Monday, April 10, 2017

The Second Battle of Mullan Pass, Pt 1

A Headless Body Production
Location: Garth's Cave
Game: All Quiet on the Martian Front
Players:  Garth Parker: Mobile forces of Hive Brown 2 ( हीवे ब्राउन २)
                Jenny Parker, American 6th Special Armored Battalion, Captain G.S. Patton, Commanding.
             Phil Gardocki, The American 8th Armored Brigade, and the Canadian expatriate unit, Monty's Pythons.

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, Major General Frederick Funston, MoH, commanding, 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.

The Martians had been successful in clearing the pass in two previous battles, but for reasons known only to them, have withdrawn both times.  Giving the Americans time to repair and reinforce the position.  Recent additions include the 224th and 163rd Artillery Batteries, the 6th Special Armored Battalion, Captain G. S. Patton commanding, and the remains of the Canadian 2nd Squadron, 12th "Three Rivers” Regiment, 1st Canadian Armoured Brigade, aka, "Monty's Pythons, Privit Major Palen, commanding.

Scenario:  The Martians continue to perform reconnaissance missions throughout the Rockies.  If any pass can be forced, they will swarm the defenders behind these forbidding mountains.

The Board: Mullan Pass, Montana, 5,223 ft 1592 m     46.6444°N 112.3147°W     The railway is the Northern Pacific Railway, laid in 1883, along with a gravel road into the Helena Forest.

I am going to use all flash photography, it allows for sharper images up close, but darker in the distance.  Let me know your thoughts.
The defenses of Mullan Pass.  The American 6th Special Armored Battalion supported by 104th Mobile Artillery Battery, is on the left side of the tracks. 
The American 8th Armored Brigade, with the remains of "Monty's Pythons" is mostly on the right side of the tracks. 
The Martians from  हीवे ब्राउन २ deploy just out of range of the forward towers.
The tripod's eye view.
Turn 1:
The Martians roll the high die for initiative, and elect to move first.
Having been warned that the Martians were coming from air reconnaissance, the Steam Tanks have their boilers up to pressure and move out.
Captain Patton's Mk IV special is standing by.
Once a force to be reckoned with, now reduced to a single platoon, the Canadian 2nd Squadron, 12th "Three Rivers” Regiment pulls up to the rear.
It is hoped by the defenders that this might be a false alarm, or even just a diversion.  This hope is dashed as the shadows in the mists solidify into a solid phalanx of Martian Tripods. 
At least 11 tripods
With drones supporting. 
The Martian attack seems to be coordinated.  The seemed to be willing to spend the time to peel back the layers of the human defenses.  Heat rays reach out to the forward towers.  The concrete proves to be proof for now, as all the towers are unscathed.

Turn 2:
The crews of the outer towers know they have a short life expectancy.  Fire a couple of shots, then head for the bunkers deep in the basement.

A Tripod figure advances to a copse of trees, its legs covered by vegetation. 
But that only focuses the tower's shots on the more important crew cabin.

And the power systems that drive the war machine.
Where it explodes like a container full of Samsung Galaxies.

Breaking the 4th wall too much?
The forest has be shredded to so much kindling.
The Americans get little time to celebrate as the Martians make quick work of the forward towers.
Turn 3:
In the past, we keep forgetting about the command points, leaving most "on the table" at the end of the game.  Today we are focusing on using them to "double time" the troops.  Both Patton and Tesla line up good shots.  Patton scores a hit on the Assault Tripod on the edge of the table.  Tesla wiffs his to hit roll with a 1.
The first platoon of steam tanks approach to maximum range.
Lots of shots fired, but the Americans are having trouble getting tanks in range.  The terrain is just terrible to work around.  The MK III's of the 6th Special Armored Battalion take a hit and rout.  Just as they clear the tree's they see Patton, who is also a command tank, and with two command points are immediately rallied.

Turn 4:
Recognizing a prima donna when they see one, almost every Tripod in range focuses on Patton's Mk IV.  Disabling it.
Headless of the wreckage, the Tripods continue to advance.  The forward guns of all the towers are out, and they can now focus on the comparatively weaker MK II's
Almost all the Tripods have hits on them now though.  One has a mobility hit, another a weapons hit.
Tesla takes turn 3 off to recharge his Inductor-Capacitor (LC) circuits to 2 dice, and fires again.  And again he rolls a 1.
Foolish humans, your weapons are useless!  (says the Tripod with the mobility hit)
The Recon Tripod, left side has had a charmed life.  Fired on by side tower guns, assaulted by Infantry, it just keeps taking one hit at a time.  But you can tell, all the Tripods have hits, and on the human side, their only loss was Patton's Mk IV.
Turn 5:
The initiative swings, and the Americans get a double fire. Using the American Industrial Might rule, Captain Patton gets into another Mk IV tank, and arrives on the field.

Another Tripod goes down.  The two on the left each pick up another hit.
Infantry stands ready with grenades for another charge.  The Recon Tripod has a weapon failure, and it's armor is down to 7.  with +2 for grenades, assaulting it is a viable option.
Against the 6th Armor, not a lot is going on.  One Assault Tripod has a mobility hit, and is getting 3 shots on it a turn by a platoon of steam tanks, that then retreat out of range.  The other is trading shots with another platoon of steam tanks in the woods.
Green gas is unleashed on the Machine-Gunners.  The last squad passes his morale check.
A sweep of a heat ray, and another two tanks are sent to oblivion. 
The view from the south side of the pass.
At this time the game was called, but will resume in two weeks.  Stay tuned!