Kickstarter Infantry Support Weapons

| Wednesday, 30 July 2014 | 1 comments |
Zinge Industries and Curious Constructs have partnered up to launch a Kickstarter campaign to produce a series of Support Weapons with a Steampunk flavour.

Well worth a look for anyone gaming on a bigger than skirmish scale, in fact even in skirmish games these pieces could make for some very nice table decoration and objectives...

Curmudgeon Reviews

| Tuesday, 29 July 2014 | 6 comments |
I was born in the White City, the City of Broad Shoulders, Hog Butcher to the World. Chicago’s fantastic growth from but a Midwestern swamp to the world’s greatest railroad hub, a sprawling metropolis of over a million residents by the time of the World’s Columbian exposition of 1893 epitomizes the Steampunk genre, particularly one set within the United States.

All told, I lived 36 years in what later became the Rust Belt—a memorialized region built on the coal, steel, steam, and industry of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Today, much of the region from Pittsburgh and Rochester to Milwaukee and St. Louis lies in abandoned ruins, scarcely recollected monuments to that former glory of progress, industry, and optimism.

It was these roots that probably led me down the rabbit hole into Steampunk.

What is Steampunk anyway?

We all know what steampunk is right? and when it took place?

If you have your own definition already, then you may be sorely disappointed with my personal definitions, which I generally keep fairly loose and broad. I’m not a particularly dogmatic person to begin with, and my contributions will reflect my personal sensibilities. I’ll back up my beliefs and opinions based on my sense of history (my BA degree), geography (my profession is cartography), and technology.

To me, Steampunk reflects the age from about 1860 to very roughly 1925. The American Civil War was the mother of invention for many of the marvelous devices and weapons that make up the Steampunk world. In 1863, Jules Verne—the father of science fiction—wrote “Paris in the Twentieth Century,” one of the first science fiction stories. That war brought about many technological advancements from the gatling gun to the gun turret. Photography and the telegraphy, inventions from the previous 20-odd years, became widespread in a way that could not be imagined prior to the war. I probably won’t receive very many arguments regarding this date.

But the 1920s?

World War I is rightfully the end of the steampunk era. It was the time when the horrors of technological advancement replaced the optimism that technology represented. Mustard gas, the Paris Gun, tanks, Zeppelins and airplanes became the reality that steampunk era hoped for. It was the end of empires, the end of innocence, and the end of imperialist expansion.

The Russian Civil War (1918–1922) was the last conflict in which cavalry played a major role, and much of it was fought along isolated railroad lines through the expansive taiga. Following in the footsteps of Burton, Speke, Livingston, and Stanley, Percey Fawcett was the last of the great Victorian explorers; he disappeared in the Amazonian jungle in 1925. And while H.P. Lovecraft was finally starting to write his best known works in the 1920s, they often reflected the more innocent times before the Great War.

BORING! What about gaming?

Unlike my co-contributors, I don’t play IHMS. Frankly, there are so many other systems that I just haven’t wandered into that realm. Not that I won't. I just haven't up to this point.

Fear not, however. My experience is a bit more old-school. I’ve tried to adapt Deadlands (with the newer Savage Worlds system) into a more Steampunk setting and I hope to do the same with D&D 3.5/Pathfinder rules. As long as I find victims…er…willing participants, I’ll try almost any game system, and I’ll be happy to report it here.

But what I really love are the miniatures themselves. North Star, publisher of IHMS, has a number of very fine miniatures. But there are numerous other foundries out there that produce terrific minis that perhaps you might not have heard of. I hope to expand the horizons of what is possible instead of simply illustrating what is. Given my background, most of what I intend on reporting upon will be about 28mm (25-32mm…because I'm not dogmatic!) and suitable for individual RPG rather than armies vs. armies.

Lastly, while there are many systems and minis that I would love to cover, every thing that I’ll report on will be with a budget in mind. Come September, I will be entering graduate school here in Maine, and my playtime budget isn’t where I’d like it to be. Unless a generous manufacturer chooses to share their wares, I will necessarily be forced to report on what I can afford. That might even suit most of you, the readers of this blog. That will also limit the game systems that I will be able to report on as well.

Unlike Paul, I don't know French. I can't offer a White Wine Sauce, but I do enjoy a good ale. I hope you'll all enjoy what I present.

auf Wiederspielen,
-Ken GroƟ

Reviewed in a White Wine Sauce

| Saturday, 26 July 2014 | 1 comments |
Erudite followers of the Steampunk Miniatures Review will have noted David's recent request for additional contributors.  I have answered his Call to Arms and have now joined the team.  Thus I thought it timely for an introductory post.

I have my own VSF themed blog, Yours in a White White Sauce, which has been running since early 2006.  My interests have historically run along the smaller scales of VSF gaming such as 2mm/6mm, but not exclusively, and I have co-authored a few VSF gaming titles.  I am also a book lover and have a number of period alternate history literature as well as more modern VSF themed novels in my library.  At the moment most of my VSF gaming is centred around the fun In Her Majesty's Name rules, for which I have a number of companies in 28mm...and more I'd like to make of course!  But I have a few other projects in the pipeline too...

So overall, I think my interests are both sufficiently similar and different enough to provide content here which I hope others will find of interest.

Votre dans une sauce au vin blanc!

Help Wanted!

| Tuesday, 22 July 2014 | 0 comments |
Ok, so regular followers of this blog will have noticed that I haven't posted very regularly for some time. Work commitments and other projects that I am involved with have impacted on my blogging time.

I am still playing steampunk games, and collecting the miniatures, but to be honest I don't get anywhere near enough time to spend on them. Consequently I can't offer fair reviews of rules as I struggle to get time to play IHMN, let alone any of the other systems out there...

So, I am putting out a request to anyone who would like to become a regular contributor to the blog. I am looking for one or two bloggers who can help me keep the momentum, by reviewing steampunk and VSF rules and figures. I would be happy to see the occasional review of non-gaming related steampunk items too such as book and films etc. as long as they offer some kind of inspiration to the Steampunk/VSF gamer.

I can't promise vast amounts of glory, I would just like the blog to be the go to place for any gaming related Steampunk news and reviews!

If you are interested in joining the Steampunk Miniatures Review team, please drop me an email at ironmammoth (AT) gmail (DOT) com.

In Her Majesty’s Name Game 2!

| Thursday, 3 July 2014 | 0 comments |
After last weeks learning game, we were ready to try a one on one game with a proper random scenario.
I have rejigged my Company (now titled Charles Farthingworth and the Angels of Islington, along with the pet gorilla Bosley) for this weeks game. Reduced the points on my robot and added a 6th member. An 8pt Soft Contractor (the most basic character I can add). As well as adding an extra pistol to my company she brings with her some Mystical Powers, being able to shoot through cover, and also treating all her attacks as poisoned.
The table was fairly full of terrain, although very different from last week. Running through the middle of the table there was a river. The river had three crossing points, a ford and two foot bridges.
IHMN game 2 - 00
The scenario that we rolled up was Catch the Pigeon. This caught us somewhat be surprise, but Del came to the rescue. As he uses mainly Malifaux figures, he happened to have three clockwork birds, nicely painted and ready to go, so we picked one and placed it in the middle of the table. Jeff was acting as referee for the game so he did assumed control of the pigeons movements.
IHMN game 2 - 01
Del and I started in opposing corners and spent the first couple of turns running towards the pigeon. The table we use is 3’ x 5’, the rules recommend a 3’ x3’ table, so to save time next time we may well just us the the 3’ square…
I reached the pigeon first, with two of my figures, but it managed to evade capture and escaped to the top of a wall. At this point I felt that Del’s company was getting a little close, so I charged my gorilla at them, this scared one off and I persued him into the middle of his company.
IHMN game 2 - 02
Del did manage to get one figure past and was close to the pigeon, so I sent the robot in to deal with her.
IHMN game 2 - 03
The robot scored a hit on Del’s figure, but unfortunately for me she had the Numb ability, which meant she was able to ignore the first wound. When she attacked back my robot was eviscerated… Del mobbed up against my gorilla and managed to take him out as well…
IHMN game 2 - 04
This left my party looking very outnumbered. Del shot the pigeon, which landed at my feet. If I had won the initiative on the next turn I may well have been able to scrape a victory, but Del got it (again) and rather than watch my last two figures being ripped to shreds I conceded defeat.
Another good learning session and I think I am about ready to redesign my company from the ground up… I originally designed the robot just to get used to the point construction system. It worked well, but I feel that I need a few more bodies in my company rather than having mainly high cost members, who can still be killed fairly easily…
With the holiday season coming on, it is unlikely that we will get another game for around three weeks. This will give me time to re-do my company, and possibly prepare my alternative (a Prussian force).
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