Saturday 23 March 2013

It's steam, punk!

(Sorry for the bad pun in the title.)

I've been looking to get into some skirmish steampunk gaming for a while now. Nefarious villains, rooftop chases in the fog and weird inventions – what's not to like? It would be cool with a small scale game, say about 4–8 miniatures a side, maybe with some crazy machinery added. I've never taken the plunge though. Until now.

As I'm sure you're aware there are two Kickstarters (or rather one Kickstarter and one "Nickstarter") going on right now: West Wind Miniatures is doing one for the expansion to their game Empire of the Dead, and Northstar Miniatures is doing a special preorder campaign for the official miniatures for the upcoming Osprey game In Her Majesty's Name.

I'm certainly going to order the IHMN book when it is released, but I must admit the current factions and miniatures left me a bit cold. No "Nickstarter" for me then.

Before Empire of the Dead was launched last year, I was very interested in the game, but in the end I held off on investing in it due to the miniatures. While they looked good, they were too much horror oriented and "rural looking" for my taste. Vampires and werewolves didn't do it for me, as I wanted something less supernatural and more urban. However, the Kickstarter seems to address just that issue: many of the miniatures are less horror and more neutral looking. Although admittedly, there are still quite a lot of  supernatural and horror stuff in there – but this time I like it!

So as an early birthday present I splashed out on one of the medium pledge levels, which should give me more than enough models for a couple of smallish forces and some fun extras.

I envision this as a fun little diversion from my usual stuff, were I paint a miniature or two in-between projects. As such it's certainly a long term plan – if I have enough miniatures for a game at the end of the year I'm very happy, otherwise they'll be finished when they're finished, no hurry.

I've also read rumours that some manufacturers of pre-cut mdf terrain are looking into this period, which should solve the problem of how to get an entire board covered in Victorian buildings. Still, it'll be a while before I have to worry about that.


  1. Yeah, I don't think I will use the EotD rules. It'll be interesting to see the IHMN rules.

    Most likely though, I'll put something together myself, K.I.S.S. style.

  2. Hi Jonas,
    I'm one of the authors of IHMN and was wondering what sort of companies (what we call factions) you would like to see.
    The ones being touted by Nick are just four of the ten in the rule book. The others being A British Rifle Company (with over a dozen regimental variants and The Prince of Wales' Extraordinary Co.), Scotland Yard, The Wild West Show (a cover for the US Secret Service), The Legion Entrangere - 4eme Battalion, The Brick Lane Commune and the US Marine Corps.
    The rules also have a fully-featured points system so that you can design companies of your own. In our initial brainstorm Charles and I produced a list of over a hundred distinct companies, some of which we are now working on for the supporting blog:

  3. Thanks for stopping by inhermajestysname.

    That's good question! Actually, when I'm looking at steampunk miniatures it's with my own setting in mind, so my taste is a bit peculiar. But since you so kindly asked :) here are some quick ideas for factions/companies:

    * A group of crazy scientists with weird inventions, eg steam-powered arms/legs, steampacks (jetpacks but with steam).

    * Anarchists/political fighters, maybe armed with bombs etc.

    * A gang of regular East End/Limehouse ruffians.

    Hopefully you'll get some ideas from these.

    I'm looking forward to the game! The points system sounds very interesting indeed.

  4. Hi Jonas,

    We don't currently have a separate company of crazy scientists, though they do exist as individuals in various other companies.
    - The Society of Thule (nasty Prussians) have Dr Kobalt, who invented the Revivifier. This brings back Jagers who die in the service of the Society as Tod-truppen.
    - Then there is Professor Moebius who is often called upon to assist le Legion Entrangere - 4eme battalion.
    - Or even Mad Mick Macfarlane of Lord Curr's Company. There will be more I can assure you.

    The Anarchists are represented by The Brick Lane Commune. led by Working Class Heroes and Political Commissars these lead a mixed and rag tag band of the desperate poor. It is said they are accompanied by ladies who call themselves 'Incendiaries' and who carry Brick Lane Bottle Grenades.

    Your London Villains are not in the rules but are written up and shall appear later. They are led by Abel Caine, the Lord of the Docks and are called The Kentish Men. It is believed that a mysterious mastermind called The Professor directs their various crimes to some as yet unknown purpose...

    Hope this whets your appetite.


  5. Nice! Thanks for the info. Looks like you've got it all covered – consider my appetite well and truly whet. :)

    I know The Society of Thule is available to order now, but are there any plans for miniatures based on the other companies you mention?

  6. Figures for Scotland Yard and some of the villains are now complete and can be seen here:!/pages/North-Star-Military-Figures/218634441498799 if you scroll down a bit.
    Very Ripper St if I say so myself.