The mighty Moskva Class Dreadnoughts are the pride of The White Navy. Although not the largest ships in its fleets – a status that rests with the great Kostroma Fleet Carriers – the Moskvas are undoubtedly the most revered. Commanding one of these titans of the sea is seen as the highest honour to which a White Navy Battle Brigade Captain can aspire.
Developed to replace the older Nikolaev Class, the design of the Moskva is an outgrowth of the modern Borodino Class Battleships. Its origins date from 1865 but, like almost all Russian war machines, the Moskva’s design was radically recast in the light of developments made by Markov and his Circle after 1866.
‘Bigger is Better’
In appearance and function, the Moskva is a larger and more powerful version of the Borodino – ‘bigger is better’ is a maxim enshrined in almost every aspect of Russian design, especially in regard to war engines.
White Navy Admiral Leonid Zhdanov remarked that the ship would be ‘a veritable Kremlin of the seas’ on seeing its blueprints for the first time. When the Tsar heard of this, he personally decreed that the class be named in honour of the city of Moscow, home of the greatest Kremlin, or citadel, in the Russian Coalition.
‘The Devil’s Triangle’ unloads on the cornered Toulon Class Armoured Cruisers
The Moskva carries armament fitting for its great bulk. Like the Borodino, its primary weapons are the so-called ‘Devil’s Triangle’ of three forward turrets, mounting heavy-calibre smoothbore cannons. However, unlike the battleship, the dreadnought supplements these with a wing turret on either beam.
These turrets, mounting slightly smaller calibre ordnance, were fitted to assist in covering the blind arcs abeam and astern that had proven somewhat problematic in the Borodino Class.
Combined with the vessel’s standard hull-mounted secondary broadsides of lighter rifled guns, they ensure that anyone attacking a Moskva from abeam or abaft of the forward turrets, hoping to find a potential weak spot, will soon regret their foolishness.
Russian Coalition – Borodino Class Battleship with the Moskva Class Dreadnought
Of course, the turrets may also be turned forwards to supplement the main armament, resulting in firepower of apocalyptic proportions over short to medium distances. Any enemy vessel crossing a Russian dreadnought’s ‘T’ at its optimum range is almost certain to be blown out of the water. Likewise, a Moskva can reduce even the strongest enemy coastal fortifications to rubble in just a few salvoes.
Like the smaller Borodino, the Moskva is designed with aggressive frontal assaults in mind. Its massive hull is clad in ablative armour, concealing thrumming defensive Generators and powerful Sturginium Thermal Pressure Engines capable of granting it an increase in speed over short distances. The White Navy treats the Moskva like a great barbed spearhead, capable of driving deep into enemy formations and inflicting catastrophic damage, and leaving at best crippled victims ripe for destruction by other Russian warships.
A Word from the Designer
The Russian naval forces are already some of the most imposing ships in Dystopian Wars, their grungy industrial profiles a frightening sight across the waves. The Borodino Class Battleship already sets the benchmark in terror next to enemy ships in the same class.
It’s all fun and games making impressive ships and exciting models, right up until the point where you have to make something even bigger and meaner than the biggest, meanest thing you’ve made to date, while trying not to eclipse some of the old classics in the product range. A one player game of one-upmanship isn’t nearly as fun as it sounds.
The Moskva towed the fine line of making a truly fearless fighting vessel while not outstripping the rest of the product range in size or style. The biggest difference between the Moskva and Borodino is that the dreadnought has no less than five forward facing turrets, and though several of them do have restricted beam arcs, the forward profile of the ship is terrifying. We originally played with the idea of having the full double barrelled turrets set in the beam mounts rather than the final single turrets, but ten forward facing barrels is over the top even for the world inhabited by the likes of the Metzger giant robot.
A truly terrifying amount of forward-facing and flanking turrets
Finding room for those turrets was another issue entirely, as widening the ship to fit them all into forward facing mounts broke the overall profile of the Russian fleet and that dagger-like shape that makes them so mean. The trick came in breaking the smooth line of the hull and bringing the beam mounts out in fin-like protrusions. It was a nod to the Russian piscine prototype Black Wolf and one that works nicely on the final model. Not only does it keep the imposing profile, but the way the hull lines break screams out just how tightly the Russian Coalition engineers had to jam in all these guns to make this monster.
The intimidating Moskva Class Dreadnoughts are a Russian Naval Commander’s weapon of choice when an enemy line needs to be broken. Frequently fielded alongside the smaller Borodino, these vessels can soak up even more firepower than the Battleship and can pay out significantly more in return.
Your opponent will do well to find a weak spot here
Although its weapons are still forward focused, the addition of flanking turrets and more powerful broadside armament means the Moskva’s true place is the centre of the foe’s battle line. Once there, its matchless close range firepower spitting from both flanks will fracture enemy defences for the remainder of the fleet to mop up.
The greatest challenge Coalition Commanders face then, is getting the behemoth into position. Understandably for its mass, the Moskva is even slower than its Battleship cousins, and can be left behind by an unwary Commander. However, the ability to periodically overcharge its engines for a sudden boost of speed helps to mitigate this.
The Dreadnought is also loaded with even thicker armour and more defensive generators than any other vessel, keeping the fleet protected as it makes its ponderous approach.
Finally, as befits its station, the crew of a Moskva is comprised of hardened veterans, notably superior to the conscripted marines who serve aboard other Russian ships. The final card in the hand of a Dreadnought captain is then to swamp a valuable target with highly trained riflemen and seize a fresh prize for the Tsar.