When Mars attacks!

Lately, I have become enamored of this game, All Quiet on the Martian Front. I’ve actually gone quite mad for the minis, although I haven’t played the game yet. I do have the hardcover rulebook and it really does look fun. It’s designed by Rick Priestly and Allessio Cavatore, contracted to Alien Dungeon, so it does have a solid design pedigree. The idea is that 10 years after the Martians from H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds destroyed London, they have returned in force for a full-scale invasion of Earth.

Set in the period from 1906 – 1914, the creators have expanded greatly on the idea, positing that this time, the Martians landed in the remote areas of the world, built up their armies, and then attacked. They’ve conquered most of the planet, and humanity is now just holding on. In the U.S. the Martians have advanced to the Mississippi River, where the U.S. Army finally managed to hold them. Undergoing a massive emergency mobilization, the U.S. is devoting every resource to fighting the invasion. Tanks, infantry and artillery are the primary weapons used. Because of the great urgency of this desperate situation, tanks are powered by steam engines, a proven technology that is easy to implement and mass produce quickly. Internal combustion engines exist in this period, but are not yet advanced enough to drive these big tanks (and they are BIG), and are mostly used in trucks and lighter vehicles.

The British have dispatched the BEF to the U.S. to help, and due to their being the first nation to fight the Martians, they have reverse-engineered some of the Martian tech and put it into use. Thus, the British equipment is more advanced than everyone else.

Bwah! This game has got me fired up! I love the idea, and the aesthetic. There are a lot of cool things going on in the background of the setting – President Teddy Roosevelt leads the nation in its darkest hour, Major George Patton is a hero character you can use, Nikolai Tesla and Thomas Edison are building mobile lightning cannons, all kinds of stuff.

Where did this game come from? It was a Kickstarter that funded last year and has finally made it into distribution this year. I usually don’t bother with Kickstarters but this is one that I wish I had! There are so many cool things coming for this, particularly the huge Land Ironclads! They’re also apparently working on other human armies, including the French, German and Japanese (I can’t wait to see those!) and some more alien armies, including the Venusians (!), Selenites (Moon Men) and the Underdwellers (the Morlocks, of course!). I really dig this blend of alternate history and science fiction (by H.G. Wells no less)!

So, I got myself the starter set and I’m working on the models now. The kits are easy to assemble and they have a lot of character. I don’t know what it is about them that has me so involved. A friend suggested they have a sort of whimsical Hayao Miyazaki feel to them and maybe that’s it. I’ve assembled them all and got a basecoat down on the tanks. It won’t be long before I have this game on the table! I can’t wait!

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This is the MkII Steamer Tank. The mainstay fighting vehicle of the U.S. Army.

 

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And the next step up, the MkIII tank.

 

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Doughboy infantry. The motorcyclists are called Rough Riders. They use tow cables to entangle the legs of the Martian tripods to bring them down! Awesome!

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There are also heavy machinegun teams. These are the human forces you get in the starter set.

 

 

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These are the Martian Assault Tripods in the starter set. Armed with the deadly Heat Ray, they are nearly unstoppable!

 

 

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The kits come with some weapon variants for the Tripods. In the middle is the Green Gas Grenades and on the right is the Black Dust Launcher.

Ah, sooo cool!

 

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