Some Concoctions of an antiquated, corpulant, paterfamilias
September 2,2006 | 2006-09-04 11:26:00

Dear Readers,

What follows is a Battle report from the expanse of Mars. You may view the photos of this battle in the Battles for Mars gallery

Before I delve into the particulars of the rescue attempt, let me say how much I appreciate the efforts of Mr. Patrick Smyrl. Patrick provided many of the troops on the battlefield and drove more than two hours one way to participate in my feeble attempt at a war game

The game was played on the fields of Mars (6'X12' table) in the Borderlands of Greenville, South Carolina.

Hagrid, The Hidalgo of the Kragg Martians, has attacked the Hogwarts institute of higher learning. Killing the head master, professor A. Dumbledor, and making off with the Right Reverend H. Potter's daughter, Hermione.

The outrage of the colonial legations on Mars was such that a multi national force was organized to put down this insurrection and to return Miss Hermione to her father. The battle cry was "Miss Hermione alive, or the Hidalgo dead!"

Hagrid, and his horrible horde of Kragg Martians, retreated into the wastes of the Martian outback to his stronghold, near the plans of Cydonia. There in his eons old fortress, he held his captive and scoffed at all attempts of diplomacy.

The forces deployed in a circle around the fortress to cut off any attempt of escape by the Hidalgo with his prisoner.

My narrative begins as the noose of colonial troops starts to close on the fortress. The forces are, the French with 5 units of infantry and two walkers.

The Prussians with 3 units of infantry, the Iron Giant, 2 scout walkers and 2 artillery pieces.

The British were the largest contingent there with infantry and naval units with the steam spider HMS Arachnid, and a small steam armored track vehicle.

There were 2 British infantry units to the north-west also supported by Her Majesties Rocket troops and 2 steam AshKans armed with light cannon.

A private enterprise of citizens lead by a certain professor with his mechanical menions also accompanied the imperial forces into the unknown.

The advance on the stronghold was slow and arduous. The troops fearing attack at every moment. The Martians know their own lands and the colonials do not. A surprise attack was feared and rightly so, as the first encounter happened when a large force of Kragg Martians appeared in the rear of the western approach.

The commander of the British force Major Disaster was quoted as exclaiming " they sprang from the ground and were on us!".

The British infantry were luckly able to bring their weapons to bear on the Martians. Many were killed and the attack was blunted, but the melee was nip and tuck. In the end the British Tommy was able to send the Martian horde packing leaving their dead upon the field.

While that fearsome battle was taking place, the Prussians were closing on the fort with the Iron Giant and a scout walker, their infantry in close support.

The Martians inside were pouring rifle fire down upon the Prussians as they advanced towards the gate and casualties were great. The Prussian artillery had problems getting the steam tractors to pull the guns to a hill top were they could be brought to aim at the fort.

On the north-eastern approach the British and the mechanical menions were closing the gap towards the Hidalgo as well.

The Prussian Iron Giant reached the front gate. With a mighty swing of his mechanical foot, smashed in the heavy doors of the stupendous fortress. Just as the dust began to clear and the Prussian infantry were streaming to the breach, a screaming swarm of Kragg flying warriors bellowed forth.

The scout walker was toppled and crashed to the ground! The Prussian infantry were fighting for their very lives, with the freacest warriors of Mars.

In all the excitement and confusion of the melee the HMS Arachnid fired it's gattling guns. The commander said he was aiming at the Martians but the effect was to kill Prussians! When this happened the mechanical menions were turned loose upon the British rear and chaos ensued.

While the carnage was ensuing at the breach, the French were attacked from the rear, with deadly results. A horde of Kragg Martians descended on the French Forgen Legion and tore gapping holes in their lines so many that the Legion fled from the field. Leaving the rear of the Zouaves open to attack!

The British Rocket Corps reached the western side of the fort finding the defenders dead they mounted the citadel and confronted the Hidalgo himself!

The rocket men could not fire their weapons into Hagrid for fear of hitting Miss Hermione so they charged with sabers bared and engaged Hagrid in hand to hand melee. Hagrid is leader of the Kraggs and so is the most formidable of foes.

The commander of the Rocket corps was killed and Hagrid escaped down a hidey hole with Miss Hermione in tow, thus avoiding capture or rescue!

The game was played over four hours with seven gamers and many more spectators. A fun time was had by all, especially by your humble correspondent. There was so much more happening in the game, but my notes were lost in the scramble of the colonials to escape the plains of Mars.

As always at your service,

Colonel Hairy Haggis

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I'd hate ta be kilt fer th' lack o' shootn' back !