January 23rd 1958: The cold war is raging on the Earth. On Mars, the war is not so cold. The NATO and the Soviet Union confront each other to gain control of the Red Planet. The two armies are fighting also in Martian city M17, with Sergeant Ratti leading a squad that escorts the anthropologist Petri in his search for Martian relics. Prof. Antjanov leads the opposing soviet squad.
In the previous episode, Ratti tried to recover a mysterious Martian bronze plate found by the Russians, but he was captured by the Soviets. But now, thanks to the absence of Antjanov, he manages to escape, even if he is badly wounded. Berzenko, Golkin and Olenev go searching for the fugitive, but Campano, Verdi and Petri also want to find their leader!
Campano and Golkin go searching for clues in nearby buildings. The others move towards the triangular building at the center of the area.
Campano finds a clue and immediately after Petri finds another one pointing to the building on the left: Ratti (the main Plot Point) must be there. Golkin’s search for clue is much slower (he keeps failing his challenge). When he finally succeeds, Olenov finds another clue in the central building. Berzenko advances towards the Italians.
Petri bravely faces Berzenko and goes down, dropping his Plot Point. Campano starts searching for Ratti, but he cannot complete the Challenge, because the Russians are closing in: he shoots Golkin and puts him down (Golkin drops his Plot Point as well). Verdi takes the place of Campano, completes the Challenge and rescues Ratti! Olenov gets the minor plot point in the triangular building.
These are the two approaches I am considering:
1) Using standard axonometry (e.g. isonometry). In this case, I place meeples flat on the map. I think they look reasonably good. Vehicles or other items could be added using axonometric counters or tiles, but these tiles would be facing in specific directions. Meeples are great because they are quite generic and can fit in any position. Of course, what one gains in flexibility is lost in detail. If ones tries to use this kind of drawing with 3d objects, making the meeples stand or adding plastic soldiers or model vehicles, the result is a weird distortion of the buildings:
2) The other possibility I am considering is moving to perspective. Often in perspective vertical lines are drawn as parallel, while other lines converge to the focal point. In this case, it is necessary to have the vertical lines converge towards the camera, so that they result vertical in the picture. I decided to keep all horizontal lines unchanged: one can simply draw a 2d map with only the horizontal lines, and then add the vertical lines, making them converge appropriately.
In this case, 3d models fit reasonably well. But things are harder to draw and the distortion you get in “play view” (see the image on the left above) is unpleasant.
January 22nd 1958: The cold war is raging on the Earth. On Mars, the war is not so cold. The NATO and the Soviet Union confront each other to gain control of the Red Planet. The two armies are fighting also in Martian city M17, with Sergeant Ratti leading a squad that escorts the anthropologist Petri in his search for Martian relics. Prof. Antjanov leads the opposing soviet squad.
The Russians have taken hold of a mysterious Martian bronze plate. Ratti’s squad ventures in the Russian controlled part of Martian city M17, hoping to take the precious relic away. But Ratti gets isolated from the others. It’s a Death Trap!
Ratti is surrounded by Antjanov, his sidekick Berzenko and two other soviet soldiers. Campano, Verdi and Petri arrive from the South.
Ratti is attacked by Antjanov and Berzenko, but he manages to dodge. The other Italians advance. Campano and Verdi Knock Out Antjanov’s allies. Petri tries to collect a Martian artifact in the central building.
An intense firefight occurs between the two surviving Soviets and the NATO soldiers. Ratti is badly wounded.
Ratti goes down a couple of times. Verdi does not succeed in his attempts at picking him up. Finally, both Verdi and Ratti are Knocked Out by the Russians, who manage to take hold of Ratti and win the scenario. Petri did not take part in the fight and successfully collected a second Martian artifact.
January 21st 1958: The cold war is raging on the Earth. On Mars, the war is not so cold. The NATO and the Soviet Union confront each other to gain control of the Red Planet. The two armies are fighting also in Martian city M17, with Sergeant Ratti leading a squad that escorts the anthropologist Petri in his search for Martian relics. Prof. Antjanov leads the opposing soviet squad.
Antjanov is trying to remove a bronze plate applied at the basis of a Martian stele. Ratti and his team will not let him put his hands on this unique Martian relic.
Campano and Verdi move forward. Verdi takes cover and then runs through the building on the right. Campano manages to Knock Out both Antjnov’s sidekick Berzenko and another soviet soldier. Petri enters a building on the left, attracted by another interesting Martian relic: he is pursued by a soviet, that Ratti tries to stop.
Antjanov keeps working on the bronze plate. He successfully replies to the Italian attacks. Verdi goes down. Ratti is delayed by the fight with the soviet soldier and Petri takes a lot of time to dig the Martian carved stone from the deep niche in which it is buried.
Finally Antjanov manages to detach the bronze plate. Petri gets hold of the other Martian artifact. Ratti gets rid of the soviet soldier and joins Campano in shooting Antjanov, but the Russian professor wounds both the attackers and leaves the scene as a winner.
Ratti, Campano and Verdi are joint by an anthropologist: Petri. They must explore building b7, which is supposed to contain interesting Martian artifacts. They enter the ground floor and are immediately confronted by two Soviet soldiers. Ratti and Campano manage to put them out of combat. The room on the right contain a hostage: Quadrio, of the foreign relations office. Petri speaks to him and finds out that he is afraid but physically in good shape (minor plot point).
The squad follows the spiral stair to the second floor. They are confronted by more Soviet soldiers: their leader is a tough guy and manages to hit both Ratti and Campano before succumbing. Verdi kills one more enemy and Campano the last one. In the smaller room there is a the body of a long dead American soldier. Is fist is clutched around a small object. When Campano manages to open the hand of the dead man, he finds a small Martian device.
My next session will be a “Martian building crawl” inside building b7, near the central octagonal square. I want to experiment with axonometric projections, to see if I can easily integrate a game map with my watercolor sketches.
Here are a rough sketch of the ground floor and the axonometric drawing of the whole building.