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!

Thursday, 31 October 2019

The Farm Rendezvous - A Red Planet Adventure

North West Frontier, Mars, 31st October 1891. The Offices of the London Illustrated News Overseas Reporting Team.

Aether Correspondent, Archibald Harris-Hampton reporting back on a chance encounter with the mysterious Sky Martians...

A supply run to a newly established British outpost in the deep desert many miles North of New Victoria encountered hostile action from what can only be assumed to be the local Sky Martians...

Wednesday, 23 October 2019

Market stalls

In order to make our Martian settlements look inhabited some market stalls were in order. Just the one for now as it's a test for further versions but it turned out quite successfully.

The first thing to do was to make the frame for the canvas. The frame and canvas is a recurring theme throughout City Martian architecture (although I've yet to add canvasses to most of the completed terrain).

Once the frame was made the base was textured and painted as it would be easier to do this now rather than when the canvas was in place. A start was made on the merchandise table.This used some readily available 'goods' from various sources but the idea is to design something for the City Martians specifically and have them for sale.

Once the goods and table were painted I added the canvas using industrial white towel (an over the top name for some thick tissue) and gave it a wash of watered down pva and ink. It was given a quick drybrush once stuck in place and the vendors sign was made from paper and stuck on the front. A start has also been made on a larger stall and soon I'll also have several more on the go as they will help populate the City Martian settlements.

Here are the photos of the finished article. I forgot to take some pictures with a human figure next to it as it's quite large because our Martians are a good 35mm tall.

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

The Japanese Army on Mars

The Japanese were the first to arrive on Mars following their successful implementation and improvement of aether technology gained from an undiscloased source. Shortly after them, the British landed and started their expansion and alliance with the Japanese.

New Victoria for many is the principle human city on Mars but the Japanese have also established their own enclave of Shin Kyoto. Simpler in form than New Victoria it has taken the shape of Martian sand banks with ramparts behind and a simple dry moat to the front. Various gun embrasures are dotted along the circumference and these are of various calibers; placed because of the Sky Martian threat. This threat appears to be less than the threat on New Victoria, possibly because of the more understated size of Shin-Kyoto.

The main advantage Japan has over the other nations is their large and expanding aeroneff fleet and the support to go with them. Various designs of neff are in the Japanese fleet including, but not limited to, armoured gunboats, torpedo cutters, destroyers and larger armoured corvettes. Many smaller support craft have also been constructed on Mars in recent months allowing Japanese expeditions to range further and further.

The first soldiers to arrive were from the recently formed Imperial Guard but these were soon added to by conscript forces from 1873 onwards. At this moment in time there are two full regiments on Mars to date with five cavalry squadrons and an artillery regiment with various engineers, medics etc. More soldiers are due in the next supply run from earth to help bolster Japanese interests.

The more recent arrivals from earth have been issued with summer uniforms; basically white made from a lighter material to help with the high temperatures experienced on Mars. Quite often, earlier and later units will be mixed together on expeditions and also more recent supply runs have meant that some units are having to wear a mix of winter and summer uniforms so the army can be quite a colourful affair. The Japanese high command are also looking at khaki uniforms but nothing much has been done about this as of yet.

The Japanese cavalry are looking to use the local Martian mounts, as getting remounts from Earth is a long process. Training these larger beasts is proving to be problematic at best as they are temperamental towards humans, the reason is yet to be ascertained. Special saddles are being designed due to the nature of the Martian mounts skeletal structure but should prove efficient when complete. Using the Martian mounts will help enormously with long range patrols as they are perfectly suited for the Martian terrain and weather.

The Japanese engineers have managed to set up a good armoury and foundry and are already starting to produce ordinance and artillery on Mars although raw metals in the vicinity of Shin Kyoto are scarce. This scarcity means that patrols deep into Sky Martian territory are becoming a necessity and large, armoured convoys are becoming a common sight on Mars.

Wednesday, 9 October 2019

The Abandoned Supply Depot AAR

A small scouting force of Japanese had been dropped of by a passing Great Martian Railway express train in the hope of finding out the situation regarding the supply depot.

The Japanese advanced into the compound to assess the situation but to the surprise of the commander there was what appeared to be the Princess Imperial in amongst the City Martian animal pens.

It however turned out to be a trap as a mix of unruly looking individuals were seen moving through cover towards the compound.

The band of 'ruffians' started to approach the compound firing their weapons whilst the Japanese took cover behind the barricades. The Japanese commander, being mounted, manoeuvred his horse outside the protection of the compound in an attempt to out flank the attackers.

Unfortunately, a Sky Martian in the service of earth got into the compound and proved too mighty an opponent for the defenders allowing more of the, what can only be assumed, GMTC to approach the compound and press the attack.

With the Japanese commander down, the head ninja Igo Yugo missing, presumed dead and the compound breached it was time for the Japanese to withdraw with what survivors they could muster and attempt to return to New Victoria and report back.

 The below photograph is the last known image taken of Igo Yugo, his whereabouts are still unknown; along with the fate of the Princess Imperial...

Diary of Archibald Harris-Hampton...

It would seem that this Great Martian Trading Company are going to great lengths to disrupt the status quo on Mars. What nefarious purposes do they have in mind and what will be the outcome of these seemingly random events.

Only  time will tell...

Game was played using Wiley Games Galactic Heroes and Tales of Horror rules with suitable VSF alterations by us. Available from HERE

Wednesday, 2 October 2019

The Abandoned Supply Depot - A Red Planet Adventure

North West Frontier, Mars, 28th October 1891. The Offices of the London Illustrated News Overseas Reporting Team.

Aether Correspondent, Archibald Harris-Hampton reporting on a surprising development along the New Victoria main branch line.

Unconfirmed reports of the lack of contact from one of the Japanese supply depots meant a small expedition was sent out to investigate; and either confirm or deny the rumours...