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Posted on Jan 22, 2020 in Boardgames, Front Page Features

“Across the gulf of space…intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded this earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us.” Tripods and Triplanes Wings of Glory Expansion Game Review.

“Across the gulf of space…intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded this earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us.” Tripods and Triplanes Wings of Glory Expansion Game Review.

Rick Martin

Tripods and Triplanes Wings of Glory Game Review.  Publisher: Ares Games Designer: Andrea Angiolino, Marco Maggi and Francesco Nepitello Price $45.99 starter set,  Individual Tripods $19.99, World War II Expansion $13.00, Additional Damage Deck $13.00

Passed Inspection:  Adds a whole new dimension to two great games systems.  Fun. Great looking components.  Beautiful artwork. Easy to learn.

Failed Basic:  Nothing at all unless you don’t like aliens mixed with your historical aircrafts – in other words – “you got your Tripod in my Nieuport”

From Ares Games’ own description –

“March 18th, 1918: the nearest approach of planet Mars to Earth. The First World War suddenly changes into a War of the Worlds, when what appears as a meteor shower falls over a wood in Alsace. A few hours later, just after dawn, an army of giant alien fighting machines appear out of the trees and starts burning villages and houses with their lethal heat-rays, leaving pestilential trails of black smoke behind them.


A truce is hurriedly signed between the warring nations and, against the advancing Martian Tripods, the best war machines of Earth are dispatched, manned by the most gallant and skilled warriors of our planet!”

Armchair General originally ran a preview of Tripods and Triplanes back in 2017 when this game was on Kick Starter.  Now, the Martians have officially arrived and the world will never be the same again! 

Ares Games has not only released the Tripods and Triplanes Starter Set but also individual Martian Tripod Booster Boxes, extra damage decks and an expansion which allows you to fight yet another wave of Martian invaders who have landed during World War II!  These stubborn Martians just can’t get enough of Earth’s good stuff!

 In the Wings of Glory – Tripods & Triplanes Starter Set, the World War I knights of the air battle against colossal fighting machines sent by the Martians to invade Earth. Take control of an awesome Martian Tripod, set upon bringing death and destruction on our planet… or fly on the most advanced flying machines created by Mankind during World War One, and try to use them to win the War of the Worlds.

Tripods and Triplanesis a new, stand-alone game, but it is fully compatible with the WW1 Wings of Glorycollection and with the World War II Expansion, it is compatible with all the Wings of Glory World War II aircrafts.

The game components include:

1 Mark I Martian Tripod codenamed “Locust” by the Earth forces with base, stat card and maneuver cards

Tripod Damage Decks X, Y and Z

Tripod Action Cards

1 rocket armed Nieuport 16 with base, altitude pegs, stat and maneuver cards

Airplane Damage Cards A, B, C and D

Ace Skill Cards

1 32 page rule and scenario book

Counters and Tokens

Control Consoles for the Tripods and the Humans

Objective and Terrain Templates (presented in both an unharmed and a  â€œred weed” / destroyed state)

Black Smoke Projector ruler and Cloud Template

Tripod Energy Cubes

2 Different Heat Ray Rulers

1 Airplane Ruler

The box is literally stuffed full of goodness!

Since many of you reading this review already play Wings of Glory, I’ll focus on the Tripod rules instead of giving a replay on the basic airplane game play. But please note that Ares has also, thoughtfully, include rules on World War I Wings of Glory aircrafts for those new to the game.

The Martian Tripod miniatures are stunningly designed; they look like an alien steam punk fusion.  Currently there are four different types of Martian Tripods.  The base game includes the Mark I “Locust”.  Expansion packs include the Mark II “Scarab”, the Mark III “Squid” and the towering Mark IV “Cuttlefish”.  Each Tripod is rated for its weapon systems – heat rays of various types plus black smoke projectors, movement speed and maneuverability, hull points, energy points and force field locations.

During their 1918 invasion, there were two waves of Martian attacks on the Earth.  The first wave featured Mark I and Mark II Tripods.  After the Martians analyzed data on the combat potential of the Earth forces, they adjusted their tech to better implement their plans of domination of the Earth.  The Mark I Locust is a decently balanced Tripod useful for a variety of missions.  The Mark II Scarab is slower than the Mark I but more heavily armed and with better shield coverage.  I attacked a Mark II with an Albatros and only managed to take it out when I crashed in to it and caught it on fire.  It was a noble sacrifice indeed even if the Martians did win that scenario.

The Mark III is a scout Tripod and the towering Mark IV harkens back to the Tripods used during the first Martian invasion of the 1890s but it’s much more deadly.

The Tripods use a movement system which is the same as the World War I Wings of Glory aircrafts.  For each movement the player lays out a card.  The Tripods don’t fly as much as walk and run over the ground.  For each three card sequence, the Tripods must either stand for one card or run for one card.  If they don’t, they tumble to the ground and must get up during the next sequence.  The player controlling the Martian Tripod has another interesting aspect to manage while fighting off those pesky human biplanes, he or she (or “it”) must manage the energy usage of the Tripod.  Every weapon action requires energy as does picking up items and other actions such as swinging the Tripod around.  Lucky for the Tripods, they can perform actions to regain their energy.  If their energy ever completely runs out, out go the force fields and down goes the Tripod!  For the Martians, learning energy usage and conservation is a must!

For the combined Earth Air Forces, attacking the Tripods is tricky.  Each type of Tripod has different shield configuration.  Getting your bullets or rockets past their shields are the key to winning the war.  But, let’s say your shots hit the shields, you still have a chance to cause damage to the deadly aliens.  Your shots have the chance of draining the energy of the Tripod even if they can’t penetrate the shields – certain shield hits cause the Martian pilots to reallocate power to keeping the shields up which drains their all important power supply.

The game includes new A, B, C and D damage cards which add critical hits to the Tripods as well as retaining the biplane critical hits.  Also damage cards are included for the heat rays and black smoke clouds.

The acidic black smoke is a nasty weapon.  The Tripods project a canister from the smoke discharger in an arc and then a huge cloud of smoke hovers over the target area.  If a plane flies through it, you draw from the Black Smoke Damage Deck.  The acid eats in to your plane and can harm your pilot.  So if heat rays against canvas and wood airplanes weren’t bad enough – you now have acid to fly through!

The beautiful Nieuport 16 is painted in the colorful scheme of French pilot Jean Navarre who was credited with twelve confirmed aerial victories and fifteen unconfirmed ones.  Navarre was one of the first flying aces in history and his red painted aircraft made him notorious over a year before the Red Baron painted his plane red.

In addition to the items mentioned above, Ares has also come out with a World War II expansion pack.  This way you can add yet another Martian invasion to your 1940s World War II Wings of Glory action.

There is also an expansion damage card deck so you can play  much larger battles.

But wait!  There’s more!

Ares Games has posted a new rules expansion on their website for FREE!  These new rules add the following to your Tripods and Triplanes games:

1)  Humans using captured Martian Tripods to fight off the invaders

2) Bombing Tripods

3) Solo Rules and Scenarios for the Tripods

4) Evasive Maneuvers

5) More Rules for World War II Tripods

What’s not to love with this game? Absolutely nothing unless you only like historical “real world” Wings of Glory missions.  I absolutely love this set!  It’s tough to be a human and win against the Tripods but it can be done!  Don’t give up!  If all else fails, just sneeze on them!  Make those Martians scream “Ulla”!

Armchair General Rating:  100% (1% is bad, 100% is perfect)

Solitaire Rating: 5 if you play a Martian and use the Wings of Glory solo app on your electronic device to control the human planes, 5 if you play the humans and download the Automated Tripod Rules from Ares Games (1 is not suitable, 5 is excellent solo play)

About the Author

A college film instructor and small business owner, Richard Martin has also worked in the legal and real estate professions, is involved in video production, film criticism, sports shooting and is an avid World War I and II gamer. He designed the games Tiger Leader, The Tiger Leader Expansion and Sherman Leader for DVG.  In addition, Rick can remember war games which came in plastic bags and cost $2.99 (he’s really that old)!

RUle Book
back of box
Tripod Booster Packs
Nieuport 16 with rockets
Mark II and Mark III
Mark IV
fight the Tripods
Devastating Heat Ray Hit
Tripods on the march
Mark IV Tripod
black smoke
Mark II on fire
Mark II goes down