roll of a 5 or 6 further allowing a French vessel to close with the enemy and activate its heat lance weaponry.

The Crown of the Fleet
The Couronne Class Battle Carrier is armed with a heat lance, port and starboard broadsides and rocket batteries. It comes equipped with an internal Field Generator which can be swapped for a Cloud Generator for an additional ten points. The Field Generator enables you to cancel the effect of another generator on a roll of a 4, 5 or 6.  
MAR's include Fuel Reserves, Redoubtable, Retardant Armour and Combat Launch. The latter enables the Couronne to shoot and activate generators in the same activation that it launches a squadron of tiny fliers.

The Charlemagne brings the might of an Empire in one ship
This Dreadnought comes bristling with gun emplacements. It has two primary turrets, two heat lances, port and starboard broadsides and a rocket battery. The Charlemagne is equipped with the same generator options as the Couronne but can add up to two Fury Generators for the cost of twenty points per generator. This generator works by generating 2 Fury Dice (FD) each time it is activated. It can store a maximum amount of 10 FD and can be fired at your choosing. When activated; you split the FD evenly between any models within an 8 inch radius of the Charlemagne. The FD deal no damage but each 4 or 5 rolled creates a raging fire whilst a roll of a 6 produces two raging fires. Players may not see the immediate value of this strategy but for each raging fire token that a model has; any failed repair roll (4, 5 or 6) results in the loss of 1 Assault Point (AP) making it easier for the Charlemagne's marines to initiate a successful boarding action. 

There are of course more models to be released but I hope that this article has provided a clear early insight into some of the Republique's strategies.
Olly and I plan to engage our Covenant and Blazing Sun fleets in an 800 point game next week so stay posted for the battle report.

John of the Blazing Sun        

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