Sunday, November 3, 2019

Tripods & Triplanes, The War of the Worlds in Wings of Glory


Tripods & Triplanes Tripod Packs

Tripods & Triplanes is the result of the creative effort of many different talents.
  • Andrea Angiolino, Marco Maggi, Francesco Nepitello- Tripods & Triplanes Game Designers 
  • Andrea Angiolino and Pier Giorgio Paglia - Designers of the original Wings of Glory system
  • Bob Naismith - Sculptor
  • David Szilagyi - Main Art
  • Dario Calì - Additional Game Art
  • Gareth Hanrahan - Creative Writing
  • Fabio Maiorana - Art Direction
  • Laura Neri - Graphic Design
  • Roberto Di Meglio - Publisher & Producer
We must also give our special thanks to the video production team. I Licaoni, and to our voice talent, Laurence O'Brien.

The Martians Have Landed! Wings of Glory Tripods and Triplanes Kick Starter Preview!

By Rick Martin

Tripods and Triplanes Wings of Glory Expansion Game Preview. Publisher: Ares Games Designer: Andrea Angiolino, Marco Maggi and Francesco Nepitello
Rick Martin

Ares Games brings 2017 to a triumphant end with yet more Wings of Glory goodness! This time the Earth is uniting against an alien threat! Tripods and Triplanes has hit Kick Starter!

From Ares Games’ own description – 
“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!

In Wings of Glory – Tripods & Triplanes, 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.”

The Martian miniatures are stunningly designed; they look like an alien steam punk fusion. Currently there are four different types of Martian tripods. Each tripod is rated for its weapon systems – heat rays of various types plus black smoke projectors, movement speed and maneuverability, hull points, energy points and force field locations.

The Tripods use a movement system which is the same as the World War I Wings of Glory aircrafts. For each movement the player lays out a card. The tripods don’t fly as much as walk and run over the ground. For each three card sequence, the tripods must either stand for one card or run for one card. If they don’t, they tumble to the ground and must get up during the next sequence. The player controlling the Martian tripod has another interesting aspect to manage while fighting off those pesky human biplanes, he or she must manage the energy usage of the tripod. Every weapon action requires energy as does picking up items and other actions such as swinging the tripod around. Lucky for the tripods, they can perform actions to regain their energy. If their energy ever completely runs out, out go the force fields and down goes the tripod! For the Martians, learning energy usage and conservation is a must!

For the combined Earth Air Forces, attacking the tripods is tricky. Each type of tripod has different shield configuration. Getting your bullets or rockets past their shields are the key to winning the war. But, let’s say your shots hit the shields, you still have a chance to cause damage to the deadly aliens. Your shots have the chance of draining the energy of the tripod even if they penetrate the shields – certain shield hits cause the Martian pilots to reallocate power to keeping the shields up which drains their all important power supply.

The game includes new A damage cards which add critical hits to the tripods as well as retaining the biplane critical hits. Also damage cards are included for the heat rays and black smoke clouds.
The rules are still evolving but are very fun to read and logically organized. Multiple scenarios are provided and a solo system has been promised. There still needs to be some refinements but game is still evolving. A World War 2 expansion has also been talked about so I guess, even if you defeated the tripods, like most good villains, they’ll be back!

Visit the Tripods and Triplanes Kickstarter for more information:

NOTE: For purposes of my demo play of this game, I used Axis and Allies maps.
About the Author

A college film instructor and small business owner, Richard Martin has also worked in the legal and real estate professions, is involved in video production, film criticism, sports shooting and is an avid World War I and II gamer who can remember war games which came in plastic bags and cost $2.99 (he’s really that old)!


Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Book: War of the Worlds: Retaliation


1898: Martian tripods lay waste to Earth’s cities. The world’s armies are unable to stem the tide of destruction. When all hope appears lost, common bacteria kills the alien invaders. From the ashes, the human race uses the technology left behind by the Martians to build new, advanced weapons. 1924: Armed with their own spaceships, tripods, and jet fighters, the nations of the world are ready to take the fight to Mars. George Patton, Erwin Rommel, Charles de Gaulle, and Georgy Zhukov lead their troops in battle across the red planet to end the alien menace once and for all. But the Martians have one last, desperate plan to try, and if successful, it could mean the end for all humanity.

I am very dubious when I am reading a book that is set in the storyverse of a famous author. They often fall short of the original. This, I am happy to say, is the exception.

I will avoid giving out too much information and spoiling the story. It is set decades after the original, and deals with man kinds response to the original invasion. It features real characters from history, and the occasional villain. The historical people behave and speak as you imagine them. It also incorporates a few modern conspiracy theories. How our technology is based on captured alien spacecraft. All of this is woven into a compelling story line. I loved it, and I am a fan of the original War of the Worlds.

Well researched. Well planned. Well executed. My one suggestion to the Authors is; hurry and get your next book out. I can't wait to read it.

Book: The Last Days of the Fighting Machine: The Martian Apocalypse of Victorian Britain


The Martians were on the rampage all across Queen Victoria's Britain. Nothing man possessed could stop them. But then the huge fighting machines began to slow down and lumber to a halt. One by one, the Martians inside the giant machines began to die. Soon there were just scattered and failing remnants of the once-mighty tripods wandering here and there among the derelict monuments. Even the red weed was dying as Mother Earth began to reclaim her own. The human survivors became emboldened and they emerged from the hiding places intent on fighting back.


C. A. Powell was born February 1961 in the district of Bow, London. Today, he lives and works in the Fenland of Eastern England. He is a father and grandfather to many wonderful offspring. His interests are; Writing, Reading, watching Football, Rugby, Motor Racing. Also photography and cruising holidays.

Book: The Last Days of Thunder Child: Victorian Britain in Chaos!


Pastiche story from H.G. Wells’ WAR OF THE WORLDS from the perspective of H.M.S. Thunder Child’s Royal Navy crew. The year is 1898 and the story unfolds through the eyes of an ironclad crew and a land-based clerk attached to the War Office, Mister Albert Stanley. Gradually everyone moves towards the dreadful outcome as the strange alien tripods rampage around Victorian Britain.

I loved this book, the Author describes Victorian Britain so well you can actually imagine being there. Wonderful characters with great names like Perry, Jolly and Pickles and the detailed description of navy ship guns etc makes this book a true classic.

There is great tension in the description of the battle in the Blackwaters with the three Martian tripods and the boats. There is a great scene in a coal bunker as the Martians attack.

Most of all the author captures the British spirit of survival and fighting to the end. I did hum the Jeff Wayne musical whilst reading it and it inspired me to listen to the album again and book tickets to the show!

If you are a fan of The War of The Worlds, I highly recommend this book. A great read Mr Powell, a true masterpiece.

Book: The War of the Worlds: Aftermath


In the opening years of the 20th Century mankind faced its greatest war; The War of The Worlds. Now, a few months on, the Martian invaders are dead, slain by the earthly bacteria against which they had no defence.

Then, as England begins to rebuild, terrorist outrages begin to rock society. A new adventure begins, as a daring plan is put into place to discover the source of these disruptions. For one survivor of The War of The Worlds, the horror is just beginning.


Tony Wright has written a story that expands on the great The War of the Worlds and entertains as much as it embraces Wells' original spirit - without becoming maudlin or lapsing into simple plagiarism. A rare feat.
--Charles Keller, The H.G. Wells Societies

From the Publisher

Finally, a true sequel to H G Wells' original classic. Also includes an exclusive short story set on HMS Thunder Child.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

The BBC War of the Worlds on TV

This is the original alien invasion story. Staring Eleanor Tomlinson, Rafe Spall and Robert Carlyle, this tense and thrilling drama follows a young couple’s race for survival against escalating terror of an alien enemy beyond their comprehension.

The War of the Worlds is a major adaptation by Peter Harness of H.G. Wells’ classic sci-fi title. This major new three-part drama is produced by Mammoth Screen for BBC One, and directed by award-winning director Craig Viveiros

Set in Edwardian England, this new adaptation of H.G. Wells' seminal tale - the first alien invasion story in literature - follows George (played by Rafe Spall) and his partner Amy (Eleanor Tomlinson) as they attempt to defy society and start a life together. Rupert Graves is Frederick, George's elder brother, and Robert Carlyle plays Ogilvy, an astronomer and scientist. The War of the Worlds tells their story as they face the escalating terror of an alien invasion, fighting for their lives against an enemy beyond their comprehension.

Director Craig Viveiros (Rillington Place) remarked of the new, and more faithful, series:
“H.G. Wells' seminal novel has been adapted for the screen many times but it's always had a contemporary (and American) setting, this is the first version to be set in London and the Home Counties during the Edwardian period.”
As production kicked off, creator Harness also added:
"The version of The War of the Worlds that I wanted to make is one that's faithful to the tone and the spirit of the book, but which also feels contemporary, surprising and full of shocks: a collision of sci-fi, period drama and horror. There is nothing cosy or predictable about Wells’ novel, and that’s what I want to capture in the show. We have an incredible cast, a brilliant director and a wonderful crew - and I can’t wait for them to explode the terrifying story of the first alien invasion on to our screens.”


Intended to strengthen the offensive capacity of the infantry while offering protection from enemy fire, the Russian tank battled many teething troubles before making its mark in military history, though it arrived too late for WWI.

The First World War was a catalyst for new ideas in military engineering, including armored technology. Russian engineering minds were already grappling with the idea of mobile armor long before the tank made its battlefield debut. The driving force, figuratively and literally, was the modern tank’s fundamental component, the caterpillar track.

In 1878, Fyodor Blinov, a Russian peasant from the Samara Region, patented a “wagon with endless rails for transportation of goods by main and back road” that was based on the principle of caterpillar motion.

With the outbreak of the First World War came a gamut of armored vehicle projects.

The closest to the contemporary tank with caterpillar drive, an armored body and a turret with weapons, was put forward by inventor Alexander Porokhovschikov in 1914.

His vezdekhod, or ‘go-anywhere vehicle’, was fitted with 8 mm multi-layer armor consisting of three parts: an external 2 mm-thick cemented steel sheet, and shock-absorbing layer containing hair and algae, and finally a steel inner sheet.

A key design feature was the system of combined movement, with wheels for the highway and caterpillars for cross-country use. The vehicle was also watertight.

The vezdekhod was equipped with a 20-horsepower engine that gave a road speed of 26.5 km/h, the record for First World War tanks. There were no weapons or armor, however, these being simulated by adding equivalent weight to the prototype.

The 3.5-ton vehicle was ready for testing in May 1915. But it quickly ran into problems in caterpillar mode when the tracks came free from their guide blocks. A further problem was that the vehicle would not move at all on loose snow.

Final adjustments were made in 1916, but the design was abandoned, as funding dried up.

Meanwhile, Lieutenant Nikolai Lebedenko was also working at the elusive breakthrough tank design. In early 1915, the army engineer created a machine that could feasibly breach barbed wire and enemy trenches.

The ‘Tsar Tank’ was named after Lebedenko’s unswerving belief that these machines could “break the entire German front in one night, and Russia will win the war,” as he told the emperor at a personal audience.

A special design feature was the chassis consisting of two large driving wheels and a rotating rail trolley. Overall, the design resembled an oversized artillery gun carriage, driven by two 240-horsepower Maybach engines.

Construction of the prototype was completed in 1917, and it was immediately clear that the vehicle was underpowered when it got stuck fast in the first ditch during trials.

But while unsuccessful, the Tsar Tank project saw the involvement of such future stars of Soviet engineering science as Zhukovsky, Stechkin and Mikulin.

Another 1915 prototype also came from the Rybinsk plant, which mainly reproduced French designs. Crewed by four men and weighing 20 tons, the tank’s 200-horsepower engine allowed sufficient maneuverability despite its heavy cloak of 10-12mm armor.

The tank carried a rear-firing 107-mm gun inside the housing, while a heavy-machine gun was placed in the front beside the driver.

But despite its practical design features, the design did not impress the country’s military-technical chiefs and received no support.

Another contender was the concurrent project by Vasily Mendeleev, son of the famous chemist and inventor Dmitry Mendeleev, which was presented to the Ministry of War in August 1916.

Developed since 1911 on Mendeleev’s personal initiative, the tank was equipped with anti-shell armor and other technical innovations that would find application in later years.

Mendeleev proposed pneumatic suspension units for the chassis, while the vehicle was steered with a servo motor. Since the main gun was a 120 mm cannon, he wanted to build a body that could be lowered during firing in order to reduce the load on the chassis and also protect the caterpillars from enemy fire.

The tank was supposed to be transported on railway platforms, thereby increasing mobility and ensuring swift delivery to the front.

But the cost of the various innovations was its 170-ton weight, as well as the production demands for such an ‘armored vehicle’, as Mendeleev himself called it. This all deterred the ministry from pursuing the design.

Ultimately, Russian tanks did not fight on the battlefields of the First World War. Despite the best efforts of engineers to equip the army with modern weapons, these attempts mostly failed to get beyond the test phase.

Nevertheless, many of the proposed ideas found later application, with many becoming embodied in the tank battlefield’s combatants of the future.