Mars is dying...

Mars is dying...

Not through fault or neglect or wicked reason, not even because of the Gods; though some would say this is so. Mars is dying because it is old.

For time beyond count, our world has floated with the orb of the sun god, basking in the everwarmth that it provides, the Martian brothers sailing around giving constant company.

The Ancients warned the death of Mars might be so. Long, long ago; before the Storm. It is said the Storm lasted for an age or more: I for one, do not believe this to be true even though the clan elders warn me against foolish words.

There are still some Ancient writings in the deep deserts for those who wish to learn and are willing to brave sandstorms and the creatures that live there. Most of our knowledge from before the Storm comes from stories told around the clan fires, told again and again, embellished ever so lightly with each clan teller so who knows what is true and what is not.

With each storm season, the Ancient houses and temples disappear and reappear so fast that is easy to loose them completely, Gods know how large their cites were or what final secrets they contain. Three whole clans have been lost searching for the chief city with no sign or call from them these long years past.

But now we have new troubles and concerns. The Earthers have come to Mars: to steal and pillage what they can and to take it away to their blue world. Curse them to the Gods! They have no right, no honour and no need to be here. Like parasites they come here destroying whatever they touch and leaving mayhem in their wake.

They must be sent back across the sky ocean to their blue world.

They must be stopped.

It must happen now!

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Mars. The story so far...

Mars, the story so far.

Humans arrived on Mars three years ago to the accolades of those in power. The first to arrive were the Japanese followed closely by the British and then the other powers of note. The opportunities were thought to be endless and an almost gold-rush mentality by governments ensued; each sending as much as they could to the red planet without endangering their holdings on Earth. Aether travel was expensive but it was thought that the riches found on Mars would more than compensate the expenditure.

The first contact between human and Martian was not without it's problems; language being one of them but a professor from Cambridge specialising in anthropology was quick to pick up on the Martian language, noting various similarities between some of the ancient tongues used on earth thousands of years ago. This in itself brought up more questions than answers and there is now a strong scientific population on Mars studying the indigenous population as much as they can (or will be allowed).

One of the other problems was the human trait of greed, which can effect the best man given the right circumstances. Various raw minerals; rare on Earth were to be found with abundance but mining them was to prove difficult. A type of Martian unbeknownst to the humans was incredibly protective of their territory, destructively so. Several mining camps and expeditions have recently fallen to the 'Sky Martians' without the humans finding out much more about them than the scattered eyewitness accounts that tend to be dismissed as the ravings of lunatics.

The Humans have made several beachheads on Mars itself with the largest; New Victoria being almost the size of a small city. The British and Japanese enlisted the help of the 'City Martians' in building the walls of New Victoria and these have now become a wonder of the Victorian age: not only for their size but also the speed in which they were built and their scope. A railway network has also been developed and expanded since the first year of colonisation and it now connects several of the larger human settlements and is continually growing, bringing civilisation to the remotest parts of the human colonies.

The Sky Martian problem is becoming more apparent as more camps and facilities are falling quiet. Even the journalists are taking a heavy toll, some expeditions into the interior not coming back at all.

What will happen when the Earth powers band together and stop their petty squabbles. What will happen when the Sky Martians show their true strength: as it is believed that what has been witnessed so far is but a small taster of what is to come...

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Second battle report

With Sky Martian increasing their attacks of human settlements it's about time we see another report on their activities.

The initial set up. The red 'glow' is the after effects of the dawn sandstorm, one of the Sky Martians tactics is to attack just as dawn is breaking...

The rail encampment. Unfortunately the crew for the heavy gun have been delayed, their whereabouts unknown...

The first Martian moves 'The head spikes of the Naakatan'.

The view towards the barricades, civilians finally realise the danger and rush for the train.

The sandstorm continues and the situation does not look good for the humans.

A slight break in the sandstorms shows a concentrated rush with the Martians in amongst the humans killing left, right and centre.

The blue humans try to defend the camp but are slowly taken out one by one.

A few Martian casualties causes them to back of and regroup but another sandstorm is on the way. Enough damage has been done though...

The train and it's inhabitants makes a very slow getaway to report on the damage done.

This of course is only a taster of what is to come...


Monday, 1 October 2012

A brief explanation of Sky Martian Clans

As mentioned in the treatise on the history of Mars, the Sky Martians parted from their trading cousins and formed a warriors clan culture, each clan comprising of several families. From an early age the Sky Martians teach their offspring in the ways of combat; pitting them against each other and opposing clans in ferocious competitions that often lead to death. For the young that survive they are inducted into the warrior elite and develop their skills, honing and perfecting the art of war.

Invariably with such a fierce culture there will be conflict between the clans and this happens on a regular basis but not to the extent that there is total civil war. Some of the reasons for inter-clan warfare are usually small and petty, seemingly created as an excuse rather an an actual reason but other times it can develop into a blood feud that can last for several generations.

There are several levels of warrior status within the clan structure. The top level is reserved for the warrior elite; warriors who have served the clan the longest and have the most experience. These warriors form the backbone of the clan's structure and are at the forefront of any engagement. These warriors get the best armour and weapons and are versed in several different ways of combat. The bulk of the clan is made up of the more adolescent members of the warrior caste those that have passed the induction but do not yet have the experience to qualify for the warrior elite: some of these can be armed with bolas but not many. The armour and weapons supplied to these troops is of a slightly lower quality and is quite often passed down through the clan from elder to younger. The bottom rung is made from the levies of the clan, the wastrels and criminals. These tend to be the missile troops; armed with a spiked bolas and not dreamed worthy enough to carry a short polearm (the Sky Martians weapon of choice). Limited leather armour is supplied and not maintained and therefore the levie units can have a haphazard appearance.

The Sky Martians transport of choice is a fast flying skiff and they utilise the winds, expertly trimming the sails, to get the maximum manoeuvrability and positioning for attack. Their main tactic is to swoop in to above the target; either with the sun behind them or in the dawn or dusk, harpoon the target to attach themselves and then traverse down fine rope to the deck of the opposing flyer. Causing as much damage and death as possible in as quick as time as possible they are not interested in capturing or even looting unless they are attacking the City Martians, just leaving destructn in their wake.
When attacking the City Martians, similar tactics are used but with larger vessels in support to enable supplies to be carried away to the clan holds in the mountains. The fighting can be quite desperate between the two factions with the City Martians sometimes even taking the offensive.

There are generally no female warriors but occasionally small groups in the clan will band together and form a warband. They are treated with a wary respect and allowed to go with the male warbands on raids and such but never to lead the clan in battle. What they lack in physical strength they make up for in viciousness and one or two female warbands have a terrible reputation throughout the Sky Martian community.

Clan hierarchy is important to the running of the clan with the eldest members having overall say over clan policy. Each clan has a council which is made from three representatives from each family contained within the clan and these elders have the last say, although some of the younger warband leaders are starting to question their reasoning.The general day to day running of the clan is in the hands of the elders with the females taking most of the physical roles and the males being primeraly attached to the warbands. Trade between the clans is common but as stated before, this can lead to open conflict.There is a subspecies of Sky Martian, small in number, that are used for general labour, the limited amount of farming that happens and occasionally pressed into warband service if the need is dire. Every second Martian cycle a clan gathering is called and as many clan councils attend as is possible. The gathering is used to discuss any important issues that effect the clans as a whole and can also be used to resolve feuds and conflicts that are having a more than normal detrimental effect on the Sky Martian culture. The gathering can last for many days as it is also an opportunity for elders to see compatriots that they haven't been able to for the whole year and catch up on news and clan doings without the business of the clans getting in the way. The gathering is also an opportunity to pit the youngsters against each other is a series of games, tests and combat to enable themselves admittance to the warrior elite.

Things now though are leading to change as the humans have come to Mars and are staring to encroach on Martian culture and territory. The humans originally came for exploration but now it is turning into exploitation which is becoming unbearable to the clan councils. Action has already been taken with raids on human mining colonies but more must be taken in ord for the humans to depart Mars. The gathering is being called again, not so long after the last one to decide on the best course of action to take against the humans and their City Martian allies...

Thursday, 27 September 2012

The first battle report

As we have a new range of figures available it would be remiss of us not play some games. This is the first game we played with the Martians and as such didn't really have the rules complete for them. The set we were using was Triumph and Tradegy with some alterations for the Martians themselves that still need a bit of tweaking. We left out the vehicle rules but will be looking at them in detail to allow for the various VSF contraptions that we can field.

One idea behind the games is to have a narrative campaign that will continue till the climax at next years Salute at the London Excel Centre on the 20th April

The basic set up was a four by four table, using some of the boards from the Salute 2012 game with a small mining encampment and a docked neff. Two units of Martians were dropped off by skiff and raided the camp which was defended by the miners and a small detachment of the Naval Brigade. A first contact situation you might say.

On to the photos...

The Martian force

The thin blue line

The Martians land on the docked Japanese neff 'Kaze' and start to decimate the crew

After killing the crew, the Martians decend to the ground and advance towards the enemy

Fierce fighting ensues but the British line holds

The Martian Warleader tackles Lt A A Milne of the Naval Brigade and takes him down

The raid was to of no avail as the Martians were soundly beaten but an overhead skiff noted the Earther ways of battle and another warclan is being prepared. They will return...

Not the best selection of photos but it conveys what happened. I'm actually pleased with some of the really red looking ones as it looks like a Martian sunrise, I didn't do anything, that's just how they came out. We'll be playing again on Wednesday and will have more troops this time. The rules used were T+T (Triumph and Tragedy) and although no real VSF contraptions were used they seemed to work very well. A few alterations for the Martians will be implemented for the next game along with some basic flying rules for neffs and skiffs. I can't wait !!!


Friday, 21 September 2012

A short treatise on Martian history

Thousands of years ago, Martians lived a semi peaceful existence thriving on the rich fertile lands, building great cities along the vast canals which were the lifeblood of the planet and were quite possibly their greatest achievement. From these cities great riches were earned, traded and secured and the Martian culture grew and spread.

With any growing civilisation, technology developed and better means of transportation, architecture, art and science were developed. A fortunate discovery of a particular gemstone by a leading Martian scientist  enabled the Martians to develop flight and a golden age was born. Utilising the properties of these gems the Martians built flying vessels which propelled them into the skies. From these skyships they journeyed far and wide into hitherto unexplored regions of the red planet.

The vast mountain ranges, previously inaccessible and unoccupied, began to attract explorers and who eventually created homes and communities in the lofty peaks. Martian culture began to split and fragment between the traditionalists who believed in the riches of the soil and trade to sustain their lives and the forward thinking 'Sky' Martians who believed in the properties of the gems to be a gift of the neglected Martian gods. Taking to the sky was the only way forward. Even though their culture split, there was no real enmity between the two, they still traded and dealt with each other amicably. This was until the storms came.

Mars has always had severe dust storms; sometimes lasting for days on end and covering the entire planet but the Martians dealt with them without any major hardships and they were part of life on Mars. This was until the biggest storms the planet had ever seen. They slowly built up over the years to an alarming frequency until the entire planet was one massive storm without end. It lasted from for well over a century. Because of the continual bombardment, hardy crops failed and the Martians themselves had to go into hiding, many of them dying even as they sheltered in the caves of the mountains. Entire cities and clans were lost along with technologies, knowledge and priceless art works. The Martian way of life had changed forever.

By the time the storms abated the Martian population was seriously depleted and an effort was made by the 'City' Martians to try to gain what was lost. The problems arose from the fact that famine had struck even before the storms receded. Trade between Sky and City Martians had always been on good terms but now the City Martians were stockpiling what little was left or that they could grow from the ravaged land. Tensions started to fray as the Sky Martians weren't able to get what they needed to survive and so hostilities arose. Raids on the remaining cities became more and more frequent, first without bloodshed but soon the killing began and eventually war erupted across the planet.

The Sky Martians developed into a warrior culture, honing their combat skills and ways of war. They would sweep from the skies; usually out of the sun; in fast skiffs and steal whatever they could carry away to their clans back in the mountains, usually leaving before their frightened victims had time to react. The City Martians were quite slow to react due to their nature and lack of a need to fight for supplies but their retributions could be terrible. Any City Martian who was found to be sympathetic to the Sky Martians was immediately put to death along with their entire family. Whole outlying villages and it's population were burned if any suspicion of harbouring food was found out. Inevitably, the Sky Martians exacted similar retributions, swooping down and destroying the slow moving canal caravans, even if there was no food to be had and leaving no survivors. Their tactics evolved and soon whole clans would join forces and attack the cites, forming massive fleets of attack skiffs.

Then an unprecedented event occurred: a new race appeared on the surface of Mars. Humans had crossed the aether and landed on the red planet. At first the City Martians were cautious but eventually saw the opportunities for trade, advancement, military aid, food and advanced weapons technology.

The Sky Martians remained aggressive and did not seek to make amends with their cousins or the new invader...

Welcome to the Red Planet

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Skiff wip

Just a short post showing the progress on the Martian skiff wip. There will be two versions available; a basic kit and a master kit. The basic kit will have just enough for you to get it table ready and the master version will have a whole host of detials and extras (such as vacformed sails, rigging etc), a set of instructions will most likely be provided as well.

The approximate size at the moment is 350mm long, 170mm wide with the yard arms and about 200mm high with the masts but this might change ever so slightly (it is a wip after all).

The price is unknown at this time as there are a few key elements that need to be decided on how they will be cast and out of what material.

It can hold 17 figures on 25mm round bases and there will be a trimsman supplied (who isn't included in the figure count). This means there is enough room for two squads plus a leader: In our games we use eight man squads.

Thank you for looking :-)

Friday, 7 September 2012

Figure photos and some news

Good evening :-)

We've taken a few, better photos of the first releases; both painted and unpainted basically to show you what you get in a pack and the configurations possible. There is also a picture of a new realease and some news of what's in the pipeline.

Firstly a picture of the pack contents for the first releases. The infantry pack has four different leg options, two different heads (enough to have the entire pack with the same head gear), an assortment of weapons and enough arms for the bodies supplied.

The leader is a single casting but there are more leader types in progress, possibly with multipart options but that yet to be decided.

Next is a picture of an infantry pack assembled. The amount of different poses available, even without conversion, is quite good. With conversion, the possiblities are endless :-)

 Here is a comparison shot with an Oshiro Japanese officer from the Boxer rebellion range and a Wargames Foundry Imperial Chinese infantryman. Our Martians were made to be big!

Here we have a warband ready to reign terror on the earthers...

What we have coming up next are some missile troops and these will be released very soon (before Warfare). Spiky bolas!


Very soon there will be pictures of a Martian skiff that will be realesed as a kit and it will have enough room to hold 17 Martians plus some crew. We will also have some photos of the lower class troops and some different weapons. There will also be some battle reports showing our Martians in themed terrain just to help you visualise them on the field of combat.

Thank you :-)

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Welcome to the Red Planet

Welcome to Red Planet Miniatures.

This is a new venture that will be bringing a whole new range of Martian figures to the wargaming market but also we will be creating a background and ethos for the red planet that will hopefully appeal and inspire.

The first figures are available and the purchased details are in the side bar to the right. Any questions or comments then please post them and we'll reply as best we can.

We will also be having battle reports and progress posts of things that will be included in the range, we will not be restricting ourselves to Martians but all will be revealed. Also there will be scenery posts showing what we are doing for terrain to bring the red planet to life.

We will have better pictures in the coming weeks and the ones below will be replaced but here are a couple to give you an idea.

Thank you and Welcome to the Red Planet