When 1879 was still in early development, David Detrick contributed a number of pieces toward the advances in technology. Some of these were shelved, like the flying packs, as we wanted to go more Lost World witht he Brits learning to ride pteranodons like the Saurids do, and some are being worked on, and one was kind of a joke to start with. Let’s have a look at the 1879 that was proposed and still might to some extent be.
These are seriously cool, and if the product line keeps publishing for enough years so we can roll the metaplot forward and justify the technological leap, we might do these. Remember two things however: the first operational helicopter in our world was developed in 1936, and we have a Five Year Rule. Technology can be pushed five years earlier without having to explain, but anything more than that has to have an in-game reason for early development. A Heron working with daVinci’s designs, trying to come up with something to counter the Prussian Raketenkrahe, might do it, but it’s going to be a bespoke item at that point as it’s Weird Science and works by enchantment.
You want land ships, here’s your land ships. The Dreadnought-class kettle is heading seriously in that direction anyway. You’re looking at the stern, BTW, you can tell by the direction the airscoops are facing.
The mechanical mole would be less useful in the Gruv, due to its constant tectonic activity, than on Earth, although an adventure to go rescue the crew of a mole that’s gotten stuck after a fault slipped could be exciting.
This is wayyy more anime than the Ottoman dovmaks, and a lot larger, not the access hatches in the boots. Materials science in 1880 just isn’t up to this. However, it is what got us thinking about how we could do steam mechs with existing technology and Heron-style magic.
This is a lot more likely to be seen, although the resistance to it from the cavalry officers is going to be considerable. The steam velocipede can’t handle ditches or fences like a horse, requires a mechanic to attend to it after every battle so you need an entire crew of support staff for the fielded unit, needs spare parts and fuel that have to be brought in instead of food and water you can forage for and medical treatment that can use some of the same materials the surgeons use for the troops, and requires specialized operator training. Trying to maintain a head of steam and control a steam powered vehicle, which is significantly more complicated than a liquid-fuel internal combustion engine powered one, takes up too much of the rider’s attention for this to really be practical in battle. But it does look cool. Maybe they’ll end up as police patrol vehicles in London.
And you can load the velocipede into the hangar of the submersible dreadnought. This one has the nose wheel problem of the early kettles, except here it’s been relocated to the tail. Once that digs into the mud, and it will, you can no longer drive forward or steer. Tracked vehicles were developed partly in response to the nosewheel problem that putting armor on tractors uncovered. Don’t expect to see this one in the game.