Jon and I (Steven) were lucky enough to play 2 back to back games of All Quiet on the Martian Front last week, taking the opportunity to both try each side. We decided we'd do a simple scenario: three tripods are attacking length-wise down a board edge, and win if any tripod walks off the edge. They have 6(ish) turns to do so. We approached it loosely as we were more concerned with getting the mechanics down and seeing how everything worked on the table.
The Martian force consisted solely of three Assault Tripods armed only with Heavy Heat Rays. The human force consisted of 2 units of MkII Steam tanks, 1 unit of MkIIb Steam tanks, and 1 command MkIII Steam tank. 2 infantry units and an HMG unit provided squishy support for the steamers.
Finally, because we weren't ready to tackle hidden movement (which we think is essential to human survival!), we took away "orders" from the Martians, but gave the humans 3, which they could use even if the command tank was killed. Essentially, these men had all been informed of the mission, and were ready to execute it! We think this did an okay job of balancing it up, considering we were ignoring one of the humans' biggest strengths.
GAME ONE: Steven plays humans, Jon plays Martians.
D'oh! This isn't Flames Of War where your commander can jump. Remember you have 2 movements- no reason to leave your commander so exposed! A lesson I will not forget. -S
Wow, those things are resilient! The tank guns need a 6 to hit, followed by a 9 or 10 to initially "crack" the tripod's armor. But once they start going down, the rate with which they fall is delightful.
We've been using the term "cracked" to mean lost their first point of armor- making them vulnerable even to small arms.
In the end, 2 tripods are claimed with the third handily escaping.
Honestly, I forgot how mobile this game is. There is NO reason to give away free shots on my tanks like that, and especially not on my command tank! 3 extra shots from the command tank could've been the difference between victory and defeat!
Will save full thoughts for the end. -Steven
GAME TWO: Steven plays Martians, Jon plays Humans.
In this games, the Martians fared a bit better despite Jon getting tons of armor penetrations. If you roll poorly on the Tripod damage chart, they just keep on fighting!
Steven: We keep using the term "simple", and we mean it as a compliment! The game does exactly what it says on the tin, and plays quickly to boot. We got these two games in in under 2 hours. It's very fluid, quick playing, and exciting. Rolling on the Tripod damage chart is so tense and exciting- lookin' for that lucky 10! We messed a few rules up, as we are prone to do in our first outing. Namely, we totally forgot about initiative. Secondly, we allowed routed US units to rally at the board edge if successful- in fact they leave the board and enter reinforcements. Next game we need to try the hidden units rules, which really seem to help the humans. For our first outing, I had a great time and absolutely look forward to playing many more games! Back to the painting desk!
Jon: I really like the Move-Shoot-Move game mechanic! It makes for quite a fluid and fast-moving game of maneuver. On the US side, I think that having a more mixed force would be an advantage, with the tanks getting the initial hits on the Martians and the MGs taking them down. Using the infantry to contain seemed to be a nice tactic, especially with the ability to shoot over them at the Martians. Overall, a neat game and I look forward to playing again.