Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Mars Needs Steam Pictures From Historicon

As you knowm, we ran two very big Mars Needs Steam games at Historicon. You've seen a lot of pictures of the various Mars Needs Steam games we've run so I'll try to concentrate on new things in these pictures.

Now here's something you don't see every day on Mars -- a stern-wheeler river boat. Since we added a canal to this game, it seemed approriate that the North American contingent (a joint US-Canadian force) would arrive in style.

Speaking of the Canadians and style, the Canadian contingent was a detachment of  "Amazonians," dismounted hussars of the feminine persuasion. The figures are too nice to resist. I forget the manufacturer but will find out and add it to the comment section of this post later.

We added a British Martian Colonial contingent to this game, complete with gashaant-mounted lancers supported by a detachment of the Parhoon Rifles, all from RAFM. Very nice!

We now have models for all of the encounters and wonders, which is not essential but adds a lot to thr visual appeal. Here a unit of Martians have encountered the legendary Ohnam Reekh, a very large burrowing animal. Actually killing it, and bringing back proof of its existence, is worth pretty good victory points -- provided you survive the experience.

This gives you a look at a couple of the new terrain pieces Glenn Kidd did for the game, The foreground shows a smaller feature with several "chimney" towering peaks, while in the background is a very cool plateau with hanging vegetation. You can also see one of the two "shark boat" flyers which made an appearance in the game.

Here's a closer view of one of the two Shark flyers. I kit-bashed these almost twenty years ago from the hull of a light siling vessel, a superstructure built up from sheet styrene, and the tail of a WW I spad. The forward deck gun was from the old Houston line. They still look pretty cool to me. We called them sharks because, despite the odd-sounding mix of parts, they do have a sort of graceful shark-like shape.

More encounter monsters, this time several flying predators attacking a party of Martian shield gunners. The flying predators, looking a bit like alien manta rays -- which is just about perfect for Mars in Space: 1889 -- are from the old Grenadier Models Traveller animals set. There are a lot of useful alien critters in that boxed set, if you can find it on ebay.

American Marines have stormed ashore from the Martian Queen and are now pushing inland. Note the steam tractor standing by as a towing vehicle for the Amazonian gun crew (only one figure visible at the far right).

Having captured a village, the Amazonian infantry and field gun deploy to defend the North American beachhead. The barge used to bring their heavy vehicles is visible beached in the background. Actually, the attack wasn't long in coming. Pretty much everyone in range decided to beat up on the Americans.

Starting with the Russians.

Meanwhile the French Turcos, in true light infantry style, scrambled up a jagged mountain and uncovered the fossilized remains of a large but unknown species of Martian animal.


  1. A great looking game with great terrain. Thanks for the nod to the Haligonian Viragos!

    1. Thanks. But Halligonian Viragos? I'm afraid even I missed that reference. People from Hallifax who ride Honda Viragos motorcycles?

    2. OH! Wait! I get it! Okay, I'm a little slow on the uptake sometimes, but I get it. Yes, very good.

  2. Awesome game, Frank! I'm sorry I couldn't be there.

    Who makes the Amazonians, or are they one of Glenn's conversions?

    Keith F.

    1. They are new figures from Hinterland Miniatures, sculpted by Paul Higgs. Really nice figures and the line is growing -- mounted figures also now availabe (mounted side-saddle, of course).

    2. Side-saddle, of course - a lady's still a lady, no matter how much she's shooting at you. : )

      Thanks Frank!


  3. Fantastic, Frank. Thanks for sharing those pix and the commentary.