|The Black Wolf|
|Faction||Independent (nominally Free Nations)|
|Current Leader||Commodore Vladimir Nikonov|
|Capital City||Clavius Point, Greenland|
|Close Allies||Covenant of Antarctica|
Captain Vladimir Nikonov was initially an officer serving in the Russian White Navy's Black Sea command. He honed his skills as a Destroyer commander, making 'unofficial' covert missions against Ottoman assets in the Dardanelles, to test their strength.
During this time, he gained a reputation as a daring and unconventional officer, and his charisma led his crew to nickname him 'Black Wolf', in recognition of his appearance and hunting prowess. As his skills increased, Nikonov came to think of himself as more of a corsair - much in the mould of Blackbead Teach and Sir Francis Drake.
In 1861, Nikonov was transferred to the White Navy's submarine program with the promise of additional status. However, his superiors believed that submarine duty would make best use of the maverick's skills, and keep him isolated. Eventually, Nikonov was given command of the end result of Proyeckt Pobeda (Victory Project) - the submarine Death Bringer.
However, Nikonov was soon compromised by Prussian and Ottoman agents, who bribed him to sabotage the Russian submarine project. Nikonov agreed to the offer - having tired the duty, which he saw as simply more donkey work. He then used his natural charisma to turn his crew.
Nikonov made his move during Death Bringer's final live-fire sea trials in 1864. He led his crew in a mass mutiny, overwhelming the submarine's Oprichina overseers, ejecting them bodily from the torpedo tubes. Nikonov then took the submarine back to its development base in Kerch, where he took a shore party and raided the base, stealing the master blueprints for the submarine, and firing the magazine and fuel reserves to cover his escape. He eventually escaped the Black Sea via the Bosphorus Straits.
However, Nikonov did not return the submarine to his Prussian sponsors as planned, and instead struck out on his own as an independent mercenary.
World War HistoryEdit
Storm of SteelEdit
As the Storm of Steel ran down, Nikonov headed towards the Arctic, on course for the secret Covenant base of Clavius Point, on the coast of Greenland.
Run by Covenant Wraith and Spectre intelligence agents, Clavius had long held a reputation as a 'rouge anchorage' amongst mercenaries and pirates. The location was also used by the Covenant to offer mercenary contracts to supplement the lack of Antarctican forces in the region.
Although Nikonov was expecting to bargain hard to get his submarine repaired, he arrived at Clavius at an opportune time. As a result of the events during the Storm of Steel, Lady Drakenurg, Intelligence chief of the Covenant, had been authorised to create more pernament 'supplementary forces' in the Arctic, to cover Antarctican intrests until a more pernament presence could be established.
To do this, Antarctican agents had been co-opting various mercenary commanders into 'Black Companies' - deniable assets that could be used to further Covenant goals, in return for the Covenant turning a blind eye to the forces 'other' activities.
Nikonov entered negotiations in ernest, and both parties came away with a great deal. Nikonov traded the blueprints of the Death Bringer, finally providing the Antarcticans their first good look at Markovite technology. In return, Nikonov was made a commodore, and nominal commander of the Black Companies.
On the TabletopEdit
how the faction plays and looks
Behind the ScenesEdit
Originally, the Black Wolf submarine model was a bonus to customers who bought the Dystopian Wars v1.1 rulebook from the Spartan Games online store in early 2012, with the model eventually becoming avaliable for regular purchase.
The character of Nikonov and his crew were subsequently expanded in the Storm of Steel campaign book, and the fleshed out into a full Mercenary force with a boxed set release in December 2013. Additionally, a Black Wolf shore party is avaliable as Mercenaries in the 28mm game Dystopian Legions.
The initial concept of the Vladimir Nikonov and the Black Wolf appear to have been inspired by Captain Nemo and the Nautilus from Jules Verne's novel Twenty Thousand Leages under the Sea.