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So can you design a Victorian War machine?

If you want to design a machine, get it translated into detailed technical drawings AND a 3D printed model we have a reward level for you in our Kickstarter! Please check it out and sharpen your pencils! For the 200.00 you get at least 40 dollars worth of digital books, the drawings and the 3D model. If we get the second book funded you will see that as a PDF as well!

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/759107276/the-world-beneath-the-clouds-steampunk-rpg-venus-s

 

New art, 3D graphics –Original Victorian Science Fiction Armored Fighting Vehicle, ~8×10 unmatted image Donor picks a vehicle type and gives us some details. We design the vehicle and Arun Rodrigues produces an original piece of artwork. The artwork will be printed in the book and you will get a signed print! In addition the vehicle will be named for you. We will produce a 3D printed model as well, scale to be determined by the size of the vehicle you design. You will also get all three of the existing books Stars of Empire, The Hive and the Flame and Flying Machines of the Worlds 1902 AND ALL books funded by the Kickstarter as downloadable .pdfs. Everyone that funds over 100.00 will have their name displayed in every book funded by this kickstarter.

Sneak Peaks at The World Beneath the Clouds

From The Times June 12th, 1885

The Cunard Line has officially posted its Venus bound vessel Etheria as lost after her new drive system caused a massive explosion while leaving Earth orbit. The disastrous failure of the Nikola Tesla designed motors occurred within an instant of their activation and was witnessed by thousands in orbit and on Earth. Rescue vessels reached Etheria’s last known position within hours but so great was the destruction that little wreckage and no survivors have yet been found. It is believed that the entire vessel and all 4,212 souls aboard have been reduced entirely to vapour by the terrible detonation of the Tesla drive.

 

The first news of the accident received in London was contained in a Reuters message from announcing that the following telegram had been received from Singapore: The Singapore Highport Station reports in a heliograph communication that the liner Etheria has been destroyed in a violent explosion as she engaged her main interplanetary drive. The blast was extremely bright and has caused flash blindness in numerous station personnel but there have been no reports of damage to the station itself. Powerful telescope observation of the area of her last observed position has revealed no debris or lifeboats.

 

Within hours two vessels made the last known location of Etheria and have confirmed the worst fears. There are no survivors. What little wreckage that has been found may have been refuse jettisoned by Etheria prior to activation of her Tesla Drives.

 

Even before Earth ships reached Venus the French looked to extend their Empire to that world. In 1877 the Venusian Orbital Station Society (Société des Vénusien Station Orbitale ) was formed as a joint stock company with a headquarters in Paris. It quickly displayed plans for a massive structure to be manufactured at Schneider’s Earth orbital manufactory and shipped in pieces to Venus. The company was capitalized at 50,000,000 £ by 1879. The immense quantity of materials needed drove French space endeavors. Almost 70% of all French space resources, whether measured in terms of money, orbital ferry launches, tonnage or personnel was consumed by this effort.

Although the British used Royal Albert to establish the first Venusian orbital station in 1878 this did not curb enthusiasm for the company and its project. The early portion of the program went smoothly. The hub and the skeletons of the first two rings were in place by 1883. Soon costs began to skyrocket and three attempts to increase capital were met with increasingly disappointing results. By mid-1885 the company was in serious trouble. This compounded with the similar difficulties being encountered in Panama lead to a fiscal collapse and the Anarchist Revolution that nearly destroyed the French Empire.

During the Anarchist Revolution the construction of the station was abandoned. The failing French transportation system also meant that several thousand workers were left stranded. The station was in no way able to support so many individuals. Some were evacuated back to Earth; others were relocated to the British Station or to Venus’ surface. Several hundred were either too stubborn to leave or were simply forgotten. These included a large percentage of Asian laborers from French colonies in Indochina.

 

 

There are many on Earth that see another man’s disaster as an opportunity. That same sentiment is expressed in an ancient Venusian proverb “Your failure makes for my success”.  And by any measure, Earther or Venusian the station was a failure of disastrous proportions. Sub contractors sought to reclaim parts they had built but for which they had never received payment. Banks and other institutions which had outstanding loans or liens attempted to enforce their claims Being as the original company had operated in numerous nations on Earth, but the station itself was orbiting an alien world there was no certain jurisdiction for their claims. Legal action was filed in seventeen separate countries, often in more than one individual regional jurisdiction. In the United States alone claims were filed in twelve State Courts and a number of Federal courts as well. Some judges wisely decided that their bench had no jurisdiction and dismissed the cases, but others took them up. The various courts and judges that took up the cases awarded various individuals and organizations rights to either the structure, as a whole, or to parts of it.  Many of these decisions were contradictory. It was estimated that to the assorted parties involved in the litigations over 15,000% of the station or the total value of the company was awarded. Suites and counter suites dragged on for years and even by 1900 there were still over one hundred active legal cases winding their ways through a vast assortment of legal jurisdictions.

 

While this was going certain parties felt that possession was nine-tenths of the law and decided that if they occupied the station their legal claim to it would be greatly enhanced. Some groups that boarded the station had never been associated with the original project but were attempting to enforce claims under rights of salvage. During these legal squabbles many people had entirely forgotten that a number of the original workers on the station had remained behind. They had developed their own factions and did not take kindly to any newcomers staking claim to what they considered as their homes. Although open hostilities were rare conflict between these groups simmered at a near boil constantly. The occasional murder in a lonely corridor was not unknown and more than one person simply disappeared, their body nor their fate never discovered.

 

This situation might have persisted indefinitely; had not a pair of companies with vast resources not taken notice of the opportunity. Spears Ltd and Ewing and Stuart Interplanetary Drives, Ltd had enjoyed an informal and lucrative relationship since 1877. Spears was the Earth’s major supplier of aerolyth and E and S still maintained a monopoly on effective interplanetary spaceship engines. The boards of Directors of both companies realized that if they could wrest control of the station in Venusian orbit it would give them tremendous penetration into markets on that world, as well as a location which would be free from almost all interference from any Earthly government. Spears was particularly keen to increase its presence and leverage on Venus, since another corporation had succeeded in monopolizing Venusian aerolyth. This state of affairs risked Spears earthly success and could not be tolerated.

 

 

 

The World Beneath the Clouds Kickstarter is live

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/759107276/the-world-beneath-the-clouds-steampunk-rpg-venus-s

 

Our Kickstarter is now live. Help us bring more Steampulp, Steampunk and Victorian Science Fiction goodness to the gaming market!

Visit the Friends Section

I am trying to find anyone that makes Victorian Science Fiction miniatures, vehicles or play aids and add links to their sites on the friends section. I’ve just added some new links, so please check them out!

 

Friends of HQC

Below are a list of links to groups that are fellow travellers in the worlds of Victorian Science Fiction, great Steampunk resources or just generally amazing sites to visit. please look them over and see if you agree!


The Yahoo! Group-Where many of the best ideas started and most of the others get honed

Fresh Creative Services, Desktop Publishing at its finest

Rachael Mayo’s amazing artwork, she has been key in envisioning what the aliens look like!

Paul Daly, no one does gaming art better!

Sergeants 3, publishers of The Sword and The Flame series of Colonial miniatures rules

Objects may Appear produces the only line of Hive, Queen and Country aerial ships

http://www.shapeways.com/shops/objects

VSF Gaming Resources

Alan Hamilton’s Wargaming Page, he was one of the first people to past any HQC materials

Dye Hard’s 15mm Web Page. Excellent How to articles

15mm VSF and SF wargaming

Gabriel Landowski’s “how to” web page for gamers. Check out his galleries and articles

Miniatures Manufacturers

15/18mm

Black Hat Miniatures

Khurasan Miniatures

East Riding Miniatures

http://bluemoonmanufacturing.com/-Wow some great stuff here

http://www.splinteredlightminis.com/

http://www.rebelminis.com/

http://highlanderstudiosinc.com/shop/-A growing line of 15mm VSF figures and models

http://www.gamodls.com/-A huge selction of very reasonably priced 15mm Vehicles

http://www.thevirtualarmchairgeneral.com/-Action decks usable with The Hive and the Flame

http://www.combatwombatminiatures.com/-Combat Wombat Great 15mm Vehicles and Turned Gun Barrels for detailing

 

25/28mm

Great Endaevours-Ral Partha’s classic true 25mm figures

 

Terrain

Adventure Terrain

Brigade Models

So I am constantly on the lookout for new bugs with which to torment the puny humans of Earth. Cruising around TMP I found Brigade’s 15mm Bug Vehicles

http://www.brigademodels.co.uk/15mmSF/Cimexian.html

 

 

The Lygan Salvo bug, lacked a picture but seemed like a good choice for a shooter even bigger than the Surpa Major

http://www.brigademodels.co.uk/15mmSF/Cimexian/BUG15-009.html

 

I ordered a batch of these

They come as a five part kit. A top and bottom of resin and three pewter orifices. I decided to leave two off and only put on the center one. I’ll probably paint the outer two as eyes.

These retail for 5.50 pounds plus postage. In 15mm these guys are honking huge! Look out British tanks and flyers!

 

Very nicely down, these will make perfect supra supra major shooters-although they certainly won’t be moving anywhere fast!

 

Terry

 

Finally an FAQ

Hive, Queen, and Country is a Victorian Science Fiction (aka “Steampunk”) setting for Role Playing Games, Miniature Games, and fiction. It emphasizes scientific and historical realism, and a rich and complete setting. It can be called a “hard science” background. Although there are a number of “conceits” in terms of scientific breakthroughs and advanced technologies there are no hand waves. Everything added to the universe is carefully designed and works within the existing framework of science.
 
What is Hive, Queen and Country’s History?
 
The In-setting History of HQC is much like our own timeline (OTL) – Until the 1800s. At this point several key divergences begin to reshape the world:
 
– Babbage’s Difference and Analytical engines succeed and the computer revolution joins up with the industrial revolution much earlier. This leads to huge improvements in mathematics, logistics, and manufacturing.
 
– Aerolyth, a naturally occurring mineral, is discovered. It has anti-gravitational capabilities and is a highly potent rocket fuel. Air travel becomes commonplace, and space travel is not far behind. Soon, Luna, Venus and Mars are explored.
 
– The exploration of Venus and Mars leads to the shocking discovery that they are already populated by races of humans and mysterious aliens. Earth governments begin to scramble to open up off-world markets and resources and the off-world humans and aliens begin to extend their influence to Earth. In 1892 this leads to the Hive being infiltrated into England.
 
How will the timeline progress into the future?
 
The original HQC setting progressed the timeline up to 1892 and focused on the Hive’s invasion of England (The First Hive War).
 
Subsequent material has added the Second Hive War (1898-1902) set in South America.
 
Future conflicts and events:
Wars on Venus with the Sea Kings
The Europan Invasion set for 1920 a race of aliens from the Jovian moon Europa will set their sights on the inner solar system. Vast invasion fleets will attack Mars, Earth and Venus with massive planetary assaults. This will move the HQC setting forward technologically and politically
 
In 1942 a second deep space event will challenge all life in the solar system. The Ghost or Shattered Fleet will arrive. This strange and ancient phenomenon will bring the residents of the Sol system into contact with literally hundreds of alien races.
 
Game Products
What Hive, Queen and Country products have been published?
The core RPG book is titled Stars of Empire
 
<a href=”http://www.amazon.com/Stars-Empire-Scientific-Victorian-Conquest/dp/1453848673/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1351810893&sr=8-1“>Stars of Empire: A Scientific Romance Set During the Victorian Conquest of Space</a>
The Core Rulebook for HQC.
 
 
<a href=”http://www.amazon.com/The-Hive-Flame-Terry-Sofian/dp/1463657285/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1351810893&sr=8-2“>The Hive and the Flame</a> Miniature gaming rules for HQC
 
<a href=”http://www.amazon.com/Flying-Machines-Worlds-1902-Universe/dp/1480035815/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1351810893&sr=8-3“>Flying Machines of the Worlds: 1902</a> The first technical supplement for the Hive, Queen and Country Universe introduces Victorian Science Fiction Role-players and War Gamers to the many aerial vessels of that Universe.
 
Additionally, Design and combat rules for Flying Machines of the Worlds are available at
 
Where can I get Hive, Queen and Country miniatures?
 
We hope to put out specific bug miniatures for use as Hive members. Scott Flower of Gametech Miniatures produced the masters for these several years ago. We have had some difficulty finding a home for the production of these. Perhaps in the future we will have better news.
 
One company, Objects May Appear… makes a line of custom flying machine minis in multiple scales specifically for The HQC Universe: http://www.shapeways.com/shops/objects
 
Several companies make miniatures suitable for gaming with HQC. Many Companies make excellent Colonial Miniatures in nearly every scale currently seen on tabletops. Bug miniatures are a bit harder to come by, but many types and sizes are available from a number of excellent companies
Black Orc Games have The Hive in their 100 Kingdoms setting.
Khurasan Miniatures produces a number of figures that serve very well. Look in their 28mm Sci Fi range for their Arachnian Alien Invertebrates which would make excellent warriors or butchers. They 15mm ranges include a number of alien figures that include giant ants. They also have some minia­tures that make very good drones. The Spearbearer Insectmen and the Mantismen, although they oly have four limbs rather than six or more.
 
Irregular Miniatures has a line of “spice lice”, which if the guns are removed from the claws are fine for hive members. http://www.irregularminiatures.co.uk/
 
 
Moonfleet Miniatures produce warcrabs that would make good workers http:// moonfleetminiatures.com/pack.psp?pack=48
 
Ral Partha, now Iron Mind Metals, sculpted some excellent bugs, I’ve used their old insectmen as drones for many years. In addition they produced a number of chitenous warriors in several lines over the years.
In terms of classic figures from the 1970s and 1980s the Reviresco have some useful figures http://www.tinsoldier.com/sg/dreenoi.html.
 
Rebel Miniatures produces a number of alien bug creatures in their 15mm Science Fiction range
Reaper Miniatures has a very board range of figures. In their fantasy ranges are scorpions and beetles which would work well on the game table.
Ral Partha Europe produces a number of arthropod figures that would work well. They also recently announced they will be rereleasing the Demonworld range of 15mm fantasy figures. This range includes large fleas and other insects including a giant dung beetle that will make an excellent tumble bug.
 
 
 
Are any products available in electronic format (PDF)?
 
Yes!  All of our products are available in electronic format.
 
 
What future products are planned
 
– Venus Supplement (Scheduled for 2013) This will be a Role Playing Game Supplement titled The World Beneath the Clouds. Paul Daly has done an amazing front cover and some great interior art work. We will introduce the cultures, climate and creatures of Venus. We are shooting for an Origins release date
– Ground Vehicles and Artillery of the Worlds (Scheduled for 2013) Arun will be heading efforts on this publication. What is a Steampunk setting without steam powered tanks. In addition to the fiction we’ll be including accurate historical technical data on later Victorian artillery from most of the Great Powers of the period.
– Space Vehicles of the Worlds
– Armies of Venus
– Armies of the Hive Wars
-Armies of Mars
 
If I want to actively participate in product development how can I?
 
Join the insanely active Yahoo! Group: http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/Hivequeen/
 
HQC benefits from a strong user and development community. If you are an artist, writer, historian, engineer, scientist, or in any way creative, we welcome your input!
Fiction
 
* What Hive, Queen and Country fiction has been published?
 
A number of short stories have been published online – Check the Hivequeenandcountry.com web page. In addition Jon Klement’s short story Cicada Summer was published in Dreams of Steam 2
 
* How can I write fiction in this universe? Either drop me a line or join the Yahoo! group
 
Online Resources
* Is there a web page for Hive, Queen and Country? Yes, Hivequeenandcountry.com is your one stop source for all things HQC
 
* Is there a Hive, Queen and Country mailing list? As mentioned before there is a very active mailing list on Yahoo! http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/Hivequeen/

The Easiest Steamtanks Ever

I’ve done some pretty complex steamtank builds. This set is really easy and yields some pretty good results. My builds aren’t finished but will give enough ideas to help others move forward.

 

I ordered three different types of tanks from Gaming Models: The French Char 2C and Char B bis and finally the Soviet T-35. These were all big tanks for their day and age, although the difference between the Char B and the other two is fairly stunning, considering the Char B was a heavy tank in its time. http://www.gamodls.com/index.htm

http://www.gamodls.com/Nations/French/Char.2c.4.jpg

http://www.gamodls.com/Nations/French/Char.B_2.JPG

http://www.gamodls.com/Nations/Russian/T35%20Kt%20gun.2.jpg

 

 

Gaming Models generally supplies models full assembled and painted, with the turrets separate so they can be rotated. I requested that they be sent unassembled. The kits are very simple. The tracks are separate from the chassis. The two larger machines have tracks that swap reasonably well. The middle vehicle is the Char 2C chassis with the T-35 tracks. The front turret of the Char 2C has been replaced by a turret from a British Bishop self propelled gun. The 25pdr has been cut short. There is a spot aft for at least one turret and possibly two small ones side by side.

Bellow is an assortment of swaps. The very easiest was the new turret on the Char B bis. In this case I put a British cruiser tank turret. I put the Char 2C main turret and a pair of the smaller mg turrets from that tank on the T-35 hull. It still has two spots after of the main turret, I’m thinking that the vehicle could use a pair of smokestacks. I can also see adding side sponsons, as found on British WW 1 tanks on either of the big machines or smaller ones on the Char B.

Again these are the easiest conversions I’ve done. They are quick and with Gaming Models vehicles retailing for 5.00 each they couldn’t be much cheaper. If you want to upscale things in either sense that is certainly an option. Flames of War makes Mid-war Monsters that include the TOG and the T-35 in 15mm. I’m certain that all three of these vehicles are available in 1/72 scale and 25mm/28mm scales. The conversions should be just as simple, although building larger scale kits will require additional time and effort.

 

 

Steampunk Day In-The Wars of Other Men-A Tremendous Short Film

I was at Teslacon III this weekend and had the opportunity to screen The Wars of Other Men by Mike Zawacki and Paradise Valley Media www.thewarsofothermen.com. I had seen the trailer on Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0dL44dad034 and had been very much looking forward to seeing the entire film. The star of the film Scott Norman and the director Mike Zawacki were there as well as some of their crew. They had a great table down in the main hallway with props and posters and what not.

I was able to see the screening on Saturday night. The trailer had been well put together, so I had fairly high expectations. The full film doesn’t disappoint. Shot on location in Detroit, Michigan the field sequences have a hard gritty feel to them. The good guys are wearing Cold War period East German equipment with other items thrown in to the mix. Acting is excellent, and I won’t say for an Indie film, I just say excellent. Scott Norman as the officer leading his squad into no man’s land on a critical mission is outstanding.

The visual effects are good as well. Airships and tanks dominate the battlefield. They fold in well with the storyline and live action. Effects are used to support the storyline and don’t dominate it or drive it. Characters and action move this film forward. The individuals in the squad are an assortment of war weary veterans. From their, demeanor, expressions and  actions you get a sense that the conflict has raged on for years and been both bloody and indecisive.

I won’t offer any spoilers or plot discussion. Its a short 26 minutes long so it would take longer to read about it than see it. Like a good short story there is a lot of plot and character in this film. And like a short shory there is an elegant efficiency of narrative which is often lacking in media these days. It didn’t seem like anything was missing, but it also didn’t have anything that didn’t belong, that was extra to the story being told.

The folks there with the film were great to talk with. They were proud of their effort but still extremely down to Earth. They answered many questions from fans after the screening and were informative and pleasant. I enjoyed chatting with them a bit after everyone else had left. Good people who have done a great job!

I highly recommend this to anyone that wants to see what a dedicated group of people can do with almost no funding but skills, ideas and some heart.  Well done Paradise Valley Media and I look forward to your future productions!

 

Terry Sofian

 

FREE Rules for Aerial Combat!

Arun has put together a draft set of airship combat rules available for FREE DOWNLOAD at http://www.we-be-smart.org/~afrodri/HQC_models.html

These are for use with the ships in

http://www.rpgnow.com/product/106515/Flying-Machines-of-the-Worlds-1902

https://www.createspace.com/4015022

Aerial Vessels for the Hive, Queen and Country Universe

                           Authored by               Arun Rodrigues, Terry Sofian
The first technical supplement for the Hive, Queen and Country Universe introduces Victorian Science Fiction Roleplayers and War Gamers to the many aerial vessels of that Universe. Whether in the skies of Earth, Mars or Venus these mighty machines provide swift transport or deadly combat capabilities. Modeled on period publications such as Jane’s or The Naval Annual; Flying Machines of the Worlds features designs for dozens of ships for use in any Steampunk or Victorian Science Fiction setting. In Hive, Queen and Country these are the vessels that patrol the skies of Earth, have fought with the Hives and are now opening the frontiers of Mars and Venus to colonization.

 

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