Hive, Queen and Country

Hot off the Presses: Ground Vehicles of the Worlds: 1905

We’re proud to announce the release of ‘Ground Vehicles of the Worlds: 1905’ – available in print and electronic formats

The second technical supplement for the Hive, Queen and Country Universe introduces Victorian Science Fiction Roleplayers and War Gamers to the many ground vehicles of that Universe. No other time period is defined by its vehicles like the Victorian Era. From the early motor cars to the continent-wrapping locomotives, this was when humanity broke from muscle power and conquered the planet with steam and steel! This book includes:

  • Dozens of all-new ground vehicles for the Hive, Queen, and Country setting or any other Victorian Sci-Fi environment!
  • The History of the Battle of Panama – the greatest battle between Humanity and the Hive – and other conflicts!
  • Statistics for the Hive, Queen, and Country vehicle combat system!

From the massive landships of the British Empire to the diminutive tankettes of the Russian Czar to exotic Venusian walkers, ‘Ground Vehicles of the Worlds’ has it all! Tanks, tankettes, landships, and walkers for all your steampunk needs!

Available now at Amazon:

Also available at DrivethruRPG:


Welcome to the Hive, Queen, and Country (HQC) Universe – an alternate history Victorian Era setting with a hard science fiction flavor. HQC is a tabletop game, role-playing game, and wide-ranging VSF setting!

Some of the HQC books:

flyingmachines hiveandflame worldbeneath
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Operation Pegasus-Origins 2019

Origins 2019 Operation Pegasus

Rules: The Hive and the Flame

The gaming area and terrain set up at Origins 2019


Custom Built Bug Hive, placed on tables to represent the top of the hive structures, which soar hundreds of feet above the jungle floor. The floor of the gaming area is in play for flying units only.

Human Troops

4 Royal Navy Shakespeare class rocket armed gunships (Kit Bashed)

Shakespeare Class flyer, under attack by flying lancers

                Carried Troops

                1 Squadron Royal Tank Corps in Mk II Fighting Machines (Gaming Models)

                1 Squadron Royal Tank Corps in Mk II Fighting Machines (Gaming Models)

                1 Battery Royal Artillery in 5 inch Howitzer Carriers  (Gaming Models)

                1 Platoon Royal Engineers in Royal Engineers Fighting Machine (Gaming Models)

                1 Squadron of United States Army Heavy Striders (Gaming Models)

18 Royal Navy Aerial Assault Flyers  (Gaming Models)

British unarmed aerial assault flyers

                Carried Troops

                1 Battalion of British Infantry (only Minifigs WW1 late war troops)

                1 Regiment of Australian Light Horse (Eureka)

                1 Battalion of Gurkhas (Blue Moon)

18 United States Army Quartermaster Corps Assault Flyers  (Gaming Models)

An armed American flyer compared with its British Counterpart

                1 Battalion of Regular Infantry (Old Glory Boxer Rebellion)

                1st United States Volunteer Cavalry (TVAG)

Rough Riders and Buffalo Soldiers

                10th Cavalry (TVAG)

18 Germano-Dutch Assault Flyers (Converted Laserburn Traveller Landers)

Thew Germano-Dutch armed assault flyers

                3 Battalions of Germano-Dutch Infantry (Battlefront WW1 German Storm Troopers)

Bug Forces

                A metric ton of various Bugs from GameTech Miniatures, Ral Partha, Ral Partha Europe, Brigade, Ravenstar, Khurasan and even some ancient TSR antlions!

Strategic Situation, February 1901

The Second Hive War has entered a new phase. After months of the aliens running wild, they have been stopped in Panama by human forces. Now the multi-national forces have assembled enough combat power to attack a large hive directly. The forces have waited for the rainy season to end and are now poised to strike

Tactical Situation

The International Force consists of forces from four nations and represent numerous services and regiments. The primary aerial firepower is provided by the four Shakespeare class ships and their batteries of 9.2 inch rockets. Each of them carries 48 rockets each. The Shakespeares also carry 8 3 inch cannons. Some of the lighter flyers also have weapons. The German-Dutch flyers carry a 37mm Hotchkiss rotating cannon while the American vehicles each have four machine guns. The light British assault landers are unarmed.

Once on the ground the various troop units would be supported by armored vehicles carried by the Shakespeares. The troop carriers also embarked some heavy weapons. All the units had machine guns and the German-Dutch and Americans also had light artillery in direct support.

Initial Set up

Origins gave us an excellent space again this year and as usual we used all of it. The human players chose to set up in four groups. The far left flank consisted of the four Shakespeare class and the 1st United States Volunteers including Teddy Roosevelt. The other three groups concentrated along the right and center of the Bug Hive. Bug flying units were initially concentrated on their right flank (human left). Knowing they had superior speed and the humans would have to move a considerable distance to get into a landing position made this less of a disadvantage than it might seem.

Turns 1-4.

Right Flank Air Attack

The first four turns consisted of aerial movement alone, as the humans made their approach runs to the hive. The aliens, having the advantage of speed were able to close with the humans and initiate close combat on turn 3. On turn four the humans and bugs were within long range of each other and began to use all available missile weapons. The results of these turns were disappointing to both sides. For the use of their entire load out of 9.2 inch rockets they human player was able to destroy several bug units but did not clear the entire left flank of the hive of defenders. The bug flying lancers split up and attacked several units, but in doing so were unable to bring down any of the human flyers, although coming close to doing so with HMF Othello.

Swarms of flying bugs rise up to meet the human machines

Turn 5-6

Left Flank Landing Zone-Troops and heavy vehicle disembarking from assault landers

The swarms of flying bugs were nearly wiped out and human fire, being primarily directed at bug shooting units, proved. Bug fire finally saw a number of smaller landers knocked out, the German-Dutch being hard hit, losing four aircraft. The Americans lost two. Since the British assault flyers had no offensive weapons, they attracted far less fire and all 18 were able to land safely. The lack of casualties during approach meant the human landing force was largely intact. However, the pre landing fire had been unable to totally clear the landing zones and both British and Germano-Dutch troops would find themselves landing atop hostile melee troops. The left flank was a different situation as the heavier flyers were able to clear almost all the bug units from the area and allowed even the badly damaged Othello to get down safely.

German and Dutch Troops find themselves in a fight even as their landing craft ramps open
So are the British!
The two groups of Commonwealth troops on the far right flank were luckier and did not face attack the minute they landed

Turn 7-8

The Human left flank continues to consolidate and roll up towards the main hive. On the right bug units initially take huge casualties from close range fire of the infantry pouring out of the landers. However not all the bug units in contact are wiped out and the close combat phase shows just why getting into melee with a creature that is basically a bull sized lobster is a terrible idea for a puny human. Cold steel is of little use. Three companies of Germano-Dutch troops are massacred, as is a company of British Infantry. A number of hidden trapper units of bugs are found the hard way by human troops and a company of MK II fighting Machines is reduced to only one stand, although the trapper unit is wiped out. This is a trade the bugs will take all day long. A new unit of bug flyers arrive and is thrown at the already shaky Germano-Dutch and wipe out the few survivors. They also catch and kill a unit of heavy machine gunners as dessert. Still the other two battalions of Commonwealth troops are nearly untouched and quickly consolidate their hold on the far-right back corner of the hive.

Casualties were heavy on both sides

Turn 9

The landers, having dropped off their troops lift back into the sky. The unarmed British assault landers make a bee line for safety, some still being pursued by a few flying lancers. The rest remain to provide close support. The ensuing duel between the shooter bugs and the human flyers sees an entire group of American flyers destroyed, but the bug shooters are being heavily attrited. Half a dozen bug unit reinforcements are drawn and the bug player elect to take them all as heavy melee units, which are thrown at the human landing zones.

Badly damaged and on fire the HMF Othello stayed in the fight

Turn 10

The armed landers continue to provide fire support for the troops on the ground. The human left flank remorselessly rolls up all hive opposition. The aliens attempt to put enough units at a choke point beneath the massive hive walls to stop the humans from breaking into the center and perhaps linking up the two landing zones. Under hammering from the guns of the Shakespeares and American flyers the line begins to crumble. A direct assault by 7 heavy combat striders from the American Army shatters it completely leaving the bug center hanging in midair. On the right the Germano-Dutch continue to take severe casualties from melee bugs and the few remaining shooters kill another flyer. The Gurkhas and Australian light horse were almost untouched. They were laying down heavy fire on every bug unit within range and doing tremendous damage.

An armored and aerially supported thrust rolls up the left side of the bug center

At this point we declared the humans the victors. We had played 5 sessions for almost 20 hours over the course of the convention. Almost 50 gamers had come and thrown dice with use and far more than that watched or looked over the terrain and miniatures.

Lessons learned

What worked

The use of boxes holding multiple dice was again effective. It not only allowed multiple dice to be rolled simultaneously but prevented them from escaping and getting lost.

I added Corsec Engineering magnet holders to the flight stands. They worked very well except for the heavy American flyers (see below).

The new background sky scrim worked well. It went up quickly on the stands and stayed up with no problems. I’m not sure I like the cloud pattern fabric but for now it will do.

I am very happy with the rock pattern fabric I bought to represent the lower part of the hive structure that goes from the table to the floor. It gave good visual continuity and worked better than the various brown and tan bolts I had used before. It was also lighter so was easier to put up.

The new trapper units proved to be a nasty surprise for the humans and caused considerable damage and casualties.

I replaced the ¾ inch plywood sheet bases with 5mm ones. These were much lighter and easier to transport

Areas for improvement

Although each unit or group of units were provided with unit sheets it was still difficult for novice players to know exactly what their units, especially the bugs, to know how far they could move and other particulars. It would be excellent if we could find a way to graphically represent the movement of a unit on its stand, but one that would not be too visually intrusive.

The use of multiple deck stacks for determining movement and fire order, rather than a single deck reduces the number of shuffles needed but does lead to the situation where a large number of cards of a single color can be drawn in sequence, meaning that one side can wait a long time before they can take action. It was suggested that each side be given a very limited number of “trump cards” that they could use to break such a sequence and get to move or shoot at a time when the players feel it is critical.

The American flyers need steel tabs to make the magnetic connection stronger.

The flight stands probably need a weight on their bases. I knocked over a pair of stands and watched 12 American flyers shatter when hitting the floor.

Thanks to everyone that played. Special thanks to Jeff who came up from St Louis and helped run the games!

US Tankette M1898

From our upcoming book, ‘Ground Vehicles of the Worlds: 1905’:

Designed in 1898 by J. Walter Christie, the M1898 Tankette carries a 5 barrel 37mm Hotchkiss Revolving Cannon. It served in several key battles of the Second Hive War.

During the 1st International Relief Force, the Tankette formed the core of a quick reaction force organized to help defend Porto Alegre. They served well, and their speed and heavy guns saved the defensive lines several times. However, attrition and mechanical losses gradually reduced the number of functional tankettes.

M1898 Tankette

Four tankettes were provided to the 5th IRF (September 1900) landing force. However, heavy resistance from flying Hive creatures prevented them from being landed. It played a critical role in the Battle of Panama during the La Mesa Charge where its heavy rapid-fire gun was able to counter all but the largest Hive creatures.

The Tankette is powered by a 6-cylinder 6.6L internal combustion engine and can reach speeds of 42km/hr. Between 6-16 mm of Krupp-style armor offers excellent protection for a vehicle of its size.

Get the full history on the Ratha-Class Landship and dozens of other vehicles in our upcoming book! And, be sure to check out the dozens of related 3D printed models available at Objects May Appear…

Ratha-Class Landship

Built at the Mazagon Shipyards near Bombay, the Ratha-Class Landship was a key vehicle for the the Second Indian Expeditionary Force during the Second Hive War.

The huge 730- ton craft carries 48 infantry, two 10-pounder portable artillery pieces, eight tankettes, and four destroyer tanks. Mounted weaponry consists of one 6-inch/25.5 Mk III gun in a top-mounted turret, three 37mm guns in sponsons, and 12 Maxim guns.

The Ratha-Class Landship

Get the full history on the Ratha-Class Landship and dozens of other vehicles in our upcoming book! And, be sure to check out the dozens of related 3D printed models available at Objects May Appear…

1893 British Empire Tankette

The 1893 British Empire Tankette pushed the bounds on a number of technologies. To reduce weight, it used a novel aluminum alloy armor. It also used a very advanced high-speed quad-expansion condensing steam engine.

British Empire Tankette

Though a technical marvel, the Tankette’s high cost proved to be prohibitive. It served in the Second Hive War and several tankettes have been shipped to the British Garrison of the International City on Venus. They played an important role in the Construction Riots and the Upstream Deluge.

British Empire Tankette Statistics

Get the full history on the British Empire Tankette and dozens of other vehicles in our upcoming book! And, be sure to check out the dozens of related 3D printed models available at Objects May Appear…

Ground Vehicles of the Worlds: 1905

No other time period is defined by its vehicles like the Victorian Era. From the early motor cars to the continent-wrapping locomotives, this was when humanity broke from muscle power and conquered the planet with steam and steel! This book includes:

  • Dozens of all-new ground vehicles for the Hive, Queen, and Country setting or any other Victorian Sci-Fi environment!
  • History of the Battle of Panama – the greatest battle between Humanity and the Hive – and other conflicts!
  • Statistics for the Hive, Queen, and Country vehicle combat system!

“Ground Vehicles” will be out later this year, available as a print book and PDF. The vehicles have been designed for use in HQC, but are easily applied to other settings. Great care has been taken to ensure consistent technical designs – perfect for the hard sci-fi genre!

HQC Writing Contest Winners!

We’re proud to announce the winners of our fiction writing contest! These stories focus on unique takes on space, space exploration, and space technology in the HQC Victorian setting.

Our congratulations to the winners!

Space Man’s Anchor

By Neal Holtschulte

The Royal Space Navy destroyer Trafalgar is in a race to reach Lagrange five and hold the point against all foes. The Russians, seeking to extend their advantage over the Queen’s space navy, have their own ships enroute. Second Lieutenant Leander Fitzpeter must see the mission through to completion, prevent outright war, and uncover the traitor among the Trafalgar’s crew, all while facing his own personal demons.

Neal’s blog can be found at
He was recently published in volume 76, issue 2 of Amazing Stories:

Hearts & Bones

By K.M. Chavez

Miss Ella Shaw, one of the few women in London to receive a surgical license from the Royal College of Physicians, has now been stationed in an Earth-run hospital on Venus. She is part of a programme to bridge the gap between the medicine of Earth and of Venus. However, as she enters her first major surgery, she wonders if the horrors of gruesome Victorian-era medicine will haunt her no matter where the stars take her.


By Brady Alexander

A misanthropic big game hunter goes to Venus on vacation. 
A very different man returns to Earth.

Brady’s has published in a number of venues:

The Thundering of Guns

By Chris Holden

Set in around 1880, Royal Navy Lieutenant Farrow is dispatched to the HMSS Thor, an experimental gun armed space cruiser as gunnery officer to prove an experimental concept that would enable space-going ships to effectively use conventional breech-loading guns in space combat. 
The early tests seem to indicate that the concept works and that could put Britain well ahead in terms of space military technology. Until disaster strikes… 

Chis has written stories for magazines and several technical articles. This is is first foray into VSF/steampunk. The story is inspired by the gun control room on the gun direction room at Languard Fort, Suffolk,

Wargames at Weldon 2

February 16 and 17 2019 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM

Placing the range stick. Can the Shakespeare hit? by TSofian

Weldon Spring Site Interpretive Center
7295 Highway 94 South, St. Charles, MO 63304

The Hive and the Flame will be ongoing throughout the event in one room
In the other room table space available to host miniatures or board games and to bring and show off your miniatures, models, and terrain!

At the Department of Energy Weldon Spring Interpretive Center Weldon Spring Site Interpretive Center
(7295 Highway 94 South, St. Charles, MO 63304) we have reserved a meeting room for two days of the President’s Day Weekend (Saturday February 16th-Sunday February 17th). To show off this space we are hosting a FREE two day mini-convention.

We are using the entire main room 30 X 30 space all weekend for a large game of The Hive and the Flame, which is an approved major variant of The Sword and the Flame. Allied human forces will attack an alien hive in Central America in 1900, using Victorian Science Fiction weapons and equipment. Everything will be provided and rules will be taught.

Due to the nature of the space there will be no dealers present.

In terms of the space itself: There is a coffee maker, microwave and nice bathrooms. It also has ample parking.

We have room for lots of players on Presidents’ weekend so please spread the word widely. Everything except food is provided. Rules are modified Sword and the Flame. If you don’t know them we will teach you!

For more information on the location see their web site link

Exciting New Things in the Hive, Queen and Country Universe

First, we have a contest at

Second, we are uploading the videos of two presentations I did at Origins 2018. One was on Indigenous Military Forces from our version of Venus. The second was one on the Dyatlov Pass Incident.

Third, we are again putting on Wargames at Weldon the weekend of President’s Day (February 16-17, 2019)

Finally, we continue to make progress the layout of the two RPG books from the Kickstarter

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