Ah to play miniature games in a steampunk setting!
Just the word steampunk draws me like a flame does a moth.
For those still unfamiliar with the term, a Wikipedia entry covers it pretty well.
"Steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction that typically features steam-powered machinery, especially in a setting inspired by industrialized Western civilization during the 19th century. Steampunk works are often set in an alternative history of the 19th century's British Victorian era or American "Wild West", in a post-apocalyptic future during which steam power has regained mainstream use, or in a fantasy world that similarly employs steam power. Warmachine, a game I reviewed for a magazine when it launched more than a decade ago, has grown to become a large-scale wargame, but still with a strong steampunk-feel.
Dystopian Wars, reviewed here ages ago, is another larger battle game with a steam-theme.
But I have been focusing on skirmish games here of late, and this week it's the steampunk world of Wolsung.
Wolsung comes out of Micro Art Studio, a Polish firm, and is a world the company allows gamers to explore from various game perspective. A boardgame was released in 2008, there is a role playing game (RPG) based on the world vision, and a 'steampunk miniature game' released in 2011.
"In Micro Art Studio we are all avid gamers; we play lots of board games and different tabletop games on a weekly basis," offered one of the game's creative team Lukasz Perzanowski. "Our company started as a producer of bases, terrain and accessories for miniature wargames. Then we started making miniatures for the Discworld series, and soon afterwards our own miniatures. We wanted to have a theme for at least part of the miniatures, and the game is such a strong theme.
A quick overview comes from the rulebook. "The Wolsung Steampunk Skirmish game is a miniature combat game, where clubs of extraordinary ladies and gentlemen, as well as shadowy organizations and agents of obscure powers, solve their disputes by blade and gunshot rather than discussion. Each game represents a point where paths of two or more such clubs cross while they work on the same goal, but for opposite purpose. As such, the careful deduction and data gathering as well as social meetings that led them to this point are left for Wolsung Roleplay narrative; A game of Wolsung Skirmish represents the point where the outcome is decided by a keen eye, reflexes and a bit of luck."
As for mechanics, the game uses dice, which is not a surprise. But with Wolsung a standard deck of cards is overlaid on the mechanics allowing characters to carry out some truly 'heroic' actions in the game.
The ability to have a character make a jump from one rooftop to another with the luck of the cards is a great mechanic in the game. You want your characters to do 'Hollywood-style' actions, and survive.
Perzanowski agreed the cards are a cool aspect of Wolsung.
"I think the cards mechanic is the best. It is tied closely to the movement, damage, initiative and magic and the card resource management is a game on another level you have to keep track of while playing. It helps controlling the luck factor of the dice but not only - there are so many ways you can use the card to," he said.
Wolsung caught my attention based on theme.
Easy access to rules to try, and a compelling mechanic allowing for true heroics have only added to the attraction.
If anyone is interested feel free to contact calmar...@sasktel.net