Monday, December 26, 2016

All Quiet on the Martian Front- Battle Report- Retreat from the Yellow Medicine Upper Agency

After the Minnesota Volunteers crushing defeat at the Battle of Camp Release, a general withdrawal to Fort Ridgely was ordered.  However, the orderly withdrawal down the Minnesota River Valley soon turned into a disordered route as Martian Scouts and Harvesters raced up the valley in search of prey.  Reports of Martian sightings as far East as New Ulm sowed panic into the human defenders.  

The action at Yellow Medicine (Also known as the Sioux Upper Agency) was typical of the chaos during the Militia’s general retreat.  

3 Scouts
1 Harvester (played by a slaver)

Minnesota Militia:
5 Infantry squads
2 Rough Riders
2 Machine gun squads
1 squad of MKIIs
1 battery of field guns


Minnesota Units are placed randomly using a scatter die and 2d10 for distance from the center of the board.  They are all facing Eastward towards the board edge and escape downriver.  The Martians are placed in a line on the Westward side of the valley about 6 inches in from the board edge.

Special Rules

Human units are disordered.  The Human player must first pass a Rally check to be able to control any units.  Otherwise, they will head towards the Eastward board edge at full speed.  

Human units score points for each unit that makes it off the board.  Martians score points for destroying Human units, and double points for any unit consumed by a Harvester.  The side with the most points at the end of the game wins.  

Martians begin with the Initiative automatically.

Turn 1
Initiative: Martians

The Martians move forward at full speed and catch up to a lagging Rough Rider squad.  Their Heat Rays make short work of the unit.  All the retreating humans are alerted to the pursuing aliens.

The Scouts tower over the units in the rear, their shadows falling over their prey.

3 Infantry Units and both Machine Gun units pull themselves together enough to stop running.

The last Infantry Unit desperately assaults the closest  Scout to try and hold them off so others can escape.   Others try to take cover and prepare to sell their lives dearly.

A Ragged cheer goes up as the brave infantry squad manages to destroy a Scout using grenades!  There is hope yet!  Other shooting or attacks are ineffective.

Turn 2
Initiative: Humans

Most of the units in the retreat manage to get a grip to mount a fighting withdrawal.  1 Infantry Unit still remains routing. The brave 5 Platoon storms over the wreckage of the downed Scout and try to assault the next Scout.

A barrage from the Field Guns fails to damage the harvester.  This time, the attack of 5th Platoon only manages to damage the armor of the Scout.  They fall back to the wreckage of their last victim for cover.

The Scouts continue to advance, while the harvester moves to deal with the 5th Platoon.

A scout burns two Rough Riders to cinder, but he last one stays in ready to fight!  The other one kills a squad of doughboys with a Heat Ray, but fails to scatter the rest.  The Harvester burns out two squads from 5th Platoon and the rest scatter in terror.   Another unit destroyed!

Turn 3
Initiative: Martians

Bad times for the Humans as the Scouts are rushing the Machine Gun nests that the Humans had managed to dig in and set-up a crossfire with!  The Northern scout manages to vaporize and rout the Machine-gunners on his side of the battlefield.  However, his brother Scout and Harvester fail to break the opposite bank.
The Mark II tanks fire on the undamaged scout, and a lucky hit causes it to explode in a pillar of green fire!

The field guns drop a barrage on the remaining scout and damage its legs.  The last machine gun squad fires on the Harvester, but the bullets just ping harmlessly off its armor.  The last rough rider squad attacks the Scout, but fails to do anything of note.

The MkII’s and an infantry squad withdraw off the board successfully.

Turn 4
Initiative: Humans

Most of the Minnesota Volunteers manage to flee covered by a single infantry and machine gun unit.  Screening fire on the last Scout damages its armor further.

The last scout tries to move, but the roll-off is a tie so it stays wobbling in place.  Firing fails to hit the machine gunners in the woods.

Turn 5
Initiative: Martians

The Scout again tries to move and lurches forward into Heat Ray range.  The Harvester does the same.  They both sweep their Heat Rays over the area the Machine Gunners have taken cover.  One unit is killed, but the other fire and withdraw off the board in good order.

The last scout is further damaged by the covering fire, and its Heat Ray is damaged.

The Martians lost two Scout Tripods of 300 points, and the last scout was seriously damaged!  However, the victory conditions were not set around losses to the Martians, but losses for the humans.

The Martians managed to destroy:
1 Infantry Squad
1 Machine Gun Squad
1 Rough Rider squad
For 115 points

They also damaged 1 Rough Rider squad, Machine gun squad, and Infantry squad, but they were not destroyed so do not count.

The humans evacuated:
1 squadron of MKII tanks
1 Battery of Field guns
3 Infantry squads
For 410 points

Looks like a victory for the Minnesota Militia!

After the Martian rebuff at Yellow Medicine, the Minnesota Militia was given enough breathing room to regroup.  Martian raids down the valley were halted and straggling units were able to regroup at Fort Ridgeley.  Despite the set-back, the Martian threat to the Minnesota River Valley was far from defeated.  On the contrary, it was still on the offensive.

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