All Quiet on the Martian Front – First games!

Finally got to play this tonight with my friend Stephen. We decided to do the intro scenario, where you basically just beat each other senseless without the fancy rules for hidden movement and ambushes and whatnot.

The board has some Flames of War buildings on it. Not quite in scale but not too far off – all good.image

In this scenario, you just fight until the other guy loses half his units and breaks. The humans and Martians went at it hammer and tongs!

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This tripod scooted up the road and then showed why it’s a good idea to spread out and avoid the nasty sweep template of the Martian heat ray!

 

 

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Despite their power and durability, the tripods can only take so much. This guy is steadily losing his armor and taking more and more damage. Critical hits had him moving out of control and losing control of his weapons, and the game has a fun way of handling this (you dice off with your opponent).

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The Doughboys are most effective against the Martians in assault, but this is also the most dangerous way to attack the aliens! A squad hurls itself into action!

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They knocked off a couple more points of armor, and the ‘Pod actually retreated! But on it’s next movement, Stephen won the roll to control it, and the Martian warmachine staggered back in among a horde of enemies! Both infantry squads in the picture there assaulted (after the MG squad and the tank softened it up a bit more. However, if you roll well enough when you damage a Tripod, it can explode…

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Before…

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After…

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Yes, the explosion of the destroyed ‘pod’s reactor took out all of the human units around it (everything within 6″ takes hits)! This actually broke both our forces at the same time! The humans and Martians both pulled back from the carnage with a bloody tie!

For the second game we got a little more involved and the Martians had to cross the board lengthwise and exit as many pods as they could off the opposite table edge. The humans had to stop them. This time we tried hidden movement, ambushes and some Martian special weaponry (Green Gas). Stephen deployed almost all his infantry hidden in the farm compound. His MG squad is in ambush, somewhere in his deployment zone. His MkIII tanks are in reserve.

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The Martians have at most, seven turns to get across the board, most likely six. Moving their full distance every turn, they could just make it if they didn’t slow down for anything or spend too much time picking their way through difficult terrain. They reached the road as the human tanks fired away and the infantry scrambled to redploy to the center. The Rough Rider motorcyclists are moving in.

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Just as the humans’ best armor is lining up their shots, Martian heat rays deal out death, routing tanks and infantry moving in to assault.

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As the terrified infantry flees for the rear, the human MG team waiting in ambush in the cornfield finally opens up at nearly point blank range…and destroys a Tripod with a lucky shot! The alien machine crashes to the ground.

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The humans mount a desperate last-ditch assault, but fail to stop the Tripod, which routs and destroys them, and then does the same to the retreating MkIII unit.

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We called it there, as the human army had been broken. But, had the game continued, I would not have been able to get more than one Tripod off the board, even had the game gone to Turn 6.

Overall, I enjoyed the game a lot. It played better than I thought it would. I first thought the Martians would easily sweep aside the humans but that was not the case. I can see that with some shrewd tactics and effective use of the weapons available, the U.S. Army can definitely turn back the Martian tide. There is some complexity, but the basic die rolling mechanics are very simple and go really fast. There is little to no chart referencing during play, and once you get the basic systems down, I can see where this game plays quickly compared to many other minis games.

I really want to get some of the Forlorn Hope minis for the U.S. Army – they’re a couple of figures dangling from a rope and you can hook them on to a Tripod so it looks like they’re climbing up. The Forlorn Hope is an upgrade for infantry squads and they pop out when assaulting Tripods, climbing up to plant TNT and grenades. They’re a one use thing (they’re assumed to die in the assault) but they give a hefty bonus to the infantry’s assault roll.

I also like the look of the Martian Scout Tripods, and I’d like to get some Lobototons (lobotomized human captives made into mindless slaves for the Martians).

So far, I haven’t seen anything about All Quiet on the Martian Front I don’t like. I have a couple more games planned next week and I’m looking forward to them!

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One Response to “All Quiet on the Martian Front – First games!”

  1. cracking looking table and two excellent games, I’ve only managed to get one game in so far however it was enjoyable and will be aiming to play more of this in 2015!

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