Steampunk Research & Development

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Contents

Introduction

The acquisition of a variety of technologies and unit types is controlled by Research and Development (R&D) projects. These are like National Projects, save their completion is not just a matter of men, gold and time.

Each R&D project is assigned a certain number of Advances which must be attained before the project is complete. Like increasing an AQR; gold, money and time are invested and each turn a die roll is made by the GM to assess progress.

Depending on the amounts invested, the difficulty of the project, the die roll and a host of modifying factors (your Nations’ government type, economy, religious strength, imperial size and university level) you may gain one or two advances, make no progress, or even back up a step as the project encounters some dead-end or obstacle.

When a project is complete, you gain the ability to use the devised technology or unit type.

When starting an R&D Project you must also provide a project location (either a region or city under your control within the HBZ of your nation).

Pre-requisites

Note that some R&D Projects have pre-requisites which include not only a previously completed R&D project, a minimum Tech Level but also a certain number of completed Air/Ship/Submarine Yards or Factories.

As Projects start at the beginning of the turn, during Builds, all of the pre-reqs must have been completed the previous turn (or earlier).

R&D Project Cost & Execution

When starting an R&D project, you must invest at least 1 GP and 1 NFP. Thereafter, as each project gains an Advance, your GP investment is zeroed (as for a QR), but your NFP and Time investment remain. On a rough basis, your chances of gaining an Advance on a given turn are equal to:

% = (GP + (NFP × 5) +
(Number of Years Invested × 5)) / (Total Advances + 1)

Over the entire life of the project, you must invest at least as many NFP as the number of Advances required by the project. If your NFP investment is not sufficient to match the next Advance level, then you will not progress until you have provided sufficient manpower.

Once invested in a project, invested GP and NFP may not be withdrawn.

Example The Pacific Mercenary and Trust Company is attempting to develop a Steam Tank. This project is a level 5 project. PM&T invests 300gp and 4 NFP into the project. The current turn length is 2 years per turn.

The first turn (assuming all supplementary modifiers cancel out), their chances of gaining an advance are (300 + (4 × 5) + (0 × 5)) = 320 / 6 = 53%. If they are successful in gaining an Advance, the next turn they will start with 0 GP, 4 NFP and 2 years invested.
While only 4 NFP remain invested in the project, they cannot gain more than 4 Advances, so at some point they will have to commit another 1 NFP to the endeavor.

Note the project, with an Advance requirement of 5 will take (at optimum speed) at least three 2-year turns to complete and more likely five 2-year turns (or more, if the team runs into some obstacle delaying their progress.)

Research Projects

The following list of research projects is not inclusive. Other projects may be proposed by the players and accepted by the GM (as the GM sees fit).

Scout Steam Tank

Tech Level Requirement 11
R&D Requirement Steamships
Advances Required 4

Completing the Scout Steam Tank project permits the nation to build Scout Steam Tank (sst) units. These are slow and relatively unarmored tracked steam tanks with light weaponry (turrets or sponsons for flame throwers or gatling guns).

A Scout Steam Tank is quite cumbersome and can only be employed in a city or in Intensely Cultivated, Cultivated, Steppe and Island regions. It can be transported by ship or rail.

A Scout Steam Tank unit represents five tracked vehicles and their crews.

Steam Tank Operating Range

Scout Steam Tanks and all other types of Steam Tank are subject to an operating range. These vehicles are restricted by requiring enormous amounts of fuel (wood or coal) to operate. They are also very fickle and require regular, skilled maintenance.

When operating in Intensely Cultivated, Cultivated, and Wilderness regions the tanks can gather sufficient combustibles to keep their boilers fired up, but in other types of terrain such supplies are only acquired through a coaling station provided by a controlled city (at Tributary or above). Steam tanks operating without the support of a coaling station will suffer severe attrition (on the order of 25% per AP) as the tanks go down for lack of fuel or maintenance.

The operating range (as expressed in Action Points) of a steamship unit is equal to:

Operating Range = Tech Level - 10

The minimum operational range is 1 AP. The maximum operation range of a Steam Tank is 3 AP.

Optional Steam QR

Completion of this Project gains the nation a Steam Quality Rating which starts at one (1). All units derived from the Scout Steam Tank project and its descendants fight with the Steam QR.

Steam Tank

Tech Level Requirement 12
R&D Requirement Scout Steam Tank
Advances Required 5

Completing the Steam Tank project permits the nation to build Steam Tank (st) units. These are slow and bulky tracked tanks, with heavy armor and armed with gatling guns and light naval guns mounted in turrets or sponsons.

A Steam Tank is quite cumbersome and can only be employed in a city or in Intensely Cultivated, Cultivated, Wilderness, Steppe and Island regions. It can be transported by ship or rail and can only cross major rivers by bridge. It is too large to be ferried across by river vessels.

A Steam Tank unit represents five tracked vehicles and their crews.

In Reality…

The Steam Tank (Tracked) was an early U.S. tank design of 1918 imitating the design of the British Mark IV tank but powered by steam.

It was designed by an officer from the U.S. Army's Corps of Engineers. The project was started by General John A. Johnson with the help of the Endicott and Johnson Shoe Company and financed by the Boston bankers Phelan and Ratchesky (it cost $60,000). Expertise was called in from Stanley Motor Carriage Company in Watertown, Massachusetts, that produced steam cars. The engines and boilers of two Unit Railway Cars were built in. Earlier fighting vehicles projects had employed steam power because petrol engines were not yet powerful enough; the Steam Tank however used it for the main reason that it was meant to be a specialized flame thrower to attack pillboxes and the original design had this weapon driven by steam. When the main device to build up sufficient pressure became a 35 hp auxiliary gasoline engine, the two main 2-cylinder steam engines with a combined horsepower of 500 remained, each engine driving one track to give a maximum speed of 4 mph. The transmission allowed two speeds forward and two in reverse. The steam engines used kerosene for fuel.

The flame thrower, located in the front cabin, had a range of 90 feet; additionally there were four 0.30 inch machine guns; two in a sponson at each side. The length of the vehicle was 34 feet 9 inches, the width 12 feet 6 inches and the height 10 feet 4.5 inches. The tracks were 24 inches wide. Each track frame carried mud clearing spikes, sometimes mistaken for battering rams. The tank had a weight of about fifty short tons. There was to have been a crew of eight, on the assumption there were a commander, a driver, an operator of the flame thrower, a mechanic and four machine gunners.

Only one was completed in Boston and demonstrated in April 1918, in several parades also, on one occasion breaking down in front of the public. The prototype America was in June shipped to France to be tested — with much publicity to bolster allied morale. The flame thrower nozzle was moved to a rotating turret on the roof of the cabin.

Steam Wheel Tank

Tech Level Requirement 12
R&D Requirement Scout Steam Tank
Advances Required 3

Completing the Steam Wheel Tank project permits the nation to build Steam Wheel Tank (swt) units. These are slow and bulky wheeled tanks, with heavy armor and armed with gatling guns and light naval guns.

A Steam Wheel Tank is quite cumbersome and can only be employed in a city or in Intensely Cultivated, Cultivated, Steppe and Island regions. It can be transported by ship or rail and can only cross major rivers by bridge. It is too large to be ferried across by river vessels.

A Steam Wheel Tank unit represents five wheeled vehicles and their crews.

The Tsar Tank

The Tsar Tank, also known as the Netopyr' (Нетопырь, Pipistrellus bat, so named because when carried by the back wheel a model of the vehicle resembled a bat hanging asleep) or Lebedenko Tank, was an unusual Russian armored vehicle developed in 1914–1915. It employed a tricycle design. The two front spoked wheels were nearly 9 meters (27 feet) in diameter; the back one was a smaller, only 1.5 meters (5 feet) high, triple wheel, to ensure maneuverability. The upper cannon turret reached nearly 8 meters high. The hull was 12 meters wide with two more cannon in the sponsons. Additional weapons were also planned under the belly.

The huge wheels were intended to cross significant obstacles. However, due to miscalculations of the weight, the back wheel was prone to be stuck in soft ground and ditches, and the front wheels were sometimes insufficient to pull it out. This led to a fiasco of tests before the high commission in August 1915. The tank remained in the location where it was tested, some 60 kilometers from Moscow until 1923 when it was finally taken apart for scrap.

The ‘Big Wheel

The idea of the ‘Big Wheel’ was originated by an RNAS officer, Flight-Commander Hetherington, in the First World War. It was an enormous machine, 100 feet long, 80 feet wide, 46 feet high running on three forty foot diameter wheels. It was beyond the capabilities of contemporary engineering and subsequently reappeared in reduced form in 1915 as an articulated troop carrier running on four fifteen foot diameter wheels. The lead element would contain the power unit, drive train and crew, whilst the rear section would provide accommodation for seventy troops. Models were made and a wooden mock-up, and it became apparent that the concept would not work.

The Treffas-Wagen

In 1916-1917 the German War Ministry requested the commercial firm of the Bremen Hansa-Lloyd Works to design a battlewagon. The Treffas-Wagen was finished on February 1, 1917. It had two large steel wheels, roughly 11 feet in diameter, on each side of a rectangular armored body. At the rear was a large castor-like roller for steering. In front of the body was a 20 mm TUF gun, with machine guns on either side for firing into trenches. The crew consisted of four men. The Treffas-Wagen weighed 18 tons. One prototype was built, and thoroughly tested during February and March of 1917.

The Steam Wheel Tank

Sometime between 1916 and 1917 the US Army instructed the Holt Manufacturing Company (now Caterpillar Inc.) to build a Steam Wheel Tank (also known as the 3 Wheeled Steam Tank, the Holt Steam Tank and the Holt 150 Ton Field Monitor).

It was completed in 1918 and had two large 8 ft diameter wheels each with 3 foot wide treads, located at the front on each side of the substructure. These wheels were made out of several sheets of pressed steel and were not specially built, being of the type used on Holt agricultural machinery of the period. At the rear was a roller wheel to be used for steering. A small skid plate or tail was attached to this roller to assist in trench-crossing. Both front wheels were driven by individual power units which consisted of a Doble 2 cylinder 75hp steam engine and Doble kerosene fired boiler.

The vehicle's main armament was a 2.95" howitzer mounted low in the front. A .50cal Browning machinegun was carred in a ball mount on the hull sides.

While it is sometimes known as the Holt 150 Ton Field Monitor, the stated weight was approximately 17 tons, so it is likely that the "150 ton" nomenclature was either an effort to obscure the design from spies or an error.

One prototype was completed in February 1918 and was evaluated between March and May 1918 at the Aberdeen Proving Ground. Some reports of the evaluation state the tank became stuck after 50 feet, thus ending its evaluation.

The design combined serious cooling problems with a dangerous vulnerability due to its two steam boilers and large fuel reservoirs needed to heat the two main engines, and feed both the auxiliary engine and the flame thrower.

Iron Mole

Tech Level Requirement 12
R&D Requirement Steam Tank
Advances Required 4

Completing the Iron Mole project permits the nation to build Iron Mole (stm) units. A Iron Mole is a massive manned super-borer capable of chewing through earth and rock. The Iron Mole has a gigantic drill at the front and mechanic scoops along its sides to craw it through the earth. The machine can be used to undermine the foundations of forts, fortresses and city walls, and to dig through the earth to aid in the construction of tunnels.

To quote Edgar Rice Burroughs: “I shall not go into the details of its construction--it lies out there in the desert now--about two miles from here. Tomorrow you may care to ride out and see it. Roughly, it is a steel cylinder a hundred feet long, and jointed so that it may turn and twist through solid rock if need be. At one end is a mighty revolving drill operated by an engine which Perry said generated more power to the cubic inch than any other engine did to the cubic foot.”

  • When used against forts, the Iron Mole’s Siege value is used against the Siege strength of the forts.
  • When used in an Active Siege a Iron Mole’s Siege value is used against the Wall Points of the city or fortress.
  • When used in a Passive Siege, each Iron Mole has a Passive Siege Value of 5.
  • When used in civil construction of tunnels, each Iron Mole provides 2D6 NFP a turn.

Under some circumstances a Iron Mole can hit layers of rock that divert its course, perhaps into unsuspected caverns and unknown underworlds…

Land Ironclad

Tech Level Requirement 12
R&D Requirement Steam Tank, Ironclads
Advances Required 4

Completing the Land Ironclad project permits the nation to build Land Ironclad (sli) units.

These hundred-foot-long vehicles propelled by eight pairs of pedrails, wheels ringed with flexible feet to give traction. They are armed with remotely controlled rifles with an advanced sighting system that giving tremendous accuracy even while moving. Land Ironclads are armored, all-terrain vehicle that can withstand small-arms fire and cross trenches crewed by 42 soldiers, including 7 officers. It can be used in Intensely Cultivated, Cultivated, Wilderness, Steppe, Island, and Tundra regions.

A Land Ironclad represents one gigantic wheeled vehicle and its crew.

Based on the "The Land Ironclads" by H.G. Wells, published in the December 1903 issue of the Strand Magazine.

Land Dreadnaught

Tech Level Requirement 12
R&D Requirement Steam Tank,

Land Ironclad

Advances Required 6

Completing the Land Dreadnaught project permits the nation to build Land Dreadnaught (sld) units. These are gigantic tanks, the equivalent of naval ironclads in size and firepower.

A Land Dreadnaught is very cumbersome and can only be employed in Intensely Cultivated, Cultivated, Steppe and Island regions. It cannot be transported by ship or rail in one piece because it is simply too large and cannot cross major rivers even by bridge as its weight is too great. To be loaded onto ships or rail the vehicle must be dismantled, moved, and reconstructed. Rebuilding this monster machine is a 0.5 Monolithic Construction including the use of five (5) intrinsic industrial capacity yards; the NFP for the project can be provided by Engineers,

A Land Dreadnaught represents one gigantic tracked vehicle and its crew.

Calculating Cannon

Tech Level Requirement 12
R&D Requirement Analytical Engine
Advances Required 4

Completing the Calculating Cannon project permits the nation to build Calculating Cannon providing a bonus to all artillery units. Guns now feature in-built analytical engines permitting greater accuracy, and enhanced automatic loading allowing a greater rate of fire.

Walking Tank

Tech Level Requirement 12
R&D Requirement Steam Tank
Advances Required 4

Completing the Walking Tank project permits the nation to build Walking Tank (wt) units. These are slow and bulky tanks walking on four or more stilt legs instead of tracks. They have less armor than a steam tank and lighter armor but are more agile. They are equipped with light weaponry (flame throwers or gatling guns).

Walking Tanks are less cumbersome that a steam tank and can employed in a city or in Intensely Cultivated, Cultivated, Wilderness, Steppe, Jungle, Tundra and Island regions. It can walk across major rivers and can be transported by rail or ship. However, they are still susceptible to the same support requirements as other types of Steam Tank.

A Walking Tank unit represents five vehicles walking on stilts and their crews.

Armored Train

Tech Level Requirement 12
R&D Requirement Ironclads
Advances Required 4

Completing the Armored Train project permits the nation to build Armored Train (atr) units. An armored train consists of an armored locomotive and railroad cars. The railroad cars are designed for many roles. The typical roles include:

  • Artillery - fielding mixture of guns and machine guns
  • Infantry - designed to carry infantry units, may also mount machine guns.
  • Machine gun - dedicated to machine guns.
  • Anti-air - equipped with anti-air guns.
  • Command - similar to infantry wagons, but designed to be a train command center.
  • Anti-tank - equipped with anti-tank guns, usually in a tank gun turret.
  • Platform - unarmored, with purposes ranging from transport of ammunition or vehicles, through track repair or derailing protection to railroad ploughs for railroad destruction.
  • Troop sleepers.

An armored train can carry 4 cargo points of infantry, cavalry or artillery (excluding super heavy artillery). These units can fight `from' the train and add their Anti-Aircraft and Ranged capability, if relevant, to that of the train. It takes 1AP for these units to `mount' or `demount' the train except in combat. An armored train can carry additional cargo points but these add an extra 1 AP to its movement costs. An armored train could, for example, include two super heavy artillery units, but would then require 3 AP to move along the track.

An Armored Train on Reaction can move the full length of the rail-line in 1 AP if the Cargo size of the train is less than or equal to the rail line capacity, with larger trains taking 1 AP per additional block of capacity. If the train reaches a city/fortress/region holding hostile forces then its move is `blocked' and combat is initiated.

The obvious disadvantage of the armored train is that they are tied to rail tracks, and destroying tracks immobilizes them.

In Reality…

Armored trains saw use during the 19th century in the American Civil War (1861-1865), the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871), the First and Second Boer Wars (1880-81 and 1899-1902), the First (1914-1918) and Second World Wars (1939-1945) and the First Indochina War (1946-1954). The most intensive use of armored trains was during the Russian Civil War (1918-1920). There are also reports of a limited use of something like armored trains -- trains carrying tanks -- in the Second Chechen War.

During the Boer War on 15 November 1899, Winston Churchill, then a war-correspondent, was traveling onboard an armored train when it was ambushed by Boer commandos. Churchill and many of the train's garrison were captured, though many others escaped, including wounded placed on the train's engine.

After the First World War the usage of armored trains declined. They were used in China in the twenties, most notably by the warlord Zhang Zongchang, who employed refugee White Russians to man them.

Poland used armored trains extensively and successfully during the Invasion of Poland, which in turn prompted Nazi Germany to reintroduce them into its own armies.

Germany used armored trains to a small degree during World War Two, however, they introduced significant designs of versatile and well equipped nature, including railcars which housed anti-aircraft turrets, railcars designed to load and unload tanks, and railcars which had complete armor protection with a large concealed howitzer gun. Germany also had impressive locomotives which were used on such trains and were fully armored.

During the Slovak National Uprising the Slovak resistance used armored trains. Two of its armored trains, which were made in the Zvolen railway manufactory, Hurban and Štefánik are preserved and can be seen near the Zvolen castle.

In the First Indochina War, the French Union used the armoured and armed train La Rafale as both a cargo and a mobile surveillance unit. In February 1951 the first Rafale was in service in the Saigon-Nha Trang line, Vietnam while from 1947 to May 1952 the second one which was escorted by onboard Cambodian troops of the BSPP (Brigade de Surveillance de Phnom Penh) was used in the Phnom Penh-Battambang line, Cambodia. In 1953 both trains were attacked by the Viet-Minh guerrillas who mined and destroyed stone bridges when passing by.

Fulgencio Batista’s army operated an armored train during the Cuban revolution though it was derailed and destroyed during the Battle of Santa Clara.

Undersea Vessel

Tech Level Requirement 12
R&D Requirement Ironclads
Advances Required 8

Completing the Undersea Vessel permits the nation to build Undersea Vessel (usv) units using Steamship Yards.

These craft are gigantic submersibles; to quote Jules Verne: “the several dimensions of the boat you are in… is an elongated cylinder with conical ends. It is very like a cigar in shape, a shape already adopted in London in several constructions of the same sort. The length of this cylinder, from stem to stern, is exactly 70 meters, and its maximum breadth is eight meters. It is not built on a ratio of ten to one like your long-voyage steamers, but its lines are sufficiently long, and its curves prolonged enough, to allow the water to slide off easily, and oppose no obstacle to its passage. These two dimensions enable you to obtain by a simple calculation the surface and cubic contents of the Nautilus. Its area measures 1011.45 square meters; and its contents 1,500.2 cubic meters; that is to say, when completely immersed it displaces 1500.2 cubic meters of water, or 1500.2 metric tons.”

Its motive power is derived from electricity provided by sodium/mercury batteries (with the sodium provided by extraction from seawater).

These vessels are only equipped with torpedoes if that R&D project has been completed; otherwise their sole means of attack is to ram enemy surface ships at very great speed, the ram and serrated rakes on the bow ripping through the hull of the unfortunate vessel. Therefore, in combat, the Undersea Vessel can only attack ships and boats from beneath, and their sole means of defense is the their armor rating representing the combination of armor, structural strength, compartmentalization, and damage control. The ram can either puncture a hull or slide beneath it cutting through the bottom. The target vessel’s Armor rating acts as a negative modifier to the attacking Undersea Vessel’s Naval QR.

Its pilothouse and lantern housing are retractable to make the ram more effective. This reduces the possibility of taking damage when attacking, and the vessel employs a double hull.

Option

If the energy source of sodium/mercury batteries seems too unlikely to power the powerful electric motor required to power the vessel, the GM can instead assume a special power source such as ancient Atlantean energy crystals or some other fantasy source.

Aéronef

Tech Level Requirement 12
R&D Requirement None
Advances Required 8

The completion of this project allows the nation to build Aéronef Scout (aes) and Aéronef (aer) units. An Aéronef unit represents two aerial craft. An Aéronef Scout is sometimes referred to as an Aéronef Gunboat.

If the nation does not already have the Aircraft QR then completion of this Project gains the nation an Aircraft Quality Rating which starts at one (1). All units derived from the Aéronef project and its descendants fight with the Aircraft QR.

An Aéronef is a ‘heavier than air’ flying machine which has many vertical propellers to provide lift, and horizontal propellers to provide lateral movement. Whilst an aéronef may carry a variety of guns and bombs most are very lightly armored because of the limitations of its lifting engines.

Aéronef Operating Range

Aéronef craft are subject to an operating range. These vehicles are restricted by requiring enormous amounts of fuel (charged batteries) to operate. They are also very fickle and require regular, skilled maintenance.

These supplies are acquired through a maintenance station provided by a controlled city (at Tributary or above). Aéronefs operating without the support of a maintenance station will suffer severe attrition (on the order of 25% per AP) as the craft go down for lack of fuel or maintenance.

The operating range (as expressed in Action Points) of an Aéronef unit is equal to:

Operating Range = Tech Level/3

The minimum operational range is 1 AP. The maximum operation range is 7 AP.

When an Aéronef is flying it uses regions, sea zones and open ocean hexes. Flying over a river border is treated as a normal regional border, but mountains require the expenditure of additional AP as the Aéronef struggles for altitude. Sea Zones and Hexes count as 2 AP per zone or hex. An exception to this is Sea Hex/Zone combinations which in area make up approximately one Hex. Examples of this are: Hex 23C and Freya Bank, Hex 41H and Inland Sea and so on. In this case the Zone is 1 Range and the Hex is 1 Range.

An Aéronef does not move via Inter-Ocean or Inter-Island Current Arrows.

Option

If the energy source of electric batteries seems too unlikely to power the powerful electric motors required to rotate the propellers, the GM can instead assume a special power source such as ancient Atlantean energy crystals or some other fantasy source.

Large Aéronef

Tech Level Requirement 12
R&D Requirement Aéronef
Advances Required 6

The completion of this project allows the nation to build Aéronef Transports (aet) and Aéronef Cruisers (aec) units. An Aéronef unit represents two large aerial craft.

These are massive airborne craft; to quote Jules Verne describing an Aéronef Cruiser built by Robur:

Platform.- This was a framework a hundred feet long and twelve wide, a ship's deck in fact, with a projecting prow. Beneath was a hull solidly built, enclosing the engines, stores, and provisions of all sorts, including the water tanks. Round the deck a few light uprights supported a wire trellis that did duty for bulwarks. On the deck were three houses, whose compartments were used as cabins for the crew, or as machine rooms. In the center house was the machine which drove the suspensory helices, in that forward was the machine that drove the bow screw, in that aft was the machine that drove the stern screw. In the bow were the cook's galley and the crew's quarters; in the stern were several cabins, including that of the engineer, the saloon, and above them all a glass house in which stood the helmsman, who steered the vessel by means of a powerful rudder. All these cabins were lighted by port-holes filled with toughened glass, which has ten times the resistance of ordinary glass. Beneath the hull was a system of flexible springs to ease off the concussion when it became advisable to land.

Engines of suspension and propulsion.- Above the deck rose thirty-seven vertical axes, fifteen along each side, and seven, more elevated, in the centre. The Albatross might be called a clipper with thirty-seven masts. But these masts instead of sails bore each two horizontal screws, not very large in spread or diameter, but driven at prodigious speed. Each of these axes had its own movement independent of the rest, and each alternate one spun round in a different direction from the others, so as to avoid any tendency to gyration. Hence the screws as they rose on the vertical column of air retained their equilibrium by their horizontal resistance. Consequently the apparatus was furnished with seventy-four suspensory screws, whose three branches were connected by a metallic circle which economized their motive force. In front and behind, mounted on horizontal axes, were two propelling screws, each with four arms. These screws were of much larger diameter than the suspensory ones, but could be worked at quite their speed. In fact, the vessel combined the systems of Cossus, La Landelle, and Ponton d'Amécourt, as perfected by Robur. But it was in the choice and application of his motive force that he could claim to be an inventor.

Machinery.- Robur had not availed himself of the vapor of water or other liquids, nor compressed air and other mechanical motion. He employed electricity, that agent which one day will be the soul of the industrial world. But he required no electro-motor to produce it. All he trusted to was piles and accumulators. What were the elements of these piles, and what were the acids he used, Robur only knew. And the construction of the accumulators was kept equally secret. Of what were their positive and negative plates? None can say. The engineer took good care - and not unreasonably - to keep his secret unpatented. One thing was unmistakable, and that was that the piles were of extraordinary strength; and the accumulators left those of Faure-Sellon-Volckmar very far behind in yielding currents whose ampères ran into figures up to then unknown. Thus there was obtained a power to drive the screws and communicate a suspending and propelling force in excess of all his requirements under any circumstances.

Aerial Torpedoes

Tech Level Requirement 12
R&D Requirement Aéronef
Advances Required 2

Completing the Aerial Torpedoes Project allows a nation to utilize the Aerial Torpedo rating of Aéronef fliers to enhance their Combat Rating. An aerial torpedo is a short-range rocket with an explosive warhead that can be used in combat against other Aéronefs and Airships. Aircraft present too small a target to be successfully intercepted with aerial torpedoes.

Aéronef Dreadnaught

Tech Level Requirement 12
R&D Requirement Large Aéronef
Advances Required 4

The completion of this project allows the nation to build monstrous Aéronef Dreadnaught (aed) units capable of engaging other aéronef and airships at several miles range and raining down destruction on cities and fortifications. With its armor this truly is a warship of the skies.

Its cargo capacity can be used to either carry troops or two Aéronef Scouts which can be deployed whilst in flight.

Gyroplane

Tech Level Requirement 13
R&D Requirement Aéronef or

Biplane Fighter

Advances Required 3

The completion of this project allows the nation to build Gyroplane (aeg) units. A gyroplane is a single person aéronef, with one vertical rotor to provide lift and one lateral rotor to provide propulsion – usually at the front or back of the machine. Most gyroplanes also have stubby wings to aid stability.

A Gyroplane unit represents ten aircraft, pilots and ground-crews.

A gyroplane has an extremely limited range and can only fly in the proximity of the fortress or city where it is based, or the ship or aéronef it is deployed from – having a Range of zero. However, it can fly from any steam or diesel ship or from an aéronef with a cargo rating of one or more. This tiny flying machine requires a very small area to take-off and land from.

In Reality…

In 1906, two French brothers, Jacques and Louis Breguet, began experimenting with airfoils for helicopters and in 1907, those experiments resulted in the Gyroplane No.1.

In 1923 Juan de la Cierva, a Spanish engineer and aeronautical enthusiast, invented the first successful rotorcraft, which he named 'autogiro'. His aim was to create an aircraft which would not stall, following the stall-induced crash of a three-engine bomber he had designed for a Spanish military aeronautical competition. His craft used a tractor-mounted forward propeller and engine, a rotor mounted on a mast, and a horizontal and vertical stabilizer.

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Lords of the Earth, 6th Edition © 2010 Thomas Harlan
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
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