Disclaimer: ARC via Netgalley
Supposedly a collection of work by Miles Vandercroft, Steampunk Soldiers carries on the tradition of Osprey military books by detailing various soldiers from various countries during a Steampunk era.
Each section focuses on a different part of the world that has developed various items and weapons due to the arrival of certain materials. The introduction of each section gives an overview of the country in terms military strategy and/or development. Italy does seem to be the most creative and humorous part in this regard. In keeping with many Steampunk traditions, the United States is split in the Union and the Confederacy. While most of the focus is on major European powers, Japan gets its own chapter and other countries receive a total chapter grouping.
In other words, it is a steampunk version of the countries that participated majorly in both World Wars.
The designs for each country are varied and include anything ranging from Calvary to Firelighters. There are also hints of the traditional costumes. The Highlander Battle suit is an excellent example of this. A kilted Armored Man ala the Black Watch. The section on the two American countries could easily fit into Cherie Priest’s Steampunk series. The Russian section shows a great deal of invention with overtones of how Russia is view today. IN particular, the Russian nurses (or not nurses) stand out. The Fangfeng suit is wonderfully inventive and yet traditional. There are also hints of Freedom Fights in Belgium as well as Canada.
In short, the book is a wonderful look at a world that would make a good game.