Space 1889

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Space 1889

Postby Mac » 28 Jun 2014, 06:54

Back in my ever fertile mind of wargaming ideas. . .and even my warped sense of interest today is the thing called Steampunk.
On another thread I made my purchase of the Wars of Empires British line known with a thought to using them in some way for On her Majesty's Service game.
Then I remembered the RPG Space 1889.
So I looked for it, and lo and behold it is in reprint! As well as the two (that I know of) supplements.
I now have the Soldiers Supplement on the way to me, the rules are not that important, for I intend to use On Her Majesty's Service rules, but the lists! Ahh the Lists! Armies for Britain, France, Germany, Mars, Venus, Luna!!
And at the fore will be WF British Line, and now a very serious look at what else can be used for this. . . STEAMPUNK!!
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Re: Space 1889

Postby Lonnie » 28 Jun 2014, 07:21

Cool.

For myself, I've only ever had a moderate interest in "Steam Punk", mostly because I view it as: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFCuE5rHbPA. However I really enjoyed (in spite of them being written for teens) the books by Scott Westerfeld Behemoth, Leviathan and Goliath which were steam punkish works taking place in the early days of WWI; worth the price of admission if just for the (occasional) illustrations.

All that being said, Space 1889 was about the only game I ever considered purchasing for the Steam Punk theme. I've found that a lot of out of print stuff can often be found for a reasonable price at Noble Knight Games on line. Here is a link to the Space 1889 page: http://www.nobleknight.com/searchresultsnew.asp?search=Space+1889. Perhaps I'll even spend some of my hard earned money picking up a rules-set myself, if I can ever shake the Star Trek Attack Wingbug which seems to have bitten me lately.
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Re: Space 1889

Postby mrinku » 28 Jun 2014, 16:25

I'm someone who was there on the ground in 1988, owns pretty much everything produced for Space:1889 *and* is signed up to the new edition kickstarter.

Soldiers Companion is an excellent little sourcebook for late Victorian armies, and likewise Ironclads and Ether Flyers for navies. The mass battle rules themselves are solid, the RPG mechanics vary from excellent to clunky, but all background stuff is top notch.

The GDW stuff tends to focus mainly on Mars; the Uhwerk Verlag edition gives a lot more time to Germany and Venus.

If it makes it any easier Lonnie, Space:1889 is normally considered Victorian Science Fiction rather than Steampunk. It tries very hard to evoke Verne, Wells and Conan Doyle, as well as Kipling and other "normal" authors of Empire, as opposed to the modern literary Steampunk genre.

The main divergence is early access to flight, but for the most part we're taking aerial analogues of gunboats, powered by coal and steam.

And the whole interplanetary colonialism thing :)
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Re: Space 1889

Postby Mac » 29 Jun 2014, 08:17

The term, "steam punk" wasn't coined then, or if it was it had a different meaning, more Victorian, as mrinku said, less sci fi oh did we mention we use steam?
I like the look of the WF orcs for martians, might have to enlist my son's lizard men for something and the GW Kroot look, "alien enough" for anything.
The WF Amazons. . . .ERB Martian women? I feel a conversion, or a lot coming on. . . :lol:
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Re: Space 1889

Postby Froggy the Great » 29 Jun 2014, 11:51

WF orcs as Martians...eeeenteresting
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Re: Space 1889

Postby mrinku » 29 Jun 2014, 16:17

Actually the term is accepted as dating to 1987 (although not in widespread use until the 1990s), and there were quite a few works of fiction that fall into the genre before that date. For that matter Cyberpunk itself was an 80's term, though technological dystopias go back much further.

For Space:1889 proper, I'm going to be using Woodland Indians for Hill Martians. Zulus would be the best base models for High Martians. Got plenty of Canal Martians from back in the day, although I've found that Perry Anasar Warriors are good for those. GW Skinks and Sauruses do fine for lizardmen.

For Barsoomians, WGF Orcs could work well.
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Re: Space 1889

Postby Froggy the Great » 30 Jun 2014, 06:36

mrinku wrote:Actually the term is accepted as dating to 1987 (although not in widespread use until the 1990s), and there were quite a few works of fiction that fall into the genre before that date. For that matter Cyberpunk itself was an 80's term, though technological dystopias go back much further.

For Space:1889 proper, I'm going to be using Woodland Indians for Hill Martians. Zulus would be the best base models for High Martians. Got plenty of Canal Martians from back in the day, although I've found that Perry Anasar Warriors are good for those. GW Skinks and Sauruses do fine for lizardmen.

For Barsoomians, WGF Orcs could work well.

Had I not already made VSF armies for Brits, Hinterland, CSA, High Cytherea, L.A.S.T., and Cephalids, this would have been the best post ever.
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Re: Space 1889

Postby mrinku » 01 Jul 2014, 01:15

There's always Earth and Venus, Froggy :)

Just finished reading Giles Foden's "Mimi and Toutou go Forth" about the WW1 naval battles on Lake Tanganyika. Very inspiring stuff for VSF, and easily transplanted into a setting twenty five years earlier. Or with French or Belgians (or some Mad Scientist) as the other side.

Or with Aerial Vessels.

Or on Mars.
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Re: Space 1889

Postby wmyers » 01 Jul 2014, 01:27

mrinku wrote:Actually the term is accepted as dating to 1987 (although not in widespread use until the 1990s), and there were quite a few works of fiction that fall into the genre before that date. For that matter Cyberpunk itself was an 80's term, though technological dystopias go back much further.

For Space:1889 proper, I'm going to be using Woodland Indians for Hill Martians. Zulus would be the best base models for High Martians. Got plenty of Canal Martians from back in the day, although I've found that Perry Anasar Warriors are good for those. GW Skinks and Sauruses do fine for lizardmen.

For Barsoomians, WGF Orcs could work well.


Someone on Wikipedia can claim the term is from the 80's but as someone who was also on the ground when Space 1889 first came out, I can say that term was never heard of until MUCH later.

However, it was an awesome concept when it first appeared! It still is and I do lament that it (the game) never became more popular. Maybe it was too ahead of its time.
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Re: Space 1889

Postby wmyers » 01 Jul 2014, 01:31

Lonnie wrote:Cool.

For myself, I've only ever had a moderate interest in "Steam Punk", mostly because I view it as: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TFCuE5rHbPA. However I really enjoyed (in spite of them being written for teens) the books by Scott Westerfeld Behemoth, Leviathan and Goliath which were steam punkish works taking place in the early days of WWI; worth the price of admission if just for the (occasional) illustrations.

All that being said, Space 1889 was about the only game I ever considered purchasing for the Steam Punk theme. I've found that a lot of out of print stuff can often be found for a reasonable price at Noble Knight Games on line. Here is a link to the Space 1889 page: http://www.nobleknight.com/searchresultsnew.asp?search=Space+1889. Perhaps I'll even spend some of my hard earned money picking up a rules-set myself, if I can ever shake the Star Trek Attack Wingbug which seems to have bitten me lately.


I was initially scared to click on the link (I feared it would be some type of documentary on costume play or something. The video was actually quite funny (and I liked the mouth animations).
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