Having recently moved house, I was delighted to be able to host JB for the inaugural evening of gaming in the new space. Doubly delighted, as he was patient enough to work through a playtest of the siege ideas. He commanded 500 points of goblins, defending a 1 metre wide stone fortification against my 1000 points of halfling besiegers.
We played through four attrition phases, during which the poor halflings becaming increasingly ill (until I got proper foraging parties bringing in supplies). JB carried out a sortie, destroying some of my siege equipment - a trebuchet and a mine head - and scattering my poultry-riders. As he lost his spider riders in the process (and his army was only half the size of mine), the losses sort of evened out.
As the evening wore on, halfing artillery fire had little or no impact on the walls, and the mine - even before it was destroyed - was proving very difficult to dig. The halflings reached the point where an assault on the walls became the only way to resolve the impasse. Foolishly, I gave my best troops the siege equipment. All my best troops were already slow, and the siege equipment just made them slower!
JB decided to let his goblin madcaps come through the gates to cause havoc among my advancing lines, but they were caught in column by my halfling yeoman cavalry and quickly dispatched.
In the end, it was the halfling siege artillery which eventually destroyed the gates, allowing the halflings' treefolk allies to break through the fortifications in the centre. On the far left of the line, the other treefolk, advancing carrying ladders ... let's not discuss how morbid that could be from their perspective ... almost made it to the walls before being destroyed by enemy shooting. Withering halfling hellfire from the militia archers was taking its toll though and scattered another unit of goblin defenders on the wall.
With that, we called it as the evening was late, and the halfling victory inevitable. We made numerous amendments over the course of the evening, and there is still some way to go before they are finalised, but the rules are playable (sighing with relief) in their current form. Beyond the difficulties of building a completely flexible set of rules with no foreknowledge of what a player's table will look like, the challenge is having enough nuance and meaningful in-game decision making, without getting bogged down in crunch. Stay tuned for more testing to come!