15 April 2012

"J" is for...

JAEGERS

    Jaeger means hunter. It was a term used for rifle armed light infantry, and generally considered to be an elite force. In America, we would call them Rangers. Like the old grenadier and fusilier designations, jaeger has, by the latter half of the 19th century, largely come to mean nothing more than an elite status over 'regular' line troops. They were usually equipped similarly to the line, although uniforms - especially dress uniform - would have been different. That's the historical model. But in VSF, as you know, the sky is the limit. And not always then.

    In particular, I am thinking about the whirlifliegerjaegers that Eureka Miniatures makes. I love these minis. They epitomize the crazy gadgetry that makes Victorian Science Fiction so much fun. I mean, having a big, heavy wind-up-key-and-spring powered helicopter backpack on your back to jump into combat. Totally impractical. But very cool. All of them are considered elites, because what military would give expensive experimental equipment to a bunch of raw conscripts to bust, or sell for booze money?

Hauptmann von Schtupp, Fliegerjaeger
    Flying troops like the fliegerjaeger are common to VSF gaming as well. There is a British equivalent, the Skywalkers. And several folks use rocket troops. Space: 1889's High Martians (Kraag Martians) fly without mechanickal devices. And then there are the flying mounts, biological and mechanickal. Lots of room for more aerial conflicts, air assaults, defense from airships, and so on.

3 comments:

Elderac said...

I'm glad you had something for J. I could not think of anything VSF for the letter.

As an old sailor, I don't have a firm grasp on the difference between heavy and light infantry, at least for armies that do not wear armor.

I have seen figures equipped with rocket packs and this article is tempting me to get some.

Thanks for another great article.

Mark

DeanM said...

Fantastic looking figure. I will have to keep Eureka in mind. Best, Dean

J Womack, Esq. said...

@Elderac: Heavy infantry has more support and uses more line and column formation. Light infantry is skirmishers, usually trained for scouts and such.

@Dean: Thanks. He is part of a unit I need to finish - have 5 of 10 done.