Looking back a couple of years!

| Wednesday, 27 February 2013 | |
A couple of years ago, on my modelling/sculpting blog, I posted about my blossoming interest in getting a Steampunk game going. Most of the information is still relevent and so i thought it was worth bringing it over here!

Toy Soldiers: Steampunk Skirmish Games

With all the steampunk novels I’ve been reading recently (see my Pax Britannia reviews) I am in the mood for doing some steampunk skirmish wargaming. I like the quirky styles of some steampunk miniatures, and feel that to really show off their character I prefer to stick with 28mm or larger sizes. I have two or three 54mm figures, including these two from Black Crab Sculpting Studio.

Black Crab Studios - The Lizard KingBlack Crab Studios - The Judge

However, with the price of miniatures ever rising, and metal prices still going up, I think I will probably go for 28mm figures, even though I am only planning on having very small groups of figures on each side (I would think up to an absolute maximum of about 20 per side).

There seem to be a good selection of steampunk style miniatures available from a growing band of manufacturers.

Steampunk DorothySteampunk Dorothy

I have just ordered the Steampunk Dorothy figure from CoolMiniorNot, and I am preparing an order for Design 28 Miniatures.

Design 28 Miniatures Iron MenDesign 28 Miniatures Vampire HuntersDesign 28 Miniatures Victorian Policemen

I also have plenty of the Scheltrum Miniatures Selenites (well I did sculpt them), and their other VSF figures. In fact, I still have the 28mm scale airship that I made around 10 years ago (vac-formed balloon with resin and white-metal gondola)…

Scheltrum Miniatures SelenitesVSF Airship 11VSF Airship 05VSF Airship 06VSF Airship 10

There is also Wyrd Miniatures Malifaux, some of their figures are very nice, although they are a premium priced range, so I don’t really want to buy too many of them. Of course one advantage of going with Malifaux, would be the associated rules system, but I don’t really want to be restricted from using other companies figures.

Malifuax Mannequins

I also have plenty of 28mm colonial figures, from various manufacturers, that could be pressed into service for the odd steampunk game. Off the top of my head, some of Foundry’s Darkest Africa range and similar, as well a large collection of British Sudan campaign figures.

So, which rules to go for? I want a game that has small parties (up to about 20 figures at the most) on each side, but most of the steampunk wargaming rules seem to be mass battle rules.
I picked up When The Navy Walked and it’s expansions from Wargames Vault the other day, which looks interesting, but still too large scale for my taste. I see from their website that The Armchair General are planning a set of skirmish rules for When The Navy Walks, but I want to get going with this just now. I have also been considering G.A.S.L.I.G.H.T., which seems to be popular and has been around for quite some time. I have even considered using a slimmed down version of some of the role playing rules that are out there. Talking of role playing rules Space 1889 does have their wargaming rules Soldier’s Companion, but that seems quite restrictive, and I really want something more skirmish based.

When The Navy Walked9090759093

What I was really looking for was something like .45Adventure from Rattrap Productions. Unfortunately all of their different rules sets, which are all wonderfully “pulpy”, miss the steampunk genre, however, as I have most of them, a little conversion work could be a possibility.

.45 Adventure 2ed.  from Rattrap ProductionsFantastic Worlds from Rattrap ProductionsThrilling Expeditions from Rattrap Productions

What is looking most promising at the moment, however, is the rules set In The Emperor’s Name, that is being developed on the Forge Of War/FUBAR Yahoo group. It is a set of rules to fight small scale actions between two “Retinues”. ITEN is actually set up to use the Warhammer 40K background, but having chatted in the group a little, there is quite an interest in developing a separate rules set, to be called (at least for now) In Her Majesty’s Name…
All in all, I think that skirmish is the perfect type of game for the Steampunk genre, so I am really surprised that there are not more rule sets out there yet.

The most obvious change to this article is the last item. In Her Majesty’s Name has now been promoted to from a community produced game to a fully published rule set, to be released by Osprey in early May.

It also seems that Design 28 Miniatures have disappeared. I am sure I heard someone else had picked up their range of miniatures, but as yet I haven’t been able to track them down!


Paul of the Man Cave Says:
25 November 2013 at 03:14

Have you checked out IHMN yet? I just posted a review of it:


David Drage Says:
25 November 2013 at 03:37

I have IHMN, and have read it.

We are planning on giving it a try after we finish our Song of Blades and Heroes Campaign...

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