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Friday, February 20, 2015

Rumble in the Rubble - All Quiet on the Martian Front - 1860pts

On Super Bowl Sunday 2015,  four members of our local gaming group met at Hard Knox Games in Elizabethtown, KY to play an 1860pt game of “All Quiet on the Martian Front.” Hard Knox Games as a good collection of terrain which includes ruins/rubble pieces so we decided to fight out the “Ruins” Scenario from the book.  Since the two human players were both named Charles…we dubbed the game the “Battle of Charlestown!”

Charles and Charles had the following US forces:

US – 1st Kentucky Fencibles
Field Commander Squad – 30pts
Group 1
MkIIC Command Tank – 85pts
MkIII Unit (3 Tanks) – 225pts
MkIII Unit (3 Tanks) – 225pts
MkIIB Unit (3 Tanks) – 240pts
MKII MG Unit (3 Tanks) – 180pts
MkII Unit (3 tanks) – 165pts
HMG Armed Flivver Unit (3 Flivvers) – 45pts
Group 2
Infantry Command Squad – 30pts
MkIIIS Transport Tank – 75pts
Armored Infantry Squad  (3 elements) – 65pts
MkIIIS Transport Tank – 75pts
Infantry Squad  (3 elements) – 30pts
Infantry Squad  (3 elements) – 30pts
Rough Riders (3 elements) – 45pts
Group 3
Infantry Command Squad – 30pts
HMG Squad (3 elements) – 40pts
Gun Carriers w/ Light Howitzer (3 Elements) – 60pts
Gun Carriers w/ Light Howitzer (3 Elements) – 60pts
Anti-Tripod Gun – 80pts
MkII Gun Tractor– 40pts

1st Kentucky Fencibles
Charles' converted Light Howitzer Gun Trucks - Made from "Axis & Allies" and other parts

Charles' Machingun Flivvers
MkIIc Command Tank

Myself and my friend Ed ran the Martians with Ed taking Group 1 and myself Group 2.

Group 1
Assault Tripod w/ Black Dust – Command Tripod w/ upgraded experimental heat ray – 250pts
Assault Tripod w/ Green Gas – 250pts
2 x Assault Tripod – 400pts
Scout Tripods w/ Targeter – 155pts
Group 2
Scientist Tripod - 80pts
2 x Drone Units (3 elements ea) – 120pts
3 x Scout Tripods w/ Targeters – 465 pts
2 x Grenadier Tripods – 200pts

The full Martian Force

The Scientist Tripod (conversion) and Drones

Grenadier Tripod (conversions)

The 4' x 8' board that we fought over with all US forces already deployed with Stealth ("Blips") or Ambush.

We used Hard Knox Games great collection Miniature Building Authority buildings in the "rubble" mode to create "The Ruins."

The Martians deploy in and effort to mass on the left side of the board. Nothing was held in reserve!

Unfortunately the side that the Martians chose to mass  on was exactly in front where the main US Tank force was hiding using Stealth!

To make matters worse...the US side won getting the first phase of turn one, so the Martian Tripods were all on line and base to base...perfect for Barrage weapons! But the Martians seemed to be able to shrug off anything the humans can throw at them....that is until the "magic bullet!"

That "Magic Bullet" comes from a Machinegun that hit the already damaged Scientist tripod. That hit end up resulting in a "10" on the damage chart and blows the Scientist apart also destroying all of the Drones and one of the Grenadier Tripods. The explosion was big enough to also damage the Command Tripod on the right of the above picture. A huge and immediate setback for the Martian forces!

But the Martian vengeance for the initial setback was swift as Heavy and Medium Heat rays knocked out two tank units.

The Tripods then used their second moves to try to get some cover in and among the ruins.

Over the next turns the Tripods generally get the better of the tanks as they play "Cat & Mouse" among the ruins.

Finally...the last of the US tanks on the left of the board have been eliminated.

Pushing on the US rear area, the fast moving scouts are able to isolate and destroy the US command MkII tank.

The Martians having mostly cleared the left of the board, then turn to try to screen off the US units, most infantry and mobile guns, rushing in from the right.

Using their "Industrial Might" rules...the US players bring in some reinforcements into the Martian controlled area, but they come in piecemeal and are easily dealt with.

The Tripods take up a formidable position.

The Light Howitzer Gun Trucks and Machinegun Flivvers are pressed into front line use by the humans which gives the Martians the opportunity to deploy Green Gas!

The US dismounted forces approach the ruins hoping to take advantage of the damage already dealt to the Tripods and finish some off.

"Industrial Might" pulls in another Tank Unit from reserve, which is just as easily dealt with by the Martians as the last reserves.

Human infantry units race to the Martian controlled area of the ruins.

The Rough Riders get a little too zealous and get jumped by a Scout Tripod that Heat Rays two elements and routs the third.

The battle becomes desperate. Both sides are getting close to their break point. The Martians need to knock out just two more units to break the US force and the US needs to knock out just one more Tripod to drive off the Martians going into Turn five.

The Tripods try to target the weaker and more "squishy" US units.

A Scout Tripod uses one of the last Martian Command Points to get a double move and heat rays a full unit of US Machineguns to death.

One of the last US Tanks is knocked out.

The US Infantry assaults from the Rubble in an effort to take out a badly damaged and immobilized tripod but they fail to have any impact and are driven back into the ruins.

In retaliation, the damaged Tripod unleashed Green Gas against the human infantry, but they take only one loss and pass morale.

The Martians need to destroy one more US unit to win the looks like these Machinegun Flivvers will be that unit...but the Heat Rays just can get a hit or cause any damage to force a morale check.  The game will go into turn siz and the US will have a chance to knock out just one more tripod for the overall win!

That one Tripod ends up being dropped by again...machine guns...from a MkIIIs tank.

But having already met their victory conditions was not going to keep the humans from trying to drop yet more Tripods and here the Machinegun Flivvres make the Martians pay for not destroying them in the previous turn as the destroy a Scout Tripod.

And finally, the US infantry is able to bring down the immobilized Green Gas Assault Tripod giving the 1st Kentucky Fencibles two more than needed to secure the win.

Thus ended a great day of wargaming with "All Quite on the Martian Front."  Four players, a 4' x 8' city rubble board, 1860pts per side and roughly four hours. Pure joy and home well before the Super Bowl kick off!
I was surprised that this ended up so close.  The Martians too a big hit right off the bat, but came within reach of the win at the end of turn 5.  But it was not to be, the humans held on and came back and destroyed well over what they needed to retake the city ruins.
If you have not done so already, you really should try out "All Quiet on the Martian Front." It's fast and not at all complex. We seem to be able to snap right back into it even after long periods without an games of it and the models are just so fun and easy to work on. Both the US and the Martians force used a good bit of customized/converted pieces and this game really lends itself well to that.

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