Sunday, September 7, 2014

Architects of War: All Quiet on the Martian Front United States Infantry Reviewed!

A while ago I received the nice and huge All Quiet on the Martian Front starter set from Ed over at Architects of War for a review. It has taken a while to review these miniatures as I was so impressed by the amount of stuff included and just wanted to do them justice by giving them a very thorough review. Therefor I have decided to split the content of the starter set over several reviews starting with the United States infantry consisting out of infantry squads, a mobile motorcycle squad and some nasty machinegun units!

Do I have missed something, what is All quiet on the Martian front? All Quiet on the Martian Front is a 15mm battle game in miniature set during the second Martian War, circa 1910. After their first defeat a few years earlier at the hands of stiff British resistance and unexpected environmental factors, the Martians have returned. This time they have started their invasion from the New World and they established themselves well before surging forward in an unstoppable tide of destruction. The game begins on the Mississippi Defense Line, with America desperately trying to hold back the Martian advance. Super weapons by Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison are being rushed to the front.

President Roosevelt leads the nation against the blood sucking Martians and their incredible machines. Henry Ford works feverishly to produce as many of the new steam powered tanks for the front as possible. J.P. Morgan, Carnegie and Rockefeller work together to make the fearsome new Land Ironclads a reality. The United Kingdom, experienced with anti- Martian war, sends the British Expeditionary Force to help. France and Germany, untouched by any Martian machines, gather forces and build armies, but for what purpose?

Black Dust, Heat Rays, tanks upon tanks as well as miles and miles of trenches and traps…they all form the backdrop for Tripods vs. Tanks with lightning guns, Rough Riders on early Harleys, and lots more.

The content

As for this review we will stick to the metal infantry units supplied in the All Quiet on the Martian Front starter set, we will review the following miniatures: 3 infantry bases, 3 rough rider bases and 3 machinegun teams. The starter set actually includes lots of other miniatures such as hard-plastic tanks, huge tripods, templates and markers and rules but that's enough interesting material for lots of other reviews!

First of all we will take a look at the bulk of the United States Army force which consist out of brave conscripts . There are 15 of these regular soldier miniatures supplied in the starter set which form one infantry unit ready to tackle to the nasty Martian invader. As you can see these miniatures are cast in metal and have only a small amount of flash. Note that there are several nice variants armed with rifles and equipped with gasmasks including a rather inspiring officer. With these miniatures you also receive three long narrow plastic bases suited to base these miniatures for the official All Quiet on the Martian Front rules.

My favorite unit of the United States Army force must be the rough riders armed with grappling hook and grenades to attack Martian tripods in close combat! The rough rider unit in the boxed set contains six stout rough riders armed with a nice veriaty of weapons and seated on early Harley motorcycles. 

As you can see these miniatures come with a bit more flash due to their hard to cast shape but they can easily be cleaned using some small viles or even a Stanley knife. These miniatures come in five variants with the two regular rough riders on the left being the duplicates. These miniatures are supplied on square plastic bases and form up a rough rider unit of three bases.

The last United States Army Infantry unit are the dreaded machinegun teams! Very useful to kill the hordes of Martian slave infantry but almost useless against the well-equipped Martian Tripods. Yet these units add some much needed firepower to the United States Army and are well-capable of defending the many hastily dug trenchlines against savage Martain attacks. 

The starter set comes with three machinegun teams which each consist out of three miniatures being the gunner, ammo loader and observer. All of these teams are duplicates but come with no flash at all and with some different positioning on their round plastic bases you can create some nice compositions. Here are some pictures of the units I have assembled.

The scale

The chosen scale for the All Quiet on the Martian Front miniatures is 15mm. Because this scale allows you to field the enormous Martian tripods but also allows you to field large units of human steamtanks and infantry on a normal wargame table. To give you an idea of their relative size compared to each other and a stray 28mm miniature I have included the following pictures.

The conclusion

As you can see the United States Army infantry component supplies you with enough grunts to bulk out your human armies. With regular soldiers, rough riders and deadly machinegun teams to field a nice starter army to face the Martian onslaught. As you can see in the review, these miniatures are well-cast and come with little or no flash. Next to this the miniatures also come in a nice amount of different variants allowing you to field units that look dynamic and realistic. 

The good thing is that these miniatures now can also be bought individually, so yoy can easily add some more rough riders or other units to your force. These miniatures along with dozens of other metal, resin and plastic miniatures can now be bought directly from Architects of War or Wayland Games for European based wargamers.

Interested in seeing all the other great content of the All Quiet on the Martian Front starter set? Stay tuned as we will be reviewing the hard-plastic steamtanks next with the hard-plastic tripods and rules following soon!

Dozens of other reviews can easily be found here and make sure to follow this blog as more reviews, tutorials and wargame news appears every day!

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