Thursday, September 17, 2015

The Cylinder

A Headless Body Production
All Quiet on the Martian Front After Action Report: BEF vs. Marvin's Martians.
Location: Phil's Basement
Game: All Quiet on the Martian Front
Scenario: Scenario 3: The Cylinder.
Players: Stephen Turn: BEF

               Phil Gardocki:

The Forces: The British Expeditionary Force, AKA the Thunderbirds, commanded by Colonel Jeff Tracy.  On assignment to Canada to gather information on Martian hives and determine effectiveness of British Technologies.  6 Monotanks, 3 Kitcheners, 6 Imperials, 3 Defiants, 3 Spectors, 6 "Tommy" Tanks, a heavy coil gun,supported by 7 squads of infantry armed with coil rifles and machine-guns.  About 2,000 points in 17 units.

Elements of Pod का क्रोध आपका, hive एक पल का क्रोध आपका भविष्य बिगाड सकता है, with 9 Assault, Tripods, and 3 constructor engines, represented by slaver and grenadier tripods.  A total of 12 units at about 2,050 points

Scenario:  Scenario 3, The CylinderA Martian cylinder fell off course and landed in human controlled territory.  The humans must destroy the Cylinder while it is helpless and before Martian war-machines can arrive and protect it.

The Board:The Matejka farm, near the village of Ponoka, Canada.

The Martians start with the Cylinder and 3 constructor engines on the board, the tripods all start off board.  Each tripod or unit must roll 6+ to enter the board, with a 9+ required to come on the board shooting.  All the humans enter the board on turn one.

Opening Dialog:
Colonel Jeff Tracy, OBE, KCB, put down his Zeiss glasses with satisfaction.  "Well", he thought, the boffins got one right for once.  He was certain he was on another wild goose chase that had his Thunderbirds running all over Canada for weeks.  When the telegraph stated that Sir George Howard Darwin, KCB, FRS, using is 36 inch Cambridge scope, observed the shot from the launch site on Mars and calculated where a cylinder would land, and that it would be a hundred miles from the nearest hive, he didn't believe it.  Then they saw the streak last night and have been bombarded with excited Inuit scouts all morning leading them to the location, and there it is.  Fresh for the taking.

Still, as fast as they converged, the Martians were faster.  The new cylinders didn't have to unscrew to open, but now just have hinged doors, and already there was some activity in the vicinity.  Small squat tripods that he had no identification for.  Well, he wasn't going to sit and observe what they they do in the wild.  He'll ship the debris back to Cambridge and let the boffins work it out.

He pitied the BEF Forces in India though.  That French Astronomer,  Baillaud, using is 20" Pic du Midi scope put the Cylinder down near Kasimir.  Must have been using the metric system.  Good luck finding it there.!

He looked to his Gunner, who had his wireless headphone set on.  "Ray, send the word that we are moving in."

"Yes sir, Mr. Tracy", Ray replied, and into the wireless microphone he shouted, "Thunderbirds are GO!"
The Cylinder.  Not a week old and freshly painted.  The Grenadier and Slaver Tripods are subbing in for Constructor Engines.

Matejka farm off in the distance.

View from the Martian side of the board.  Nothing in sight but a few fields.
Turn 1:
The BEF roars onto the board.  Taking advantage of no descernable enemies about, the commander orders double time for most of his tank squadrons, spending 8 of his 10 command chips.
All tanks in range open fire on the half buried Cylinder, but fail to do more than knock on the door.
The Martian response was for the construction engines to start building Sentinels, which we are using drones to represent.

BEF Imperial, Kitcheners and Mono Tanks plow the fields on the right.

View from the middle with Armored Cars and more Imperial Tanks charging forward.

On the left, more Monotanks, supported by Tommy Tanks.

Turn 2:
The humans have the initiative.  So far this is a no brainer.  One enemy combatant is on the board, a Sentinel.  It is ignored in an effort to get hits on the Cylinder.  Only the Imperials have the plus 4 power needed to penetrate the thick walls (14) outright.  The rest of the army is simply opening up all guns looking for a double 0 needed to damage the thing. The Imperials instead roll a double 1's, disabling the guns of two of their heavy tanks till they can be repaired.  But one is successful, and the Cylinder armor is now reduced to 13.

Quick marching along with the triple firing Kitcheners and the Quadruple firing Monotanks.

The only problem with the BEF is establishing firing lanes.  That little gap between the Imperials and the Kitcheners is for the Coil Gun unlimbered back at the farm to shoot through.

Steve hasn't broken out the BEF since March, so I understand the desire to "Dump the Box"

Everybody shoots.  One point of damage.
Bottom of turn 2:
Martians roll for reinforcements and two come on the board.  One can move and shoot, the other just move.  The Constructor engines build two more Sentinels.  Two heat rays sweep the tank formations.
Attracted by the noise, two fighting machines arrive to defend the Cylinder.
The human cries of exultation falter on the BEF's lips as two sweeps of the heat ray destroy five tanks.

Turn 3:
The humans have the initiative.  The pile up and jockey for position all vying for a shot on the Cylinder.  Unfortunately, of their three surviving Imperial Tanks, only one can shoot as the others have unrepaired gun damage.

The view from the Matejka farm.
The BEF decide to keep the Martian combatants to a manageable level and obliterate two Sentinels and two constructor engines.  And managed to cause another point damage on the Cylinder, bringing it down to 12.
The right side tripod has movement damage.
On the left there were some shots on the tripod, but no damage.
The Martians only successfully roll to bring on one tripod of the seven remaining as reinforcements.  With only one constructor engine left, they build a heat ray fence. At the bottom of the turn, the Martians have a total of three shots.  One missed, One destroyed the last Kitchener. And one sweep picked up 6 infantry stands. 

Turn 4:
Despite losing 4 units, the BEF still holds the initiative.  Bringing down a tripod, destroying the last constructor engine, and bring the Cylinders armor value down to 8.

The Monotanks now fired simultaneously, decapitating a fighting machine. The Martian inside the hood was slain, splashed to the four winds, and the body, nothing now but an intricate device of metal, went whirling to destruction

The BEF forms a firing line in front of the bodies of 3 squads of infantry.

More tripods arrive, adroitly picking up firing positions, destroying four more tanks.
Turn 5:
The BEF maintains the initiative.  The choice is to go for the tripods that are slaughtering the BEF, or the Cylinder, which is the victory conditions.
With only 8 points of armor, the BEF goes for the Cylinder.
The two remaining Tommy Tanks fire, and miss.
The Infantry's coil gun shoots and scores! The Cylinder now has seven points of armor.
The Montanks fire 12 shots and scores! The Cylinder now has six points of armor.
The two Imperial tanks fire twice and now the Cylinder now has five points of armor.
Two more Infantry's coil gun shoot, but miss.
The Defiants fire their guns and hit!  The Cylinder now has four points of armor.
The Spectors use their machine-guns score multiple hits!  The Cylinder now has three points of armor.
The last of the Monotanks fire and score multiple hits!  The Cylinder now has two points of armor.
It is down to the MG Squad, with 9 shots at plus 1 power.  Four hits penetrate, giving them a plus 3 on the damage roll and...

End Game.

I dumped the box on my smoke and damage markers here.

And another view.
The explosion ripped across the battlefield knocking down Monotank and men.  Colonel Tracy was about to switch targets onto the advancing tripods, when, inexplicably, they turned as one and retreated, quickly taking to the trees.  The Monotanks were in total disarray, the infantry in shock, and one of his Imperial tanks still had a gun malfunction.  He judged it a miracle.

Friday, September 4, 2015

The Second Battle For Fort Edmonton.

A Headless Body Production

All Quiet on the Martian Front After Action Report: Monty’s Pythons vs Marvin's Martians
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, 9 Mk II's, a clamp tank and Nell.  About 2,440 points

Elements of Pod का क्रोध आपका, hive एक पल का क्रोध आपका भविष्य बिगाड सकता है, a total of 13 tripods, 7 Assault, 2 Grenadier, 2 Slavers and 2 Scouts, supported by 18 Drones and 9 stands of Lobototons.  About 2620 points.  


The Martian expansion has been held in check by the combined Canadian/British/American forces stationed at Fort Edmonton in the far west.  With the arrival of the huge human war machine, the Collective Hive Mind has deemed that it is necessary to attack on the main human base in the area and eliminate the threat before it can be effectively used against them.  By launching several simultaneous spoiler attacks, major forces have been drawn away from the human base. 

The Board:Fort Edmonton, 155 acres of recently cleared area in western Canada. 

Special Rules: Nell, the Land Ironclad misappropriated by malingering forces of the Canadian armed forces has a number of restrictions placed on her.  See the bottom this AAR for details.

The Human player has 3 units of Mk II steamer tanks in reserves.

The Martian player must destroy Nell to win. 
Humans have all  but 3 of their units on the board.  Some 18 hidden movement counters have been place to represent hidden infantry and artillery units.

Having the advantage of seeing the deployment, the Martians decide to go after Nell with their massive number of drones and lobototons, while trying to suppress the mostly hidden humans with the tripods.

That is  a whole lot of tripods.

Even more tripods, led by Marvin the Martian.

Deployment picture, different view.

The Captain strolled the grounds surveying their preparations.  They knew the Martians were mustering and would try to eradicate them soon.  Only a few of the Steam Tanks were in view, the remaining hidden nearby waiting for the signal to arrive.

Trash was left deliberately strewn about, the better to confuse the invaders where the dug in units actually were.  Some of the new body armor had also arrived.  Proof against gas and dust they said, now only if the poor sod's that had to wear it could run more than 200 yards before falling in exhaustion.

Then there was Nell.  He looked up to the top of the great Land Ironclad where their lookouts were stationed.  Highest point in the land, some 80 feet.  Taller than the Martian war machines by a head.  And a lot tougher too.  But it also consumed more coal than all his tanks combined, and used large caliber shells that they didn't have in stock, nor were the Americans inclined to supply right now.  

The noise of an approaching motorcycle interrupted his thoughts.  Sir Dennis Moore, the British liaison recently arrived from England drove up.

Moore turned off his motorcycle  and ran towards Captain Palin, excitedly holding a telegram.

"They are coming, I have just gotten confirmation over the Tele!" he cried.

"What is coming, pray tell? queried Captain Palen, "Medicine, blankets, clothes?"

"No", replied Sir Dennis Moore. 

"Coal, 12 inch rounds for the big gun?" continued Captain Palen.

"No", replied Sir Dennis Moore. 

"Then what?" demanded Captain Palen.

"Lupins!" declared Sir Dennis Moore.

 "Oh Christ!" exploded Captain Palen.

"I thought you liked them." replied an astonished Sir Dennis Moore.

Captain Palen built up to a first class rant, "I'm sick to bloody death of them. We are bloody dying and all you bring us is lupins. All we've eaten mate for the last four bleeding weeks is lupin soup, roast lupin, steamed lupin, braised lupin in lupin sauce, lupin in the basket with sauted lupins, lupin meringue pie, lupin sorbet... we sit on lupins, we sleep in lupins, we feed the cat on lupins, we burn lupins, we even wear the bloody things!"

"Looks very smart." replied  Sir Dennis Moore.

"Merrooww" <Bump>.

 Captain Palen pointed to an object off screen, "Look. The cat's just choked itself to death on them."

Captain Palen was working up for a further rant, but noticed frantic signalling from the watchmen announcing the arrival of even more obnoxious visitors.


Turn 1:
Martians have the initiative.
The drones and lobototons head through the woods, while the tripods try to hide behind them.

Clamp tank hiding behind Mrs. Nesbeth's house.

The heat ray arcs through the forest.  Revealing guns, with men standing by.

Second and third tripods ready to fire.  Two guns are destroyed and the third abandoned by their gunners.

The drones run through the forest.
One shot taken by Nell with her 12" gun, and Marvin is blown off frame and into next week.

Turn 2:
Martians have the initiative.  They advance both tripods and drones.  The tripods reveal and decimate the hidden MG Squad, which routed, to be turned around by a command point.  The Antitripod gun was also revealed, but stood it's ground. 2 of the scorpion drones reach Nell getting a hit, that reduces Nell's armor to 11.

The Assault Tripods positions were cleverly aligned to be totally behind cover from the main batteries of Nell, leaving only a single Reconnaissance Tripod as a sacrificial victim to the heavy guns.  On the right flank, a combination of the Antitripod gun, the MG Squad and an Infantry Squad manage to bring down another Assault Tripod.

Tripods continue to advance with some cover from Nell's big guns.

Some of the faster drones reach Nell.

The other drones are somewhat hung up on Mill Creek.

Having reread the Nell Special Rules, Lieutenant Cleese decides not to face the peril represented by the pile of coal.

Nell fires both her 12" and 7" guns at the Reconnaissance Tripod.  The 12" shell ricochets off of the soft armor, but the 7" finishes the job.
Turn 3:
The humans gain the initiative, effectively having a double shoot and move.
Using the Reserves rule on page 69, the humans bring in 9 reserve Steamer Mk II tanks, surrounding one of the tripods.

"Right", shouted Captain Palen.  "I designate the right most tripod as target 'White Rabbit', Charge!"
The brave knights surrounded and pummeled the hapless tripod till...
"Run away", ordered Captain Palen.  And after recovering his breath asked, "How many did we lose?"
"de More"
"That's three."
"Five sir!"
"And we'd better not risk another frontal assault, that rabbit's dynamite."
"Would it help to confuse it if we run away more?" offered Lieutenant Robin?
"Oh, shut up and go and change your armor." ordered Captain Palen.
"Let us taunt it! It may become so cross that it will make a mistake." added Lieutenant Galahad.
"Like what?"


We fire on 3, 1, 2, BOOM, what the hell was that?  The Tripod detonates, with all the Mk II steamers in its blast radius.  Taking 5 of them with it.

And Nell is not alone!  The Armored Infantry rush out of the woods and assault the drones, trimming their numbers some.

The Martian commander smiling at the results of his blown tripod.

The Clamp Tank uses the hedge as cover while looking for a tripod to grab.
Turn 4:
The Martians take the initiative, effectively having a double shoot and move.
They see an opportunity to demoralize the Canadians by destroying the remaining Mk II's.  But only manage to destroy 1.  The troop passed its morale and stays in the field.  But unknown to the Martians, Nell has run out of 12" ammunition!

The tripods charge but only manage to destroy a single steamer tank.

 Lieutenant Cleese shouted "We have the Holy Hand Grenade!"

Captain Palen mulled this over, "Yes, of course! The Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch! 'Tis one of the sacred relics Brother Maynard carries with him! Brother Maynard! Bring up the Holy Hand Grenade! How does it, uh... how does it work?"

Captain Palen ordered "Consult the book of armaments."

Sergeant Maynard quoted, "Armaments, Chapter Two, Verses Nine to Twenty-One."

Private Brother continued, "And Saint Atila raised the hand grenade up on high, saying, 'Oh, Lord, bless this thy hand grenade that with it thou mayest blow thy enemies to tiny bits, in thy mercy.' And the Lord did grin, and people did feast upon the lambs, and sloths, and carp, and anchovies, and orangutans, and breakfast cereals, and fruit bats, and large --"

Sergeant Maynard swirled his finger, "Skip a bit, Brother."

Private Brother turned the page, moving his lips as he scanned the book before continuing further, "And the Lord spake, saying, 'First shalt thou take out the Holy Pin. Then, shalt thou count to three, no more, no less. Three shall be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shalt be three. Four shalt thou not count, nor either count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out. Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thou foe, who being naughty in my sight, shall snuff it.'"

"Amen." ended Sergeant Maynard.

"Right!" Captain Palen pulled the pin and counted,  "One... two... five!"

"Three sir", corrected Sergeant Galahad.

"Three!" and the grenade was tossed.


Nell discovers that the Lobototons are armed with ratchets and spanners, and are dissembling her one bolt at time.

While a horde of drones are cutting away at the treads.
Turn 5:
The Martians keep the initiative.  The drone and lobototons continue to chip away at Nell's armor, but no critical hits yet. On the right flank, the tripods finish off the Mk II Steamers, while on the left they killed Nell's infantry runners, bringing the Canadian ground forces dangerously close to demoralization.

The Steamer Mk III tanks of Troop 'A', the Mounties and the Clamp tank cross Mill Creek hunting hidden tripods. While the Troop 'E's Mk III trade long range shots on the right flank.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police always get their man, and in this case they are hunting a Grenadier Tripod in the woods.  Troop 'A' targets the other Grenadier.
Troop 'E' faces off against 3 tripods.
Turn 6:
No pictures here.  
Nell's small guns attrit down the lobototon and drone horde accounting for a complete unit of drones.  Her 12" gun shoots a perfect smoke ring at the confused Martians.  But her 7" gun scores a hit on a slaver, with a damage roll of an 8.  That means a reroll for number of armor points and rolls a perfect 10!  The tripod crumbles into a bunch of parts securing the last tripod needed for a win by the Canadians!

Nell Special Rules:
The Canadian-American Alliance has been strained by the Canadian acquisition, either found or stolen, depending on your point of view, of the Landship, “Nell”, otherwise known as “The Spirit of Detroit”, as the Americans have named it.  

The Americans have been putting pressure on Canada to get “The Spirit of Detroit” back, as such there are numerous rules governing its use.

Low Ammunition.
The Americans have refused to provide the 12”, 7” and 5” shells for “Nell”’s guns.  Britain has made shipments of ammunition of all these calibers, but it has yet to reach the Western Canada.

When each of these calibers makes a “to hit” roll that is exactly “1”, that gun is out of ammo.  For the 5” guns, this applies only to the turret in question.  That turret is out of ammo for the next turn, but is restocked by shifting rounds from other turrets.

A gun that is out of ammo may still be target and fire blanks, to try to fool the Martian that it is still functioning.

Low Coal
Nell needs more coal than all the rest of the 2nd Squadron combined, as such, measures have been taken to conserve coal.

Nell is deployed next to the coaling station.  Nell needs to remain there until turn 4 to be fully coaled.  

If a heat ray misses Nell, (I.E. A “to hit” roll of 1 or a 2) the coaling station is hit instead, exploding, causing 5 +4 hits to Nell and everyone else within 6”.  Units at a range of 6.1 to 12” suffer 3 +2 hits instead.

Nell is running on one boiler out of four, it takes time to stoke up the remaining boilers.  As such she moves only 1” on turn 1, 2” on turn 2 and 3” on turn 3.

If not fully coaled, roll a D10 each time Nell moves, or uses the Steam Defense.  On a 1, the coal bunkers are empty, and Nell can only move 1” a turn thereafter.

Skeleton Crew.
The proper crew for the Landship is considerable and Nell hasn’t been fully crewed with trained personnel.

Due to minimal crew available for damage control, all hits on the Damage Chart 6+ are considered critical hits towards the 5 critical hits required for Nell to be considered destroyed.

If a critical gun hit is made, roll the die to determine which gun is hit.  The Martians may reroll that die if they see fit.  The reroll must be kept.  

Cannibalizing units.
             Some of the manpower to crew Nell was taken from infantry units.  

Infantry and Machine Gun unit only gets one additional hidden movement counter instead of two.