Thursday, June 26, 2014

Ambler Gamers: All Quiet on the Martian Front

Several members of the Ambler Gamers invested in the All Quiet on the Martian Front kickstarter, and with all the cool new models to be had, it was a natural fir for our group. I missed the inaugural AQMF session, but tonight's game saw more models, more heat rays, more carnage.  For those unfamiliar, the game picks up where the HG Wells book leaves off. Ten years after the first Martian invasion, the little green men and their tripods are back. This time, they brought a cure for the common cold.  Humanity has not been sitting still, though. They are armed with steam-powered "land ironclads" and are determined to make the Martians pay for every inch of earth land they conquer.

That's Scott Washburn surveying the battlefield. His Paper Terrain company has the license to create buildings for AQMF. All of the buildings you see here were designed and built by Scott. 

A closer look at an armored column rumbling through at Grovers Mills.

Scott actually rigged his tripods with tiny battery-powered LED lights for a really cool heat ray effect. You can read about how he did it here.

A reserve platoon of Rough Riders revving their engines, eager to get in the fight.

Civilians!  I'm sure they will stay out of harm's way...

Behold the hypnotic eyes... (Well, technically speaking, Martians don't have hypnosis rays. yet.) 

The first game ended rather abruptly. My tripods failed to flush out the human infantry.  Then, a vicious counter-attack  by tanks popping up over the ridge scored some lucky hits on the tripod in the center of my line. Naturally, it blew up.  Then, the shock caused damage to the tripod next to it, which in turn also blew up.  A third tripod was heavily damaged by this second blast and had its steering malfunction.  We decided to start over...

That's our gracious host Joe Alexander on the left. Steve Turn is on the right. He painted most of the models we played with tonight.

In the rematch, my Black Dust-throwing tripod bought the farm early   a second time. This time, the damage was limited. My goal was to clear a fortified ridge and dispense with the armored reserve behind it, so that I could incinerate the village at my leisure.  My normally swift walkers were hampered by the rough terrain. This was going to be decided by firepower, rather than maneuver. 

Pesky army tanks, taking advantage of the crest of the hill.  The infantry in the  fortifications are starting to take casualities. 

Finally!  My tripods reach the crest of the hill. At about this point, my terrible dice rolling started to balance out in my favor.  Just ignore the Rough Riders who have circled around me.

Two tripods tried to provide flank support by going around the hill. They were met by a solid wall of Land Ironclads.  While my two tripods survived, one lost control of its steering and the other lost both steering and fire control.  Basically, it was a random roll as to who got to control the moving and steering  of each. While frustrating, it was a really fun rule!

Suck it, humanity! We're coming for the town!

As lopsided as the first game was, the second saw a decisive victory for the Martians.   Joe looks out over the smoking remains of the US armored units.

A Tripod contemplates the fickle dice which give victory on one hand, and snatch it away with the other.  I will personally strangle the next person who says "Hay, roll anything but a one." Hey, are you trying to rout my entire army?

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