Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Dawn Burns over Tennessee - All Quiet on the Martian Front AAR

Autumn has arrived and Halloween has passed, which means it's time for Fall In!

I signed up for four games over Friday and Saturday, and picked up a few items here and there from the exhibitor hall. 

My first game of the convention was a personal favorite: All Quiet on the Martian Front!

Set up as a "classic" brawl between Americans and Martians that would have been typical during the Second Martian Invasion, both sides consisted of relatively straightforward forces. 

The Martians had three Assault Tripods (one armed with Black Dust, another with Green Gas) and six Scout Tripods. 

The Americans had a reinforced infantry company (with three infantry squads and a machine gun squad per platoon), two platoons of Mk. III Steamers, three platoons of Mk. II Steamers, and a platoon of Steamer Artillery. 

The American infantry was deployed hidden, scattered across the battlefield, with some false "blips" thrown in to keep the Martians guessing.

The game would last six turns, with both sides attempting to break the other (I believe the Martians needed to lose 9 units, while the Americans needed to lose 15). 

As the attackers, the Martians came surging forward, revealing infantry and MG pickets hidden in the woods and buildings. 

Another MG squad was revealed by the Scout tripods. 

The Martian advanced was checked by concentrated steamer firepower, combining the mobile artillery's barrage and the steamers' 4" guns. Scratch one tripod!

One the flank in front of me, the Martians were using the move-fight-move turn order to sweep in, burn out the infantry with their lasers, and then fall back outside of the infantry's range. 

I did forget that the MG's had a 20" instead of 15" like the infantry squads, so I lost two MGs before I was able to fire with them. 

The second Assault tripod went down to the massed 4" guns of the Americans...

As did a Scout tripod on my flank...

And another Scout was taken out! Along with a squad on infantry, but that's a pretty worthwhile trade. 

Confident with their hot dice and the sudden lack of tripods in front of them, the Americans began to advance and press their advantage. 

Two squads of Rough Riders also managed to entangle the single remaining Assault tripod with their tow cables, before speeding off to try and avoid the patrolling Scouts.

Of course, that put the American tanks in the perfect position to be ambushed! Two steamer tanks were destroyed.

The Rough Riders were also slain, with their retreat suddenly cut off by Martian reinforcements.  

My platoon of Mk. III Steamers, which I hadn't been able to get into the fight, were routed and wiped out by the new Assault tripod. 

The American advanced was suddenly checked, with three rampaging tripods in their flank. 

I pulled my steamers back, concentrating fire on the Assault tripod. I managed to damage it's armor, but the Martian war machine kept coming. 

In the center and on the American right, the humans were able to better maintain their lines. 

American infantry attempted to launch assaults against one of the Scout tripods with their Forlorn Hope squads, but the explosive packages turn out to be duds, and the infantry were forced to retreat back to their cover. 

The Assault tripod was felled, but at the cost of one of the American command steamers and 2/3rds of a Mk. II platoon. 

A second infantry assault against a Scout tripod was launched...

With much better results!

The other Mk. III platoon was having much better luck, destroying a Scout platoon in the last turn of the game. 

And here's the table at the end! You can see that the American left flank (my command) had pretty much collapsed, and I had another steamer platoon were routing. However, the Americans had a good command of the center and their right flank. 

Having lost most of their attacking force, the Martians were forced to retreat. The Americans had suffered quite a lot in return, but were in overall better shape. 

This was a fun game overall, and a great start to the weekend!

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