Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald – Official Comic-Con Trailer

The newest trailer for the second film in the Fantastic Beasts series has been released at Comic-Con in the US.

The Crimes of Grindelwald is the second of five all new adventures in the wizarding world created by J.K. Rowling.

I like the 1920s background to the films and feel it creates an ideal environment in which potentially games could take place. I am thinking about adding magic and wizards to games using The Chicago Way ruleset.

Your majesty is not amused

Steampunk Victoria
Your majesty is not amused, bring me my large calibre weapon!

Since I discovered Space 1889 all those years ago, I have had a real interest and love for Victorian Science Fiction and steampunk.

In terms of gaming, I did play a few games of Space 1889, but the game I enjoyed more was Cloudships on Mars with the Martian Sky Galleons and British steam powered naval flyers.

I also had and managed to get a box of British Troops and Martian Warriors.

Space 1889 British Troops

I expanded my Martians with some Alternative Armies Elves

It was Space 1889 which introduced me to the books of HG Wells and The Difference Engine by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling.

I remember reading the Difference Engine and thinking what an ideal background this would be for gaming. I wrote an article about this many years ago and published it on the website.

I really enjoyed the film, the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, but did think it could probably do with more Steampunk elements in there.

More recently I have been adding steampunk elements to some old west games.

However I have wanted to create some games in Victorian London in the vein of the Difference Engine, Sherlock Holmes, the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

One model which I did think would be fun, was the limited edition steampunk Queen Victoria from the Giants in Miniature range available from Wargames Illustrated.

The worlds of Steampunk and Victorian Science Fiction are a fantastic setting to game within. Yet nothing seems to epitomise the Victorian era more than the Queen-Empress who gave her name to it – so what could be better than a figure that brings the fantastical and the historical into a glorious union?

Steampunk Victoria is the product of a fevered imagination and a desire to hit as many of the ‘targets’ of the genre as we can. Clockwork Monocular? Check! Steam Powered backpack? Check! Large calibre firearm? Check! Now you can field the Queen-Empress in your tabletop battles, striding forward at the head of Her Majesty’s Expeditionary Force On Mars or prowling the backstreets of London on secret missions to defeat the enemies of her Empire.

As for rules for these kinds of games, there are various sets available, for example, the obvious one would be In Her Majesty’s Name.

However my usual thinking is to utilise an existing set of rules to which I am more familiar. Great Escape Games have taken their old west rules, Dead Man’s Hands and used them for a 1920’s gangster setting, with The Chicago Way. I think that these rules could be easily converted for using in a Victorian London Steampunk setting.

I would need to think about the stats of her electro rifle.

Alongside her would be redcoats armed with steampunk weapons, again we would need to think about stats for them. Time to reflect on the rules and do some planning and thinking.

Then there is the question, who would they fight?


I am reminded of the (new) Doctor Who season two, second episode with Queen Victoria, Tooth and Claw, a group of warrior monks have sinister plans for the monarch, and the full moon is about to summon a creature out of legend.

Queen Victoria and the Doctor

More recently episode nine of season ten, we had the Empress of Mars.

The Doctor and Bill travel to Mars, but upon arrival, they find themselves in the middle of a conflict between the Ice Warriors and Victorian soldiers.

So we could have a range of villains fighting her majesty.

Then we could have the French.

So Victoria will have her day!

Finishing the Shotgun House

Having being half completed for a while, I took the time to finish off my The Chicago Way Shotgun House from 4Ground.

In the mid C19th on the French island territory of Haiti a narrow gable fronted worker’s dwelling had developed with external door openings in the gable ends in alignment front and rear. Internal partition walls were used to divide living space, with internal partition doors in alignment with the external doors enabling good air circulation; often built with a high roof pitch and small windows below the gable peaks which contributed to the cooling environment created by the effect of drafting air through the dwelling.

By the late C19th these dwellings had spread across much of the USA and could be commonly found from Southern Texas all the way up to Chicago – North East Illinois. Better quality examples were sometimes called ‘Shotgun Houses’ rather than ‘Shotgun Shacks’ to distinguish them from those of a poorer quality. By the early to mid C20th almost all of these houses were considered old and dilapidated and both ‘Shotgun Shack’ and ‘Shotgun house’ implied a poor quality dwelling.

I found the model went together really easily.

However I did find the doors a little difficult and I constructed them back to front, so worth watching out for that if you are building one of these houses.

As with most 4Ground models there are the burn marks from the laser cutting. I think they add a certain weathered appearance to the building.

I am now thinking about getting the other two Shotgun Houses from this range.

Building the Chicago Way

Though I still have to paint some models for The Chicago Way and make up the Shotgun House I bought at a recent show, I have been thinking about other potential buildings.

Looking over the film The Untouchables, which was the inspiration for the rules, has some nice shots of buildings.

Zooming in (click the images to see larger versions of the screen grabs) we can see the stye of buildings used in the film to represent the 1920s.


These are quite Victorian in style, which is why I might also use my Gaslamp Alley VSF buildings from Sarissa Precision.


4Ground already make a range of really nice buildings for The Chicago Way and they look really nice and appear to fit the game well. I already have one of the Shotgun Houses, but that is still on the workbench.

Shotgun House

I think there are other potential buildings from 4Ground that would also work well, especially some of those in the 28mm Gothic City range. I really like the Tenement building range and could see those as ideal background scenery for The Chicago Way games.

North Point Tenement 1

From other companies I have also been looking at Sarissa Precision, both their new retro American range and their City Block range.