The Martian force I had planned for use in Steam Wars has always been envisioned as a two fold army. Elite overlord controllers shepherding units of controlled, or slave, infantry towards their foe. Therefore, I was always going to need the army controllers to stand out from the infantry by being a little different.
In this case it was by being a whole different race (Cephalopods) and maintaining a higher technology level than the regular forces.
Technology far advanced from their enemy as well. Lets hope that the grit, determination and hard projectiles of the Victorian British infantry will be enough to hold back the Martian might. One problem with all advanced civilised forces is their habit of underestimating the simple tenacity and brute force of lesser races…
A Cephalopod is in the end a flesh and blood creature, despite its ability to subjugate and overwhelm other races.
Like all overlord races their numbers are lower than the populace they control. Drones and mechanical assistants are therefore essential when the lesser slaves are not up to higher tasks. The discovery of new knowledge and the advancement of science must be allowed to progress, so the Martian Cephalopods have long advocated the use of drone helpers to gather information and protect their masters.
Science Caste Cephalopods are often sent out into the field to discover the weaknesses of their enemies. This task can be a dangerous one, even when the enemy is a lesser species. Collection suits and science drone assistants are therefore deployed whenever exposure to dangerous lifeforms is likely.
When slave infantry, or mechanical troopers are deployed, their actions need to be overseen by a controller from one of the elite castes of Cephalopods. Mind control and the direction of slaves, or strategic control of mechanoids, is often the role of Cephalopod command units. Especially trained to deploy their units ahead of themselves and to monitor and direct the progress of missions. When subjugating lesser species the hard suits of the science caste are often not required by these units.