One question that has come up a few times is why make the GIs contemporary and not 1950s or 1960s? It’s simple: if you look at the Mars Attacks cards and comics they’ve always been set “now”, whenever that might be. The styles of the troopers has changed over the years, but not to reflect anything other than the idea that the invasion is happening right this minute – turn on CNN and you’ll see the saucers.
And the bugs.
If you wanted to use 1960s GIs then there are plenty of models around by various manufacturers and you could just swap them out. It wouldn’t make any difference to the game. Of course, if you could find a cheap bag of badly modelled, bendy “army soldiers” in vibrant green and some random scale then that might be the most appropriate of all. Those Mantic models are just way too detailed 😉
Answering this question also made me think about other periods. We’ve already seen the Aztec and Knight characters in the comics (and the unpronounceable Aztec hero is already available in the KS). Why not other periods? After all, the Martians have been visiting Earth for centuries and if they bumped into Aztecs and knights then what about the folk in-between?
Of course the Martian invaders wouldn’t change much. For our purposes that means not at all. There’s no need to invent changes just for the sake of it. The other side is the one that’s more varied.
In rules terms there’s not much difference in soldiers from the last couple of hundred years. In fact, since America decided not to be a colony, a Martian invasion would meet similarly bolshy defenders with guns whenever they turned up. Fighting against pre-gunpowder warriors might need a tweak or two to feel right. I can’t imagine it would be a big change though.
Pre-1908 (ish) you’d want to change flying car to flying cart. The card would work the same though. Pre-gunpowder you’d need to look at the artillery, mortars, etc, but ACW fights would work with them too. Strafing runs, on the other hand, are WWI and on.
Like I said, a few tweaks, but nothing major.