For the big battles in Mars Attacks we’ll be using a simple points system, as mentioned earlier. This will give you a chance to tailor your army to suit your style of play. If you want lots of robots, go robot. If unstoppable waves of grunts is the way you invade, then go for it. Fleets of saucers? Knock yourself out.
The following points may change slightly before the final version as we’ve still got more playtesting left to do. However, I don’t anticipate radical changes, just minor tweaks.
So, Humanity’s noble defenders first:
- 9-man US Army squad (includes Sergeant and 2 SAWs): 6
- Missile launcher: 3
- Patriot (MG): 3
- Patriot (ray): 5
- 6-man Novas Vira squad: 9
- Heroes: 2-5 each (priced individually)
And the Martian invaders:
- General Tor: 5
- 10-man Martian grunt squad: 10 (includes unit commander and freeze ray)
- 5-man Martian marines squad: 9
- 5-man Stealth Troops squad: 9
- Saucer: 5
- Robot: 10
There will be a system for balancing the odd point or two left at the end if you can’t quite get exactly the right total (starting with extra cards in hand, support cards in play, etc).
I know that you haven’t got all the stats for everything yet. However, these points will help you work out what you want your force to look like and what you need in terms of models.
Big Battle Scenarios
There are two of these: one for a single mat and the other for a four mat game (2×2). Again, this is the initial draft and so it focuses on whether the core of the game works properly at this size rather than fancy frills. There are some refinements to add in, most notably a random roll at the start to see what sub-mission you’re on.
Single mat games are played at 40 points per side, and four mat games at 100 points each.
For the moment we’re using this simple victory condition. Count the number of models in your army at the start of the game. Count each soldier as 1, each hero, saucer or truck as 3 and each robot as 5. Using this same calculation, the first side to reduce their foe to half or less of this total remaining on the battlefield wins the battle.
With the information above, you can see what sort of combinations you can get on the tabletop. On a single mat you could have a couple of saucers flying over a ground wave of two squads backed up by a robot. Or, you could have two robots, four saucers and forget the ground forces! Hmm, maybe that’s a bit excessive. Maybe…
On the bigger board you’ve got room to really indulge your megalomanic fantasies. You can happily have General Tor leading three robots, three saucers and fifty Martian infantry. Now that really does look like an invasion!
On the human side you’ll be wanting a fair amount of infantry and those missiles are great for taking out the big things. At the same time, your heroes are where you have an edge, and even though they’re small they can turn the tide on a flank, which can then domino through the rest of a battle. Trucks can be mobile cover as well as mobile pill boxes, so don’t forget to take a couple. however, if you want elites who have actually been waiting for the martians invasion (and preparing and training and… ) then the Novas Virae are on hand. They’re much pricier than your normal infantry, but they are good.
Both sides have a number of approaches they can adopt, and if you play the same opponents regularly you can have fun trying to second guess what style of army they’ll be fielding this time. You could also play “winner stays on” and not allow the winner of the previous game to change their force. That way you can test out tactics and get to know both how your force works and how your enemy responds.