Topic: Battle Brothers: The Next Age

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  • #28019
    Creaturezoid
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    I know the possibility of a sequel anytime soon is not in the realm of likelihood, but I’ve been really enjoying coming back and playing lately especially since I had some spare cash and was able to pick up the remaining DLC that I didn’t have before. Playing so much lately has gotten me thinking about what would happen to the world of Battle Brothers after a few hundred years have gone by, and I thought I would share my thoughts about it.

    350 years (and several False Kings) after the events of Battle Brothers, the world has seen a major change in the way warfare is conducted. Mercenary companies are in as ever much demand as always, but their form has changed over the last few centuries. The advent of gunpowder weaponry has thrown the world into a new age of constant warfare. The Noble houses have become powerful monarchies, with kings and queens bent on control, leading to many large wars betwixt them. Complimenting their armies are the ever-ubiquitous mercenary companies. Slightly larger than their medieval counterparts, these modern mercenary companies generally field between 15 and 20 men, and take one of several forms:

    Some commanders still prefer the clash of cold steel, and field men in modern heavy armor with sabers and shields. These men are dangerous up close, but must emphasize their mobility to ensure that they do not get bogged down by the more modern soldiers and their muzzle-loading firearms.

    Other commanders may opt for the slightly more modern pike-and-shot company. These men are armed with alternating polearms and muskets, with a key emphasis on dealing damage to enemies at a distance, while keeping would-be melee attackers at bay with their polearms.

    Then there’s the modern mercenary captain, who chooses to lead a regiment of line infantry armed with the muzzle-loader and bayonet. These men hold their ground while spraying lethal showers of lead at the enemy. Their strength is in their unified line of fire, but their lack of armor and need for cohesion makes them vulnerable to those who can close the distance.

    Of course, any mercenary captain is free to use any combination of troops that he so desires. But there could be good bonuses for holding different troops in formation together. For instance, in the same way that the current shield-wall ability has buffs for adjacent allies who are also using shield wall, musket armed troops could have line fire bonuses that allow an entire line of musketeers to fire a volley at the enemy rather than each individual firing. This would of course have to be balanced in a way that made tactics more viable since otherwise, with the small scale of battles in the game, there would be little reason to not just pull all your men in one line and fire. And having only one tactic would get boring. But maybe their line bonus would have a maximum cap of say, 4 or five. Then, if you can field say, 20 men, and they were all musketeers, you could have several small lines of men who you are constantly trying to position to fire on the enemy who themselves are trying to either close the distance to you, or maneuver themselves to fire at you.
    Light infantry, who excel at firing more accurate, aimed shots could also be used in your force as skirmishers; perhaps they receive a bonus from NOT being adjacent to other men and can be used to either harass the enemy line, or to take aimed shots at important targets.
    Grenadiers could be heavier infantry who are more adept at moving and firing as they attempt to get close to the enemy, light their grenade fuse, and hurl heavy iron death onto the enemy lines.
    Standard bearers and officers maintain the resolve of their men, and strike the enemy with their flintlock pistols or sabers.

    Wealthy mercenaries may choose to purchase a small field gun such as a serpentine-cannon or a saker. These early artillery pieces are rare and require more than one brother to operate, but can land devastating cannon ball or canister shots into enemy ranks, though no company can afford to operate more than one of these powerful pieces at a time. And their crews would be extremely vulnerable to melee attack and must be protected at all costs.

    Others have adapted to this new style of warfare as well. Greenskins have begun to discover the efficacy of gunpowder weapons. Orc raiding parties can frequently be found fielding large primitive guns that they have constructed from thick metal pipes and stolen powder. These guns are devastating, but wildly inaccurate in the hands of their makers, who lack the necessary finesse required to effectively utilize them. Goblin raiding parties have also fashioned primitive pipe guns for their ambushers to use.

    In other world news, a new continent has been discovered across the great ocean, and the Houses have been vying for its control since its discovery. This new land is rich in resources, and entrepreneurial mercenary captains may find themselves employment on both sides of the sea.

    There is, of course, much more to consider than all that, but I was sitting here thinking about it and I thought that the idea of a Battle Brothers games set in the same world but akin to our world’s Age of Sail would be a really interesting idea. It’s definitely a game I would check out and I think there would be a lot of cool features that could be included while still maintaining everything about the first game that makes it both extremely fun and extremely difficult. Anyway, just thought I’d share what I was pondering as I was slaying greenskins. Thanks for reading!

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