Sunday 5 February 2023

HG Wells War of the Worlds Game

 I am not normally a fan of science fiction, in my reading or in my games, but I make an exception for HG Wells' War of the Worlds. Wells published the book in 1898 and Wells' Little Wars, the mother of all modern wargames, was published in 1913, so I decided to combine the two and run a Little Wars type of game, set around 1905. I used the Fistful of Lead Bigger Battles rules. Fistful of Lead were originally designed as western gunfight rules and I used them because the more I thought about it, the Martian Tripods were like six big bad men coming into a western town and the British army, artillery, tanks and infantry were like the marshal and posse trying to stop them. I made up a 6X10 foot table with all the appropriate 54mm buildings I own. The British (Human) players got to set up their artillery, tanks (WW1 German A7Vs), and infantry anywhere ahead of the Martian entry on the table edge. The infantry included Royal Engineers who carried dynamite to attempt to blow up one of the tripod legs.


The game is card driven, with each player receiving one playing card per unit, or tripod. The cards dictate who goes first, using Bridge suit order. Some cards have special powers, like healing wounds (or repairing damage points for the tripods and tanks). Aces are wild cards. As this was a play test, I was not specific about the Martian victory points. In the future I will make victory points that encourage the Martians to advance down the table. So most of the action took place on only one third of the table. It was still an exciting game. Some highlights were a Royal Artillery battery on the left that tied up the advance of three tripods, at great cost in dead an wounded artillerymen. On the right, the Grenadier Guards managed to topple a tripod with a successful explosion. Also on the right, one tank sacrificed itself ramming a tripod.  The next turn, a second tank took down the damaged tripod, but it was also destroyed. After losing half the tripods, the Martians called it quits.


I will be running the game again in two weeks at our local DundraCon convention in Santa Clara CA, in the heart of Silicon Valley. As I mentioned above, I need to come up with more incentive for the Martians to advance down the table. I think I will make one of their victory conditions having to capture X amount of human civilians. As you can see from the photos, I did supply civilians, but they were just for show and automatically ran from the invaders six inches per turn.


1 comment:

  1. What a great game Nick!!! I love it! Creativeness at his best!