Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Battle of Mullan Pass

A Headless Body Production

The Battle of Mullan Pass

Location: Garth's Cave
Game: All Quiet on the Martian Front
Players:  Jenny Parker: Mobile forces of Hive Brown 2 ( हीवे ब्राउन २)
               Phil Gardocki: Mobile forces of Hive Brown 2 ( हीवे ब्राउन २)
               Garth Parker, American 8th Armored Brigade

The Forces: As the Martians continue to dominate the center of the United States, natural barriers must be leveraged to force the invaders to unfavorable exchanges.  The largest barriers are the Rocky Mountains and the Mississippi River.  The 8th Armored Brigade has been assigned to defend Mullan Pass in Montana.

The 8th Armored is well equipped to defend this point, but the Martians have also had years to build up their resources.

Scenario:  This is a Martian reconnaissance mission to test one of the many passes through the Rockies.  If any pass can be forced, they will swarm the defenders behind these forbidding mountains.

The Board: Mullan Pass  Mullan Pass      Montana     5,223 ft
1592 m     46.6444°N 112.3147°W     Train (Northern Pacific Railway 1883) and gravel road in Helena National Forest.
Close up view of the Mullan Pass.
The Martians are exiting the pass in 3 different locations.  The Americans are in full deployment, and supported by both tower forts and with the newfangled Tesla gun.

The view from the coaling station.  Note the four tower fortresses.
The sun rises on the tripod horrors now exiting the pass.
The 8th Armored is ready.  They have advantages of fortresses, artillery behind the reverse slope, and terrain cover for their infantry.  The lake will also limit the Martian approaches. 

Turn 1:
The Americans have the initiative and elect to go first.

The Artillery has a very long range, and cause a hit before the Martians can step off.
The shorter range tanks step off their marks to approach.
The Martians exiting the far ravine are moving full out.  The closer ones, however are more cautious, and only move to engage the forts only.

Turn 2:
The Martian commanders are not in sync here.  One commander is going for the Blitzkrieg, while the other is content to destroy the human forces in layers as they approach.

Without the benefit of speed or armor, the Martian Tripod Grenadier drones stay near cover.
Though, this little triad of drones, as bold as brass, is following the rail lines.
The trees are filled with drones.
The Martians have scored a hit on a fortress, disabling the half their guns.  So forward!

Tripods are flooding out of the pass.

Turn 2:
Martians gain the initiative and elect to move first.

The blitzkrieg on the Martian right continues.
The drones are almost in range of the forts.  They will be used for clean-up operations on the human forward positions.
Human ambushes are revealed.  The fortress gun is out on this side, but there are plenty of tanks and infantry for assaults.  A tripod picks up 3 hits in quick succession.

Either heading for cover, or attempting to surround a pod of Martians, a platoon of MK III's tear up the tracks in their advance.
2 more platoons cross the creek to engage the second pod of Martians.

So far, the casualties to the 8th Armored is light.  The dreaded Tesla gun is now fully charged to fire.

Turn 3.
So far, the Martian attack is a disjointed affair.  A relief to the Americans to note that the Martians are not the totally logical thinkers we credit them for.  They have egos and personalities. They can look at the same situation and make different decisions.  But most important, they don't seem to be team players.  This presents opportunities for a defeat in detail as most of the American force is applied to the blitzkrieging pod.

Armed with grappling hooks, grenades and gumption, American infantry bring a tripod is brought down!

A combination of Tesla's gun and artillery damage another Tripod.
Another Tripod diverts his path to head to the center, but finds no relief there either.
The second pod steps up it's advance to engage the American Armor.  But a combination of smoke and steam makes it's shooting inaccurate.
The drones, however, rack up the hits, totally disabling the left tower.
Turn 4:
The Martian continue to hold the initiative.

Scorpion drones assault the MK III's, killing 2, the third is destroyed by the normal drones.
The Human infantry was dusted and killed by black dust.  Nearby tanks also took heavy casualties to the weapon.
Two sweeps of a heat ray and another platoon is gone.

Then, as quickly as they arrived, the Martian Tripods, turned as one and departed.  The Human casualties, though heavy, were sustainable.  Reserve tanks were already being crewed by surviving men.  The Martians themselves were not defeated.  3 Tripods were brought down, but not enough to cause dismay among their ranks. 

So what was this?  A test of resolve?  A probe?  Perhaps a holiday, and they grabbed some snapshots to take home? 


  1. Great report, thanks for sharing. Clever use of the blue cardboard to represent lakes.

    What are the blue styrofoam blocks? Did I miss their description in the report?

  2. They are works in progress and will be eventually be dead tripod markers.