Perhaps a good compromise are skirmishes between colonial powers in the far off land?
Or set it in a steampunk colonial city, with their being internal conflicts between the natives, rather than outright conquest?
Or lastly Indiana Jones it, and have expedition to lost magical ruins.
Steampunk practitioners like to have all the aesthetic trappings of the colonial period but don't like to deal with the icky awfulness of actual colonialism.
I honestly don't see why this is excessively looked down upon compared to playing fantasy murderhobos decked out in silly fantasy armor or space marines decked out in skulls and purity seals which gets significantly less shit on. Just have the faux-Brits working to introduce their tech to their colonial possessions.
Hell, make it a stand in for the British railways that finally connected India into a single super-state.
In Bradford, more than three quarters of all Pakistani marriages are believed to be between first cousins.
The city’s Royal Infirmary Hospital has identified more than 140 different recessive disorders among local children, compared with the usual 20-30.
You could advance the tech of the natives, but I think that invalidates the idea.Somthing to keep in mind is that these birth defect rates are the result, most likely, of repeated generations of first-cousin marriages, where the gene pool keeps getting more and more concentrated due to generation after generation of inbreeding.This is very interesting because the number typically reported is that first-cousin marriages result in birthdefects about double the rate for non-related couples.Brits and some Indians team up to use steam-mechs enhanced with scavenged divine relics to put the Indian gods back to sleep while dealing with sabotage from more faithful Indians and British converts.Then you make it a setting where the Raj eventually became independent, with England granting it autonomy after the East India company fell apart in exchange for favorable trade relations and access to it's ports.Also you can have the plight of the common man in a colonial environment, the Australians making their way across this untamed continent of strange fauna and harsh environments, or the Boer colonists in South Africa dealing with their mother country abandoning them and being subjugated by their new British overlords.