Saturday, November 1, 2014

Objective Downed Tripod

Two objectives for All Quiet on the Martian Front.
One is the "Downed Tripod" offered by Alien Dungeon, and wired with an LED that is constantly shifting colors, the other is a crashed Biplane from Wings of War.
video

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Tripod Down, Second Pass.


A Headless Body Production

All Quiet on the Martian Front After Action Report: Canadian Steam Squadron vs Martian Tripods
Location: Phil's Basement
Game: All Quiet on the Martian Front
Scenario: Variation of scenario #6, Rescue
Players: Stephen Turn:
Marvin's Martians
               Phil Gardocki:
Canadian Armoured Squadron

The Forces: "Monty’s Pythons", the 2nd Squadron, 12th "Three Rivers” Regiment, 1st Canadian Armoured Brigade.  Consisting of an Infantry Company, a troop of Mounties, 3 Mk III's, 12 Mk II's and 1 clamp tank.  About 1,120 points

Elements of Pod का क्रोध आपका, hive एक पल का क्रोध आपका भविष्य बिगाड सकता है, a total of 6 Tripods, 4 with heavy heat rays, 1 medium heat ray, and one with a black smoke projector.  About 1,150 points.

Scenario:  Tripod Down!  This is a scenario I plan on demoing in the near future.  This is the second run of this scenario, if you haven't read the first run, the link is http://philsmartianfront.blogspot.com/2014/10/the-edmonton-tripod-salvage-operation.htmlThe short of it is that a lone Martian Tripod had accidentally found an abandoned and flooded mineshaft and sank up to the helmet.  Water quickly shorted out the systems and his last known position was largely unknown to the Martians.  He is discovered by the humans first and the race is on for an opportunity to gather Martian tech or rescue a comrade.

For this scenario, the modified stealth rules described in the previous scenario have been rescinded.  

The Board:North of Edmonton, deep in the Taiga. 

Deployment:
Humans start with one unit of infantry and one unit of Canadian Mounted Police near to the immobilized tripod.  6 hidden movement or blip chips represent their deployment.  Martians roll randomly to arrive on the board edge.

Turn 1:
      The Martians move first, and have no visible targets to shoot at.  The humans move second, and chose not to be seen.


A serene wide shot of a landscape in which there are over 240 people, none of whom can be seen.
A tripod armed with a black dust projector arrives on the left.  A second tripod arrives from the right.

Turn 2:
The humans roll initiate and elect to go second.  Choosing again not to be seen.  An interesting choice as this basically denies the Martians an opportunity to shoot on turn 2.

"This is Mr. E.R. Bradshaw of Napier Court, Black Lion Road London SE5. He can not be seen. Now I am going to ask him to stand up. Mr. Bradshaw will you stand up please?"
(Phew-Phew Pew Pew Pew Pew!  Unearthly screams)  "This demonstrates the value of not being seen."
Leading the way to the woods, Lieutenant Idle cries, "Run away!"
Troops 'A' and Troops 'B' arrive.  They target the recon tripod with 9 shots scoring 3 hits, and:

The Recon Tripod explodes!  Putting 3 hits each on two other tripods and ...
The Black Dust Tripod explodes.
Placing 6 hits on Marvin, but he survives unscathed!
On the right flank, the Troop 'B' fans out and shoots, but to no avail.
Turn 3:
Marvin sweeps with his Uranium PU-36 Illudium radioactive space modulator.
Destroying a Mk III.

Then retreats behind the trees.  The infantry are trying very hard, not to be seen.
On the right flank, 3 heat rays reach out destroying the lead tank of troop 'C'.  The humans return fire with  5 shots, but to no avail.
Turn 4:
Time is running out as the Martians only have two more turns to recover their comrade, while the earthlings now have their clamp tank/tow truck on board heading for the wreck.

The RCMP shoot out from their hiding and race up the right flank.


I may have discovered a geometric defense against heat ray sweeps.  Place your tanks one directly behind the other.  If the tripod is directly in front of you, it cannot sweep multiple tanks.
Marvin steps from off panel and again sweeps with his Uranium PU-36 Illudium radioactive space modulator muttering " पका भविष्य बिगाड सकता हैअब्च्देफ़्घि ", and causing no damage, then retreats behind the smoking tripods and the trees.
3 tripods trade shoots with Troop 'B', again to no avail.
Humans lined up one behind the other to avoid the sweep attack.
Denied a target by Marvin's dodging, the Mk III's take a side shot at another tripod, and whiff.
Turn 5:
The RCMP successfully tangle a tripod with two tow cables.  Which takes a hit and goes down!

The clamp tank begins to pull at the wreck.
Turn 6:
The center is too crowded, so Troop 'D' was sent on a wide swing to see if it can take out Marvin, who has yet to suffer any damage since his painting.

Emboldened by their success, the RCMP motor on to the next tripod.
As a final act of desperation, Marvin turns his Uranium PU-36 Illudium radioactive space modulator upon the captured tripod.  And again whiffs the roll.
The game ends, called on night.  The downed tripod is firmly in human hands.  But even without the scenario victory conditions, with half the tripods down, its a decisive human win.

Monday, October 20, 2014

In House Rules, the Water Tower Rule

I have had a long fascination with H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds, and by extension with the great scares perpetrated by Orson Wells on Oct. 30, 1938, Páez's version in Quito, Ecuador on February 12, 1949,* and most lately, Beach and Neavereth's radio hoax in Buffalo, NY on Oct. 30, 1968.**   One of the stories of that scare concerned the people of Grover's Mill, New Jersey, where the Martians reportedly landed that evening. 

Grover's Mill Water Tower
Shamelessly stolen from the website:
http://www.roadsideamerica.com/tip/11516
One version of the story went as follows.  A group of people formed a militia to repulse the invaders.  They moved around, and happen to sight the towns water tower, and opened fire.  Days later, when the issue came up on fixing the water tower, it was decided to leave it be, as a reminder that all people are fallible. 

I have always taken this story to heart and have with it a small collection of similar idiocies that occur when people are faced with the unusual.  The escaped panda bear in Amsterdam*** and anti-vaccination fanatics for example.  Where in reflection, no sane person would, but otherwise sane people did and do.  But in the days of the internet, I haven't found a source for my version of the story, but have found versions that were far less exciting, and with no anecdotal moral to the story.  Mainly no impromptu militia, just a couple of shots by person or persons unknown, and no subsequent memorial.  Though the water tower still stood as of a couple of years ago.

To that end, for All Quiet on the Martian Front, I am instituting a house rule.  The Water Tower Rule.

1) Main Rule: All Tripods that are within 6 inches of a water tower, gets a cover value of plus 1 to all shooters that are within range of both the Tripod and the Water Tower.  Usually this raises the to hit number from 6 to 7.  Should the to hit number match exactly the uncovered number, in this example a 6, then the water tower takes the hit instead of the tripod.  If the hit is by a cannon then the water tower is destroyed, and no longer has any effect.  Small arms fire, including machine guns cause no apparent destruction to the water tower.

2) Anti-Exploit Addendum.  The purpose of this rule is to reduce the chance of Martian players overly exploiting the main rule by clustering around it.  When defending, humans may pay points to trap the water tower by filling it with gasoline.  When the water tower is hit, the tower explodes, forcing a roll on the tripod damage table for all tripods within 6 inches.  All human forces within 6" also make a damage check at minus 2.  The Martian player may attempt to preempt this trap by shooting at the water tower with a heat ray.  The tower has a to hit value of 4, and any hit destroys the water tower, setting off the gasoline, if any.






*Which led to the mobilizing the army and police force of the city.  When the mob found out it was deceived, they burned down the city news paper and the radio station.  6 people died, the perpetrators of the hoax went into exile in Venezuela.

**Which led to the Canadian Army mobilizing to stop the invaders at the key US crossing sites.

***Where the panda had escaped from the Amsterdam zoo, and in an effort to find it, was publicized for people to call a hot line number.  Over 10,000 calls were received of sightings.  The panda was found a few days later, next to the zoo on the train tracks, killed by commuter train.  It had been dead for days and it was realized that not one reported sighting was valid.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Martian Transport System

I have been asked how to transport the Martians.  They are large figures, and while not overly fragile, they can be damaged if mixed with heavier figures, and so they must be transported by themselves.  I once made a mistake of placing the resin Tripod Down piece in the box, and it took my green gas tripod off of the stand at the feet.

I usually go with tool boxes to transport figures.  Finding one with 6 inches of clearance was a problem, but finally found one for only $5.  I had to buy two for the Martians.  I also found a cheap piece of steel at Home Depot.  They actually sell 1 square foot bits.  I cut it in half and glued it down.

Next I bought stack of rare earth magnets.  Contrary to the name these are not rare and are fairly cheap.  Deciding on a size was a problem as it is possible to have the magnets be so strong that they will damage the tripods trying to separate them from the steel plate.   I decided on 1/8th inch diameters.  $11 bought 150.  Each magnet has a pull of 1/3rd of a pound.  If they do not have enough hold, I can always glue more to the base.


Each of these has 4 or 5 1/8 inch magnets and can hold the Martian Tripods vertically.  I still put padding in between them during transport, just in case.

Magnet pattern.  The intended configuration is 3 on the out side, one in the center.  The fifth was because I had an extra one out and didn't feel like putting it back in the vial.


The only problems with this is I have a couple of cases for the Martians, growing to 3 shortly, and 2 for the humans, and if there is terrain to be moved, that's 6 boxes.  I don't have convenient  reaper tentacles to carry that much in one trip.  The other problem is that the tool box is so light, that any one helping my may think they are empty cases and bounce them about carelessly.





Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Edmonton Tripod Salvage Operation


A Headless Body Production

All Quiet on the Martian Front After Action Report: Canadian Steam Squadron vs Martian Tripods
Location: Phil's Basement
Game: All Quiet on the Martian Front
Scenario: Variation of scenario #6, Rescue
Players: Stephen Turn:
Canadian Armoured Squadron
               Phil Gardocki: Marvin's Martians



The Forces: "Monty’s Pythons", the 2nd Squadron*, 12th "Three Rivers” Regiment*, 1st Canadian Armoured Brigade*.  Consisting of 3 Mk III's, 18 Mk II's and 1 clamp tank.  About 1,325 points

Elements of Pod का क्रोध आपका, hive एक पल का क्रोध आपका भविष्य बिगाड सकता है, a total of 6 Assault Tripods, 4 with heavy heat rays, 1 with green gas grenades and one with a black smoke projector.  About 1,200 points.

Scenario:  Tripod Down!  This is a scenario I plan on demoing in the near future.  The short of it is that a lone Martian Tripod had accidentally found an abandoned and flooded mineshaft and sank up to the helmet.  Water quickly shorted out the systems and his last known position was largely unknown to the Martians.  He is discovered by the humans first and the race is on for an opportunity to gather Martian tech or rescue a comrade.

For this scenario, the whole board is considered lightly forested, with the trees on the board representing dense forest.  As such, all the human forces have the stealth rules, which normally apply to just infantry.

The Board:North of Edmonton, deep in the Taiga. 

Deployment:
Humans start with two troops* of tanks next to the immobilized tripod.  Martians roll randomly to arrive on the board edge.

Turn 1:
"Found it," cried Sergeant Chapman, while looking down upon the top of the stricken tripod.
"I wonder why it doesn't float," asked Sergeant Jones? "It is definitely not a witch!"
"That is a shame, we could burn it then."
"Burn it anyway," cried the chorus from the woods!
A twitching reaper tentacle flips the bird at the woods.
At this point, there is the sound of like "Booiinnggg", followed by two tanks bursting into flames.
"Run away", cried the chorus!

Humans are already starting the recovery work with two troops on the scene.
Two assault tripods arrive on turn one.
Twin heat rays lash out destroying two tanks.  Both tank troops fail their morale checks and rout.
Turn 2:
Both troops of tanks flee the board, one of which passed morale at that point and will return. 
Two more tripods arrive, one sporting a green gas gun, and perambulate to the center of the board.  Lacking any targets, one Assault Tripod takes up position near its sunken comrade to start recovery operations.

Marvin the (real) Red Martian slowly crosses the stream, hugging the wood line.  Near by squirrels could hear him mutter, "एक पल का क्रोध आपका भविष्य बिगाड सकता हैअब्च्दे फ़्घिज्क्ल्म्  नोप्क़ु र्स्तुव्व्क्ष् य्श "

Two fresh troops of tanks arrive in addition to the remains of Troop C, firing and but only scoring only a single point hit on a recovering tripod.

Starting recovering operation.
Turn 3:
The tripods now have an abundance of targets, but few shooters as a tripod involved attempting to salvage can't shoot, while the tripod with the green gas grenades was out of range.  But two tripods more arrive on the scene and manage to kill two more tanks.

Reinforced with another tank troop, humans surge forward, guns blazing, but only causing minor damage.
Two Assault Tripods, armed with green gas grenades and black dust on the right flank.

Troops 'A', 'B', and 'C', 2nd Squadron, 12th "Three Rivers” Regiment all line up for their shots.

Troop 'D', the triple armed Mk III's near the woods, and the clamp tank are playing hide and seek with Marvin.

"एक पल का क्रोध आ  पका भविष्य बिगाड सकता हैअब्च्देफ़्घि ज्क् ल्म्नोप्क़ुर्स्  तुव्व्क्ष्य्श "
Turn 4:
The human guns continue to fire massive volleys, but still fail to score any appreciable damage.  A second tripod assists in the recovery operation.  There are now six tripods on the board, none have more than 2 points of damage. 

Two tripods doing recovery.  By scenario rules, neither can shoot of move.

Monty's Pythons fire many shots, but to no avail.
Turn 5:
More volleys fired, no  noticeable damage.

The salvage tripods gather their comrade and start to retreat.  The tripod with the green gas attacks a troop and dissolves two tanks into green goo.  Marvin and another tripod close to sweep range and destroy a troop of triple armed Mk III's.
     
Watching his tank Sybil rapidly dissolve, then catch fire, Sergeant Cleese muttered, "Well maybe that will finally shut her up."

Using green gas grenades, a tripod dissolves 2 tanks into burning goo.
The Larch
Turn 6:

The humans fire one last barrage at their retreating prize and once again failed to score any damage, and we called the game here.

Since this is to be a demo game, and the Martians won without any real problems, I have to question the balance of the scenario.  We will be replaying it soon and make a call.




*Canada and England have different titles for their units than the Americans.  A Canadian Brigade is the equivalent of an American Regiment.   The Canadian Regiment is the equivalent of an American Battalion.  The Canadian Squadron is the equivalent of an American Company.   The Canadian Troop is the equivalent of an American Platoon.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

The Red Martian





The subject of many campfire stories intended to scare new recruits, and, in fact, judged by most senior command as a myth, the Red Martians do actually exist. How or why the Martians with their cold, purely logical, seeming to lack any sign of emotions, modified this Tripod in this way is unknown.  But unlike the Yanks to the south, which has made another horror story out of this peculiarity with disconnected facts, we Canadians have a more reasonable explanation.  

We believe this Martian had a mechanical failure, either through an accident in the rough wilderness, or by some manufacturing error, we can’t say.  But this tripods system had a major failure, leaving the Martian to fend for itself in the Taiga for many days before it was found and rescued by its compatriots.  While in the woods, it would have to feed on the food available, the animal life would have easily fled its presence, leaving only the local flora, quite of few of which have hallucinogenic properties.  

One can only imagine the torment suffered by this beast by interacting with large talking anthropomorphic rabbits, ducks and other animals of the wilderness.  It is amusing to think so.

That the Red Martian is a tormented member of the northern Martians is almost certain.  When seen, it is often heard to be making noises to itself, shooting its heat ray at non military targets, and on rare occasions, striking one, and then doing some sort of celebratory dance.
Introducing, Marvin the Martian.