Wednesday, 29 March 2017

19C - War in the Antipodes – Martian Invasion

The Martians had invaded every continent of Planet Earth. The smallest continent, Australia, got the smallest invading force which landed on a remote farm house about halfway between the two major cities of the continent. Although the Martians referred to them as the “two main slums” snigger,
snigger.

The local name of the area they landed in was the Molongo Valley and they chose this place for its remote locations so that their troops could acclimatise to the local planetary conditions. The weird wildlife was also very confronting and it was difficult to know which animals were dangerous and which were not.

Unfortunately for the Martians they had invaded just as the local inhabitants had armed for war with each other and so the Earthlings were much better prepared than expected. Nonetheless the Martians knew that their superior technology and weaponry would carry the day.

In the cities of Sydney and Melbourne the telegraphs ran hot with plans and counter plans. The discussions grew heated between the former foes as they hammered out a plan to defeat the Martians. News from overseas did not help with army after army being crushed by the relentless Martian invaders. Even London was under siege!

Eventually they agreed to form a united Cavalry Brigade to reconnoiter the Martian camp in force and distract them while the main forces were gathered. The force assembled in the west of the Molongo Valley and circled around the Martians by forced marches to attack them from the south.

The Martians discovered them with one of their flyers and quickly laid a plan to catch them on the march. The slaughter was terrible as the cavalry brigade was caught in terrain where it was difficult to deploy. However, the Martians spent a lot of time destroying the cavalry and then hunting down the remaining troops hiding in the bush and this allowed the main Australian forces, made up of a Victorian and a NSW Corps to assemble and launch their attack.

Because of the recent battles between Victoria and NSW they agreed to fight in separate Brigades with the only joint force being two Victorian Airships carrying NSW rayguns, which would hopefully be able to battle the Martian flyers. Another two Victorian Airships carried Gatling guns.

The final part of the force were two wagons carrying “devices” designed by Professor Bruce of the University of Woolloomooloo. Professor Bruce had studied the reports of the explosion of the HMS Invincible’s radium engines in the North Sea and theorised that such an explosion could be deliberately caused by smashing two lumps of radium together to cause a chain reaction. He told the Prime Minister of NSW “It could release the energy of 100 tons on Dynamite!” The Prime Minister was a bit skeptical but thought in the circumstances no chance should be left untried and authorised the Professor to build the weapons and take them with the new Australian forces.

With the Martian forces distracted by the Cavalry assault the main forces were able to march on the Martian landing.


The opening

Turn 1
The Australian forces advance towards the Martian camp.
The Martians flyers activate and fire at the Victorian Airships but cause no damage.

Martian forces

NSW Corp

Victorians


Turn 2
The Martians win the initiative and activate first.

The Martian flyers fire again but either miss or cause no damage.

The tripods begin to activate, the first one fails and gets -2 of its next activation, the second one fails and now is immobilised, the third one activates and fires but causes no damage, and then the forth on fails to activate. The Martian leader Marvin screams “There was meant to be an Earth shattering Kaboom!”.

The Victorian flyers activate next, one Martian flyer is hit with 1 suppression, the second is then hit and is wrecked!! The Martian leader curses again.

The Victorian and NSW forces surge forward. Perhaps there is hope against this alien foe.

The Airship destroys the Martian flyer

Victorian forces follow up the Emus.




Turn 3
The Martians win the initiative again.

The Tripods target the Victorian Airships and this time they all manage to fire and immobilise one Airship and damage the steering on another.

The Martian flyer fails its activation and unexpectedly surges forward.

The Australian forces get the initiative and move forward.

Some of the Airships fire at the remaining Martian flyer and get three hits and damage its steering.
The other Airships fire at a Tripod but despite getting two hits cause no damage.

A Kangaroo has an explosion while moving and is wrecked.

The Martian infantry move to cover the main ship.

The Australian forces mostly move up.

The Australian ground forces close in on the Martians
NSW Kangaroo explodes - an U.C.D. as it is call in the trade - an Unscheduled Complete Disassembly
Turn 4
Australia wins the initiative.

The Airships fire at Tripods and set one on fire and immobilise another.

The Martian flyer targets an Airship and finally wrecks one.

The Martian tripods now target the EMUs and KANGAROOs.

They miss the Kangaroo but one Emu explodes and one is set on fire.

The remaining Tripod passes its activation and puts out the fire.

With the Airship destroyed and Emus exploding, the remaining NSW and Victorian infantry fail to move.



A view from the Martian side

An Emu explodes


Turn 5

Australia wins the initiative again.

One Airship targets the Martian infantry with its Gatling gun and causes one damage.

The Kangaroos fire at the Tripods but despite them all getting hits the Tripods remain undamaged.

Another Airship fires at the Martian Flyer and also hits but causes no damage.

The Infantry fail to move and initiative passes to the Martians.

The Martian flyer targets an Airship and sets it on fire!

The Tripods target the Kangaroos and Emus.

One Kangaroo is on fire and one is immobilised.

The Emus fare better this time, one is undamaged, one’s steering is broken and one unexpectedly surges forward when a critical part is hit.

The Martian infantry then move.

NSW infantry target the Martian infantry that moved into their line of sight and volley fire at them and get 17 hits and wipe out the Martian squad.

The Kangaroos and Emus target the tripods and put one on fire and break the steering on another.
The Professor and his wagons have been keeping up.

End of turn 5 - NSW surge forward, Victoria less so. Professor Bruce takes his wagons off road to head towards the Mothership



Turn 6
The Martians win the initiative.

The Martian flyer fires at an Airship and breaks its steering.

The Tripods target the Emus and Kangaroos but despite hitting them only damage one Kangaroos main cannon.

One Martian infantry squad fires at the NSW infantry and get 4 hits causing three suppression  and one dead.

The other Martian squads move.

The remaining Airship with a raygun fires at the Martian flyer and gets 4 hits but only damages its steering.

One Martian squad fires at the NSW infantry and gets 7 hits causing suppression and losses.

Kangaroos target tripods but once again despite getting hits do no damage.

Professor Bruce guides the wagons closer to his target – the Martian Mothership.

Australian forces move in. Professor Bruce moves forward.

The Martian line is under siege!


Turn 7
Australia wins the initiative.

NSW infantry fire and destroy two Martian squads while an Airship destroys another.

The other airship fires at the Martian flyer and gets hits but causes no damage.

A Kangaroo fails its initiative and goes “On Guard”

The Martian flyer blasts the airship and hits but causes no damage

The Tripods fire at the Kangaroos and put one on fire.

A Martian squad moves but the next one fails.

A Kangaroo then fails to activate.

Tripod fire at infantry and cause 2 suppressions

Tripod fires at Emu and destroys its Gatling gun.

Martian infantry squad fire at an infantry company and cause 8 casualties.

A Kangaroo fires at a Tripod but despite getting three hits causes no damage

Martian infantry squad fires at an Emu and get four hits and destroys it.

An Emu tries to activate but fails.

Professor Bruce guides his wagons through the chaos of the battlefield towards the Mother ship. The rest of the army have been holding a corridor open for him.

The Australian forces press forward despite their losses. Making a pathway for the Professor's wagons.

A rare photo from the Victorians' side of the battlefield.



Turn 8
The Martians win the initiative.

From his vantage point in the Mothership Marvin their leader has been watching the wagons get closer. Something is not right he thinks. On the radio he shouts out “Target the wagons and make sure there is an Earth shattering Kaboom!”

A Tripod answers in the affirmative and takes aim, a series of blasts cross the field straight into a wagon. Professor Bruce didn’t live long enough to see that he had misplaced a few decimal places in his calculations as his radium bomb exploded with the force of 100,000 tons of dynamite.

The battlefield was replaced with a radiation blast that destroyed everything within a mile radius and caused bush fires for miles further.

The professor's device goes off!!!!!!!!


Epilogue

A few days later an Airship flew over the battle site and saw only destruction and reported back to Sydney and Melbourne that the battle seemed to have been won but at a dreadful cost.

Elsewhere in the world news of the “victory” in Australia gave some hope to the out gunned armies of Earth but soon after the Martians began to sicken and die from all the Earthly pathogens that they had no immunity for.

With the Martian threat gone world leaders quickly and publically denounced the Australians for building such a powerful and evil weapon, while of course privately asking for the plans, but it was generally assumed that this was what you could expect from a group of ex-convicts with too much gold and the world soon began to think of other things.

Years later the valley became the capital of a united Australia with the battle site a permanent memorial to those who gave their lives.



Near the new Australian Capital a grand Observatory was built, with the most powerful telescopes that could be designed, its target – Mars – to see what they were up to and provide warning in case they ever came back.


Postscript
This battle was fought using FUBAR including the VSF rules of Captain Darling. As it was my first game there were a few issues in my forgetting this and that but basically it was fair to both sides.