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Thread: How to handle a Martian...

  1. #1

    Default How to handle a Martian...

    First, some caveats.

    This is based on a limited number of games using the Mk.I and one with a Mk.II
    Components were a set of prototype minis and cards etc from Ares. The cards, counters, templates are identical to the PnP version, and the rules used were a PnP printout.
    This is a prototype/beta test version, and changes may be made. I have some recommendations regarding clarifying wording, but no rules changes as such.
    The rules were my own interpretation of them, as in a few areas they are actually unambiguous if read carefully, but could be clearer.

    Ok, on to the Mk.I, when playing without objectives.

    You have to pick 3 cards at the start, as with WGF. All good so far. But the card is only part of the move. Just as with WGS where you also have to pick a chit for speed, which determines whether using fast or slow movement.

    Before playing each card, and before opponent plays theirs, you must complete your move by picking an action chit for that card. Actions are firing heat ray, firing black smoke, changing facing(when stopped) and recharging energy(when stopped). Some cards which involve unusual movement preclude any action being taken. When firing and also when changing facing, not only do you have to pick an action, you have to pick a direction to fire in, or face too.

    Typically, a Martian will play a green stationary card, where it stays in position, and then has a choice of heat ray (1 turn cooldown), black smoke (2 turn cooldown), recharge energy, or change facing to put its energy shield between it and an incoming attacker about to shoot.

    Firing either a heat ray or black smoke takes energy, and you only have a limited amount. So recharge whenever opportunity presents itself, even if that would mean missing out on a good but not great firing chance.

    Sometimes though it is necessary to plan a move. You can still fire heat ray or black smoke when mving, but even if no target is available after cards are played, you still use up energy. And you can't pick a recharge or change facing.

    Every 3 cards must include a stationary card, or a special run one. The run one uses up an energy, and is just a straight move at normal speed.

    There is a special stationary card that precludes any action, but means the next move is walking backwards. This is a great way to take fire through the unshielded front at long range (only 1 card), but then reposition to hit the enemy as they fly past at short range and out of their firing arc. It's easy to screw up, but do it once in a game just to keep them off balance.

    Another good move is to use movement cards to reposition in a new direction, leaving black smoke behind to discomfit pursuers. The third card will be a stop, allowing change of facing or more likely recharging energy used in laying the smokescreen.

    So, in summary
    Pick 3 cards.
    Before opponent plays first card, pick action, then everyone implements their first card.
    Before opponent plays second card, pick action for the second card - which may be the same as the first- then everyone implements their second cards.
    Before opponent plays third card, pick action for the third card - again actions can be reused - then everyone implements their third cards.

    Consider a Martian that picks 3 stationary cards.
    The first action taken is to change facing to put the shield between it and attacker.
    The second action is to chuck some black smoke in their path, or heat ray another attacker.
    The third action is to either recharge or if a target presents itself, heat ray, or black smoke (remembering cooldown) or even another change of facing to cope with a second target.

    The next turn might be a change of position, with at least one stationary to recharge. Or the same again. Or a step back stationary followed by a hard turn then a stationary to either change facing, recharge, or fire heat ray or smoke in the "Martian Pirouette"

    Most of the time you're going to be stationary. But be unpredictable so they never know what you're going to do next.

    Balance

    3 single seaters vs a tripod slightly favours the earthlings.
    2 single seaters- the earthlings can win, but odds are against them. Heavily so if none have rockets.
    1 single seater and 1 two seater - as balanced as anything can be.
    1 giant (R.VI, O/400 etc) - balanced.

    Rockets bump up the Earthlings chances significantly. Two rocket armed single seaters are balanced vs a Mk.I.

  2. #2

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    This is good intel for the Tripod enthused chaps Zoe, a few games is perhaps more than most have played yet. Rockets seem to be the way to go, is there any data on effectiveness of cannons yet ?!

    "He is wise who watches"

  3. #3

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    With the two scenarios hosted at BottosCon, with three Tripods against six planes ( two with rockets and one with a 37mm cannon, most with twin guns), the Earthling pilots managed to concentrate fire on one Tripod at a time (opportunity fire on others while maneuvering to hit the 'primary' target). This overwhelmed the Tripods. With the swarms, it was impossible to keep the shields towards the planes.

    Also, the pilots were all veteran players, so very good at maneuvering their planes. I, on the other hand, was not creative enough maneuvering my Tripods. In both games, any rockets fired went through unshielded sides.

    Oh. And I had decided not to use the Black Smoke, going with the basic rules for the introductory games. That was a disservice to the Tripods, as none of the pilots were rookies.
    Mike
    "Flying is learning to throw yourself at the ground and miss" Douglas Adams
    "Wings of Glory won't skin your elbows and knees while practicing." OldGuy59

  4. #4

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    Hi guys, I think I must have misssed something. Which miniature has a 37mm cannon. As an aside does anyone else have trouble with double letter words as they get older? I mean Canon or Cannon? One is a camera or photocopier, the other the real deal.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Baxter View Post
    Hi guys, I think I must have misssed something. Which miniature has a 37mm cannon. As an aside does anyone else have trouble with double letter words as they get older? I mean Canon or Cannon? One is a camera or photocopier, the other the real deal.
    You didn't miss anything, yet. When the 3&3 game comes out, there should be equipment cards included in the game, allowing any plane to be equipped with rockets. There may be an equipment card for the 37mm cannon (see the SPAD XII).
    Not completely accurate for the new game, but an example of a retrofit card can be found here: OldGuy59's WGF Equipment Cards - 37mm Cannon

    I sub in a SPAD XIII, giving it B damage on normal shots, and C damage on 37mm shots.

    PS: SPAD Cannon Thread

    PPS: Oops. I actually sub in a SPAD VII, not the XIII. Previous discussions, and cards (Plane and Equipment) on this thread:
    Spad XII Rules for the 37mm Cannon?

    There may be other options for Earthling weapons, including the 'Grappling Hook', and perhaps Molotov bombs.
    Last edited by OldGuy59; 01-29-2018 at 15:48.
    Mike
    "Flying is learning to throw yourself at the ground and miss" Douglas Adams
    "Wings of Glory won't skin your elbows and knees while practicing." OldGuy59

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Baxter View Post
    Hi guys, I think I must have misssed something. Which miniature has a 37mm cannon. As an aside does anyone else have trouble with double letter words as they get older? I mean Canon or Cannon? One is a camera or photocopier, the other the real deal.
    Love my SPAD XII, it doesn't get used enough though:
    SPAD XII: 17Q1-Q418 / Mvr Deck S / Damage B+C / Hits 16 / Climb Rate 3 / Max Alt 12
    If you check out the thread Mike's posted there's a link from my post #29 to a game I used the S.XII in against a Gotha raid.
    Don't forget there's a 'Harry Tate' out there with a 2pdr Davis gun Gary - might that prove useful against a Tripod ?

    "He is wise who watches"

  7. #7

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    Thank you for the valuable advice, Zoe.

  8. #8

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    I noticed the Spad in the 2009 post was using the K deck. Is that a realistic deck given the weight of the gun and ammunition? I guess that would have made it sluggish and maybe unable to immelman.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Baxter View Post
    I noticed the Spad in the 2009 post was using the K deck. Is that a realistic deck given the weight of the gun and ammunition? I guess that would have made it sluggish and maybe unable to immelman.
    In 2009, the 'S' deck did not exist. So, I suspect it was a compromise, or best fit for the time. The SPAD VIIs provided a newer alternative.
    Mike
    "Flying is learning to throw yourself at the ground and miss" Douglas Adams
    "Wings of Glory won't skin your elbows and knees while practicing." OldGuy59

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Baxter View Post
    I noticed the Spad in the 2009 post was using the K deck. Is that a realistic deck given the weight of the gun and ammunition? I guess that would have made it sluggish and maybe unable to immelman.
    Max speed is about 126mph Gary - with up to a 220hp engine it's no slouch - they even stuck floats on it and made it into the SPAD XIV with a less powerful lump !


    I think the use of the K deck was a guesstimate, we didn't have unofficial stats or anything like the number of decks we have now back then, and perhaps the thought was: it has a cannon so it must be slow.
    Mind you they did increase the range by 50% !
    Last edited by flash; 01-31-2018 at 09:19.

    "He is wise who watches"

  11. #11

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    Greetings

    The rules for the Davis 2pdr in the 30 Sqn RE.8 pack are for ground attack, front arc, short range only, C damage card, 3 turns for observer to reload.

    Regards

    Edward

  12. #12

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    Well the Martians are on the ground so that's a good start ! Short range only is probably to account for the altitude used over the trenches so maybe that could be adjusted to long range if you're within an altitude level of your target. It's a new war so solutions must be found - I wouldn't fancy his chances though !
    Many planes carried cannon so there could be a number of rule options and methods employed ... http://www.quarryhs.co.uk/cannon_pioneers.htm

    "He is wise who watches"

  13. #13

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    I'm curious. When we play Orge the map edges are very important. This can help limit the number of units available to attack. Since the Martians have shields but not on all sides, would be be good for them to advance along the map edges then turn to their target when best?

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken at Sunrise View Post
    I'm curious. When we play Orge the map edges are very important. This can help limit the number of units available to attack. Since the Martians have shields but not on all sides, would be be good for them to advance along the map edges then turn to their target when best?
    Interesting tactic. This option was denied the Martians at BottosCon, which probably contributed to their demise.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The Tripods started at the bottom, were to pass over the five objectives (any of the three, not all three over all objectives), and leave by the top of the map. The Earthlings had to try to stop the Tripods from reaching the far side.

    On this map, the Tripods could enter the water, but anything over one-half ruler length was considered fully submerged. Had I been smarter, I would have used the water to put out a fire on one of my Tripods. Just too fixated on flying planes, I suppose.

    So, in this scenario, using the map edge was just not possible. Something I watch for in any WoG game, especially with rookies, is where the group of planes are, and 'drift' the map to keep everyone on the playing surface. That way, going off the edge doesn't happen often. The sky isn't limited to a small patch, so map edges shouldn't limit flying.
    Mike
    "Flying is learning to throw yourself at the ground and miss" Douglas Adams
    "Wings of Glory won't skin your elbows and knees while practicing." OldGuy59

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kustenjaeger View Post
    Greetings

    The rules for the Davis 2pdr in the 30 Sqn RE.8 pack are for ground attack, front arc, short range only, C damage card, 3 turns for observer to reload.

    Regards

    Edward
    How does this equipment card compare: OldGuy59's WGF Equipment Cards Album - 2Pdr Davis Gun
    Mike
    "Flying is learning to throw yourself at the ground and miss" Douglas Adams
    "Wings of Glory won't skin your elbows and knees while practicing." OldGuy59

  16. #16

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    OK, an urgent question. Reading the PnP rules, and looking at the tripod card, there is an 8/3 for energy. I was assuming 8 for total energy, but since you either recharge 1 or 3 (for destroying an objective, which makes NO sense to me),
    I'm now not sure. What does the 8/3 mean?
    Karl
    NOTE: I'm running this game tomorrow.
    It is impossible for a man to begin to learn what he thinks he knows. -- Epictetus

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jager View Post
    OK, an urgent question. Reading the PnP rules, and looking at the tripod card, there is an 8/3 for energy. I was assuming 8 for total energy, but since you either recharge 1 or 3 (for destroying an objective, which makes NO sense to me),
    I'm now not sure. What does the 8/3 mean?
    Karl
    NOTE: I'm running this game tomorrow.
    The first number is the total undamaged energy a Tripod is allowed to have. I usually use number tokens from my WoW game (for 8: 1,1,2,4).

    As the Tripod uses energy, or takes special damage against shields, reduce tokens as required. Anytime the Tripod stands stationary, and recharges, it gains one energy (1) back. If the Tripod is standing on an unexhausted objective token, it can gain as many energy as the second number, up to its undamaged maximum (8 in this case, but no more, even if its current enery level was 6).

    If the Tripod has Battery Damage, it could have its maximum reduced, and it may not recharge higher than it's current damaged maximum.

    Hope that helps.

    PS: Mk I 8/3; Mk II 12/3; Mk III 10/3; Mk IV 6/4

    You did say "scout"?
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Note: All Heat-rays are 'Y' projectors, with only one usable in a phase. The "C" maneuver deck is fast and maneuverable.

    PPS: Another point about the Scout Mk III, "Squid" ?[Edit]. The Green Octagon (Maximum Turn Indicator) indicates that this Tripod can turn up to 180 degrees when it chooses a Change Facing Action Token. This is the "fastest" turning Tripod.

    Hmmm... My prototype rules and images are not in agreement with the Kickstarter site. I have the Mk IV as the low and fast model, and the MK III as the Tall one. Not sure what to make of that.
    Last edited by OldGuy59; 02-04-2018 at 10:20.
    Mike
    "Flying is learning to throw yourself at the ground and miss" Douglas Adams
    "Wings of Glory won't skin your elbows and knees while practicing." OldGuy59

  18. #18

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    Thanks Mike; the Scout part was the AQOTMF models I bought to use. I'm using the Mk.Is from the downloaded rules set from the kickstarter page.
    Looking at things last evening, I wish I had time and the graphics skills to make some custom cockpits for the Martians.
    Karl
    It is impossible for a man to begin to learn what he thinks he knows. -- Epictetus

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jager View Post
    Thanks Mike; the Scout part was the AQOTMF models I bought to use. I'm using the Mk.Is from the downloaded rules set from the kickstarter page.
    Looking at things last evening, I wish I had time and the graphics skills to make some custom cockpits for the Martians.
    Karl
    You mean one of these: OldGuy's WoW WWI Consoles - Tripod Mk I

    Note: When planning your move at the start of a turn, place your Action token on the Tripod symbol above the first maneuver card on the console. This lets your opponents know that you are waiting for them to finish. You already know what you are going to do on the first phase, so don't wait until everyone is finished planning. It speeds up that first phase a bit, and lets everyone know you're ready to go.

    The symbol under the Tripod Stats is to remind yourself, and others, that the next maneuver card is a Reverse. Especially, if you planned that maneuver in the previous turn, and now don't have a maneuver card for a reminder.

    Hmmm... Not printed on the Tripod Mk I base, but on the Vehicle Reference Card in the PnP version, is the Green octagon (Max Turn Indicator) for the Mk I. It indicates that the Tripod can turn a maximum of 120 degrees when using the Change Facing Action Token.

    The Tripod symbol a the top of the console is for energy tokens, or what ever (stack of Action Tokens?).
    Last edited by OldGuy59; 02-03-2018 at 09:22.
    Mike
    "Flying is learning to throw yourself at the ground and miss" Douglas Adams
    "Wings of Glory won't skin your elbows and knees while practicing." OldGuy59

  20. #20

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    Thanks for that, Mike.
    I downloaded a copy in case I get to try playing using the cards downloaded from Kickstarter before the actual game arrives this summer.

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by OldGuy59 View Post
    You mean one of these: OldGuy's WoW WWI Consoles - Tripod Mk I

    Note: When planning your move at the start of a turn, place your Action token on the Tripod symbol above the first maneuver card on the console. This lets your opponents know that you are waiting for them to finish. You already know what you are going to do on the first phase, so don't wait until everyone is finished planning. It speeds up that first phase a bit, and lets everyone know you're ready to go.

    The symbol under the Tripod Stats is to remind yourself, and others, that the next maneuver card is a Reverse. Especially, if you planned that maneuver in the previous turn, and now don't have a maneuver card for a reminder.

    Hmmm... Not printed on the Tripod Mk I base, but on the Vehicle Reference Card in the PnP version, is the Green octagon (Max Turn Indicator) for the Mk I. It indicates that the Tripod can turn a maximum of 120 degrees when using the Change Facing Action Token.

    The Tripod symbol a the top of the console is for energy tokens, or what ever (stack of Action Tokens?).
    Oh, yes, that will do nicely.
    Thanks Mike.
    Karl
    It is impossible for a man to begin to learn what he thinks he knows. -- Epictetus

  22. #22

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    Just started looking at this game. I am thinking about entering a Late Pledge for this game but a couple of questions.

    As targets are the pods considered on level 0 or level 1? In other words are they tall? So are all the aircraft never above level 2 when firing?
    Also thinking about 3D terrain like burning buildings and such. Any rules for that kind of terrain?

  23. #23

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    I have asked questions about altitude in the play-test group, but haven't received any answers, yet.

    I would go with any altitude rules for Trench Straffing. The tallest pod might be about 100 scale feet high, but IIRC, one level of altitude is 1000 feet. All pods should be considered as ground level, and keep it simple.

    Yeah, except if you are bombing from altitude, then it gets a little complicated, and difficult to hit moving targets.
    Mike
    "Flying is learning to throw yourself at the ground and miss" Douglas Adams
    "Wings of Glory won't skin your elbows and knees while practicing." OldGuy59

  24. #24

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    Reading a book on the RNAS I came across a reference to the use in action of a 6pdr Davis gun in an HP (0/100?) of 7 Sqn RNAS on 11 July 1917 against railway sidings at Zarre, 8 rounds being fired. On 15 July motor transport convoys and railway sidings were targeted with 10 rounds being fired. {Jarrett p.200-1 and photo p.207 - of an 0/400}

    Regards

    Edward

  25. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kustenjaeger View Post
    Reading a book on the RNAS I came across a reference to the use in action of a 6pdr Davis gun in an HP (0/100?) of 7 Sqn RNAS on 11 July 1917 against railway sidings at Zarre, 8 rounds being fired. On 15 July motor transport convoys and railway sidings were targeted with 10 rounds being fired. {Jarrett p.200-1 and photo p.207 - of an 0/400}

    Regards

    Edward
    Just stumbled across this article:
    www.quarryhs.co.uk - The Cannon Pioneers 'The Early Development and Use of Aircraft Cannon'

    The rest of the site looks interesting, too.
    Last edited by OldGuy59; 02-12-2018 at 09:54.
    Mike
    "Flying is learning to throw yourself at the ground and miss" Douglas Adams
    "Wings of Glory won't skin your elbows and knees while practicing." OldGuy59

  26. #26

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    So what we need is a special equipment card to use with the Handley-Page 0/400's similar to the one with the special R.E.8's.



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