Showing posts with label War of the Worlds. Show all posts
Showing posts with label War of the Worlds. Show all posts

Friday, October 18, 2019

The H.G. Wells Inspired TRIPODS AND TRIPLANES by Ares Games Looks Like a Good Time

The Wings of Glory pre-painted miniatures wargame has been the go-to game for those who want a simple and visually appealing introduction to simulations of WW I dogfights. I first encountered the game when Fantasy Flight Games held the license to produce the game in the United States. The first edition of the game lacked the beautiful pre-painted biplane and triplane miniatures that followed, but the mechanics and components were sound and appealing. Now that my daughters are older, I'm planning on breaking out my relatively large (and far too neglected) collection of miniatures and movement cards to play the original game. My hope is that I will be able to use it as a gateway game for Richthofen's War.

One of the reasons my interest in the game was rekindled was Ares production of an H.G. Wells inspired version called Tripods & Triplanes which simulates the fictional combat between brave pilots and the sinister machines of an invading Martian army. This particular combination sparked my interest for two reasons. The first, and most obvious one, is that I've long been a fan of H.G. Wells and the War of the Worlds storyline is rich for simulation in games. Not to mention the fact that H.G. Wells is one of the founders of the miniatures gaming hobby. As significant as that reason was, it was the fact that this setting will partially save my daughters from having me interrupt game play in order to force them to watch my favorite WW I movies or from being required to listen to me guide them through several Google searches to learn about the historic aces who participated in the Great War. Don't get me wrong they'll still have to suffer through those "learning experiences," it's just that these experiences are less likely to interrupt game play now.

The staff over at Wargames Illustrated have put together a wonderful unboxing video of Tripods & Triplanes that shows how nice the components are. The reviewer commented that he wished it had included a playmat in addition to the terrain pieces. I agree that would have been nice, but I've still got my beautiful playmats for the base game.

I can't wait to play this game and I love the design of the Tripods.

Monday, December 07, 2009

War of the Worlds: Goliath -- Coming in 2010

Next year will see the release of Tripod Entertainment's animated Steampunk film WAR OF THE WORLDS: GOLIATH. The film's premise is that 15 years after the Martian's failed attack on the earth in 1900 the aliens return to continue their attempted conquest of Earth. Much has changed in the intervening 15 years, as the industrious have reverse engineered a substantial amount of Martian technology. This sets the stage for a more evenly balanced conflict between the two worlds. The film's trailer hints at what the film will offer. The film will star geek favorites Adam Baldwin, Peter Wingfield, and Adrian Paul.

GOLIATH isn't the first WAR OF THE WORLDS sequel to make its way through the Hollywood entertainment assembly line. In 1988, there was a 2 season syndicated television series based on the premise that the Martians who invaded during the George Pal film merely went into hibernation and didn't die when they collapsed. The series aired in the US on Fox, and it too starred Adrian Paul (during the 2nd season).

The narrative premise of GOLIATH is a promising one and the show looks to have combined the best of the Steampunk genre with some elements of the classic animated television series STAR BLAZERS. Instead of a giant space faring WWII battleship, we have a giant sky spanning battle-zeppelin. I think the battle-zeppelin wins hands down.

Steampunk is a genre that has been gaining some momentum over the past few years. It combines "Vernian" futuristic technology with a Victorian/Edwardian time frame. I would posit that the first iteration of Steampunk was the Castle Falkenstein roleplaying game by Mike Pondsmith of R. Talsorian Games (publishers of the Cyberpunk rpg) and that the genre gained real traction with the novels The Difference Engine by Gibson and Sterling and The Prestige by Priest.

It has been noted in the comments that I am in error with regards to the origin of the term and genre of Steampunk. I will concede the term's origin, but I would take issue with some of those items retroactively classified into the genre. One could classify Spenser's The Faerie Queene as Epic Fantasy, but one would be misapplying a term for fantasy fiction in the post-Morris era. The same holds for Wild, Wild, West which shares as much with James Bond as it does with Steampunk (specifically). One might as well classify Ian Fleming's brilliant Chitty Chitty Bang Bang as Steampunk. Wikipedia and "internet citations" from Locus be damned!