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The photo shows the painted Eureka film crews that will be used in the Little Wars Melbourne 2012 game of Cast of Thousands that Greg and I will be running. The rules for these have been written and following some tuning will be free for download both here and on the Eureka site. The figures themselves will be commercially available soon, and they are suitable for any of your pulp adventure gaming needs. Beautiful sculpts.

In other developments, my copy of the Uniforms of the Pacific War 1879-1884 has arrived. Looks great. Inspirational art. I also acquired a copy of the Foundry book on the Paraguayan War which is roughly contemporary to the battle on the opposite side of the continent. Certainly for a (VSF) fantasy view of the South America, at least parts of the conflict can be considered to be occurring at the same time.

Uniforms for the regular forces are pretty similar to the French and German outfits of the recent Franco-Prussian War. Consequently, American Civil War figures will do for most of the troops. A few pickelhaubs in there will look the part too for the early militias. Troop numbers were comparatively low, and one can see from the photos that there was great variability in the uniforms worn.

For the more native elements, I have for a start the Tupi produced by Eureka already painted. In time I will be looking for Inca style figures for that real lost civilisation feel.

The main thing that troubles me is how exactly to pitch this. The more I read the more I find that very few have trod this path towards fantasy/scientific romance South America. At least, few that I can find writing in English. Perhaps there is a core of South American gamers out there who can help me.

What I want is the feel of the Latin writing style of Magic Realism. It’s not so much the whiz-bang steampunk of Europe, but more the cold hard reality of a tough life, seamlessly shot through with the fantastic. One of the favourite books in my collection is the Dictionary of Imaginary Places. My intention is to go through and isolate all the South American places and draw them out. In suspect that this may have already been done in the back story of the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and this makes me wonder if that very setting may be exactly what I need as the metaphorical shoreline for my expedition in to the unknown.

It’s still early days. And a long way from a game yet. My research for rules to play is still far from over, but so far the Space 1889 Soldier’s Companion, with modified turn sequencing inspired by Song of Blades and Heroes remains the front runner. The S1889 SC is a rich source of reference material. The basic game conventions are sound. Only the turn sequencing needs to be fixed in my opinion (and since I’ll be running this for my gratification, my opinion counts loudest).

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