Monday, May 23, 2011

A Condensed History of the Great War

Today I’m presenting a condensed version of the Great War of the Tannhauser universe. This is compiled from the FFG version of Tannhauser and the original TOY editions. It will encompass as much details as possible, but while much of this information is cannon it is still subject to change.

It all begins after the jump…

Part I: The Prelude to War…

In 1891 the world’s three super powers (The Union, The Reich, and The Matriarchy) began a tenuous relationship and formed the Cerberus Network. Under its aegis they worked together to set up the “Research Center” within Matriarchy territory at Tunguska. While Tunguska is deep in Siberia, and well within the Matriarchy borders it was setup independently and by 1894 was at the center of a 20km radius of “extraterritoriality”. Little detail of the exact nature of the research conducted at Tunguska is available, but it is well known that in 1908 the facility and everything else for 50km was destroyed in a massive explosion of unclear origin.

Over the next four years political tension between the super powers continued to grow. All three began arming for war, and by 1913 a “Global Blockade” was established, causing regular international trade to grind to a halt. Then in 1914 a classified signal was sent using Cerberus Network radio frequencies, and originating from Tunguska. All three powers accuse one another of conspiracy against each other. With political tension already so high it is the excuse the Kaiser has been waiting for. The war begins…

Part II: The Early Days of War…

With in two years of the start of the war the Reich’s progress has ground to a halt at Verdun. Seeing no way to break the stalemate the Reich turns to the occult for a solution. The Reich spurred by the advice of Hoss Harbinger had already created the Obscura Korps, and in October 1916 they revealed its true power; unleashing a “supernatural plague” over Verdun and crushing the Union forces. The Reich was able to take quick advantage and nearly swept the Union off the European continent entirely.

Unchecked the Reich was able to establish control over 11 countries, and by 1920 the Kaiser was the unopposed ruler of most of Europe. By the mid Twenties Reich forces hold Egypt and maintain control over the colonies of now conquered nations.

In the map below you can see the world of the late 1920s the Union is yellow, the Matriarchy brown, and the Reich is Green. The white areas have limited information, and the grey are currently unaligned.

Tannhauser 1920 Map

Part III: Fighting Back…

The intervening years of stalemate in Europe have worn the Union forces thin, but by the mid thirties the Union’s forces have began to once again pose a significant treat to mainland Europe. This growing threat of a second front in Europe prompt the Reich to preemptively strike out against the Union. So, in 1936 the Reich sends a massive fleet of Zeppelin Battleships to attack Mexico City a primary military staging ground for the Union. However the Union’s resolve is not deterred, and in 1938 they begin planning an amphibious invasion of Egypt.

By 1938 the Reich was feeling the pinch of both the approaching Union forces in the west,  and the ever present Matriarchy forces to the east. But they are not unprepared, when the Union strikes in early 1939, the waiting Reich forces are well ready to hold Egypt by any means necessary. With the occult assistance of Marquis Heizinger, the Reich was able to easily turn back the entire invading force including 11 regiments of “Amphibious Battleships”.

Feeling confident after their victory in Egypt the Reich begins a plan for a new offensive against the Union stronghold of Brittan, the last free democracy in Europe. By early 1941 the Reich was ready and sent the entire Eisendivison to attack London itself, but this massive and devastating attack was simply a cover for an operation designed to increase the Reich occult abilities.

However, not all victories come so easily. In late 1941 the Matriarchy’s forces attacked the Czestochowa Monastery in Poland. The Kaiser unwilling to allow the fortress to fall into enemy hands, instead sent all the Imperial Squadrons’ HE 111 bombers to level the entire city; killing all the invaders and the entire Reich garrison. The only survivor of the bombing was Major Volkov of the Matriarchy’s Phantom Division.

Major Battles and the World 1940.

Tannhauser 1940 Map

Part IV: Tenuous Alliances…

Beginning in the late thirties some nonaligned nations began choosing sides in the Great War, and tenuous alliances began to form. By the early 1940s it was clear the the nation of Japan was beginning to side with the Reich, and soon what was commonly called the Shogunate would declare war on all but the Reich. Facing a clear threat of a second front as the Shogun’s forces swept through the Pacific and Asia, the Matriarchy reached out to the Union, and a treaty between these super powers was formed. This saw the beginning of Union involvement in the fight in the Pacific when in 1944 Union forces invade the Shogunate held island of Guadalcanal.

The World of 1945. The Shogunate is in red.

Tannhauser 1945 Map

Part V: The Ceaseless War…

As the Great War continues to rage throughout the world, The Union begins to make some headway against the Reich, with success of Operation Tannhauser 1949, Operation Novgorod 1950, Operation Daedalus 1950, and the success of the Mideast campaign 1949-1590; the Union feels confident enough to begin planning for the invasion of the European Mainland. Slated for for mid 1951 this vital operation is the Union best hope for victory against the Reich. However, there is still doubt, the Reich’s forces were able push the Union back in the Bergan Invasion, and though they were eventually pushed back the Reich was able to accomplish it’s goals in Greece and Turkey. Of course the biggest hurdle facing the Union invasion is the Reich’s elite Eisendivision has been sent to defend the coast of France at all costs.

The World 1950.

Tannhauser 1950 Map

This brings us “up to date” on the Great War of Tannhauser, but keep in mind FFG has no real obligation to keep what TOY created before, especially anything after 1949.

For more on the great war, check out:

The Tannhauser Mythopoeia – Revised Rules information only.

The Tannhauser Companion – Both old and new information, with some real facts.

The Tannhauser Chronology  - Only old information, which is becoming more and more obsolete as FFG continues to rewrite Tannhauser history.