Martian belly laughs
On my table: War of the Worlds: Japan
I just lost a game to the Martians. Two waves walked into Tokyo and grilled everything in a giant teppanyaki. Turn by turn, the production gears were diminishing. Battles were fought but some of them were laughable: the Japanese might as well be shooting with water pistols.
The game is entertaining, and feels epic. I generally love event cards, and here you draw one at the beginning of each turn. Just like in real life, something random is bound to make or ruin your day. You purchase guns, infantry or cavalry, and make sure your have harbours ready so that refugees can get on a ship and flee. Then the Martians follow their devastation schedule, and vegetation eventually turns into red weed. The coloured dice are at the heart of the game, and most (all?) outcomes depend on luck.
There is one part I found unnecessary, and maybe a bit lame: the naval battles. It's too much hassle for a meager point at best. The game is quite long, and it can drag if you roll badly and have to save freighters all the time, especially when you know that you won't and they'll sink.
The artwork is very well done, and follows the style HG Wells' novel was originally illustrated in. As it should, the game gives off the impression that the Martians are invincible and the humans too small and weak. It is not a game I want to play frequently but it is fun even when tripods are winning and all is lost.