Wednesday, 29 March 2017

19C - War in the Antipodes – Martian Invasion

The Martians had invaded every continent of Planet Earth. The smallest continent, Australia, got the smallest invading force which landed on a remote farm house about halfway between the two major cities of the continent. Although the Martians referred to them as the “two main slums” snigger,

The local name of the area they landed in was the Molongo Valley and they chose this place for its remote locations so that their troops could acclimatise to the local planetary conditions. The weird wildlife was also very confronting and it was difficult to know which animals were dangerous and which were not.

Unfortunately for the Martians they had invaded just as the local inhabitants had armed for war with each other and so the Earthlings were much better prepared than expected. Nonetheless the Martians knew that their superior technology and weaponry would carry the day.

In the cities of Sydney and Melbourne the telegraphs ran hot with plans and counter plans. The discussions grew heated between the former foes as they hammered out a plan to defeat the Martians. News from overseas did not help with army after army being crushed by the relentless Martian invaders. Even London was under siege!

Eventually they agreed to form a united Cavalry Brigade to reconnoiter the Martian camp in force and distract them while the main forces were gathered. The force assembled in the west of the Molongo Valley and circled around the Martians by forced marches to attack them from the south.

The Martians discovered them with one of their flyers and quickly laid a plan to catch them on the march. The slaughter was terrible as the cavalry brigade was caught in terrain were it was difficult to deploy. However, the Martians spent a lot of time destroying the cavalry and then hunting down the remaining troops hiding in the bush and this allowed the main Australian forces, made up of a Victorian and a NSW Corps to assemble and launch their attack.

Because of the recent battles between Victoria and NSW they agreed to fight in separate Brigades with the only joint force being two Victorian Airshipd carrying NSW rayguns, which would hopefully be able to battle the Martian flyers. Another two Victorian Airships carried Gatling guns.

The final part of the force were two wagons carrying “devices” designed by Professor Bruce of the University of Woolloomooloo. Professor Bruce had studied the reports of the explosion of the HMS Invincible’s radium engines in the North Sea and theorised that such an explosion could be deliberately caused by smashing two lumps of radium together to cause a chain reaction. He told the Prime Minister of NSW “It could release the energy of 100 tons on Dynamite!” The Prime Minister was a bit skeptical but thought in the circumstances no chance should be left untried and authorised the Professor to build the weapons and take them with the new Australian forces.

With the Martian forces distracted by the Cavalry assault the main forces were able to march on the Martian landing.

The opening

Turn 1
The Australian forces advance towards the Martian camp.
The Martians flyers activate and fire at the Victorian Airships but cause no damage.

Martian forces

NSW Corp


Turn 2
The Martians win the initiative and activate first.

The Martian flyers fire again but either miss or cause no damage.

The tripods begin to activate, the first one fails and gets -2 of its next activation, the second one fails and now is immobilised, the third one activates and fires but causes no damage, and then the forth on fails to activate. The Martian leader Marvin screams “There was meant to be an Earth shattering Kaboom!”.

The Victorian flyers activate next, one Martian flyer is hit with 1 suppression, the second is then hit and is wrecked!! The Martian leader curses again.

The Victorian and NSW forces surge forward. Perhaps there is hope against this alien foe.

The Airship destroys the Martian flyer

Victorian forces follow up the Emus.

Turn 3
The Martians win the initiative again.

The Tripods target the Victorian Airships and this time they all manage to fire and immobilise one Airship and damage the steering on another.

The Martian flyer fails its activation and unexpectedly surges forward.

The Australian forces get the initiative and move forward.

Some of the Airships fire at the remaining Martian flyer and get three hits and damage its steering.
The other Airships fire at a Tripod but despite getting two hits cause no damage.

A Kangaroo has an explosion while moving and is wrecked.

The Martian infantry move to cover the main ship.

The Australian forces mostly move up.

The Australian ground forces close in on the Martians
NSW Kangaroo explodes - an U.C.D. as it is call in the trade - an Unscheduled Complete Disassembly
Turn 4
Australia wins the initiative.

The Airships fire at Tripods and set one on fire and immobilise another.

The Martian flyer targets an Airship and finally wrecks one.

The Martian tripods now target the EMUs and KANGAROOs.

They miss the Kangaroo but one Emu explodes and one is set on fire.

The remaining Tripod passes its activation and puts out the fire.

With the Airship destroyed and Emus exploding, the remaining NSW and Victorian infantry fail to move.

A view from the Martian side

An Emu explodes

Turn 5

Australia wins the initiative again.

One Airship targets the Martian infantry with its Gatling gun and causes one damage.

The Kangaroos fire at the Tripods but despite them all getting hits the Tripods remain undamaged.

Another Airship fires at the Martian Flyer and also hits but causes no damage.

The Infantry fail to move and initiative passes to the Martians.

The Martian flyer targets an Airship and sets it on fire!

The Tripods target the Kangaroos and Emus.

One Kangaroo is on fire and one is immobilised.

The Emus fare better this time, one is undamaged, one’s steering is broken and one unexpectedly surges forward when a critical part is hit.

The Martian infantry then move.

NSW infantry target the Martian infantry that moved into their line of sight and volley fire at them and get 17 hits and wipe out the Martian squad.

The Kangaroos and Emus target the tripods and put one on fire and break the steering on another.
The Professor and his wagons have been keeping up.

End of turn 5 - NSW surge forward, Victoria less so. Professor Bruce takes his wagons off road to head towards the Mothership

Turn 6
The Martians win the initiative.

The Martian flyer fires at an Airship and breaks its steering.

The Tripods target the Emus and Kangaroos but despite hitting them only damage one Kangaroos main cannon.

One Martian infantry squad fires at the NSW infantry and get 4 hits causing three suppression  and one dead.

The other Martian squads move.

The remaining Airship with a raygun fires at the Martian flyer and gets 4 hits but only damages its steering.

One Martian squad fires at the NSW infantry and gets 7 hits causing suppression and losses.

Kangaroos target tripods but once again despite getting hits do no damage.

Professor Bruce guides the wagons closer to his target – the Martian Mothership.

Australian forces move in. Professor Bruce moves forward.

The Martian line is under siege!

Turn 7
Australia wins the initiative.

NSW infantry fire and destroy two Martian squads while an Airship destroys another.

The other airship fires at the Martian flyer and gets hits but causes no damage.

A Kangaroo fails its initiative and goes “On Guard”

The Martian flyer blasts the airship and hits but causes no damage

The Tripods fire at the Kangaroos and put one on fire.

A Martian squad moves but the next one fails.

A Kangaroo then fails to activate.

Tripod fire at infantry and cause 2 suppressions

Tripod fires at Emu and destroys its Gatling gun.

Martian infantry squad fire at an infantry company and cause 8 casualties.

A Kangaroo fires at a Tripod but despite getting three hits causes no damage

Martian infantry squad fires at an Emu and get four hits and destroys it.

An Emu tries to activate but fails.

Professor Bruce guides his wagons through the chaos of the battlefield towards the Mother ship. The rest of the army have been holding a corridor open for him.

The Australian forces press forward despite their losses. Making a pathway for the Professor's wagons.

A rare photo from the Victorians' side of the battlefield.

Turn 8
The Martians win the initiative.

From his vantage point in the Mothership Marvin their leader has been watching the wagons get closer. Something is not right he thinks. On the radio he shouts out “Target the wagons and make sure there is an Earth shattering Kaboom!”

A Tripod answers in the affirmative and takes aim, a series of blasts cross the field straight into a wagon. Professor Bruce didn’t live long enough to see that he had misplaced a few decimal places in his calculations as his radium bomb exploded with the force of 100,000 tons of dynamite.

The battlefield was replaced with a radiation blast that destroyed everything within a mile radius and caused bush fires for miles further.

The professor's device goes off!!!!!!!!


A few days later an Airship flew over the battle site and saw only destruction and reported back to Sydney and Melbourne that the battle seemed to have been won but at a dreadful cost.

Elsewhere in the world news of the “victory” in Australia gave some hope to the out gunned armies of Earth but soon after the Martians began to sicken and die from all the Earthly pathogens that they had no immunity for.

With the Martian threat gone world leaders quickly and publically denounced the Australians for building such a powerful and evil weapon, while of course privately asking for the plans, but it was generally assumed that this was what you could expect from a group of ex-convicts with too much gold and the world soon began to think of other things.

Years later the valley became the capital of a united Australia with the battle site a permanent memorial to those who gave their lives.

Near the new Australian Capital a grand Observatory was built, with the most powerful telescopes that could be designed, its target – Mars – to see what they were up to and provide warning in case they ever came back.

This battle was fought using FUBAR including the VSF rules of Captain Darling. As it was my first game there were a few issues in my forgetting this and that but basically it was fair to both sides.

Saturday, 25 February 2017

19C - Martian Invasion Force

The combined armies of NSW and Victoria  sent reconnaissance forces into the remote  Molongo River where the Martians had established their forward operating base.

Many of the brave men sent were captured or killed. A local militia unit had attacked the Martians soon after they had landed but the militia were completely wiped out to the last man.

Eventually after many attempts Chesty Bond returned with some photos and information on the Martians.

The main force was established around a farm in the Molongo Valley 153 miles south west of Sydney.

Martian invaders
The main ship did not have any offensive capabilities. The flyers were very dangerous and had already destroyed one airship that had tried to photograph the Martian camp.

Martian flyer

The Martian flyers are armed with some type of radium guns.

The guns seem to be linked to each other.

Martian Tripod

The Martian Tripods are very well armoured  and also have a single radium gun plus a smaller Gatling type gun.


Martian foot soldiers are armed with a ray gun of some type. Not as powerful as the one in the Tripod, it was still seen to kill an adult wallaby with a single shot.


The Tripods are from the Pendraken SciFi range. The infantry are also Pendraken  - I don't know why they were listed as Macedonian Pikemen as they are obviously Martians - I had to remove a small shield from their left arm but that was easy to do.

The painting is by me so very bad  - I am always amazed when I see what other people can do with these figures. In future, I am going to avoid close up photos.

The Flyers are Scout Ships from Pegasus (I think) as is the larger Area 51 model.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

19C - End of an Era

The Victorian air ships brought back the news of the utter defeat to Melbourne later that night. The next day the headlines of the newspapers were full of the terrible news, lists of casualties and calls for the government to resign. The Victorian Prime Minister tried to hold on to power by deflecting blame to the army and its commanders and to the Minister of War, but by the end of the day had been forced to resign in disgrace.

In Sydney the celebrations were tinged by the terrible loses and the damage to the city.
The telegraph between Sydney and Melbourne ran hot with demands and counter accusations. The NSW Government was slightly assuaged by the fall of the Victorian Government and the subsequent request from the Victorian Governor for an armistice to allow time to form a new government who could discuss peace terms.

Just a week later the world was still coming to terms with this short and fearsome war on the other side of the Earth when there was another shock. All across the world an alien invader had landed. Soon identified as Martians, with formidable weapons they quickly took bridgeheads on each of the continents.

Finally, Earth had found a cause that they could all agree on and work together. All the current disputes were put to one side and enemies became allies, foes became friends, and armies co-operated against the new and devastating invader that threatened them all.

Australia was no exception. The Victorians were happy to find common ground with NSW and to put the recent “unpleasant events” in the past. The new Victorian Government were wise enough to place their Army at the disposal of the NSW to eliminate the Martian attack in the south of NSW. While the NSW government and people were not too happy about inviting Victorian troops into NSW they were less happy about trying to defeat the Martians by themselves and they realised that the Victorian troops, EMUS and flying ships would greatly help them.

So the armies joined together to fight the Martians and a great force assembled in the outback of NSW on a sheep station that the Martians had landed at.

Martian Invasion Area

Saturday, 18 February 2017

19C - War of the Antipodes - Sydney Counterattack

This is a continuation of my 19C campaign describing a war between NSW and Victoria in the 1880's. I use my own rules for this. There is one more battle for this campaign before I move onto something else. For the last battle I am going to  use the FUBAR rules for VSF,


Sydney Parliament House, the afternoon of the Victorian surprise attack. The Victorian airships have returned to Melbourne to load more forces. Victorian sailing ships have landed with supplies and more troops.

The Victorian commander was interrogating some of the captured NSW officers in the dining room of the NSW Parliament House. He was telling them how their resistance was useless and they should recognise this and join the Victorian army.

However, the one hole in his argument was the wreckage of the Victorian air ship smouldering outside on Macquarie Street. He told his prisoners that that was nothing and soon they would see even more amazing scenes as the Victorian Emus were landed from their ships.

The NSW officers asked him to explain and he told them how the machines were three stories high, armoured and carried two Gatling guns and an artillery gun. “You have nothing to match it!” he smirked at his prisoners.

Just then there was a dull thud from a long way away and soon one of the NSW officers pointed to the pressure waves in a cup of tea on the table. “They are coming!” he said to his colleagues.

“What is coming!” said the Victorian commander.

“Just some Kangaroos” smiled the officer. This was followed by some repeating thuds from far away and then some distant cheers. “Our forces are coming and soon we will be free!”

The Victorian Commander laughed. “They can cheer all they like. We know you are going to counterattack and we have already prepared our defences. Soon the Emus will land and nothing will be able to move us. The docks at Circular Quay are covered with our stores and supplies. We have emplaced our artillery in your forts. Sydney is ours and the sooner you all realise it the better for all of us.”

The opening situation:

Opening situation and plans.  Red for NSW and Blue for Victoria

NSW Plans.

NSW is going to counterattack through the Domain and then down to Circular Quay to destroy the Victorian stores and supplies there. They will also need to recapture Hyde Park Barracks and Parliament House to protect their flank.

They still have to defend the Sydney Town Hall but have used the militia forces for this with some artillery and one regular company in support.

Victorian Plans.

Victoria needs to defend against the NSW counter attack and also capture the Sydney Town Hall. If they can do this the NSW resistance will be ended.

Turn 1

The force in the Domain advances into sight of the Victorian defences.
The Town Hall force prepares its defences.

The defenders gasp when they see the Kangaroos come into the open but hold their nerve and open fire damaging one of the Kangaroos.
The Town Hall assault force moves into positions.

Turn 1 in Domain

Turn 2
The Kangaroos open fire on the Victorians in the trenches and slaughter them and damage the Gatling gun. The NSW infantry move in support to assault the lines and the NSW lancers move round the flank.

Their forces move to attack the Town Hall but the NSW defenders hold firm.
The EMUS and other reserves move to support the remaining defenders in the Domain.

End of Turn 2 in Domain

End of Turn 2 at Town Hall

Turn 3
The NSW infantry assault the Hyde Park Barracks but are pushed back by the Victorian defenders.
NSW infantry clear the trenches and a NSW company deploys to assault the Barracks from a different direction.

The assault on the Town Hall is repulsed.
In the Domain the Victorians redeploy their reserves to hold the line.

Turn 3 Domain NSW are through the Victorian trench line

Victorian assault on Sydney Town Hall

Turn 4
A second assault on the Barracks ends in a draw and the infantry remain locked in action.
The Kangaroos advance through the trenches and deploy on the other side.
The II Victorian Infantry company is destroyed
The I Victorian Infantry company assaulting the Town Hall is shredded by NSW Artillery fire.
The other Victorian infantry attacking the Town Hall also take casualties.

The assault on the Town Hall is stalled with many casualties.
In the Domain the Victorian Cavalry charge the NSW Lancers but despite significant losses on both sides it is the Victorians who lose.
The Close Assault in the Barracks continues and NSW forces their way into the Barracks.

End of turn 4 in the Domain

End of turn 4 at Sydney Town Hall

Turn 5
NSW maul the remaining Victorian assault force attacking the Town Hall
NSW continue the Barracks Close Assault

The Victorian Infantry hold on in the Barracks.
The Victorian assault forces retreat from the Town Hall.

End of Turn 5 in the Domain

End of Turn 5 at Sydney Town Hall

Turn 6
Retake the Barracks
In the Domain NSW Kangaroos destroy an EMU and the Victorian Cavalry.

Return fire on the Kangaroos and one is destroyed as well as two infantry bases.
The forces at the Town Hall retreat so not to be outflanked.

End of turn 6 in Domain

End of Turn 6 at Town Hall - NSW advances

Turn 7.
2 more EMUS are destroyed and the Victorian Infantry in Parliament House lose 2 stands.

Retreats on all fronts. There is little left to stop the NSW forces.

The hope of a Victorian victory lies destroyed in the Domain 

Turn 8
NSW Advances
Victoria retreats

NSW is advancing

Turn 9
NSW forces are repulsed in their advance down Pitt Street
This is too little and too late. Elsewhere NSW is surging forward.

The artillery in Fort Macquarie open fire but do little damage to a Roo.

Turn 9 Victoria hold back some NSW militia troops but elsewhere NSW is unopposed

Turn 10.
NSW has gained the docks and will destroy or capture the Victorian supplies. The Victorian attack on Sydney has been destroyed with significant losses.

NSW has won!!

Photo in the Sydney newspapers the next day showed the capture of the Victorian trenches.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Wizards Council’s Undead Army.

The wizards have many strange and dangerous powers.

The production of their Thaumo-magical Weapons of Mass Death from the strange luminescent ores and metals quarried for them from the deepest mines by the dwarves are only one of the many evil things they make.

Another evil is the Wizards Council’s Necromancer Humane Society (NHS) who raise the dead. While the other wizards are not too keen on talking to the dead, mainly because there might be some awkward meetings with people they have killed, the Necromancers are always the first to be called when the Wizards need an army.

This time the Necromancers have raised the dead of an old human army who were slaughtered when attacking the Orcs in a long forgotten war. Well forgotten by the humans, the Orcs still celebrate the battle’s anniversary each year with a great feast. Just like they did the night of the original battle.

The Necromancers’ army is built around the great wizards who bring it back from the dead as well as a great hero. The undead army is composed of swords and bows plus a team of minor Deaths who keep the undead under control.

When the dwarves saw the army they asked the Wizards why there were no horses, “the humans are mad for horses when they fight” said the dwarves. The Wizards just shrugged and said that there weren’t any intact horses there when they raised the bones of the army. The Orcs said, “There is good eating on a horse”, and left it at that.

The Wizards' Undead Army

Bow Skeletons

Minor Deaths - swords - to keep the undead under control

Undead swords

An undead Hero - needs two minor deaths to control him

Necromancer Wizard

Necromancer Wizard General