But that is not to be negative. There is of course something fun about the style of battles we fight on the table. It is much like the movies. Unless we are interested in history a true to the past movie based on battle would be a bit boring for most of the film.
So for me, Empire has always been "that army" that allows me to dip my toe in historicals but at the same time be playing this cinematic rules set and background. I have also never met anyone locally in my years that plays historicals.
Next year will be my 5th year at Adepticon. Looking back I have tended toward fun and silly armies that play on an inside joke between us gamer types. Pirates, Monty Python, Mad Max are all ideas and movies we get behind and cheer when we see someone reference them. However this time I think I want to do something more pure to the background and also the history the Empire was based around. It will of course be huge as ever, but nothing as silly as a Trojan Stonehorn.
So with all this in mind I have chosen Empire. The Empire is of course based on a few historical periods including the landsknecht and Swiss mercenaries of the 15th-16th centuries. The landsknecht are famous for using the zweihander - literally "two hander," a large sword. They also used the Arquebus and later musket, as well as pike. The Swiss also used a mixture of weapons but were most famous for the pike square. They did not use as diverse of weaponry and tactics, but preferred 90% of their army be blocks of pikes that just charged into the enemy. Until the era of pike and shot, the pike block was a nearly invincible formation. Cavalry could not touch it, infantry found it hard to move them, and guns were of course effective against flesh but the tactics of the Swiss meant guns were often taken first and quickly.
So this is where the most thought and research will have to go. In the time of the landsknecht, what did Navies look like? What weapons would they use for deck fighting and boarding actions? In this case I will likely have to compromise. Pikes would not be much use on a boat, but rather sword and board, and the musket. The zweihander makes sense, and we have an exact entry for something similar in our army book.