Turn 6: Sergeant Harbuck and his half platoon of the 23rd Foot clear the crystals and charge the Ghost Archers who have slain two of the British soldiery. In response, the cowardly dogs fled the field of battle (failed a Morale test, ran right off the table)! Rightly afraid of cold British steel! Martian levies pounce upon the malfunctioning spider-bots, and wreck five while they are immobilized. The toolbots manage to return to their programming, and turn to prepare an assault on the levy hacking apart their many-legged friends. HMLS Prince Albert finally fires its first combat shot, only to watch the shell fly wide of the target: one of Maton's giant Brass soldaten. The other half-platoon of the 23rd Foot, under command of Captain Compost-Pyle fire a devastating volley at the same target, and strike it seven times! One round finds a weak spot in the ammunition feed for the massive gun, and BOOM! One brass soldat, blown to bits. Meanwhile, the pack mules - you remember them, the entire focus of the mission? - are wandering about the landscape.
We ended the game at this point, after almost 3 hours of play, although it is still setup on the table. The game is scheduled to run 3 hours at the convention. I am hoping we can get at least one more turn in during the convention, if not 2 or 3 more. Additional tests will bring my familiarity with the rules up to snuff, and better positioning of the forces will help move the game along too.
I got a lot of valuable information from the game, and Zach (the Martian player) and I are zipping emails back and forth in regards to ideas for improving the game. Plans are being made to make further tests, although a second set battle might not happen for a few weeks. I am anxious to get at least one more full scale test battle in before Historicon.
I'm a little unhappy with the automatons. They seemed to break down a little too easily. Once in combat, they were pretty nasty, though. One consideration would be to break them into smaller units (this would be nice for convention play anyway), so that a malfunction roll (which affects the entire unit) would not affect as large a percentage of the entire army.