Tuesday, September 27, 2011

More Mars Needs Steam Photos

As promised, here are some additional photos of the Mars Needs Steam game, these from Phil Tortorici. Phil also loaned me the "Lost Martian City" (looking remarkably like an Afghan hill village) which featured prominently in the second and third games. Although it was built by another friend, Phil did a lot of additional work on it, making all of the roofs removable so figures can be placed inside the buildings. We see in this picture the American scientific party (with escort) entering the lost city. Phil took his pictures in sepia, which is a nice period effect.

Here is a more panoramic view of the Lost City. It was built in two parts and when put together covered about three feet by four and a half feet, with twisting rabbit-warren streets, overhanging balconies, all sorts of great stuff. It really was an impressive terrain piece and it helped further break up the table into lots of small clearings. That helps the feel of the game a great deal. The game tends to bog down if there are lots of open spaces -- who wants to start walking across an enormous open plain when the other gun has a field gun and a Maxim machine gun?

Phil has a thing for garden gnomes, which seem to magically appear when he photographs something. (The Gnome was not part of the game.) This is a nice rear view of one of Frank Frey's steam tanks, here being used as mechanical traction for a 3-inch field gun. I don't know the manufacturer of this particular tank, but if anyone does, send it in as a comment. It's a resin tank modeled generally on a German World War I A7V, but a bit smaller and with simplified lines (and, of course, a smoke stack).

This shows a longer view of the city from a different angle, with an American 3-inch field gun unlimbered and ready to open fire in the foreground. This is from the third game and the head of on e of the two Bavarian players, who would end up vcitorious, is just visible above the city.

More Americans, this time advancing infantry. (Can you tell Phil was one of the two American commanders?)

And here is a nice picture of the last turn of the final game. Just visible in the top center is the Bavarian overall leader, Count von Lager, replete in formal wear but still packing a revolver which he used to hold off a gaggle of Americans so his men could withdraw behind him. This was not long after the Bavarians had turned on the Prussians and mercilessly gunned down the Prussian naturalist Frau Bluecher. The Bavarians pushed deep into the city and snatched a number of artifacts almost from under the Americans' noses, and went on to win a convincing victory. Long live Bavaria!


  1. Frank,
    It was good to see you again. I wish I could've stayed longer. I'm glad the games went so well. I'm glad that there was an abandoned Martian city. Phil Tortorici is a great guy and is always willing to pitch in and help anyway he can.
    Daylina really had a good time. Hopefully, I can get her to come to ReCon next spring.
    I hope you can make down as well.

  2. Frank,
    The vehicles I use are from Ironcland Miniatures.
    BTW, is Bavaria still and independent kingdom?

  3. Thanks for a great game! My wife Jean (the aforeseen Bavarian) said the game was one of the highlights of the con for her.

    I should have images from the con up on my blog sometime in the next few days. (leadastray.wordpress.com)

  4. Frank F.,
    Ironclad Miniatures -- good to know. These are very nice models on their own and have lots of additional conversion possibilities.

    Bavaria is not exactly an independent kingdom. It is a kingdom within the German Second Reich, with internal autonomy and its own army, but bound to follow Berlin's foreign policy. The embers of independence sometimes flicker into open flame, however, especially in distant colonial backwaters where there will be few international repercussions.

  5. Leadastray,

    Thanks to you and Jean for playing! We really did have an excellent group of players -- good sports all of them with senses of humor as well. That always makes for a better game.