Thursday, 3 November 2016

HOTT Lists for 'The Wheels of If'

Another choice titbit from the original Stronghold, written by Colin Hagreen.

'The Wheels of If' is a short story by L. Sprague de Camp. Unusually the hero realises he is an alternative world to ours.

Allister Park, a lawyer, has his mind transferred to the body of Bishop Ib Scogland. The world he now inhabits is one in which the Spanish never colonised South America (because the Moorish invasions of the Iberian peninsular were never turned back) but the Norse colonised North America in the 11th century. There are 'Skrelling' (native american) states in North America and Aztec states in South America. The world is one in which the internal combustion engine has never been invented and steam power is king. Most weaponry is fired by compressed air rather than gunpowder.

In this book, there is an invasion of the Bretwaldate of Vinland by one of the Skrelling states. It was a three-way fight, between rebel and loyal Vinland armies, and a Skrelling army from Dakotia. Since they seem to have very similar armouries, here are the suggested troop classifications...

Infantry - Much of the infantry seems to fight at close quarters. The Dakotian uniforms are mustard-coloured, with officers wearing Sioux war-bonnets in red, white and black. Vinlanders have a green uniform. Classed as spears and warband.

There are mentions of cavalry, lancers in particular, but they seem to have been less effective than the infantry - Classed as riders.

Warwains - 'a kind of steam-driven armoured car carrying a compressor and a couple of pneumatic machine guns' Multi-wheeled, ungainly, with rams on the front like a 'mechanical rhinoceros'. Classed as behemoths.

Landmines - low-grade black powder weapons. Classed as lurker.

Heavy Airwains and Airwains - 'they rustled across the sky with the dignity of dowagers, seldom getting much over 150 miles an hour, and their battles had all the deliberation of a duel between sailing ships-of-the-line.' Classed as airboats and flyers.

None of the generals seem to have been particularly effective, so no heroes here.

So on to some lists.

Bretwaldate of Vinland - Loyal 'Army of New Belfast'

1 Spear General @ 2AP (General Higgins)
3 Spear @ 2AP (White infantry)
4 Warband @ 2AP (Skrelling infantry)
1 Rider @ 2AP (Lancers)
1 Behemoth @ 4AP (Warwain)
1 Flyer @ 2AP (Airwain)

(Much of their heavy equipment was destroyed by sabotage before the battles, so only one warwain and airwain)


1 Warband general @ 2AP (General Tashunkanito)
2 Warband @ 2AP (Skrelling infantry)
3 Riders @ 2AP (Lancers)
1 Behemoth @ 4AP (Warwain)
2 Airboat @ 3AP (Heavy airwains)
1 Flyer @ 2AP (Airwain)

(More mobile than the other armies, seemingly with more aerial equipment)

Bretwaldate of Vinland - Rebels

1 Spear General @ 2AP (General Etherling)
3 Spears @ 2AP (White infantry)
1 Rider @ 2AP (Lancers)
2 Behemoth @ 4AP (Warwain)
1 Flyer @ 2AP (Airwains)
1 Airboat @ 3AP (Heavy airwain)
1 Lurker @ 1AP (Minefield)

(More heavy equipment, fighting on the defensive so I have given them the minefields)

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