Wednesday, 22 December 2021

Sky Galleons of Mars

Following up on the recent ground action, we took to the skies with some classic Sky Galleons of Mars. We played a meeting engagement between British Squadron and Martians, with scratch-built ships by our talented friend Andrew.

Syrtis Major Royal Naval Air Squadron 

1 x Reliant class aerial cruiser escorted by 

1 x Dauntless and 1 x Aphid gunboats

Oenetrian Allied Fleet

2 x Whisperdeath large kites

2 x Hull cutters

1 x Skyfire Screw Galley

The British formation manoeuvres to windward to maintain the range

The allied Martian fleet deploys

The Reliant and Dauntless catch a Martian Kite and take her under heavy fire

The Martians move upwind to close the range

The engagement becomes general

A long range Martian shot cripples the Reliant's lift mechanism, and her escorts scramble to screen her

Martian Screw Galleys break through the British escorts and grapple with the Dauntless

Swarmed by the combined enemy crews, the British Marines and sailors fight valiantly but futilely

And so the Oenotrian Fleet gained a decisive Victory over their hated British foes, but they would soon learn that the resolve of the Earthman was not so easily broken...

Saturday, 18 December 2021

A Return to the Red Planet

Has it really been a year since we last visited the fractious Earthmen colonies on Mars? Sadly yes and not just because of COVID, though that kept us away from the gaming table. To be honest our selected rules weren't delivering the experience we wanted and interested had waned. Having made some changes to Lion Rampant (with the help of one of the playtesters) we were set to return to the Red Planet

Commanding my French Colonial forces, I had 2 units of Foreign Legion, 2 units of French trained Canal Martian infantry (Tiralleurs Martiens) and a Canal Martian artillery crew equipped with a Mitralleuse (which we all know was designed before the Gatling gun and being of French design is far superior). The French objective was to secure the European archeologists who were plundering exploring and documenting the priceless artefacts within.

The French archeologists at the Martian ruins dig site, threatened by steppe Martians

Under the direction of their French Officers, Canal Martian Tiralleurs advance to the dig site

White the Foreign Legion sets up to cover their flank

and quickly come under a frontal assault by Martial Hill tribesman, which they repulsed.

In the meantime, the British Queen's Own Martian Rifles advanced on my far left to secure the supplies of precious liftwood that had recently been harvested

The British troops from the Syrtis Major garrison

But who is this advancing out of the Steppe...


Back on my side the 1st Tiralleurs unit advanced on the ruins but their assault was thrown back in disarray with the second unit unable to support effectively.

They never recovered from this setback and fell back slowly, but remaining intact. Meanwhile the Steppe Martians isolated the Legionnaires from the front with infantry...

and the rear with cavalry...

Steppe Martian cavalry on Gashants attack the French rear but are repulsed

And on my right flank the mounted battle was fiercely contested...

and my Legionnaires watched as fellow Frenchmen of the Zouvre regiment were overrun and massacred

As the battle raged, French morale held firm and so did the Lione, the proud notes of the Legion bugler sounding clear and steading the men's nerves as they fought for France in the Red Deserts so far from it

I did not achieve my objectives, but my force held out and no units were lost.  French newspapers would tout this stoic defence as a Victory against untold numbers of Steppe Barbarians, but this was of little solace to the families of the missing Archeologists. The Martian Steppe tribes achieved all their goals and carried the day.

Overall it was a really enjoyable game - the rules were right on for a fun game and plenty of tweaks were made. Keen to try again, adding in some mechanical contraptions.

The weapons (and barbettes) are all magnetic and can be changed out

Separately, I was thrilled to be gifted this wonderful Armoured Cloudship to lead the French airship squadron - the Escadre de Chasse Ideaus Fons! Thank you very much to Andrew, the gifted naval architect responsible - c'est magnifique!

Perfect for crewing with 28mm figures

Thursday, 17 December 2020

France needs Liftwood! (Part 2)

The distant sun was low on the horizon when the French and their Martian allies commenced their advance upon the unsuspecting British.

On the right, the massed gashants of the Hill Martians pushed hard but the boys of the Royal Gashant Corps (along with a some imported regular cavalry from Earth) proved stout opponents and held their own.

In the centre, the Martians assaulted the British encampment and their bravery was met with a fierce fusillade.

With the British pinned in the centre and right, the French advanced to seize the primary objective: Liftwood!

Sound the Advance Messieur!

The savage Hill Martians poured out of the Ishtar trees to intercept the advancing French

Would the French seize the liftwood? Tune in for the final instalment!

Saturday, 5 December 2020

France needs Liftwood! (Part 1)

A Space 1889 themed game, played with tweaked The Men Who Would Be Kings rules. The protagonists were the British Forces from Syrtis Major with some Martian Hill tribesmen, and the French with their Canal Martian allies from the Xanthe basin. The game involved 6 players, 3 per side and each with forces of around 40-50 points.

French Orders 

France is under Threat….!!!

The only thing worse than being Stuck directly between England and Germany .. is being under them both… so to speak .. , and that is where we are Mon Ami…. without Martian Liftwood to power up our New Aerial fleet  …Merde ..

General Pepe Le Pew: You are directed to  take your Small French Expeditionary force , and Martian Allies , and seize the Yearly Liftwood Shipment from Krag Pymble, before it can be “ sold on “ to the British or those upstart Germans.


British Orders

Lord Darling ,

Britain has the largest Colonial Army on Mars, make sure you use it well.

You are tasked with securing the Liftwood destined for our airship yards and no one elses' ..

Secondly there is an Archaeological Expedition on site , with one of Prince of Wales favourite cousins , secure their safety .. or Prinny wont be happy ..and it will look bad for you old Boy .

The French and allied Martian contingent arrayed for Battle!

Battle was joined on a friend's great looking 15 foot table with all new terrain.  It was quite a sight to behold, especially with his very fancy Oshiro Model Terrain Aphid Class airship looming overhead!

Each third of the table had objectives to seize, but the main prize was the liftwood shipment which was in the process of being delivered to the British. The French had to take it by force to provide the supplies to construct their own Aerial Flotilla 

The precious Liftwood shipment, guarded by a Royal Navy Armoured Landing Party (figures by Ironclad Miniatures)

The Archeological dig site - what wonders will it reveal? 

The French force ready to Advance!

with their Allies from Ideus Fons guarding their flank!

An account for the Battle will follow in Part 2!

An exploration of debauchery, vice and other reasons to be a man!

An exploration of debauchery, vice and other reasons to be a man!