Tuesday, 13 August 2013

In Her Majesty's Name: A Review

IHMN is the Osprey published Steampunk rules by Cartmell & Murton.

I bought the e-version which is not well structured. Fortunately the designers have a website with downloadable reference sheets,

You never know what you are going to get with Osprey. They seem to have no quality control. Their rules sets include the full range from the superb Bolt Action to the awful Tomorrow's War.

IHMN reads very well when you go through it. Like Bolt Action you grasp immediately what the writers are getting at and can visualise how a game is played. There is a very Warlord-like lightness of touch. These rules are for people who have steampunk models and want to have a reasonable game with them. There are no innovatory systems, exciting new concepts blah, blah, just a well chosen set of mechanisms that do the biz with the minimum of fuss.

Movement is alternate, one figure at a time and shooting much the same. This presents interesting tactical choices. Preprogrammed armies are available from North Star with stats listed in the rules but there are comprehensive tables to allow a player to design his own team. Quite a wide range of 'talents' are available and some Victorian steampunk geekiness.

I and my long suffering regular opponent, Shaun, designed a couple of simple armies and got to it. We just used the core rules but had no difficulty playing immediately using the reference sheets with only an occasional check against the main rules.

The Scenario

Professor Fuzzlewit and his assistant have discovered a fascinating article on a Tibetan archaeological site. Being gibbering academics, they immediately announce their find in the Oxford Historical Review, attracting the attention of the Divine Sons of Heaven. That's them in a skirmish line just beyond the tents.

But feareth not, Captain Flashheart and a crack team of British Army regulars race to the rescue, having got wind of the devious foreign plot.

Battle was joined amongst the tents and temple and, as you will observe, our plucky British lads started to take a hammering from the wily orientals. Actually we both dashed around hitting nothing until we worked out how to exploit the shooting rules, well until Shaun worked out how to exploit the shooting rules.

Our brave lad's got a few blows back in return but alas, as so often happens in tactical skirmish games, a dodgy situation soon became a disastrous situation and Flashheart was forced to make a tactical withdrawal with the few British survivors.

But never fear, he shall return!

IHMN is what I fondly like to call a Ronseal game. It does what it says on the box, no more but no less. I enjoyed the game immensely and went out and bought the dead tree version. Something I should have done from day one. Note to Osprey: erules are not the same as an ebook. More navigation aids are needed.



  1. Thanks for the writeup. The whole Osprey rules movement is very interesting, so hearing about them "first hand" is valuable.

    Their rules sets include the full range from the superb Bolt Action to the awful Tomorrow's War. I thought that Tomorrow's War was well received? Is that not the case?

    1. Not by me. The TW rules are a shambles and the artwork is poor.

      Osprey themselves haven't a clue about wargaming. So the quality control seems to be down to the writers. The ex GW people at Warlord and Mantic know what they're doing so the rules are good. But others...

      I am pleased to say that IHMN is one of the decent sets. Good value at about a tenner.