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I recently became interested in a forthcoming game produced partly by Osprey publishing, with miniatures by Northstar figures called, 'In Her Majesty's Name', its a Victorian SF skirmish game with a very neat new range of figures: IN HER MAJESTYS NAME Steampunk Skirmish Wargaming Rules

I like the look of it a lot and have already preordered some of the figure sets, initially just to paint.

Wanting to know more about the game and its mechanics I noticed that the game stems from a free to download 40k-set skirmish game called: In The Emperor's Name, which is a ground up KISS (keep it simple, stupid) ruleset that harks back to Rogue trader era 40k in its ethos and allows for a whole manner of current and long deceased 40k troops to get down and dirty (Genestealer cults, Assassins, Squats, Chaos Marine warbands etc) it looks a lot of fun and I was wondering if any of the LO community had any experience of them, and if not if anyone who regularly plays could give them a go?

The rules can be downloaded from here: In the Emperor’s Name! | Gawd 'elp us Games

NB. From reading around it appears that GW is aware of this ruleset and happy for it to exist as long as the GW trademarks are identified (which they are) and it remains free. If true then this is a refreshing change from the usual C&D approach taken by GW, but then again if no-one is making money from their IP I suppose there is no harm being done.
 

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Hello Sir Theobald,

Just returned to the Librarium after far too long an absence and your post popped up.

My real name is Craig and I am one of the authors of both In Her Majesty's Name and In the Emperor's Name.

Just to bring you bang up to date, the editing duties for ItEN have now moved to my good friend Jodrell who has set up a blog [http://iten-game.org/] to log his progress to producing a Third Edition of this popular rules-set. he has just put up the draft of this new edition for comment. I have had almost nothing to do with this because I have been concetrating on the other project... IHMN.

You asked about the mechanics of IHMN. Well it does show its heritage, i.e. ItEN, but has been completely overhauled to suit both the genre - Victorian Science Fiction or VSF - and the fact that these are professional rules. I brought in one of my best friends Charles as co-author, who was unfamiliar with my previous rules, so that we could benefit from a fresh approach and his extensive writing and project management skills - I am a great starter of projects but a poor finisher... ooh butterfly...

here is an introduction to the game that I wrote a few weeks ago to whet your appetite:

It is 1895 and things have gone awry. Babbage’s success with his calculating engines has led to a race for technological superiority between the great nations. Now powers both noble and vile send forth small companies of loyal or well-paid men to seize the new and make it theirs. This is the world of In Her Majesty’s Name.

It is a game for two or more players each with up to a dozen figures that are drawn from a set of Company lists. These range from the British Army and Scotland Yard to the dastardly Prussian Society of Thule and the deadly Black Dragon Tong. On the field in a single game could be Victorian soldiers, electrically-animated zombies, steam-driven walkers, Chinese martial artists, a reincarnated Pharaoh, working class heroes and a hunter riding in a Giant Ape Howdah. There are ten companies overall, with more in the pipeline.

With fifteen distinct armour types, over forty unique weapons, a shop full of weird science and a range of personal transportation that varies from horses to personal dirigibles there is no shortage of ways to equip your figures (and we’re not even going to mention the mechanised armoured walkers). Add to this that figures can have one or more special talents or even mystical powers.

There is also a full points system so that you can create figures and companies of your own to add to the game. This was a very important and deliberate decision as we know that the average gamers has drawers full of figures he'd loved to use or convert - possibly because we do as well. When we brainstormed the possible companies we came up with a hundred in just over half an hour, but we only had room for ten in the initial rules.

Through playtesting we have seen that you can learn the game’s in a single evening’s play, but the rules still have sufficient depth to reward the careful or bold tactician. The game is played on a surface a yard or metre square and can last from thirty minutes to a couple of hours, depending on the scenario and number of players.

You can choose to fight a game of your own devising or select one the standard scenarios, mix it up with a complicating factor and choose from a list of challenging Victorian landscapes. This gives you almost nine hundred different games to play. Hear that GW - nine hundred! :p Sorry, I couldn't help myself...

It a game of heroic individuals so figures act individually in rotation by the players in each phase of the game (movement, shooting & fighting). Who goes first in a phase is determined by an initiative roll influenced by each Company’s Leadership. This makes each phase extremely tactical and the whole game can change with the actions of a single figure. There is no sitting on your hands waiting hours for your opponent to finish marmalising your troops before you get to reply.

Your figures move across terrain that may be difficult, littered with obstacles, dangerous or even active. Unwary figures can be mown down by a hansom cab or a train, or end up with the terrain around them bursting into fire or blowing up.

Shooting takes into account such variables as visibility and cover with rules that are at once simple and tactical. This is a game where you will want to take advantage of every bit of cover.

Fighting is bloody and often short. A heroic leader may be able to slice down a howling mob with his sabre, or the mob join together to drag him down.

In any case the final arbiter of a hero’s fate is his Pluck. This combination of raw courage and intestinal fortitude can be the difference between fame and ignominy.


Nick at Northstar has been very kind and set that excellent sculptor Steve Saleh to producing figures for four of the ten companies in the rulebook. All this on the strength of playing a few games of an earlier draft of the rules. He has now added another company and had Kev Dallimore paint the first four. I tell you I'm like a kid on christmas eve - I really can't believe that this happening :D

If you, or any of your friends, are going to Salute this year there are demo games being put on by the White Hart Gamers and both Charles and I shall be there to answer people's questions.

If you want to know more just ask away and I'll tell you anything that I can.

Cheers,
Craig.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Craig,

Thanks for the update! And congratulations on getting a ruleset professionally published, most wargamers dream I'd have thought. I have to say I am really looking forward to seeing the final product. I cracked and ended up pre-ordering the rulebook and a couple of the companies (Ok four, and no doubt i'll end up with the fifth!) after checking out ItEN and liking the approach, and given my enjoyment of past Osprey products (including the excellent job they have done with Bolt Action) and fantastic service I have always had from Northstar- my go-to company for any historical miniatures. The emphasis on the hobby is a big draw for me, I have a stack of unloved minis that will hopefully form the basis for homebrew companies (some Anarchist Sky pirates, a Cthulhu cult with Innismouth fishmen and a Pinkerton Agency come to mind)

I am really pleased you've taken the VSF approach, there are loads of good fantasy/Steampunk games about but the Victorian angle is a real draw for me, I spent a lot of my childhood reading Kipling, Conan Doyle, H Rider Haggard and the like and there is so much inspiration to draw from that era and its literature.

Will Northstar be scuplting any more of the companies from the book? The Hunters with the Giant Ape Howdah sounds like a must buy!

Also, is there a release date? or is it still 'May 2013'?

Thanks for your time.
 

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Hi Craig,
The emphasis on the hobby is a big draw for me, I have a stack of unloved minis that will hopefully form the basis for homebrew companies (some Anarchist Sky pirates, a Cthulhu cult with Innismouth fishmen and a Pinkerton Agency come to mind)

I am really pleased you've taken the VSF approach, there are loads of good fantasy/Steampunk games about but the Victorian angle is a real draw for me, I spent a lot of my childhood reading Kipling, Conan Doyle, H Rider Haggard and the like and there is so much inspiration to draw from that era and its literature.

Will Northstar be scuplting any more of the companies from the book? The Hunters with the Giant Ape Howdah sounds like a must buy!

Also, is there a release date? or is it still 'May 2013'?

Thanks for your time.

The classic VSF/Adventure books were also my childhood introduction to science fiction (yes I am that old) and I still go back and read them occasionally. The recent John Carter film, which was badly let down by Disney's abysmal marketing, had me re-reading all my Edgar Rice Burroughs books :)

I do not know if Northstar will commit more sculpting time to the IHMN range. I suppose that it depends on the sales of the rules and figures. There again most of the other companies in the book could easily be created from existing ranges, perhaps with a little conversion work.

I am currently drawing up an Armoured Mechanical Walker that I intend to make from scratch from my bits box. No mean feat given my rudimentary modelling skills.

The figures will become available at Salute, with many attendees picking up their 'Nickstarter' pre-orders there. There may be enough rulebooks in country by then to accompany those pre-orders. otherwise the Osprey publication date remains the 20th May.

If you keep one eye on the blog [https://inhermajestysname.wordpress.com] we shall be releasing any information we get there. However, I am regularly 'patrolling' blogs where people have expressed an interest in the game so i can answer any questions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Just to update people (if any are interested!) I got the rules and a few of the Northstar companies and have been painting them up. Lovely models that are a lot of fun to paint.

The rules are really nice, simple to pick up but with lots of tactical scope. For a relatively slim volume the book is also full of scenarios, suggestions and with the company creation rules make it really easy for your imagination to run wild. I have got a few friends interested and will hopefully get some games in soon. The rules are pretty cheap (half the cost of a 40k codex) and are well worth picking up for a read, evn if you are not sure if it is your thing or not, the authors have done a fantastic job IMO.
 

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You are most kind Sir Theobold :)

On related news Gavin, Editor-in-Chief of In the Emperor's Name, is very close to publishing the Third Edition of these popular rules. And by 'very close' I mean in a few days.

Cheers,
Craig.
 
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