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Author Topic: In Her Majesty's Name AAR - The Tripods and the Tunguska Shard  (Read 1169 times)

Offline agentbalzac

  • Librarian
  • Posts: 118
It has been whispered that a strange monolith that once appeared in the snowy taiga of the Tunguska Oblast some years ago was a navigation beacon, sent in advance of their terrifying invasion some years later by Martian invasion forces...

What is certain is that, in the days after the invasion, before academic communications broke down, a flurry of telegrams were sent back and forth between various experts.  It is known the Rossiya Akademy of Astrophysiks in Murmansk sent a sample shard of the monolith to The Reverend Professor Augustine Beebe at Magdalene College, Cambridge for analysis.  In the chaotic early days of the Martian invasion, the Reverend Beebe had barely time to hide the Shard inside the belfry of his church, St Botolph’s Cambridge, before he fled to the Suffolk Coast.  Following Reverend Beebe’s demise on the HMS Dreadnought as it sped through the Channel with other members of the HM Central Committee for Earthly Defence, a call went out for adventuresome Companies to travel - at their own risk - back to Cambridge to retrieve the shard, so that it can be studied back in the Resistance de-facto HQ in Edinburgh.

For too long the shadow of the Tripods has been cast across the green shires of Her Majesty's realms.  Could the Tunguska Shard be the key to a fight back? 


*******

Three companies had taken up the cudgel for this goal, though whom they served and what they might gain was as unclear as the gloomy shadows that wallowed among the ruined halls of the College.  Icicles tinkled where once students had engaged in robust debate, frost silently crept though the shattered libraries.  Leaves rotten black where once lush carpet had adorned the floors of dusty chambers of learning and knowledge.

St Botolph’s Church loomed above the ruins, somehow undamaged by the inscrutable march and blazing heat-rays of the tripods.  The companies would need to seize the shard, in its protective canister, and make off with it, before the tripods could hunt them down.  The only escape led across the ruins, and over the River Cam, silent and ice-covered in the wintery evening, where once perhaps carollers would have warmed the night with their singing.

A wintery night in the ruins of Cambridge:


Nearby a troop of HM Royal Rocket-Marines deployed across the snowy church forecourt.  Elsewhere the Kingsmen Tailors took up positions in the fallen archways of the college, staring into the darkness through calibrated brass gunsights.  Northward, across a broken quadrangle, the Prussians advanced with the same clockwork military precision which had carried them across Europe.  Overhead one of their fame Luftrüppen drifted in the cold air above the wrecked stones.

The Prussian Society of Thule advances:


A rocket Marine flies up into the air, on a column of flame and smoke.  He misjudged his landing on the slick Church roof-slates, and there was a short and brutally abbreviated cry as he fell and was impaled upon a mocking gargoyle.  One of his comrades, ignored this horror and followed, crashing through the belfry window and rolling onto his feet.  Before him among the pigeon grime and feathers sat a squat metal box, marked with distinctive Cyrillic letters.  It matched the daguerrotypes he’d seen in the briefing, and he scooped it up.

Far off, a scout tripod, standing like a statue, jerked and twisted into life, its red eye sweeping back and forth across the monochrome ruins.  It lurched forward into action, immediately receiving a hail of bullets from the Kingsmen.   A second tripod advanced to meet this threat, even as the first seems to explode in a shower of green-tinged smoke, its smooth gun-metal silver carapace cracked open like an alien egg by heavy gunfire.

The Kingsmen destroy one of the Scout Tripods with accurate shooting:



The Prussians, meanwhile, had set aside their common sense of purpose and were engaged in a musket duel with the Marines, one of whom emerged from the spiral staircase and struggled away through the snow with the Sample.

To the amazement of all, the tripods suffered another casualty, with more accurate shooting taking out a second walker, its burning hull standing next to the smouldering hulk of the first. 

At this stage it seemed that the resistance companies would somehow triumph over the alien menace, until a third scout appeared from the northwest, killing another Marine.  A target Assault Tripod then emerged from the southwest, alerted to the fight by the blazing beacon of its fallen comrades - charging in and trampling a Kingsman.  It continued to rampage forward, taking damage to the tentacle holding its Rocket Grenade launcher.

Meanwhile the Prussians traded fire with the Marines, who laboured to get the Tunguska shard away toward the river, hemmed in between tripods and enemy gunfire.  It was stupefying yet inevitable that grasping self interest was trumping the greater goal of defeating the Martians.

A squat Martian Slaver tripod had answered the call to battle, advancing from behind the church with blasts of its crippling sound blaster, but ineffective with its capture claw in seizing the upstart humans.  Away off to the east, where the ruins give way to the tree-lined River Cam, a strange Red Weed crept along the river bank like a malignant fog, its sticky tendrils growing at a fantastic rate, visible to the naked eye.

The sinister Red Weed spreads long the riverbank, a barrier to escape:


The fight rolled across the shattered campus.  The Assault Tripod was damaged and then crippled, going silent.  The third active Scout Tripod also appeared to seize up, before a tiny Engineer Tripod scuttled onto the field and, with a clattering of tiny arms covered in strange tool-like extensions, it restarted the walker.

The Tripods, aided by an engineer, recover and press home their fight:


His skull crushed by a tripod leg, the Marine carrying the shard canister dropped it in the snow, and with a hiss which sounded triumphant, the Scout Tripod seized it in its searching metallic tentacles.  Just as it seemed that the Martians would retain this precious icon, a Prussian Jäger stepped forward with his arc pistol, its fire blazing into the unprotected face-sockets of the Slaver Tripod, which hissed and burned, belching smoke like a tortured scream of rage, before it ground to a halt.

Driving onward, waiting only for his arc-weapon to re-charge, he turned it upon the damaged Scout Tripod which bore the shard case.  Spitting sparks and gouts of lurid liquids told of severe internal damage: it appeared barely controlled by its alien steersman.  The dimming red all-seeing eye seemed to miss the approach of the Lufttrüpper who silently soared overhead, hurling a bomb at the tripod’s legs, which exploded blowing clods of frozen earth.  Finally the tripod, panels hanging loose and buckling, dropped the shard and went still.

Undaunted, Thule strikes back, destroying the Slaver:


The Prussians swooped forward and seized the shard canister, passing it up to the balloon Jäger.  Firing up his steam-powered propeller, this craft whirred away into the sky, steering to the east, zig-zagging away to victory, up and over the creeping weed, across the frozen river and the snowy fields beyond.  The Tuguska Shard was now in the hands of the Kaiser.  To what purpose would they turn it?

The Lufttrüppen attack from above...


...and escape across the weed and the river into the night:


*******

More IHMN fun with three gaming chums while our Perth Miniatures Gamers Group is in COVID-19 hiatus.  I experimented with the rules form the Martian Invasion supplement, and some of my newly painted Tripods from the All Quiet on the Martian Front range, which though scaled for 15mm work really well with our 28mm companies.  Hoping to get some more War of the Worlds themed games in over the coming months.

Hope you enjoy!

Offline clandaith

  • Bookworm
  • Posts: 82
    • The Fat Old Gamer
Re: In Her Majesty's Name AAR - The Tripods and the Tunguska Shard
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2020, 01:42:02 PM »
Awesome AAR.  I love the story.

How is the balloon made?  I recognize the fins, but not the body.  Is it a foam egg shape?

Offline Easy E

  • Mastermind
  • Posts: 1020
  • Just some guy who does stuff
    • Blood and Spectacles
Re: In Her Majesty's Name AAR - The Tripods and the Tunguska Shard
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2020, 04:14:05 PM »
Great use of the All Quiet on the Martian Front Tripods!

I was going to do something similar only set in Orson Welles War of the Worlds in 1938!
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Offline Craig

  • Scatterbrained Genius
  • Posts: 2076
  • Youth & Talent are no match for Age and Treachery.
    • The Ministry of Gentlemanly Warfare
Re: In Her Majesty's Name AAR - The Tripods and the Tunguska Shard
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2020, 03:51:25 PM »
A most splendid report, and the first I have ever seen that included Luftruppen. Well done that chap!  :D
My sincerest contrafibularities
General Lord Craig Arthur Wellesey Cartmell (ret'd)
https://theministryofgentlemanlywarfare.wordpress.com/

Offline Frogger

  • Lurker
  • Posts: 2
Re: In Her Majesty's Name AAR - The Tripods and the Tunguska Shard
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2020, 10:23:20 AM »
A most splendid report, and the first I have ever seen that included Luftruppen. Well done that chap!  :D

Just given a repaint in a more Prussian scheme and a 'sky-base'.  And an arc pistol (electricity and hydrogen balloons seems like a good idea?)

As game play goes, it was fun, but VERY slow.  As it can't run or add a speed bonus, 4" left it far behind.  Also the lufttruppen needs one hand to steer, so can't use the default rifle he comes with, so swapped out for pistol and bomb at same cost.

You will also see he is wearing a forage cap instead of a pickelhaub, as early pilots found such headwear problematic.

In a previous game it was launched from the deck of the Society of Thule's ship 'The Silesian Queen" , which in effect made it the worlds first air-craft carrier.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2020, 10:52:15 AM by Frogger »

Offline Frogger

  • Lurker
  • Posts: 2
Re: In Her Majesty's Name AAR - The Tripods and the Tunguska Shard
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2020, 10:39:41 AM »
Awesome AAR.  I love the story.

How is the balloon made?  I recognize the fins, but not the body.  Is it a foam egg shape?

I was throwing out some old unloved terrain and recovered a foam Easter egg I had used as an egg in a dragons nest.  The fins are cut up mini pop sticks, stuck on with hot glue.  Nose cone is a hoplite shield, cables are plastic spears, back pack is a blob of green stuff.  Pilot and bomb is a plastic GI from freebie sprue from WI, cap and sword is napoleonic plastic spares (Perry?), gun is from a GW kit.  there is a fan on the rear (can't see in pic) which was a spare from a KoD MDF kit.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2020, 10:42:58 AM by Frogger »

Offline clandaith

  • Bookworm
  • Posts: 82
    • The Fat Old Gamer
Re: In Her Majesty's Name AAR - The Tripods and the Tunguska Shard
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2020, 01:42:20 PM »
I was throwing out some old unloved terrain and recovered a foam Easter egg I had used as an egg in a dragons nest.  The fins are cut up mini pop sticks, stuck on with hot glue.  Nose cone is a hoplite shield, cables are plastic spears, back pack is a blob of green stuff.  Pilot and bomb is a plastic GI from freebie sprue from WI, cap and sword is napoleonic plastic spares (Perry?), gun is from a GW kit.  there is a fan on the rear (can't see in pic) which was a spare from a KoD MDF kit.

I love it.  That's a really cool kit bash.  The Hoplite shield is brilliant.  Well done.

Offline gamer Mac

  • Galactic Brain
  • Posts: 8030
Re: In Her Majesty's Name AAR - The Tripods and the Tunguska Shard
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2020, 02:21:20 PM »
Very cool looking game full of VSF Goodness :-* :-* :-* :-* :-* :-*

Offline skirmisher

  • Librarian
  • Posts: 161
Re: In Her Majesty's Name AAR - The Tripods and the Tunguska Shard
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2020, 02:44:26 PM »
I love the brilliant back story and scenario. Well done.

Offline ErikB

  • Mastermind
  • Posts: 1352
  • Sometimes I feel like Schroedinger's Cat
Re: In Her Majesty's Name AAR - The Tripods and the Tunguska Shard
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2020, 04:33:33 PM »
The ambiance is quite chilling.  ;-)

This was excellent, thanks for posting it!

 

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