Thursday 4 January 2024

The Christmas Pudding Factory Incident AAR

The Xmas FUBAR Game has been played, and prefacing this with a thanks to HG Wells for penning War of the Worlds first published in full in 1898...😊...

Martian Tripods 'Red' and ' Green' on the the Move December 1874!

The Forces

8 x Steam Powered Armoured Wagons
1 x Heavy Auto Cannon (no -1 at long range as pre-sighted prior to the battle)
1 x Tesla Gun (no -1 at long range as pre-sighted prior to the battle)
2 x Steam Powered Blimps (One Bomb attack each arriving Turn Two)

The Nasty Martians
2 x Tripod Fighting Machines

The Objective

The Martians have Eight Turns to exit one Tripod from the opposite tabletop edge to the one they start on, the Tripod must have at least one functioning Weapon System.

The Battle Report!

Late December 1874 and Sir Blythe-Hamilton-Pants formed up the troops of his 7th Steam Power Armoured Detachment in advantageous positions to fight advancing Martian Fighting Machines. He selected uneven and marshy ground well to the South of Little Tinkle on Clyde for the battle. This terrain plus a tributary of the Clyde River would help his cause, the battlefield was split by a metalled road running North/South and the tributary was spanned by one of Brunel's wonders!

It was mid morning when the Evil Martian Tripods lurched into view and halted appearing hesitant on the skyline. Using this pause Sir Blythe-Hamilton-Pants gathered his men and read them a rousing declaration from her most Imperious Highness Empress Victoria! The men were buoyed by the words and prepared for action!

The Tripods known to the British as 'Red' and 'Green' had spent several days trekking across the English countryside to reach their objective, a Human Factory located in Little Tinkle on Clyde. The Martian High Command had methodically calculated that the destruction of the Facility would break the unexpectedly high spirit the Humans were showing when facing their Fighting Machines! The two great machinations halted to survey Human defences located near a stream along a roadway as they came into view. The Humans took this pause as hesitation but it was not, the Martians spent a few minutes to plan their attack, they quickly determined these men and their puny machines could easily be swept aside so they ADVANCED!

The peace and quiet of the English countryside on that serene winters day was shattered by the roar of the Martians Machines powerplants and sounds of their rocket fire!

Reacting to the Martians attack Sir Blythe-Hamilton-Pants ordered his vehicles and Blimps to deploy with for his artillery to give them covering fire!

The air resounded with the noise of Steam Engines running at full speed, explosions, the Pew-Pew of Lasers, shouting, screams of pain and the clang of hot metal on the cold armour of the Martian Fighting Machines!

The battle played out quickly. Soon the burning wrecks of several Armoured Wagons lay upon the field of battle but the defenders were elated as they appeared to score telling hits on the closing Behemoths!

With the two Fighting Machines virtually upon the defences of the 7th Steam Power Armoured Detachment one of Sir Blythe-Hamilton-Pants Engineers triggered off one of the two mines they had buried in the fields, 'Red' disappeared in a huge fountain of earth generated by several hundred weight of TNT! A huge cheer erupted from the British lines and there was much excitement among the defenders at the sight of the explosion but their high spirits plummeted as the smoke haze cleared and seemingly unhurt the Tripod with its Red Eye glowing fiercely continued to close on them.

Any regular fighting men would have fled at this point but the elite 7th urged on by Sir Blythe-Hamilton-Pants doubled their efforts and fired at the Martians Machines as the literally 'walked' over them! Again damage was inflicted on them but alas not enough to stop them!

The battle was over and it resulted in a victory to the Martian Invaders. Even though Human losses were comparatively light they had not been able to stop the advance of the Fighting Machines which continued on Northward in the direction of the Puddin' Lady's Christmas Pudding Manufacturing Co Factory!

Post Script...

Although the battle was lost the campaign was saved thanks to the ingenuity of our Hero, Captain Darling. Yes the Christmas Pudding Factory was saved! On hearing of the defeat of Sir Blythe-Hamilton-Pants Force Darling engaged the services of well known landscape artist Edward Wilkins Waite who quickly whipped up a full size and totally realistic painting of the Puddin' Lady's Christmas Pudding Manufacturing Co Factory which Darling cunningly used in a clever ruse to fool the Martians! The full size painting was put in place a mile south of the real factory and the Martians on seeing it blew it to smithereens! Convinced they had completed their mission successfully they reported the details to their Leaders. 'Red' and 'Green' believing their work was done withdrew albeit leaving the real Factory in tact and producing its precious wares! A huge well done and pat on the back to Captain Darling, yet again he had pulled the Empires bits out of the fire!

Some Pictures...

 Artillerymen of the 7th Steam Power Armoured Detachment zero their Heavy Auto Cannon in  on the approaching Martian Tripods!

The Crew of the Detachments Tesla Gun too laid in their sights on the looming Martian Machines...

End of Turn One Picture
The Martian Tripods advanced firing their rockets at their Human foes without achieving any successes, the outranged Humans advanced their Steam Powered Armoured Wagons!

End of Turn Two Picture
The Martians continue to advance, they destroy one of the Armoured Wagons on the road with rockets, the men of the 7th fire their first shots scoring no damage on the Fighting Machines!

End of Turn Three Picture
The Martians draw level with Brunel's bridge and using their Lasers they knock out another Armoured Wagon on the Human's right flank. The British Blimps launch their Bombs at the Tripods but inflict no damage, the Artillery on the other hand scored hits and the Martians took damage, nothing significant though!

Even through the Martians were advancing remorselessly and inflicting casualties on the 7th Steam Power Armoured Detachment the remaining Humans continued too put up a stout defence!  Here four active Armoured Wagons continue to engage the Tripods!

During Turn Four the Human triggered a mine consisting of several hundred weight of TNT, it created a large crater but barely scratched the Martian Machine, it scored a single 'Speed' hit...also in the picture a Steam Powered Blimp engaging the Tripod with its Rapid Fire Gun (eg Machine Gun)...

Turn Four
This picture is mid turn just before the Mine Attack on 'Red'. The second Armoured Wagon on the Human left is destroyed and 'Green' now has an open run to get passed the defenders! 'Red' engages the Heavy Auto Cannon...

'Green' having destroyed both of the Armoured Steam Wagons on the British right simply 'strolled' over them in Turn Five!

Turn Five and the Tesla Gun Crew fired at point blank range at 'Green' but were unable to disable it, it swept passed them and out of camera shot!

During Turn Five the Martians were passed the British line of defence but still attracted fire, several hits were scored on the behemoths inflicting more damage but still they soldiered on! 

Tally Ho!

Turn Six and 'Green' reached the Martian objective, eg exiting the tabletop, a Victory to the Martians!

The situation at the end of Turn Six and the game!

The Martian Tripods seemed to win an easy victory but they took a bit of damage despite having a 2+ saving throw on a D6 for any hit; 'Green' was only one speed hit away from being immobilised taking three of the four allowed and 'Red' had taken half of its allowed Speed and Steering Hits

Summary Stuff!

Okay we've played a smaller version of this scenario before but never had both of my Big Martian Fighting Machines on the table at once! I'd like to play this again sometime mid year as I think it is pretty well balanced. This was not an easy win for the Martians both Tripods were damaged  and they were very lucky as they had to consult the Breakdown Table three times and each time luckily rolled the 'power surge' result so neither one was handicapped by the 'Breakdown' results! Plus there were plenty of Human assets still in action, only three out of eight of the Armoured Wagons were destroyed, both the Blimps were still in action and only three out of a total of eight Artillery Crewmen had become casualties, the British still had a lot of firepower at games end! Be ready to read about a rematch later in 2024...

Next Time: Captain Darling's Grand Tour Review or a way overdue AAR or two!


  1. A most entertaining narrative. The tabletop looks excellent with those large tripods.

    1. Wonderful stuff great to see the Tripods on the Table.

    2. Hey Stu thanks! I like my VSF games especially when the big Martian Tripods hit the tabletop!

  2. Dastardly interplanetary interlopers. Shame about the pudding.

  3. Great AAR Captain! Hard fought win for the Martians and no doubt their reduced speed assisted in Captain Darling's ingenious deception plan. 😂 Looking forward to the rematch. Will the target be the pudding factory again or something else?

    1. Hey Ben thanks, yes Captain Darling is 'Da Man', rematch will have a different theme, no hold on there's always Christmas in July 🙂

  4. Great looking tripods, impressive to get some balance with only the two against quite a few humans

    1. Thanks Matt, the half size scenario had multiple play tests before being used as a convention game, balance is pretty good.