Sky Galleons of Mars

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Sky Galleons of Mars is a board wargame designed by Frank Chadwick, Marc W. Miller and Loren Wiseman, published in 1988 by Game Designers' Workshop. It is set in an alternate Victorian Era where the major nations of Earth are extending their colonial interests on Mars (a barbarian, Edgar Rice Burroughs-style planet) and Venus (a primitive planet teeming with dinosaurs). The discovery of Liftwood, a martian plant endowed with anti-gravity powers, allows the deployment of aerial fleets in the skies of the Red Planet.

The game won Origins Awards for Best Fantasy or Science Fiction Boardgame of 1988 and Best Graphic Presentation of a Boardgame of 1988,[1] and was the inspiration for the role-playing game Space: 1889. It can be played on its own or as the tactical ship combat game for Space: 1889.


Sky Galleons of Mars

SGoM box

Each hex on the map represents 200 yards, each turn represents one-minute of time and a single model represents and individual cloudship or aerial gunboat.


The game is played on an hexagonal map board that serves to regulate movement and combat. Small plastic models represent the various flying ships involved in the fight, though paper counters can also be used.

The rulebook is split into two main sections, Basic Rules and Advanced Rules. Basic is the game at its simplest form, with rules for moving, firing and taking damage. The Advanced section adds detailed rules for ramming and grappling, towing other vessels, crew small arms, crew quality, and more. The rest of the booklet includes seven scenarios along with rules for a campaign game.

During a battle, play proceeds through turns, each of which is broken down into three phases:

Initiative Phase: The players change crew assignments. If desired, boarding parties can be assembled or disbanded at this stage. Players also roll dice to determine who is the First Player that turn.

First Movement/Fire Phase: The First player moves all of his ships. Both players attack (taking into account range, weapon type, etc.). If damage is taken, it is resolved now.

Second Movement/Fire Phase: The second player moves all of his ships. Both players attack (taking into account range, weapon type, etc.). If damage is taken, it is resolved now.


  • Rule Book
  • Introduction to Space: 1889 (16pp)
  • Ship Form Book (16pp)
  • 2x Reference Folders
  • 15 plastic Sky Galleons and Aerial Gunboats
  • 4x dice
  • 2x 22"x28" maps
  • 64x diecut counters

Skygalleons2 Skygalleons4


  1. "Origins Award Winners (1988)". Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts & Designs.

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