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Thoughts regarding dystopian Age and fluff

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In the 20th century that is true that large nations fought proxy wars and that WW1 and WW2 has dissuaded large nations from engaging in conflicts of that size ever again, but the 19th century had no such fears.

The Prussians fought 3 wars inside a 10 year time period against 2 great powers and Denmark. All in the centre of Europe.

The Russians fought the Ottoman Empire on several occasions throughout the century, one of those occasions pitting them against France and Britian. Also fought in Europe, albeit the farthest reaches of it. 

 

 

By my reckoning, The Dystopian World hasn't had that WW1 and WW2 moment yet and the sheepishness of the nation's to actually engage in proper war seems nonsensical.

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7 minutes ago, Merlin said:

By my reckoning, The Dystopian World hasn't had that WW1 and WW2 moment yet and the sheepishness of the nation's to actually engage in proper war seems nonsensical.

They aren't sheepish at all, cautious perhaps. Calculating, certainly. There is a global war brewing, it just hasn't reached the point of no return yet. We're a 'minute to midnight' as it were. 

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So were looking at a situation where the different nations have all developed new and terrible weapons, everyone wants to use the but they don't know what the enemy has managed to develop, so it's more of a shadow war where everyone is sparring up trying to understand what the enemy is capable of.

 

I take it this is where the mention of the sea and Africa originally came from, let's go poke the hornets nest without risking our home turf.

 

Maybe full blown war will happen, once some one gets confident enough.

 

 

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Rather than limit the setting to the point of no return, having the setting at the brink of global war with hundreds of regional battles and conflicts errupting makes for a rich envoironment for not just Dystopian Wars, Armoured Clash, Wild West Exodus and other wargames but also card games, roleplay games and more. The imminent global war in the Dystopian Age would be more like an apocalyptic Third World War rather than the First or Second with tesla coils, penny farthings and huge handlebar moustaches. 

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10 minutes ago, Asuo said:

So were looking at a situation where the different nations have all developed new and terrible weapons, everyone wants to use the but they don't know what the enemy has managed to develop, so it's more of a shadow war where everyone is sparring up trying to understand what the enemy is capable of.

 

I take it this is where the mention of the sea and Africa originally came from, let's go poke the hornets nest without risking our home turf.

 

Maybe full blown war will happen, once some one gets confident enough.

 

 

That's largely right, though there are networks of spies and shadowy operatives trying to ascertain just that (as well as get a sense of how the other factions would react). 

But the land battles across the world (Africa is but one of many clashes happening in the Dystopian Age), coupled with fleets going missing in the open seas, unclaimed resources becoming scarcer means that unless the various nations can change course, the war is upon them all.   

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2 minutes ago, RuleBritannia said:

There is a reason why backstory exists.  In the old fluff a lot of the world was untouched for years.  You don't need to start at Stalingrad, but you probably want to start with at least the battle for France.  

To take your example, if we started with the Battle for France, the setting would be commited down a specific path. What if in your local group you have Latin Alliance, Celestial Empire and Russian Coalition players. Far better for the setting to be at the point where the imporant battles (which is obviously going to be the ones that you fight) are the tinderbox that could set the whole thing off rather than it being between the Latin Alliance and Prussian Imperium (which you might not have represented in your group). 

The entire setting for the games is backstory. Where we go from here is for the players to explore. There will be campaigns focussing on a new section of the globe or a campaign that is one of the flashpoints right at that moment. The resolution and future is in the players hands for their own clubs, campaigns and groups. We will provide the framework for you to build your own narratives. 

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If you all will allow a self-confessed military history fanatic jump in... I'd like to address the use of Proxy Wars here. It has been said in the thread that 19th Century Powers preferred direct conflicts.  That is not actually accurate.  There were a large numbers of Proxy Wars in the 19th century (as well as the inter-war period between WWs 1 & 2).

Proxy Wars in the 19th century were conducted far different than "Modern Era".  Whereas modern proxy wars were fought with advisors, equipment and special forces- 19th Century Proxies were far more open.  The Sudan Campaign, the Egypt-Ottoman War, the Somalialand Campaign, even the Crimean War could be considered a "proxy" war.  It was a way to check rival Empires without setting a whole country on a war footing, which is a massive draining undertaking for any nation and cannot be sustained long.  (This is actually one of the roots of the "Mobilization Means War!" mentality that helped ignite WW1)

The other thing we need to adjust for, or suspend our belief for, is the fact that the science of the Dystopian Age is FAR more aggressive and unchecked than our history.  Conflict and War always jump-starts creativity and invention.  In the Dystopian Age it seems like the reverse has happened- The discoveries in The Vault have caused a inferno of invention without restraint of regular science, that in turn has ignited conflict which spurs more frantic creation.  Why hasn't this blown up into a full war yet?  Because to some degree.. ANY major jump in technology will bring some awareness, at least in the abstract, of the terrible possibilities.  The great nations are aware how devastating full war can be... but more to the point.. they know their enemies are just about even with them in tech terms... no one has found that.. Edge yet that will devestate their enemies without the ability to block retaliatory destruction.  So now it becomes a race and a chess match.  Can I cut my enemy off from valuable resources in Africa or Asia etc, enough to weaken them so I CAN launch all out war?  That is the conflict going on now...

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1 hour ago, Warcradle Stuart said:

To take your example, if we started with the Battle for France, the setting would be commited down a specific path. What if in your local group you have Latin Alliance, Celestial Empire and Russian Coalition players. Far better for the setting to be at the point where the imporant battles (which is obviously going to be the ones that you fight) are the tinderbox that could set the whole thing off rather than it being between the Latin Alliance and Prussian Imperium (which you might not have represented in your group).

Then players will do that in any case? Just because, for example, you decided that a war kicks off between the Prussians and Latin Alliance (Latin League would be much better an alliance name btw, just for alliteration purposes) wouldn't mean local gamers who do not have those factions would get annoyed. They will still play the game regardless, some of them making up their own narrative because some gamers like to do that (I personally don't get the appeal of writing up a story to go with my games as its not that important to me, but I understand that some players do).

 

Declaring that all of the factions in the game are already at war with everyone at the beginning gets around this problem. Look at 40k. A huge campaign might be taking place at one end of the Galaxy involving only the Orks, Eldar and Imperium (because it always involves the Imperium) but this doesn't mean that nothing is happening at the other end of the Galaxy. As is the games tagline "There is only WAR"

If DA had the same mentality, what would it matter if there was a flashpoint incident in Europe and not Asia? It wouldn't, as everyone would be at war anyway. Only one side of the world would be more at war than the other for a time.

 

1 hour ago, Benchpresser said:

The other thing we need to adjust for, or suspend our belief for, is the fact that the science of the Dystopian Age is FAR more aggressive and unchecked than our history.  Conflict and War always jump-starts creativity and invention.  In the Dystopian Age it seems like the reverse has happened- The discoveries in The Vault have caused a inferno of invention without restraint of regular science, that in turn has ignited conflict which spurs more frantic creation.  Why hasn't this blown up into a full war yet?  Because to some degree.. ANY major jump in technology will bring some awareness, at least in the abstract, of the terrible possibilities.  The great nations are aware how devastating full war can be... but more to the point.. they know their enemies are just about even with them in tech terms... no one has found that.. Edge yet that will devestate their enemies without the ability to block retaliatory destruction.  So now it becomes a race and a chess match.  Can I cut my enemy off from valuable resources in Africa or Asia etc, enough to weaken them so I CAN launch all out war?  That is the conflict going on now...

Whats the point in having all of these weird and wonderful weapons that only want to hug our enemies if the countries controlling them are afraid to use them overtly...especially in a tabletop wargame? Defeats the purpose of them.

 

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9 minutes ago, Merlin said:

Whats the point in having all of these weird and wonderful weapons that only want to hug our enemies if the countries controlling them are afraid to use them overtly...especially in a tabletop wargame? Defeats the purpose of them.

They do use them overtly. They're just not at the stage of vaporising cities quite yet. As stated elsewhere, all of the factions are in conflict with each other. They fight each other militarily as well as politically and economically. A formal Declaration of War is toppling the first domino that sets off a whole chain of events. It is likely that any one of the battles between the nations will force one of them to make that declaration. Until then the factions will grind against each other on the land sea and air, looking for opportunities to gain a decisive advantage.   

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1 hour ago, Merlin said:

Then players will do that in any case? Just because, for example, you decided that a war kicks off between the Prussians and Latin Alliance (Latin League would be much better an alliance name btw, just for alliteration purposes) wouldn't mean local gamers who do not have those factions would get annoyed. They will still play the game regardless, some of them making up their own narrative because some gamers like to do that (I personally don't get the appeal of writing up a story to go with my games as its not that important to me, but I understand that some players do).

 

Declaring that all of the factions in the game are already at war with everyone at the beginning gets around this problem. Look at 40k. A huge campaign might be taking place at one end of the Galaxy involving only the Orks, Eldar and Imperium (because it always involves the Imperium) but this doesn't mean that nothing is happening at the other end of the Galaxy. As is the games tagline "There is only WAR"

If DA had the same mentality, what would it matter if there was a flashpoint incident in Europe and not Asia? It wouldn't, as everyone would be at war anyway. Only one side of the world would be more at war than the other for a time.

 

Whats the point in having all of these weird and wonderful weapons that only want to hug our enemies if the countries controlling them are afraid to use them overtly...especially in a tabletop wargame? Defeats the purpose of them.

 

 I agree that all factions should be at war with each other. This will also prevent mix fleet rules.

 

in my initial proposal:

book 1: Western Europe

Faction forces & fluff for France, UK and Prussia

Conflicts detailed:

~ The Low Countries: direct battles among the three factions (as the cost to directly invade one of the three major powers would be prohibitive.

~ Spain civil war: a proxy war with three factions, each armed and supported by one of the three western powers.

~ naval battles in the North Sea 

 

Book 3: East Asia

Faction forces and fluff for Japan , China, and Korea (or Russia)

Conflicts detailed: 

~ Manchuria: primarily between China and Japan, with occasional intervention by Korea (to maintain a balance of power between China and Japan, and thus preserve their independence )

~ Southeast Asia:  primary China vs Japan to control the pass around Singapore ( and thus UK as well). CoA can have a base via a lesser vault in Angkor Wat ( though most of their vaults are located in meso-America; all vaults are like linked to the Antarctica main vault )

~ The China seas for naval battle.

East Asia is an area ripe for conflict rather than regional hegemony 

 

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Most major WMDs are built as deterrents, not planned to be used outside of last ditch defense or insane dictators.  The entire Nuclear Arsenals of the USA and USSR were designed around this!  

Let's say for argument's sake that Warcradle keeps the plot point that continued use of Sturginium is starting to have a serious effect on the planet by way of weird storms, changing weather patterns.  Assuming an Empire accepts the link.. they may be hesitant to unleash a "uber" weird weapon on their enemy for the backlash it may have on any potential territories they may gain... as well as anger from other nations that may be affected by any fallout- figuratively or literally!

 

Here is another example closer to the genre-  The old RPG "Deadlands" built specifically on this.  The original Weird West game was set up so that all "weird Science" was the result of influence from evil spirits (the Reckoners) and "Ghost Rock"- spirit infused minerals.  Every time a scientist created some wonderful new device, it was a spirit from the Hunting Grounds whispering in the ear of the scientist...

The end result being their next setting- Deadlands: Hell on Earth.  World War eventually did start, with nuclear exchanges along with mega-ton "Ghost Rock" bombs.  This was the Reckoners ultimate goal- it summoned them, revealing them to be the 4 Horsemen.  They then proceeded to lay waste the ENTIRE planet...

Is that what you want Warcradle to aim for?  Launch Dystopian Age with a World War and then say 5 years down the road totally change the setting to post-apocalyptic?  (Dystopian Apocalypse?)  (Not a attack, simply a question)

Setting Age right on the precipice of a full on world war gives the MOST flexibility for designers and players alike.  As much as I like the old fluff.. it was a bit tediuos to come up with scenarios why my regular opponent to my FSA Fleet were Russians!

For the record, as a player- do I like all the fluff changes I've heard so far?  No not all, but I recognize that setting the world on the edge and making the power blocs more... alliances of convenience give the game the best medium to grow.

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In the Q and A you said that the fighting in dystopian age is only at sea and in Africa.  The reason being is that they dont want to use the weapons they have.  Is that still the case or did it change?  This idea that everyone is fighting everyone without having larger alliances working together torwards an agreeable outcome doesn't make sense.  No nation would have the resources to fight that many battles on that many fronts.  That is why you have alliances.  As for  them not wanting to destroy cities of course they don't.  They want to control resources, strategic points and people not destroy them.

War Cradle you are going to have a hard time selling this story to long time players since you are basically rebooting the story.  The biggest problem I have is I don't understand what it is you are trying to accomplish with the story.  Might make more sense when more of it comes out.

 

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12 minutes ago, Jsiegel1983 said:

In the Q and A you said that the fighting in dystopian age is only at sea and in Africa.  The reason being is that they dont want to use the weapons they have.  Is that still the case or did it change? 

We didn't say that the fighting was only at sea and in Africa, but we did highlight those two areas as examples of where more unrestrained conflict takes place and a key focus of the narrative. Certainly unrestrained conflict in London or Paris is unlikely. There are of course hundreds of other potential flashpoints around the globe and we'll detail them as the setting evolves. 

 

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16 minutes ago, Jsiegel1983 said:

This idea that everyone is fighting everyone without having larger alliances working together torwards an agreeable outcome doesn't make sense.  No nation would have the resources to fight that many battles on that many fronts.  That is why you have alliances. 

Alliances like the Latin Alliance, the Prussian Imperium, the Celestial Empire et al?

The factions in the Dystoipian Age are very rarely single nations, rather they are a group of countries allied either through conquest or politically. 

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8 minutes ago, Warcradle Stuart said:

So how many seperate factions would there be in this setting? 15? 20? More? 

12-18 (6 books of 3 factions each)

 

warcradle makes money by selling models first, then rules and fluff.

the problem with so many models is will the model’s rules be balanced, which can be made easier to achieve  by minimizing special rules per factions 

 

consolidating factions but keeping models specific rules ( like PLC models and Russian ones) will not make keeping balance easier so why consolidate at all?

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1 hour ago, Benchpresser said:

Is that what you want Warcradle to aim for?  Launch Dystopian Age with a World War and then say 5 years down the road totally change the setting to post-apocalyptic?  (Dystopian Apocalypse?)  (Not a attack, simply a question)

Setting Age right on the precipice of a full on world war gives the MOST flexibility for designers and players alike.  As much as I like the old fluff.. it was a bit tediuos to come up with scenarios why my regular opponent to my FSA Fleet were Russians!

For the record, as a player- do I like all the fluff changes I've heard so far?  No not all, but I recognize that setting the world on the edge and making the power blocs more... alliances of convenience give the game the best medium to grow.

Honestly, yes that would be preferable as a wargame without a war in the backstory (a big war between all combatants you can play with) makes zero sense.

I mean that is like Flames of War being based on WW2, but never actually goes as far as or past the German Ultimatium of 1939 and focus solely on the build up to it. How can it be called a wargame if the backstory behind it doesn't have the war?

 

 

Warcradle seem to be putting the Horse before the cart and starting their new universe at that point (landing players at the tension filled period before a global conflict breaks out), instead of doing what a wargame should be doing and putting the Cart before the horse (landing players in the middle of a global conflict and then add the reasons for it in after when they are hooked).

 

Everything Stuart is saying sounds more like filler designed to bulk out a games universe, or be used as a premise for a tabletop board game where the politicking makes the most sense. It doesn't make for a very compelling reason for players to  tabletop wargame though. If there is no real conflict (large scale global conflict specifically) why are the various factions fighting?

 

This is the only thing Spartan have done that Warcradle, at the moment, seems to have gotten correct in terms of their fluff. You need a global conflict for a wargame like Dystopian Wars  (or any other wargame) to have meaning and purpose.

 

For example:

Any wargame based on WW2 has that as a backdrop. The game has an in built conflict for players to rally behind.

40k is a never ending galaxy spanning series of wars, giving players plenty of conflict for players to rally behind, and because all of the factions are all fighting each other and there are rebel elements in all of them to some degree,  there's never and conflicting notions that one faction can never fight another. 

Napoleonic War games (few as they may be) have the backdrop of the French Revolutionary Wars and Napoleonic Wars for players to rally behind. 

 

All these games have a reason for the wargame to exist (so factions can fight amongst each other). Warcradle seem determined to make sure that none of the factions have any real reason to be fighting, other than the limited small scale, and frankly insignificant, conflicts Stuart is suggesting.

 

 

But Also, no. I do not want them to suddenly turn the world into a post apocalyptic wasteland in 5 years. But it doesn't have to be like that anyway. Warcradle can keep the conflict going for years if they wanted without to nuking the whole setting.

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The entire world is in conflict. Every faction is attacking the other on hundreds of fronts and in a myriad of different ways, some small scale while others are more globally significant such as in South America, Africa, anywhere on the open sea and at dozens of other flashpoints around the globe. There are raids in the capital of the Crown (the background of the Black Wolf talks about that) the are monstrous icebergs with airbases built into them prowling the Baltic... Hundreds die every day in the various conflicts. Barring a formal declaration of war (which then sends the globe into a rapidly spiralling apocalypse) we have everything to set multiple wargames in! 

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What got me hooked into the old Dystopian Wars game was the factions each had a fairly believable backstory and rich lore,  which the models tended to follow along in the early part.  I am turned off by the new iteration of the world history, but that is only by the fact of the complete revamp/restart of the world history that I've played.  I can and will give the new game a chance before final verdict.  So, directed at all nay-sayers, see it out before calling foul.  We are only seeing teasers of an incomplete work right now.

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We are not going to twist arms to get you all the embrace the new Dystopian Wars.  But we feel we are being loyal to the existing setting whilst hopefully expanding the appeal.    We need the setting to be little more open to newcomers. And we can assure you we love rich narratives and alternate histories as anyone else.  You are only seeing the tiniest part of our vision currently.  You will see all sorts of announcements for Dystopian Age and Firestorm Universe in the new year. Hopefully they should cement your understanding of how seriously commited we are to world building. Just in case anyone thinks we are combining the 2 settings.. we are not.  We are just taking the narratives of each really seriously. 

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57 minutes ago, Asuo said:

I think we should wait  and let Warcradle finish their fluff before we start to write too many conclusions, its quite possible that we could go chasing the rabbit down the wrong hole.

But the rabbit is cute and fluffy....and who wouldn't want to have tea with the mad hatter?

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I will try the game when it is available regardless of how I feel about the story.  Hopefully when everything is said and done the background will make sense and be enjoyable.   War cradle studios this feedback you are getting means people care about the game.  Which is a good thing.  Might as well take it with a grain of salt because you cant please everyone.   Wish you the best of luck and look forward to what you have in store for the game.

Of topic, where do you post questions about the over all rules for dystopian age?  I don't think you want them here, but I don't know where to post them.  Thanks.

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