Sunday, September 30, 2007
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Rules and stats for the KUK can be found in
The Merchant War, the first Iron Stars supplement.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Monday, September 24, 2007
Report On Battle On Mars By Tim Moore
Dawn’s light discovered our weary columns trudging, ever onwards, towards the Cephalopods capital. The red dust of Mars rose in choking clouds enveloping man, machine and beast. Our men advanced with rifles tight wrapped against the clogging sand while our gunners maintained a careful watch over the plugs and covers that preserved our guns clean and well oiled for the moment of action.
On the left flank my aide Carson seemed to be making better time, advancing with our Imperial Martian allies. Being quite unencumbered they moved more easily despite encountering rough going and their natural loping gait carried them forward easily.
To our right, and fortunately downwind of our struggling men, Cane was making slow progress with his armoured brigade. The funnels of the steam propelled tanks and walker emitted foul smelling plumes of smoke that rose darkly into the dense red dust cloud thrown up by the mechanical contraptions and jets of steam turned dust into clinging wet mud that coated anything or anyone careless enough to venture too closely. I would rather have commanded our fine regular cavalry brigade that we brought from Earth but our horses had succumbed to some poison in the red weed that they had eagerly sought out as forage. So alas we were saddled with the machines and their minders.
Suddenly we perceived a brilliant reflection, as powerful as a hundred heliographs, golden in colour, yet tainted bloody by the dust of Mars. Our columns fell momentarily out of step, though discipline was instantly reasserted, and they moved on. Was this some new devilish weapon that we had not encountered before being prepared for use? At that moment a young lieutenant appeared before me and delivered his report. The Cephalopod army was upon us, deployed before a great pyramid with a golden capstone. They had many war machines and their infantry were numerous about equal to our own.
With studied calm to reassure the men I issued the orders to deploy our troops in line. As the battalions took up their allotted places further orders were issued to the Martian allies and also to our armoured brigade. The Imperial Martian allies needed little instruction in the Art of War on Mars and they quickly occupied a large area of rocky terrain in skirmish order in a fashion uncannily similar to the tribesmen that we have encountered on the Northwest Frontier on our own, so distant, planet. The massed foot of our noble allies advanced in dense column reminiscent of our experiences in Natal. Unfortunately the mechanised elements of our command were, in contrast, tardy, seeming slow to react and almost unwilling to get into line.
As the dust settled the Cephalopod line of battle became visible, first the dreaded fighting machines, towering above all, that had wreaked such destruction on Earth and caused countless innocent deaths so recent in bitter memory. This was my first glimpse of them, other than one in a museum in London, as I was serving against the Pathans during the invasion emergency and was not posted home until the crisis had passed. The early morning sun sparkled on the golden carapaces and danced on the glass viewing windows. Otherwise they stood impassive and seemed lifeless like monstrous heliographs waiting to send their messages of death. Then appeared crawling machines like huge metal spiders, not as tall as the tripods yet, each far larger than a bull elephant. Then long grim lines of the enemy infantry, and riders on small flying platforms while overhead winged Martians whirled and cavorted. Behind them all the astonishing sight of a great pyramid of size and form to rival that mysterious and ancient structure in Egypt, but this was no weather beaten relic. It stood quite perfect in awesome symmetry topped with a dazzling cap of gold. There was no time to wonder at this astonishing coincidence since the enemy would be upon us momentarily.
The Cephalopods descended upon us eagerly with cavalry riders and flyers in the centre and lines of infantry with black smoke generators on the wings. All along the line fighting machines and collector machines supported the attack wielding the deadly heat rays with awful precision. Men fell in small groups slain by the heat ray yet the range was too great for serious effect. Our own artillery was able to repay the Cephalopods in like coin but happily with interest. On the left our Imperial Martian allies advanced in a mass with admirable spirit but the heat rays and black smoke pitifully thinned their ranks although they manfully fought off an attack by flying lancers that sought to draw advantage from their discomfort. All this left the Imperial foot too weak when they eventually closed the Cephalopod war machines and unit after unit broke and fled.
The Imperial skirmishers hung on fighting a determined holding action from behind rocks in the bad ground on our left flank pinning down the Cephalopod right wing until the war machines shot down the supporting Imperial flyer and directed a withering fire into the rocky fastness of our unhappy allies. Having done more than could be expected of flesh and blood and having seen the wreck of the Imperial massed foot their hearts failed and they fled from the storm of metal and fire.
Our British lads, supported by artillery and machines guns, stood fast and delivered controlled volleys into the enemy as they closed our line. The Cephalopod foot wavered and halted not daring to come any nearer but then the reason became apparent as the fighting machines advanced to the fore and bore down on us. At this moment a unit of giant Martians who seem to have been allied to the Cephalopods rushed upon us and were cut down before they reached our position. How the Cephalopods induced the giants to this suicidal action is unsure, although our scientists have speculated that they may be able to control the minds of weaker species, but the effect was to distract our troops and the war machines advanced closer unchecked.
This was now the crisis of the battle and a chorus of dismay was raised by the army since the war machines seemed invincible. Confidence ebbed as the tripods towered over our line and with the loss of our Martian allies a turning movement was underway on our left that threatened to engulf us and bring about our ruin. I despatched a battalion to refuse our left flank meanwhile Cane’s armoured brigade was inching forward on our right as unstoppable yet almost as slow as a great glacier grinding all in its path. Then suddenly and quite unexpectedly the turning point of the action was reached. A thunderstorm of artillery and hail of bullets broke upon the foremost collector machine destroying it where it stood but a few yards from our line. A spontaneous cry of ‘splashed to the four winds’ rose from our army as the loathsome Cephalopod was rendered into carrion and the icy Martian wind distributed the portions.
The Cephalopods in the centre had seen enough and the remaining units retreated. Their right and left brigades, now weakened, lost heart and unwilling to lose more fighting machines decided to follow the example of their leader and retreat.
As is so often the case, the Battle of the Great Martian Pyramid was over as quickly as it had started and we held the field. The Cephalopods had been beaten but were far from being a defeated force. The greatest losses had been to our Imperial allies who were almost wiped out. To advance further without reinforcements would have been unwise since our own strength was diminishing yet we could expect the Cephalopods to increase in numbers as we draw nearer to their cities. A temporary halt to the campaign was now imposed upon us.
The above account of the Battle of the Great Pyramid of Mars is drawn from a club game at Staines Wargamers on 21st September 2007. The incidents are narrated as they appeared to this reporter.
The game was experimental and used modified POW rules and Black Hat figures. Adjustments to the units and factors are now being discussed in light of discoveries during this play test.
There were 3 players per side each with a POW brigade sized command.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
The Australia leg of the 2007 Live Tour of Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of The Worlds opened on September the 8th at The Burswood Dome, Perth... and it has had fans and critics alike singing it's praises!
The show has been described variously as 'breathtaking' and 'spectacular' by various press reviewers and the new hologram of Richard Burton, that narrates the show, has been named nothing less than 'miraculous'!
Here is a YouTube clip:
Saturday, September 22, 2007
1/245 scale injection molded plastic model kit
ALL NEW TOOLING
Actual Model Length is 38-1/2 inches
Detailed and Lighted interior (Batteries included)
Paint and glue required to complete kit (not included)
The Japanese government has made
diplomatic inquiries with all foreign legations
in China, and is conducting a search along the
southern Chinese coast where the ship
The Russian torpedo gunboat Voevoda destroyed with a loss of all hands near the Formosan Straits.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
the two notorious pirate chiefs Hoo Flung Dung and Junk
Sank Sosumi escaped from the territorial gaol where they
were awaiting trial. They recruited new crews and built
(and stole) a new fleet of junks. They launched an attack
on the mission station of Saint Joseph located on the small
Island of Tanipo.There they kidnapped the nuns and all
other westerners within that area.They have taken these
hostages to their hidden base on one of the many island of
this region. An international flotilla led by the British and
Japanese is in route to the area. There are disturbing reports
that the pirates have some unusual weapons at their
Sunday, September 16, 2007
The definitive guide book for the true "Big Game" hunt.
Another great find by Master Tas at YIAWWS.
weeks. The Dinosaur Dictionary profiles over 300 known
RZ-13 went missing on a flight over Central Morvalistan.
The expedition was assumed to be lost until a message
arrived by native runner that a great gray bird had
crossed the Mountains of the Moon and had fallen into
the Urzula Andrez Valley. This valley appears in several
native legends as the home of legendary beasts and fabulous wealth. The Ruritanian Government has recruited a rescue mission. The rescuers come from Great Britain, America and
France in a humanitarian gesture. Many are drawn by the
rumors of great and strange beasts.
Saturday, September 15, 2007
"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... Yet across the gulf of space, minds that are to our minds as ours are to those of the beasts that perish, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded this earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us."
- H. G. Wells, The War of the Worlds
steampunk submarines against each other. The game
involves crew management, planned movement, all sorts
of weapons and more. All you need is provided here except
some dice and luck.
BtW is played as a board game but can also be played an as huge
floor-top game the way we done it at shows. But you don't need to
go that far, using cardboard and paper gets you far enough, or you
might build some small submarines from scratch. Take a look of
what we have done to find some inspiration for your game
Friday, September 14, 2007
Pre-dreadnought Battleships and other craft.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Monday, September 10, 2007
Doctor Grordbort's Contrapulatronic Dingus
This Hardcover book will be available in January 2008
Written and illustrated by Weta Workshop conceptual
designer Greg Broadmore, the directory showcases
dozens of arcane inventions, contraptions and weaponry.
The stars of the show are, of course, Dr. Grordbort’s Infallible
Aether Oscillators,but you will also find the shiniest new
bifurnilizers, metal man servants and automated travel loungers.
Also included for your entertainment and scientific education is a
compartmentalised picture story (some call them comics) of the
world famous naturalist, Lord Cockswain.
Sunday, September 9, 2007
Dr Steel: My Dear Tas, Below are answers to your recent inquiries. I do so hope they help in your creation of this much appreciated blog.
The British "heavy" tanks of WW1 can be considered the starting point of all modern tanks. British design started with "Little Willie" then moved quickly into "Mother". The really interesting part to me is that during their inception and initial deployment, the naval arm of the British was in charge of these "landships". Once the teething problems with "Mother" were figured out, the Mk.I hit the battlefields of France.
I beheld two ministries,
One of air and one of earth --
At a thought I married these,
And my New Age came to birth!
- Kipling, The Inventor
Saturday, September 8, 2007
This volume lays claim to give nothing more than personal
impressions of a journey made across Siberia and through
Manchuria in the autumn of 1901. I went to Siberia on a
mission of curiosity, with the average Britisher's prejudice
against things Russian, and with my eyes wide open to see
things I might criticise and even condemn.
Friday, September 7, 2007
These are the voyages of Her Majesty's Æther Ship Dauntless.
Our mission, to explore romantic new worlds, seek out life, and
expand civilization, to boldly go where no gentleman has gone
Where Steampunk and Star Trek become one.
Steam Trek combines the interaction of a Play-by-Email game
and the creativity of a Story Writing message board. The goal
is to generate stories of Science Fiction and Scientific Romance,
playing the role of one of the main characters onboard the HMAS
Dauntless. These penny-dreadful stories should contain humor,
suspense, action or what ever the group wishes to write.
Commodore A.R. Maxby K.C.M.G. of Ætherfleet Command
invites all of you to peruse the site where you can find all manner
of Steam-Trek background and information.
Thursday, September 6, 2007
The Electrolux Death Ray!
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
Headquarters in Osaka announced
exercises in and around the
Formosa Strait for the next few
weeks. The Admiralty also wishes
to assure all governments concerned
that these are long planned and
scheduled training maneuvers,and
there is no cause what so ever for
alarm. The Imperial Japanese
government wants to maintain
nothing but amicable relations with
all her neighbors.
adventures of Professor George E. Challenger,
Lord John Roxton,
Professor Summerlee, and
Mr. E.D. Malone of the 'Daily Gazette'.
- The Lost World
- The Poison Belt
- The Disintegration Machine
- When The World Screamed
Monday, September 3, 2007
have discovered some rather interesting facts regarding
your family history.In fact there are items that are were
officially classified until the recent passage of the Freedom
Of Information Act passed by parliament.
It has been known by the relevant agencies that your great
grandfather and namesake was declared an official enemy of
the Empire by queen Victoria herself after an incident in June
The facts concerning this and many other incidents were kept
from public knowledge for the obvious reason that knowing at
that time of such advanced weaponry and devices would undermine
the peoples confidence in the government. It was also determined
that your great grandfather was at the center of many crisis's involving
our and other governments running from the 1880 to 1920. One
astounding and peculiar facet in all this was the fact that "apparently"
your great grandfather did not age after 1890. All reports on him
Our agency in compliance with the FOIA will be slowly releasing all
it has over the coming months regarding the activities of
Dr Phineas W. Steel I. at our official web page.
Founder and Contributor
The response from the good Doctor:
My dear Don,
Indeed, it seems that the inevitable truth is coming to light. I must
admit that I too am uncovering such details of the "larger picture"
and as you discover such information through this avenue, I too begin
to realize the scope of what shall be revealed.
I look forward to the information you may have access to, likewise I
shall continue to delve into the rather foggy memory-banks of my
transformation. I do not rule any possibilities out.
~Dr. Phineas Waldolf Steel
A subject near and dear to my hart: Artillery!
Any artillery pieces that are Victorian (1837 to circa 1901 and as late as WWI) provided they were mounted to defend the British Empire and its colonies or coaling stations; from any location, worldwide. Thank You Tas for pointing this out!
Sunday, September 2, 2007
My dear Tas,
I would be delighted to appear in your blog.