Thursday, April 9, 2015

While the Ant(on) is away the House Martin will play

While Anton is off indulging his addiction to obscure stone structures in "Satan's Crotch" (Florida anytime between April1 and December1)  I decided to have a small game or two with my kids.  This first was a simple All Quiet on the Martian Front game with a small Martian force commanded by my 12 year old (2 Scout Tripods and 2 Assault Tripods = 700 points) taking on an entrenched American force commanded by my 7 and 10 year olds (10 preplaced land mines, 3 squads of Heavy Infantry, 1 Machine Gun squad, and 1 Platoon of Baldwin Mark III steamer tanks = 550 points)  There is no point system to account for placed land mines and letting most of the human units to be dug in significantly increasing their staying power so I have the Martians a 20ish% advantage to balance the scenario. 

On Turn 1 the Martians entered the board with two Scout Tripods and fired on a couple of blips but managed to miss completely then continued their advance which forcably revealed the blips one was a Heavy squad and the other a dummy blip. 

For their half of Turn 1the Humans revealed their MG's, and tanks.  The tanks poured all their fire (9 shots) into one of the Scout Tripods.  The MG's and Heavy squad (which put a wall between themselves and the Scout Tripods) poured all their fire into the other Tripod (12 shots).  At this point the freaky dice rolling that happens in every session of this game began.  Out of 12 shots on the one tripod, only 1 hit (they needed anything six or higher on a d10).  This one hit proceeded to penetrate (they needed a 9 or 10 on a d10 roll to penetrate).  The Human player then rolled for effect and rolled an 8 which is the "badly damaged" result, a d10 is rolled and the result is the amount of damage done to the tripod, a 4 was rolled.  Next, the tanks fired nine times at the other tripod needing the same 6+ to hit, only one shot hit.  Then on the roll to penetrate the one hit needed a 8+ to penetrate and rolled a 9.  Finally the human player rolled for effect and got another 8 "badly damaged" result for which another 4 was rolled for actual damage.  Net result both Tripods took four points of damage. 

On turn 2 the Humans won initititive and poured fire on the Martian damaged Tripods.  The same targets were selected for each group.  The Tanks found their range and delivered a devastating volley on their target (4 penetrating hits, two resulting in a total of 12 points of damage and a satisfying explosion.  The MG's and Heavy Infantry fired on the other Scout Tripods again resulting in one penetrating hit (they only needed a 5+ on the penetration roll this time and failed miserably on 8 other hits).  However, they once again rolled an 8 on the damage chart and then a 4 for the actual damage so the second Scout now had 8 points of damage (towards a total possible of 10).  The Martians decided to sacrifice the remaining Scout and advanced it onto two of the landmines after trying to fire on the dug in MG's to no effect.  However the resulting explosions of the landmines had a significant effect blowing up the last Scout Tripod.  This turn the Martians also brought on their two assault Tripods one of which opened fire on the tanks, obliterating one of the Tanks.  The other Assault Tripod, which was on the same side of the wall as the Heavy Infantry, opened fire on the Heavy Infantry and turned them into goo.  The tanks passed the morale test at the end of the Turn. 

Turn 3 the Humans won inititive thanks to the destruction of the two Tripods and opened fire, however the MG's failed to get any penetrations and the Tanks failed to get any hits.  Then the Martians advanced and opened fire.  They also failed to get any hits except on another dummy blip wen shooting at the MG's.  However they Assault Tripods managed to destroy a second Tank with their single shot at the tanks.  Unfortunately, for the Humans the tanks failed their morale test. 

On Turn four the Humans again managed to win initiative and had to retreat the last tank off the board.  A Second squad of Heavy Infantry revealed themselves dug in along the wall near the departing tanks and the machine Guns and all in range stands of Heavy nfantry let loose a volley on one of the Assault Tripods.  The MG's managed one hit.  The lonely hit managed to penetrate (they needed to roll a 10 on a d10 to penetrate).  For the actual damage yet another "8" was rolled.  This time when rolling to determine the amount of damage from the "badly damaged" roll the result was a "10" gutting the Assault Tripod and leaving it with a slim single point of armor remaining.  The gutted assault Tripod retired toward the start edge firing without effect on the MG's.  The undamaged Assault Tripod pressed on toward their objectif the far side of the board firing a desultory sweep at the Heavy Infantry to no effect. 

On Turn Five the Martians finally won initiative.  The gutted Assault Tripod swept the MG's one last time before limping off the field and managed to hit all three MG teams (they needed a 7 instead of the usual 4 because of the prepared positions) and managed to liquify two of the three stands (they needed a 6 instead of the usual 4 because of the positions).  The undamaged Assault Tripod marched on toward the Human edge turning to Sweep the Heavy Infantry hitting two of the three stands (they needed an 8 instead of the usual 5 because of the positions) and sludged one of the two stands hit (they needed a 7 instead of the usual 5 because of the positions).  The undamaged Assault Tripod then marched off the board in victory.  At game end both Human squads damaged failed their morale tests to complete the Humans defeat. 

At Game's End One Martian Assault Tripod was still advancing to its nefarious ends, while one squad of Human Heavy Infantry was left to ponder its options: pursue the damaged Assault Tripod and take some measure of revenge out on its carcass, pursue the advancing Tripod and help the next defensive line, or should they do their best to hold this line and prevent any further break throughs by the Martians?  Only Time will tell. 

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