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Invasion Earth - the battles of Waterloo Farm; a playtest with Sunjester.

Leaning against the fence post, cleaning his rifle, Corporal Hall looked over his shoulder towards the rest of his section, as a huge red figure crested the horizon at the road.
"What's this place called Sarge?"
"Waterloo Farm."
"Seriously, we are making a stand against the Martians at Waterloo Farm, let's hope that is a good omen!"

Invasion Earth is the latest idea from Simon Hall and his rules stable that has produced MeG. Set in 1887, when Martians arrive with vengeance,wrecking havoc and plucky British soldiers try to hold the line against these strange one ton mobile stones.

Graham very kindly agreed to let me come round and take him through the game (please look at his blog).

The table is a 4x4, and I put out some random terrain, the centrepiece is a Franco-Belgian farmhouse from Commission Figurines. The trees, ponds and roads are by Timecast, fences by Blotz, door mat by Dunelm! Brournville chocolate by Cadbury!

Martian invader gets to choose the edge to attack from. I chose to keep two back to airdrop later. Graham deployed around a stockade, a small team behind the farm, and the right hand wood.

Who, watched on by a drummer boy, scampered in to the farmyard.

This is what a red card and 'Rapid Fire' and 8 45 calibre rifles does to a Plasma Cannon equipped Martian. Drat! One down already.

I air drop a Martian behind Graham's fire line, in an effort to spilt his fire.
"11. Everything is air-droppable at least once."

Rushing in, the Martian attempts to save the 'life crystal' of his colleague (while the Martians are strong, they have to rescue the life crystals of the fallen to transport back home).

The Martians have a trick up their sleeve with orbital bombardment. This one only hits the troop colours! If you hit, you get a chance of a white dice on all the surrounding troopers. One stun, one kill.

Tweety birds... If the colours fall, another soldier take them on.

Graham pulls back, and another airstrike hits the section hard. The second colour bearer falls.

Scattered troops fall back, firing on my dropped Martian.

I try and advance a Martian towards the farm, only to be shot down by another batch of rapid fire from Graham's troopers. Two down, out of 6, is an instant morale check. Thankfully, I pass.

A second Martian appears, hopefully pincering the humans and breaking up the fearsome fire. Shots ring out. Not enough, a poor drummer boy is ruthlessly stomped to a pulp.

As the monstrous figure continues to close in.

In front of the farm, another Martian is gunned down by the fire team hiding in the farm enclosure. Those four soldiers are superb shots!

A martian in close combat with a melee weapons rolls two yellow dice, vs black dice for a human.
Look how efficient we both are!

The second air dropped alien is gunned down as Graham's soldiers recoil. Another passed morale roll, phew!

Martian snipping starts to damage the occupants of the farmyard.

Graham's lethal fusillade from the woods caused me no end of grief.

Four in the farm, now down to two, as yellow shooting plasma dice cause Graham to rethink his strategy.

In the enclosure, the first airdropped Martian is wrecking havoc on the remaining soldiers.

One ton of rock is not going to be stopped by a few planks of rotten wood.

The section from the wood advances, hunting the remaining original Martians.

That's a lot of lead chipping away at my Martian. Where's my airstrike when I need it (it's a red card, that's not happening!).

Shoot and move from the British, on a yellow, so many shots and the Martian falls, with no one to recover his life crystal, his spirit is extingushed.

Which causes my Martian in the remains of the enclosure to decide better of this and teleports back to the ship for safety.
Five lost martians, Graham had lost eight soldiers (including two standard bearers and a drummer boy). Top game.

"Corporal, report!"
Hall lent down over the crumbling remains of the alien, scooping up the crystals left by the fallen hulk. He carefully picked up a plasma sphere, and put it in his ration bag. The weapons would be returned to the boffins, who could find a way to beat these creatures.
"How long have we got Sarge?"
"About five minutes, scouts report another batch approaching from the west. Third squad has come up  to reinforce us."
"Take the wood, hold it, we need to get these items back."

Graham and I swapped sides, and Graham chose his line of attack. He had spotted a much better angle than I had, and kept three Martians ready to drop.

Graham spots these things can sprint, and when they do, the earth itself shakes! Two scouts hiding in the wood wonder whether this was a great idea...

Sergeant Hall, holding the farm, looks up at a blinding light in the sky as the Martians call in an airstrike on the compound, five soldiers with him are wounded by the boiling plasma from the sky.

The Corporal's section line the edge of the farm wood. Firing at a Martian in the cover of a wheat field, six dice firing, downgraded by range to white, and downgraded to black for cover, which has a 1:6 on the wound, and 1:6 to slow.
Not bad!

That's the fella, hiding, wounded, in the cornfield. But approaching up the track is another one. They're everywhere!

Two approach from the left, after finishing off the scouts, this is looking grim!

The Martian that came up the road piling into the soldiers and although he was rolling yellow dice, wounding and downing the Corporal and the colour bearer, but the privates take him on mob handed, and apply Salopian southpaws. Another Martian joins his comrades, and my first kill. Man, these thing are hard!

Especially when they air drop their friends in behind an engaged squad. After moving and shooting, the Corporal's section miss (firing while moving, -1, firing into cover -1).

"Sarge, there's one round the back!"
They're everywhere...
A wounded half section draw a bead from the treeline on the approaching menace, but only get a wound (all but one dice -1 as shooters wounded).

The Sarge's  section in the farmyard readjust themselves and deal with the hiding creature to the front of the farm. Two down, but no ill effects on Graham's morale!

The walking wounded take another round of shooting, but fail to wound the Martian. Three slows might help.

But not much as it smashes into the enclosure, against multiple wounded squaddies.

Quickly joined by its cannon wielding friend. It's all getting squashed in here. Cannon carriers are the worst hand-to-hand fighters in the Martian arsenal,, but still able to squash a puny human with ease.

We moved to fight outside so we could work out what was actually happening! With so many of my troops injured from air strikes, this was going to be a really tough fight (and I kept giving Graham an extra +1 he didn't need, as I misread the table, humans don't take a -1 for being wounded, but Martians do get a +1 for fighting wounded, so a +1 not a +2).

My colour bearer takes down the cannon carrying Martian, but the other smashes his way through the wounded soldiers.

That one Martian breaking was enough to cause Graham's aliens to think better of it and retire en masse (we got that bit wrong, but hey ho, it was getting late).

Top night with two games, a perfectly fun set of rules. A few tweaks needed here and there, and my next section, awaiting basing, is a troop of the Shropshire Yeomanry (heavy dragoon cavalry).

Resting against the wall, Hall took a long draught from his canteen, looking at the crystal glinting on the ground. A bloodied stream of survivors were joining them from the woods, and the farmhouse kitchen had become a makeshift aid station.
"Blooming heck, what was all that about?"
"No clue, they didn't appear to have any objective apart from killing us."
"Well, that makes our job easier, we kill them back!"


  1. Thanks for a couple of superb games, a lot of fun to play.


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