Issue: 2
System: Space 1889
Publisher: GDW

H.M.A.F. Sussex
An aerial patrol cruiser for Space 1889
by Neil Simpson


The Admiralty invited designs for an Aerial Flyer capable of operating for long periods of time in May l885. When the designs submission date passed in January 1886, the Admiralty had five designs to choose from. The eventual winner was the only kite offered, the 1000 ton County class patrol cruiser.

The first five keels were laid down in June 1886, with a further five laid down in January 1887. Of the ten Countys in service, four (Suusex, Antrim, Yorkshire and Kerry) are in the Pacific, two (Devon and Cornwall) are in the Carribean, two (Lancashire and Essex) arc in the Atlantic, one (Donegal) in the Mediterranean and one (Fife) is in the Indian Ocean.


The County class ships are 200 feet long by 60 feet wide, wind propelled and have lift provided by liftwood panels and slats. County classes have 3" of armour all round and are armed with one 5" breach loader, three long 4" breach loaders, four short 4" breech loaders, two 1pdr Pom Poms, two 6pdr Hotchkiss Revolvers, four 5 barrelled Nordenfelt machine guns, ten tether mines and a Smutts Aerial torpedo launcher.

The crew consists of the Captain, three Officers, six Petty Officers, forty four Ratings and twenty Marines; a total of seventy four officers and men. The ships have been warmly welcomed by the RNAS for their endurance. A County can stay on petrol until it runs out of food and water, on average a period of ninety days.

Game Information

Hull Size - 10. Hull type - Steel. Lift - Liftwood. Max Weight - 1000 tons. Max Altitude - High. Cost 100,000.

Propulsion - Sails. Weight - 100 tons. Cost 6,000.

Armour Value - 3. Weight 300 tons. Cost 3,000.


Quarters for Marines. Weight - 50 tons. Cost - 400.

Total Cost - 122,840.

The ship was designed using the Cloudships and Gunboats rules. The above information allows you to use Countys in any of your Space 1889 games. If you think the idea of the RNAS using sailing ships in 1889 is unlikely, I'd like you to know that the RN was still using sailing ships in the Pacific during WW1 for patrol duties - the role of the County class.