Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Nell's First Date

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: Dump the Box!
Players: Stephen Turn, Garth Parker:
Marvin's Martians
               Phil Gardocki, Bruce Potter:
Canadian 2nd Armoured Squadron

The Forces: "Monty’s Pythons", the 2nd Squadron, 12th "Three Rivers” Regiment*, 1st Canadian Armoured Brigade.  Consisting of 5 Infantry Company's, a MG Company, command stand, a troop of Mounties,  3 Field Guns, An Anti-Tripod Gun, 6 Mk III's, 12 Mk II's, a clamp tank and Nell.  About 2,290 points

Elements of Pod का क्रोध आपका, hive एक पल का क्रोध आपका भविष्य बिगाड सकता है, a total of 11 tripods, 7 Assault, 2 Grenadier, a Slaver and a Scout, supported by 9 Drones and 9 Lobototons.  About 2190 points.  

Scenario:  I am in the finishing stages of my second wave delivery and a few pieces I bought around Fathers Day.  This greatly up scaled both sides adding four more tripods, two batteries of guns, four units of infantry, three more steam tanks and the centerpiece, a Land Ironclad, affectionately named "Nell".  For a humorous back story of Nell, click here.

We were using some of the guidelines outlined in scenario two, "Bunker."  The Humans deploy everyone on the board.  The Martians deploy on the board edge, with up to half their tripods available in reserve.

The Board:Fort Edmonton, 155 acres of recently cleared area in western Canada.
Humans have all their units on the board.  Some 18 blips have been place to represent hidden infantry units.

Having the advantage of seeing the deployment, and seeing the specs of Nell's "Big 12 inch", the Martians put half their forces in reserve and hide the rest.  The only obvious forces are the drone/lobototon horde and the Scout Tripod.

View from Nell's port hindquarter.  Of the tripods in the distance, only 3 are actually on the board.  The Spanish Inquisition is behind the coaling station.
Drone/Lobototon horde deployed, with Grenadier and Scout Tripods.  Mk II's are hidden behind the wood.

Anti-Tripod and Field Guns, with men standing by. 
This is the long view.  Clamp Tank, Anti-Tripod gun, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Field guns and 4 troops of Seam Tanks.
Captain Palen stepped out from his tent, shaking his head at all the telegrams that had arrived overnight.
There were messages from the American Ambassador, (calling us thieves), a faux legal opinion from the British, (Damn, why can't you colonist's just get along?) and the most polite wording for "Up Yours" he had ever seen that was the response of the Canadian Ambassador.

He looked up at the cause of all the kerfuffle, there, 80 feet up, was Thomkinson.  "Thomkinson!", he called, "What are you doing?"

The sweaty man snapped to attention and threw an exaggerated salute, while the boiler room personnel, "Sooties" made a hasty retreat to the interior of the monstrosity that was Nell.  

"Sir, I am following your orders, Sir!"

"Which orders Thomkinson?"

"Returning Nell to where I found her sir!", responded the Junior Subaltern, "We are filling up the bunkers with the coal needed, Sir!"

"And do you have enough coal, Thomkinson."

"Not as such, sir."

"How much do you have, Thomkinson?"

"The Sooties think with a full bunker we can make Vegreville, or maybe Wainwright, Sir!" 

"And that would be.", Captain Palen prodded, now worried because those names were familiar to him.

"Half way to Saskatchewan, Sir."  

"How much coal will that take Thomkinson?"

"All of it, Sir."

"I see.  Thomkinson?"


"Suspend that for now.  We have come to realize that it will take all the available coal in three provinces to return, "Nell" to the Yanks.

Turn 1:
The Martians have the initiative.  Most of their Assault Tripods are off board seeking a flank march.  The Scout Tripod moves forward to use, for the first time at this table, it's illuminator.  Two Grenadiers then lay out a barrage of shock rounds onto the Land Ironclad, Nell.  Just to see the effectiveness.  Nell was unharmed, but the hidden movement counter under her was revealed to be a phoney.  The Assault Tripods also managed to destroy one of the Field Guns.  The Martians did their best to then pull back behind the cover of the

Then it was the humans turn.  The Martians had only managed to destroy a Field Gun, but then ducked for cover, almost.

Nell surged forward, moving full speed, a full 4 inches.  The big 12 inch "Super heavy" gun found a target and squeezed off a round.  Boom, the first shot exploded a tripod.  A most splendid portent for the new model.
The view from the Nell's starboard bow.
Replacing a tripod with a smoke marker.

I have to admit it, Garth took this one well.
The remaining shots missed their targets.  On to bound 2!

Turn 2:

The Martian drone/lobototon horde moved forward.  The disquieting jerkyness of the no-longer- human lobototons offering a quiet contrast against the smooth gliding motion of the drones.

The Grenadier Tripods fire again, assisted by the illumination of the Scout Tripod, and take out two elements of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and another Field Gun.  Both units however passed their morale checks and stayed on the board.

The remains of the RCMP hug a wall.  The surprise is the Anti-Tripod gun, far right, has a shorter range than the field gun, forward above.
The last Field gun destroys the Scout Tripod, blinding the Grenadier Tripods.
The 12" gun misses, but the 7" gun doesn't.  Scratch the Slaver Tripod, and with it, the entire Drone and Lobototon horde.
Turn 3:
So far the humans have had this all their way.  3 tripods destroyed, and major forces defanged.  It is making me question the value of the Land Ironclad, that at 750 points, compared to 200 for an Assault Tripod, it is too cheap.

The Martians maintain the initiative, and bring on a replacement Scout Tripod.  That should keep the Grenadiers in action.  They use their shock rounds on a unit of Mk II Steam Tanks, destroying two and causing the third to flee.

The Larch.
Two Mk II's gone, the third is leaving.
One of the flanking Assault Tripods is brought on early.
Turn 3:
The Humans gain the initiative, but have no targets to shoot at.  The Martians manage to get a cheap shot on a unit of Mk III Steam Tanks.  Destroying one, and the others of his troop flee to near the board edge.
Largely uninvolved till now, the remaining tanks get a taste of the heat ray.
Nell continues to move forward, but the Martians cannot be seen.
The only target is the Guinness Stout.
Turn 4:
The humans keep the initiative, but have no targets.  The tanks start to charge across the board.  The Martians peek out, shoot, then scoot, picking off a tank or two.

The Steam Tanks of the 2nd Squadron, 12th "Three Rivers” Regiment charge across the board.

Steadily advancing, Nell reaches the Mill Creek.  Be vaweee, vaweee, quiet, wee are hunting Machens.
Turn 5:
The Humans keep the initiative.  But once again are frustrated by a lack of targets.  The Tripods sense an opportunity, and leap out within sweep range, and flash their heat rays over and over the 2nd Squadron.

Nell creates a impromptu dam while crossing Mill Creek.

The plucky Clamp Tank takes the bridge.  The thought is I'll grab one of the tripods and hold it still.

Turn 6:
The Martians gain the initiative, effectively giving them a double turn.  They leap out again, and sweep the tanks of 2nd Squadron, destroying most of them.  With that, more than half of 2nd Squadron knocked out of action, the Martians are declared a winner!

In just two turns, the proud Canadian tank force is turned to rubble.

With only the Buzzards remain to morn their passing.
This fight was quite a turnaround from the beginning, so we'll give the Martian players another victory photo.
*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.

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