Tuesday, November 29, 2011

[Resources] HMS Thunder Child

The Martian War Machine becomes HMS Thunder Child's bitch
The HMS Thunder Child was a fictional torpedo ram in the novel The War of the Worlds (1898) by H. G. Wells. When the masses of Engishmen and women fled London following the Martian Invasion, many attempted to escape by boat. Three Martian war machines threatened their flight and the HMS Thunder Child fought them.

Charging one of the machines without firing shot, the Royal Navy ship took it out, then turned on the other two. Despite taking direct hits from the heat ray, it managed to ram the second, destroying them both.

The HMS Thunder Child's story is useful in an alien invasion game, as a backdrop to a scene that shows the aliens are less powerful and more vulnerable than they appear.


  1. I think the Thunder Child's lesson is supposed to be the opposite: it's a state of the art battleship in the world's biggest and most advanced navy, executing a one-off, surprise attack. So it represents pretty definitively the most devastating strike Earth can possibly inflict on the Martians, short of assembling the whole fleet and somehow enticing them out to sea. Thunder Child's defeat shows Martian superiority.

  2. ...ok, scratch what I said about it being a battleship: still I think it's supposed to represent the hardest single punch Earthlings can inflict at that moment - it's a single-minded destructive design being used at its maximum potential, and the writing there is all about speed and intensity. Obviously the torpedo ram never had the cultural presence of the nuke, but maybe Wells' audience would have reacted to it as something like a "daisy cutter:" a famous weapon of frankly frightening destructive power.


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