Sunday, November 11, 2018

Armistice Day, and Why I’ll Be Joining the King’s Empire

            The day I’m writing this marks 100 years to the day when the agreement ending the First World War went into effect. In point of fact, it would be about 15 minutes from when I started writing this when the “Calamity Jane,” an artillery piece from the US armed forces, fired the last shot of the war at 11 AM to commemorate the moment when hostilities ceased. Like a lot of American students, the Great War didn’t take up a ton of my educational time when I was in school. I only really came to appreciate it after I grew up and listened to Dan Carlen’s excellent Blueprint for Armageddon series on WWI. Carlin drives home the point to a level I had never considered that this war is, most likely, the one with the most concentrated human misery, blind heroism, foolish waste, and consequence of any war in human history. The world changed fundamentally as a result of this conflict. At the time, it was called the War to End All Wars, and they were half correct. There have, of course, been other wars since Armistice Day (it is called World War I, after all, which inherently implies there was another one.) But this was the one that showed the world that the Industrial Revolution and advancements in technology had brought home General Sherman’s point that war is hell, and all it’s glories are moonshine.

            And Malifaux’s version of WWI is starting with The Other Side.

            It’s not exactly the same conflict, of course. We’re about five years early, for one things, as Malifaux’s current time line is somewhere around 1907 or 8. Also, there are fish monsters and horrible mutant cults. So, you know, that’s a little bit different. But the King’s Empire is the closest thing to an accurate WWI-era army, and I’m way into it. They resemble the forces of the British Expeditionary Force, but retain some of the early-war impractical uniforms that contributed to the horrible casualty rates early in the fighting.

            I don’t know anything about them in terms of combat efficacy. Maybe they suck. Hopefully not, given that the game just launched, but you can never be sure. In reality, I know very little about TOS. At the time of the Kickstarter I was pretty much broke and not overly interested in an army scale game. The first factor has blessedly changed. The second is still not far from the truth. I like skirmish scale games better, if nothing else for not having to paint so many gorram models. But, I think I’ll be giving this new game a try, likely by ordering one of the starter boxes to let me run demos and see if the locals are interested. But, ultimately, my allegiance is going to be with the King’s Empire. You heard it here first. I cut my teeth in wargaming with the Imperial Guard of Warhammer 40K, and I've liked gunlines ever since. This plus my affinity for the historical context of the army makes the choice pretty academic. I have things to like with all of the others as well, but this is really not much of a choice for me. Rule, Britannia! 

                  As such, while M3E news is slowly trickling out from Waldo, I’ll probably be talking about The Other Side in upcoming blog posts. If nothing else, it helps avoid the headache of avoiding breaking my NDA from the M3E playtest. I would guess that the Black Friday sale will at least allow you to order some of the new models, so it’s likely that the purchases will begin then. Maybe I’ll take a look at the rules for the next few posts, as they’re available for free online, followed by taking a look at the Empire’s forces and how I think they could be useful. So, if you wish to save humanity from tides of fish monsters, horrible magical maniacs, and maintain the peace with Abysinnia, well, keep your dial tuned to Malifaux Musings. Much tea will be consumed, and many rounds will be fired.