Gotta love a flying battleship!
As part of my Father’s Day haul I picked up a copy of the newly released rules from Osprey - Castles in the Air by Eric Farrington. I have enjoyed Victorian Science Fiction based games for many years and ‘back in the day’ scratch built fleets of dirigibles for the Ottomans, Greeks and Bulgarians to use with Wessex Games Aeronef rules, I even co authored a campaign supplement for them - my counterpart hails from the Antipodes - featuring the Turks which was huge fun.
Available on the Wargames Vault I believe - it was a great collaborative effort!
I had a quick run through the rules and have to say they look pretty good. The mechanics are straightforward and one of the things I am intrigued about is the whole 3D aspect. Yes, you can climb and dive a battleship!
The background is OK although to me seems a little overextended in respect of the timeline. The ‘history’ picks up after the Martian ‘War of the Worlds’ invasion in 1872 and assumes that the alien technology used by the invading forces had been extensively picked apart and adapted for use by humanity culminating in the use of the Air Screw as a means of of power and lift. This is then run up to 1914. From a personal choice I would have preferred to have stuck with the pre dreadnought era but them that is just me!
I am certainly keen to try these out although initially it did present rather a dilemma. I want to build pre dreadnoughts but I also want to tackle similar on a VSF style footing. I am not keen on building two sets of models though - yes, I shall be making some for this - so will stick with the planned pre dreadnoughts in due course, but with a twist.
When I get to the pre dreadnoughts I plan to also build some flying bases to go with the models. These bases will consist of the stand itself and an entire lower deck assembly featuring lift/steering vanes and the air screw. The idea is that when I want to take to the skies all I will need to do will be to place the ship model on such a base and Voila! An instant flying battleship!
It is with this in mind that I am accelerating my plans for the design of the bits and pieces I shall need from Warbases to include some sabot lower hull assemblies.
I reckon that is two gaming experiences for the price of one which is pretty damned clever in my book!