Monday, December 26, 2016

All Quiet on the Martian Front- Battle Report- Fall of Camp Release

After the Martian attacks out of the Great Wood were thwarted at Beaver Creek Ford, the Martians pulled back and regrouped.  The strong human presence at Camp Release could not simply be bypassed as the invaders had hoped.  Instead, they would need to go through Camp Release.  

Early in the morning, a Rough Rider patrol raced back to Camp Release.  They anxiously informed Captain Nix that the Red menace was on the move.  They had counted several large and a few smaller tripods advancing up the Minnesota River Valley and towards their position.  This looked like the moment that the Minnesota Volunteers had waited for with dread.  The Martians were coming.  

Captain Nix hastily typed up a report and gave it to the Rough Riders.  He sent them back to Fort Ridgeley to report on the coming battle and to send reinforcements westward.  The riders were tired, but they rushed to their newly fueled machines and raced off.  

The sound of Martian war horns was heard in the distance as the Rough Riders drove off.  The Volunteers gripped their rifles just a bit tighter, and exchanged nervous looks with each other.  Then, the commander of a MkIII shouted and pointed to the distant horizon.  The early morning sun flashed reddish off the carapace of an approaching Tripod.  Soon, it was joined by more as the Martian advance approached down the valley.  

Captain Nix quickly counted up the number of Tripods and offered up a prayer.  With a confidence that he didn’t feel, he walked over to his command tank.  He climbed up the side and took his position, field glasses in hand.  

The battle of Camp Release was about to begin!

The Red Menace
6 Assault Tripods- 2 Black Dust, 1 Green Gas
3 Scout Tripods- 1 with Targeting Box
1 Grenadier

The Minnesota Volunteers
1 Command Tower
2 Squads of MKII tanks
1 Squad of MKIII Tanks
1 Command Tank
2 Machine Gun Squads
1 Field Gun Battery
3 Squads of Doughboys
1 squad of Rough Riders

The Humans were set-up behind the earthworks of Camp Release.  The main wall was manned by a squad of MKIII tanks, supported by a squad of machine Gunners in each corner.  They were supported to the flanks by a squad of MKII’s on each side and backed up by a squad of infantry.

The command tower was protected by a squad of infantry, and the field guns and last squad manned the rear most dug-outs.  The squad of Rough Riders was ready to sally out the north wall.

The Martians lined up to the West.  Their southern flank was anchored by the grenadier and a scout.  The Assaults, Specialists, and remaining Scouts were scattered across the Western most board edge in a line, ready to advance.

The birds of the Minnesota River Valley were uncharacteristically quiet.  A few hawks, joined by crows and ravens lazily circled high overhead.  They were preparing for a feast.

The Mission
The Martians are trying to break the Human defenders by turn 6.

The entrenchments are Def +4, Armor +2

Turn 1
Initiative: Martians

The Martians rush forward eager to close the gap and get inside the Human base.    They approach with their Heat Rays flashing out.  However, the earthworks hold and repulse the long range shots.  

A scout on the flank light up a machine gun squad with its targetter.  The Grenadier fired on the unit, but the shock canisters hit the earthworks.  

However, the Martians continue their advance.

The Human units shuffle around and return fire.  The Rough Riders hug the earthworks as they approach the Northern Scout.  

The tanks open fire with an ear-splitting roar, but no Tripods go down!  One Assault tripod lost 2 armor and the Scout has his Heat Ray damaged.  

The Human Infantry moves to potentially counter-charge any units that breach the earthworks.         

Turn 2
Initiative: Humans

The Rough Riders race out to confront the northern most scout.  They fire their machine gun as they approach but fail to find a weak point.  The tanks open fire and plink more armor off the leading scout, and the Assault tripod in the vanguard.  

The southern machine gun squad opens fire at the vanguard Assault machine, and hits something critical with its spray of bullets.  The machine goes up in a huge green flash!  

Despite the loss of one of their own, the Tripods pressed onward into the storm of fire.  They had no other choice and needed to get past the human earthworks.

An injured Black Dust carrying Martian draws Human blood when he drops a barrage of Black Dust on the Tripod killing Machine-gun squad.  The brave humans don’t stand a chance and are all killed by the hideous Martian weapon.

The Northern most Scout turns and Heat Rays the Rough Riders trying to scout behind the Martian lines.  He vaporizes a squad, and the rest decide to run route.  However, they will have to try to get through the Martian lines! 

The Grenadier again fails to find the mark despite the help of a scout with a Targetter.

Things look bad for the humans.  The Scout raced back and breaks the Rough Riders.  Plus, the vanguard Scout and another Assault have breached the walls of Camp Release!  

Turn 3
Initiative: Martians

The Martians continue to press their attack!  Things just went from bad to worse for the Human defenders!  The Martians move to hem in the Prey-that-Stings by blocking off the exits to the Camp.  

Now, the Martian Heat Rays begin to take their toll on the Volunteers.  2 squads of Infantry from separate Platoons are vaporized.  The first platoon decides to route.  Another Heat Ray destroys a pair of MKII’s at close range causing the thirds crew to bail-out.  

The Martians tighten the noose.  1st Platoon scatters as the Black Dust equipped Tripods tours over them.  

Seeing the trap closing, the Infantry charge the heavily damaged Tripod blocking their escape route.  The tanks fall back and try to find a way to bust the noose.  The Field Commander uses Industrial Might, and a new Unit of MKII’s enter the field and move towards the Camp.

Desperate cannon fire, machine gun fire, and howitzer blasts ring out across Camp Release.  The MkIII’s, Command Tank of Capt. Nix, and the Northern Machine Gun squad combine fire and bring the Green Gas equipped Tripod down in a heap.  That’s two down!  

The infantry assault on the Scout fails to further damage it and is forced to fall back! 

Turn 4
Initiative: Martians

The Martian reprisals are terrible to behold!  Heat Rays lash out at the trapped Human tanks, and burn s one them into slag.  Only a single MKIII remains operational in the Camp.  Black Dust Launchers make short work of the Field Guns and Machine-gun teams.  

Those humans who survived the onslaught try to stumble back to the command tower.  Capt. Nix, his tank slagged is one of them.   

With their second move, the aliens seem content to seal of all the Camp exits.  The end is nigh for the Minnesota Volunteers.    

The remaining infantry storm the heavily damaged scout once again!  Meanwhile, reinforcements in the form of a Machine Gun team arrive on the scene.  

The few remaining survivors in the command tower cheer as Machine gun fire from the tower takes down one of the Scout Tripods in the camp!  However, it is only a matter of time unless the noose can be broken.  

The reinforcing machine gun team opens fire on the damaged tripod, and damages it further, but also kills some of their own men.  However, it is a desperate act to potentially save more!  

The MkII’s manage to ping the armor on the Black Dust Tripod, but it is still blocking the escape route.  

The last desperate infantry assault fails to destroy the damaged scout!  It has 2 armor left and can’t move any further.  

Turn 5
Initiative: Martians

A Black Dust equipped Tripods moves to support the damaged Scout.  

The Grenadier manages to drop shock canisters onto the command tower and destroy it.  The Black Dust Launcher tripod drops smoke onto the last infantry Platoon and kills them all.  

The last remaining Machine Gun unit and MKII’s manage to finally take down the vanguard scout by depleting him to 0 armor!  

With some sense of honor and dignity left, the Minnesota Volunteers call it a game.  Everyone who was in Camp Release was killed or scurrying into hiding at this point.  The reinforcing Machine Gun squad and MkII’s decide to withdraw before the 5 remaining Tripods begin to focus on them!

With the Fall of Camp Release, the path was clear for a continued Martian advance through the Minnesota River Valley.  

Final Thoughts
The Tripods had an advantage in points going into this battle.  However, I feel pretty confident in saying that they kicked the Minnesota Volunteers backsides!  My opponent didn’t just breach the walls, but also used my own walls to box me into a death trap.  This was a very clever tactic for a Martian.  Let this be a lesson to future Human commanders!  Trenches and walls are good, but forts are bad!     

We both need to do a better job using Command Tokens, and perhaps the Minnesota Volunteers would have benefited by using Blips in this game.  Oh well, maybe next time!   So far, the campaign has been pretty even going.  

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