|Covenant of Antarctica|
|Current Leader||Lord Barnabas Draynes Sturgeon|
|Capital City||Wells Chasm|
|Close Allies||Commonwealth of Free Australia|
Founded in 1857 by scientist and all-around fantastic chap Lord Barnabas Draynes Sturgeon, the Covenant of Antarctica is based around Wells Chasm, the source of many of the advanced technologies seen in the world of Dystopian Wars. The Chasm was originally discovered by Lord Sturgeon and his good chum Leonidas as they explored the continent of Antarctica from the Eye of Reason, a modified Britannian Doncaster aeroplane, although reaching the site on foot would prove a difficult and dangerous expedition.
Inside the Chasm, Sturgeon and his expedition found the Vault, an underground complex made of strange metals, containing many wonders. Confident that these wonders would prove his success to the Royal Society, Sturgeon returned to Britannia with some new chemical formulae and samples of the blue-green crystal present in large amounts in the chasm. But it was not to be. Proving that they didn't know what was good for them, the Royal Society laughed him out of the room. In an equally sensible display, Sturgeon renounced his Britannian citizenship and returned to Antarctica to build a new nation. He was joined by a collection of nobles, adventurers and mercenaries, including Maximillian Schneider, who would go on to become Warmaster of the Covenant.
It was during 1853, as the Antarctican colony grew, that the Covenant, from which the nation draws its name, was created. This document established the Covenant of Antarctica as a technocratic autocracy and laid down the rights of its citizens. Every citizen must be able to read, understand and sign the Covenant. The Covenant of Antarctica finally became a nation in its own right in 1857, with the completion of the city of Wells Chasm and its declaration as the capital of the Covenant.
From this point on, the Covenant would begin to share the gifts of their discoveries with the world. This all went surprisingly well, until...
Markov, originally one of Sturgeon's closest friends, member of the council, and one of the original discoverers of the vault, revealed himself to be an utter cad. As the world descended into conflict, Sturgeon decided that giving out plans for laser guns and giant robots might be a bad plan. Markov, being exemplary of the thought process of most Dystopian Wars players, felt that everyone should have access to these things. He collected several advanced technologies, and with some other cads, made his escape from Antarctica.
Markov disappeared for a while, until the Russian Coalition began turning up with some highly advanced technologies. Of course, other nations responded with new technologies of their own. Not to be outdone, Lord Sturgeon decreed that the Covenant would out-science everyone, and prove that if you want to screw with the Covenant, they would screw right back.
World War historyEdit
Physically, the Covenant is one of the world’s largest single nations, claiming as it does the entire Antarctican landmass. However, much of this vast and desolate continent, especially its interior, remains little explored. Much of the Covenant’s relatively small population is concentrated around the great peninsula that juts out of the western coast of the continent towards the tip of South America, in settlements spread along its length towards the city of Wells Chasm deeper in the interior. Many of these towns have grown up around the sites of the original staging camps used by Sturgeon’s expedition as they travelled slowly across the snow-swept wastes towards the chasm by land. The two largest settlements in the Covenant are Wells Chasm itself and Aristotle Harbour far out on the Antarctican peninsula and the site of Sturgeon’s first landing on the wild continent. Both are thought to house populations in excess of fifteen thousand, substantially bigger than any other in the Covenant, although there are thought to be numerous smaller townships and bases scattered around the coastal areas of Antarctica. Antarctican towns are like no others in the world. Such is the hostility of the environment that all settlements are at least partially buried in the ice and rock, well-insulated in order to preserve every scrap of precious heat. The Covenant utilises much of the knowledge gleaned from the Vault to sustain its civilisation. Subterranean farms provide nourishing foodstuffs for sustenance, and fish are farmed in specially constructed lakes, carefully temperature-controlled to keep the water in a liquid state. Travel between settlements is achieved mainly by autogyro aircraft, or via a network of railway-equipped tunnels burrowed through the rock by ingenious mole-machines.
Mining is an important industry in Antarctica, for the continent is rich in minerals of all kinds; one in particular is the source of much of its power; the mysterious Element 270, a bluish-green crystalline substance found in great thick veins that seem to radiate out from the Vault in all directions. Also known as Sturginium (much to Lord Sturgeon’s embarrassment) the element is a dangerous substance, but its properties, especially when combined with metals, are nothing short of miraculous. Although deposits of Element 270 have been found worldwide in the years since its existence was confirmed, the largest known deposits are in Antarctica itself.
Outside of Antarctica, the Covenant governs no land apart from the tiny island of South Georgia, formerly a Britannian territory. Now it is almost wholly occupied by a semi-subterranean town serving a substantial harbour, known as The Gateway. This settlement serves as the Covenant’s primary source of contact with the outside world. The Covenant’s fleets guard its home waters vigilantly, as many stray whaling crews will attest – only at The Gateway are foreign ships permitted to dock, and the town also serves as the home of the foreign embassies to the Covenant, making it a place that seethes with political intrigue and espionage. Everyone, however, is very careful to remain on the good side of the Covenant – to cross them on their own lands would be tempting fate indeed!
In technical terms, the Covenant is an absolute Dictatorship, ruled by Barnabas Sturgeon. To aid him, Sturgeon is advised by the Coterie - a council made up of his closest friends and allies, most of them stemming from the early days of the Covenant's founding.
The current Coterie is:
- Warmaster Maximillian Schneider - Leader of the Covenant military
- Lord Leonidas - Chief of Physics
- Lady Elizabeth - Chief of Chemistry
- Lord Rense - Chief of Biology
- Lord Oleg - Chief of Alchemy
- Lady Julianna - Mistress of Politics
- Lord Pennyson - Master of Engineers
- Lady Drakenburg - Castellan of Well's Chasm, head of the Covenant Intelligence Service
This said, the rule of the Antarcticans is tempered by the Covenant of Antarctica itself; the document was crafted by Sturgeon and his followers in the earliest days of the settlement, and lays down the laws and principles that the nation abides by. Every Antarctican citizen is required to read, understand and sign the Covenant.
Prior to the World War, Antactican diplomats were present in every major nation across the world, and its scholars and academics taught at a number of international instiutions. Sturgeon himself made few state visits prior to 1870, but one of the most significant was in 1863 to Constantinople, to attend the coronation Sultan Suleiman. During this visit Sturgeon gifted additional technology to the Ottoman empire, including rudimentary drone systems and weather-control generators. The Covenant closed its borders just prior to the outbreak of the World War in 1869, and recalled all of its visiting academics and diplomats. As of 1872, the only still-functioning Covenant Embassy is in the Commonwealth of Free Australia. This embassy is one of two locations (the other being The Gateway) that allows emigration to the Covenant, and also forms as a point of contact allows the Covenant to hire Free Australian Contractual Fleets to augment its forces.
Although Free Australia is the only "official" foreign relation of the Covenant, a few other nations retain ties with the Covenant - one such nation being the Ottoman Empire. Although not officially recognised, the Ottomans 'look the other way' to several Covenant expeditions in the East African areas of the Empire.
Hired in 1850 as a permanent mercenary force for the Covenant, Maximillian Schneider's mercenary company has become the official military force of the Antarcticans. Now Warmaster, Maximillian and his subordinates have come to believe in the Covenant cause. Although the frozen nation has only thirty-five thousand fighting soldiers, every one is a veteran of many conflicts, and are armed with the most advanced technology in the world. They are supported by legions of the Covenant's Iron Men, advanced robots that never tire, fighting as part of the Covenant forces and manning great warmachines. An example of the sheer efficiency of these Iron Men is in the naval gunnery of the Covenant's warships- a single rapid-fire 36cm cannon, as mounted on the Aristotle-class Battleship, has the same firepower as the three-barreled 15" gun turrets used on Britannian warships, as the Iron Men can maintain a high firing rate and accuracy, and never tire.
Antarctican warfleet composition is based around combined arms tactics, and each fleet contains at least one battle group of land, sea and air forces. They also focus on manoeuvrability and concealment, with many of their ships able to partially submerge to present a more difficult target to the enemy. Due to their extensive automation, Covenant war machines have relatively small crews, and indeed, their smallest warplanes have no crew at all, being remote control drones.
With these forces, the Covenant plans to show the world the folly of misusing science.
- Lord Barnabas Draynes Sturgeon- Founder & current ruler
- Lord Leonidas- Friend of Lord Sturgeon and chief scientist for the Advanced Weaponry Division
- Maximillian Schneider- Warmaster of the Covenant
- Markov Helsinki- Traitor and awful cad
- Lady Drakenburg- Head of Internal Security
- Lord Oleg- friend and advisor to Lord Sturgeon
On the TabletopEdit
Signature Weaponry: Energy weapons, strong broadside firepower, small elite marine parties and many and varied generators.
On the table, the Covenant echo their background, with a proliferation of Shield Generators on anything larger than a Destroyer, and Inventive Scientists, which allows their shields to be more effective than other nations, at the risk of catching fire if Covenant Commodores get overconfident with their generator rolls. As befits a nation with such elite troops, almost all their ships have the Elite Crew Type, although they tend to have fewer Assault Personnel than equivalent ships of other nations.
In addition to Shield Generators, the CoA's advanced technology is represented by the myriad of other generator and weapon options they have access to. Any Primary Turret on a CoA vessel may be replaced with an Energy Turret equivalent, which provides consistent firepower at all ranges and counts as a Secondary Weapon, meaning that they do not suffer penalties to hit at close range. They are also Redoubtable, allowing them to keep their firepower for longer in a sustained battle. On the downside, they do not benefit from Sturginium Rounds and some players may find their power lacking at close range.
In terms of Generators, the CoA have access to a great many, with Target Painters, Mine Controllers and even the terrifying Teleport Generator. This advanced device allows the Covenant to easily outmanoeuvre their enemies and move models three range bands in a single activation. Care is required, though, as the portals it creates can be used by either side!
Other special toys of the Covenant include the Particle Accelerator, which can destroy entire squadrons in a single shot and doesn't care how elusive or how much Ablative Armour you have, and their Drone Support Aircraft Wings. Unlike other nations, the CoA SAWs are unmanned drones, and are thus expendable in the extreme. In the background, it is mentioned that CoA Commanders use Drones as guided missiles, and this is close to their role on the tabletop. Unlike other nations, which need a surviving squadron to place more SAWs on the table, Drone Squadrons are simply created within range of a relevant carrier, limited only by the number of drones in the pool- which all drones return to when destroyed. On the downside, if all models with the Drone Relay MAR (Carriers, plus the Commodore's Vessel) are destroyed, all your Drones drop out of the sky immediately. Drones are also removed from the pool based on damage your Drone Relay models take.
In addition, Wave Lurker allows certain CoA vessels to become more difficult to hit, at the cost of any non-Raised weapons firing at half AD. Quite the downside, but since Wave Lurkers can make a Swift Manoeuvre test to move to Wave Lurking height after firing, it can still be a great advantage, even if you don't plan to actually use it much.
Smaller Covenant vessels lack shields, but often have an ability that makes up for it. Frigates and Corvettes have Hit & Run, one of the most powerful MARs in the game when used correctly. They are also the only faction that has access to a Heavy Destroyer, which has an extra Hull Point compared to the standard Destroyers of other factions. Combined with the Teleport Generator, Covenant small vessels are a vicious threat.
The CoA has access to some torpedoes, but very few rockets. They both maintain the CoA's long range ability, with the same Attack Dice at all ranges. Their torpedoes also have the Faster Torpedoes MAR, which gives them a significant improvement in their damage dealing ability.
Overall, the Covenant is a nation that relies on applying the correct force for any given situation. Though they generally lack the short ranged brutality of the Russian Coalition, or the boarding capability of the Prussian Empire, the Covenant has enough power in all situations to come out on top with a little thought.
Notable Covenant VesselsEdit
- Aristotle Battleship- The tough backline of any standard Covenant fleet, the Aristotle has access to great broadsides, four turrets and the fearsome Particle Accelerator, all on a Wave Lurking package.
- Callimachus Time Orb- One of the more iconic Covenant units, the Callimachus is simply a huge generator on legs. Has the only Teleport Generator that can handle medium models. Also has a handy dilation field generator for those sticky situations.
- Epicurus Sky Fortress- With two Battleship turrets and the option for improved Energy Turrets, as well as Battleship broadsides, the Epicurus is already an effective weapons platform. With the ability to be a Drone carrier and launch Drones within 8", the Epicurus is one of the best models in the Covenant Fleet.
- Euclid Sky Dreadnought- The Epicurus' bigger, more ridiculous brother. At first glance, the Euclid seems lightly armed for a Dreadnought, but with 360 degree movement and a full drone complement, as well as a huge Particle Accelerator, the Euclid can hold it's own and support the entire fleet. Also comes with a full Vault's worth of options.
- Fresnel Gunships- Ships with lasers on. They only have Energy Weapons, and can send a lot of laser fire across the board.
- Plutarch Heavy Destroyer- A destroyer that refuses to go on a diet, an extra Hull Point allows it to shrug off damage that would instantly destroy a smaller vessel. Also has ludicrous firepower at close range
Behind the ScenesEdit
The Covenant of Antarctica was created by Spartan Games to act as the "High-tech" faction for Dystopian Wars, as well as the background story source of much of the in-universe technology.
In real-world terms, the continent of Antarctica is currently only inhabited by humans in the form of research stations from 12 different nations. Current claims to the territory are governed by the Antarctic Treaty of 1959, which has been signed by 49 countries to date.
Although Antarctica is currently only used for research purposes, reserves of oil and minerals such as coal, iron, copper, nickel and gold have been found - but in quantities insufficient for profitable exploitation. Furthermore, the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty prohibits mining on land until 2048.
The Vault, the source of Antarctican technology in-game, shares similarities to the legends of Atlantis, a fact that is eluded to in the game's story.