Today we had another playtest mission. Four marine players each with two rank 2 marines. We played using the fully co-operative optional rule and no alien player.

The mission: to rescue a scientist who had been captured by the enemy. He was being held in a bunker and a contingent of troops was on its way to escort him back to the capital for interrogation. The Xeno-Force marines had to enter the mission area, fight their way across the battlefield extract the scientist and pull out the way they arrived. The enemy had reinforcements inbound. The first set would arrive on turn 6. If the marines captured the bunkers by the roads then their numbers would be halved. On turn 10 the main contingent of 2 Mechs and 10 support troops would arrive and then every 4 turns after ever increasing numbers of enemies would arrive.

The enemy had hidden elements of the scientists research around the target area, so the marines had to spread out and search as many of the locations as possible to locate his work.

The mission started well. The marines plasma rifles proved a very effective weapon against the well armoured soldiers. The enemy sniper fire was very punishing and a couple of marines took some bad hits to their torsos and legs.

By turn 4 we had captured the south road bunker. The Medic had been plying his trade, and the assault and sergeant launched their attack on the north west bunker. We were still taking fire, but movement was much easier now. By Turn 5 and we had both bunkers ready for the reinforcements.

The enemy launched their counter attack and the techie came out of the bunker to face them. They charged and a brutal hand to hand followed. Supported by the plasma gunners and some timely sniper fire of our own he was able to see off the worst of it.

We moved on the prisoner and secured him. Then just as it was going our way the contingent of troops and Mechs arrived from the North East road.

We started to pull back as we didn't have enough left to be able to deal with them A few more turns and more enemies from the other roads would arrive too.

Our heavy with a chain gun took good account of himself by cutting down half of the supporting infantry, and the sergeant with a fusion gun managed to destroy one Mech's main weapon, but the pressure was on and the marine's were bugging out. Just before we got out the Heavy took a devastating blow from the Mech's chain gun which ripped off his arm and left him bleeding out. Our retreating assault marine, with some encouragement from the officer managed to pick up the body and extract him.

All it all it was a fun game, the enemies were a good challenge and we pitched it just about right. Most valuable marine awards went to the star medic who's deadly aim with a plasma rifle managed to get a total of 14 kills, the Officer who covered the retreat, the second plasma gunner and the techie who extracted the scientist.

There is no award for least valuable marine, but if there were it would go to the guy with the flamer who shot his gun once, and jammed it. And hit an already wounded guy in close combat to finish him off.

We completed the primary mission, two secondaries and about 60% of the tertiary searches.

It was suggested enemy snipers could be given the precision ability allowing them to shoot into close.

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