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"Swashbuckling Skyships" Topic

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abdul666lw05 Aug 2011 7:59 a.m. PST

Lacepunk [ TMP link link ] skyships


(The Three Musketeers – 2011 YouTube link ).

One of the multiple facets of 'weirdness in Tricornes era' TMP link

'Pirates' are certainly the most popular of 'swashbuckling' games, and it's not uncommon for Pirates to encounter undeads of various types, King Kong-sized Godzilla type monsters…
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So it's only a matter of 'taking the plunge' and having the same 'liberty' on dry (main)land.

Btw, by the mid 18th C. vast parts of the Pacific Ocean were still to be explored, thus these: TMP link


(from link ) can be waiting for your daring adventurers in tricornes on a 'New Continent' link .

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(image from link )

Or, alternatively, in an underground 'Lost Wold at the Earth Core', Pellucidar -fashion…
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kallman05 Aug 2011 8:36 a.m. PST

OMG!!! Well, it looks like fun and something that any one of us war gamers would love to run at a convention. All for one and one for all!grin

Personal logo SBminisguy Supporting Member of TMP05 Aug 2011 9:55 a.m. PST

LOL! Seems that to make the 3 Musketeers work they have to get more and more extreme…so why not just jump the shark and port the idea over to a scifi setting?? Or how about a post-apocalypse setting??

DyeHard05 Aug 2011 10:30 a.m. PST

For more inspiration, consider the movie "Stardust"



The pirate airship is featured quite heavily.

kallman05 Aug 2011 10:59 a.m. PST

Stardust was a fun movie but of course it is based on a Neil Gaiman story so it has to be good. I think Robert DeNiro and Michelle Fifer had the best characters and seemed to be having a good time with the film. Love the airship.

Caesar05 Aug 2011 11:38 a.m. PST


chronoglide06 Aug 2011 3:55 a.m. PST

we always knew you was a whoopsie….

abdul666lw06 Aug 2011 5:56 a.m. PST

Why not just jump the shark and port the idea over to a scifi setting?? Or how about a post-apocalypse setting?

Indeed, but then, why NOT keep it in its original period, or in any suitable other (e.g. the Lace Wars) you specially like?
Because such dirigibles "are" either Steampunk or Mad Maxesque?
The eternal question of being faithful to the *letter* or to the *spirit* of the sources.
Lovecraft's writings were set in the 1920, so 'canonical' Lovecraftian games are set in this period: typically being faithful to the 'letter' and not to the 'spirit'. The stories were so much the more impressive as they were *contemporary* to their intended readers, so to-day it would be more faithful to the author's intent so have Cthulhuesque adventures set in 2011.
Besides, several stories were rooted in the American past (Salem…) so the game can be located any time between, say, the early 18th C. and the present (or even not too distant future!). Such is the case e.g. of 'The Dreams in the Witch House' link and 'The Lurking Fear' link -and, outside HPL, movies such as La maschera del demonio link

Indeed a good story can be transposed to many other periods: the old popular Japanese tale of 'The 7 Samurai' was put to the screen in its original context by A. Kurosawa link , then 'transported' to the Wild West (The magnificient 7) and the 'Galactic' future (Battle beyond the stars). And I've no doubt some of John Ford's 'US Cavalry' movies and French '317th Platoon' link can be transposed to other places and times, e.g. 19th C. Eastern Russia (Michel Strogoff…) or South of the Hadrian Wall when the Roman presence was weakening.

Thus is simply a matter of seizing a suggestion (a 'scenario', a contraption…) exciting your interest and set it in the period you prefer (because of the culture, the costumes, the intellectual background, and for us the type and 'spirit' of the armies and warfare).
For me, the 'Lace Wars', but of course if I try to put forward 'objective' reasons, it's 200% personal.
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abdul666lw06 Aug 2011 1:53 p.m. PST

A point to note is that, in the movie as in most 'Lacepunk' games (against many VSF ones), 'advanced' contraptions and weapons are unique (or almost so) and extremely recent: untried experimental prototypes, actually.

This has two important consequences:
- Because of their rarity and doubtful reliability (ideally they have at least as many chances to turn out as costly embarrassments as to have any usefulness -in addition to attract enemy attention and artillery fire), they don't change the general nature of warfare. Thus we are not playing VSF or WWI with figurines in tricorne, but still 18th C. battle games as we know and love them.

- It respects the self-consistency of the setting. Had dirigibles, steam engines, Chappe telegraphs, functional Babbage engines (and thus automated weaving looms and other machinery)… be commonplace for decades, all technologies, everyday life, economy (industrial revolution, 'globalization'), the very society (numerical explosion of urban under-proletariat…) cannot be but totally different from the 'historical' 18th C. ones. Meaning that, visually, people will not be dressed exactly like in 'our' history (fashion is submitted to a succession of 'butterfly effects': *why*, sometimes during the late 17th C., did men in Western Europe choose to adapt the 'coat' of Eastern origin?). Probably they would not even wear tricornes, but perhaps berets, or caps similar to the very 'modern' Potemkin one, or whatever…). Meaning in the end that 'historical' 18th C. miniatures would be *inadequate*!
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abdul666lw06 Aug 2011 3:05 p.m. PST

Indeed departures from 'historical reality' in a game are not that important, as 'die hard' historical gamers claim to disparage 'less serious' ones. *Any* wargamer writes 'historical fiction', any table-top battle, as 'historical' as it may be at the start, has the potential to create an 'alternate history timeline'.

A first point is whether this 'divergence' is ephemeral or permanent.
For the fate of historical major characters, 'ephemeral' means 'un-historically' slightly wounded in a battle, but fully back to health for the next one; 'permanent' means killed.

For technological innovations -and most of the 18th C. ones could have be tempted 50 years or more earlier- 'ephemeral' means immediately forgotten: breach-loading muskets using pre-loaded cartridges were built during the early 18th C. (Philipp Vo Spain musket, Puckle's machine gun) but did not 'catch'; not only the AWI 'Turtle' submarine, but also its innovative screw propellers, and for decades steamers used paddle-wheels of Byzantine design. 'Permanent' means successful and adapted on a large scale (which the Ferguson rifle was not).

But the essential point is the time elapsed since the divergence from 'our' history: differences accumulate with time (exponentially) by a 'snowball' effect and spread like wildfire to other fields.

Regarding successful and widespread technological innovations I mentioned in the previous post that in few decades they may change 'civilization as we know it'.

Regarding the death of an important historical character (Alexander when fighting in Greece as his father's deputy, Frederic at Mollwitz, Bonaparte in Italy, Hilter during WWI, Patton when fighting Poncho Villa…), it may or may not affect greatly the ongoing wargame campaign, but think about the long-term consequences to the 'alternate' Real World born from your initial divergence from 'our' reality.

And even without such drastic differences… Your group plays 'Bonaparte in Egypt', the French Navy is victorious at Aboukir, Bonaparte triumphs in Egypt. But then, following Alexander's steps, he crushes the Ottoman Empire, subjugates Persia with the help of the rallied Turks and reaches North-Western India. 15 years later he may be fighting Wellington for the overall control of the Indian Subcontinent.
An interesting point for the wargamer is: what uniforms will be worn by the belligerents, 15 years after the divergence from 'our' reality? In India at least *certainly NOT* the historical ones worn in Europe in 1814-1815 (and even in Europe, probably not exactly the 'historical' ones: fashion travels). For the French army from Eastern Mediterranean shores to India (and not to speak of its many and diverse allies / mercenaries accumulated from Egypt to modern Pakistan, Indian allies -Tipu Sultan [Tippoo Sahib] had an arbre de la Liberté planted in Seringapatam- and sepoys), probably an evolution of the 'hot climate' one devised in Egypt. Maybe with a cork-and-cloth 'colonial helmet', but derived from the French 'Schomberg' while the historical (and later) British pith helmet was derived from the British adaptation of the pickelhaube….

Just to underline that the (implicit, generally) *long-term* departures from 'historicity' following an '100% historical' wargame can be levels of magnitude above the mere introduction of a balloon or steamtank in a Lace War battle…
So much for the 'silliness' of Lacepunk as opposed to the 'seriousness' of 'historical gaming'.

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