This is a series of blog articles, updating and based on my original article on Steampunk Old West. I will be posting a few blog articles over the next week or so on my experiences and thoughts on taking the old west and adding a dash of victorian science fiction. I have painted and have been painting up some Foundry Old West figures for use with the Legends of the Old West Warhammer Historical rules. I liked the concept of a traditional Old West game, however the film Cowboys and Aliens got me thinking about “different” old west backgrounds. I did first start thinking about adding Victorian Science Fiction or Steampunk elements to the games.
As well as aliens, and steampunk tech, another thing that could be added to the mix is time travel.
One inspiration for this was Harry Turtledove’s Guns of the South, in which South Africans travel in time and arm the Confederate South with the AK47. Adding 20th Century weaponry to the 19th Century can make for some interesting scenarios and games. The key really is to keep the weapons to a minimum, otherwise you no longer have an old west game, it’s just a moderns game but with cowboys!
Another idea would be to put some modern day soldiers in the old west. Though having the advantage of modern weapons, the journey back in time would be confusing and the modern day soldiers would be hesitant and unsure.
Another variation would be to follow a Star Trek style scenario have have future humans travel back in time to the old west. They could be armed with phaser style weaponry.
Star Trek: The Next Generation had a few old west holodeck adventures and that could be another mechanism for having games with cowboys and future tech. For example the Borg invade the Enterprise holodeck and the Star Fleet personnel need to team up with cowboy holograms to defeat them.
“Spectre of the Gun” (originally titled “The Last Gunfight”) is an episode from the third season of the original science fiction television series Star Trek that was first broadcast on October 25, 1968. In this episode, having been found trespassors into Melkotian space, Captain Kirk and his companions are sent to die in a psychic illusion that takes the form of the town of Tombstone, Arizona, on Earth on the historic date October 26, 1881.
Of course if we are talking about Time Travel then we mustn’t forget the Doctor. Across his many generations he has travelled to the Old West, including the recent episode, A Town Called Mercy. This episode saw the Doctor, Rory and Amy visiting the American Frontier, or “Wild West”, where they encounter a town which is cut off from the rest of the frontier until they hand over Kahler-Jex, an alien doctor, to a cyborg called the Gunslinger. However, the Gunslinger is a product of experiments by Jex to win a civil war on his planet, and the Doctor is unsure of what is the right thing to do.
The first Doctor also visited the wild west in The Gunfighters, where he interacted with the main protagonists in the gunfight at the O.K. Corral.
I already have a few Doctor Who miniatures that are on my workbench.