28 December 2009

Reginald's Regiments of Renown, Issue #5

The Emerald Legion

The Legion begins to deploy on the outskirts of the village of Ghola


History


The Emperors of Galfor have long utilised mixed infantry forces in their armies. Armed with a combination of long pikes and muskets, these soldiers resemble in some ways the tercios of Earth's history. The famed Emerald Legion, one of the most disciplined and best drilled native infantry regiments in the System, is one such tercio.

The Emerald Legion was originally raised by the Empire approximately 900 years ago, when Galfor was a mere city-state along the Great Wolof Canal. Thanks to the technological stagnation caused by the so-called Fall of the Ancients, their arms and training methods have not changed in all that time. Their training regimen is especially brutal, and reportedly less than half of the recruits are accepted as Legionnaires. A full quarter of all recruits die during the initial training.

Combat History

As you might imagine, a regiment that has existed for nearly a millenium has been in combat more times than an article of this scope may record. However, a brief history of recent events seems appropriate.

The Emerald Legion fought at both the First and Seccond Battles of Ghola, where they were overwhelmed by British technological might and unstoppable military resolve. They did give an excellent accounting of themselves, and were the very devil in close quarters combat. The Legion took advantage of the cover granted by their pavises until the last moments, when they flung themselves into the clash of cold steel against our brave Tommies and a few blue-coated legionnaires of the French Legion Extraterrestriale. Sadly for them, their numbers had been so reduced by fire from the ASA (Armored Steam Automaton), Mk II, that they were swiftly pushed back. Once their captain had been slain, the rest of the Legion withdrew hastily from the field.

The Legion has also been involved in several of the attacks on British and French outposts that have taken place lately. One such attack rapidly reduced the platoons of British and sepoy infantry protecting a convoy of unobtainite, and made off with the valuable stuff. The Emperor sold it to his German advisors, no doubt!

Several Legionnaires, positioned for battle.

Uniform

The standard Legionnaire of the Emerald Legion wears a long green tunic and laced ghurr leather hobnailed sandals. Rank is indicated by yellow bands on the hem of the tunic for officers.

In battle, Legionnaires wear armor. A breastplate protects the torso, with a mail kilt hanging below to protect the soldier's upper thighs. Greaves and a metal helmet - quite similar to the ancient Roman helmet - complete the protective gear. The helmet is crested, with a plain green for regular Legionnaires and a yellow stripe for officers. While useless against modern weapons at even moderate ranges, the armor does protect against long range shots and in the general melee of bayonet versus pike.

Legionnaires are armed with either a long pike or a rifled muzzle-loading musket. NCOs may have a modern breechloading carbine as well. Officers are armed with swords. The Legion's commander also carries a baton carved from the ivory fangs of the deadly h'lee'rael sand tiger(http://vbir.blogspot.com/2009/02/tiger.html). Finally, each unit is equipped with a number of large wooden pavises, which they use as cover on the open plains of the Martian deserts. These thick wooden shields are virtually immobile during combat, but can provide a decided advantage when fighting against primitive Martian firearms. The pavise is universally painted a bright emerald green, with the Martian character for the letter "G" in yellow.

[Editor's Note: The miniatures pictured here are from Black Hat's excellent 18mm Martian Empires range. In the US, you can get them from Scale Creep (www.scalecreep.com).]

26 December 2009

Reginald's Regiments of Renown, Issue #4

The Warband of Slee-stak
(Ess’this R’sska Slee-stak)

History

Being both of alien origin and hostile intent, little is known of the origins of the great Gater warlord known as Slee-stak. Slee-stak and his barbaric horde of lizardmen first encountered humans when the German aethership K√§F Das Vaterland sent down zeppelin-based scouting parties. One surveying party, which located the eventual site of the settlement of Neu Berlin in the Venusstadt Kolonie was attacked by the warband. Slee-stak’s attack was stalled by German firepower, although three German √Ątherbattalion troops were slain in the fighting. The German surveyors retreated to the safety of their zeppelin launch and returned the following day with additional troops. There was no sign of the lizardmen, and the only remains of the three slain troopers were their well-gnawed bones.

Since that day, Slee-stak has become quite fond of man-flesh. He and the Kss’rssa Ess’thiss (Viper Warband) he leads raid all along the southern border of Venusstadt. Mounted on his huge carnosaur, Slee-stak runs down fleeing colonists and impales them on his massive bronze lance. The governor of the Venusstadt Kolonie has placed a 10,000 mark bounty on Slee-stak’s red scaled head.
One element of the warband, some gex archers of the primary green morph
Slee-stak himself, mounted on his favorite carnosaur.
(Photostat found in camera at site of attack)

Organization

Slee-stak’s warband seems to be divided into sub-groups based on color morphology. Most of his followers are of the smaller lizardman type, called gex by humans. They are typically armed with either stone-tipped javelins or bows. A few of the bolder gex carry bronze weapons instead. In total, there are approximately forty gex following Slee-stak.

One group of about ten of the larger ‘gater’ type lizardmen also follows Slee-stak. They share his black and red color morphology, and are likely from the same hatching as their mighty warlord. Like most lizardmen, these gaters are armed primarily with primitive stone and wooden weapons, although they have also obtained some metal weapons.

Slee-stak himself is rarely seen on foot, preferring to stand out form the crowd of lesser warriors by riding the back of a vicious carnosaur.

25 December 2009

Happy Christmas!

To all of my friends, all of my readers, and all of their families, I wish you the merriest of Christmases.

In the midst of all the gift giving, food, and time with your family, please don't forget to pause for a moment today and give thanks to God for His great gift to the world, our Savior, Jesus Christ.

May God Bless You All.

-J

23 December 2009

Reginald's Regiments of Renown, Issue #3

Royal Artillery
Research and Development Platoon

History

The origin of the Research and Development Platoon of the Royal Artillery is shrouded in secrecy. It is thought that Her Majesty's Government began a secret program of technological development in the years immediately after the Russian War. Evidence for this lies in the budgetary increases to the Royal Artillery passed by Parliament at the urging of the Prime Minister and the Horse Guards. The precise nature of the expenditures is listed merely as 'Confidential.'

It is certain that the public first became aware of the Research and Development Platoon (RDP) in the spring of 1866. Every Londoner remembers that spring, of course: the rampaging dinosaurs through Hyde Park would be impossible for anyone to forget! Cnventional rifles failed to bring down the largest beasts, and conventional artillery was considered too indiscriminate to use in the midst of London's better residences. Quite right, too, as the home of none other than Sir Reginald himself is in that district! I digress. Conventional weapons being unsuitable, Her Majesty personally demanded the newly developed weapons be employed against the great monsters. One squad of electrorifle armed soldiers laid the beast low, and Lieutenant Hiram Goswalding removed the head with his chainsword. Suitably mounted by the taxidermist's arts, the head now rests as a trophy above the RDP's wardroom fireplace.


Combat History
Other than the Hyde Park Dinosaur Incident, the RDP has primarily seen service in the off-world colonies. It took part in the Ikora Pacification, the Defense of Victoria Landing, and the Second Galfor War. There have also been numerous skirmishes with natives of both Mars and Venus. The most famous of these minor actions has been the Retreat to Aphrodite on Venus, where the First Squad of the RDP acted as rearguard against a horde of the native lizardfolk. Sergeant John Cooper distinguished himself by killing the horde's warchief as the brute tried to ride down a wounded Tommy. A single shot from his Caloric Ray Emitter burst the warchief's chest in a gory spectacle of Imperial bravery and technology's superiority over native cunning and ferocity.
Lieutenant Goswalding and two privates of the RDP, atop "Bessie", a draft bronto on Venus

Sergeant Edward Tisintrite, RA RDP, aboard HMAS Bee

Uniform

The RDP wears a uniform similar to the standard British infantryman of a Royal regiment: red woolen tunic with blue facings, white fringe on the epaulettes, and dark blue trousers with red seams. The cut of the tunic is different from the standard British issue, being double breasted and buttoning on the right hand side. Black boots (officers wear brown) and white equipment and sun helmet, with brass fittings to all. Officers wear brown leather equipment and a gold aguilette on the left shoulder is common.

Weaponry varies, but the 'standard' longarm for the RDP is the Johnson Patent Electrorifle. Officers carry a Grenville Voltaic Pistol and have their preference of Benson Vibrating Sword or the 1871 Jamison Pattern Chainsword. Other weapons include the Caloric Ray Emitter, patented by Prof. K. Blooie, the Bening Pattern Flamegun, and the Man Portable Hale's Rocket Launcher.

22 December 2009

Reginald's Regiments of Renown, Issue #2

Das Erste Regiment der Fliegerjaegerren

(First Flying Hunter Regiment)


History
The First Fliegerjaegerren Regiment was dreamt up by the notorious mad scientist Otto Maton when he worked for the Kaiserlich Forschungsanstalt fur Geheimewaffen (Imperial Research Institute for Secret Weapons) in the late 60s. Maton developed the fliegertornister device in nine months. General Muller approved testing the device in 1871, and a call for volunteers was made. No one volunteered. In the great Junker tradition, General Muller then volun'told' the first soldier he saw - Herr Leutnant Schickelgruber of the Quartermaster's Corps.


Faced with a choice of possible death by ingenious device, or certain death by firing squad for disobeying an order, Schickelgruber hesitantly strapped on the fliegertornister (flying pack). Doctor Maton wound up the clockwork springs that powered the fiendish whirling blades. Moments later, Leutnant Schickelgruber discovered exactly how difficult piloting one of these contraptions could be, by slamming repeatedly into the side of the zeppelin hangar adjacent to the test site. He was awarded the Blue Max (posthumously).

After some fine tuning, Maton tested the device himself in front of a group of elite Prussian Jaegers in 1873. Convinced the device could be managed better by real soldiers (as compared to thumbless idiots of the Quartermaster's Corps!), the Jaegers demanded instruction in the arts of personal flight. More demonstrations of their ability in front of the Chancellor convinced the Army to fund and field an entire regiment of flying jaegers.

Combat History

Due to multiple delays in finishing equipment procurement and training, the First Fliegerjaeger Regiment was not ready for duty before the end of the Franco-Prussian War. Rumors abound that the French used saboteurs to delay the delivery of the fliegertornisterren. No proof of these rumors has been brought forth to date.

As of the time of publication, the fliegerjaegerren have not participated in any major campaigns. They were used (minus their flight packs) to quell bread riots in Germany's Polish holdings. The new reciprocating weapons they have been armed with proved very effective in streetfighting.




Hauptmann Erich von Kluck, 1st Fljgr. Regiment


Uniform

In the photostat above, an officer of the 1st Battalion, 1st Fliegerjaeger Regiment, is shown giving the command to launch. His blouse and trousers are of feldgrau wool. His boots, gloves and equipment carrying gear are of brown leather. His eyes are protected from the wind and small wind-borne particles by green-tinted goggles. His breastplate is steel, as is his helmet. The helmet is fitted with a brass spike and chains, and a regimental plate on the front. The battalion designation is shown on the red collar tabs, with brass numeral 1.

The fliegertornister, or flightpack is encased in sheet metal. A large brass key protrudes from the rear, requiring the fliegerjaegers to operate in 'turnmate' pairs, each winding the other's pack as needed. The officer is armed with a magazine-fed pistol, fitted with a wooden holster/stock. NCOs and privates of the fliegerjaegers are armed instead with a reciprocating carbine (Karabineautomatische) designed specifically for their use by the KFG.

21 December 2009

Reginald's Regiments of Renown, Issue #1

First Victoria Landing Foot (Sepoy)

History

The First Victoria Landing Foot (Sepoy) regiment was established by the Horse Guards on June 12, 1871, to provide native troops for the protection of the British Martian Crown Colony. Costs to send entire regiments of human troops were prohibitive, even using Royal Ether Navy craft for the majority of the ferrying duties. Increasing agitation from native groups, other European powers, and Feral Martian brigands were threatening the young colony, which still amounted only to a single large town and several outlying villages and outposts.

The primary British settlement at that date was Victoria Landing, and volunteers from the natives of that region were solicited. Indeed, so many volunteers were received that the British officers and Senior NCOs of the newly formed regiment could pick and choose amongst them, a novel practice, as the Army often had difficulty maintaining regimental strength from new recruits in European units. The resulting high quality of the recruits began a tradition of the First Victoria's elite status in the Crown Colony.

The 1st VL Foot saw action for the first time in the Defense of Fort Edward, the small outpost which protected the canal bridging point nearest to Victoria Landing. The town was warned of an impending attack by Feral Martians at sunrise on April 14 with only hours to prepare. 2nd Platoon, 4th Company drove off a determined aerial assault. Credit was given to the quick thinking of Private Hissha Tundal for stringing netting from nearby fishing vessels over the open areas of the garrison post. This prevented a direct flying assault into the compound, quite canceling the Ferals' primary advantage. Mentioned in despatches, Private Thundal was promoted to corporal, the first Martian subject to achieve an NCO's distinction.

Other campaigns of note have included the 1st VL Foot. The entire regiment took part in the Ikora Pacification, the 1st and 2nd Galfor Wars, and the Defense of Victoria Landing. Elements of the regiment participated in many other skirmishes and campaigns, including the First and Second Battles of Ghola, numerous convoys of strategic materials, and the Fenian Riot of 1779.


Private Ghelee, 1st VL Foot, at the ready. Photostat is taken from Ikora Pacification Campaign

Uniform

The uniform of the typical private in the First Victoria (shown above) is a dark khaki blouse and trousers, with matching turban. Native red leather (from the ghurr, a large domestic beast similar to an Earthly oxen) is used for puttees, Martian boots (more like sandals), and carrying equipment. A canvas or musette bag is slung over the right shoulder, for carrying foodstuffs. The 1st VL Foot has red epaulettes as distinguishing regimental marks. The private is armed with a breechloading Martini-Henry rifle and bayonet.