Friday, June 26, 2015

Saving Captain Lawrence

A Headless Body Production

All Quiet on the Martian Front After Action Report: Canadian Steam Squadron vs. Martian Tripods
Location: Sloan Clubhouse, Phoenixville, PA
Game: All Quiet on the Martian Front
Scenario: Variation of scenario #6, Rescue
Players: Garth Parker:
Marvin's Martians
Bruce Potter: 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 MG Company, a troop of Mounties, 3 Mk III's, and 12 Mk II's.  

Elements of Pod का क्रोध आपका, hive एक पल का क्रोध आपका भविष्य बिगाड सकता है, a total of 7 Tripods, 4 with heavy heat rays, 1 medium heat ray, one with green mist grenades and one with a black smoke projector.  

Scenario:  Canadian: The British war hero, Captain T. E. Lawrence, also known as Tł'é'na'áí to the Apache, was reassigned to Canada to train the Inuit’s in the same tactics of the Apache.  But his plane was seen to crash in the Canadian Taiga, and flares launched from that area imply he has survived, but have attracted the attention of both rescuers and the enemy.

Martian: Investigate the flying machine.  One of the human flying machines has flown near the newly established hive, ध आपका, and later seen to crash.  A war pod has been sent out to investigate the flying machine to see how far the human technology has advanced.  

Victory Conditions:
Humans: Major victory if Captain Lawrence survives.
               Minor victory if Martians are forced to withdraw.

Martians: Major victory if they defeat the humans and possess the airplane.
                Moderate victory if they just possess the airplane, and capture its crewmen.
                Minor victory if they just possess the airplane, or capture its crewmen.

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

Both sides start with all forces off board and roll randomly for arrival areas.
The Taiga near Edmonton, Canada.  In addition to the obvious terrain present, the board is to be considered entirely brush and low cover strewn.  Providing additional cover to human infantry, but not vehicles.  The center piece of White Birch trees has the crashed biplane in it's midst. 
Turn 1:    
 Captain Palin started the briefing, "Men, I'll be brief.  That great British war hero, and star of the American cinema, Captain Lawrence, has been lost."
Sounds of shock and awe rose from the crowd, punctuated by "That Pommy!"  
 "We believe he is alive and I have sent Dennis Moore ("That Commie!) and his Royal Canadian Mounted Police to scout the area.  After all, they always get their man!"
Knowing titters from the crowd.
"So when they signal with their flares they have found something we will ride out and rescue him."
"Won't the Martians see the flares too," asked sub private Baldrick?
"Yes, that is why we are sending out the tanks, and not just the local police, this is no walk in the woods", replied Captain Palin.
"Actually, this is the Canadian Taiga, and it is kind of what they had in mind when they invented the word, woods", chipped in Sergeant Idle.

The Scenario rules stipulate that the Martians have the initiative on turn one, and move first.
The Martian's hive Reconnaissance Tripod and an Black Dust Projecting Assault Tripod arrive first on the scene of the crash.  On their second move, the Recon Tripod is already at the crash site.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police also arrive on the scene, hidden by the dense trees.  Also present is a squad of infantry, which cannot be seen.
  Turn 2:
Both sides have forces on the board, but neither have been spotted as of yet.  But that is about to change.  The humans gain the initiative.  Two additional troops arrive on the board while the Royal Canadian Mounted Police race forward with their TOW cables and double entangle the Recon Tripod!  The infantry troop still cannot be seen.
Steam Tank Troops 'A' and 'B' arrive,and are well concealed behind cover.  A good match for two tripods.

Tally Ho!  The RCMP assault and successfully put two immobilize tokens on the Recon Tripod.

Captain Lawrence hears the noise of the two stroke engines and races out from cover where he has been hiding.
He hops on the back of one of the motorcycles and they race off!  Mission accomplished!  I have run this scenario 4 times, and never has Captain Lawrence been picked up so soon.

Martian reserves arrive and attempt to cut off the RCMP.  The Recon Tripod is using his reaper cables to recover the Biplane.
 One tripod releases his black smoke, suffocating two sections.  The newly arrived tripods raise their heat rays,
and send the last section and Captain Lawrence to oblivion.
The Larch

Turn 3:
The Martians have the initiative, and bring on their 3 remaining tripods. Due to concealment and range, none of the tripods can bring their weapons to bear.
Four of the fighting machines cluster around the biplane, and cover the gaps in the trees.
Two troops of steam tanks pull out from behind their cover and shoot.  With the Mk III's 3 gun configuration that's 12 dice,  scoring 2 hits, with damage rolls of 7 (Fire control) and an 8(roll D10 for damage).
Turn 4:
The Martians keep the initiative and move forward taking shots at whatever is peeking out from the woods.  The Recon Tripod has recovered the biplane, but is unwilling to shake off the tow cables wrapped around it.

The Humans bring on their Machine Gun platoon, but it cannot be seen.

The tripods decide to fight for the center.  Their remaining
Two tripods may be damaged, but this is an daunting formation to face.

Lieutenant Cleese riding "Sybil", Sergeant Manuel on "Harsh Language", and the unaccredited extra bravely face the peril.

2nd Squadron, 12th "Three Rivers” Regiment is in full cry!  "Bows and arrows against the lightning," commented one of the Machine gunners, which still could not be seen.

The shell burst clean in the face of the Thing. The hood bulged, flashed, was whirled off in a dozen tattered fragments of red flesh and glittering metal.
Turn 5:
The Martians keep the initiative.  The humans have bloodied them and have only lost one tank in return.

Shots traded, but little effect.  Two assault tripods have fire control problems, one has mobility control problems, and the recon tripod is immobilized.

At this time the narrator and photographer had to run an errand to pick up his son, hard at work in the local salt mines.  To simulate this you can leave this page and surf the web for a while then come back in about 30-35 minutes.  We will then skip forward to turn 7.
Turn 6
The Martian player is thrashing the woods looking for the cameraman of the biplane as that is one of their scenario's victory conditions.  And they find him! Securing a moderate victory.   The humans score no hits at all.

Turn 7
The Martians keep the initiative.  The heat rays are brought to bear in broad sweeps, destroying men and machines.  When it was over, Troops 'A' (the Mk III's) and 'B' (Mk II's) had been eradicated. 
Turn 7 (second half)
"Sergeant Chapman, what are you doing?" shouted Captain Palin.
Sergeant Chapman stopped, and puffing mightily, threw a proper salute, "Sir, I just had an interesting conversation with the man from scene 24, Sir!"
"And what did he say, as I recall, he was a strange fellow."
Sergeant Chapman's eyes rolled upward, as if recalling the scene in his mind, "Stop!  Who would cross the Bridge of Death must answer me these questions three, 'ere the other side he see."  Then, looking pleased with himself, he stood at half attention.
Confused, Captain Palin asked, "What does that mean Sergeant?"
"I don't know sir, I would have asked but I was afraid he would throw me into the Gorge of Eternal Peril."
Captain Palin shook his head, "Sergeant, just get into Patsey, the intermission is over."
"YES SIR, MOUNTING PATSEY NOW SIR!" shouted Sergeant Palin repeated the order with necessary loudness.  He then jumped to the nearby steam tank and hopped inside.

The Martian approached the bridge.  He was met by the man from scene 24.  "Stop!  Who would cross the Bridge of Death must answer me these questions three, 'ere the other side he see." stated the bridge keeper.  He then asked, "What is your favorite color?"  The tripod raised its heat ray and ululated "UUUULLLLAAAAAAA", then looked puzzled, and blew up.

The bottom half of turn 7 was bad for the Martians as well.  Another movement control hit.  Two tripods are down, and only two are fully functioning. 

The Machine gunners reveal themselves, to good effect, taking full credit for destroying a tripod, and damaging others.

The infantry squad, now revealed, makes a futile attempt to assault the tripod with grenades.

Only 5 steamers remains as the sun begins to set.
Turn 8:
The game ends on turn 8.  The Martians have the initiative again.

The infantry get dusted with black dust.  They lose two sections, but pass their morale check.

Marvin sweeps Troop 'B', killing two tanks, but they also stay on the board. 

In a last great act of defiance, the humans focus all their attention on Marvin.  Three 4 inch cannons, and 9 machine gun rolls bounce of his armored hide.  They all missed and as the sun sets, we have a Martian victory.

*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.  One element could be a Section.

The Larch