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.


  1. That was certainly carnage. One hopes Col Virgil Tracey takes over command of the Thunderbirds and plans his advance to provide more cover in future ;)

  2. Just in case you don't know there is a new fan based forum at

  3. Phil,
    Thank you for the AAR posts, they keep the game alive.