You will find immediatly below my steam and black powder landship miniature game rules… This -essence- version should print to just a few pages. I have made great efforts to pear it down into it’s most simple form. If you’d like a rules HEAVY version just e-mail me. ENJOY!

I have several links below my own game… All having to do with gaming.

I have lots of interests, building terrain, drawing, writing sci-fi stories, gaming design (tabletop not computer), Drop me an email JUST TO SAY HI! rabbidgerbal@aol.com

Be sure to visit my main page in the first link at the bottom, it contains tons of links to free games and goodies like paper models to print on your computer, and my other game rules links for wrestling, baseball, sci-fi, a dogfight game, and my art page (just finished phew!)


(VERSION SHRAPNEL 1.01-SEPT 2002) contact rabbidgerbal@aol.com with battle reports + ideas. Special thanks to Rogoth… chief play tester + best friend who puts up with my weird ideas.

The great behemoth landships with coal fires stoked and steam boilers at full pressure chub their mighty pistons, sending vibrations of fear shaking the ground and hearts of men. Landships are the tanks of H. G. Wells imagination and the main figures in this game, One per side along with 4 (5-10) man infantry squads, gatling gun, and a cannon crew of two men, or limits of your imagination… as you experiment with more squads and/or landships in larger battles. The enemy of our Victorian Era heroes armed with steam and black powder? Martians! These are Martian’s not of -war of the worlds- level tech, but who grasp ‘like’ ability weapons they may have a co2 powered bolt weapon or Martian water pistols (to be cool) but just use “musket” stats. How they got to earth in the days of the Victorian colonial era or we got to Mars… um, would you believe natural space worm portholes? How about Martian Either water, that negates gravity, painted on wooden sailing ships? That wacky Ether!

THE FIGURES: (plastic army men, 25mm figures? what ever is handy)

ROLLS basic concepts: Dice 3 six sided rolled for each attack. Men ‘hit’ on a base roll of -12- (before any modifiers) and may ‘save’ (not die) on a roll of 1 six sided die of a roll of 6 (without modifiers) if ‘hit‘. Landships are different and have a special hit chart to follow when hit or defending…

ANY 3D6 ATTACK ROLL THAT IS A NATURAL 18 HITS: assuming your in range and such… you roll an 18 with 3 six sided dice… it hits… no questions asked… NO SAVE ROLL EITHER!!! Heroic shot.

Figures may 1) move OR. 2) shoot -if loaded- OR
3)reload -if needed-. 4)hand to hand attack 1 time after moving up to 4“.
5)If in base to base with enemy figure attack 2 times.
NOTE: squads must work as a unit and get one -shot- against a landship, but fig on fig work individually
a weapon is empty after firing in 1 round, must reload, except for a landship weapon

MOVING: Cannons and move 4” any figure may move up to 8” (-2” for hindering-cover type terrain for figures… cannons may not move in hindering cover type terrain.)

RANGED attacks: All ranged weapons need one round to “reload” and come into play -loaded-
type of weapon……………Short range………………Long range (-3 to roll)…………….modifiers
cannon* (crew of two)…7”-18”………………………..19”-30”………….. Place 3” circle in blast area
gattling gun** …………… 2“-12”………………………..13”-20”.Fire until miss, each shot -2 to roll cumulative.
HAND TO HAND: attacks (add +1 to your roll to hit !!!! range is base contact)

*The cannon uses a template (Pringles can lid? 3ish inches) and 1 roll is based to all figures within that area. some may not be hit due to higher defense values. (-Cannon Crew- below for other details.)
** Gattling gun fires until it misses (or no targets in range) the first shot roll as normal, if it hits the second shot -2 from roll if it hits, the third shot -4 from roll if it hits, the fourth shot -6 from roll etcetera…

DEFENSE: Martians are nimble while colonial humans are tough
Colonial human defense is 12 (+ terrain) , once hit may roll to save 1d6 on a 5-6
Martians defense is 14 (+ terrain), once hit may roll to save 1d6 on a 6
Landships Defense (armor value) + (speed that round)+ 1d6 (One value per whole round)
Terrain (troops touching a building or rubble gain +1 to their defense)

SQUADS + COHESION: 5-10 includes squads fire/attack man to man or as a focused group or parts of the group on a man, but must fire/attack as a Whole group on a landship. They obey line of sight rules and remain within 2” from another man in their squad.

RANGE FIGURING / MEASURING: from any tip of a weapon – man- cannon- or edge of a tank.

HIT + dying: if a figure is hit (the rolls after modifications are equal or greater than it’s modified defense) the general controlling it rolls one 6 sided die. It does not die on a roll of 6 (or 5 + 6 if the fig is tough) if it makes this roll it is considered only has suffered a scratch or minor wound and continues play as normal. However if it fails it perishes and is removed from play. For Landships see -my landships hit- below for them they function differently.

INFANTRY- Attack 3D6 Base defense=12 colonial humans or 14 for Martians (+1 to that if touching a building, rubble) If touching building when a building collapses save per figure. May move + fire-360 degree attack radius.

CANNON CREW- (1 cannon 2 men crew) Move=4” Attack 3d6 (+1 if 2 figs in group) Defense value=15 (1 hit destroys cannon. 2 figures defend as normal, then function as -infantry-… see above) may choose to fire cannon ‘or’ fire figures as infantry. Figs must remain within 2” of each other at all times. May choose to fire in 360 degree attack radius if functioning as ‘infantry‘. may NOT move + shoot cannon in same turn. cannon fires 180 degree arch forward… yes, turning counts as a movement… but may turn on axis and load in the same round. any figure can be assigned to a cannon. No figures manning a cannon and it may not fire. if only 1 figure manning- reloads take 2 rounds, may pivot but not move.. If crew killed, may assign other figures to cannon to maintain 2 crew.

LOS: Line of Sight…always applies for every model. From point to point if a model is blocked from sight it can not fire. 360 degree firing rule for infantry, yes they can look out the back of their heads. (just assume they can turn around on the same spot) cannons and gattling guns fire 180 degrees forward

LANDSHIPS:(place a ten sided die next to the vehicle… each movement face the number of inches moved 0 for stopped 1-9 inches for speed… so you won‘t forget when rolling defense or attacks) They may move+ shoot They due to crew are considered able to fire each round if able (without reloads on any weapon)

1 cannon Attack 6+3d6 ( minus speed moved in inches this round) (fire 1X per round if able)
The cannon main gun fires forward 180 degrees from the front side of the landship.
1 gat. gun Attack 2+3d6 (minus speed moved in inches this round. Fires 180 degrees each side.

STUCK: Stuck* a Landship can get stuck in the rocky mud of low water, un-collapsed building, rubble of a collapsed building, and in hindering terrain. Each round stuck roll 1d6+1 per round(s) stuck on a 5+ the landship has freed itself an may choose to go forward/reverse 2”. LOS rule applies for firing at a enemy while stuck. If stuck in a building may fire main gun to attempt to collapse the building the building collapse will make hit on landship (armor/critical damage roll) but free the landship to make a normal 1d6 anything but a six to free itself.

SPEED: Maximum 9 inches… Increase speed +2” or decrease speed -1” per round.

TURNING: costs 2 inches of speed for a 90 degree (L) and 1 inch of speed for 45 degree (V) turn. At zero speed landship may spin on axis 360 degrees.

RAMMING: 1d6+(speed of attackers landship%2) – (Opponents Landships speed X2)=
0 (or negative) a miss… place attacking landship in a straight line on other side of target 1d6” away
1-3 glancing blow (no effect)
4-5 (target rolls armor/critical damage)
6+ (Target AND attacker roll armor/critical damage)

RUNNING OVER FIGURES: 1D6=6 figure dies. if stop on figures and they “survive“… figures owner may place them anywhere within 8” at no penalty to him. You can’t run over a cannon.

TERRAINS: Building rubble, light woods… landships move at 1/2 must roll 1d6=6 means stuck* Landships or infantry in hindering terrain gain defense of +1… cannons can not be in hindering.

LOWWATER: Landships move at 1/2 must roll 1d6=6 means stuck* landships in water gain +1 defense. Cannons + infantry are not permitted in water.

BUILDING: Line of sight (LOS) blocker… Landships main guns or cannons may fire on buildings for automatic hit if they are in range. If Landship runs into building landship takes an automatic hit (armor/critical damage roll) and rolls on chart… if building doesn’t collapse Landship stuck*.
1 hit to building 1d6=6 collapse 2 hits to building 1d6=3+ collapse 3(+) hits to building= 2+ collapse
(Exception-fort buildings… they are reinforced- although figures may still be targeted)

LANDSHIP COMBAT: Landships basically compare defense total scores against attack total scores. When attacks score matches or is greater than a target… bad things happen to that target!!! The faster a landship goes the harder it is to hit, but also it’s harder for them to get a clean shot off too! Their high defense make them a hard target by infantry squads and almost impossible to be hit by a lone soldier unless perhaps stuck in the mud motionless…

EXAMPLE OF LANDSHIP COMBAT: see the ARMED ATTACKS and DEFENSE sections . Joe wants to attack Chuck‘s landship with his own. Joe checks the range (14” out of range for the gat. gun but the main gun is fine) Joe declares his weapon and the part of Chucks Landship he’s firing on (remember Line of sight) he sees the front + left side + chooses the left side as target.. he takes his base Attack for the main gun (6) + 3d6 (he rolls a total of 12 adding the 3 dice.) then minus his speed ( he moved 7 inches so 7) so his attack is 6+12-7=11… Now chuck makes a defense roll… he has an armor of 5 (base armor is 5 and he hasn‘t been hit yet or he could have a lower number) and he adds his movement of his landship in his turn , he went 6” =(6) and finally he rolls 1d6 and gets a (3) He isn’t in hindering terrain or water so 5+6+3 the shot total score was 12 and the defense total score was 14 (it missed!!!) if it hit (if both numbers are equal or the attackers is higher he would have hit) he would consult the “MY LANDSHIPS HIT” section where armor damage or critical damage to a certain area would have be made.

MY LANDSHIPS HIT, follows this procedure. These behemoths were rather unreliable and even dangerous to themselves with their hot finicky steam engines and black powder main guns. Take the current armor value of the Landship by itself, roll 2d6 if it that number or lower it is absorbed the round… if not continue-
* a hit takes a roll of 1D6 % 2 (minimum of 1) from your armor value* (armor below 2 actually means hit=critical damage) (REAR shot may choose facing) Don’t forget that each hit causing damage risks the chance of a catastrophic explosion see below after facing damages chart.


FORWARD: 1-3: Boiler damage reduce maximum speed 2″ (cumulative- if zero read below)
4-6: Reduce main gun ability to fire 3” for crack in the barrel (Cumulative- if zero read below)

SIDE:1-3: -TRACK- damage reduce maximum speed 2″ inch (cumulative- if zero read below)
4-6: Reduce -GATTLING- gun ability to fire 3” for crack in the barrel (Cumulative- if zero read below)

ZERO: Each time, when one of speed, gattling gun range, or cannon range is reduced to zero you must roll for a 50% chance of -MY LANDSHIP EXPLODED- (1d6 1-3=fail) if you fail read on.

EACH HIT NOT ABSORBED/DEFLECTED BY ARMOR: each hit that does some damage (to weapons/armor) adds one chance that your landship will explode (see below) first hit roll 2D6 any thing but a 12, then next damaging hit anything but an 11 or 12, next damaging hit 2D6 under 10 (get it?)

MY LANDSHIP EXPLODED!!! Any man, landship, cannon, including your own within 8” of any point of the landship gets an attack against it, 3d6 roll for -each- fig /landship. figures defense values are as normal.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: