Thursday, 13 September 2018

All Quiet on the Martian Front - Part 1





Establishing a forward post.


No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that human affairs were being watched from the timeless worlds of space.
No one could have dreamed that we were being scrutinised as someone with a microscope studies creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water.
Few men even considered the possibility of life on other planets and yet, across the gulf of space minds immeasurably superior to ours regarded this Earth with envious eyes and slowly and surely they drew their plans against us.

At midnight, on the 12th of August, a huge mass of luminous gas erupted from Mars and sped towards Earth.  Across two hundred million miles of void invisibly hurtling towards us came the first of the missiles that were to bring so much calamity to Earth.

As I watched, there was another jet of gas. It was another missile starting on its way, and that's how it was for the next ten nights, a flare, spurting out from Mars, bright green, drawing a green mist behind it.  A beautiful, but somehow disturbing sight.

Ogilvy, the astronomer, assured me we were in no danger.
He was convinced there could be no living thing on that remote forbidding planet.

The chances of anything coming from Mars are a million to one, he said.
The chances of anything coming from Mars are a million to one, but still, they come.

Then came the night the first missile approached Earth.  It was thought to be an ordinary falling star but the next day there was a huge crater in the middle of the common and Ogilvy came to examine what lay there.

A cylinder, thirty yards across, glowing hot with faint sounds of movement coming from within.

Suddenly the top began moving, rotating, unscrewing and Ogilvy feared there was a man inside trying to escape.

He rushed to the cylinder but the intense heat stopped him.  Before he could burn himself on the metal.
The chances of anything coming from Mars are a million to one, he said.

It seems totally incredible to me now that everyone spent that evening as though it were just like any other.
From the railway station came the sound of shunting trains, ringing and rumbling, softened almost into melody by the distance.
It all seemed so safe and tranquil.

Despite the immense power of the Martian invaders,from the moment the invaders arrived, breathed our air, ate and drank, they were doomed. 

They were undone, destroyed, after all of man's weapons and devices had failed, by the tiniest creatures that God in his wisdom put upon this earth. 

By the toll of a billion deaths, man had earned his immunity, his right to survive among this planet's infinite organisms. And that right is ours against all challenges. For neither do men live nor die in vain.

Unfortunately the Martians have learnt from their first invasion and now at the beginning of the second decade of the twentieth century the Martians have launched their second invasion, this time the forces of humanity are better prepared.

All Quiet on the Martian Front is a simple yet engaging set of rules for battles set in an alternative history much in the vain of the story by H G Wells. 

This battle was played out on a 6' x 4' table in my games room.  The Martian invaders, which in our campaign history are Mechaloids, evil protagonists that are seeking the Keys of Power.  In this scenario the Mechaloid fighting machines are harvesting the local population of a small rural setting whilst trying to establish Power Nodes throughout the countryside.

The Forces of Earth on the Allied side are attempting to destroy the Power Nodes whilst also ensuring that refugees can reach the safety of the ruined town site. 


Mighty metal warlords come across the horizon unleashing sheets of flame.


Mk II Steamer Tanks rumble slowly down the cobbled roads.

Infantry form up along hedge lines, willing to sell their lives in the defence of Earth.

Mk II Mobile Artillery take up position.  Howitzers taking aim on the metal monstrosities.

At the front line a Field Gun Battery unleashes a barrage of fire in an attempt to draw the Martians attention away from the fleeing civilians.


A 90mm Anti-Tripod Gun launches shot across the battlefield, striking the Power Node.  Unfortunately the shot only causes superficial damage.


With a terrifying moan the Tripods surge forward.


Both human and martian forces trade shots doing little damage to each other.

The civilians continue to flee the wicked blades of the Lobototon Slicers.  Even as they run a heat ray strikes out leaving a charred skeleton where once there was flesh and blood.

The Martian battle line, towers over the small farmstead. 



Tripods move into range of the waiting infantry.

The forces of humanity are not without a few tricks up their sleeves.  Forlorn Hope teams use grappling hooks to attack the approaching machines.  Planting explosives to cripple the huge machines.


The Red Martian, so named by the blood of its victims it sprays upon its armed shell, unleashes bursts of its heatray turning three tanks to molten lumps of metal. 


Infantry push the assault on the martians legs whilst tanks for shot after shot into the globe like body.

Gunner Simmons takes careful aim...

... and land a perfect hit!  Completely obliterating one of the fighting machines. 

Slicers gain on the fleeing villagers.  The Slaver Tripod pushing them into a frenzy.

One after another the tanks of the brave forces of humanity are destroyed.


The ammo train feeding the Anti Tripod Gun becomes a rather attractive and vulnerable target.

Firing its last shot the Anti Tripod Gun unleashes its vengeance on the Scout Tripod.

With smoke obscuring the visibility, the forces of man retreat leaving the battlefield firmly in the hands of the martian invaders.


Thanks for looking.

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Painting - Starting out




Painting Piggies

My other half has a keen interest in board games and recently got introduced to Wrath of Kings.
She asked if I could give her some tips on painting and these are her results.




So far she has made some good progress on her Teknes troops.

Surf and Turf.

Tuesday, 4 September 2018

Painting - Maximillian Drivers




Out of Gas

I finally got around to painting my pulp drivers for Maximillian1934.

I don't know if there are any official rules for pedestrians in the rules yet but for the time being I think I will just treat them as being able to move at speed 1 (6") without need to roll for hazards.   They can also move in any direction.  Each is armed with a pistol and has as many damage boxes as they have when in their vehicles.  Due to their small size and the ability to move in a less predictable manner they also get a bonus 2 fortune dice when trying to avoid incoming fire.



Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Building - A Couple of Demo Tables




Circles in the Sand

Sorry it's been so long between updates.  I could sit here and list any number of excuses as to why that's the case but it doesn't really matter.  What matters is that I haven't been idle.

Now I really love small scale skirmish games, the sort of game that can be played on a table that fits your average kitchen table.  Better still a game where only a handful of models are on either side.

with so many awesome games out there these days it can be hard to persuade people to try things outside of what they normally play.  It can be a huge investment in time to sit down and try a new game and there is nothing more annoying then being stuck playing a 2 hour introduction game to a system that just doesn't grab you.

So I set about making some very small demo tables.

The idea of these tables is just to showcase the basic rules of my chosen skirmish games.  Ideally each intro lasting less then 30 minutes.  Much less in fact.

The games I have in mind are, Dark-Age , Wrath of Kings and Eden of course these little boards could also be used for other post apocalypse type settings.

I decided on round tables.  

I thought that given these are to be used to welcome new players a round table is less confrontational.  It gives less of a feel that you are facing off against someone sat opposite you.  
I found some nice round bar tabletops 60 cm across.

For my first table I had in mind to do a shipwreck on a beach.  Not your normal wooden ship but something a little more substantial.  I used high density foam to make an island shape.  

Cork bark was used to make a rough cliff on one side with the rest of the island gently sloping down.  I repeatedly tested figures on the surface to make sure they could stand up okay and that no part was too steep.

I cut out a section of the island to insert my proposed section of ship and covered the entire island with sand.  I used filler to smooth off sections that were a little rough and added some cork bark as rocks.

The section of ship was built from cereal packets wrapped around a polystyrene core.  

I painted the ship up to look weathered.  I added text to the ship using a stencil that I printed off.  This ship is 'Unit 57 Haulage'.
I glued sandpaper to the deck to give a nonslip surface for figures to stand on and then added some small jet pack exhausts I found on an old toy.

I added more plastic components from my bits box and made a simple mast from plastic tubing.

The whole island was then covered in sand.


I painted the sand in regular household paint.
Then I made a simple sign from copper sheet and a copper wire.  The sign is a decal I printed off at home.  This was weathered to look old.

I added streaks of weathering to the ship and glued it in place.

Next I added some chains.


I masked off the rocks and painted them so they stood out better from the sand.  I also painted the blue around the island.  It's quite bright and not a colour I would normally do water but I figured it was eye catching.

I added sand to hide the join where the ship met the island.

I decided that the sign looked better on the opposite side.  


An anchor was added to one of the chains.


I masked off the entire board and poured resin over the water area.

Using ultra clear two part glue I dabbed the water area to create an uneven surface.


After the Island board was finished I moved on to a second tabletop.   This time an old abandoned petrol station.  I pretty much used the same techniques just changing colours.




Thanks for looking.