1879 Miniatures Game
Miniatures and tabletop wargaming are a significant part of the 1879 game line. To support miniatures play, we have the 1879 Miniatures Corebook, providing the Universal 18 ruleset and basic information about the British and Samsut forces, and a series of Forcebooks detailing the various military forces on Earth and on the Gruv.
A comprehensive collection of high-quality miniatures allows gamers to enjoy tabletop battles against a variety of foes.
We’re starting with two factions – British and Samsut – but more are planned for the future, including Saurids, Prussians, and Ottomans.
1879 miniatures are 15mm scale. This means that a figure standing 6 feet tall will be sculpted to stand 15mm in miniature. In practice, miniatures are closer to 18mm to help achieve sharp detail. This also equates to 1:100 scale.
The Product Listing page includes a summary of the current range of miniatures in production or planned for 1879 (with many more to come!). A short introduction to the two factions described in the Miniatures Corebook follows.
“Stinkers boys, stinkers! Grab your miasmas and look lively!” The wagons had been corralled around the tents which erupted in a confusion of half dressed troopers, grabbing rifles and rubber masks.
“Can’t see proper with this on Serg, the lenses mist up like a pea souper”. The blond private was too young to be out here and was clumsy with fear.
“Get it on lad, one wiff of them lot and you’ll be beggin’ me for latrine duty – and listen up boys – make sure you fix them bayonets good ‘n’ tight, don’t go wastin’ no ammo. You can’t kill what’s already dead, chop ‘em up – chop ‘em up till they can’t come at you no more!
The Colour Sergeant grabbed a wood axe from the back of the nearest wagon and tried its weight. “This’ll do the job nicely – now boys, remember the drill, and if you recognize any faces out there, don’t hesitate – it ain’t them – they’re dead and damned – send them all to hell and we’ll pray for them come sun up”
The Corporal checked the line “I thought the Black Jacks had flushed through here?” and pulled his mask down.
“Maybe they did, maybe they didn’t, but it’s our problem now – here they come – stand steady – STEADY!”
The British Empire in 1879 has followed a different history than in our world. The Prince Consort, Albert of Saxe-Coburg is injured in a carriage crash in 1860 and left paraplegic. Queen Victoria becomes fanatically devoted to finding a cure for her beloved and offers rewards, both monetary and titular to those who can discover it. Technological development explodes, particularly in the medical field. The discovery of penicillin by John Tyndall and the analytical machines of Charles “Mad Chuck” Babbage propel Britain into the forefront of scientific development.
The British Army fights battles across the new world, securing territory in the name of Victoria Regina, and adding the unique flavor of colonial troops to their war. Maori and Zulu warriors, Sepoy cavalry, and Gurkha soldiers fight alongside men from the British Isles in campaigns around the world.
The true turning point arrives in 1876, when Albert organizes the Great Silver Exhibition, a twenty-fifth anniversary of the Crystal Palace Exhibition. Inventors from around the world come to London to demonstrate their devices. Professor Oswald Grosvenor was one such inventor with a device he claimed would allow one to “see through the air itself and behold what lies beyond”. Of course few had any idea what Grosvenor meant, however he was undeterred and set his device in motion. In an explosion of light and sound, but no debris, Grosvenor and his staff disappeared along with the device. In its place was left a shimmering circle of something undefinable and unmeasurable. The circle defied analysis and allowed no penetration from either side. Around the clock survey of the phenomenon was set up, but that particular tree did not bear fruit until precisely (to the second!) one year after the incident. With a vibration and audible snap, the circle changed to allow a view of some place beyond. Observers in place at that time witnessed a bird fly into the circle, but not come out the other side – at least not on our world.
Initially one volunteer clad in the best protective suit scientists of the day could devise went through the circle. Upon coming back minutes later he spoke of a whole new world, with plants both familiar and strange, ruins of unfamiliar construction, and animals that were definitely not of this Earth. The portal was dubbed the “Rabbit Hole” in honor of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and a large, secure fort was established on the other end, dubbed Fort Alice. The London side of the portal also became the site of a new fort and train yard to support the movement of men and supplies through the Rabbit Hole, with two roads and four full rail lines connecting the two sides.
The army is well aware of the manpower that will be required to maintain the Queen’s empire on Earth, and claim new territory on the other side. To this end, far more colonial troops are being added to the army’s rosters, and for the first time in history the service is being opened to women. This has caused quite a scandal and only time will tell how well it will work. Private exploration and survey teams are being officially sanctioned to undertake work for the Crown, although many are backed by private, wealthy interests who may have ulterior motives.
The other nations of the world also wish to have a part of this new world and its resources. The fractured United States, the Russian Empire, and the Kingdom of Prussia are the most vocal of the world powers, and the most dangerous to deal with.
The new world is no less treacherous for the empire. Since coming to the new world soldiers and workers have dealt with insects ranging in size from a gnat to a beer lorrie. The British have made contact with a species of biped lizard men, some of whom are friendly, but many that are not. Perhaps the greatest threat comes from humans discovered to live in this world. Theorized by scholars to be descendants of ancient Akkadians, Assyrians, or Babylonians, they have a strange culture and technology that would make them powerful allies, if it weren’t for their abominable practice of making their dead come back to a parody of life to serve them. Their willingness to use this technology on dead British soldiers is the final straw. Such desecration cannot be allowed to continue.
“Millennia have passed since our fathers came to this land through the shining circle. Millennia have passed since we discovered the secret of Life and created our cities. The way back was lost, but this land is now our home. Nearly 2000 years have passed since the greedy among us almost destroyed us all. The land still shows the ruin of wanting too much. Nearly 2000 years have passed since we realized, understood, and enforced the Balance. Life is good. We have what we need. We can create what we want within the Balance. We measure ourselves in the Games and in the creation of new Life. It has been 500 years since we all came together to create a new city and it’s now time to do it again.
But there is word of newcomers to this land. They come from somewhere else. They bring different and sometimes terrible things with them. They know nothing of Life and the Balance. I am afraid they will bring a second time of ruin. I do not want to live through that time again. We must do everything we can to prevent that from happening.”
The Samsut are the humans that inhabit the central lands of the main continent, around an inland freshwater sea. They are descendants of ancient Babylonians who came through a portal into this world nearly 3400 years ago. There they discovered ancient ruined cities with undecipherable arcane technology at the core of each. The land was lush and fertile and the people settled it, taking the name of their last king as their own.
Almost 1500 years later, the Samsut finally deciphered the technology at the heart of each city, a huge arcane machine that would drain the life force from people, animals, plants, or even the land itself, and convert it into a form of energy. This energy could power homes, weapons, or be infused into a person to grant long life – or even immortality. Arguments turned to conflict, and then to war, as the Samsut fought over who would benefit from the power. Cities used the power of the devices without consideration of the consequences, until it was almost too late. The devices pulled the life from the very lands the Samsut lived on. Vast fertile plains and forests were sucked dry in a matter of months, reduced to scrub and desert.
Seeing their eventual destruction, the Samsut came together and created a set of laws known as the Balance. All people would be divided into three castes: Amelite, the ruling caste; Mushkenite, the administrating class; and Ardite, the serving class. The power of the life draining technology would be used in moderation, and problems would be settled by ritual combat between armies – wargames. Over the next 1900 years, Samsut society molded itself to the Balance. The Amelite rulers enjoy immortality thanks to periodic life longevity treatments, while the Mushkenites are granted extended life, sometimes several centuries long, based on performance. These castes are small compared to the Ardite caste, which comprises most of the population. The Ardites work and fight for the society, but receive no treatments. On death, their bodies are reanimated to continue fighting for the city-states. An Ardite who works hard enough may be elevated to the Mushkenite caste, and competition for such is fierce.
This state of existence has gone on uninterrupted for almost 2000 years, until the British arrive. Within months contact is made and the trouble begins.