…we interrupt proceedings to report that a sleepy village in East Sussex has been overrun by a Martian horde, its sole intent - the destruction of the human race!
Just shy of a year ago to the day, I pledged an exorbitant amount of money* to help fund the 'Mars Attacks' Kickstarter that was launched by 'Mantic Games'. A bizarre series of circumstances combined to see me totally absorbed by the Kickstarter phenomenon and before I knew it, I was being swept away by the excitement of it all. Already a fan of the imagery produced by the Topps trading card company, 'Mars Attacks' appealed to my childish sensibilities and the idea of it becoming a board game that I might be able to persuade my non-wargaming friends to get involved with seemed like too good an opportunity to miss out on.
*certainly more than I'm willing to disclose here!
This was my first experience of Kickstarter and as the campaign progressed my lack of experience started to show. As stretchgoals were unlocked, I became gripped with desire to become a completist, I couldn't miss out on anything! This wasn't helped by the fact that everything looked 'so darn cool'! When the minutes finally ticked down and the time came to pay up, my wallet and I winced at the realisation of what I had done. Having made brief reference to my indiscretion to the Saintly Mrs. Awdry, the matter was forgotten and I have had a year to recoup my expenditure and expunge the guilt!
Whilst the time lapsed between funding and distribution has been good for my soul, it did somewhat dampen my enthusiasm for the project; after all a year here at '28mm Victorian Warfare' can see a myriad of projects come and go! This feeling of apathy gave way to one of frustration when news that the game was being shipped. I read, more and more about it on many of the splendid weblogs that I enjoy, but still no sign of my pledge!
|Vehicles and 'Stompy' robots!|
That was until earlier this week when I received an email from UPS saying that they were going to deliver my 6.5kg package on Friday. Euphoria soon turned to dread as I realised that we would be at work and so what was to happen to my invading force of Martians?
There was no obvious way of contacting UPS to arrange an alternate date or address for delivery and so I was resolved to wait for the inevitable email alerting me to the fact that "your parcel was unable to be delivered", but it never came. It wasn't until we opened the door on our return from work that I discovered why - yes they had been, but had now taken my goodies away again.
|The good guys.|
Fortunately for me they had not gone too far and I was able to track down the abortive Martian invasion at, of all places, a Brantano Footwear store on the local industrial estate - I know not why! With the parcel safely ensconced back at 'Awdry Towers' and the 'Saintly Mrs. Awdry' appeased with a large mug of tea, I quietly got on with preparing a light supper, all the time my thoughts drifting to the large package discretely positioned at my corner of the dining room table - all thoughts of indifference, vanished! After supper, as the 'Square of Despair' droned on in the background, I surreptitiously opened the box - I was like a child in a sweetshop, a magical moment indeed.
|The Martian horde.|
After a cursory look at all the plastic loveliness and brushing off a comment of, 'We're going to need a bigger house" with a suitably contrite reply, I decided it was best to wait for the morning before having a closer look. So as the Lady of the house is currently charging up and down the hockey pitch, yours truly is now knee deep in plastic Martians. The enormity of what I have done is starting to dawn to me. This was supposed to be a small investment in a skirmish level game to encourage a few friends round for a 'beer and pretzel' type evening, but oh no, not anymore! I seem to have enough gaming mats to cover the entire ground floor of 'Awdry Towers', more buildings** to give 'Barrett Homes' a run for their money and a plastic population explosion to match a small developing country!
**in various states of repair
|The hapless ground forces.|
So where does this leave me, hobby wise, you might ask? Well apart from being as giddy as a kipper, the painting table has an unholy combination of Martians and Dinosaurs roaming about it, but this will have to be a tempory aberration. I think what is required is a quick stocktake and a healthy dose of common sense. After a brief interlude playing with the large 'stompy' robot and flying saucer this morning, I shall have to pack up all but the core game and see if I can't fathom out how to use the 'A.I. solo game cards' to at least justify the purchase, after all everyone knows that to leave a Dinosaur unattented for too long is to court disaster - that and the 'Saintly Mrs. Awdry' is due home soon!
Ack! Ack! Ack!