Saturday, July 28, 2007

Vrilwar: Factions

A note: Vrilwar effectively takes place somewhere in 1943 or 1944. Up until then, the actual path of the war has roughly matched that of reality, with one exception: Thanks to the work of Saito Harima, Japan is able to begin a full-scale invasion of China some two years earlier and by 1940 has seized much of the nation's manufacturing capability intact. This leads to them playing a larger role in World War II, starting with an attack on Pearl Harbor that is not a raid but a succesful invasion.

Vrilwar has 5 "factions" to play as- Britain, Germany, Japan, Russia, and the US. Each faction's strengths and weaknesses are largely based on those found in reality. Other nations' forces fall under one of these 5 factions (largely Britain and Germany) rather than warranting their own group.

Britain: Before the start of World War II, the success of the tank concept in World War I had limited the development of mechs for the United Kingdom and her European allies; many of their designs proved to be unreliable, awkward or downright flimsy in actual combat. On the other hand, Britain's infantry forces are excellent and wield numerous innovative anti-mech weapons, and their tanks are among the best found on the battlefield (for what it's worth).

Britain's two most successful designs are both four-legged walkers; mobile "big gun" cannons that can deploy in relatively little time, and light multi-purpose Universal Carriers. On the whole their mech designs vary much more than those of the other factions.

Germany: It can’t quite match the production capabilities and firepower of many of the other nations, but Germany's mechs are reliable and their crews experienced. Like in reality, the nation emphasizes a combined-arms doctrine and has capable forces of all types; the three areas in which they outdo all others are mechanized infantry, coordination and overall mobility, allowing them to take down foes who are better armed and armored through superior tactical employment of their own forces. Germany also has the feared ├ťbergrenadiers; think the soldiers from Jin-Roh, except that continual exposure to vril since childhood has made them into 7-foot-tall behemoths who can outrun an unencumbered normal human, even if their minds are less sharp as a result.

Thematically, Germany fields mechs of all kinds, though their medium humanoid models are some of the most prevalent. Their mechs have angular armor plating and thick, blocky limbs, making it difficult to get an effective hit in; their heavy models usually have low centers of gravity. Though German mech pilots are held in high regard, some have a penchant for hot-blooded overconfidence.

Japan: Although outdone by the US with regards to firepower, Japan fields numerous cost-effective humanoid mecha of all sorts, and has turned their freshly-conquered regions of China into a formidable war machine. The diversity and effectiveness of their humanoid mech forces stems in large part from their use of transforming multi-function models; unlike other nations, these designs have moved out of the experimental phase and into full production.

Japanese mechs tend to have thin, rounded limbs approaching human proportions. Most of their mechs have unmatched maneuverability for their class, although relatively light armor means that when the enemy does get a clear shot they often crumple under a few hits.

Russia: The USSR's military might is in no small part thanks to their effective multi-legged walkers, which usually feature insect or animal-like designs. Some of the most feared models include the fast-moving "Mantis" with its bladed forelimbs and the gargantuan"Centipede Walker", which can arch its front sections up to fire its front cannon from a height of 4 stories.

However, Russia is often forced to fall back on a "quantity over quality" approach, with poor training and shoddy equipment plaguing the rest of its forces. No other faction can match the motherland in terms of sheer numbers, which can often overwhelm better-equipped enemy forces.

Unites States: Only towards the end of the 1930s did America begin serious mech development; considering their lack of background experience, the military's engineers are to be commended for producing several effective designs. Although their equipment is the most advanced, much of the higher-end material is still in the test phase and may prove unreliable on the field of battle.

US mechs are among the most expensive and heavily armed; they tend to favor two-legged nonhumanoid walkers, walking weapons platforms designed to accommodate several attachments. Their mechs are noted for remaining functional in the face of heavy damages.


Ryujin said...

I read the IKWiki after you posted a picture request in /m/...

A small suggestion:
Given that the Germans already had recoilless weapons in the form of the Leichtgesch├╝tz 40 & the LG 42, their mechs could have the option of using bigger guns than would be appropriate for their weight class, but at the cost of much less ammo capacity, lower velocity rounds--easier to dodge, and an absence of KE rounds.

Dagda (Brooks Harrel) said...

Recoilless rifles will be included on mechs, as will HEAT projectiles and Multiple Rocket Launchers. It'd get boring if it was just standard cannons, after all.

Ryujin said...

Katyusha-armed Soviet walkers? Nice.

Mind if I contribute a few mech designs? I have an idea for a Japanese floatplane with Gerwalk mode that's a bit plausible.

Dagda (Brooks Harrel) said...

Go for it- I'd suggest leaving comments on the wiki or joining in on the next /tg/ thread rather than posting the designs here, but whatever floats your boat.

Ryujin said...

I usually end up missing the threads on /tg/, so I'll probably put them up in the Wiki's fluff section; they're just artwork, no actual game stats.