Friday, May 18, 2018

Leviathan (Scott Westerfeld novel)



Leviathan is a 2009 dystopian novel written by Scott Westerfeld and illustrated by Keith Thompson. First of a trilogy set in alternative version of World War I, it has Central Powers (known in-universe as "Clankers") using mechanized war machines opposed by Entente Powers (as "Darwinists") who fabricate living creatures genetically. The central protagonists are Aleksander, son of Archduke Franz Ferdinand; and Deryn, a Scottish girl with dreams of joining the British Air Service with her brother. The sequels are Behemoth and Goliath.

Warfare technology used

Clanker machines

Clankers made machines mostly large in order to have great effect
  • Cyklops Storm-walker: a two-legged machine designed for combat. Alek and his men use one to escape to Switzerland.
  • Zeppelin: a dirigible designed for air travel, transport and combat. The Germans use several to try and destroy the Leviathan.
  • Dreadnought: an enormous land ship with side-mounted cannons. Essentially designed for combat, with a lower deck for its scouts, it can be used for travel thanks to its six legs.
  • Aeroplane: a plane designed for air combat, used to attempt to take down the Leviathan.

Darwinist creations

Dawrwinists created animal-weapons in order to do greater damage, have better agility.
  • Leviathan: the name of a large, fabricated airwhale that Deryn and Alek travel on. It is a living ecosystem, using the whale cilia for flight, bacteria to make hydrogen, bees to make honey, and strafing hawks and fl├ęchette bats for battle (see below).
  • Minotaur: the name of an airship similar to the Leviathan where Deryn's brother Jaspert serves.
  • "Huxleys": giant jellyfish-like creatures fabricated from the life threads of the medusa jellyfish. These creatures breathe hydrogen and are similar in function to hot-air balloons. Usually these are used to scout overhead. They are named after Thomas Henry Huxley, a renowned biologist known as Darwin's Bulldog for his advocacy of Charles Darwin's theory of evolution.
  • Message lizards: fabricated lizards used aboard the Leviathan and other Darwinist creations and buildings. They only repeat what they hear.
  • Strafing hawks: the Leviathan's main defence. When armed with acidic spider webs on their wings, they are capable of slicing through metal.
  • Fl├ęchette bats: bats fabricated with moth and mosquito threads. These bats are able to ingest and release metal spikes in "the usual manner".
  • Hydrogen sniffers: dog-like creatures bred to sniff for hydrogen leaks on an airship.
  • Kraken: a sea creature designed for ocean battles.
  • Behemoth: a sea creature like a Kraken that is bigger and stronger.
  • Elephantine: a large elephant like creature.

The Iron Grip Universe

Official Name: Ironclad Tank Hunter
Commonly Called: Ironclad Tank Hunter

Description: A modification of the regular Ironclad Walker, the Ironclad Tank Hunter has a single longer barrel fitted, which fires heavy AP rounds to destroy enemy vehicles.

Iron Grip: Marauders Wiki

ISOTX is the video game developer behind the award-winning Iron Grip Series. The Iron Grip Universe provides the setting for our commercial war games:

Iron Grip: Marauders, Iron Grip: Lords of War, Iron Grip: Warlord and Iron Grip; The Oppression

The Iron Grip Universe offers players an alternative world, reminiscent of pre-war Europe, inhabited by an exuberant mix of characters armed to the teeth, with a formidable arsenal. Weaponry such as the ‘dreadnaught airship’ and the daunting Battle Mechs swarm the battlefields of the Iron grip universe, leaving a trail of destruction in their wake.  

At ISOTX, we strive to deliver strategy games that we ourselves love to play.

Please Note they are no longer in business.

Therefore, it comes as no surprise, that the company was founded by a small group of devotee gamers that wanted to add new units and gameplay to C&C Generals. The resulting total conversion mod became known as Mid East Crisis 1.0. Despite the initial lack of funding, the collaboration continued, leading to the founding of a commercial studio and the development of a number of strategy war game titles.

Iron Grip: Marauders is the latest addition to the Iron Grip series. The game takes place several years after Iron Grip: Lords of War. In the land of Kathos, an aristocratic country caught up in internal conflict, the strain and turmoil has finally reached a boiling point. The troops of the Rahmos Protectorate States have moved to the southern border in expectation of a pending war with the neighboring Confederation of Nallum; leaving entire regions unprotected.

This situation has attracted the attention of marauders: mercenary pirates whose ranks range from highly trained ex-military men to common thieves. Many of these marauders came from Atelia, where they used to work as soldiers of fortune for the Atelian tribal leaders. As captain of a horde of air pirates, players roam the vast regions of Kathos in search of settlements to loot. Captured settlements are easily turned into pirate strongholds which provide additional building and advancement options in the game. From their headquarters, gamers can strategically plan their army’s size and composition. By researching new technologies, stronger units can be trained and new structures created.

Keith Thompson Artwork for Iron Grip

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Tripods & Triplanes

March 18th, 1918: the nearest approach of planet Mars to Earth. The First World War suddenly changes into a War of the Worlds, when what appears as a meteor shower falls over a wood in Alsace. A few hours later, just after dawn, an army of giant alien fighting machines appear out of the trees and starts burning villages and houses with their lethal heat-rays, leaving pestilential trails of black smoke behind them. A truce is hurriedly signed between the warring nations and, against the advancing Martian tripods, the best war machines of Earth are dispatched, manned by the most gallant and skilled warriors of our planet!

Wings of Glory - Tripods & Triplanes brings the Martian invasion described by H.G. Wells in his novel ‘The War of the Worlds’ to the Wings of Glory game, merging it with the historical background of the Great War. The knights of the air of WW1 battle against colossal fighting machines sent by the Martians to invade Earth. Take control of an awesome Martian Tripod, set upon bringing death and destruction on our planet… or fly on the most advanced flying machines created by Mankind during World War One, and try to use them to win the War of the Worlds.

Tripods and Triplanes is a new, stand-alone game, but it is fully compatible with the WW1 Wings of Glory collection. It introduces a new twist to the game, as the historical setting is turned upside now by the crossover with the innovative novel "The War of the Worlds".

In Tripods & Triplanes, what should be the year the war ends becomes the Year of the Invasion. Two different generations of Tripods, one more advanced than the other, land on Earth, in two waves of invasion. Their alien technology and deadly weapons make them terrifying opponents for the Earthlings… Fortunately, the recent evolution in weapon technology during WW1 gives to Mankind a fighting chance against these monstrous invaders…

This WW1 Wings of Glory Tripods & Triplanes Starter Set is a complete game that includes everything you need to start playing: one Mk.I “Locust” Tripod model and one Nieuport 16 Airplane model, fully assembled and painted, with special gaming bases, maneuver and damage cards, rulers, counters, markers and tokens, a rulebook and a scenario booklet.

With Tripods and Triplanes your aerial battles will never be the same!

Friday, September 8, 2017

Mars Attacks: World War

Greenville was just a skirmish – now the real war for Earth begins! Take your Mars Attacks games to the next level with open scenarios, larger maps and free selection of troops for your army of choice. Will you take the defenders of humanity, massing troops and trucks led by mighty heroes? Or the numberless hordes of the Martian Empire, led by the most dastardly and deadly warlords the galaxy has ever seen? Either way, it’s time to go big or go home!

This jam-packed full colour book contains:
    Core Rules – Everything you need to know, from moving to fighting, to play Mars Attacks!
    Epic Battles – Play games with custom armies with two complete army lists and sample armies.
    Epic Scenarios – 13 brand new epic scenarios that include custom armies and multi-mat games
2014 The Topps Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. MARS ATTACKS is a Registered Trademark of The Topps Company, Inc. Licensed by The Topps Company.

Monday, July 10, 2017

War Theory: A Technical Analysis of War of the Worlds [Part 3]

War Theory: A Technical Analysis of War of the Worlds [Part 3]

"No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man's and yet as mortal as his own; that as men busied themselves about their various concerns they were scrutinised and studied, perhaps almost...

War Theory: A Technical Analysis of War of the Worlds [Part 2]

War Theory: A Technical Analysis of War of the Worlds [Part 2]

"No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man's and yet as mortal as his own; that as men busied themselves about their various concerns they were scrutinised and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a man with a microscope might scrutinise the transient creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017


Tanks, 1917, by William Orpen. A view looking up to the underside of two tanks. The tanks are cresting a low rise, their treads rearing up towards the grey sky.   © IWM (Art.IWM ART 3035)

September 15, 1916, began as a routine day for the German infantrymen in the forward trenches around Flers on the Somme—as routine as any day was likely to be after two and a half months of vicious, close-gripped fighting that bled divisions white and reduced battalions to the strength of companies. True, an occasional rumble of engines had been audible across the line. But the British had more trucks than the Kaiser’s army, and were more willing to risk them to bring up ammunition and carry back wounded. True, there had been occasional gossip of something new up Tommy’s sleeve: of armored “land cruisers” impervious to anything less than a six-inch shell. But rumors—Scheisshausparolen in Landser speak—were endemic on the Western Front. Then “a forest of guns opened up in a ceaseless, rolling thunder, the few remaining survivors . . . fight on until the British flood overwhelms them, consumes them, and passes on. . . . An extraordinary number of men. And there, between them, spewing death, unearthly monsters: the first British tanks.”

Improvised and poorly coordinated, the British attack soon collapsed in the usual welter of blood and confusion. But for the first time on the Western Front, certainly the first time on the Somme, the heaviest losses were suffered by the defenders. Reactions varied widely. Some men panicked; others fought to a finish. But the 14th Bavarian Infantry, for example, tallied more than 1,600 casualties. Almost half were “missing,” and most of them were prisoners. That was an unheard-of ratio in an army that still prided itself on its fighting spirit. But the 14th was one of the regiments hit on the head by the tanks.

Shock rolled uphill. “The enemy,” one staff officer recorded, “employed new engines of war, as cruel as effective. . . . It is necessary to take whatever methods are possible to counteract them.” From the Allied perspective, the impact of tanks on the Great War is generally recognized. The cottage industry among scholars of the British learning curve, with descriptions of proto-mechanized war pitted against accounts of a semi-mobile final offensive based on combined arms and improved communications, recognizes the centrality of armor for both interpretations. French accounts are structured by Marshal Philippe Petain’s judgment that, in the wake of the frontline mutinies of 1917, it was necessary to wait for “the Americans and the tanks.” Certainly it was the tanks, the light Renault FT-17s, that carried the exhausted French infantry forward in the months before the armistice. Erich Ludendorff, a general in a position to know, declared after the war that Germany had been defeated not by Marshal Foch but by “General Tank.”