Tuesday, August 5, 2014

New Ships for Space: 1889

A good game is one that you can play and enjoy. A great game is one that you can still enjoy years later. We have always considered GDW's Space: 1889 to be part of the later category. It is elegant from a design standpoint; a naval miniatures game, and a land-combat miniatures game all seamlessly interfaced and without an overbearing amount of rules.

Described herein are two ships that were developed for my own miniatures games. We encourage you to use them yourself, and to develop your own designs as well. Nothing enriches a game of this nature more than the combined efforts of those who enjoy it.

Download a PDF version of this chart

The Flame Eagle is a conversion of the Skyfire hull, which emerged shortly after the first Skyfire, was launched. It retains the heavier Rouge and Rod guns in the aft section, but replaces the midship Heavy guns and Tether Mines with Martian Fire droppers. There is known to be at least one in service with the Oenotrian Empire at this point.

The primary purpose of this vessel is to do battle with European armored ships. Oenotrian generals, frustrated by the ineffectiveness of their smoothbore cannon against armored European hulls, have abandoned older design models in favor of a ship that carries Martian liquid fire as its main weapon. The result is fearsome. While Martian Fire is awkward to use, a Flame Eagle, which managed to maneuver itself into position, could utterly destroy an undamaged British Triumph-class by releasing only half its payload. Neither to be ignored is its ram, which is backed up by enough momentum to send even the largest ships reeling out of the sky.

The Flame Eagle's low top speed was the subject of heated debates among the Imperial Oenotrian Construction Corps as this ship and its sister-class, the Skyfire, were in conception. One camp held that any ship that was to hold its own against the Europeans must have a protected hull, to keep the turncranks from being raked by machine-guns and repeating machine-cannon. The other side contended that the extra weight of a protected hull made the ship too slow to catch the European vessels, so that it would be pounded to flinders by the enemy's long guns without ever closing to do battle. The truth of the matter remains yet to be seen.


The Karl Von Zeug was one of Germany's first interplanetary warships. Constructed during the colonization of Venus, it was frequently used to cow the natives into submission, raking villages and war parties with no less than eight 1" Gattling machine cannon. Its six-inch gun was included as a defense against other European warships.

In 1887 the Von Zeug was relegated to the status of Armed Transport due to its small size and low interplanetary speed, which are no longer competitive with the ether warships of other nations. It has also been criticized by German commanders for its lack of a turret. Its low maneuverability, combined with the limited arc of fire of its main gun, leaves it vulnerable to being outmaneuvered and destroyed by atmospheric flyers. At present its only duties are the ferrying of valuable cargo between Germany and Venus, as well as occasional patrols through aboriginal lands of the Venusians.

Download a PDF version of this chart

About the Author

Vince Blackburn is a government attorney in California who grew up on the island of Kodiak in Alaska. He began gaming when he was seven years old with the original "Blue Box" Dungeons and Dragons set, and has been hooked ever since. Today he plays a variety of tabletop and computer games with friends at his home in the suburbs of Sacramento, and spends the rest of his free time with his wife Lisa and an extremely spoiled house-cat.

This article originally appeared in issue 13 of Competitive Edge, One Small Step's former adult gaming magazine, ©1997. It used here with the permission of Mr. Blackburn.

Related Article:

No comments :

Post a Comment

©1995-2014 Paleotechnic Press . All rights reserved.