By Jim Rohrer
Some readers might assume, based on the title of this post, that I am completely out to lunch. Steampunk? What possible relevance could weird stuff like that have for solo wargaming?
Answer: Warhammer. We all know how popular that is. And, it turns out, the strange creatures rely on extrapolations of steam-age technology. A google search on “steampunk warhammer” will prove my point. Take out the goblins and it would still be steampunk.
For those of us who do not get out much (myself included) it might come as a surprise to learn what the larger culture already knows: steampunk is very popular. So what is it? Steampunk is retro-syfy of the type that might have been written by HG Wells, Jules Verne, H Rider Haggard, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, etc. Please note the relevance of a 19th Century perspective. Remember Artemis Gordon in Wild Wild West and his gadgets? Steampunk.
Are you ready to embrace steampunk? I have my vest, my walking stick is on order, and I might buy attachments for it such as a brass telescope and compass. Victorian-era style is appropriate, with a nod toward syfy or even fantasy.
Are we ready for this? We better be. Steampunk is projected by IBM market researchers to become even more popular, dramatically influencing film, music, fiction, and clothing styles. Do you have a brass lamp or other piece of furniture that would have fit in a Victorian household? Maybe you are already steampunk.
Can you lay out a scenario for steampunk? Prussians versus France, with each relying heavily on dirigibles equipped with steam powered cannon? Captain Nemo brings his sub to the fray, but on which side? The Time Machine knocks both sides back to Dark Ages where they must fight armored foot-knights with bayonets?