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A tale of two worlds

A tale of two worlds

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Project Blog by hutch Cult of Games Member

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About the Project

Victorian Science Fiction is one of my favourite periods, if you can call it such. We have played many games set in our alternative history. To sum up our setting is based sometime after War of the Worlds. After the Martians were defeated on Earth mankind started to make numerous breakthroughs. Large flying ships called Aeronef rule the skies. Man has reached Mars and has spread its influence over the lost and ancient civilisations that live there...

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The Battle of the Sands. Conclusion

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The Battle of the Sands.

Conclusion.

This was a victory to the British but at a very high cost. Although all their armour had in fact survived their cavalry was completely wiped out and their infantry suffered huge losses (including those cowardly Scots…no oatcakes for them). The Rhinox were experiments which worked fairly well though need tweaking some.  I think that one day we’ll need to do an armour only battle as these pieces tend to stay fairly static to allow them to fire, and with turrets they become firing platforms trying to take out the more nimble units of cavalry and infantry.

The Battle of the Sands. Part Two

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The Battle of the Sands.

Part Two

 

The Prussians meanwhile had decided to leave their spider tank in situ and use the twin turret mounted Gatling Cannons to sweep across the infantry and armoured cars, with their smaller armoured cars advancing to more tactical positions. Both the Orca and the Pob took hits, and a number of the highlanders fell into the dust.

The Battle of the Sands.  Part Two

Back with the Rhinox, Captain Grey managed to goad his mount into a furious charge…which completed!  All three of the beasts charged through the ranks of the Marztruppen, who tried their best to get out of the way of four tonnes of potential sausage. Half the unit did not manage this feat and many were simply crushed. The Rhinox halted at the end of their charge distance…but right adjacent to the Prussian tanks!  Not a good place to be.

Meanwhile the Prussian regulars led by the infamous and rather portly Hero Count Heinrich Helmutsson were dashing through the floatwoods towards the Berkshires. The Hephaestus managed her sustain role and the gunner rolled a 1 to hit. ‘Hurrah!’ cried the navy, as the shell landed slap in the middle of the wave of advancing blue.

Back on the British left flank, those sneaky fliers had used the Creekbed for cover before launching a vicious attack on their rear, leaving half the unit dead as their machine guns cackled away.

The Battle of the Sands.  Part Two

In reply they managed to destroy most of the fliers and the single remaining model decided he’s had enough.  However, their attention had been distracted by the fliers for long enough to mask the advance of the remaining cavalry, who crashed into them.  A furious melee ensued in which the surviving Prussian cavalry officer managed to keep his men from fleeing and kill the Scots officer. Seeing their leader killed the Highlanders decided to call it quits and left the table.  Now only a single armoured car and the heavily damaged walker held the left, although the Prussians had too few men left to press their advantage.  In the centre meanwhile the Berkshires met with the depleted ranks of the Prussians.  Their greater numbers took their toll, as did getting the initiative.  However, the remaining seven Prussians remained true to their great leader and returned quite a devastating volley that forced the British back into cover.

However, the epic that was being played out was on the right side of the table. The Rhinox, taking an entire turn to turn around were shot at by the remaining soldiers (those unflattened ones anyway). One of the shots got lucky, disabling one of the Rhinox tails and reducing the armour value of another, while another shot managed to blow up the Naptha tank on the side of Captain Grey’s beast.  The Hero managed to make his save roll and landed a few feet away from the Prussian main tank, still on his feet, to polite clapping.  Wiping his rather singed moustache, he leapt for what remained of his saddle to re-mount.   Just as he did this the main tank fired at point blank range into his beast.  Surely they could not miss…but they did!   We were playing in this game a method of working out where failed shots landed..and this one landed only a few feet away from the tank, catching itself in its own blast radius and knocking it out of action!  The beast also took extra damage but managed to stay on its feet and Grey had survived a second time!  Luckily the remaining armoured car was trading shots with the Pib, which was racing (well, ambling gently) to the aid of the captain and his men. Who in the meantime had charged for a second time through the surviving soldiers.

The Battle of the Sands.  Part Two

Men and beast fell until all that remained were the Marztruppen captain and one of his men, battling it out with fist and sabre with our wounded hero, who by this time had survived another detonation from his mount (which had finally killed it) and two sword thrusts.  Grey parried and thrust his sword through the breastplate of the German leader and swivelled to receive and give the killing blow from his last opponent.  Both forces on the flank had completely wiped each other out!

The Battle of the Sands.  Part Two

Things were starting to look bad for the Prussians. Their last cavalry wiped out by the rattling guns of the Pob and their armoured penny farthing lying gently sizzling before the Orca (whose flamethrower had finally worked), their last hope was inflicting damage with their spider tank. Heinrich

Helmutsson led a last desperate (well, as he was the only remaining man in his unit) charge at the lumbering Hephaestus to be finally picked off by the rifles and Gatling gun of the ship’s crew.  The end was in sight.  The remaining Berkshires attacked the legs of the Spider which at last turned to face the British.  But with its commander and driver killed in the barrage of fire aimed at it, it surrendered.

The Battle of the Sands.  Part Two

The Battle of the Sands. Part One

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The Battle of the Sands.

Part One.

 

Captain Grey of the Heavies shifted his weight in the saddle to ease his old wound as his Rhinox made use of its time to chew a redweed bush beneath him.  He could hear the beasts copious teeth making short work of a plant with all the softness of barbed wire and wondered, not for the first time, what the inside of his stomach must look like.  He slowly turned the field telescope around the low hills, but there was still too much dust to see clearly. This filthy wind had kicked up so much dust in the past few days that the steam conveyances were seizing up.  He could hear their tortured joints behind him as they struggled to maintain their pace.  Only the Rhinox seemed not to care much, whatever the weather threw at them

Their mission had begun three weeks before.  Using hit and run tactics it was hoped to break up the Prussian advance while the different columns had yet to converge in their attack on New Brighton.  It was clear that the British Imperial force was much too small to hold but a small section of line around the bastion of the city, making it far too vulnerable to short range nef bombing and siege artillery.  If the supply lines could be cut or severely hampered then at least it might buy some time for reinforcements to arrive from Britain and her allies the Russian and Confederate States.

Several flying columns had been sent out, including Greys.  And so far their mission had been very successful.  Four Prussian supply columns had been destroyed including a large artillery unit, and a further large unit had been forced to make a retreat.  But their position was becoming increasingly tenuous and the hunter was becoming the hunted.  They had been spotted yesterday by a Prussian nef patrol and had already evaded one force sent to find them, though mainly by entering the sandstorm which they were just emerging from.  Their only hope now was to get back to their lines as swiftly as possible.

Sergeant Norris emerged from around the crags in front of Captain Grey and pulled his Rhinox to a panting halt.

“Waterhole sir..about a kilometre away. It looks like the one the Drune marked out for us sir…has the cleft rocks just like they described”

“Very well sergeant. Signal the column to advance.  I daresay we could use the water…even these fellows” he said, looking down as yet another redbush disappeared into the gaping maw of his riding beast.  His mount began a guttural growl as his brain registered the presence of the other Rhinox, fearing possibly the theft of his redbush.  Grey gave him a whack with his iron poker.  Best not let them start fighting.  They were placid beasts, on the whole, and as long distance mounts through this land they could not be beaten.  But heaven and earth would not stop a Rhinox that had decided to charge at something. Grey had once seen one of his troopers frantically clinging on as his mount had hit and turned over an armoured car belonging to the Duke of Cambridge’s light infantry.  No-one had told the poor fellows about the colour green….

The pale sun was starting to grow weaker in the sky as the British column limped into the oasis.  The dust was settling now, enabling the men to take their dust masks off and wipe them.  Lieutenant Hughes of the armoured car brigade was just about able to see the long row of hills to his north for the first time in two days.  He raised his periscope and turned his turret while opening the hatch to let at least a little fresh air into the cauldron that was the HMMS Pib.  His hand froze.  There, not two hundred meters away was another column.  Long rows of soldiers, cavalry and tanks.  The Prussians!

For a full twenty seconds the two columns, travelling in different directions, looked on at each other before recognition set in.  Then there was a brief moment of almost silence when all that could be heard was the thumping regularity of steam boilers and wheezing pistons.

 

Then, all hell broke loose.

The Battle of the Sands.  Part One

Well a mighty pickle the British had got themselves into, moving alongside a Prussian column in a sandstorm and not seeing their adversaries until you could chuck a haggis in their nearest funnel.

The British forces on the nearest table edge are led by the indomitable HMMS Pib (a rather nice Ironclad armoured car), followed by the lumbering and temperamental Rhinox patrol led by Captain Grey.  Following them the 58th Poobah Lancers, the rather rusty four legged HMMS Hephaestus, a platoon of the Berkshires, the bipedal HMMS Orca with its rather nasty flamethrower, a platoon of highlanders and lastly Pib’s cousin HMMS Pob.

On the Prussian side a party of his heli-troops are scouting ahead, followed by an armoured car, the monstrous spider tank with twin turrets, a large group of Lancers, forty infantry, another armoured car and a medium tank.

In the first turn most of our steam armour managed to break down, although some did manage to about face.  This left it up to the infantry and cavalry to start the proceedings. The Berkshires raced up onto the dunes running parallel to their adversaries so they might get a clear view.

 

They were in time to see the glorious, colourful and ultimately FINAL charge of the Poobah Lancers as the massed ranks of forty infantry including the elite Marztruppen opened fire. Wiped out to a man!

 

The Battle of the Sands.  Part One

Meanwhile, Captain Grey had only just managed to control his beasts and was following in the footsteps of the doomed lancers, whose sacrifice had at least managed to get his unit into charge range next turn.

The Battle of the Sands.  Part One

If only the beasts would be goaded by the green rag!

Meanwhile the Prussian lancers, oblivious to the carnage inflicted on their opposite numbers, rushed through a gap in the oasis floatwood trees to charge the unit of highlanders who had taken up firing positions along a dried creek bed , covered by the Pob.

Oh dear!  A short distance roll meant that they didn’t quite make it.  And the doughty Scots got off a volley, crashing into horses, pickelhaubes and floatwood trees.  Horsemen and their mounts tumbled into the creek.  The unit however was far from obliterated and the three officers had all managed to remain in the saddle leading their men.

Meanwhile the British had finally managed to start up the Hephaestus but their first shot was a miserable one as Commander Huntleigh-Burns could attest to as he viewed it from the top deck.

The Battle of the Sands.  Part One

The Battle of Horst's Ferry. Conclusion

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The Battle of Horst’s Ferry.

Conclusion.

 

Well a draw I suppose.  The Prussians got to destroy the tower and caused a good deal of terror but the majority of the refugees and soldiers escaped, along with some very valuable prisoners.   It was great fun to finally get some aerial ships going as well as cavalry as it really moved the game along quickly and presented many new angles of attack (and considerations for defence). It was really hard getting the balance of forces right for this one with the Prussian side having a lot of armour and air ability and the Brits having a lot of well dug in rifles. These certainly stopped the Prussian infantry pretty well but were fairly powerless with the big beasties…probably just how it should have been.

 

 

The Battle of Horst's Ferry.   Conclusion
The Battle of Horst's Ferry.   Conclusion
The Battle of Horst's Ferry.   Conclusion

The Battle of Horst's Ferry. Part Two

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The Battle of Horst’s Ferry.

Part Two.

 

A great cheer went up from the defenders, only to be stifled as they saw the looming shape of the zeppelin bomber appear!

The Battle of Horst's Ferry.   Part Two

HMMS Elgar’s crew had some luck with their Gatling gun (they had fired the RA crew by this point) in damaging the front weapon of the lead spider but disaster struck as their engine conked out!  Unable to use their main weapon, the crew valiantly swept the approaching Prussian units with their machine guns as behind them units began to fall back.

The last of the attack ships swept by the semaphore tower, small arms fire bouncing off it as it approached.   The British would have loved to have tried to board men by jumping off the semaphore tower into the hull but the movement dice didn’t allow it!

However, the ship then landed just adjacent to the ferry ramp ready to disgorge hordes (well, a dozen or so) crack troops and a secretive agent!   The refugees who by this time had almost reached the ramp milled around in horror as they saw their escape route blocked and got in the way of the Berkshires and Bombay infantry trying to get to the ship, led by the Corporal astride a horse he’d ‘borrowed’.

Meanwhile the bomber approached nearer as the Prussian infantry began their breakthrough with the second spider tank, and met the second line of defence at the rear of the ferry buildings. The Prussian assault troops leapt from their landed craft across the ramp, sweeping the ferry with flamethrowers that killed most of the crew, including Captain Shamrock. Luckily massed fire from a small unit of Indian infantry and the remaining crew killed enough of them to force their surrender. While they were taken prisoner and herded onto the boat (including the secret agent..) in front of an avalanche of refugees , soldiers and horses the remaining rear-guard poured everything they had at the bomber. “Java’ Thwaites put down his cup for only the second time that morning and pulled his signalling pistol slowly from a pouch.

The Battle of Horst's Ferry.   Part Two

The bomber came closer and obviously was about to ram as he fired into the ship, his phosphor flare setting two crew alight but alas not saving Semaphore tower 21, which with the great noise of tearing steel girders and splintering wood fell sideways over into the canal. The falling wreckage killing a number of the remaining rear-guard as they fled, firing over their shoulders.

The last of the refugees aboard and as many of the soldiers who could get to the ship in time, the ferry departed intact. None of the settlers had survived the assault and the Indians had been quite hard hit too. None of the naval brigade managed to escape, as HMMS Elgar and the first Spider mutually destroyed each other.

 

However, climbing aboard the ferry having survived a tremendous dive into the canal was signaller Thwaites, still clutching his best china cup. He had however lost the matching saucer…so the gloves were really off now.

 

The Battle of Horst's Ferry. Part One

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The Battle of Horst’s Ferry.

Part One.

 

Semaphore 21 stood beside the Mars Grand Trunk Canal at the town of Horst’s Ferry. Rearing almost 200 feet into the air its vast bulk was covered with gears, lamps, cables and signalling devices, making it look a little like a Christmas tree during the day and a strange and ominous giant at night. The Drune called the Semaphore of the Royal Signal Corps ‘Om – Nagi’, which translates to ‘silent watchers’.

The pre-dawn wind was blowing in chill across the plains from the low line of the Mephisto Hills to the west, making the tower creak and sway. Not that this troubled Signaller ‘Java’ Thwaites in the slightest as he sipped at his fourteenth cup of tea that evening as he stood watch. What did trouble him was that with the exception of the Trunk Canal stations 20 and 22 to either side of him there were now no lights to be seen from the west. Well, signal lights that were. Every few minutes the horizon would light up as guns rumbled many miles away. They grew louder as the wind picked up.

He heard the heavy footsteps on the ladder of signaller Toby. He’d just been despatched from central and was unused to the climb. He was puffed by the time he got to the top. “Sir, we’ve lost the last relay. Kitchener has fallen. That’s as well as White Plains and Derby Canyon. There’s nothing left between us and them now sir…”

“Sir…what now sir?”

His voice trailed off a bit as the fullness of this news sunk into his own brain. They stood in the darkness for a moment, the only sounds the rumble of artillery, the creaking of the tower and the sharp clink of bone china as signaller Thwaites set his cup onto his saucer.

“Corporal, there’s always time for a cup of tea.”

The first refugees started arriving just as the sun was rising. Firstly they came in steam driven vehicles….cars, lorries… wheelbarrows. The settlers, wide eyes and frightened children, wounded soldiers strapped to limbers and groaning whenever they hit a bump. Horsemen pulled carts and carriages loaded with worldly possessions. The ferry had been running to the far shore on half hourly intervals. Now it was down to ten minutes. The docks were a mess of soldiers without officers, children trying to find loved ones, noise, smoke and confusion.

 

There was the sudden and deafening sound of a Gatling gun being fired. Corporal Wellard of the Guards surveyed the scene from atop the roof of the ‘Painted Lady’ wharf inn and wondered what strange crime he had committed to be put in charge of this lot. Not being a man of a great many words, the Corporal stood atop the sandbag pile and at the two hundred faces looking up at him who were suddenly all attention. Heroic speeches failed him.

“Right you lot!” he yelled in his ‘special occasions’ voice.  “I know you are tired and I know you want to get on that boat but by crikey I can ‘it every one of your God fearin’ bonces from up ‘ere with my mate Mr Gatlin…so get in line!!”

Finally the mob became a queue of some description, thanks mainly to a squadron of well-disciplined lancers who gently but forcefully herded the people.

 

Meanwhile Torvald Horst surveyed his domain. The float tree plantation had been built with the blood and sweat of his family for two generations and no-one was to take it from him. He loaded his 12 bore shotgun with pig-shot and looked at his men. “They don’t take our land. You fight them for it boys. You fight them dirty. You fight them hard. And when they bear down on you, you look them in the eyes and you fight them some more”. The float trees were glowing now as if on fire in the low rays of the sun. His men positioned themselves around the farm, raised the sights on their Mauser rifles and waited.

The last boatload departing, Captain Shamrock and his Drune crew have landed one last time to pick up the last defending soldiers.

 

But wait! Another large refugee convoy is approaching from the west! And hot on their tails seems to be the entire Prussian aerial Navy who are bombing them as they flee! Shall we leave them to their fate?  No sir..that is just not the done thing!

The Battle of Horst's Ferry.   Part One

The lancers line up, the sunlight glinting on their steel tipped bamboo spears. And somewhere high up in Semaphore tower 21 was the sound of a kettle boiling…

The Prussians are carrying out lightning swift strikes all along the western edges of the British Martian Protectorate and have sent Queen Victoria’s forces reeling back towards the capital, New Brighton. The Grand Martian Canal stands as a line of defence in the way of the Prussian advance but also threatens to cut off a great many refugees and retreating men as they desperately try and make their way back to new defensive positions. One ferry crossing point is at the hamlet of Horst’s Ferry, a modest collection of buildings serving the ferry passengers and acting as a trading post, plus of course the two dozen or so floatwood plantation workers.

We chose to play on a 12 ft by 6ft table to allow the aerial component of the game a bit more freedom of movement…plus it was great fun to get so much terrain on one table!

 

The Forces;

British

20 of 1st Battalion Berkshires

20 of 35th Bombay Infantry

1 unit of 10 Bengal Lancers

12 Settlers led by the famous ‘Horst’ himself

3 Signallers manning the semaphore

22 non-combatant refugees

1 Gatling gun manned by 3 naval brigade crew

1 Small steam artillery piece

1 Large walker ‘HMMS Elgar’ with crew of 6 Navy

8 Crew aboard the paddle steamer ‘Donegal Lady’

 

Prussians

3 Light to medium aerial navy attack craft, each containing Clanks with grenade launchers

1 Medium bomber aeronef

12 Prussian attack marines

60 ish (?) Infantry including regulars and Sea-battalion

2 Attack spider walkers with heavy Gatling Cannons.

 

The Prussian objective was primarily to destroy the ferry to cut off the escape route and secondly to try to destroy the semaphore tower to cut communications.  Their third objective was to create terror and panic by bombing the refugees.  For the British the objective was to hold the crossing until all refugees and troops could be evacuated.

The game began with the refugees coming onto the table and fleeing along the plantation road with all three aerial navy craft in hot pursuit. On the other table edge the first spider tank appeared with two formations of infantry.

The defenders were pretty well dug in behind barricades and sandbag defences, with several platoons broken down into smaller formations atop roofs, on terraces etc).   The settlers and Indian infantry held the right flank, the British regulars the centre and crossing point and the lancers had the left. The town was also partly defended from ground attack by a dry gully that ran down to the canal.

 

The Battle of Horst's Ferry.   Part One

The aerial navy came on at a good rate of knots and the Bengal lancers rode out to meet them, perhaps hoping to do some damage by prodding their armoured hulls with their lances…. As they swept under the first craft they were met with grenades from above which instantly killed the leader! But leaderless they still rode on to where a unit of Sea-battalion were threatening to overtake the civilians, who had also taken casualties that turn from the bombing.

The next turn saw most of our ground forces biding their time as they closed to within range. The Lancers began to close with the Sea-battalion but alas took another pasting from above, this time losing three more horsemen.  However, they passed their morale and continued.  Hurrah!  Even better, one of the air navy failed it’s sustain role and began to lose altitude alarmingly.

The refugees rolled well on their charges but took another four casualties to bombs before reaching the sandbag barricades which they started to leap over, disrupting the troops behind. HMMS Elgar finally managed to get a shot off at the first spider tank but missed the first of four times.  The Gatling guns finally opened up however and if doing little damage at least made the spider tank captain consider pausing just outside of short range until his supporting infantry caught up…a move that allowed me precious time to try to get those refugees on that boat!  The lancers at last clashed with the Sea-battalion; a mutually destructive move that saw three casualties a side and both units break.  The last two lancers didn’t stop running until they were on the ferry!

A second failed sustain saw the first air navy ship plummet to the ground, decapitating a row of float trees whose tops strangely floated off into the ether.   However, the grenade launching clank and ‘wind up’ man survived and continues their pursuit of the refugees.

Things were finally hotting up with the ground troops, with two waves of Prussians attacking the farmhouse complex, where they found the natives very stubborn.

 

One sole rifleman took down four of the Prussians in hand to hand before finally being bludgeoned. Twice units of settlers broke but rallied and returned to the fight, even with the first spider tank bearing down and squashing a few.  One unit of Bombay infantry had moved up to assist them and just about managed to hold them off…until spider tank number 2 arrived!

The Battle of Horst's Ferry.   Part One
The Battle of Horst's Ferry.   Part One

Meanwhile back in the town the Berkshires atop the semaphore had a good clear shot at the second air navy ship as it came into range.

It was hit with small arms fire, Gatling gun and small cannon which caused it to lose steering control and crash into the ground, with most of the crew perishing in the ensuing fireball.

 

The Battle of Horst's Ferry.   Part One

Establishing a Forward Outpost. Part Three

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Establishing a Forward Outpost.

Part Three

 

 

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

Establishing a Forward Outpost.  Part Three

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

Establishing a Forward Outpost.  Part Three

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

Establishing a Forward Outpost.  Part Three

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 visibility, the forces of man retreat, leaving the battlefield firmly in the hands of the Martian invaders.

Establishing a Forward Outpost - Part Two

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Establishing a Forward Outpost.

Part Two

 

Both human and Martian forces trade shots doing little damage to each other whilst 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 as 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 heat-ray turning three tanks to molten lumps of metal.

Infantry push the assault on the Martians legs whilst tanks fire shot after shot into the globe like bodies.

 

Gunner Simmons takes careful aim…

Establishing a Forward Outpost - Part Two

Establishing a Forward Outpost - Part One

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Establishing a Forward Outpost.

Part One

 

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 vein 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 in the United States 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 whilst Mk II Steamer Tanks rumble slowly down the cobbled roads.

Establishing a Forward Outpost - Part One

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

The Lafitte Incident - Conclusion

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Conclusion.

It was a great game, The French player put up a cracking defence and played like a true Gent.
Some last minute (Very last minute) terrain was quickly knocked together by both of us and helped to create an interesting and different battlefield.
The French look great and it was nice to see another nationality being drawn into our conflict.

The Lafitte Incident - Conclusion

For those interested the forces consisted of:

French
4 Archaeologist.
10 Foreign Legion.
16 Regular French Infantry.
8 Drune Diggers/Labourers.
1 Two Legged Patrol Walker with 3 crew armed with a Flamethrower.
Captain Legras of the French Foreign Legion (Hero)
Henri Comte d’Artois (Hero)
Raymond O’Keefe (Leader) immune to the ‘Orrible Monsters Rule.

Prussians
20 Sturmtruppen.
12 Navy.
2 Scout Armoured Cars with 3 crew each and armed with Gatling guns.
Colonel Muller of the Kaisers Shocktruppen (Hero)
Spiegler of the Kaisers Secret Police (hero)   Armed with a repeater long nosed pistol.  Will shoot any Prussians that fail morale checks.
Mercenary American Archeologist.
1 traitor amongst the Drune diggers.

Raiders
20 Raider Infantry with Big swords
12 Raider Cavalry with Big swords
1 Raider Hero

Spiders
4 Giant Spiders that enter at random points (They are treated in a similar way to vehicles and take 3 hits to kill)

The Lafitte Incident - Part Three

Tutoring 7
Skill 8
Idea 8
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The Prussian Navy, taking cover behind the sand dunes, trades shots with the French walker.  Neither able to cause any damage to the other.  Meanwhile Raider infantry are hotly pursued by a giant spider.

The Lafitte Incident - Part Three

In a remarkable show of bravery, the fanatics turn back on their tormentor and bring the big beast down.

The Lafitte Incident - Part Three

O’keefe, his last stick of dynamite gone, charges at Colonel Muller.  Both men of incredible skill with a blade.  Both heroes.  A clash of titans.

The Lafitte Incident - Part Three

More spiders emerge from their burrows.  Sixteen eyes watch the Prussians.  With nowhere to retreat the attack must push on.

The Lafitte Incident - Part Three

As the French death toll rises the few remaining men turn to the fight between the two Heroes.   Whist their backs are turned Spiegler creeps through the ruins behind the French.
With a great show of skill O’Keefe parries then trusts his knife deep into the chest of Muller.   As he falls to his knees, dropping his sword to the ground, he reaches out but falls lifeless to the floor.

The Lafitte Incident - Part Three

With spiders, raiders, and Prussians closing in, the few French survivors decide on desecration being the better part of valour.  Although not conclusive the forces of Prussia hold the upper hand.   Not by much, but by enough.  Well that’s providing they survive a night with the spiders.

The Lafitte Incident - Part Two

Tutoring 6
Skill 7
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The Lafitte Incident - Part Two

The Sturmtruppen advance under horrific amounts of fire, their resolve put to the test time and time again as men fall under the rain of bullets.
However, these are no normal soldiers, these are Mullers men, and their morale shows no signs of breaking.

The Lafitte Incident - Part Two

Spiders, attracted by the sounds of fighting, catch the Drune raiders unaware.

The Lafitte Incident - Part Two

Finally, the French walker stirs to life and unleashes a hellish blast with its heavy flame thrower directly at one of the Prussian Armoured cars.  Rivets pop and steam erupts from every opening.  The scream of burning men tears across the battlefield.
Hearing the brave crewmen roasted alive the Prussian Navy vows to avenge the fallen and forms up in firing line.

The Lafitte Incident - Part Two

The Prussians push on the attack.  Sticks of dynamite bounce off the hull of the second armoured car as it pushes forward.  A lucky blast having jammed its turret it finds itself without a target.  Shots fly dangerously close to the explosives shed but thankfully not one sets the store off.

The Lafitte Incident - Part Two

As Raider Cavalry attacks the rear of the French camp, they find themselves set upon by the Drune Labourers.   A well-aimed shovel puts an end to the Raider Leader and several others are pulled from their horses and beaten to lifeless pulp.  In the confusion one of the Drune Labourers skulks off and locks himself in the toilet.   Despite a promising start the diggers are no match for the crazed fanatics, and they are mowed down.

The Lafitte Incident - Part Two

The Lafitte Incident - Part One

Tutoring 7
Skill 9
Idea 9
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This Battle happens sometime after the Battle of Sandringham.   The conflict has escalated, and the war is now fought on two fronts, Earth and Mars.

Several ‘keys of power’ have been hidden across both earth and Mars.  These keys are what keep the Martians tied to Mars.  they can be used to unlock a barrier allowing the indigenous population of Mars to travel beyond its gravity once again.

The setting is a French archaeological dig to recover one of these lost keys.  At the time the French have no idea what the keys is or indeed for.  The Prussians on the other hand know full well how valuable the item is and have plans to break the barrier.

 

 

Anyway onto…

 

 

The Lafitte Incident
Part One

The Lafitte Incident - Part One

A prelude…

Trooper Dumas of the Legion Terra-Rouge looked out over the dark shapes of the ruins that surrounded him and huddled further down into his coat. The twin Martian moons gave little light to the landscape, but enough for him to shudder at the eerie sight of the twisted and misshapen columns that surrounded him. The lost city of Ganash could stay lost for all he cared. He could hear laughter coming from camp. Sounded like Raymond has just won another game of ca va. He silently cursed the sergeant for taking away his smokes but remembered his words “blinds a man at night and your enemies know just where to aim..two inches above the glow..”  Not for him to argue with the sergeant. Not that anyone did. Sergeant Lafarge WAS the legion. No one knew how old he was or how long he’d been on Mars. There were many stories about him. But the most famous was that of the siege at the fort at Gauche. Over two thousand Termions has attempted to dig under or climb over the battlements for six months. When the Martian war was over the defenders were relieved. Out of five hundred legionnaires only six were found alive. It was said that Lafarge was found with the bodies of fifty Termions piled around him, and had fashioned a crude club from the femur of one enemy, having devoured his flesh.
Dumas shoved his hands so far into his coat that he found an old stub of a Drune charoot he’d forgotten about. Leaning his rifle against the wall he crouched down behind the large stones so that no-one in camp would be able to see him and lit it up. For a split moment he noticed that the glow was reflected by numerous eyes that stood directly in front of him and that the stars above were blotted out by the great legs of the gigantic beast. But that is all he noticed as his head was split in two. About two inches above the glow of his cheroot.

The next morning dawned on the dig site. Lines of Drune labourers were already silhouetted on the skyline, making use of the early morning cool. The soldiers of the French expedition were milling around camp or forming search lines.  In the officers tent Raymond O’Keefe was amusing himself by flicking dung beetles onto the research table of Gaston, the half deaf researcher from the Sorbonne, who was poring over the findings of the day before, including some rubbings of the central pillar hieroglyphics. The flap opened and in strode the tall shape of Henri, Comte d’Artois and leader of the expedition. His normally placid face looked drawn.
“Do stop annoying Gaston..he has got some work to do..”
“Sorry old bean. Any news on your chap?”
“Not yet. They found this next to one of those foul-smelling holes” he placed a stub of cheroot on the table. “Think he may have fallen in. Also, they found some blood.”

Gasto’s head arced up “Hmm, Blood you say? Yes, I think that about sums it up for these inscriptions on the pillars.”
“You’ve found something?” Henri bent over his worktable, flicking as he did so a dung beetle out of an inkwell.
“Well, the older stuff still baffles me, but the crude work is definitely Termion, but very old. From the Drune cipher we know that these symbols mean blood, and this one means sacrifice. But I’m struggling to understand this one. Appears everywhere, this eight pointed star.”
“Well all this is fascinating gentlemen” O’Keefe said swinging his legs off his camp-bed and strolling to the tent flap “but a face doesn’t shave itself. Back soon.”
Gaston raised one eyebrow at Henri in a way that stated, “why did we have to bring him along?”. Henri smiled. “Ignore him, he’s an old friend. And besides, we may yet have need of his skills”.

A moment later O’Keefe re-entered the tent, his face half shaven and a tear in his shirt quite apparent. He strode up to the worktable and took another look at the picture. “That is not a star gentlemen, that is a spider?”
Henri smiled “You English are so impetuous. How can you know this?”
But O’Keefe was already opening a box under his bed and pulling from it a stick of dynamite.
“Because my dear fellow” he said stuffing the fuse into the casing and pausing to light it with the pipe that was now half hanging from the dropped jaw of his friend “you have a spider problem”.
Striding outside with O’Keefe, the archeologists were met with the sight of the roof of the officers latrine lifting off to reveal a huge white bulbous thorax . The side walls already had several legs which had split through the timber and the door reading ‘officers only’ had somehow got wedged on its mandibles. O’Keefe flung the stick directly at its eyes.

Ten seconds later the largest pieces of beast and timber latrine had ceased descending on the startled Frenchmen, who lay spread around the crater which had once been the toilet.
“Mon Dieu!” Henri Comte d’Artois exclaimed.
“What is it that we have discovered?”
“Well old chap..” O’Keefe looked at his friend “always check under the toilet seat would be a good start I’d say”.

The detonation shook around the old city. Stones toppled from their perches of aeons and pillars tilted more precariously. And not a mile distant many eyes were watching.
Colonel Muller of the Kaisers Shocktruppen took the field glasses from his sentry and looked over at the plume of dust emerging from the French camp. More blasting? That one seemed to be on the surface though. Perhaps an accident? He winced a little as he noticed the dark shape of Spiegler appear next to him.
“Problems Muller?.”
Spiegler of the Kaisers own secret police knew just how to twist words. It sounded to Muller like “YOUR problem Muller..”.
“Probably nothing. Our spy still indicates that they found the main chamber yesterday. The item is already in their keeping. We still go at dusk”.
“Good. And the good Professor Snapes will do the rest I am sure. Any news on your missing men?”
“Not yet, but we found traces next to one of those stinking holes. My men are exploring it now.”

And further into the city more eyes watched both the Prussians and French. The Drune chieftain and his tribal leaders would not sit by idly as the desecrators destroyed the city of their ancestors or bring forth the power trapped within. At dusk they would be put to the sword.

And as the sun slips it’s grasp upon the shattered stones of Ganash for yet another day, the sound of the clicking of mandibles rises from the stinking chasms that surround our brave explorers….

Colonel Muller slid shut the fine hand-crafted telescope he had been using to watch the French.  The night was fast approaching, and he knew he needed to get this attack underway.  He would have preferred to have waited until total darkness fell across the campsite, but he could feel the soul piercing stare of Spielger drilling holes into his back.  There was something very wrong about that man, something very wrong indeed.
He tried carefully to recall the telegram he had received from headquarters.
French uncovered the item stop retrieve at all costs stop command relinquished to secret police stop assets expendable stop

What did it mean assets expendable.  He was travelling light as it was.   With his small force of elite sturmtruppen, veterans of many campaigns, and two newly commissioned armoured cars this would be a lightning-fast attack, but an attack that had no expendable components.

And what of the American.  He had already betrayed his own country in turning to assist the Kaiser.  Apparently, a specialist in his field.   An Archaeologist, a man who scrapes through mud and dirt to find things from times gone by.  What use would a man like that be to the war effort.

Muller was not impressed with how in only a few short days he had in effect lost complete control of the situation.  At least he could trust his men.

As night closes in the French are posting sentries, the archaeologists are around the camp studying the items recovered earlier that day, whilst the Drune Labourers head back to camp for some well-earned rest.

The Lafitte Incident - Part One

Under cover of the fading light the small force of elite Prussians moves towards the dig site. Even the Howling of the harsh Martian winds cannot hide the sound of steam engines.

The Lafitte Incident - Part One

From the west, a thunder of hooves, as a horde of Drune Raiders charge through the site of the ruined city.  Close on their heel’s hordes of raiders on foot, screaming like dervishes.

The Lafitte Incident - Part One

The Raiders throw themselves upon the French Foreign Legion.  In this sudden and brutal act of carnage many French fall to the savage blades, including Captain Legras. The French fire volley after volley into these fanatics but the fast-fading light makes it almost impossible to hit anything.

The Lafitte Incident - Part One

Darkness finally falls and something large and nasty stirs…

Floatwood Trees and Space Squid

Tutoring 7
Skill 8
Idea 8
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Floatwood Trees and Space Squid

 Floatwood Trees

Floatwood trees are a species native to Mars which have been used for a multitude of purposes for aeons by the native Drune tribes. Their most famous use however is in the creation of the skyships of the Martian tribes, where their lighter than air properties combined with floatgas balloons (which give either lift or weight depending on heat) have enabled vast fleets of ships to be assembled by the natives.

 

The plantation owners mainly use them however for their harvested sap, which is highly prized back on earth. One of the main considerations is making sure the trees stay anchored to the ground and it is not unusual to see entire floating islands of the things drifting in the air currents of mars..sometimes single trees..sometimes entire forests. They also form the main food supply of the Astral Archiuteuthis (space squid) who feed on their nectar and who have a strange symbiotic relation with the plants, though this has not been fully studied yet.

Floatwood Trees and Space Squid

Astral Archiuteuthis or more commonly known as space squid.

 

Despite being a relatively non threatening creature the Astral Archiuteuthis are one of the most terrifying creatures to inhabit Mars and have proven the demise of many Aeronef.

 

None more so then the destruction of the Tzars 3rd Imperial Russian Fleet which unfortunately found itself stuck between two herds of squid during mating season.

Floatwood Trees and Space Squid

Battle of the Floatwood Archiapeligo Migration 1898

Tutoring 7
Skill 10
Idea 11
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Battle of the Floatwood Archiapeligo Migration 1898

This battle was first contact between one of the races of Mars and a German logging fleet and set in the history of our campaign, back in 1989.

For this we used the Aeronef rules system, although we could have just of easily used Full Thrust rules and just changed the names of things to suit our ideas.

The German forces are from Brigade Games, The Astro Squid are home made from beads, cheap jewellery and bits of wire.  Nothing like wargaming on a budget.

The floating islands are chunks of polystyrene with kitchen towel soaked in PVA glue draped across the tops to for the soiled areas.  The Trees are cocktail sticks with a little red flock glued to them.

 

 

After battle report

Unteroffizer Blucher surveyed the desolate Martian expanse before him as he listened to the roll call made in the sharp, Prussian voice of Sergeant Kurtz. He turned once again to look at the men. Barely 40 able to stand, another ten who needed to be propped up and probably another 10 who would die before the day was through. A motley mixture of marines, dirigible crew, engineers, a cook and even the captain’s faithful wolfhound. Sixty men from a ships company of nearly seven hundred. A ship which was launched only a year before to be the pride of the new German Martian fleet by the Kaiser himself. A ship which lay in pieces all around them, scattered as far as the eyes could see.

Blucher shuddered as the winds whipped dust around his greatcoat and harsh sunlight started to fall on the camp, still surrounded by fires from the falling debris of the dig fleet. But is was not the cold he shuddered from. He could still hear the screams of men trapped in the ships stern section, slowly being crushed. He could hear the gunshot like sound of metal rivets being torn loose. The fire crews braving the inferno of the upper decks and the harsh sound of gunnery captain Smeltzer as he barked orders even when all was lost. In barely twenty minutes the force of expeditionary ships ordered to accompany the Bavarian logging crews during the past week had been nearly totally destroyed.

Admiral Hutz had received notice two days prior to this happening when a strange ship had signalled it’s approach. The visitors had come aboard and spoken with the admiral for nearly an hour before departing. Obviously things had not gone well. Some sort of warning had been given and the admiral was not a man to take a warning well. The mission was to extract the floatwood material for new ship testing. Floatwood gave the ability for ships to remain static in the air and still be able to move at vastly greater speeds then the digs they currently used. But the mature trees only grew on the vast floatwood archiapeligo that migrated around the planet. After a week of harvesting they had seen and harpooned a specimen of the architeuthis species. While only a juvenile it weighed in excess of 2000 kg. That was the day before the attack.

Blucher had been in charge of the forward damage party when the attack happened. From his vantage point near the bows of the ship he had seen the astral monsters approach quickly from the south. The sound of the gunnery decks opening fire was deafening and for a little while at least it seemed as if their ship was warding off the attacks as architeuth after architeuth fell before them. When they started to get into close range however the tables turned. Blucher saw strange electrical charges appear from the animals that caused fired to erupt on deck and gunnery decks to lose electrical power to move turrets. Men on fire fell screaming overboard. When the large architeuths hit it was with the force of a freight train. Superstructure buckled and bent, large gun ports were torn free like a small child playing with a tin opener. Still they fought on. Hundreds of marines swarmed the tentacles with axes, swords and anything they could use to cut through the hideous tentacles. Men mounting the deck machine guns poured fire into the vast hulks, aiming for their eyes. Their eyes…. At one point Blucher remembered being knocked down a companionway staircase and seeing a great eye through a rent in the hull.

After that things became a little harder to recall. The shouts and screams of the men became subdued and then quiet. It was as if they were in a trance or a nightmare. Blucher recalled seeing the midships explode and the tail section fall away as the gas compartments were destroyed in quick succession. The deck beneath him had buckled and then risen sharply as the great weight was released. It was the floatwood store that had saved them. When the men came to their senses they found themselves drifting slowly down to earth some half a mile below them with the large tree trunks giving them enough lift in order to sink like a feather and not a stone. It all seemed surreal now.

Blucher turned to see the massive frame of chief engineer Hummel approaching him. He was limping painfully from the acid burn to his right leg.“Sir, I’ve assessed what remains of the ship and the scout parties have returned with some of the parts I need. It’s possible to build something but it will be pretty basic. With all the men helping I could probably have us in the air again in six days. But there is one problem…we have no means of propulsion”. Blucher looked at the three steam clanks that were making repairs to the hull in the distance and then to the  low row of tents which the men were using as shelter, their canvas flapping hard in the breeze. “No my good Hummel, we have the wind..” he said.

And so began the epic voyage of the crew of the dread 33 in their vessel which they nicknamed the ‘Frieda’ (after the engineers wife who had a rather portly appearance and was known to stagger a little after heavy drink).

Meanwhile in Germany the loss of their main Martian navy drew a great cry of indignation from all strata of society. Calls were made for war but it was hard for the public to find an outlet for their rage. Ultimately it was the British who grew suspect in the eyes of the German high command for orchestrating such an event. The British High Commissioner claimed that they knew nothing of the event but was expelled shortly afterwards. Things grew tense. A British ship off the coast of East Africa was sunk without survivors or explanation. The Russians made noises to support the British while the French carefully avoided taking sides with anyone but instead offered a negotiating table for all parties. The Boers in South Africa seem to be receiving German arms and heavy calibre weapons. In the Sudan a British Aeronef patrol has been attacked by an ‘unknown force’ which bore markings last seen during the time of the Mahdi. Things are looking grim. Meanwhile on Mars a secret expedition has been sent out by the Kaisers feared and hated chief of secret police Heinrich Von Hinkel to the southern Polar regions to make contact with the only race known to have defeated the Seers..the Mechaloids.

HMMS Gladiator

Tutoring 6
Skill 10
Idea 10
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Her Majesty’s Mars Ship Gladiator.

The HMMS Gladiator is one of the largest land ships currently in service in the British Army.  Built in the Metropolitan Carriage of Birmingham this fearsome machine is at the pinnacle of land warfare.

With a top speed of no less than 4.3 mph (7 kph) in good conditions with the wind behind it and armed with a ferocious howitzer capable of firing shells of 900 kg for over 11 miles (18 km) and two Richard Jordan Gatling Guns the Gladiator lives up to its name.

Able to trade blows with the toughest fighting vehicles out there.

With a 35% reliability record the Gladiator is set to really take the fight to the Martians.

 

 

Model scratch built by the fabulous British Commander, Lev Vykopol out of Cardboard, plastic kits and the odd trip to the local hardware shop.

 

HMMS Gladiator

Scale comparison with the Orca, Light Scout walker.

Also Scratch built from plastic kits, old star wars models and plumbing fittings found at the DIY shop.

Bunting

Tutoring 8
Skill 10
Idea 10
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Bunting

For the most part the Prussian forces are made from WWI German troops from the fantastic Renegade Miniatures range.  Sadly this range of figures seems incredible hard to find these days with the company closing shop for long periods of time.  To this day I am not even sure if they are still in business.

Added to those are a mixture of all kinds of models that I have picked up along the way.

The joy of this campaign is it really is anything goes.  We really don’t mind who wins or loses or if the forces are balanced, as long as we have fun and can tell a good story.

Of course many of the models would look ridiculous in any other setting, like the Bavarian Wind-up Merchants who's job is to keep the clockwork fighting machines working.Of course many of the models would look ridiculous in any other setting, like the Bavarian Wind-up Merchants who's job is to keep the clockwork fighting machines working.

The bunting strewn all around town was very simply made from little Union Jacks printed out and glued to string.  I suppose I could of done them in little triangles, but I am a bit lazy.

Bunting

Building Sandringham

Tutoring 7
Skill 10
Idea 9
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Building Sandringham

Building Sandrigham

My little set up for the Battle of Sandrigham inspired and ruthlessly taken from the fabulous article in one of the Touching History books which are sadly no longer in production.

A little over 4′ Square in total on two terrain boards.

I think the pictures explain the building process on there own better than I probably could in writing.

Basically the terrain boards are made of MDF ‘trays’ with polystyrene inserts which were carved and contoured.  Inserts were then cut into the polystyrene for the buildings to be inserted into.

The buildings were constructed in foam-core and wooden stirrers and balsa wood used to create the wooden beams.

The roofs were made from MDF with a literal ton of individually cut tiles.

The whole lot was painted with regular household paint from Bunnings and flocks and the like added to create a rather dreary semi cold and damp looking town.   Just like a good old English summer 🙂

The Battle of Sandrigham - After Battle Report

Tutoring 7
Skill 11
Idea 13
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The Battle of Sandrigham

After Battle Report

 

 

Father O’Mally Sighed as he looked around at the devastation.  Familiar faces, members of his Parish lay in the blood splattered mud.  Their limp bodies broken and lifeless.
Although tired from the days exertions it would be some time before he could rest.
Personal effects needed to be gathered from the fallen and passed on to surviving relatives.  Graves would need to be dug, oh so many graves.
The Motionless Clanks would need to be disassembled less anyone proved foolish enough to wind up the giant keys embedded in their backs and unwittingly unleash their foul anger once more.

With a crisp salute Private Perkins came to attention before Captain Blashford.

“Sir, father O’Mally found these on the body of Mister Clements, Sir”

The Battle of Sandrigham - After Battle Report

The Battle of Sandrigham - Part Two

Tutoring 9
Skill 12
Idea 12
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The Battle of Sandrigham

Part Two

 

The Stahlfahrrad, Prussian Scout bike, barges through the Highlanders holding the secondary entrance.  A closely following Clank is not so lucky and is battered to death single handily by Captain Mc Doogle
The Stahlfahrrad lines up a flanking shot on the H.M.M.S Gladiator, unfortunately Wachtmeister Eberhard hadn’t counted on the most fearsome thing in the British Empire¦

The Battle of Sandrigham - Part Two

A Queen Victoria, who was anything but amused, with her trusty double barrelled hunting shotgun.

The Battle of Sandrigham - Part Two


Highlanders, realising that their rifle fire is having little effect on the clanks, unleash volley after volley into the much squishier Prussians.
Without the constant supply of people to keep the Clanks fully wound up its not long before they start to grind to a halt.

The Battle of Sandrigham - Part Two

With the Prussian assault in ruins the few survivors make a fighting withdrawal, erm ok it was more of a rout.

The Battle of Sandrigham - Part Two

In a last act of defiance the Derailer fires a departing shot at the Queen¦ A direct Hit!

The Battle of Sandrigham - Part Two

A deadly silence covers the battlefield whilst both sides wait for the smoke to clear¦

People gasp, the only person left standing is Lady Marmalade.  But wait, the body of the Queen is nowhere to be seen.

In a bizarre act of pure chance the Queen was blasted into sky by the explosion.  Only the several layers of petticoats saves her, acting as a parachute bringing Her Majesty, trailing a thin whisper of smoke, down safely onto a nearby roof top.

The Battle of Sandrigham - Part Two

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