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.


  1. Hi Mr H. great stuff as usual, remember i have a scratchbuilt landship that needs an outing at some stage. also I notice you have been doing a lot of 18th century ships. I have 50 pirate crew painted if required.
    Regards Simon c.

    1. Thanks Simon. I’ve been a bit slack in updating my blog recently, mainly due to the house build taking up free time. However the new house is now built with just a few cosmetic bits to do before moving in. Once that is done I will get back on track.

      I picked up the Blood and Plunder rules a while ago and would love to give them a try or failing that the Pirate rules by, I think, flagship games.