The Cloudships of Mars game by the South London Warlords had its first outing at Salute Zero Five and was out again at SELWG 2005.

Cloudships will be making its last outing (for the time being) at Salute Zero Six.

Article from the Salute Zero Six programme as a pdf

Article from the Salute Zero Five programme as a pdf

This game - based on the GDW Space 1889 background - uses rules adapted by the Warlords for fast play and ships scratch built in 28mm "scale".

On Mars
Cloudships fly. That they do so is due almost entirely to the bizarre properties of a special tree grown only in the highlands of Mars which - when correctly cultivated and processed - produces planks of 'Liftwood'. This rare and valuable liftwood is arranged in 'Venetian-blind' style panels which, in the hands of a skilled trimsman, can be opened and closed to generate lift.

While Earth war ships are armoured, steam driven and carry modern weaponry, the Martians are either powered by sail - called 'Kites' - or are driven through the air by the muscle power of their crews: called 'Screw Galleys'. In the latter case the Martians sailors stand either side of a long crankshaft that runs almost the length of the ship and - via a heavy, momentum conserving flywheel - power the ship via a propeller system in much the same way that renaissance ships (and earlier) were powered around the Mediterranean by oars and the sweat of men's brows.

Background to the games
The games take place over the contested canal-side town of Syrtis Minor on the Oenotria canal. Until recently claimed by the British, this town has recently 'risen up' and ejected the British forces who withdrew to Syrtis Major. The whole area is a hotbed of Martian incursion into British ruled territories and - with allied assistance in the shape of the French and Americans - Martian galleys are challenging Queen Victoria's rule over her Martian colonies and Syrtis Minor is in the thick of it. The games will involve British attempts to reclaim Her Imperial Majesty's rightful control over the area by wresting it from foreign interference and native despotism.

Syrtis Minor - a brief guide
There are two constructed islands within the canal called 'Main Island' (or 'Main') and 'Petty Island' by the British, connected to the two banks by four bridges, two for each island. The banks of Syrtis Minor are usually known as Westbank and East bank (the islands being closer to the East bank) and the bridges are generally known as Main East and Main West; and Petty East and Petty West - the Western bridges are the longer items.

The Governor's palace is situated on the Petty Island in the walled off compound at one end.

Close by to the town are the Syrtis Kraags (sometimes called Syrtis Mons), a high area of volcanic vents that once provided power for the town using some form of ancient native steam generators. They are quite a height barrier but could be overcome at high attitude if it weren't for the thermal activity caused by them. Over-flying these areas safely is impossible in a cloud ship.

The area is farmed a little to supply some local need but most of the town's activity centres around canal borne trade.

The Models
Club members are furiously building ships and so forth and this is some initial material to show how we have progressed. Click on the images right to go to the ship's modelling pages

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NEW Original designs for Space 1889 NEW The Game at Salute Zero Six NEW The Martian Fort
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The Game at Salute Zero Five The Game at SELWG 2005 New deck equipment (like this globe of Mars) on some ships: Texas, Aphid, Hullcutter and Ranger
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The Martian "Skylord" Kite being built Flags to download Introduction and rule sheet (as pdf file)
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The play area in use Figures The "Napoleon" a "LaFayette" Class French ship
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Playsheets A British "Aphid" Class a second British "Aphid" Class
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A Martian "Hullcutter" Screw Galley Another Martian "Hullcutter" Screw Galley Ah'ny uthar
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The Ranger: an American ship based on a
Martian Hull
The Texas: an American ship based on a
Martian Hull
a British "Locust" Class

When navigating, click the main Cloudships logo - at the top of the page - to return to this main page