Observations From Abroad

Hello Dystopian Folks! I thought that I would make a post while I'm on vacation in Europe. Not sure if I'll get the time to actually publish it or not but I did want to write down some observations while they are fresh in my mind.

Since travelling to Hamburg and Copenhagen, both port cities with great and extensive history, I have been to the following:

The Hamburg Naval Museum
The Royal Danish Naval Museum
The Hamburg Submarine Museum
The Rokskilde Viking Museum
The Miniature Wonderland in Hamburg

I went to these to specifically gain an understanding of the historical significance and evolution of naval combat. Sure, our game is a fictional one, but set in an alternate timeline so I figured that it would be a great thing to take a look at what happened in history to draw upon in future Dystopian Wars endeavours.

So this is kind of free-form thought but I'll highlight the following points:

1. Torpedoes Existed in 1876: Yup, that's right. There are two Danish torpedoes that are hanging from the ceiling in the second floor that are prototypes from that period. They look every bit like something you'd see from that period. They are silver metalic, sleek and look like something out of Captain Nemo's Nautilus. What's more is when the Danes figured out how to more or less fire those torpedoes reliably you started seeing sleek, black torpedo boats start getting produce. They looked eerily like precursors to submarines; very low to the water, long and not much to show off a profile...

2. Naval Battles Were Quite Simple and Chaotic all at Once: Now bear in mind that this is just my layman's observation from viewing a few models, but from what I can tell of the great age of sail is that naval operations started off pretty simply; all "Ships of the line" formed a line, quite literally, and passed by the enemy presenting their broadsides to said enemy to fire as many guns as possible. There are a number of pictures I've taken of model recreations of famous naval battles where the enemies literally congo line dozens of ships against the enemy.  So the complexities that we see in our naval engagements in Dystopian Wars were likely far and beyond that of what you would have seen in naval engagements in history since ours reflects a far more modern approach with a combined arms approach to things.

3. Most Naval Battles were Fought with Little to No Terrain: I suppose that I knew this, but I tend to like a cluttered board with lots to look at. Often when I'm setting up the board for a Dystopian Wars game I usually take the rulebook's guide on terrain setup and completely ignore it. But every recreation that I saw had VAST amounts of open water with just a few land features, such as a fortress or a harbour or a bay. I will admit, it does make me think a little bit about my board setup, even though it is quite aesthetically pleasing.

4. After the Great Age of Sail, Ship Colours Become Quite Boring: I think this is where aesthetic appeal versus practicality prevails. I noticed that at every naval museum I went to had elaborate and GORGEOUS colour schemes for ships that came from the age of sail. Once steam or better yet, battleship lines started getting introduced one started seeing much more uniform colours, most often the typical "Battleship Grey" or variations of. I totally get why this is a practical application of colour; it means you may be harder to get picked out among the waves but it makes for damned boring painting so with my colour schemes I tend to default to ships of sail (especially for my Italians, oh ideas abound!) and to trains (I HIGHLY suggest looking at train colour schemes to get some inspiration on workable colour palletes. These are brilliant).

5. A Submarine is a Fucking Horrible Place to Be: I toured 2 submarines. One was a Russian U-434 from the Cold War period and another was of Danish make more or less from the same era. While the Danish one was cramped and had tight quarters, the Russian one was TRULY tight! It's like living inside of an engine for weeks. All you can smell is oil and metal. Every single passageway, "Room" and area is incredibly cramped with a bewildering array of piping, electrical and mechanical machinery popping, whizzing and banging all around you. The thought of being under the water, in combat in one of those things was enough to send me into a clausterphobic panic. So while I think subs are just the coolest thing ever (A VERY close second to aircraft carriers) the idea of actually being in one for any length of time gave me an appreciation to the sacrifices that those seamen made during WWII.

No comments:

Post a Comment