Saturday, June 13, 2015
AQMF: Knock Down, Drag Out Fight
Every once in a while, I'm just in the mood for some serious carnage. So for my weekly game of AQMF with Fritz, I brought out every single model I own for a knock down, drag out fight. Since I have some new Martian additions this week, I took a turn playing the invaders. (Full OOB at bottom).
With everything on the table, the Martians have 500 more points than the humans, so we made the scenario favor the home team. The humans win if they break the Martians force (killing 9 units), and the Martians win if they hold a bit of ruined ground in the corner of the board near the human deployment zone (which the humans also get to choose) at the end of turn 5. The Martian objective the ruined mound in the back near the church.
Each side got one long edge and one short edge, the humans getting the short edge near the "city". We rolled off and I won, forcing Fritz to deploy first. He went heavy into the corner, castling up near the good cover and the Martian objective. He more or less abandoned half of his long edge, choosing to make his stand near the best terrain. However, his artillery was pointed towards my table edge, out in the open for optimal line of sight, and heavily guarded by tanks.
I deployed the Slavers and infantry into the city, keeping them out of sight of the artillery and allowing the drones to also make use of the ruins as cover. The majority of the tripods were evenly spaced down the board edge (so the artillery's barrage weapons would have to hit them one at a time), with the black dust and green gas tripods closest to the city. I separated the grenadiers, placing them in good cover on opposite ends of my deployment zone, both out of the firing arch of the enemy artillery. Then, I placed my newest toy, a Veteran Assault Tripod...
Beautiful isn't it? A marvel of Martian engineering and adaptability. With a 12 armor, a tank can only hurt it on the roll of a 10, and it is more or less immune to lesser fire. I put it all the way to the left in the ruins, keeping it far away from the artillery which would have the best chance to crack it. It was facing down with what I judged to be the next biggest threat, the MKIV, which also had a number of tanks behind it.
Tripods deployed and preparing to move out. Fritz was looking pretty nervous as I deployed. He made a comment about how if I won initiative it would be a very short game. Lots of his infantry was just outside of cover, easy to slaughter if I got the drop on him. Deploying 6" from the edge limited how much we could force into cover.
His worries were for naught. The humans won initiative, and were able to move quickly into solid cover. Even the tanks were using it when possible, although those outside the city itself were very vulnerable (but out of range that first turn).
Fritz's first move was one I expected but figured I could survive. A unit of rough riders rushed forward and immobilized the Veteran Assault tripod.
With the tripod straining against the steel cables wrapping around it's legs, the MKIV and a backup unit of MKIIs opened up on the suddenly stationary tripod. Lots of hits, but only one shot, from the MKIV, got through.
I almost laughed out loud. In a single shot, the Veteran Tripod crumpled into a burning heap. Fritz smiled and shrugged his shoulders. The fact is, I was expecting just that. Fritz is no fool, and I knew he'd be gunning for it first. I was banking on good luck to keep the tough tripod on the table. Not the best start to a game for the Martians...
Artillery fire against the mass of tripods was largely ineffectual however, and the loss of one tripod didn't overly worry me. Sucks that I didn't get to shoot with it first though!
The Martians move out, looking for revenge.
I spend about half of my move orders getting the bulk of my forces into range of the human center. My plan was to keep the drones and grenadiers dropping dust into the city while the assault tripods cleaned up everything outside it, especially the ample American artillery.
Inside the city, there was bloody fighting in the ruins, but the human numbers worked to their advantage. It was very difficult to kill enough of them to make much of a difference. The veteran tripod had been placed there as the main heavy support, and to draw fire away from the slavers. However, one slaver now had it's movement systems damaged, and was left at the table edge the rest of the game, firing ineffectually with it's heat ray at long range.
At least I was able to kill the damned rough riders that had tied up my veteran tripod!
Things went well at the center, with two whole groups of tanks destroyed in the initial onslaught.
...as well as the MKII mine layer, which didn't have a chance to drop a mine.
A black-dust deploying Assault Tripod moves in to support the slavers...
At the end of the first round, the Martians control about 2/3 of the board, and Fritz is expressing his doubts of being able to win this given he still needs 8 more kills to win.
He wins initiative again, and doughboys pour out of buildings to attack the drones. I'd left them in the open only because they'd rushed up to finish off a routing unit. In hindsight, I probably should have protected them more than I did.
More rough riders immobilize my other slaver. Not too upset about that actually, I moved it far forward enough that the were plenty of targets for the drones. Small arms fire failed to damage it.
Fritz, hoping to rack up as many easy points as possible, starts gunning for the scouts. One tripod is killed quickly, and another one is brought all the way down to one armor point with a series of hits.
And one more takes it out...
The Martians move again, and start fighting their way into the city on the human flank.
The MKIV, emerging last turn to line up a shot at the slaver, is destroyed by the immobilized Slaver's heat ray. The human center is starting to crumple, but while Fritz may be sweating, there's plenty of HMGs and mortar teams hiding in the back along with both human commanders.
The city center is looking tidier without all those humans cluttering it up...
Turn 3 - the Martians take the initiative. The last remaining scout gets line of sight on the mortar teams, using its targeter to direct fire from both grenadiers, doing some serious damage and killing one human commander.
By the end of the Martian turn, they've broken through the human lines and are flooding into the city.
On the way in, they completely destroy all of the human artillery. There's not much left but a few tanks and a bunch of doughboys to shoot back with.
On the Americans turn, the US Army shows what happens when they get desperate - they charge and throw hand grenades!
The remaining tanks severely damage a green gas assault tripod, including messing up it's targeting systems.
Two undamaged HMG units are in range of the damaged tripod, and they unload in a mass of dice. The tripod, overwhelmed by the fire, explodes, killing friend and foe alike. A series of exposions rock the ruined city, as an undamaged assault tripod gets unlucky and follows its compatriot to oblivion, taking out even more of the human defenders.
In all, the explosion took out the second assault tripod, the entire unit of shock drones, lobototons, and a two or three units of human infantry. The Martian force, as unlikely as it seemed to both of us, was broken. Another victory for the US Armed Forces!
A close, fun game with lots of explosions and reversals. I'm pretty sure the humans would have broken the turn before they won if we'd been playing with a break point for them, but we didn't keep track of their casualties.
My wife was very disappointed when she learned about the loss of the Veteran Assault Tripod and the loss of the game. She assures me that she'll show me how it's done sometime soon.
US Army: 7 Infantry (210), 3 HMGs (120), 2 Commanders (60), 2 Mortar Teams (90), 2 Rough Riders (90), 4 MKIIs (660), 2 MKIIIs (450), 1 MK IV (190), 1 Minelayer (150) 1 Heavy Artillery (160), 1 field guns (80), 1 AT Gun (80). 2340pts.
Martians: 6 Assault Tripods (2 with gas, 2 with dust) (1400), 3 scout tripods (465), 2 grenadier tripods (200), 1 veteran assault tripod (250), 2 slavers (200), 1 shock drone (65), 1 drones (60), 1 scorpion drones (100), 1 sniper drones (75), 1 lobototon blasters (20). 2835.