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|