French Republic

From Gloom Trench 1926 - Fickle Dice Games
Jump to navigation Jump to search

By 1914 the German chancellor, Otto Eduard Leopold von Bismarck, had built a network of alliances with other European powers designed to isolate France and elevate Prussia to a position of European superiority. This web of alliances, however, would plunge the world into a global war.

It is now 1927, and Germany—along with her allies—is still fighting that same war. Mainland Europe has descended into a muddy, hellish battlefield. Modern weaponry—such as the British rift projector and the German laser—has ensured armies must remain entrenched in their own positions, emerging only to mount suicidal raids on enemy positions. This new, modern war requires new, modern weapons, and France has risen to the challenge. Desperate to avoid the horrifying loss of life that modern warfare demands, the French have developed a means to wage war without spending human life: the Self-governing Tank.

Driven by internal combustion engines and governed by clockwork brains, France’s growing arsenal of Self-governing Tanks has evolved from bulky, tracked machines equipped with machine guns, to automated tankettes. These tankettes are completely autonomous. Able to drive, steer and think with complete independence, they can fire their integral weapons just as readily. The nature of those weapons has also changed. Gone now are the conventional machine guns, replaced instead with American lasers. Recognising France’s proximity to both Germany and Great Britain—two of America’s wartime enemies—the American government has seen fit to bolster France’s combat capabilities by supplying her not only with lasers, but with the personnel required to teach the French how to use, maintain and repair the weapons. In exchange, France fights shoulder to shoulder with America’s so-called ‘Doughboys’ on the frontlines with Germany and Great Britain. It also nurses America’s wounded and buries what bodies it can recover.

France’s war is not, of course, fought only on the Western Front. German Zeppelins are a constant menace. These behemoths mount nightly raids, their lasers gouging great wounds in France’s cities and ports. Only recently, thanks to a combination of American lasers and France’s own automated anti-Zeppelin batteries, has France found an answer to this airborne threat.

France is also locked in a bitter struggle with Great Britain and Germany’s Royal and Imperial navies. This theatre is one of desperate importance to France. With the Great Winter creeping across France and blighting its farmlands, she is increasingly reliant on food imported from overseas. Her navy does what it can to safely escort freighters from Africa and the United States, but it is not easy. Germany poses a particularly vigorous threat. Thanks to Germany’s development of Hinterhalt Plattformen technology, her U-boats are able to teleport Kriegsmarines directly into French freighters, there to kill their crew, steal their cargo and scuttle their vessels.

On the home front the Great Winter drives away France’s population in its thousands. The government has relocated to the French colony of Dakar. The monied hire passage oversees, preferring to risk the perils hidden in the wartime oceans than those which lurk in the approaching fog. Despite the price of such passage reaching exorbitant levels, French ports are now battlegrounds as the rich fight like savages to get onboard passenger vessels. This violence has become routine, and deaths are commonplace. Those who cannot afford to hire passage risk crossing the Mediterranean in small, overcrowded boats as they seek refuge in northern Africa.

But those left behind fight on. They fight the Germans and the British. They fight the Scourge. They fight for food and for their children. They do so not for duty or a just cause. They fight because they are trapped.