However, with the price of miniatures ever rising, and metal prices still going up, I think I will probably go for 28mm figures, even though I am only planning on having very small groups of figures on each side (I would think up to an absolute maximum of about 20 per side).
There seem to be a good selection of steampunk style miniatures available from a growing band of manufacturers.CoolMiniorNot, and I am preparing an order for Design 28 Miniatures.
Scheltrum Miniatures Selenites (well I did sculpt them), and their other VSF figures. In fact, I still have the 28mm scale airship that I made around 10 years ago (vac-formed balloon with resin and white-metal gondola)…
There is also Wyrd Miniatures Malifaux, some of their figures are very nice, although they are a premium priced range, so I don’t really want to buy too many of them. Of course one advantage of going with Malifaux, would be the associated rules system, but I don’t really want to be restricted from using other companies figures.
I also have plenty of 28mm colonial figures, from various manufacturers, that could be pressed into service for the odd steampunk game. Off the top of my head, some of Foundry’s Darkest Africa range and similar, as well a large collection of British Sudan campaign figures.So, which rules to go for? I want a game that has small parties (up to about 20 figures at the most) on each side, but most of the steampunk wargaming rules seem to be mass battle rules.
I picked up When The Navy Walked and it’s expansions from Wargames Vault the other day, which looks interesting, but still too large scale for my taste. I see from their website that The Armchair General are planning a set of skirmish rules for When The Navy Walks, but I want to get going with this just now. I have also been considering G.A.S.L.I.G.H.T., which seems to be popular and has been around for quite some time. I have even considered using a slimmed down version of some of the role playing rules that are out there. Talking of role playing rules Space 1889 does have their wargaming rules Soldier’s Companion, but that seems quite restrictive, and I really want something more skirmish based.
Rattrap Productions. Unfortunately all of their different rules sets, which are all wonderfully “pulpy”, miss the steampunk genre, however, as I have most of them, a little conversion work could be a possibility.
Forge Of War/FUBAR Yahoo group. It is a set of rules to fight small scale actions between two “Retinues”. ITEN is actually set up to use the Warhammer 40K background, but having chatted in the group a little, there is quite an interest in developing a separate rules set, to be called (at least for now) In Her Majesty’s Name…
All in all, I think that skirmish is the perfect type of game for the Steampunk genre, so I am really surprised that there are not more rule sets out there yet.