Sunday, August 7, 2011

Claymore 2011.....and Life on Mars

Claymore the highlight of the Scottish wargaming calendar has come and gone again.  As usual I spent most of the day working on the bring and buy but had time to go round and look at the show.  Telford College is further from the centre of Edinburgh but is a far better venue than old Meadowbank.  Modern building,  good facilities and free car parking for all.  The 2 main halls seemed busy but at times the bring and buy was quiet compared with previous years.  The theme of the B&B this year seemd to be plastic takeaway food containers filled with unpainted figures!   Not that many big armies for sale and those did not go.  Sold some troops on the B&B but spent more than I made on Silflor tufts, scenery from Last Valley and unpainted Napoleonic cavalry.

Enjoyed talking with all the usual visitors.  I have added some photos on my FlickR site see the link above.

Great ship and quayside from the VBCW Vickers works raid game

There are loads more good photos at this site as well

Last weeks game at the SESWC was something different a 28mm 19th century science fiction game.  Ray Neal suggested to Colin Jack that it was a long time since we had played one of our 19th century science fiction games and as it was Ray’s last game at the SESWC before he returns to New Haven Connecticut Colin agreed to put it on.  Colin supplied the scenario - given below, the scenery and all the figures from his extensive collection.

SetupThis was played across down a 8ft by 6ft table using an adapted version of the Darkest Africa rules by Chris Pears.   Hugh Wilson and I commanded the brave Martian forces and their alien overlords whilst Ray and Colin commanded the earthling invaders and their Martian allies.  The  terrain mat we used for this game was a large sheet of red Martian felt.
Weapon of Mars Destruction powers up.....

How the game playedPlaying the part of the alien overlord I took command of the good alien equipment and their trusty Martian allies whilst letting Hugh lead the Martian levies in a wild charge on the earth base. Though taking heavy losses Hugh’s levies backed up by more who steadily came onto table managed to destroy the 1st Martian infantry and most of one unit of the earthmen.
On my side the Tripods and heat rays duelled with the Belgian steam tanks and destroyed both of them but at the loss of one of the tripods.  The most effective unit was the flying US Rocketeers armed with mini gatling guns who wiped out the Canal Priest regulars and the crews of the heat rays.  The Martian rocket launcher and the earthmen weapons of mars destruction proved completely ineffective throughout the game.
Here is the complete background notes and player briefings for what proved to be a fun game.

The Martians came to Earth, saw and conquered.  Then at the eleventh hour mankind was saved by an unlikely ally, a virus, a simple disease of humanity for which the invaders had no immunity.
After giving due thanks to God for their deliverance, the humans set about planning revenge in the form of a counter invasion of Mars.  Unless the Martians could be defeated on their own ground, it would only be a matter of time before they invaded Earth again, equipped perhaps with some biological defences.
In truth the invaders were not natives of Mars but were usurpers from a more distant planet who had enslaved the Martians.  These usurpers were known as the Overlords.  During their first (and indeed only) visit to Mars many, many months ago, the international mission from Earth met with native Martians who assured them that there was a well organised resistance movement on the planet.  Any invasion would certainly meet with a considerable amount of support.  When the mission left again it took one Martian scientist back to Earth and left a Belgian diplomat behind in exchange.

What has been happening since then?Construction yards on every continent on Earth have been working around the clock to construct the planetary transport ships to carry the invasion force.  Scientists have been working on the design of new weapons based upon their studies of captured or abandoned Overlord technology.
On Mars itself, the Belgian diplomat, left behind by the first mission has been helping to train native Martians using the few rifles left behind with him.  He has also been working with some of the resistance leaders to select suitable landing sites, to learn the ways of the Overlords and to carry out selective acts of sabotage.
Overlord minitripods.......

What are the chances of success?The actual numbers of Overlords and their distribution are not precisely known and.  Scientists cannot guarantee that the new technology, which the invasion force is taking with it, will be adequate to deal with the formidable Overlord fighting machines.
It is quite possible that many native Martians may be no happier about invaders from Earth than they are about the Overlords.  The invaders have no way of knowing how many allies they can expect.

The Allied force has landed near what appears to be an abandoned temple complex and a supply base has been set up inside a convenient crater.  They have set up their prototype “Weapons of Mars Destruction” and are patiently waiting for a target to test them out on.  While the Belgians and their new Martian recruits defend the landing site the German and American components of this initial force have gone off scouting in opposite directions.

The Opposing Forces
Belgians and Female Martians by Foundry, Germans by Pulp and Eureka, Americans by Pulp, “Weapons” by Scheltrum, Tanks by Ground Zero, Battlesuit and Friendly Martians by Parroom Station.  Martians by Parroom Station, RAFM, Marauder.  Buildings by Hovels, Monolith, Grendel.

Earth Invaders Player Briefing 1You command one of the primary invasion forces which has landed successfully and has set up its “Weapons of Mars Destruction” near an apparently disused temple complex. While the new US and German rocketeers of the force have set off to see if they can locate the nearest Martians, friendly or otherwise, the US Regulars and their new Martian recruits are remaining behind to protect the “Weapons” and the supply dump.  You are hopeful that you may get reinforcements from the local Martian resistance movements.
So far everything is quiet, but it does seem rather a long time since either of the reconnaissance parties left.  A lookout reports an approaching dust cloud.  Perhaps the Germans or Americans are returning.
C in C     White Man + Gun bearer + staff
USA Roughriders   8 Regulars
USA Marine Infantry  8 Regulars
1st Martian Infantry   20 Soldiers
German Aetherkorps  10 Regulars
2 Weapons of Mars Destruction (as Artillery, +1 to hit, test others within 3”)
Prototype Fighting Machine  (1d6 move, fire as MG)
2 Belgian Steam Tanks 

Boiler of steam tank explodes.....

Earth Invaders Player Briefing 2A multi-national invasion force has made a successful landing on Mars.  Two scouting parties have been sent out by the invasion force commander, one American and one German.  The landing site is being secured by the Belgians.
a) American Rocket Corps 9 Regulars (movement 5xd6 minus d6 for landing or taking off)
b) German Luftjagers 9 Regulars
These troops are armed with new mini-gatlings.  These have a range of 12” with 3xd6 but get no shooting bonus and suffer –1 if flying.

The two nationalities have scouted in different directions and may now be alerted by flares fired by the Belgians at the landing site.  Dice for your reaction:-
1 You have come across a band of hostile Martians with whom you are skirmishing.  Your return will be hampered by wounded and by damaged equipment. Return to table on turn 6.  d6= no of wounded.
2 You have scouted a long way out and will return on turn 4.
3 You don’t see the first flares at all.  Re-roll next turn.
4 Seen and understood.  Return on turn 3.
5 Seen and understood.  Return on turn 3.
6 You have come across a band of friendly Martians.  Return on turn 2 with your new friends arriving on turn 4.

Artillery is either Large, Medium or Small, causing 1, 2 or 3 damage points against vehicles.  Vehicles have a Damage rating which can be reduced to zero by artillery hits.
The powerful Overlord Quadrapod...

You command a small Overlord garrison which has recently witnessed the arrival of an invasion force, presumably from the planet Earth.  This has been anticipated but is earlier than expected.  You have kept the landing site under discreet observation while trying to raise militia from the surrounding areas.  The only troops that you can really count on apart from your own soldiers are the priests of the Canal Cult.  The militia will have to be inspired by fear - they must fear you more than the enemy.
The invaders have sent out scouting parties so this must be the moment to attack the landing site when the defenders are at their weakest.
2 Mini Tripods (as mountain artillery but with +1 to hit & test others within 1” only)
3 Mobile Heat Rays (Do.)
6 Soldiers (count as regulars)
2 Advisers (unarmed, may encourage Martians, any unit they are with may ignore its first morale test)
10 Canal Priest Fanatics Warriors
20 Canal Priest Regulars Askaris
1 Rocket Batter  (count as artillery but roll artillery and scatter dice for impact)

Native Martian Militia - 3 units on turn 1 from following table. 0/1/2 units on every subsequent turn.

Rocketeers to the rescue - Old Glory over Mars...
2 Overlord Quadrapod    1 (count as artillery, +1 to hit and test others within 3”)
3 Regulars with muskets 20 Askaris
4 Shooter/cutter unit 16 Musketeers/Spearmen(+2 in CC)
5 Shooter/cutter unit 16 Musketeers/Spearmen(+2 in CC)
6 Shooter/cutter unit 12 Musketeers/Spearmen(+2 in CC)
7 Militia    20 Archers/Spearmen
8 Militia   20 Archers/Spearmen
9 Militia   12 Warriors
10 Armoured musketeers 10 Askaris
11 Artillery    Warrior crew
12 Air Ship     1 Gun (count as mountain artillery)

If there are no units in the category left you get no unit.
If any of these units (apart from the tripod) fail their morale they may decide to change sides.  On an even d6 roll they will change sides with full morale.  On an odd d6 roll the failed morale will stand.  Militia units with an Overlord adviser will not have to make this test. 
Rocketeers engage last of the heat rays


  1. I agree, that is a great looking ship!


  2. Thanks Bill. Great photos of some very nice games.

  3. Love the rocketeers where did you/Colin get them from? can you email me a set of the rules so i can play them myself?
    Cheers David