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 Clooudships on Mars with the Martian Flyers and
I also had and managed to get a box of British Troops and Martian Warriors.
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.
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!