Sunday, July 7, 2013

A Playtest Battle Report

Here are some pictures from one of my playtests.  The Colonists are attacking in an Asymmetrical Scenario.  The Martian Free Cities are Defending.  The table is in my basement, and I commanded both sides.  (Pictures of me playing with myself in the basement!  Kinky!)

The table.

The Martians take the side of the table with a ruin and a crater.  The Colonist figures the far side is the easiest to attack, but there is no completely clear place to put it.  So it goes into a crater (soft cover).  The Martian player places the second objective in the ruins (hard cover).  The objectives are round red bases.

A view from the defender's side.

The Martian Free Cities can assign their three troop types however they like.  Martian player decides to divide his forces into three squads.  Into two squads, he places one manus of lanceatores (a blaster cannon and one lanceator) and one manus of Venatores (two venatores with carbines and a venator with an electrojavelin).  These are the his shooting troops.  The blaster cannons will provide long range fire, and the other troops will support it with shorter-range fire.

The armies deployed.

The Martian player puts all his Scutatores (heavily-armored melee types) into one big squad, reinforced with the Triarch and the standard bearer.  He hides them behind a mesa for counterattacking.

That's a lot of colonists.

The Colonist player puts three squads on the flank opposite the crater.  They will make the main push.  He puts a fourth squad to threaten the ruins.  He doesn't really expect them to take it, but as long as they are there, the Martian player can't move his squad out of the ruins.  The Colonist has two mortars as support weapons.  These he also places to attack the crater.

The game begins.

The Colonists advance, and the Martians shoot them up.  There are plenty of craters, so casualties are light.  However, the Martians target the Mortar squad and keep it pinned for several turns.  Once the Colonists have advanced their guns into range, the LMGs remain stationary and the riflemen continue the attack.

The Martians defend.

Eventually, weight of fire whittles down the Martian squad in the ruins.  The mortars unpin and utterly devastate the squad in the crater.  It fails its break test and flees the table.  It looks like the Martians are going to lose.

The doomed crater defenders.

 Still, the Martian swordsmen are intact.  As soon as the Colonists are in range, the Scutatores rush up.  They use their doctrine to protect themselves in Firefight, then charge.


The Scutatores chop the crap out of the Colonist's squad.  Then they scoot back behind the mesa.

They slice!  They dice!

They retreat!

It now all hinges on whether the Scutatores can swing around the Mesa and contest the two Colonial squads that have lined up in the bloody crater around the Objective. 
The critical counter-attack ...

The final firefight goes poorly.  The combined Colonial squads (together with a crapload of LMGs) force enough casualties that the Scutatores break.

... gets shot in the face.

The game ends.

My impressions:  the Scutatores are pretty awesome, but there were just too many Colonists for them to kill.  I like the basic mechanics (and I fixed a few bugs) but I think I need to work on the balance of forces and their size.

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