Ooh, look! Shiny!
Whilst I have been very clearly in a steampunk phase of gaming over the last year and a half, what with all these Dystopian Legions models, I was taken by the newest set of rules from Osprey books, In Her Majesy's Name. One of the reasons I bought it was that it is available on amazon.ca, therefore, however much I like and support my FLGS, I don't have to wait any time at all before the book is delivered to my door. It does help that I was ordering another Osprey title, and the fact that this is published in the same size and format to Osprey's other titles was just the icing on the cake for me.
It is 1895, and the world is in turmoil. The Great Powers compete for resources and the latest technology, and an undeclared and secret war rages between them all. This is the battleground of the Adventuring Companies. These clandestine agents of the Great Powers operate in the shadows, matching skills and wits in pursuit of the newest scientific formulae or powerful occult artifacts.
In Her Majesty's Name sets these Adventuring Companies against each other in one-off encounters and in longer narrative campaigns. Companies are usually comprised of 4-15 figures, and two players could easily play three games in an evening. The rules have been designed to allow maximum versatility for the player – if you can imagine it, the system will help you build it. There is, however, a wealth of ready-prepared material covering weird science, mystical powers, and a range of pre-generated Adventuring Companies, including the British Explorers' Club, the Prussian Society of Thule, the U.S. Marine Corps, the Légion Étrangère, the revolutionaries of the Brick Lane Commune, ancient Egyptian cults, and the mysterious Black Dragon Tong.There are a few things I like about this system. Firstly, it is a skirmish game. I like me some skirmish games me! One of the other things I like is that, although there are a wide range of pre-made factions and builds to choose from, all the points costs for building your own are included (indeed, there's a free pdf here to help with this). This makes it very easy to make new factions, or modify existing ones to match the models already in your collection. To which end, I think it will be relatively easy to make and Adventuring Company to work with my Dystopian legion models, and equally well with the other steampunk minis in my collection, who were, until now gathering dust on the shelf. Additionally, since the level of steampunk detailing on the minis that are supplied for the game by North Star Minis is relatively low, there is also the opportunity to use historical minis with no problems at all. This opens the door to my Zulu band making the table.
The addition of the horror element to the game, through Prussian zombies, Egyptian mummies and great white apes, is also a fun way to go.
For more information, you can go to the author's blog, where there are pages with bonus material, and IHMN fiction.
In addition, if you are looking for miniature suppliers to go to for steampunk minis, you need go no further than this post on the Dulce et Decorum Est blog, where all the manufacturers are listed.